India's equity benchmarks tumbled close to 2 per cent on Friday, in continuation of a larger corrective trend. Asian markets also remained weak as the surge in Covid-19 cases in some countries have muted investor sentiments.
The BSE Sensex fell 980.93 points or 1.61 per cent to settle at 59,845.29. The NSE Nifty dropped below the crucial 18,000 mark during the day and continued to fall until it closed for the week at 17,806.80. Overall, the Nifty benchmark dropped 320.55 points or 1.77 per cent over the day.
"Markets plunged sharply lower and lost about two per cent, in continuation to the prevailing corrective trend," said Ajit Mishra, VP - Technical Research, Religare Broking Ltd.
This was the biggest one-day fall in three months for both Sensex and Nifty. When compared to the record-highs that were achieved in the first trading session of December, both the indices have dropped over 5 per cent. Over the course of the past seven trading sessions, around Rs 16 lakh crore of investors' wealth have been wiped out in the Indian equity markets.
Major selling action was seen across metal, energy and PSU bank sectors. Tata Steel plunged nearly 5 per cent during the last trading session of this week. Other major stocks like Tata Motors, State Bank of India, Bajaj Finserv, Reliance Industries, Wipro, IndusInd Bank, Larsen & Toubro and Maruti Suzuki also took a big hit during the day's trading.
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) turned buyers as they bought shares worth a net Rs 928.63 crore on Thursday, according to exchange data.
Equity markets in Seoul, Tokyo, Shanghai and Hong Kong aslo ended in the red, signalling a wider negative trend in the Asian markets. Equity exchanges in Europe were trading in the positive territory in mid-session deals whereas the US equity benchmarks had ended sharply lower during the previous day's trading session.
International oil benchmark Brent crude climbed 1.89 per cent to USD 82.51 per barrel.
(With PTI inputs)