The 30-share Sensex slumped below the crucial 19,000-level in intra-day trading on Friday as the housing loan scam continued to hammer realty stocks, closing with a loss of about 182 points, although it regained the psychological mark.
Sensex started the day on a firm note but soon lost ground in a highly choppy trade, and finally settled at 19,136.61, shedding 181.55 points or 0.94 per cent from previous close.
Continuing its fall for the fourth consecutive session, the barometer had tumbled by 363.34 points to 18,954.82 during the trade -- the level last seen on September 13.
Crisis in Ireland and South Korea, interest rate hike in China, and a string of scams including 2G spectrum row and housing loan racket, has seen the Sensex plummet by 896 points or 4.47 per cent so far this month.
In a similar fashion, the National Stock Exchange's broad based Nifty also tanked by 47.80 points to finish at 5,751.95.
Marketmen said the continuous fall is an over-reaction to the negative news and also called it a buying opportunity for the investors.
"Sensex is on a falling spree due to the hammering in the blue chips including realty and banking shares in the wake of the ongoing investigations in the housing loan scam, which is just an over-reaction and market is bound to bounce back as the fundamentals are strong," CNI Research CMD Kishore P Ostwal said.
Realty stocks were beaten yet again with Jai Prakash Associates settling at Rs 105.75 with a loss of 8.04 per cent. The counter emerged as the worst performer among the 30 Sensex scrips. Another realty giant DLF too witnessed a plunge of 1.71 per cent to close at Rs 287.75.
Besides, continuing weakness in the heavy weights including Reliance Industries and ITC also triggered the fall in the Sensex. While the former saw a dip of 1.81 per cent, the latter slipped by 1.41 per cent on BSE.
However, the banking stocks rebound on Friday, giving support to the market, with the country' largest lender SBI and the private sector giant ICICI Bank surging 1.16 per cent and 0.68 per cent respectively.
"Buying at lower levels gave strength to the banking blue chips," said an expert.
All the 13 sectoral indices ended the day in the negative terrain with IT and banking sectors losing marginally.
Among the IT stocks, the bellwether Infosys Technologies and the software major Wipro lost 0.76 per cent and 0.55 per cent respectively, while