The BSE Sensex tumbled for the ninth straight day on Thursday - its longest losing tempo in about a decade - plunging nearly 259 points to 18,210 as investors remained apprehensive that high interest rate regime, and low GDP growth projection by RBI will crimp corporates earnings.
The trend in global markets remained weak, dampening investor sentiment further.
The 9-day fall in the stock market barometer is the longest losing stint seen since a 450-point, or 14% dip in ten days between September 5 and September 18, 2001.
The 30-share Bombay Stock Exchange index, Sensex, which lost 1,133 points in the last eight trading sessions, dipped another 258.78 points to 18,210.58.
It climbed to 18,569.21 at opening, before tumbling to touch the day's low of 18,160.65. Besides the banking sector, telecom stocks fell on a dip Bharti Airtel's Q4 earnings.
Brokers said Q4 earnings results have been a dampener this season as 10 of the 13 Sensex companies have missed market expectations so far.
The Sensex has declined 11% this year on concerns over all round negatives -- high inflation, soaring oil prices, rising interest rates and below-expected Q4 earnings.
The Reserve Bank of India has increased key rates by 50 basis points to 7.25%, the most since July 2008, and predicted that inflation will stay "elevated" until September.
It also said the economy will grow just 8%, as against the government's projection of 9%.
The broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty dipped below 5,500 level losing 77.30 points at 5,459.85.
Bharti Airtel dropped by 3.25% to Rs 357.60, Reliance Communication by 5.52% to Rs 89.05, and Tata Teleservices by 4.62% to Rs 16.50.
In the banking sector, State Bank of India fell by 0.56% to Rs 2,602.60, ICICI Bank by 2.82% to Rs 1,028.30, HDFC Bank by 2.37% to Rs 2,212.30 and HDFC Ltd by 1.35% to Rs 655.70.
The most interest-sensitive realty sector index remained major loser by falling 2.89% to 2,065.07, followed by power index by 2.40% to 2,563.08.
The healthcare index fell 1.68% to 6,017.07 after Ranbaxy dropped 6.03% to Rs 426.40 on reports that it may have to pay about a $1 billion in fines as settlement with US Federal prosecutors.