Mumbai, May 7: The Sensex continued to drift lower for the third consecutive day today on the Bombay Stock Exchange, losing a nominal 33.70 points to end at 17,339.31 on heavy selling pressure by local mutual funds and others in view of weakness in Asian markets.
The BSE's Sensex and the Nifty index of NSE were down by 260.81 and 92.70 points respectively in the last three days. The key heavyweight indices ended in negative territory. There was bearish phase in Asian markets and a surge in crude oil prices spoiled the investors' sentiment today. IT and oil&gas stocks were the front-runners, while Capital goods stocks and shares of PSU firms suffered the most.
European markets, which open after Indian markets, were trading higher. In Europe, key indices in UK, France and Germany were up 0.64 per cent to 0.88 per cent.
Key indices in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and South Korea were down by 0.27 per cent to 4.13 pc. However, Taiwan's Taiwan Weighted Index was up 0.78 pc.
US crude was steady at $121.79 a barrel, just off a record high at USD 122.73 in New York with prices doubling in the past year.
Foreign brokerage house Goldman Sachs, which had predicted that oil would hit USD 100 a barrel, now forecasts a potential rise to USD 200 a barrel.
The 30-share BSE Sensex fell 33.70 points or 0.19 pc to 17,339.31 points. The index lost 143.03 points at day's low of 17,229.98, hit in the afternoon trade. Sensex gained 40.80 points at day's high of 17,413.81, hit in early afternooon. The broader based S&P CNX Nifty index of NSE ended down by 9.15 points or 0.18 pc at 5135.50 from its last close of 5144.65 points. The market breadth was weak on BSE with 1170 shares advancing as compared to 1522 stocks that declined.
69 stocks remained unchanged.
The BSE Indices also drifted lower as CG index crashed by 312.93 points to close low at 13,641.62 points, followed by PSU index by 133.78 to 7955.52 points, REALTY index by 129.45 to 8207.58 points, METAL index by 101.97 to 15,813.84, BANKEX index by 71.79 at 9016.91 points, CD index by 44.09 to 4410.36, MID CAP index by 28.74 to 7201.57, SML CAP BY 22.07 to 8727.17 points, POWER index by 20.97 to 4294.64 points and TECK index by 13.44 to close lower at 3448.92 points.
However, a few BSE indices looked up with OILS&GAS index rising by 78.95 points to close firm at 11,723.46, IT index gained by 29.94 points to 4413.30 points, AUTO index by 14.78 to 4786.88 points and FMCG moved up by 12.53 to close at 2510.35 points.