Mumbai: The benchmark Sensex slipped about 305 points to end at its lowest level in over 11 weeks Monday on worries that sluggish growth in India and China would be further hit by the recent cut in US monetary stimulus.
Selling by foreign funds amid downward revision of GDP growth rate for the year ended March 31 by the government On Friday, also kept the domestic market under pressure.
The BSE 30-share barometer resumed lower and languished in the negative terrain throughout the day, before settling at 20,209.26, a fall of 304.59 points or 1.48 percent. This was its weakest close since 20,194.40 on November 13, 2013.
The BSE index has fallen for the sixth day in seven.
In the 30-share Sensex, 25 constituents ended in the red.
"HDFC, Infosys, ICICI Bank and Tata Motors were some of the major losers. Global markets were also trading in red and dampened market sentiment. Weaker data from China triggered selling pressure in metal stocks," said Nidhi Saraswat, Senior Research Analyst, Bonanza Portfolio.
Overall, 11 out of 12 BSE sectoral indices closed with losses. Only the healthcare index ended with gain.
Investors seemed to ignore data that showed India's manufacturing sector in January expanded at the strongest pace in the past 10 months.
Fund managers said they were worried that the US Federal Reserve's decision to further cut monetary stimulus by USD 10 billion per month will tighten capital inflows into India.
Metal stocks suffered heavy losses on weak Chinese data.
Realty, auto and banking counters continued to be the receiving end due to rise in key lending rates by the central bank last week, said traders. Teck, IT, power and refinery segments also bore the brunt of selling, they added.
The NSE 50-issue CNX Nifty tumbled by 87.70 points or 1.44 percent to end at more-than 2-1/2-month low of 6,001.80.
Jignesh Chaudhary, Head of Research, Veracity Broking Services said, "Indian markets carried forward their weak run from the previous week and started the first day of February on a sluggish note. The weakness in the market was primarily due to the slowdown in emerging market economies."
The overall market breadth turned negative as 1,433 stocks ended in red, 1,097 finished higher while 145 ruled steady. Total turnover fell to Rs 1,747.45 crore from Rs 2,685.58 crore on Friday.
Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) sold shares worth a net Rs 652.97 crore on Friday, as per provisional data from the stock exchanges.
Globally, Asian stocks today ended lower after a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing growth added to concern that the global economic recovery is faltering. Key indices in Japan, South Korea and Singapore dropped in 1.09-1.98 percent range.
US stocks had fallen sharply on Friday amid continued unease over emerging markets and a number of high-profile earnings disappointments.
Coming back to the local market, major losers in the Sensex today were Hindalco (5.48 percent), Tata Motors (3.79 percent), Tata Steel (3.58 percent), Bajaj Auto (3.52 percent), BHEL (3.10 percent) and Bharti Airtel (2.92 percent).
ONGC (2.65 percent), ICICI Bank (2.51 percent), HDFC (2.36 percent), SBI (2.34 percent), Infosys (1.91 percent), TCS (1.77 percent), Tata Power (1.69 percent), Sesa Sterlite (1.62 percent), Wipro (1.57 percent), ITC (1.41 percent) and RIL (1.15 percent) were also among notable Sensex losers.
The five Sensex gainers were led by GAIL India (1.69 percent), Dr Reddy's Lab (1.27 percent) and Sun Pharma (1.22 percent).
Among BSE sectoral indices, Metal index fell by 3.06 percent, followed by Realty 2.09 percent, Auto 1.88 percent, Teck 1.69 percent, IT 1.64 percent, Bankex 1.35 percent, Power 1.34 percent and Oil&Gas 1.21 percent.