Stocks were hit a by a sell-off with Sensex and Nifty recording their biggest single-session drop in over four months today as civil unrest in major crude producer Iraq pushed up oil prices.
The 30-share S&P BSE benchmark Sensex tanked 348.04 points, or 1.36 per cent, to end at 25,228.17 and NSE 50-share Nifty dropped 107.80 points, or 1.41 per cent, to 7,542.10.
Surging crude oil prices in the global markets on concerns that unrest in Iraq could lead to disruptions in the country's oil supplies and a depreciating rupee were behind the fall in the share values, equity dealers said.
Rupee was last trading at 59.78, down over 50 paise against the US dollar.
Slowing capital inflows also affected the market to some extent as Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) sold shares worth Rs 652.35 crore yesterday, as per provisional data.
The Sensex resumed higher at 25,677.05 and shot up further to 25,688.31 on initial buying on the back of favourable retail inflation and IIP data that was released after had markets closed yesterday.
However, it failed to maintain initial gains on fresh selling pressure mainly in realty, power, consumer durable, metal, banking and capital goods sectors to touch a low of 25,171.61. It ended the day at 25,228.17, showing a loss of 348.04 points or 1.36 per cent -- the biggest daily drop since January 27, 2014 when it had tanked 426.11 points.
Brent crude oil hit a 9-month high near USD 115 a barrel today after militants closed in on Iraq's capital Baghdad.
A surging oil bill could pose problems for the economy Prime Minister Narendra Modi is trying to reboot, said brokers. Besides, domestic stocks have reached dizzying heights and any negative news is being seen as a reason to book profits by some wary investors, they added.
Interestingly, the "Friday the 13th" fear spooked Indian markets for the fifth time in a row. Sensex had fell between 19-238 points in the previous four occasions.
Asian stocks ended mixed in a choppy trade after data showed China's industrial output and retail sales growth accelerated in May.
Key indices in China, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore firmed up in 0.01-0.93 per cent range while indices in South Korea and Taiwan moved down by 0.09 per cent to 1.03 per cent.
European market baromoters were trading lower in their early trade. Key indices in France, Germany and the UK moved down by 0.67 per cent to 0.76 per cent.
Meanwhile, India's Sensex finished the week down 168.29 points or 0.66 per cent after rising a whopping 1179.12 points in the week ago.
"Markets ended the week with a big fall. Oil price concerns caused by geo-political concerns in Iraq marred sentiments. Several stocks, which had a heady run over past few weeks, fell sharply. Going ahead, we see monsoon progress and Budget to be the two key triggers," said Dipen Shah, Head- Private Client Group Research, Kotak Securities.
Going ahead, some experts see the weakness persisting on Monday as well. The Nifty witnessed its biggest loss in about four and a half months today. On January 27, it had dropped by 130.90 points.
"Considering Friday's close, we may see further decline in Nifty on Monday and 7450 spot is the next crucial support in Nifty," said Jayant Manglik, President-retail distribution, Religare Securities.
Major Sensex losers today were Axis Bank (4.48 per cent), Hero Motocorp (4.42 per cent), Tata Steel (4.40 per cent), NTPC (4.30 per cent), Hindalco (3.94 per cent), Gail (3.57 per cent), SBI (3.25 per cent) and Tata Power (3.09 per cent).
Maruti Suzuki (3.03 per cent), BHEL (2.66 per cent), Tata Motors (2.64 per cent), Bharti Airtel (2.50 per cent), ICICI Bank (2.08 per cent), L&T (1.93 per cent), ONGC (1.45 per cent) and RIL (1.16 per cent) also fell, among others.
Among BSE sectoral indices, Realty dropped by 5.24 per cent, Power 3.53 per cent, Consumer Durable 3.21 per cent, Metal 3.01 per cent, Banking 2.31 per cent, Capital Goods 2.08 per cent, Oil&Gas 1.90 per cent and Auto 1.71 per cent.
Total market breadth turned negative as 2,166 stocks closed with losses while 935 finished with gains. Total turnover moved up further to Rs 5,272.07 crore from Rs 5,177.14 crore yesterday.