The stock markets lost lustre for the fourth week in a row on sustained selling as investors opted to book profits rather than making fresh commitments on slew of negative factors during the week under review.
Fall in GDP growth, rise in inflation, sluggish global markets, a feeble response to the IPOs and fears of recession in the US took its toll on share values, brokers said.
The Bombay Stock Exchange 30-share (BSE) barometer continued to display volatile movements with downward bias and moved in a wide range of 18,895.34 and 17,203.06 before ending the week at 17,464.89, a steep fall of 777.69 points or 4.26 per cent over last weekend's close of 18,242.58.
The Sensex had lost 3,362.56 points or 16.14 per cent in last four weeks, and is down by a whopping 3,741.88 points or 17.64 per cent from a record high of 21,206.77 registered on January 10.
Similarly, the broad-based S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) also tumbled by 196.90 points or 3.70 per cent to finish the week at 5,120.35 from preceding weekend's close of 5,317.25.
Marketmen attributed initial firmness to expectations of increase in liquidity as investors started investing the refund money from Reliance Power IPO, which had received unprecedented response, back into the stock markets.
But projection of a moderation in GDP growth from 9.6 per cent last fiscal to 8.7 per cent this year forced cautious operators to book profits even at current lower levels.