Domestic stock markets remained under the grip of a bear hug for the sixth straight trading session with benchmark Sensex ending below the psychological 26,000-mark, as investors shunned stocks amid cash cruch woes even as mixed global cues too contributed to the overall weakness.
The 30-share BSE Sensex ended at 25,765.14, down 385.10 points, or 1.5 percent from previous close. The broader 50-stock CNX Nifty, too, followed suit, falling 145 points or 1.8 percent to end below the 8,000-mark at 7,929.10.
In last seven out of eight trading sessions, the index has lost a whopping 1,826 points or 6.6 percent, as investors fret over the cash crunch in the system due to demonetisation drive while a likely US rate hike next month has prompted foreign investors to flee emerging markets, including India.
In addition to selling in October, FIIs remained net sellers in the current month, offloading shares worth Rs 10,267 crore in last seven sessions. In October, overseas investors net sold equities to the tune of Rs 4,990 crore, moving their funds to safe havens like US bonds amid hopes of hardening of interest rate.
Since the the government decided to demonitise high value currency denominations of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 starting 8 November mid-night, stock markets faced a bear fury in the preceding sessions, knocking off Rs 876,426 crore of investor wealth so far.
The BSE Realty index was the worst hit, tanking 16 percent since 8 November, as worries that the demonetisation drive will crimp housing sales in the near to medium term allowed traders to shun the realty stocks.
Further, consumer durable index tumbled 14 percent, Auto index shed 11 percent, FMCG tumbled nearly 9 percent and IT index eased 6 percent during the period.
Among the Nifty stocks, shares of ITC fell the most, tumbling 11 percent between 8-18 November, followed by TCS (down 7 percent), Tata Motors (down 13 percent), UltraTech Cement (down 14 percent) and Infosys was down 6 percent.
Others such as Asian Paints, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, M&M, Ambuja Cements, Hero MotoCorp, Bajaj Auto and Hindustan Unilever were down 4-14 percent during the period under review.
Data input by Kishor Kadam