The benchmark Sensex at the Bombay Stock Exchange fell by 176 points or 0.96% to close at 18,132.2 on Wednesday on selling pressure triggered by fears of at least a 25 basis point hike in the repo rate (at which commercial banks borrow from RBI) by the Reserve Bank in its policy review on Thursday.
The broader Nifty fell by 53 points to close at 5447.5.
Interest sensitive sectors — banking and real estate — led the fall from the front and the two sectoral indices at the BSE fell by 1.6% and 1.3%, respectively.
SBI and ICICI Bank fell by 2.3% and 2.1%, respectively, while Axis and Kotak Mahindra Bank fell by 2.7% and 2.3%, respectively. DLF emerged as the biggest loser among Sensex companies and the stock fell by 2.8% during the day.
“Another rate hike by the RBI looks imminent tomorrow as inflation increased more than estimated in May and March. The RBI may boost rates further to check inflation,” said Amar Ambani, head of research at India Infoline.