Equities went into a tailspin today after a three-session surge, with benchmark Sensex plunging 224 points and Nifty closing below 9,500, as global markets were roiled by the latest crisis surrounding US President Donald Trump.
Asian markets nosedived, tracking the biggest single- session slump in US shares in eight months yesterday on fears that the controversy over the firing of the FBI chief may scuttle Trump's pro-business agenda and even lead to his impeachment, brokers said.
The global volatility added to the caution in domestic market, which was already in an over-bought position following the recent record-setting spree and succumbed to profit booking, they added.
The 30-share Sensex stayed in the negative zone throughout the session and hit a low of 30,393.72, before settling at 30,434.79, down 223.98 points or 0.73 per cent.
It had gained 470.62 points back-to-back in the previous three sessions to hit record highs.
Likewise, the 50-scrip NSE barometer Nifty plunged 96.30 points, or 1.01 per cent, to close at 9,429.45 after shuttling between 9,418.10 and 9,489.10.
Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs), after remaining buyers for the past few sessions, sold shares worth a net Rs 731.39 crore yesterday, as per provisional data. Domestic investors, on the other hand, purchased shares worth a net Rs 614.51 crore.
"Market reacted to the headwinds surrounding the US political climate and its concerns over the upcoming US economic policies.
"Since the underlying domestic fundamentals are good, the market participants are likely to get back on every consolidation," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.
In the Asian region, Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.62 per cent, Japan's Nikkei lost 1.32 per cent, while Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.46 per cent.
London's FTSE fell 1.42 per cent in early deals while Frankfurt's DAX shed 1.04 per cent and Paris CAC 40 lost 1.30 per cent.
Among Sensex constituents, Tata Motors emerged the biggest loser by falling 2.55 per cent, followed by Axis Bank at 2.15 per cent.
Bajaj Auto ended 1.94 per cent down after the company posted a 15.48 per cent dip in its net profit at Rs 802 crore for the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2017.
Other losers were Dr Reddy's, M&M, L&T, HUL, RIL, ONGC, Maruti Suzuki, SBI, Bharti Airtel, ITC Ltd and Tata Steel.
Wipro, TCS, Infosys, Lupin, Sun Pharma and Asian Paints made headway on sustained buying and cushioned the fall.
Sectorally, the BSE realty index suffered the most by losing 3.12 per cent, followed by metal (2.76 per cent), power (2.14 per cent), capital goods (2.09 per cent), consumer durables (2.08 per cent), auto (1.98 per cent), PSU (1.60 per cent), FMCG (1.54 per cent), oil&gas (1.52 per cent), bank (1.25 per cent) and healthcare (0.85 per cent).
The broader markets too succumbed to profit-booking. The BSE mid-cap index fell 2.16 per cent, while the small-cap index shed 2.04 per cent.
Market breadth continued to be negative as 2,059 stocks closed lower, 687 finished higher while 164 ruled steady.
The total turnover on BSE amounted to Rs 4,309 crore, lower than Rs 6,808.38 crore registered during the previous trading session.