Sensex dips below 19k level

Mumbai: The Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex on Friday dipped below the crucial 19,000 level for the first time in two months in pre-close selling on Friday, mainly on concerns that RBI may hike key interest rates to tame inflation.

After a weak start, the Sensex tumbled 289.81 points to 18,893.01 at 1445 hrs, a level last seen on November 26, 2010.

Similarly, the broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty fell by 91.15 points to 5,660.75 level, with a notable fall in rate-sensitive realty, auto and banking stocks.

Inflation shot up to 8.43 per cent in December, from 7.48 per cent in the previous month, as prices of certain food and non-food items continued to show an upward trend.