Mirroring a decline on bourses across the world, the Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex on Friday shed hefty nearly 200 points to close below the 9,000 level for the first time in nearly a month.
The Sensex, which has lost 620 points in the first three days of the week, on Friday dropped 199.42 points to end at 8,843.21, the lowest level since January 23. Yesterday it had cut short its three-day loses by gaining nearly 27 points.
The National Stock Exchange index Nifty also lost 52.90 points at 2,736.45.
With the selling pressure spreading over a wide front, 28 stocks in the 30-share barometer ended with losses while two stocks-- ACC and Maruti Suzuki -- closed in the green.
Marketmen attributed selling pressure to Wall Street declining to record level overnight. Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down by 1.2 per cent to 7,465.95, the weakest level in 6 years, on another rise in unemployment claims which deepened fears of economic recession getting prolonged. European indices also down by as much as nearly 3 per cent.
Reflecting the poor global cues, Asian markets on Friday closed lower in the range of 1-4 per cent.
On BSE, banking shares were again battered and sectoral took a hit of 3.49 per cent. Country's largest private sector lender ICICI Bank ended down by a hefty 7.07 per cent.