Domestic stock markets suffered their worst single-day rout in history on Monday and the rupee plunged more than 1 per cent, with investors stuck in a selling frenzy as the coronavirus disrupted businesses and forced several districts into lockdown.
The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index sank 12.98 per cent to a near four-year closing low of 7,610.25, while the S&P BSE Sensex fell 13.15 per cent to 25,981.24. The rupee hit a record low of 76.16 against the dollar and was down 1.2 per cent at 76.09 by 1025 GMT (3:55 pm in India).
Several Indian companies shut stores and factories in line with government directives and several districts went into lockdown to contain the virus. As of Sunday, the country had 341 cases of coronavirus, with seven deaths.
Trading in equities was curbed in the first hour of Monday's session as the main indexes plunged 10 per cent, and resumed 45 minutes later.
Global financial markets were also hit hard on Monday as nations resorted to lockdowns, threatening to overwhelm policymakers' frantic efforts to cushion what is likely to be a deep global recession.
In Mumbai's main stock indices on Monday, financial stocks bore the brunt of the losses. The Nifty PSU Bank Index, which tracks state-owned lenders, slumped 12.69 per cent, while the Nifty Private Bank Index plunged 17.88 per cent to a near four-year closing low.
Top private-sector lender HDFC Bank was the biggest drag, falling as much as 13.4 per cent.
The auto sector also took a severe beating as major automakers halted production. The Nifty Auto Index dropped 13.85 per cent, with Maruti Suzuki India sinking nearly 17 per cent.