Besides, a weakening rupee that depreciated 46 paise against the dollar to 60.52 intra-day also weighed on the stock market sentiment, brokers said.
Good earnings from some bluechips were outweighed by selling in power, banking, consumer durables, capital goods, auto, IT and infrastructure space, they added.
The BSE Sensex began on a weak note and continued to lose momentum to touch an intra-day low of 25,853.69. It settled at 25,894.97, down 192.45 points, or 0.74 per cent. It touched the day's high of 26,118.88. In the 30-share Sensex, 24 closed with losses, while six others ended higher.
The 50-share NSE index Nifty, after dipping to 7,711.15, finally settled the session down 70.10 points, or 0.90 per cent, at 7,721.30, its biggest fall since July 11.
"Nifty witnessed significant action in the July series. High volatility was seen in the range of 7400-7800. Nifty continues to consolidate while stock specific price correction was seen. For the August series option build up in options is seen at 7300 put and 8000 call options. We expect nifty to trade with a positive bias above 7640 for 7950-8000. Profit booking is advised at higher end of the range. Breach of 7640 is expected to invite selling pressure, says Sahaj Agrawal, Deputy Vice President- Derivatives Research, Kotak Securities.
The US Fed yesterday continued with gradual tapering and reduced asset purchases by another USD 10 billion/month.
"Besides squaring-up of outstanding positions on the last session of July series, fresh round of selling by foreign funds dampened the sentiments," said Rajiv Malik, a Delhi-based stock broker.
Stocks of ICICI Bank, the country's largest private sector lender, fell 1.11 per cent. It reported a 3 per cent rise in consolidated net profit at Rs 2,832 crore for the Q1.
Shares of Maruti Suzuki, the country's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki ended 1.07 per down. It reported 20.69 per cent growth in net profit at Rs 762.28 crore for the first quarter ended June 30, 2014-15.
Sectorwise, the BSE power sector index suffered the most by plunging 1.35 per cent, followed by banking (1.18 per cent), consumer durables (0.98 per cent), capital goods (0.84 per cent), auto (0.62 per cent) and IT (0.60 per cent).
Asian stocks ending mixed today after encouraging US growth data in the second quarter was offset by profit-taking. European markets also opened lower. Also, risk aversion was seen due on reports that Argentina has failed to strike a deal to avert its second default in more than 12 years.
Meanwhile, Foreign Portfolio Investors sold shares worth about Rs 381.66 crore yesterday, as per provisional data from the stock exchanges.
Indian shares fall most in 2-1/2 weeks; earnings fail to impress
(Reuters) India's broader NSE index fell nearly 1 percent on Thursday, marking its biggest single-day fall in nearly 2-1/2 weeks, weighed down by foreign investors' sales after earnings at blue chips such as Maruti Suzuki Ltd failed to impress markets.
Foreign investors, who played a major part in the NSE index hitting a record high last week, sold cash shares worth $63.4 million on Wednesday, marking their first sales in 10 days.
The losses were exacerbated as European shares fell during late India trade after data showed annual inflation in the euro zone fell in July to its lowest since the height of the financial crisis in 2009, and by the expiry of domestic monthly derivative contracts at the end of the session.
Still, the losses on Thursday were seen by some analysts as profit-taking after a strong month. The NSE rose 1.4 percent in July to notch up its third consecutive monthly gain on confidence about Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government.
Foreign investors were strong buyers ending up with net purchases of 22.35 billion rupees for July.
"Regular profit-taking after a run-up is religion in the market. The uptrend is intact as upgrades on Indian shares continue on the new-found confidence in a Modi-led economic recovery," said Nirakar Pradhan, chief investment officer at Future Generali India Life Insurance.
The broader NSE index fell 0.9 percent, or 70.10 points, to end at 7,721.30, retreating from a record 7,840.95 points on July 25.
The benchmark BSE index lost 0.74 percent, or 192.45 points, to end at 25,894.97.
Maruti Suzuki fell 1.1 percent after company's April-June operating margin at 11.7 percent lagged some analysts estimates.
ICICI Bank fell 1.2 percent despite better-than-expected earnings. Dealers cite disappointment after net profit when adjusted for other income came actually below consensus.
Meanwhile, software stocks fell after rival HCL Technologies' April-June U.S. dollar revenue growth lagged some estimates. HCL Technologies ended down 2.7 percent, Wipro lost 1.2 percent, Infosys fell 0.6 percent while Tata Consultancy Services ended down 0.2 percent.
Larsen & Toubro fell 1.4 percent, adding to its slump of 7.1 percent in the previous session after the company's earnings missed some analysts' estimates on Wednesday.
Among other decliners, Cadila Healthcare Ltd fell 4.5 percent after the drug maker said it was responding to certain observations from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration after conducting a "product specific" inspection of its Moraiya manufacturing plant.
However, IRB Infrastructure Developers Ltd jumped 7.8 percent after April-June toll revenue beat market estimates, traders said.
FACTORS TO WATCH
* Eyes on euro zone inflation; Fed tempers dollar rally
* Oil slips below $106 on increased supply, low demand
* European shares sink again, dollar holds strong