Mumbai, Feb 4 (PTI) After two-day upward movement, theBSE benchmark Sensex dipped again today to 5-month low bylosing 441 points to close at 18,008.15 as high inflation andrising interest rate fears gripped investors.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said inflation poses a"serious threat" to the nation�s growth momentum.
Investors have also been concerned over the impactEgyptian crisis of the past few days may have on Indian firmswith presence there, amid apprehensions that the politicalturmoil may spread across the region.
The Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex, which hadgained 427 points in the last two trading sessions, turnedvolatile and plunged 441.16 points to 18,008.15, a level lastseen on August 31.
The gauge had dipped below 18,000 level in the last30-minute trading after initially rising to 18,542.20. Thebenchmark, the world�s worst performer so far this year, hasdropped 13 per cent from November 5 record levels.
In a similar fashion, the broad-based National StockExchange index dipped below 5,400 points level by losing 131points to settle at 5,395.75. It touched the day''s high of5,556.30 as market remained volatile.
The trading sentiment remained jittery over the interestrate hike as Singh said at a high-level meeting that inflationposed "a serious threat to the growth momentum".
Brokers were of the opinion that the current hefty fallwas mostly attributed to the rising inflation and interestrates, besides mounting tension in Egypt.
They said foreign investors were refraining fromenlarging their positions and taking out their funds fromemerging markets on geopolitical tension also dampened themarket sentiment.
The two most-heaviest counters with their 23 per centweightage on Sensex - Reliance Industries and InfosysTechnologies declined to led the fall. RIL dropped by Rs 24 toRs 919.50 and Infosys by Rs 69.50 to Rs 3,046.35.
The realty sector index suffered the most by losing 3.37per cent to 2,199.24 followed by FMCG index by 3.08 per centto 3,214.30. Teck index lost 2.28 per cent to 3,689.99 and ITindex by 2.26 per cent to 6,258.50.