A benchmark index of Indian equities markets closed 137 points lower Monday, a day ahead of the release of the annual monetary policy by the Reserve Bank of India.
The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 19,224.05 points, closed at 18,998.02 points, down 137.94 points or 0.72 % from its previous close at 19,135.96 points.
The 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange shut shop at 5,701.3 points, down 0.84 %.
The view largely among analysts is that the Reserve Bank of India will go in for another round of tightening given the high inflation. It has already hiked key interest rates eight times in a little over a year.
Broader markets ended in the red as well with the BSE midcap index closing 0.94 % lower and the BSE small cap index 1.15 % down.
Banking, consumer durables and energy stocks ended in the red, while realty stocks were among top gainers.
Among major gainers on the Sensex were Tata Power, up 2.43 % at Rs.1,334.75; Cipla, up 1.96 % at Rs.314.90; DLF, up 1.66 % at Rs.226.60 and Bharti Airtel, up 1.36 % at Rs.383.95.
The losers included: SBI, down 4.06 % at Rs.2,691.65; Sterlite Industries, down 2.26 % at Rs.177; Maruti Suzuki, down 2.16 % at Rs.1,291.20 and Bajaj Auto, down 2.09 % at Rs.1,432.20.
According to data available with market regulator SEBI, foreign institutional investors were net sellers, off-loading stocks worth $43.9 million.
The market breadth was negative with 1,032 stocks advancing, 1,810 on the decline and 106 remaining unchanged.
Bolstered by news of the killing of Osama bin Laden by American special forces, some bourses in Asia rose.
The Japanese Nikkei closed 1.57 % up at 10,004.2 points.
Chinese and Hong Kong stock exchanges were closed on account of a holiday.
Marked by holiday in key markets, the European stock exchanges were ruling in the green, after an initial rise following news of death of bin Laden.
Around midday, the French CAC 40 was trading 0.29 % higher at 4,118.86 points, while the German DAX was ruling 0.83 % up at 7,576.97 points.
Markets in the UK were closed.