Mumbai: The BSE benchmark index Sensex tanked nearly 300 points as software major Infosys crashed by over 21 percent due to disappointing results and a weak revenue forecast for this fiscal ignoring fall in retail inflation and better-than-expected industrial growth.
The 30-share index closed at 18,242.56 points, down by 299.64 points or 1.62 percent -- the largest fall since February 26, 2013, when it plunged by 316.55 points or 1.64 percent. Among 30 Sensex stocks, 16 closed in the red, wiping out most of previous two days' gain of 1.73 percent.
Infosys, the country's second largest software exporter, tumbled 21.33 percent on BSE after reported a 3.3 percent increase in net profit for the January-March quarter and forecast a revenue growth of 6-10 percent for this fiscal, lower than IT industry body Nasscom's estimate.
"The main reason for the decline in benchmark indices was the big fall in share price of Infosys," said Nagji K Rita, Chairman & MD, Inventure Growth and Securities.
"Infosys fell over 20 percent, its biggest fall since 2003, after delivering disappointing Q4 numbers and FY14 dollar revenue guidance of 6-10 percent, which is below Nasscom estimates," Sanjeev Zarbade, Vice President (Private
Client Group Research), Kotak Securities said.
The BSE barometer commenced sharply lower with a downside gap of over 265 points and remained in negative terrain throughout the day. The 50-issue Nifty of the National Stock Exchange also slumped by 65.45 points, or 1.17 percent, to 5,528.55.
Hit by growth concerns fanned by weak Infosys guidance, other IT companies too suffered losses. TCS fell by 1.63 percent and Wipro by 4.72 percent on BSE, draging the sectoral BSE IT index down sharply by 11.09 percent.
The decline was in contrast to fall in retail inflation in March and factory output growth of 0.6 percent in February.
"IIP for the month of February came at 0.6 percent Y-o-Y as against the street expectation of marginal decline," Zarbade said.

Trading sentiment further dampened on a weakening trend in overseas markets before a report that may show US retail sales stagnated, brokers said. Key benchmark indices in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan fell by 0.06 percent to 1.31 percent. European markets were also trading lower on profit-booking after a four-day winning streak.
However gains in FMCG, banking and refinery stocks like ITC, HUL, SBI, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, RIL and ONGC limited the sensex fall to a major extent, otherwise the downslide would have been much more pronounced.
Retail inflation declined to 10.39 percent in March from 10.91 percent in February while factory output, as measured by the Index of Industrial Production, has slipped to 0.6 percent in February from 4.3 percent in the same period last year.
"Better-than-expected numbers on IIP and CPI inflation was a mix of sustainable and one-off factors," said Kotak Mahindra Bank Chief Economist Indranil Pan.
Other major losers from the Sensex pack were Coal India (1.78 percent), Larsen & Toubro (1.31 percent), Maruti Suzuki (1.27 percent), Mahindra & Mahindra (1 percent) and Tata Motors (0.99 percent).
However, ITC rose by 2.75 percent followed by SBI 1.98 percent and Tata Power 1.17 percent.
Among the sectorial indices, S&P BSE-IT dropped the most by 11.09 percent followed by S&P BSE-Teck 8.87 percent and S&P BSE-CG 0.69 percent.
 However, the S&P BSE-FMCG firmed up by 1.95 percent, S&P BSE-Power 1.02 percent and S&P BSE-Bankex 0.96 percent. The total market breadth turned negative as 1,261 stocks finished in red while 1,042 stocks closed in green and 141 stocks ruled steady. The total turnover was higher at Rs 1,937.63 crore from Rs 1,696.44 crore on Thursday.


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