Sensex slips 90 points on rate hike fears

Mumbai, Jan 14 (PTI) The BSE benchmark Sensex shed 90points in the opening trade today, extending yesterday''slosses on mixed trend overseas and continued selling by fundsand retail investors fearing hike in key interest rates by theReserve Bank of India.

The 30-share Bombay Stock Exchange barometer lost 90.53points to 19,092.29 level, with financial, realty, auto andmetal sector stocks leading the fall. It had plunged 351.28points in the previous session.

The broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty alsodeclined by 30.20 points to 5,721.70 points today.

Brokers said continued offloading of positions by funds,particularly, in banking and realty stocks amid fears of ainterest rate hike this month by the RBI to curb inflation,dampened the trading sentiment here.

Among banking stocks, the country''s largest lender StateBank of India fell by 0.45 per cent to Rs 2,549 a share, whileICICI Bank shed 0.90 per cent at Rs 1,018.50 a share.

In other markets in Asia, Japan''s Nikkei shed 0.40 percent while Hong Kong''s Hang Seng index was up by 0.28 per centcent in the morning trade today.

In the US, Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.20 percent higher in yesterday''s trade.

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