The BSE Sensex today sunk below the 18K-mark for the first time in 2-months to 17,993, down 333 points, as funds sold heavyweights on persistent concerns about inflation and high interest rates amid weak global cues on deepening euro-zone debt crisis.
The 30-share Bombay Stock Exchange index, Sensex, which remained under pressure last week, fell by 332.76 points, or 1.82 % to 17,993.33, a level last seen on March 22.
Brokers said investors sold across-the-board. The broad-based National Stock Exchange index, Nifty, also fell below 5,400 mark, losing 99.80 points to 5,386.55. It touched the day's low of 5,373.
Sensex had lost 1.1 % last week after the steepest rise in petrol prices since 2008 fanned concerns about inflation and fears that the Reserve Bank may hike interest rates further. The gauge has lost 12 % this year as already high borrowing costs have hurt corporate earnings.
Trading sentiment further dampened as Asia stocks recorded biggest falls in two months, after Fitch lowered Greece’s credit ratings and Standard and Poor’s said Italy’s rating was at risk, deepening concerns over sovereign debt crisis in Europe. The capital goods index suffered the most - down 2.95 % to 12,806.09 as heavy machinery stocks led by BHEL recorded steep fall on fears the any slow-down in economic growth would hurt their business.