Falling for the fourth straight session, the benchmark BSE Sensex slipped by 108 points to close at a three-week low of 25,530.11 led by a fall in ITC after a GST panel suggested 40 per cent tax rate for demerit goods like pan masala and tobacco.
The index is on a downward spiral since Wednesday on sustained foreign fund outflows and has lost 639.30 points since.
The BSE barometer after rising over 147 points in early trade to hit a high 25,785.53 slipped into the negative zone after stocks of ITC led the fall and touched a low of 25,477.69.
Finally, it settled 108 points or 0.42 per cent lower at 25,530.11, its lowest level since November 18.
The NSE Nifty after rising past 7,800-mark to touch a high of 7,825.40 points in early trade, succumbed to profit-booking and ended 16.50 points or 0.21 per cent down at 7,765.40.
Of the 30-share Sensex pack, 16 stocks fell while Hero MotoCorp settled steady.
Shares of cigarette maker ITC tumbled by 6.57 per cent to Rs. 313.55 on BSE, emerging as the worst performer among the Sensex stocks after a GST panel suggested 40 per cent tax rate for demerit goods like pan masala and tobacco.
Selling was also seen in other brands such as Godfrey Phillips, which plunged 4.90 per cent and VST Industries, that dipped 2.85 per cent.
Stocks of oil producers also faced selling pressure after OPEC cartel decided against slashing high output levels.
Other losers, which contributed to the fall include Coal India, ONGC, RIL, Maruti Suzuki, Bajaj Auto, SBI, Dr Reddy’s, Vedanta, NTPC, TCS, Tata Motors, Bharti Airtel and Infosys.
However, Sun Pharma, HUL, Lupin, Tata Steel, HDFC, GAIL, Wipro, M&M, ICICI Bank, Hindalco, Axis Bank and BHEL managed to end higher.
Sector-wise, the BSE FMCG index suffered the most by losing 2.45 per cent, followed by metal 0.77, PSU 0.70 per cent, oil&gas 0.46 per cent, auto 0.20 per cent and capital goods 0.09 per cent.
In the broader market, mid-cap index shed 0.10 per cent, while small-cap index rose by 0.16 per cent.
Asian shares ended mostly higher after another strong US jobs reading provided fresh evidence the economy is recovering and reinforced expectations of a December interest rate rise. European markets too were in better shape in their early trade.