Market players said investors stayed cautious of taking fresh positions, rather they dumped their shares ahead of a pivotal speech by US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.
The benchmark 30-share Sensex fell 297.50 points, or 1.84%, to slip below 15,848.83, while Nifty lost 91.80 points, or 1.90%, to close at 4,747, the lowest in 18 months as market participants chose to square off positions for now and wait to hear what Bernanke would say at Jackson Hole.
The total investors' wealth, measured in terms of cumulative value of all listed shares, fell by about Rs 1,22,000 crore on Friday (August 26, 2011).
According to the provisional figures, foreign institutional investors sold shares worth Rs 226 crore.
BSE Sensex has lost nearly 23% since the beginning of the year. And on Friday, it slipped below 16,000 level.
Of the total loss of Rs 2,55,000 crore in three days, nearly Rs 1,10,000 crore has been lost in the shares of 30 Sensex companies, PTI reported.
The total valuation of all 30 Sensex companies now stands at Rs 26,69,703 crore, while that of all listed companies on the BSE is Rs 58,17,227 crore.
The shares of even large industrial groups fell to the most. RIL, Tata Steel, DLF and Jaiprakash Associates were among the major losers apart from Anil Ambani group companies, which were the biggest losers.
Markets also fell due to some of the market participants believed that Bernanke would choose to do nothing as he had run out of tools to help the US economy which could ignite the global stock markets further and lead to another major slump.