The NSE Nifty barometer fell by 12 points to end at 8,711.70, its weakest close since January 20, 2015. After a sedate start, indices surged to highs with the BSE Sensex hitting 29,277.83, up almost 395 points. However, unimpressive corporate earnings and weak global cues pulled Sensex down at 28,850.97, down 32.14 points or 0.11 percent.
    
In five sessions, the Sensex has plunged 830.80 points or about 2.8 percent. Thursday's close is Sensex's weakest since 28,784.67 on January 20, 2015.
    
Among the sectoral indices, heavy selling pressure was seen in power, realty and consumer durables while gain in the defensive pack -- IT and FMCG -- provided some cushion.


    
"Markets closed negative for fifth successive session and ended marginally in red amid extreme intra-day volatility. After a flat start, they rebounded strongly from the day's low but selling pressure in the latter half erased all the gains and pushed them into negative territory," said Religare Securities, President-retail distribution, Jayant Manglik.
    
Major losers that pulled down indices include Tata Power, Sesa Sterlite, BHEL, ONGC, M&M, Cipla, Tata Steel, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, NTPC, Bharti Airtel, GAIL and Hindalco.
    
Elsewhere in Asia, stock markets ended lower after the European Central Bank yesterday abruptly pulled back its soft treatment of Greek debt and cancelled its acceptance of the country's bonds in return for funding, said dealers.

Key indices in Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, China and South Korea ended lower by 0.32 percent to 1.18 percent while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index finished 0.35 per cent higher.
    
European markets were also trading lower as key indices in France, Germany and the UK eased by 0.04 percent to 0.31 percent.

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