Mumbai: The BSE benchmark Sensex saw a sudden plunge in last hour of trade and nosedived nearly 430 points to close at a nearly three-month low of 33,317 after bank stocks came under heavy selling pressure despite positive global cues.
The NSE Nifty too fell over 109 points to 10,249.25, erasing all its early gains.
Bank shares felt the heat following reports that ICICI Bank managing director and chief executive Chanda Kochhar and her Axis Bank counterpart Shikha Sharma have been summoned by the SFIO in the PNB fraud matter.
The sentiment was further dampened after the RBI yesterday said it had imposed a penalty of Rs 3 crore on Axis Bank for violation of NPA classification norms and Rs 2 crore on Indian Overseas Bank for not complying with the KYC regulations.
The 30-share index Sensex commenced on a strong note at 34,047.43 and advanced to high of 34,060.13, tracking a firm trend in other Asian markets. It, however, slipped into a negative zone towards the fag-end to hit a low of 33,209.76 as participants booked profits at improved levels. The gauge finally settled 429.58 points, or 1.27%, lower at 33,317.20.
This was the lowest closing for the Sensex since 14 December when it had finished at 33,246.70 and also the biggest single-day fall since 6 February, when it had lost 561.22.
Overall, in the last five straight sessions, the index has lost nearly 1,129 points.
The NSE Nifty after reclaiming the key 10,400-mark touched a high of 10,441.35 in early trade but later slipped into negative zone to hit a low of 10,215.90. It finally settled at 10,249.25, showing a sizeable loss of 109.60 points, or 1.06%.
Meanwhile, Asian markets turned positive today and Europe too opened higher amid easing of concerns over a potential trade war triggered by the comments of US President Donald Trump with regard to tariffs on steel and aluminum.