The Indian equity benchmarks fell for fourth session in a row on Friday dragged down by losses in Infosys, Bajaj Finserv, Larsen & Toubro, Bharti Airtel, Larsen & Toubro and Tech Mahindra. The Sensex fell as much as 844 points at the day's lowest level and Nifty 50 index touched an intraday low of 17,485. Continuous selling by foreign institutional investors is dragging the markets lower, analysts said. In the last four trading sessions, the Sensex has declined 3.7 per cent and Nifty 50 index has dropped 3.77 per cent, data from stock exchanges showed.
The Sensex ended 427 points lower at 59,037 and Nifty 50 index declined 140 points to close at 17,617.
Selling pressure was broad-based as all the 15 sector gauges, barring the gauge of FMCG shares, ended lower led by the Nifty Media index's 3.5 per cent fall. Nifty Consumer Durables, Realty, PSU Bank, Pharma, Metal, IT and Healthcare indices also fell between 1.4-3 per cent.
Mid- and small-cap shares also faced intense selling pressure as Nifty Midcap 100 and Nifty Smallcap 100 indexes dropped over 2 per cent each.
Among the individual shares, Shoppers Stop rallied in an otherwise weak market. The stock jumped as much as 17.58 per cent to hit fresh 52-week high of Rs 425 on the BSE on Friday after it reported strong earnings for the quarter ended December 2021 after market hours.
Hindustan Unilever rose as much as 2.42 per cent to hit an intraday high of Rs 2,316 after it reported December quarter earnings post market hours on Thursday. Hindustan Unilever's net profit rose 19 per cent in December quarter to Rs 2,300 crore from Rs 1,938 crore.
Bajaj Finserv was top Nifty loser, the stock fell 5 per cent to close at Rs 16,379 after it reported December quarter earnings.
Tech Mahindra, Shree Cements, Coal India, Divi's Labs, Tata Steel, Indian Oil, Bharti Airtel, UPL, IndusInd Bank and JSW Steel also fell between 2.3-4.6 per cent.
On the flipside, Bajaj Auto, Maruti Suzuki, Hero MotoCorp, HDFC Bank, HDFC, Nestle India, Hindalco and TCS were also among the gainers.
The overall market breadth was negative as 2,357 shares ended lower while 1,021 closed higher on the BSE.