The BSE Sensex dipped below the 17k mark to 3-week low of 16,882.67 on tuesday on persistent selling pressure amid weak second quarter corporate earnings and subdued global markets.
All the 13 sectoral indices, and 27 of the 30 Sensex scrips closed in the red. The decline was led by financials and interest sensitive stocks in the realty, auto and capital goods sectors.
Analysts said investor sentiment has been dampened by a string of below-expectation corporate earnings, slowdown in industrial growth and inflation, which has led to the high interest-rate regime.
The 30-share BSE benchmark Sensex resumed lower at 17,081.62 and dropped further to 16,837.56 before closing at 16,882.67 - down 236.07 points or 1.38%. It had lost over 450 points in the previous three sessions.
The NSE 50-share Nifty also fell by 79.85 points or 1.55% to end at 5,068.50.
"Volatility ruled the day and finally the market ended on a lower note mainly due to poor quarterly results by some leading companies and subdued global markets. Also, the Eurozone debt crisis issue is troubling the market to some extent," Geojit BNP Research Head Alex Matthews said.
Globally, Asian markets ended weak and European equity were trading lower as the euro-zone sovereign debt troubles continued to worry investors.
Key indices in Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, Japan, and Taiwan fell by up to 0.82%. China's market, however, rose 0.04%.
Similarly, markets in France, Germany and London were down by up to 2.01% in the afternoon.
Realty major DLF fell 6.66%, declining for the third straight day on weak Q2 results. However, Cipla gained 6.51% after it announced that net profit rose 17.47%.
Major losers from the Sensex pack were Jaiprakash (5.84%), M&M (3.97 pc), ICICI Bank (3.70 pc), L&T (2.81 pc), Tata Steel (2.70 pc), HDFC (2.40 pc), BHEL (2.16 pc), Maruti Suzuki (2.11 pc), Hero Motocorp (2.09 pc), Sterlite (1.82 pc), Jindal Steel (1.81 pc), HUL (1.73 pc), Coal India (1.70 pc), NPPC (1.56 pc), Tata Power (1.54 pc), Reliance Ind (1.42 pc), SBI (1.32 pc), Bajaj Auto (1.26 pc) and Sun Pharma (1.05 pc).
Among the sectoral indices the BSE-Realty fell 5.22%, followed by Capital Goods (2.77 pc), Power (2.14 pc), Bankex (2.02 pc), Consumer Durable (1.91 pc), Metal (1.84 pct), PSU (1.77 pc), Auto (1.65 pc) and Oil&Gas (1.46 pc).
Small cap and midcap indices also declined sharply by 2.77% and 2.58%.
The total market breadth remained negative as 2,230 stocks closed in the red, while only 629 ended in the green.
The total turnover dropped further to Rs 2,229.15 crore from the Monday's closing level of Rs 2,356.53 crore.