Mumbai: The BSE benchmark Sensex Tuesday extended losing run to the fifth day sliding over 211 points to end at seven-month low of 18,226.48 on sharp losses in IT stocks led by Wipro which tanked over 12 percent on the first trading session after a spinoff of its non-IT business.
The Bombay Stock Exchange 30-share gauge resumed better and touched a high of 18,565.56 on firm Asian cues.
However, heavy selling after mid-session pulled it down to settle near the day's low level of 18,226.48, registering a fall of 211.30 points or 1.15 percent. Previously, it had settled at 18,021.16 on September 13, 2012. In five days of trading, Sensex has plunged by 814.47 points or 4.28 percent.
Country's third largest software services exporter, Wipro, was at the receiving end with a fall of 12.19 percent and was the top loser from the Sensex pack, wiping out almost Rs 11,900 crore from its market value. Today was its first day of trade as standalone IT stock after it hived off its three non-IT business divisions into a privately-held company.
Ahead of its earnings on Friday, Infosys lost 2.36 percent and continued to be on the selling list.
Besides IT stocks, refinery, PSU, FMCG and realty shares attracted profit-booking even at current lower levels.
Similarly, CNX Nifty index fell by 47.85 points to end at 5,495.10, also its lowest closing since September 13, 2012.
"Selling pressure set in post noon. Markets swinged from being close to 1 percent plus in the morning, to end the day with a loss of 1 percent, when compared to yesterday," said Milan Bavishi, Head Research, Inventure Growth and Securities.
Sustained selling by FIIs, the main market mover, is one of the main reasons behind the recent downslide. FIIs sold shares worth Rs 163.95 crore yesterday.
Selling was seen all across with 12 out of 13 sectoral indices closed with losses up to 2.10 percent. Bucking the overall trend, BSE-Auto rose by 0.41 percent following 2.2 percent gain in Tata Motors -- the top gainer from Sensex. TCS also gained 1.1 percent after announcing Alti SA buy.
Experts said NSE Nifty slipping below the 5,500-mark indicates more weakness ahead.
"Nifty had been showing weakness particularly since last week. Last two sessions saw it struggling to sustain above 5500 level, however, in today?s session it has finally closed below 5500 level which is quite bearish in near term," said Nidhi Sarawat, Senior Research Analyst, Bonanza Portfolio.
Globally, Most Asian stocks ended higher. Key benchmark indices in China, Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea inched up by 0.11 percent to 0.70 percent while Taiwan's weighted index eased by 0.31 percent. Japan's Nikkei closed steady.
European markets were also trading narrowly higher in their afternoon trade on the back of strong start of the US earnings season and softer Chinese inflation data which lifted investor sentiment. Key indices in France, Germany and London inched up by 0.33 percent to 0.49 percent range.
Moving back to the domestic market, 24 scrips out of the 30-share Sensex pack finished lower. Hindalco ruled steady.
Besides Wipro and Infosys, other major losers from the Sensex pack were ONGC (2.91 percent), SBI (2.30 percent), Infosys (2.33 percent), Gail India (2.22 percent), BHEL (2.03 percent), Tata Power (1.97 percent), ITC (1.96 percent), RIL (1.62 percent), Dr Reddy's Lab (1.47 percent), Bharti Airtel (1.46 percent), HUL (1.34 percent), Cipla (1.04 percent) and Hero MotoCorp (1.03 percent).
Besides Tata Motors, Sensex gainers included TCS (1.10 percent).
Among the sectoral indices, the S&P BSE-IT dropped by 2.10 percent, followed by S&P BSE-Teck (1.88 percent), S&P BSE-Oil&Gas (1.65 percent), S&P BSE-PSU (1.57 percent), S&P BSE-FMCG (1.44 percent), S&P BSE-Realty (1.35 percent), S&P BSE-CD (1.20 percent), S&P BSE-Power (1.18 percent) and the S&P BSE-Bankex (0.82 percent).
The total market breadth remained negative as 1,133 shares finished with losses while 561 closed with gains and 767 ruled steady. The total turnover rose to Rs 1,738.71 crore from Rs 1,371.75 crs yesterday.