The Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex today tumbled over 218 to a two-month low on all-round selling as fear engulfed investors after a rout in US equities on concerns about Europe's growing debt crisis.
However, the fall was somewhat checked by gains in the stocks of Sensex heavy-weight Reliance Industries after a favourable Supreme Court ruling in the gas dispute with RNRL.
The Sensex, which had lost 570 points in the last four sessions, dropped further by 218.42 points to 16,769.11, a level last seen on March 2. The benchmark touched the day's low of 16,684.13 points.
Likewise, the wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty breached the crucial 5,000-points level to fall to 4,984.60, before recovering some of the losses to close at 5,018.05. All the sectoral indices, except oil and gas, ended in the red.
Marketmen said US equities sank as waves of computerised trading exacerbated a sell off triggered by Europe's debt crisis, sparking a slide in Asian shares.
The rout briefly erased more than one trillion dollar in US market value.
In the 30-BSE component, 25 stocks closed with losses and four ended with gains, while ITC Ltd. Held unchanged.