Mumbai, May 23: The Sensex today plunged by 257.47 points on the Bombay Stock Exchange to close at 16,649.64 on selling pressure across the sector, triggered by inflation fears.
After resuming the session with a positive gain of about 52 points higher at 16,958.80, the Sensex surged over the psychological level of 17K in early trade on positive closing in the US markets. The index touched a day's high of 17,054.34. However, it failed to hold on to the gains for long and skid by 425 points from the day's high in late trade to touch a day,s low of 16,626.11, before settling far below the 17K level with a loss of 1.52 per cent.
Similarly, after making a positive start at 5,026.55, broader based Nifty index of National Stock Exchage slipped to a day's low of 4,940.70 and finally settled 78.90 points low at 4,946.55 from its previous close of 5,025.45 in late trade.
Annual inflation for the week ended May 10 was quoted lower at 7.82 per cent as against 7.83 per cent in previous week, the government data released today showed. It was still above market estimated level of 7.78 per cent.
The market breadth was negative as out of 2,790 stocks traded, 796 advanced and 1,922 declined, while 72 remained unchanged.
Index Heavyweights including ITC, Tata Motors, JP Associates, L&T, Sterlite Industries, PNB and Cairn India were the major losers.
However, BPCL, Bharti Airtel, Suzlon Energy and HDFC managed to score gains.
The BSE Midcap slipped 1.59 pc to close at 6,937.11 and Smallcap closed down 1.69 pc at 8,517.43. The turnover quoted for BSE was at Rs 5,368 crore.
ITC plunged 4.2 pc to Rs 214, Tata Motors tumbled 3.6 pc to Rs 638, Jaiprakash Associates was down 3.4 pc to Rs 238 and Larsen&Toubro slipped 2.5 pc to Rs 2,845. Followed by Reliance Infrastructure, ONGC, TCS, Reliance Communications, SBI and Ambuja Cements, all down over two per cent each.
ICICI Bank, Infosys, DLF ACC shed about two per cent to Rs 864, Rs 1,826, Rs 610 and Rs 667 respectively.
In addition Maruti, Wipro, Satyam and Tata Steel were the other major losers of the day.
Leading Private telecom operator Bharti Airtel surged 2.3 pc to Rs 837, HDFC gained 2 pc to Rs 2,678, while Hindustan Unilever and HDFC Bank closed with marginal gains.