The Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex lost another significant 340 points on Monday, on relentless selling pressure amid widespread anticipations that the bellwether index may stoop to 12,000 levels in the next few months in the wake of inflation and higher interest rates.
The 30-share Sensex on the Bombay Stock Exchange settled the day at 13,405.54, a loss of 340.62 points, or 2.47 per cent.
With Monday's fall the BSE barometer has lost close to 1,000 points in the last two days on sustained hammering by investors. On Friday, it had dropped 620 points on across- the-board selling after inflation rose 11.42 per cent and many banks announced a hike in interest rates.
Marketmen said while higher interest rates is likely to lead to a slowdown in economy and bottom lines of corporates may a take a hit.
They further added that already dampened investor sentiment was further hit today by a fresh surge in crude prices which rose to above USD 142 per barrel in Asian trade.
Sensex stock Reliance Infrastructure took a battering and closed lower by 11.47 per cent, the biggest loss among the elite scrips.
Key cement counters were the other big losers. While ACC was down 9.80 per cent, Ambuja Cement was down6.83 per cent and Grasim 5.05 per cent.
Realty stocks too faced investors' wrath. DLF tumbled by 6.60 per cent, while HDIL lost 10.27 per cent, India Bulls Real Estate 8.56 per cent and Unitech 6.65 per cent.
Analysts said political uncertainty too had a sentimental impact on markets. The Left supporters of UPA government had threatened to withdraw support if Prime Minister Manmohan Singh pushed ahead with the Indo-US nuclear deal.