Sensex falls for 5th day; dips below 18,500

Sensex falls for 5th day; dips below 18,500 Mumbai: The BSE benchmark Sensex extended losses for the fifth trading day in a row losing nearly 168 points in mid-session trade Thursday as stocks of IT, FMCG and healthcare sectors fell on sustained selling by funds and retail investors amid a weak trend overseas.

The 30-share Sensex, which lost almost 284 points in the previous four sessions, fell further by 167.54 points, or 0.90 percent, to 18,451.33.

Similarly, the wide-based National Stock Exchange Nifty declined by 48.50 points, or 0.86 percent, to 5,618.45.

Brokers said sustained selling by funds amid a weak trend at Asian bourses following overnight losses at the US market as investors worry about the fiscal cliff, mainly dampened the trading sentiment here.

However, marginal decline in inflation numbers to 7.45 percent in October capped the losses, they added.

Meanwhile, Asian stocks edged lower amid concern the US budget standoff will curb economic growth.

Key benchmark indices in China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan shed between 0.25 percent to 1.47 percent, while Japan's Nikkei Average rose 1.12 percent on speculation a possible change of government in Japan.

The US Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 1.45 percent to its lowest close since June 26 lower in yesterday's trade.

PTI