The BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty tumbled by nearly 4% to fresh two-year lows this week as markets witnessed the continued flight of foreign capital for the fourth week in a row amid a bearish sentiment in markets worldwide over the euro zone debt crisis.
Investor wealth was eroded by about Rs 1.69 lakh crore during the week.
Lower-than-expected growth data from the US and China sent jitters through edgy investors apprehensive of a further slowdown of the global economy, which has seen the pullout of capital from equity markets worldwide.
At home, below-expected corporate earnings for the second quarter from some companies, a high interest rate regime to combat inflation and the lack of major policy initiatives hit the market sentiment hard.
Heavy selling by Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs), the main market mover, left the market distinctly weak. FIIs have pulled out Rs 6,200.90 crore during the nine straight trading days since November 15, including yesterday's provisional withdrawal of Rs 805 crore.
Selling was seen across the board as 12 out of the 13 BSE sectoral indices closed in the red, with only the BSE healthcare index registering minor gains. The metal, consumer durables, refinery, FMCG, teck, banking, IT and power indices witnessed a decline.
The 30-share BSE gauge dipped by 676.08 points, or 4.13%, to end the week at 15,695.43. It has lost 2,109.37 points, or 11.85%, over the past four weeks.
The NSE's 50-share Nifty index also fell by 195.75 points, or 3.99%, to 4,710.05. It has notched up losses of 650.65 points, or 12.14%, in the past four weeks.
Global markets ended the week lower as lingering concerns over Europe's debt crisis prompted investors to hold on to their capital until a concrete solution emerges to solve the region's sovereign debt problems.
Concerns over slowing growth, weak corporate earnings and a faltering rupee affected the investor sentiment at home adversely.
Metal shares declined on weak economic data from China, the world's largest consumer of aluminium and copper. Most interest rate-sensitive auto stocks fell on concerns that higher interest rates could crimp sales of automobiles.
Sharp depreciation of the rupee, which logged an all-time intra-day low of 52.73 on Tuesday, also impacted the market sentiment, as it will put pressure on all importing companies.
However, shares of organised retailers like Pantaloon Retail (India), Shoppers Stop and Trent surged after the Union Cabinet cleared a proposal to allow 51% foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail and removed the cap of 51% FDI in single-brand retail.
Meanwhile, food inflation dropped sharply to 9.01% for the week ended November 12 from 10.63% in the previous week. However, the news failed to buttress the market.
Among the sectoral indices, the BSE-Metal index slumped by 5.35%, the BSE-CD index by 4.91%, the BSE-Oil&Gas index by 4.81%, the BSE-FMCG index by 4.31%, the BSE-Teck index by 3.88%, the BSE-IT index by 3.75% and the BSE-Power index by 3.68%.
Out of the 30-share Sensex pack, 25 stocks declined and only five rose during the week. Index heavyweight Reliance Industries (RIL) declined by 6.69% on reports that the government has refused to recognise six discoveries made by the company in its D-6 block.