Extending their recent downtrend, Indian benchmark indices witnessed further beating on Thursday as sentiments remained bearish on sustained foreign fund outflows and a weak trend in the Asian and European markets. On the BSE sectoral space, the high beta – Metal and Consumer Durables pockets remained among top laggards in the space as they got lacerated by around two per cent; while sectors like Power, Capital Goods and PSU too got pounded heavily in the session. Eventually, Nifty settled below the psychological mark of 8,000 and Sensex below 26,000 mark.European markets closed in the mix on Thursday amid concerns over the fragility of the Italian banking system and as trading desks began to thin out before the long Christmas break. The FTSE 100 gained 0.32 per cent and the CAC 40 rose 0.02 per cent. The DAX lost 0.11 per cent.  The U.S. stocks ended Thursday’s thinly traded preholiday session with modest losses, as investors seemed reluctant to bid up prices of indexes that are already hovering near all-time highs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished 23.08 points lower at 19,918.88. The blue-chip index struggled to hit 20,000 as the psychologically important level has dodged it for days amid slowed down momentum. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite declined 24.01 points at 5447.42. The S&P 500 closed 4.22 points lower at 2,260.96, only 11 points below its all-time high set last week.Asian shares kicked off the last trading session before Christmas on a subdued note as Wall Street took a breather from its relentless rise since the US election, while the dollar hovered below its 14-year high set earlier this week. Japan’s market is shut on account of the Emperor’s birthday. Hang Seng and Shanghai Composite are trading in negative terrain with cut of 0.58 and 0.45 per cent respectively.   At 8:00 am, SGX Nifty index fell 0.21 per cent to 7,974. Indian equity markets look set to extend their seven-day losing streak as indicated by the SGX Nifty.