The BSE benchmark Sensex on Friday fell by 157 points, the fourth drop in a row, on heavy selling in bluechips like HDFC, RIL, TCS and Maruti Suzuki after rupee slid further amid a downtrend in global markets.

The Sensex, which had lost 417 points in the past three sessions, fell further by 156.62 points, or 0.75 per cent to 20,666.15, after touching the day’s low of 20,600.90. In the 30-share index, 21 stocks like SBI, ICICI Bank, ONGC, Coal India, Airtel, ITC, Infosys and Sun Pharma ended in red.

Brokers said the market, which is worried about economic slowdown, remained under pressure as the rupee dropped to a six-week low of 62.75 versus dollar, raising concerns about inflation which may force RBI to look at hiking rates again.

Indian stocks were also weighed down by a weakening trend in the Asian region and lower opening in Europe after faster-than-expected US economic growth fuelled concerns that the Fed may taper its stimulus quicker than most estimates.

For the week ended November 8, Sensex fell by 531 points or 2.5 per cent - the biggest such drop since the week ended September 27 when it slid down 567 points or 2.65 per cent.

The broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty fell by 46.50 points, or 0.75 per cent, to end at 6,140.75 led by banking and interest-sensitive stocks. Also, the SX40 index of MCX-SX fell 119.6 points to end at 12,273.64.

Sectorally, the BSE Consumer Durable index was the major loser today as it plummeted 2.04 per cent, followed by Banking index (1.27 per cent), Oil and Gas index (1.19 per cent), PSU index (0.69 per cent) and Auto index (0.45 per cent).

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