Mumbai/Beijing/Seoul: Following weak global cues and the steep fall in Shanghai stocks along with concerns over the Indian government's stand on minimum alternate tax (MAT) shaved 1,000 points or nearly 3.7 percent, off a key equity index of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) early on Monday.
The rupee also hit a fresh two-year low of 66.47 to a dollar.
The 30-share sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE opened sharply lower at 26,730.40 points against the previous close at 27,366.07 and soon plumeted further to 26,359.53 points, to log a loss of 1,006.54 points, or 3.67 percent.
After an hour of trading, the index was at 26,447.15 points, down 918.92 points or 3.36 percent. The wider, 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange, followed a similar trend and was ruling at 8,004.30 points, with a loss of 295.65 points or 3.56 percdnt.
Each of the 30 shares that go into the Sensex basket, was trading in the red -- the lowest loss being 1.61 percent for Sun Pharma and the steepest for the state-run GAIL India with as much as 6.67 percent.
Out of the 2,165 shares that were trading on Monday, 1,912 of them were in the red. While 26 were unchanged, only 227 managed some gains on the Mumbai bourse.
The realty stocks were the worst hit. The index for this sector was down 6.42 percent, followed by a loss of 4.98 percent for banking, 4.89 percent for power, 4.72 percent for oil and gas and 4.44 percent for metals.
Besides the global developments, analysts had cautioned that the slide in the rupee value, which closed on Friday at a two-year low of 65.83 to a dollar to breach the the 66 mark also dampened sentiments.
"The continued sell-off in US markets reflects the recent downward momentum for the markets which came amid overarching concerns about developing economies and the outlook for US interest rates," Angel Broking said in a statement.
Likewise, Chinese stocks registered a dip on Monday, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index down 3.83 percent to open at 3,373.48 points.
The Shenzhen Component Index opened 4.22 percent lower at 11,399.66 points, Xinhua news agency reported.
The ChiNext Index, tracking China's NASDAQ-style board of growth enterprises, opened 5.1 percent lower at 2,222.54 points.
Meanwhile, South Korea's currency weakened on Monday to the lowest in about four years to the US dollar.
The won/dollar exchange rate touched 1,200 won per dollar after the opening bell, marking the highest since October 4, 2011, reported Xinhua news agency.
The rate was quoted at 1,196.6 won versus the greenback as of 1.45 p.m. (local time).
The exchange of artillery fires between the two Koreas inside the demilitarised zone (DMZ) on Thursday boosted worries about geopolitical risks among foreign investors.
The benchmark Kospi stock index tumbled 2.5 percent in the afternoon trading due to the inter-Korean tensions and worries about economic slowdown in China.