The S&P BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty 50 indexes fell for fourth day in a row to close at lowest level in two weeks on Tuesday weighed down by weakness in HDFC, Reliance Industries, Bharti Airtel, IndusInd Bank and Maruti Suzuki. Telecom shares were among the worst hit in trade a day after telecom firms Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea partly paid the adjusted gross revenue dues as directed by the Supreme Court. The Sensex fell as much as 445 points to hit an intraday low of 40,610.95 and the NSE Nifty 50 index broke its psychological important level of 12,000.
The Sensex ended 161 points or 0.39 per cent lower at 40,894 and the NSE Nifty 50 index fell 53 points or 0.4 per cent to close at 11,993.
Telecom shares were among the worst hit with the gauge of telecom index plunging 4.2 per cent a day after telecom companies made part-payment of adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues to the government after the telecom department began issuing orders to telecom companies to clear their dues immediately or face "necessary action." The telecom department started acting tough after a furious Supreme Court hauled up telecom companies and government last Friday over unpaid dues despite its orders and threatened them with contempt of court.
Banking shares also witnessed selling pressure on worries of rise in non-performing assets (NPA) from the telecom sector. The Nifty PSU Bank and Nifty Private Bank indexes fell around 0.6 per cent each.
On the flipside, Nifty Media index was top gainer, up nearly 2 per cent.
Bharti Infratel was top Nifty loser, the stock plunged 11 per cent to close at Rs 208. Yes Bank, Tata Motors, IndusInd Bank, Hindalco, Bharti Airtel, Grasim Industries, UPL and Maruti Suzuki were also among the losers.
On the flipside, Coal India, Zee Entertainment, Bharat Petroleum, Adani Ports, State Bank of India and Cipla were among the gainers.
The overall market breadth was negative as 1,612 shares closed lower while 885 ended higher on the BSE.