Mumbai, Jan 14 (Agencies): A benchmark index of Indian equities market on Friday closed 339 points lower as traders continued to sell front-line stocks and downward pressure increased in the broader markets.

The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 19,198.04 points, closed at 18,842.94 points (provisional) -- down 339.88 points or 1.77 percent from its previous close at 19,182.82 points.

It had moved up to 19,447.82 points in the afternoon and fell to the intra-day low in late trade at 18,811.96 points.

The 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange too shut shop in the negative too at 5,645.65 points, down 106.25 points or 1.85 percent.

Even broader markets gave up their gains, with the BSE midcap index closing 1.34 percent down and the BSE smallcap index ending 1.07 percent lower.

Realty, banking and metal stocks were among major losers.