The BSE benchmark Sensex closed almost flat on Monday, losing over three points at 18,266.03, as heavy-weights like Reliance Industries (RIL) and country's largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) came under selling pressure amid high inflation and weak global cues.
Carrying forward its losses into the fourth day, the Bombay Stock Exchange's Sensex eased by 2.51 points as RIL, the topper among the 30-scrip index, tumbled 1.84 % on reports of oil sector regulator rejecting three new gas finds by the Mukesh Ambani-led company in KDG-6 fields.
Broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty also eased by three points to 5,482.80 on inflationary concerns as rising commodity prices indicated a possibility of another hike in interest rate.
Food inflation in May-end, which shot up to a two-month high, has increased pressure on the RBI to raise interest rates in its policy meeting on June 16. If the central bank were to rise rates, it will be for the 10th time in last 15 months.
RIL, largest lender SBI, country's biggest software exporter TCS, Tata Steel, Hindalco, Tata Motors and Maruti Suzuki were among the major losers on Sensex. However, gains by Infosys Technologies cushioned the market from any major fall.
Infosys, the Sensex most valuable stock after RIL, rose by 0.56 % to Rs 2,877.55 while infrastructure major Larsen and Toubro gained 0.84 % to Rs 1,707.90 a piece.