ICICI Bank, IndusInd Bank and Axis Bank plunged over 14 percent each, followed by State Bank of India that tanked 11 percent.
The Sensex and The Nifty50 started the new week with deep cuts, tracking weak trends in other Asian markets.
Asian shares tumbled as a rising tide of national lockdowns threatened to overwhelm policymakers’ frantic efforts to cushion what is likely to be a deep global recession, said a Reuters report.
The Sensex hit lower circuit and was down 2,991.85 points, or 10 percent, at 26924.11 when trading was halted for 45 minutes. The Nifty plunged 842.45 points or 9.63 percent at 7903.
Banking stocks took the maximum beating, with the Bank Nifty tanking over 11 percent. The Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) on March 22 said that bank branches will provide only essential services such as cash deposits and withdrawals, clearing of cheques, remittances and government transactions from March 23.
Banks have said that non-essential services during this period may be suspended.
ICICI Bank, IndusInd Bank and Axis Bank plunged over 14 percent each and were the top index losers. They were followed by State Bank of India, which tanked 11 percent. Bank of Baroda, Punjab National Bank, RBL Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank and Federal Bank shed 5 to 11 percent.
From the PSU banking index, Canara Bank, Union Bank of India and India Bank were down 8-9 percent followed by Central Bank of India.
The Reserve Bank of India has been taking several measures, including open market operations, to ensure the sufficient liquidity in the financial system.
The central bank, on March 20, announced that it will conduct open market operations (OMOs) for Rs 30,000 crore in two tranches –on March 24 and March 30 – as the stress in certain financial market segments "is still severe" and financial conditions remain tight.