The benchmark BSE Sensex tumbled by 455 points — the biggest single-day fall in the last two months — to end below 20,000 on frantic selling after poor GDP numbers, a devalued rupee and global volatility spooked markets.
Investor wealth fell by R1.1 lakh crore as across market 1,600 scrips ended lower out the 2,500 traded.
The Sensex ended down 455 points, or 2.3%, to 19,760.
The NSE Nifty fell 138 points, 2.3%, to 5,985.
Analysts advised investors to focus on individual stocks, without stressing too much on economics and market cycles. Reasonable valuation, strong balance sheet and ethical management should be the criteria while picking stocks, said Sanjeev Zarbade, vice-president, private client group, Kotak Mahindra.
The market came under heavy selling pressure from morning with investors taking the cautious route as hopes of another round of interest rate cut dampened following Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor D Subbarao’s comment that the retail inflation was still high.
“The main fears in the mind of investors are ballooning current account deficit and how soon can the interest rate come down,” said Motilal Oswal, chairman and managing director, Motilal Oswal Financial Services.
Of the 30 Sensex stocks, 28 fell on Friday. Telecom service provider Bharti Airtel was the biggest loser (-4.9%) while software services giant Infosys gained the most, rising 2.8%.
Among the sectoral indices, realty, oil and gas and banking sectors were the biggest losers, while IT gained.
“After rallying for much of April and May, global markets took a breather in this week. Japanese markets continued to remain highly volatile and ended in the negative zone for the week,” said Zarbade.