Mumbai: The BSE benchmark Sensex broke its seven-week long winning spree by tumbling 366 points to finish below the 18,000 mark due to profit booking from operators and investors in view of concerns over rising crude oil prices and higher fiscal deficit.
This was the first weekly fall posted by the 30-share index since the beginning of the current calender year.
Selling pressure was mainly seen in realty, banking, capital goods, metal, power and auto sectors. Second-line stocks also underperformed the Sensex on profit booking by retail participants.
Higher oil prices spooked investors sentiment as rise in prices could worsen a widening trade deficit and also weigh heavily on inflation.
India's fiscal deficit is expected to be 5.6 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) this fiscal as against the budget estimates of 4.6 percent.
Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia expressed concern over the mounting current account deficit at an Assocham conference.
The Sensex hovered in range of 18,523.78 and 17,848.93 before ending the week at 17,923.57, showing a net fall of 365.78 points, or 2.00 per cent, from its last weekend's level. The key index had gained by a massive 2,834.43 points, or 18.34 percent, in the last seven weeks.
The NSE 50-share Nifty also dropped by 135.00 points, or 2.43 percent, to finish at 5,429.30. It had gained a whopping 940.00 points, or 20.33 percent, since the beginning of this year.
Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) continued their buying spree during the week as they pumped in a net of Rs 11,793.70 crore including provisional figure of February 24 as against Rs 4,754.20 crore last week.
Meanwhile, high prices of manufactured goods and fuel kept the retail inflation at an elevated level of 7.65 percent in January, according to the first nation-wide Consumer Price Index (CPI), released by the government on Tuesday.
Sealing the deal to bail Greece out of its debt crisis by euro-zone finance ministers was already factored in and as a result there was no much effect of the event.
Eurozone leaders reached an agreement to provide Greece USD 172 billion fresh second baikout package on early Tuesday.
But investor doubts remained over the feasibility of Greek bailout package. Rising global crude oil prices also could deal a further blow to the fragile euro-zone economy and moves to take profits after recent rallies.
Oil extended gains on heightening concerns over about the escalating tension between Iran and the West and risk of oil disruption which would damage the world's economic growth and might later impact negatively on the stock markets across the globe.
Rising crude oil prices may compell oil companies to hike the fuel prices in near term which will push up inflation, making investors cautious as India imports nearly 80 percent of the oil it consumes, a broker said.
Back home, the market was already overheated after seven weeks of sharp rally and the correction was overdue, a analyst said.
Profit-booking, after seven-week of strong gains, by operators and investors ahead of the expiry of derivatives contract on February 23 also weighed on the market.
Among the 30-share Sensex pack, 22 scrips declined while seven scrips firmed up and Hindustan Unilever ruled steady.
Major losers from the Sensex pack were Sterlite (10.79 percent), DLF (10.62 percent), Larsen (6.82 percent), HDFC (5.62 percent), Icici Bank (5.09 percent), Tata Power (4.42 percent), Jindal Steel (4.15 percent), Tata Motors (3.10 percent), Maruti Suzuki (2.70 percent), M&M (2.68 percent), Wipro (2.59 percent), Cipla (2.38 percent), Hindalco (2.22 percent), NTPC (2.21 percent) and Bharti Airtel (2.07 percent).
However, TCS shot up by 3.29 percent followed by State Bank of India 2.80 percent, ITC 2.02 percent, ONGC 1.05 percent and Sunpharma (1.02 percent).
Among the sectoral indices, BSE-Realty declined sharply by 7.27 percent followed by Bankex 5.24 percent, the BSE-Capital Goods by 4.91 percent, the BSE-Metal by 3.97 percent, the BSE-PSU by 3.41 percent, the BSE-Power by 3.20 percent and the BSE-Auto by 2.77 percent.
The BSE-Small cap and the BSE-Mid cap indices also fell by 3.65 percent and 3.74 percent, respectively.
The total turnover at BSE and NSE dropped to Rs 13,513.84 crore and Rs 76,268.38 crore respectively due to truncated week, as the stock markets were closed on Monday for 'Mahashivratri', from the last weekend's level of Rs 18,859.93 crore and Rs 82,432.92 crore.
First Published: Saturday, February 25, 2012, 16:52