Snapping a four-day long rally, the Sensex today plunged by 373 points on profit-selling amid weakness in overseas markets. The Sensex, which had gained 922 points in the last four sessions, fell back by 372.60 points to 16,572.03 points.
The barometer touched a low of 16,318.39 points following a freak sell-off in Reliance Industries at 52-week low levels. Similarly, the wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty fell below 5,000 points level to end at 4,970.20 points, showing a hefty loss of 116.10 points.
Trading sentiment turned bearish on weakening global trend after the ECB said eurozone banks face up to 195 billion euros in a "second wave" of potential loan losses over the next 18 months due to the financial crisis.
The market was down in tandem with a weak trend in Asian region and lower opening in the European stock markets this afternoon.
The market received a rude jolt following a freak transaction in the heaviest on the Sensex, Reliance Industries at Rs 840.55 against the last close of Rs 1,045.05.
Among the 30 index stocks, 27 closed with losses. All sectoral indices closed in the red. The metal sector index suffered the most by losing 3.86 per cent to settle at 14,562.70 points following reports that base metals plunged in Shanghai and London.
The realty sector index was the second worst performer which fell by 2.95 per cent to 3,006.45 points on rising concerns the policy makers might raise interest rate to curb inflation.
Among Asian markets, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell by 1.36 per cent, while Shanghai closed 0.92 per cent lower.
European markets opened weak with London's FTSE 100 index falling 0.17 per cent and Frankfurt's DAX 30 declining 0.34 per cent to 5,943.94 points. The Paris CAC 40 slid 0.73 per cent.