The BSE benchmark Sensex on Thursday lost 388 points to fall below 20,000 level on disappointing March quarter earnings from state-run lender State Bank of India, amid weak global trend after US Federal Reserve hinted at scaling down monetary stimulus.

Extending losses for the fourth straight day, the 30-share index nosedived by 387.91 points, or 1.93 per cent, to close at 19,674.33, with all the sectoral indices, led by realty and capital goods stocks, in the negative zone. The index had lost nearly 224 points in the previous three sessions.

Similarly, the broad-based National Stock Exchange index, Nifty fell below 6,000 level by losing 127.45 points, or 2.09 per cent, to 5,993.90.

MCX-SX flagship index SX40 also closed down by 178.75 points, or 1.51 per cent, at 11,682.3.

Country’s largest bank SBI today reported a 18.54 per cent decline in net profit at Rs 3,299 crore for the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2013 on account of lower interest income, causing its shares to plummet over 7 per cent to close at Rs 2,176.20 apiece on the BSE.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke signalling o Wednesday that monetary stimulus may be scaled back if the US economy improves further, triggered selling activity in the entire global region, traders said.

Also, reports of manufacturing activity in China contracting in May for the first time in seven months further dampened the trading sentiment further, they added.

Ranbaxy slumped 8.80 per cent to Rs 393.15 after its Japanese promoters blamed the company’s former Indian owners for concealing and misrepresenting critical information about US investigation into sale of adulterated drugs.

In 30—BSE index components, 29 stocks declined with the two most heaviest with their nearly 16 per cent weightage Reliance Industries and Infosys dropping 3.99 per cent to Rs 785.15 and by 1.23 per cent to Rs 2,358.90, respectively.

The realty sector index suffered the most by losing 5.95 per cent to 1,784.56 followed by capital goods by 5.19 per cent to 9,436.96. Power index fell by 3.96 per cent to 1,731.54 and banking index by 2.84 per cent to 14,452.86.

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