Markets witnessed yet another day of sell-off to end at their 19-month closing low as dismal quarterly earnings coupled with a sharp fall in crude oil prices and commodity prices weighed on investor sentiment. Meanwhile, weakness in the rupee further aggravated the sell-off across the board.
The S&P BSE Sensex closed 318 points at 24,455 and the Nifty50 shed 99 points to end at 7,438. In the broader market, the BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices were down 0.2%-0.3% each. Market breadth ended weak with 2,272 losers and 414 gainers on the BSE.
The rupee depreciated 31 paise to trade at 67.60 against the US dollar on bouts of dollar demand from importers amid weakness in the local equities.
Meanwhile, on the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude oil eased 4% and is trading below $ 30 per barrel.
Reliance Industries closed 1.5% higher ahead of its earnings next week. Brokerages expect the company to report robust earnings on the back of higher gross refining margins.
Meanwhile, IT giant Infosys gained 1% extending its previous days 5% rally on the BSE, in an otherwise weak market as brokerages are positive on the stock after the company delivered robust numbers for the third quarter ended December 31, 2015 (Q3FY16).
On the flip side, capital goods shares extended losses amid weak November IIP data. L&T and BHEL lost between 2%-3%.
Hindustan Unilever shed over 2% on posting weaker than expected quarterly earnings. The company reported a 22.4% drop in the year-on-year profits to quote at Rs 971 crore.
Oil exploration majors ended the session lower with Cairn India and ONGC slipping over 1.5% each on the back of falling crude oil prices. However, shares of three OMCs, Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL), Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL) and Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) closed higher up to 4%.
Shares of banking shares declined across the bourses with SBI, Allahabad Bank, Union Bank of India, Syndicate Bank and IDBI Bank ICICI Bank, Andhra Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Canara Bank, Punjab National Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Bank of India and Bank of Baroda closing lower up to 7% of continued surmounting asset quality pressures.
Metal pack got a beating on the back of fall in the commodity prices. Tata Steel, Vedanta, Hindalco, SAIL and JSW Steel finished lower up to 5%.
Another sector that languished in red was the healthcare space with Marksans Pharma, Sequent Scientific and Wockhardt, Strides Shasun, Capital Point Laboratories, Hikal, Nectar Lifesciences and Torrent Pharmaceuticals , Cipla, Lupin and Sun Pharma ending lower up to 10%.
Wockhardt slipped 10% on back of an over three-fold jump in trading volumes. According to ET Now television channel report, the company said it has received Form 483 from the US drug regulator for its Shendra plant. The inspection at its Shendra plant ended on January 14, 2015. The company has to respond to FDA with corrective measures in 15 days.
Among other notable losers include Zee Entertainment Enterprises ending the session down over 1%. The company reported net profit of Rs 275 crore, down 11% from Rs 309 crore a year ago. Total income rises 12.5% to Rs 1,624 crore.
Asian stocks slumped to 3-1/2-year lows on Friday amid decline in the oil prices and dismal Chinese data, raising concerns regarding the health of the global economy with China’s benchmark index Shanghai Composite leading the losses down 3.6%. Japan's Nikkei also reversed earlier advances to close 0.5% lower Further, European markets mirrored concerns in the Asian peers and are trading lower with Britain's FTSE 100, Germany's DAX and France's CAC 40 trading lower 1% each.