US launched a massive strike on a Syrian air base in retaliation to a chemical attack on civilians, stoking fears of a geopolitical flare-up.
Profit-booking by participants in view of the domestic markets’ recent record-setting run also fuelled the downtrend, brokers said.
The 30-share Sensex stayed in the negative zone for the whole day and settled lower by 220.73 points, or 0.74%, at 29,706.61.
This is its lowest level since 31 March, when it had closed at 29,620.50. The gauge had lost 46.90 points in the previous session after the Reserve Bank left the key policy rate unchanged, in line with Street expectations.
The broader Nifty too succumbed to selling pressure and slipped below the 9,200-mark to hit a low of 9,188.10, before ending at 9,198.30, down 63.65 points, or 0.69%.
However, the Sensex and Nifty recorded their second straight weekly gain by rising 86.11 points, or 0.29%, and 24.55 points, or 0.26%, respectively.
Meanwhile, the rupee on Friday soared to a 20-month high of 64.17 (intra-day) against the dollar, its highest since August 11, 2015 amid buoyant growth outlook by the Reserve Bank in its monetary policy review yesterday.
“Risk appetite took a hit after geopolitical tensions pulled global equities down. Soaring oil prices and continuing strength in rupee also distorted the usual sectoral diversification themes," said Anand James, chief market strategist, Geojit Financial Services Ltd.
Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth a net ₹ 142.68 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) sold shares worth a net ₹ 205.64 crore on Thursday, as per provisional data.
Sun Pharma was the top Sensex loser, skidding 3.04% to close at ₹ 665.65, followed by Lupin, which fell 2.61% to ₹ 1,410.35.
Shares of Reliance Industries plunged 2.28% to end the day at ₹ 1,405.55 after telecom regulator Trai on Thursday ordered Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio to withdraw the three-month ‘complimentary’ offer of unlimited data usage and free calls on payment of a minimum ₹ 303.
Other losers included Adani Ports, Dr Reddy’s, Infosys, Tata Steel, ICICI Bank, HUL, SBI, Axis Bank, Tata Motors, Power Grid, Asian Paints and M&M, falling by up to 2.37%.
On the other hand, TCS, Bajaj Auto, Bharti Airtel, Hero MotoCorp, NTPC and L&T closed higher by up to 1.14%.
Sector-wise, the BSE healthcare index fell the most (1.43%), followed by metal (1.24%), realty (1.19%), bank (0.96%), power (0.63%) and consumer durables (0.63%). Oil and gas rose 0.48% and capital goods gained 0.10%.
The broader markets too fell as investors locked in gains. The small-cap index declined 0.47% while the mid-cap index closed 0.30% lower.
Globally, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 0.12%, Singapore fell 0.08% and Taiwan declined 0.25%. Japan’s Nikkei, however, ended higher by 0.36%.
In Europe, most indices retreated, with London’s FTSE falling 0.10%, France’s Paris CAC-30 down 0.30% and Germany’s Frankfurt falling 0.50% in their early trade. Investors are also tracking the meeting between US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.