Shares ended lower amid a volatile trading session on Thursday, weighed down by weak global cues and a depreciating rupee, with index heavyweights Reliance Industries and Infosys leading the fall.
The Sensex which touched an intra-day low of 15,515 finally ended down 184 points at 15,544 while the Nifty which touched an intra-day low of 4,639 closed lower by 59.55 points at 4,646.
On the global front, US stocks fell 1% on Wednesday as renewed concerns about the euro zones prompted investors to sell equities after last week's hefty year-end rally.
The selloff followed the euro's slide to an 11-month low against the US dollar.
Asian markets ended on a mixed note. Hang Seng and Nikkei ended weak. Rest of the Asian markets ended marginally in green. European markets opened marginally positive.
Back home, government data Thursday showed food inflation for the week ended December 17 fell to 0.42 per cent compared to 1.81 per cent in the previous week.
On the sectoral front, BSE oil & gas index dropped 3% at 7,641.
Banks, realty, capital goods, power and technology fell between 1-2%.
Amongst Sensex stocks, Maruti Suzuki and BHEL were the top Sensex losers, down 4% each.
Index heavyweight Reliance Industries touched new 52 week low, down 3.47% at Rs 713.
The company reported lower gas output from KG-D6 gas field. ONGC declined by 1%. Amongst other OMCs, BPCL, Cairn India, GAIL India and HPCL declined 2-3%.
Amongst Technology counter, Infosys slumped 1% to Rs 2,744.
The Indian rupee plummeted by 48 paise to Rs 53.45 per US dollar in early trade today on sustained month-end demand for the American currency from importers and some banks amid weakness in the domestic stock market.
In the financial segment, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, Bank of India and Kotak Mahindra Bank were the main draggers. HDFC Bank plunged 2% to Rs 431. ICICI Bank declined 1.59% to Rs 686. HDFC declined 1%.
Amongst capital goods pack, L&T plummeted 3% to Rs 1,000.50
In the FMCG space, ITC and HUL lost 1% each.
From the realty space, DLF crashed by 3% to Rs 187.
Tata Power and Reliance Infra slumped 3% each from the power segment.
However, SBI and JSPL outperformed, rising 1% each. Sterlite, Hindalco and Wipro were up 0.1-1%.
Amongst other shares, Fortis Healthcare surged 3% to Rs 85 on back of huge volumes.
Around 11% of the free equity float of the company has changed hands on the counter so far.
Stone India rallied in the morning trades after the company signed an agreement with Turbo Power System, UK - a leading permanent magnet-based rotating machine designer and manufacturer.
Fame India rallied 17% to Rs 57, extending its 43% surge in past two trading sessions. A combined trading volume on the counter surged more than nine-fold today.
The company engaged in movies and entertainment business may report healthy net profit growth as Indian cinema reported robust growth in 2011 after a dismal 2010.
The domestic revenues of Bollywood have surged 33% to Rs 1,925 crore this year, up from Rs 1,450 crore in 2010, media reports suggests.
Jaypee Infratech rallied 15% to Rs 40 on back of huge volumes. A Jaypee Group company, promoted by Manoj Gaur, is constructing the Rs 13,300-crore Yamuna Expressway which is expected to be completed by March 2012.
The BSE Mid-cap Index ended marginally lower at 0.35% while the Small-cap index declined 0.74%.
The overall market breadth ended negative with 1,528 stocks declining while 1,151 advancing.