Mumbai, May 22 (IANS) A benchmark index for Indian equities markets fell over 156 points as the rupee tested a new low Tuesday and metal, banking and power stocks came under intense selling pressure.
Amid volatile trade, the 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 16,344.34 points, closed at 16,026.41 points — down 0.97 percent or 156.85 points from its previous close of 16,183.26 points.
The Sensex touched a high of 16,366.72 points and a low of 16,000.84 intra-day. The midcap index of the BSE fell 34.45 points, while smallcap index closed 42.72 points down.
The wider 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange closed 0.93 percent lower at 4,860. 50 points.
The rupee touched a fresh record low of 55.38 to the dollar, down 35 paise from previous close of 55.03 a dollar. The Indian currency has fallen over 6 percent in one month and 24 percent since April 4, 2011 (when it touched 44.50 a dollar).
The metal index was down 1.83 percent followed by banking index – down 1.51 percent, and power index – down 1.45 percent. The realty index was down 1.23 percent.
Major Sensex losers included Tata Power, down 5.29 percent at Rs.90.45; Maruti Suzuki, down 4.50 percent at Rs.1153.20; Sterlite Inds, down 3.96 percent at Rs.95.80; State Bank of India, down 3.43 percent at Rs.1938.50; and Hindalco Inds, down 2.99 percent at Rs.107.
The only four Sensex gainers were Tata Motors, up 1.17 percent at Rs.264.80; TCS, up 1.17 percent at Rs.1223; BHEl, up 1.04 percent at Rs.208.60; and HDFC, up 0.24 percent at Rs.642.60.