Mumbai, Jan 19 (PTI)The BSE benchmark Sensex today washedout nearly half of its last two days of gains and closed about114 points down to end at 18,978.32, following late sell-offin some heavyweight counters on continued fears of interestrate hike in view of high inflation.
Selling in Infosys Tech, RIL, L&T, SBI, HDFC Bank, HDFCand ONGC contributed largely to the fall. However, smart risein ICICI Bank, Hindalco, Sterlite Ind, TCS, Bajaj Auto and DLFcushioned the dip to some extent.
Brokers said that fears of rise in key interest rates bythe apex bank RBI in its quarterly monetary policy review onJanuary 25 continued to daunt the market sentiment.
The Bombay Stock Exchange 30-share barometer initiallymoved in a narrow range but selling after mid-session pulledit down to close at 18,978.32, a net loss of 113.73 points or0.60 per cent. In the last two days, it had gained by 231.61points or 1.23 per cent.
Similarly, the NSE 50-issue Nifty also fell back by 33.00points or 0.58 per cent to 5,691.05.
Capital goods, IT and refinery counters attracted profitbooking while Metal and realty shares were in demand. ITstocks suffered losses despite a positives like better thanexpected Q3 results announced by TCS, which had lifted themarket yesterday.
Meanwhile, Asian markets ended firm today due to gains onWall Street yesterday, while European shares were tradingstable in their late morning deals. .