Indian stocks on Friday survived a tsunami scare with the BSE benchmark Sensex recouping to some extent day's sharp losses but still ended with a loss of 154 points.
Global equity markets plunged after 33-foot tsunami in Japan caused untold damages and panic-striken investors, already worried about boiling unrest in the Middle-East and Spain debt crisis, resorted to hectic selling.
Japanese benchmark index Nikkei closed down 1.72 per cent, the Chinese Shanghai Composite by 0.73 per cent, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng by 1.55 per cent. Singapore's Strait Times closed lower 1.04 per cent.
The tremors of Japan earthquake were felt across European bourses which were trading lower between 0.39 per cent and 0.92 per cent in their afternoon deals.
Tracking global indices, the 30-share Sensex too plummeted to 18,000-level, a steep loss of of over 305 points from day's high levels.
Markets recouped after the government dispelled the possibilities of tsunami hitting the Indian shores.
The Sensex finally settled the day at 18,174.09 points, down 153.89 points from its previous close.
The NSE 50-issue Nifty also dropped by 48.95 points or 0.89 per cent to 5,445.45.
A leading analyst warned that the economic impact of such a natural calamity is yet to be assessed and such assessment may give fresh trigger to the markets.
Meanwhile, reports of industrial growth slowing down to 3.7 per cent in January 2011, against 16.8 per cent in the year-ago period, too weighed on the market mood.
The markets were already struggling after the escalation of violence in Libya and protests in Saudi Arabia fueling fears of a spike in oil prices that would undermine the global economic growth.
Eleven of the 13 sectoral indices fell with the BSE metal losing the most. The metal index closed lower by 1.91 per cent, the teck index by 1.61 per cent and the BSE-IT by 1.49 per cent.
Overall, 25 out of 30 index-based scrips declined while others gained. BHEL dipped by 3.64 per cent, the REL Com by 3.46 per cent, REL Infra by 3.19 per cent, Sterlite Ind by 3.06 per cent, Jaipra Asso by 2.90 per cent and TCS by 2.48 per cent.
Bharti Airtel fell by 2.08 per cent, Bajaj Auto by 2.02 per cent, M&M by 1.75 per cent and Hindalco by 1.65 per cent.
Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) turned net sellers as they sold shares worth Rs 97.19 crore yesterday as per provisional data after pulling out Rs 37.10 crore on March 10.
The total market breadth remained negative as 1,928 shares ended with losses and 924 finished with gains at BSE.
The total market turnover shot up to Rs 4,010.48 crore from Rs 2,995.69 crore yesterday.