The BSE benchmark Sensex slid by another 29 points today as investors reacted negatively to US jobless data showing that more Americans are likely to claim unemployment benefits, spelling bad news for the global economic outlook.
The Sensex, which had lost 45 points in the previous session, lost another 28.84 points to 18,143.99, after touching an intra-day high of 18,244.56.
The broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty also fell by 7.85 points to 5,439.25. It had surged to 5,471.90 in early trade.
Early gains on the Sensex were erased as investors reduced their positions in banking and information technology sectors after US jobless data showed that more American will claim unemployment benefits, which could hamper the global economic recovery.
Analysts said the selling pressure was confined to stocks which had registered substantial gains during the three-day bull run at the beginning of the week which drove the 30-share index to a 30-month high.
However, bucking the general weak trend, consumer durable, fast moving consumer goods and auto sector stocks gained on expectations that a better monsoon would generate buying power in rural areas.
The most valuable entity, Reliance Industries, fell by Rs 6.65 to Rs 1,000.30, while IT major Infosys Technologies lost Rs 9.35 to Rs 2,864.05. State-run State Bank of India lost Rs 26.35 to Rs 2,620. The three companies carry nearly 29 per cent weightage on the Sensex.
In the 30-BSE index components, 22 stocks declined and eight ended with gains. Banking, IT and refinery stocks were the major losers.
With the shifting of funds to safer stocks, the small cap index gained 0.24 per cent to 9,584.21 and the mid cap sector index rose by 0.16 per cent to 7,534.45.