Mumbai: The BSE benchmark Sensex today plunged 296 points to close at nearly two-month low due to widespread losses in metal, healthcare, consumer durables and capital goods sector stocks on capital outflows and retail investors ahead of earnings season amid a mixed trend overseas.
After opening 137 points lower, the 30-share index continued its slide to touch the day's low of 26,250.24 before ending the day at almost two-month low of 26,271.97, a level not seen since August 14, registering a steep fall of 296.02 points or 1.11 per cent.
The gauge had lost 62.52 points in the previous session on Octrober 1. Stock markets remained closed on October 2, 3 and 6 for Gandhi Jayanti, Dussehra and Id-Ul-Zuha, respectively.
FII/FPIs pulled out Rs. 63.24 crore from domestic markets on October 1, according to exchange data.
Similarly, the broad-based NSE Nifty closed down by 93.15 points or 1.17 per cent at 7,852.40 after shuttling between 7,943.05 and 7,842.70.
Brokers said the sentiment dampened on foreign capital outflows and offloading of positions by retail investors ahead of the earnings season, with Infosys posting results later this week.
Of the 30 Sensex shares, 23 closed lower led by Hindalco (down 4.35 per cent), Sesa Sterlite (4.32 per cent) and Cipla (3.67 per cent), while NTPC, Gail and Tata Motors remained major gainers.
Meanwhile, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth a net Rs. 63.24 crore last Wednesday as per the provisional data released by the stock exchanges.
Sectorwise, BSE metal index suffered the most by falling 2.65 per cent, followed by healthcare by 1.85 per cent.
Captial goods index by 1.78 per cent, Consumer durables index by 1.72 per cent, Realy index 1.27 per cent, PSU index 1.20 per cent and Banking index 0.87 per cent were the other significant losers.