Mumbai: Extending losses for the fourth straight day, the BSE benchmark Sensex on Wednesday closed 32 points lower as a sharp rebound in October industrial growth and rise in retail-level inflation in November, dimmed interest rate cut hopes in RBI's mid-quarter policy review next week.
The Sensex, which had lost nearly 100 points in the past three trading sessions, fell further by 31.88 points, or 0.16 percent to 19,355.26.
The gauge had touched the day's high of 19,478.79 on initial buying activity but fell after IIP and inflation data were released, brokers said.
The 30-share index was dragged down by financial stocks, including HDFC, ICICI Bank and SBI. HUL, L&T, ONGC, BHEL and Tata Motors also were among the 20 losers in Sensex.
Similarly, the 50-issue S&P CNX Nifty of the NSE also moved down by 10.80 points or 0.18 percent to 5,888.00.
While retail inflation rose to 9.90 percent in November, from 9.75 percent in October, the country's factory output measured by the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) soared to 16-month high of 8.2 percent in October.
"The IIP number failed to excite the markets as they likely focused on the impact of this data on RBI's interest rate decision next week. We believe RBI will not reduce rates at mid-quarter policy review (Dec 18)," said Dipen Shah, Head - Private Client Group Research, Kotak Securities.
The capital goods, metal and banking sectors suffered the most today while consumer durables, auto and IT shares rose.
"We do not expect it to ease rates until the fourth quarter particularly since inflation remains sticky and above RBI's comfort level," said Bhupali Gursale, Economist, Angel Broking.
The benchmark Indian indices were cushioned to some extent today by rise in Reliance Industries, ITC, M&M, Bajaj Auto and HDFC Bank stocks.
Brokers said trading remained listless as traders reduced their holdings despite a firming trend in Asian and European stock markets.
Stock market analysts said investors appeared not enthused by the sharp growth in IIP.
"I am very encouraged by the indications of the green shoots in economy in terms of production. IIP figures are very encouraging," Finance Minister P Chidambaram said in Delhi.
Sudip Bandyopadhyay MD & CEO Destimoney Securities said the October IIP numbers were better than expected aided by the "statistical spurt" in infrastructure related output.
Globally, Asian stocks ended higher amid sustained optimism for an agreement on upercentoming US tax hikes and spending cuts, ahead of the conclusion of a Federal Open Market Committee that may see it undertake more asset buying.
Key indices in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan and Soutk Korea rose in 0.39-1.00 percent range.
European markets showed a mixed trend in the early trade. Indices in Germany and London inched up by 0.23 percent and 0.30 percent respectively while France index eased by 0.11 percent.
Turning to the local market, 20 scrips out of the Sensex pack declined, nine stocks gained while one counter closed unchanged over yesterday's rates.
Major losers from the Sensex pack were HUL (2.65 percent), BHEL (1.98 percent), Gail India (1.67 percent), Jindal Steel (1.55 percent), ONGC (1.44 percent), Hindalco Ind. (1.42 percent), HDFC (1.33 percent), Wipro (1.25 percent) and L&T (1.18 percent).
Among gainers, Bajaj Auto rose by 2.57 percent, followed by M&M (2.20 percent), Hero Motocorp (1.92 percent) and Sun Pharma (1.35 percent).
Across sectoral indices, the BSE-Capital Goods declined by 0.99 percent, the BSE-PSU (0.81 percent), the BSE-Metal (0.71 percent) and the BSE-Power (0.65 percentt).
On the other hand, BSE-Consumer Durable moved up by 0.95 percent, the BSE-Auto (0.94 percent) and the BSE-IT (0.38 percent).
Market breadth was negative as 1,498 stocks finished with losses while 1,431 ended with gains. Total turnover rose to Rs 2,825.03 crore from Rs 2,614.27 crore Tuesday.
Meanwhile, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 1309.88 crore on Tuesday as per provisional data from the stock exchanges.