Here are 10 things to know about the big fall in the markets today:
The markets however trimmed some of the losses during the course of the day. At 2:59 pm, the Sensex traded 834 points - or 2.1 per cent - lower at 37,633, while the Nifty was down 265 points - or 2.3 per cent - at 11,003.
All the 50 stocks in the Nifty basket struggled against losses at the time. Top percentage losers were Yes Bank, IndusInd Bank, Tata Motors, SBI, Tata Steel and Zee Entertainment, trading between 5.16 per cent and 25 per cent lower.
Yes Bank shares were trading at Rs 17, weaker by 51 per cent a day after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) suspended the private sector lender's board for a period of 30 days "owing to serious deterioration in the financial position of the Bank" and imposed a withdrawal limit of Rs 50,000 on its account holders, with few exceptions, till April 3. The shares had hit a low of Rs 5.5 earlier in the day.
“We will take swift action... And we have a scheme in place to revive Yes Bank,” RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said. The decision on Yes Bank was taken at a "larger level" and not at individual entity level, and was aimed at ensuring the safety of financial system, RBI governor said further. The RBI governor also assured, "RBI stands ready to intervene in whatever way required to respond to epidemic challenges".
All the 11 sectors on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) were down, with the banking - especially state-run banks, automobile and metal stocks being the worst hit. The Nifty Bank index - comprising shares in 12 of the country's largest banks - was down 4.51 per cent at the time.
The broader markets also succumbed to panic selling, with the BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices down 2.3 per cent and 1.9 per cent respectively. The midcap and smallcap segments had declined 4.16 per cent and 3.25 per cent respectively in early trade.
The rupee weakened past the 74-per-dollar mark for the first time since October 2018 due to the plunge in equity markets. The currency opened at 73.90 and was trading at 74.08 a dollar, down 1 per cent.
The coronavirus is showing no signs of abating, with 95,000 people being diagnosed with the fatal condition in more than 60 countries across all continents, except Antarctica, and 30 people being tested positive so far in India.
Equities in other Asian markets fell, with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan last seen trading 0.5 per cent per cent lower. Japan's Nikkei 225 index was down 1.4 per cent at the time, while Hang Seng, Straits Times, SET Composite and Jakarta indices were down between 1 and 3 per cent each.
Overnight in the US, Wall Street tumbled with shares of banks and travel companies taking a huge hit, as a new wave of fear about the spread of the coronavirus and its economic impact gripped investors. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite indices slumped 3.5 per cent and 3.1 per cent respectively.