Mumbai: A benchmark index of Indian equities lost 694 points this week, ending the week in red for the first time this year with domestic and foreign traders choosing to step on the selling pedal.
The selling was rampant across broader markets as well, which in recent weeks had managed substantial gains.
The 30-share sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) fell 694.62 points or 3.96 percent to end Friday at 16,859.68 points, from its previous weekly close at 17,554.3 points.
The broader S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) slipped 4.11 percent or 216.2 points from its last weekly close to end at 5,036 points.
Broader market indices reflected a similar trend with the BSE midcap index ending 3.78 percent down and the BSE smallcap index falling 3.45 percent.
Data with markets watchdog Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) showed that foreign funds were net sellers during the week, having sold scrips worth USD 360.19 million.
"Disappointing third quarter results from frontline companies sparked a sell-off on the bourses. The market breadth was extremely weak, as small and mid cap stocks underwent a correction after the recent solid surge," said a note from stock trading firm Angel Broking.
The week started on a positive note with the Sensex adding 86 points Monday, while the Nifty gained 22 points.
Tuesday, however, saw the beginning of the slide with the Sensex losing 0.88 percent, while the Nifty lost 0.93 percent. The drag on the key indices was due to selling pressure on heavyweights Reliance Industries and Infosys.
Wednesday was a flat day, with both Sensex and Nifty slipping marginally.
Traders stepped on the selling pedal Thursday after blue-chip company L&T announced disappointing results, leading to the Sensex falling by over 423 points, and the Nifty by 133 points.
Shares of L&T fell 6.85 percent to Rs.1,524.35, pulling the Sensex down, after it reported a 50 percent drop in net profits to Rs.758.8 crore for the quarter ended Dec 31, compared to Rs.1,520.4 crore posted in the same quarter last fiscal.
On Friday, Reliance Industries reported a 14.48 percent rise in net profit to Rs.4,008 crore in the quarter that ended Dec 31, on the back of higher revenues from its refining and gas business.
The results were better than the street expected and fuelled an intra-day rise of the Sensex and Nifty, but both failed to keep up the pace and ended substantially in the red.
While the Sensex closed at 16,859.68 points, down 191.46 points or 1.12 percent, the Nifty ended at 5,036 points, a loss of 1.14 percent.
The top gainers in the Sensex were Maruti Suzuki (up 2.2 percent), Bharti Airtel (up 1.5 percent), Hero Honda (up 1.5 percent), Hindustan Unilever (up 0.6 percent) and BHEL (up 0.4 percent).
The top losers were L&T (down 10.9 percent), Ranbaxy Labs (down 9.5 percent), DLF (down 8.7 percent), Tata Power (down 8.4 percent) and Grasim (down 8 percent).