Sensex down 174 points, closes at 16,720
A benchmark index of the Indian equities markets was dragged down on Friday by heavy selling in blue chip stocks.
Mumbai: The BSE Sensex posted its worst weekly performance since end of October, after it shed 1 percent on Friday, led by losses in energy major Reliance Industries and top private lender ICICI Bank.
The 30-share BSE Index closed 1.03 percent or 174.42 points lower at 16,719.83 points, its lowest close since November 27. It shed 2.3 percent this week, registering its first weekly loss in three weeks. Only six of its components closed in the green.
Reliance Industries extended losses and fell 2.3 percent to Rs 1,010.45, its lowest close in around one-and-a-half months, as investors await clarity over its proposed bid to buy bankrupt petrochemicals firm LyondellBasell.
Meanwhile, the expectations of a quick action by central bank to tame inflation heightened after sources said the Reserve Bank of India Governor Duvvuri Subbarao will meet Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Friday evening.
ICICI Bank dropped 2 percent while rivals State Bank of India and HDFC Bank declined nearly 1 percent and 0.5 percent respectively.
"There is no buying conviction. Every rise is a selling opportunity now. The market has run out of steam completely," said Arun Kejriwal, director of research firm KRIS.
The Sensex has rallied more than 73 percent in 2009, helped by robust foreign fund inflows.
India`s BSE stock index is likely to extend the rally into 2010, underpinned by strong economic growth and an improving earnings outlook, but it is unlikely to repeat 2009`s spectacular rise, market participants say.
Profit taking hit IT major Infosys Technologies, which declined 1.4 percent to Rs 2,526.50, as traders booked profits after the stock`s recent sharp gains. It still closed 2.9 percent higher this week.
In the broader market, losers outpaced gainers in a ratio of 1.4:1 in a low volume of 336 million shares.
The 50-share NSE index closed down 1.1 percent at 4,987.90.