Hit by over 21% plunge in Infosys shares on disappointing earnings, the BSE benchmark Sensex Friday tumbled by nearly 300 points to end at 18,242.56 despite better-than-expected industrial production as well as consumer price inflation data.
The Sensex, which had gained 316 points in last two sessions, dropped by 299.64 points, or 1.62% to 18,242.56. Similarly, the broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty lost 65.45 points, or 1.17% to 5,528.55.
The second biggest software exporter, Infosys plunged by 21.33% to Rs 2,295.45, recording its biggest single day fall since April 2003, after lower-than-expected revenue outlook for fiscal 2013-14 and disappointing Q4 earnings.
"The main reason for the decline in benchmark indices was the big fall in share price of Infosys," said Nagji K Rita, chairman & MD, Inventure Growth and Securities.
Markets ignored sentimentally positive macroeconomic data like February IIP at 0.6% as against street expectations of marginal decline and Consumer Price Index (CPI)-based inflation declining to 10.39% in March, said brokers.
"Better-than-expected numbers on IIP and CPI inflation was a mix of sustainable and one-off factors," said Kotak Mahindra Bank chief economist Indranil Pan.
After the steep fall in Infosys, which alone dragged the Sensex deep into negative terrain, other software exporting companies such as Tata Consultancy Services, HCL Technologies, Wipro and Tech Mahindra also declined.
In 30-share Sensex pack, 13 stocks declined, while 16 stocks gained led by ITC, SBI and RIL.
Sectorally, the IT sector index suffered the most by falling 11.09% to 6,040.48, followed by tech index by 1.87% to 3,506.81. Capital goods index fell by 0.69% to 8,940.19 and consumer durable index by 0.61% to 6,958.57.
Trading sentiment further dampened on a weakening trend in overseas markets before a report that may show US retail sales stagnated.