Mumbai, Feb 8 (PTI) Stock markets dipped to 7-month lowstoday, with the BSE benchmark Sensex closing below 18,000,declining 261 points or 1.45 per cent, as investors soldheavily on concerns over rising inflation and interest rates.
Selling was seen across the board with all sectoralindices settling down between 3.81 per cent and 0.10 per cent.
Consumer durables, realty, auto and banking segments set thepace for decline.
The Bombay Stock Exchange 30-share index opened firm at18,141.51 but could not maintain the level and turned negativeon all-round sell-off.
It settled at 7-month low of 17,775.70, a sharp dip of261.49 points or 1.45 per cent from the previous close.
Similarly, the 50-issue Nifty of the National StockExchange plunged by 83.45 points or 1.55 per cent to end at7-month low of 5,312.55.
Sensex and Nifty had closed at 17,651.73 and 5,296.85respectively on July 8, 2010.
Marketmen said that investors feared dip in corporateearnings in the coming quarters on rising inflation, furtherhike in interest rates and trade imbalances.
Unrest in Egypt, which is likely to have negative impacton domestic oil prices, also worried investors. .
Lack of any major triggers from Asian and European markets to has a sentimental impact on the local bourses.
Except China, which was close today, most of the otherAsian stocks ended narrowly mixed despite rally on Wall Streetyesterday. Key indices from Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwanended in the red, while Japan and South korea closed in thegreen.
European markets too were trading mixed in afternoondeals.
25 out of 30 Sensex-based counters ended with sharp tomoderate losses, while others finished with gains.
Major contributer to Sensex fall were ICICI Bank (2.98per cent), ONGC (5.58 pc), RIL (1.48 pc), L&T (2.34 pc), M&M(5.97 pc), Tata Motor (2.86 pc) and Tata Steel (3.16 pc).
Other losers from the 30 index-based stocks were JaipraAsso (5.21 pc), REL Com (4.20 pc), Hero Honda (4.06 pc), RELInfra (3.30 pc), NTPC (2.59 pc), Sterlite Ind (2.51 pc),Jindal Steel (1.77 pc) and HDFC Bank (1.72 pc).
Among sectoral indices, BSE-CD plunged 3.81 per cent,BSE-Realty by 3.08 pc, the BSE-Auto by 2.70 pc, the Bankex by2.28 pc and the BSE-Oil&Gas by 2.06 pc.
Second-line shares too bore the brunt of heavy selling byretail investors with BSE-Smallcap index tumbling by 3.23 percent and the BSE-Midcap by 2.42 per cent.
The total market breadth was sharply negative as 2,299stocks settled in losses, against only 551 that closed withgains on the BSE. The total turnover remained low at Rs2,824.15 crore.