Domestic stock indices fell sharply this week hitting a 19-month low on the back of sell-off in global markets, disappointing corporate earnings, depreciating rupee and a decline in crude oil prices.
For the week ended 15 January, 2016, the BSE S&P Sensex tumbled 479.29 points to end at 24,455.04, while the 50-share Nifty closed at 7,437.80, down 163.60 points.
"There seems to be no respite to the ongoing downtrend. Indices have lost further ground closing lower by more than 2% this week after plunging nearly 5% in the previous week; both the key indices hit their respective 52-week lows during the week amid weak global cues and weakening Indian currency against the US Dollar," said Amar Ambani, Head of Research, IIFL.
Although the Indian markets seemed to have shrugged off the continued slump in Chinese stock markets during the early trading sessions this week, the indices finally succumbed to global sell-off in later sessions.
Chinese stock markets failed to stage a rebound despite the measures by the country's authorities to shore up the sentiment. The country's benchmark Shanghai Composite closed over 3% lower this week.
Besides, weak economic data in China added to worries over the hard landing of the world's second largest economy.
Meanwhile, on the domestic front, the corporate earnings season opened on a weak note after the revenue growth of India's largest IT firm Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) for the December quarter missed the analysts' expectations for the sixth consecutive quarter.
Quarterly results from Federal Bank, IndusInd Bank and Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) also disappointed the Street's expectations.
But a silver lining for the markets this week was Infosys' announcement of upbeat results for the third quarter even as most of the analysts had expected to post a muted growth due to poor seasonal demand. Overall, Infosys shares ended the week about 6% higher compared to 2% fall in the broader markets.
"The result season has begun and nothing really in it so far to exude confidence as far as corporate earnings are concerned barring Infosys which delivered better than expected results," said Ambani.
Commodity stocks came under heavy selling pressure due to slowing demand in China. Oil stocks were battered as crude oil plunged to 12-year lows on concerns over impending oil supply from Iran worsening the already oversupplied market.
Domestic economic data was a setback for the markets, with Index of Industrial Production (IIP) falling by 3.2% to hit a four-year low in November and retail inflation edging up further in December to 5.6%.
The sell-off in equity markets intensified after a resumption of a fall in rupee to two-year low of 67.70 against the US dollar. The rupee had hit a record low of 68.85 in August 2013, when fears over interest rate hike in the US were at peak.