The stock markets on Wednesday registered early gains but eventually succumbed to the fears over the coronavirus pandemic to stagger nearly 6% lower in late afternoon deals amid fall in the banking and financial stocks.

The BSE Sensex closed 1,709.58 points, or 5.59%, lower at 28,869.51, while the Nifty plummeted 498.25 points, or 5.56%, to end at 8,468.80.

In early trade, the Sensex had climbed as high as 522.68 points from the previous close to 31,101.77, while the Nifty 50 rose as much as 160.50 points to 9,127.55. However, the global panic over the coronavirus pushed the stocks down.

The fall in the stocks was compounded by the Supreme Court hearing earlier in the day, where the top court expressed displeasure at the Centre’s plea seeking 20 years’ time to recover dues from telecom companies in annual instalments, calling it a “sheer contempt of court”. The court directed that telecom companies could not do self-assessment or re-assessment of their adjusted gross revenue dues.

Nifty Bank fell 4.5%, Vodafone Idea dropped 37% and Bharti Infratel slipped 13% after the Supreme Court order. Some of the biggest contributors to the fall in Sensex early afternoon were HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Axis Bank and IndusInd Bank and Reliance Industries.

Meanwhile, the rupee depreciated 12 paise to 74.36 against the US dollar.

The Asian and global stock markets also tested choppy waters as fears of an economic fallout because of the pandemic prevailed. Euro Stoxx 50 futures fell 4.5% in a grim sign for European stock markets. In Asia, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dropped by 1.4%, the lowest since 2016, while Japan’s Nikkei dipped by 0.2%.