Mumbai: Falling for the fifth straight session, the BSE benchmark Sensex on Monday closed 113 points down at a nearly two-week low as investors remained cautious ahead of the RBI second quarter monetary policy review.
FMCG, metal, realty and banking shares witnessed heavy selling amid expectations of at least 0.25 percent repo rate hike by RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan tomorrow.
The 30-share index, which had lost 210.37 points in previous four trading sessions, opened firm and hit the day's high of 20,771.36. However, bouts of profit-selling pulled the Sensex down to 20,570.28 -- registering a loss of 113.24 points, or 0.55 percent over Friday's close. This is the lowest closing value since 20,415.51 (October 17).
The gauge's five day downtrend, its longest losing string in three months. Volatility was also high as market participants seemed direction-less on whether to roll over their positions in the equity futures & options (F&O) segment as contracts expire on Thursday, traders said.
On similar lines, the broad-based National Stock Exchange index lost 43.80 points, or 0.71 percent to end at 6,101.10, after touching a low of 6,094.10. Also, SX40 index, the flagship index of MCX-SX, closed nearly 60 points down at 12,249.69.
Prominent Sensex losers were ITC, SBI, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Hindalco, Hindusan Unilever, Infosys, NTPC, Sun Pharma, Tata Steel and Tata Consultancy Services.
Sectorally, the BSE FMCG sector index suffered the most by losing 2.56 percent, followed by Realty (2.10 percent), Metal (1.63 percent) and Banking (1.20 percent).