The benchmark BSE Sensex inched lower by almost 39 points to end the day at over one-month low of 26,265.24 in a trade of fluctuating fortunes ahead of Bihar election results due this Sunday.
This was market’s ninth fall in the last 10 sessions as the global cues remained mixed.
Lacklustre earnings by blue-chips, including Tata Steel and Bank of Baroda, made investors more nervous, accelerating the selling pressure.
Dr Reddy’s Laboratories slumped 14.65% after the company said it has received a warning letter from USFDA on quality control at its three manufacturing units in India.
Tata Steel, too, went down 2.44% after the company’s quarterly numbers failed to charm investors.
However, SBI stood tall, which rose nearly 3.86% after the country’s largest lender posted a 25% growth in stand-alone net profit for July-September.
At 65.76, the rupee lost its way against the dollar following sustained capital outflows, which dampened market sentiment.
The Sensex started lower, but quickly rebounded before finishing at 26,265.24 due to profit-booking, a loss of 38.96 points, or 0.15% -- its weakest close since October 1.
The gauge has now lost 325.35 points in the three straight sessions.
The broader NSE Nifty after recapturing the crucial 8,000-mark hit a high of 8,002.65 in early trade, but finally settled down 1.15 points, or 0.01%, at 7,954.30.
For the week, the Sensex lost 391.59 points, or 1.46%, and the NSE Nifty dropped 111.50 points, or 1.38% -- their second straight weekly fall.
“It was a day of extreme volatility on the bourses with key benchmark indices oscillating between the negative and the positive zones. Wild swings were triggered by the exit polls telecast on Thursday, which failed to throw up a clear winner in Bihar,” said Shreyash Devalkar, Fund Manager – Equities, BNP Paribas Mutual Fund.
Meanwhile, FPIs sold shares worth Rs 991.87 crore on Thursday, provisional numbers showed.
Among others, GAIL, Vedanta Ltd, Tata Motors, Sun Pharma, BHEL and ICICI Bank all fell.
A mixed trend prevailed in Asia as investors closely tracked a US jobs report that could shed light on which way the US Fed would move on interest rates in coming days.
A clear weak opening in Europe only worsened things.