The rupee touched all-time low of 63.30 against the dollar despite a number of steps from RBI to curb the currency free-fall. Also, weakness in global markets and speculation over the US rolling back its economic stimulus package as early as next month worsened the sentiment.
    
After Friday's 769-point crash -- the worst fall in 4 years -- the 30-share index on Monday opened flat at 18,587.38. Increasing selling pressure brought Sensex down to intra-day low of 18139.15, down over 459 points. A marginal recovery lifted the Sensex but it still closed 290.66 points, or 1.56 percent, down at 18,307.52. This is its worst closing since 18,242.56 on April 12.
    
"No respite has been seen despite assurance from the government that situation of 1991 shall not be repeated and condition is not worse. Banking and Auto stocks led the fall today," said Nidhi Saraswat, Senior Research Analyst, Bonanza Portfolio Ltd.
    
Analysts said there was no heavy bottom-fishing in the markets even though stocks have become relatively cheaper in valuations over the last few sessions.
    
Similarly, NSE benchmark CNX Nifty closed at 5,414.75, down 93.10 points or 1.69 percent. Also, SX40 index, the flagship index of MCX-SX, closed down 201.76 points, or 1.82 percent, at 10,881.76.
    
ICICI Bank and SBI shares led losses in banks on concerns over mark-to-market losses on banks' portfolios, brokers said.
    
Bucking the weak trend, software exporting companies led by Infosys rose over one per cent on hopes the fall in rupee would improve their revenues. IT companies get over 60 per cent of their revenues from global markets.
    
To curb dollar outflows, RBI on August 14 announced stern measures, including curbs on Indian firms investing abroad and on outward remittances by resident Indians.

Rupee breaches 63 level against USD
    
The rupee on Monday breached the 63-level for the first time against the US currency in late evening trade at the Interbank Foreign Exchange market on higher demand for dollar, particularly from oil importers.
    
The currency tumbled by Rs 1.65 to 63.30, despite a series of measures by RBI and government measures to arrest the local currency's slide.

JPN/Agencies

Latest News  from Business News Desk