The Sensex fell 0.88 per cent, or 155.02 points, at 17,486.06, as weak global markets encouraged investors to lock in profits in outsourcers such as Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys Technologies.
The Sensex closed down with only seven of its components advancing. The Nifty extended losses in late noon trades as European markets opened in the negative. It further slumped to 5,218.65 as Tata Power declared lower-than-expected profit in the third quarter to close at 5,225.65, down 0.93 per cent, or 49.20 points.
European markets were in the red in opening trades as global investors awaited key earnings report from the US. Asian markets also dropped in trades. The Nikkei dropped 0.83 per cent to 10,765. However, Hang Seng added 1.02 per cent to 21,678.
Jigar Shah, vice-president, equity, Motilal Oswal, said, “Inflows by foreign institutional investors have been negative in the past few days. Lack of any great buying led to the decline today.”
The BSE realty index dropped 1.75 per cent to 4,006.91 on profit-booking. It was followed by technology and health care sectors. However, Bankex and the consumer durables index rose slightly.
Tata Power fell 1.5 per cent to Rs 1,420 on a drop in net profit in the quarter ended December 2009. Profit had jumped around 40 per cent to Rs 142 crore a year ago.
Cements stocks also fell. ACC slumped 3.09 per cent to Rs 953. Grasim shed 2.34 per cent while Hindalco and TCS dropped around 2.5 per cent. Reliance Communications fell 2 per cent.