Here are 10 things to know about the markets today:
The Sensex ended 540.00 points - or 1.33 per cent - lower at 40,145.50, and the Nifty settled at 11,767.75, down 162.60 points - or 1.36 per cent - from its previous close.
Hero MotoCorp, Bajaj Auto, Hindalco, Mahindra & Mahindra and JSW Steel, closing between 4.39 per cent and 6.69 per cent lower, were the worst hit among 39 laggards in the Nifty basket of 50 shares. On the other hand, HDFC Life, Nestle, Kotak Mahindra Bank and IndusInd Bank, ending 1.44-3.16 per cent higher each, were the top gainers in the index.
Reliance Industries, HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank were the biggest drags on Sensex.
Analysts say investors around the globe are turning cautious of US elections amid rising cases of COVID-19, which are further dampening global growth outlook.
The NSE's India VIX index - which gauges the expectation of volatility in the near term - ended 4.60 per cent higher, the highest since October 15.
Reliance Industries shares declined after the conglomerate said it intends to complete a transaction with Future Group without any delay, after Amazon.com won an interim order asking the Future Group to put the Reliance deal on hold.
IndusInd Bank shares closed 1.45 per cent higher as the private sector lender denied reports concerning a merger proposal. Kotak Mahindra Bank is exploring a takeover of IndusInd Bank, in a move that would create the country's eighth-largest financial firm by assets, news agency Bloomberg had reported on Sunday citing people with knowledge of the matter. IndusInd Bank said it "denies the rumour in certain media reports concerning a merger proposal, and considers it to be malicious, untrue and baseless".
Share markets elsewhere in Asia largely declined, with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan down 0.23 per cent, receding from a recent 31-month peak.
The US has seen its highest ever number of new COVID-19 cases in the past two days, while France also set unwanted case records and Spain announced a state of emergency.
That combined with no clear progress on a US stimulus package to pull S&P 500 futures down 0.5 per cent. EUROSTOXX 50 futures eased 0.4 per cent and FTSE futures 0.3 per cent.