The BSE Sensex today slipped by around 88 points, extending its string losses to the seventh session in a row, hit by fears of interest rate hikes by the RBI to control rising inflation and fresh talk of US Fed looking at tapering its stimulus.
The 30-share bluechip index fell by 87.51 points, or 0.43 per cent, to 20,194.40 -- its lowest level since October 8.
In volatile trade, the gauge touched the day's high of 20,365.59 and a low of 20,161.64. Laggards including ITC, HDFC Bank, TCS, RIL and L&T pulled down Sensex. The biggest losers, in percentage terms, included GAIL, Cipla and Sesa Sterlite.
A weak show by Asian stocks and lower opening in Europe after reports said Fed officials gave mixed signals on Tuesday amid speculation that the US central bank would start reducing stimulus next month, further influenced the domestic trend.
Fall in Indian shares came despite strength in rupee that was trading about 21 paise up at 63.5 levels versus dollar. It had till yesterday dropped for five straight days.
The 30-share Sensex has now lost 1,044.96 points in seven sessions, its longest losing streak since the eight days ended August 2 when it cracked by 1,138.11 points.
Amongst Sensex gainers today, SBI jumped 1.34 per cent after its 33 per cent drop in quarterly profit came in line with expectations. Tata Motors, Sun Pharmaceuticals Industries, Hindustan Unilever, Hindalco Industries, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltdand Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) also witnessed good buying, said brokers.
The NSE Nifty ended below the crucial 6,000-level by losing 28.45 points, or 0.47 per cent at 5,989.60. SX40 index of MCX-SX fell 84.36 points to end at 12,002.12.
After markets closed yesterday, industrial output showed subdued growth while retail inflation continued to persist at discomforting double-digit levels, raising the possibility of RBI hiking repo rate next month, market analysts said.
Interest-rate linked sectors were among major losers. The Realty sector index suffered the most by losing 1.14 per cent, followed by FMCG 0.98 per cent and Banking 0.62 per cent. IT stocks were also hurt after the Indian rupee rose.