The BSE benchmark Sensex today shed 124 points on profit-booking, triggered by below-expected quarterly earnings by some corporate houses, amid a depressing global scenario.
With blue-chips Bharti Airtel and Hero Honda taking a hit in the range of 2-3 per cent, the 30-share barometer of the Bombay Stock Exchange ended down by 123.71 points, or 0.69 per cent, at 17,868.29.
The realty, tech, capital goods and IT segments were battered in all-round hectic selling. All 13 sectoral indices of the BSE ended with losses.
Marketmen said lower-than-expected first quarter earnings by Hero Honda and ONGC cast a shadow over the market.
Despite robust earnings in the June quarter, Reliance Industries Ltd dropped 0.08 per cent, extending its losses for the third successive day. RIL carries the maximum weight in the Sensex.
The 50-share Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange, too, lost 0.76 per cent to settle at 5,367.60 points.
For the week ended today, the Sensex recorded a loss of 1.5 per cent, its first weekly fall in the last four weeks.
"It seems the bull run is over. The market is likely to see some more corrections in the coming days. Poor performance by some big corporate houses and weak global sentiment may hurt the upward journey of local markets," Geojit BNP Paribas Research Head Alex Mathews said.
On consistent foreign fund inflows, the Sensex had crossed the psychological 18,000-mark and touched a two-and-a half-year high last week. Foreign institutional investors have infused over Rs 16,000 crore in July.
Hero Honda plunged about 3 per cent after the company reported disappointing results for the June quarter, with a decline in profits after a dream run lasting ten quarters.
"Rise in the raw material cost due to engine upgradation and company's inability to pass the same to customers led to a 300 bps contraction in margins at 14 per cent. Reported profits declined by 2 per cent to Rs 490 crore," PINC Research said in a note.
Bharti Airtel dropped 3.17 per cent and was the biggest loser in the Sensex pack. RCom, another telecom major, also fell by 1.76 per cent.
DLF sank 2.5 per cent and ICICI Bank 2.38 per cent. ONGC ended flat, after June-quarter income fell by 25 per cent.
Analysts said investors preferred to book profits at existing higher levels amid weak global cues and a gloomy outlook for coming days.
On the global front, all the key indices across the globe were in the red. Asia ended lower and Europe was also trading in the negative zone at mid-session. The US markets had also settled with losses on Thursday.
In the Sensex components, 22 stocks ended with losses, while eight ended with gains.
Mahindra & Mahindra bucked the trend and rose for another day after the company reported a healthy profit numbers. The scrip surged 2.70 per cent and was the best gainer in the BSE 30 pack.
Other scrips that managed to end with gains include SBI, which rose 1.24 per cent, HDFC Bank (up 1.2 per cent) and Tata Steel (up 0.68 per cent).