Mumbai: Indian equities remained in free fall for a fourth session in a row on Wednesday following a sustained global sell-off as the number of new coronavirus cases surged in new regions, putting the world economy at a bigger risk.
The BSE gauge Sensex settled the day with a loss of 392.24 points, or 0.97 per cent, at 39,888.96 -- the lowest closing in over three weeks.
Starting off on a weaker note, the index plunged over 521 points during the day.
Over the past four sessions, the Sensex has lost 1,281.16 points or 3.11 per cent.
The broader NSE Nifty plummeted 119.40 points or 1.01 per cent to end at 11,678.50 -- its worst level since February 3.
The NSE index has shed 402.35 points or 3.33 per cent in the last four days.
On the Sensex chart, Sun Pharma was the top loser, followed by Maruti, L&T, Hero Motocorp, Infosys, ONGC and RIL.
On the other hand, SBI, HUL, HCL Tech, Asian Paints, and Ultratech Cement ended with gains.
Sectorally, BSE realty, auto and capital goods were among the top losers, dropping as much as 2.16 per cent.
Barring telecom, all sectoral indices closed in the red.
In the broader market, BSE midcap and smallcap indices fell up to 1.34 per cent.
"Increasing concern regarding coronavirus in the world over is impacting global market. The economic impact is expected to be worse than thought earlier forcing investors to stay away from risky assets," Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services, said.
Further, analysts said, the domestic market is bracing for yet another subdued GDP growth, with a forecast of 4.6 to 4.7 per cent in Q3 compared to 4.5 per cent in Q2, which is adding to the fear.
With a spread of the novel coronavirus in countries like France, Iran, South Korea and Italy, market participants are growing increasingly fearful about the impact on the global economy.
The death toll is now at more than 2,700 while those infected are approaching 80,000, although new cases in China, the epicentre, are falling.
Bourses in Shanghai, Tokyo, Seoul and Hong Kong settled with significant losses.
Stock exchanges in Europe were trading on a negative note in their morning sessions.
Equities on Wall Street plunged in overnight trade after American health authorities said they ultimately expect the novel coronavirus to spread in the US.
Brent crude oil futures fell 1.77 per cent to USD 53.30 per barrel.
On the currency front, the Indian rupee appreciated by 19 paise to 71.66 per US dollar.