The BSE benchmark Sensex today fell by 81.29 points to end at 19,564.92 on selling in consumer durables, realty and banking shares as higher-than-expected IIP data combined with rising retail inflation tempered hopes of an interest rate cut by RBI next week.
After a firm start at 19,697.84, the S&P BSE 30-share Sensex tumbled by 81.29 points, or 0.41% to 19,564.92. During trading, it had touched the day's low of 19,505.75 on heavy selling in interest-sensitive stocks. Yesterday, the index had fallen by 37 points, snapping a four-day upmove.
In Sensex, 21 stocks fell led by HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, HDFC, Bajaj Auto, L&T and Bhel. Infosys, Bharti Airtel and Tata Power also reported losses.
On gainers side, ITC, RIL and Tata Motors ended higher.
Similarly, the National Stock Exchange index Nifty today dropped by 28.25 points, or 0.48% to end at 5,914.10. It shuttled between 5,952 and 5,893.65 range intra-day.
Sectorally, the consumer durable sector suffered the most by losing 1.99% to 7,020.82, followed by power index by 1.36% to 1,775.84. Realty index lost 1.24% to 2,075.76 and banking index 0.92% to 13,816.85.
"Higher than expected IIP along with firm CPI number for February may temper the rate cut expectations, nonetheless, we remain optimistic about the 0.25% cut in policy rates in the next RBI review," said Dipen Shah, Head- Private Client Group Research, Kotak Securities.
The RBI mid-quarter policy meeting is scheduled to take place on March 19. Besides local factors, markets were influenced by weak trend in Asian region and lower opening in Europe, brokers said.
Earlier in the day, showing green shoots of recovery, industrial production inched up 2.4% in January mainly on account of good show by manufacturing and power sectors.
However, retail inflation moved up for the fifth consecutive month to 10.91% in February -- remaining in the double-digit terrain for third month in a row -- on account of higher prices of vegetables, edible oil, cereals and protein-based items.