A woman walks out of the Bombay Stock Exchange in Mumbai. Photo: AFP / Himanshu Bhatt / NurPhoto

Indian markets went into a tailspin on Monday as they witnessed a sharp sell-off during the trading session.

The Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex plunged 1,170.12 points or 1.96% to close at 58,465.89 points. This is the worst single-day drop in over seven months. This was also the fourth straight session of decline for the Sensex.

The NSE Nifty 50 also witnessed heavy sell-offs and closed 348 points or 1.96% lower at 17,416 points. Following Monday’s rout, the market capitalization of BSE-listed companies tumbled by 8.21 trillion rupees ($110 billion).

One of the worst-hit was Reliance Industries, whose shares fell by 4.42% after the conglomerate announced during the weekend that it has shelved plans to sell a 20% stake in its oil to chemicals business to Saudi Aramco. The company lost 720 billion rupees ($9.67 billion) of investors’ wealth on Monday and its total market capitalization fell to 14.99 trillion rupees.

Bajaj Finance was the worst-performing Sensex stock on Monday, down 5.74%, followed by Bajaj Finserv, Reliance Industries, and NTPC.

Telecom major Bharti Airtel was the top gainer in the Sensex, up 3%, followed by Asian Paints, Power Grid, and Tata Consultancy Services. According to the subscriber data released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, Bharti Airtel was the sole gainer in September, while rivals Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea lost customers during the month.

The poor performance of digital payments major Paytm during its initial stock sale, the biggest in India’s corporate history, has also affected investor sentiment. In the Bombay Stock Exchange, Paytm’s parent One97 Communications tumbled over 13% to close at 1,360.30 a share, a far cry from the offer price of 2,150 rupees.

Foreign Institutional Investors have turned net sellers as they feel many of the stocks are overpriced.

The withdrawal of three agriculture farm laws by the government has not gone down well with a section of investors. They feel the government will now be more cautious while carrying out various reforms.