Mumbai, Aug 24: The benchmark BSE Sensex today tumbled by over 213 points due to across-the-board selling, mainly in interest rate sensitive stocks, following weak Asian markets which fell after Moody's downgraded Japan's sovereign debt rating.
The 30-share index initially touched a high of 16,533.22 but reacted downwards on sluggish Asian trends and remained in the negative rest of the day to settle at 16,284.98 points, showing a fall of 213.49 points, or 1.29 per cent.
In last two straight sessions, it had gained 356.80 points, or 2.21 per cent.
Besides interest-rate related shares, metal and capital goods, IT counters suffered a heavy setback on selling ahead of the expiry of August contract tomorrow.
Moody's Investors Service's downgraded Japan's sovereign debt rating by one notch to AA3 from AA2 with a stable outlook, which provoked investors to book profits.
The 50-issue Nifty of the National Stock Exchange also dipped by 60 points or 1.21 per cent to 4,888.90 points.
Profit-booking in the current uncertain scenario and ahead of the expiry of the derivatives contract tomorrow also weighed on the market sentiment, brokers said.
Selling in heavyweights like SBI, L&T, Tata Steel, ICICI Bank, Tata Motors, Infosys Tech, Coal India, TCS and RIL mainly contributed to the Sensex fall, they said.
Interest rates related auto, banking and realty stocks bore the brunt of selling on concerns over the higher interest rates, they added. PTI