The Sensex fell 256 points,the most in more than two weeks in a late sell-off that capped a choppy session on Wednesday as investors booked profits and global markets turned cautious. Shares fell as the rupee declined against the dollar for the first time in five days.
ICICI Bank,HDFC Bank along with heavyweights Reliance Industries and Infosys dragged the index lower.
Bank,consumer durables and auto shares led 12 of the 13 BSE sectoral indices down. After opening lower,the S&P BSE Sensex plunged in the last hour of trade,dropping to a low of 20,579.94. The index recovered some ground and closed at 20,635.13,a loss of 255.69 points or 1.22 per cent.
It was the biggest drop for the index since November 5. The CNX Nifty index on the NSE was down 80.45 points,or 1.3 per cent,at 6,122.90.
The rupee,meanwhile,fell by about 25 paise to 62.62/63 against the dollar. At the interbank foreign exchange market,the rupee resumed higher at 62.25 a dollar from the previous close of 62.36 and touched a high of 62.24.