Mumbai/New Delhi, Jun 26: Stock markets on Wednesday mirrored the slide in rupee with Sensex surrendering gains in last hour of trade to end 77 points down at 18,552.12 as the currency breaching the 60-mark against dollar renewed concerns over FII outflows.
With rupee hitting lifetime low of 60.62 in late afternoon deals, domestic stocks led by auto, metal, consumer durables and banks were rattled, despite firm European cues.
The Bombay Stock Exchange 30-share barometer resumed higher and moved in a narrow range till late afternoon before succumbing to sell-off at the fag-end to settle at 18,552.12, a fall of 77.03 points or 0.41 per cent.
Out of the 30-scrip Sensex, 18 ended lower led by Bharti Airtel falling 5.74 per cent on Rs 650-crore fine for allegedly violating roaming norms. Mahindra and Mahindra closed down by 4.63 per cent.
Bucking the general weak tend, stocks of software exporters ended with gains on hopes of better earnings on account of a strong dollar. TCS rose 2.84 per cent, Wipro gained nearly 1 per cent and Infosys rose 0.8 per cent.
The broader 50-issue CNX Nifty of the NSE also dropped by 20.40 points, or 0.36 per cent, to end below the key 5600-mark at 5,588.70. Similarly, SX40 index, the flagship index of MCX-SX, closed 49.23 points, or 0.44 percent down at 11048.71.
Traders were also cautious ahead of expiry of derivatives contract tomorrow. Heavy continued capital outflows in last few days has kept markets under pressure with FIIs pulling out over $6 billion from stocks and debt in June so far.
"The strong rise in USD/INR rates caused trouble for equity markets. Concerns over FII outflows have increased," said Nagji K Rita, CMD, Inventure Growth & Securities.
Rupee, which was trading in 59.8 levels till 1400 hours, was hit hard by dollar demand and slumped to record low.
The market was under pressure since June 20 when the US Federal Reserve said it may taper of QE3, believing that the economy is on a sound growth footing.
Globally, Asian stocks closed mixed while European indices were last trading with gains.
Meanwhile, gold prices today plunged to one- month low by losing Rs 620 to Rs 26,680 per 10 grams on hectic selling by stockists, triggered by a steep fall in the precious metal's prices overseas.
The current fall in the yellow metal prices placed it to a level last seen on May 28.
Silver followed suit and plunged by Rs 1,000 to Rs 40,500 per kg on poor offtake by industrial units and coin makers.
Traders said selling pressure gathered momentum after gold plunged to a 33-month low in overseas markets as weak US economic data strengthening the case for reduced stimulus from the Federal Reserve as the dollar climbed. Silver sank to its lowest level since August, 2010.
Gold in Singapore, which normally sets the price trend on the domestic front, dropped by 2.6 per cent to $1,244 an ounce, the lowest level since September 13, 2010 and silver retreated 4.5 per cent to $18.76 an ounce.
On the domestic front, gold of 99.9 and 99.5 per cent purity suffered a setback of Rs 620 each to Rs 26,680 and Rs 26,480 per 10 grams, respectively, a level last seen on May
Sovereigns followed suit and lost Rs 200 to Rs 24,000 per piece of eight grams.
In a similar fashion, silver ready nosedived by Rs 1,000 to Rs 40,500 per kg and weekly-based delivery by Rs 1,025 to Rs 39,590 per kg. Silver coins plunged by Rs 2000 to Rs 76,000 for buying and Rs 77,000 for selling of 100 pieces.