The BSE benchmark Sensex today fell 152 points at mid-session on funds selling as the Reserve Bank lowered GDP projections and kept key interest rates unchanged. After a better start, the 30-share index dropped by 151.60 points, or 0.77 per cent to 19,441.68 at 1300 hrs, adding losses of 710 points in the previous four sessions. Similarly, the broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty dipped below a crucial 5,800 level by losing 39.65 points, or 0.68 per cent, to 5,792 with banking and interest related stocks leading the decline.
Brokers said the RBI projections of a lower GDP to 5.5 per cent from earlier estimates of 5.7 per cent for the current fiscal in its quarterly monetary policy meeting mainly dampened the trading sentiment. They said the bank keeping key interest rates unchanged was much to market expectations but a weaker rupee further dampened the trend. The banking and interest-sensitive shares suffered the most on fears the unaltered interest rate might hamper earnings of these companies.