Ending a four-day upsurge, the BSE benchmark Sensex on Wednesday fell 239 points on profit-booking by funds in heavy-weights led by auto and telecom sectors amid concern over lower fourth quarter earnings and a weak global trend.

The Sensex dropped 239.31 points, or 1.26 per cent to 18,801.64. It had touched the day’s low of 18,721.72. The index had gained 360 points in last four trading sessions.

Similarly, the broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty plunged 75.20 points, or 1.31 per cent, to 5,672.90, after falling to 5,650.10.

Brokers said the market has been lacking any positive trigger while reports of lower quarterly earnings by companies in the fourth quarter sparked capital outflow.

The country’s private sector output for the month of March witnessed the slowest rate of expansion in 17 months owing to a significant decline in new business orders, said an HSBC survey.

The sentiment further dampened on weak trend in Asia and lower opening in Europe as investors await reports on US employment and services industries, traders added.

Automakers lead falls on concern over slowing vehicle sales and the sector index dropped 2.23 per cent to 9,729.57 led by stocks of Tata Motors, Bajaj Auto and Maruti Suzuki.

Bharti Airtel, the biggest mobile-phone services provider fell by 3.95 per cent to Rs 280.65 and Tata Telecom by 1.46 per cent to Rs 8.76 amid fears telecom companies struggling to control costs prices.

In 30-BSE index components, 26 stocks declined while four ended with gains. The losers led by Reliance Industries, Infosys, Larsen and Toubro, Coal India, Gail India, Hero MotoCorp, Hindalco, ICICI Bank and State Bank of India.

The realty sector index suffered the most by losing 2.68 per cent to 1,838.11 followed by capital goods by 2.29 per cent to 9,127.89. Metal index fell by 2.08 per cent to 8,647.01 and oil and gas index by 1.82 per cent to 8,372.87.

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