Extending losses for the fifth straight day, the BSE benchmark Sensex today closed 147.50 points lower at over two-week low of 18,471.37 weighed down by losses in IT and metal stocks, amid a weak global trend due to persistent worries over US fiscal problems.
The Sensex, which had lost 284 points in the last four trading sessions, opened weak and continued to slide lower in line with Asian markets that mirrored a fall in US stockson Wednesday on rising concern about the budget debate in the US.
The Bombay Stock Exchange 30-share Sensex remained in the negative terrain throughout before ending at 18,471.37 -- a loss of 147.50 points or 0.79%. This was the lowest closing for Sensex since 18,430.85 on October 30.
On similar lines, the National Stock Exchange index lost 35.95 points, or 0.63% to close at 5,631.
The IT sector, which gets a substantial share of revenues from the US, suffered heavy losses with Infosys, Wipro and TCS falling in 1.9-2.2% range.
Metals stocks, which track Asian markets especially China, also lost sheen. Tata Steel, which dropped 2.66%, was the biggest loser in 30-share Sensex. Hindalco and Jindal Steel lost in 1.8-2.3% range.
ITC, Tata Motors, RIL, SBI, ONGC, ICICI Bank and Dr Reddy's Lab also closed with sharp to moderate falls. Overall, 1,632 stocks closed down while 1,197 ended higher across BSE.
Investors also appeared to ignore the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) declining marginally to 7.45% in October.
Of the 13 BSE sectoral indices, only realty, consumer durables and power logged gains on Thursday.
Traders said investor confidence was also hit after the lukewarm response to the 2G telecom spectrum auction raised concerns over the country's widening fiscal deficit.
However, telecom stocks, including Bharti Airtel that gained nearly 3% gain, were among winners after the lower-than-estimated prices in the auction cheered investors.
In Asia, barring Japan that closed higher, all other country indices finished with 0.22-1.55% losses.