The BSE benchmark Sensex posted its longest four-week losing streak since October 2008 as it plunged by 698 points to end at the 15-month low of 16,141.67 during the truncated week in line with mayhem in global markets on economic worries.
The stock markets, BSE and NSE, were closed on Monday, August 15, on account of the 'Independence Day'.
Increased selling by foreign institutional investors (FIIs) also was one of the major reasons for the turmoil. FIIs pulled out over Rs 2,000 crore this week, taking the total to over Rs 7,600 crore in August so far.
Enduring European debt problems and murky US economic data released on Thursday indicated the world is going into another recession, distressing the market sentiment globally.
On the domestic front, higher inflation and rising interest rates, which might restrict the corporate profit growth, continued to weigh on the market.
The downslide commenced from July 26 when RBI raised key lending rates by 50 basis points, higher than the market expectations. The situation was further exacerbated by external factors.
Sensex-based key stocks like RIL, Infosys, ICICI Bank, SBI, Tata Motors, Tata Steel, Jindal Steel, Sterlite, Wipro, Hindalco, Tata Power logged their new 52-week lows.
The Bombay Stock Exchange 30-share bellwether index resumed higher at 17,015.99 but later dipped below 16,000 to a low of 15,987.77, before ending at 16,141.67, lowest closing after May 25, 2010, a net loss of 697.96 points, or 4.14 %, from its last weekend's close.
The broad-based NSE 50-share Nifty also slumped by 227.30 points, or 4.48 %, to end the week at nearly a 15-month low of 4,845.65. It touched a low of 4,796.10 before recovering some ground.
In straight four-week of losses, the Sensex collapsed by 2,580.63 points, or 13.78 %, and Nifty nosedived 788.30 points, or 13.99 %.
The Sensex registered its longest weekly losing string since October 2008 when crashed by 5,341.25 points, or 38.40 %, in straight five weeks.
Selling was seen across-the-board as all 13 sectoral indices ended with losses between 7.51 % and 0.25 %, while nine out of them logged their 52-week lows during the trading. Most of the other indices, too, recorded their 52-week lows.
Two and three-tier stocks got a huge drubbing on heavy selling by cautious retail investors and underperformed the Sensex. The BSE-Smallcap index was the top loser from all indices, falling a hefty 8.09 %. The BSE-Midcap tanked by 5.93 %.
Interest rate-sensitive stocks from banking, realty and auto segments suffered the most.
IT stocks, too, bore the brunt of heavy sell-off on hopes of another recession in the US and Europe, the two biggest markets for the infotech companies.
Realty shares continued their downslide on expectation of another hike in key interest rates by the apex bank although the overall inflation eased to 9.22 % for the month of July from 9.44 % in June, and food inflation dropped to 9.03 % for the week ended August 6 from 9.90 % last weekend, but they were still high.
According to analysts, the market is still in bearish mode and largely dependent on external factors, which do not look very encouraging as of now.
Primarily spooked by global investment banking major Morgan Stanley's report, which warned that the US and Europe were dangerously close to recession, the Wall Street had tumbled on Thursday. Disappointing jobless claims data had also added to the uncertainties.
Overall, 27 of the 30 Sensex scrips closed with sharp to moderate losses. Sidelining the overall negative trend, Hero Motocorp, Coal India and ITC finished with gains.
From the banking segment, ICICI Bank tumbled by 11.34 % and was the top loser from the Sensex pack followed by SBI (7 %) and HDFC Bank (1.49 %). Realty major DLF finished lower by 6.96 %.
Among IT sector, India's largest software exporter TCS dropped by 2.24 %, second one, Infosys Tech by 6.27 % and third one, Wipro lost 6.55 %.
Top heavyweight and petro-chem giant Reliance Industries (RIL) dipped by 3.89 %. Other losers were Tata Motors (10.94 %), Maruti Suzuki (6.77 %), M&M (2.86 %), Bajaj Auto (1.79 %), Hindalco (7.65 %), Jindal Steel (7.55 %), Sterlite Ind (6.28 %), Tata Steel (3.60 %), HDFC (4.65 %), L&T (5.97 %), BHEL (2.58 %), Jaipra Asso (3.95 %), Tata Power (3.27 %) and Cipla (2.89 %).
Among the sectoral indices, Bankex dipped by 7.51 %, BSE-Realty 7.36 %, BSE-IT 5.33 % and the BSE-CG 5.18 %.
Total turnover of BSE and NSE dropped to Rs 9,507.67 crore and Rs 43,178.43 crore respectively from its previous weekend's level of Rs 14,283.61 crore and Rs 62,643.64 crore.