The Indian equity benchmarks fell for fourth session in a row on Friday on the back of a broad-based selling pressure as traders were seen booking profits in recent outperforming shares, analysts said. The benchmarks opened lower and selling pressure intensified in afternoon led by declines in heavyweights like ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, State Bank of India, HDFC Bank, ITC, Asian Paints and Infosys. The Sensex fell as much as 700 points and Nifty 50 index broke below its important psychological level of 15,000.
The Sensex ended 435 points lower at 50,889.76 and Nifty 50 index dropped 137 points to close at 14,982.
ONGC was top Nifty loser, the stock dropped 5 per cent to close at Rs 105. Tata Steel, Hero MotoCorp, Tata Motors, State Bank of India, Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, Bajaj Auto, Eicher Motors, JSW Steel, Maruti Suzuki, Cipla and UltraTech Cement also fell between 2-4 per cent.
On the flipside, UPL, Dr Reddy’s Labs, IndusInd Bank, Hindustan Unilever, GAIL India, NTPC, TCS, Reliance Industries and Bajaj Finserv were among the notable losers.
Selling pressure was broad-based as all the 11 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange ended lower led by Nifty PSU Bank index’s nearly 5 per cent decline. Nifty Bank, Auto, Metal, Pharma, Private Bank and Realty indexes also fell between 1-2.6 per cent.
Mid- and small-cap shares also faced selling pressure as Nifty Midcap 100 index dropped 1.62 per cent and Nifty Smallcap 100 index dropped 0.9 per cent.
The overall market breadth was negative as 1,777 shares ended lower while 1,183 ended higher on the BSE.