Extending its freefall to the sixth session in a row, the benchmark Sensex today slipped by 209 points to over one-month low as rupee approached the 64-mark against dollar, ahead of IIP and retail inflation data.
The Sensex dropped by 209.05 points, or 1.02 %, to 20,281.91, a level last seen on October 10. The bluechip index has now lost close to 1,000 points in six trading days after its record closing high of 21,239.36 on Diwali.
26 of the 30 Sensex stocks declined led by Tata Motors, ICICI Bank, RIL, HDFC Bank, HDFC, L&T, Infosys, SBI, Sesa Sterlite, ONGC, TCS, Bajaj Auto and Hero MotoCorp.
"Investors opted to book profits ahead of IIP and inflation data. Rupee too showed weakness against dollar. European markets opened lower and further dampened sentiment," said Rakesh Goyal, Senior Vice President, Bonanza Portfolio.
On similar lines, the broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty fell by 60.75 points, or one per cent, to 6,018.05 dragged by stocks of metal, power and banking sectors.
Also, SX40 index, the flagship index of MCX-SX, closed 93.76 points down at 12,086.48.
Brokers said the selling pressure gathered momentum as rupee continued to slide and hit an intra-day low of 63.83, fanning fears of rise in inflation which may compel the RBI to hike interest rates further.
The rupee, which till yesterday had fallen for five days, is trading at levels seen two months ago and devalues foreign investments in stocks and bonds, said analysts.
Car sales, often considered by investors as a signal of consumer sentiment, also gave little cheer with domestic sales declining by 3.88 % in October.
Sectorally, the metal sector index suffered the most by losing 1.80%, followed by power index (1.75 %), Banking index (1.62 %) and auto index (1.62 %).