Extending losses for the fifth straight day, the BSE benchmark Sensex today closed 147.50 points lower at over two-week low of 18,471.37 weighed down by losses in IT and metal stocks, amid a weak global trend due to persistent worries over US fiscal problems.
The Sensex, which had lost 284 points in the last four trading sessions, opened weak and continued to slide lower in line with Asian markets that mirrored a fall in US stocks yesterday on rising concern about the budget debate in the US.
The Bombay Stock Exchange 30-share Sensex remained in the negative terrain throughout before ending at 18,471.37 – a loss of 147.50 points or 0.79 per cent. This was the lowest closing for Sensex since 18,430.85 on October 30.
On similar lines, the National Stock Exchange index lost 35.95 points, or 0.63 per cent to close at 5,631.
The IT sector, which gets a substantial share of revenues from the US, suffered heavy losses with Infosys, Wipro and TCS falling in 1.9-2.2 per cent range.
Metals stocks, which track Asian markets especially China, also lost sheen. Tata Steel, which dropped 2.66 per cent, was the biggest loser in 30-share Sensex. Hindalco and Jindal Steel lost in 1.8-2.3 per cent range.
ITC, Tata Motors, RIL, SBI, ONGC, ICICI Bank and Dr Reddy's Lab also closed with sharp to moderate falls. Overall, 1,632 stocks closed down while 1,197 ended higher across BSE.
Investors also appeared to ignore the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) declining marginally to 7.45 per cent in October.
Of the 13 BSE sectoral indices, only realty, consumer durables and power logged gains today.
Traders said investor confidence was also hit after the lukewarm response to the 2G telecom spectrum auction raised concerns over the country's widening fiscal deficit. However, telecom stocks, including Bharti Airtel that gained nearly 3 per cent gain, were among winners after the lower-than-estimated prices in the auction cheered investors.
In Asia, barring Japan that closed higher, all other country indices finished with 0.22-1.55 per cent losses.
European stocks were also trading lower in afternoon deals as worries over the US "fiscal cliff" of potential tax hikes and spending cuts kept most buyers on the sidelines.
France's CAC was down by 0.31 per cent, the UK's FTSE by 0.49 per cent and Germany's DAX by 0.52 per cent.
US stock indices yesterday fell to multi-month lows on fears of spending cuts and tax hikes slated to begin in January.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite Index settled down by 1.45 per cent and 1.28 per cent.
Back home, market analysts said the October inflation data , which is still above the apex bank's tolerance level, did not re-ignite any fresh hopes of rate cut in the RBI's next monetary policy meeting.
22 out of 30 Sensex-based counters today ended lower. Tata Steel was the top loser among Sensex constituents with a fall of 2.66 per cent, followed by ITC (2.57 pc), Jindal Steel (2.32 pc), TCS (2.23 pc), Wipro (2.19 pc) and Infosys(1.92pc).
Tata Motors (1.86 pc), Hindalco (1.85 pc), Hero MotoCorp (1.75 pc), Dr Reddy's Lab (1.70 pc), Sterlite (1.64 pc), Cipla (1.32 pc), ONGC (1.25 pc), SBI (0.85 pc), HDFC Bank (0.67 pc) and RIL (0.63 pc) also closed lower among Sensex pack. However, Bharti Airtel that rose by 2.95 per cent, BHEL by 1.01 per cent, HDFC by 0.88 per cent and HUL by 0.81 per cent were among Sensex gainers.
Amongst the sectoral indices, the BSE-IT dipped by 1.79 per cent, followed by BSE- Metal (1.66 pc) and BSE-FMCG (1.30 pc). On the other side, BSE-Realty firmed by 1.97 per cent and BSE-CD by 1.64 per cent.
The total turnover was at Rs 2,526.45 crore. Meanwhile, FIIs sold shares worth Rs 18.09 crore on November 13 as per provisional data with stock exchanges.