The Nifty and the Sensex shed over 1.5 per cent on Thursday as FIIs sold stocks citing such reasons as slowing growth in China, political and economic uncertainty in India, and the European Central Bank giving a rate cut the go by. Market-men said the Euro zone situation was increasingly uncertain, with expectations of further economic stimulus and a growth slowdown looming.

The Nifty lost 98 points and closed at 5575 while the Sensex shed 292 points to close at 18,510.

“The data have been disappointing,” says Nick Paulson-Ellis, India Country Head, Espirito Santo Securities, in the Espirito Santo Little Black Book for April.

“We have seen GDP growth at 4.5 per cent, current account deficit at a record 6.7 per cent last week and, while WPI inflation has been moderating, the higher weightage for food in CPI inflation numbers means it has remained close to double digits. The only real ray of light has been fiscal consolidation (5.2 per cent of GDP in FY13),” he added.

FIIs offloaded net equity worth Rs 326 crore while DII bought net equity worth Rs 65 crore. FIIs were net sellers on Wednesday too by Rs 368 crore.

Brokers’ trading mirrored FII behaviour and they were net sellers of equity worth Rs 17 crore on the BSE. However, retail investors on the BSE bought net equity worth Rs 24 crore.

All the broader and sectoral indices ended in the red with mid-caps, small-caps, realty, media, IT and BFSI being the worst hit.

Volatility was up 6.6 per cent and the India Vix closed at 15.85.

The advance-decline ratio in the Nifty was 7:43 with Dr Reddy’s, Coal India, HUL, Maruti and Tata Motors being the top five gainers. Ultratech Cement, JP Associates, Jindal Steel, HCL Tech and R-Infra were the biggest losers.