Mumbai: Snapping a three-day gaining streak, the BSE benchmark Sensex on Tuesday dropped by 157 points after investors became jittery with rupee slumping to a new record low amid fund outflows.
The Sensex, which had gained 153 points in the past three sessions, fell by 156.85 points, or 0.97 percent to 16,026.41.
While the 30-share index climbed to the day's high of 16,366.72 in early trade tracking strong global trends, investors panicked after the rupee plunged far below the 55-level. The currency was last trading near its record lows of 55.45 levels against the US dollar.
The downtrend in Sensex was led by stocks in banking, metal and power sectors. Amongst the 30 scrips, 26 closed with losses while only four closed higher. Across the market, over 1,500 stocks fell while just 1,082 ended with gains. Investors became poorer by over Rs 45,000 crore.
Brokers said selling pressure emerged on foreign funds selling after the rupee tumbled to new record lows despite Reserve Bank announcing measures to support the falling currency yesterday.
After the rupee plunged to all-time low of 55.04 against the American currency yesterday, RBI imposed restrictions of USD 100 million on "position limit" for forward contracts by banks. It also advised the banks dealing in foreign currency to bring down their trading limits by June-end.
The banking sector was hard hit with a loss of 1.51 percent to 10,678.79 as the segment major SBI, which had been on upsurge since announcement of strong earnings, fell by 3.43 percent to Rs 1,938.50. ICICI Bank fell by 1.23 per cent to Rs 800,85 and HDFC Bank by 1.69 perent to Rs 489.05.
On similar lines, the NSE Nifty lost 45.55 points, or 0.93 percent to settle at 4,860.50. The 50-share touched a high of 4,956.35.
Earlier in the day, Asian stocks ended strong on overnight rise on Wall Street and ahead of Wednesday's European Union summit where the leaders are expected to discuss the measures to promote growth and ways to keep Greece in the Eurozone.
Key benchmark indices in Singapore, Japan, China, Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong closed up between 0.62 percent and 1.64 percent.
European markets, which reversed some of their early gains, were quoting higher in their afternoon deals. Key indices from France, Germany and UK were up between 0.52-0.76 percent.
Out of the 30-share Sensex pack, 26 stocks finished with losses while four ended with gains.
Apart from Tata Power, Maruti Suzuki, Sterlite and SBI, other majors losers in the Sensex included Hindalco (2.99 pc), Sun Pharma (2.91 pc), L&T (2.17 pc), Gail India (1.98 pc), DLF (1.85 pc), HDFC Bank (1.69 pc) and NTPC (1.60 pc). Coal India, M&M, ICICI Bank, Jindal Steel and ITC lost up to 1.5 percent.
However, Tata Motors firmed up by 1.17 percent followed by TCS (1.17 pc) and BHEL (1.04 pc).
Among the sectoral indices, the BSE-Metal dropped by 1.83 percent followed by the Bankex (1.51 pc), BSE-Power (1.45 pc), BSE-Realty (1.23 pc), BSE-Capital Goods (1.21 pc) and BSE-PSU (1.01 pc). Only BSE-IT, TECk and Consumer Goods ended higherm, albeit marginally.
The overall market breadth turned negative as 1,565 stocks ended lower while 1,082 finished higher. The total turnover rose to Rs 1,854.65 crore from Rs 1,579.46 crore yesterday.
FIIs, sold shares worth Rs 79.59 crore yesterday as per provisional data from stock exchanges.
First Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2012, 13:48