Sensex tumbles by 186 pts on inflation concerns

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Mumbai: The Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex Monday fell by over 186 points on heavy selling after a steep hike in fuel prices raised inflationary concerns amid weakening global trend.
    
The 30-share index closed lower by 186.25 points at 18,345.03 points as oil companies hiked petrol prices by Rs five per litre, the most since June 2008.
    
The broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty lost 45.75 points to close at 5,499 points as realty, banks, metal and auto stocks suffered major losses.
    
A weakening trend in the Asian region and lower opening in Europe further fuelled the down-trend.
    
Brokers said already under pressure markets received another blow following a petrol price hike and fears of hike in diesel and cooking gas prices in ministerial meeting next week.
     
Also, a less-than-expected fall in inflation for the month of April fanned concern of more rise in interest rates, they said. Inflation was at 8.66 percent in April against 9.04 percent in March, official data released today said.
    
Mahindra and Mahindra fell by 2.71 percent to Rs 673. 15, Bajaj Auto by 2.72 percent to Rs 1,300.85 and Tata Motors by 0.23 percent to Rs 1,208.15 as Indian Oil Corp raised the price of gasoline by 8.5 percent.
    
The banking sector index fell by 1.18 percent to 12,441. 84 as State Bank of India dropped by 1.20 percent to Rs 2,617.30 and ICICI Bank by 1.70 percent to Rs 1,057.45.
    
The realty sector index suffered the most by losing 1.47 percent to 2,145.61 as DLF Ltd plunged 2.58 percent to Rs 226.20, Jaiprakash Associates by 3.20 percent to Rs 84.75 and Reliance Infrastructure by 2.10 percent to Rs 598.10.
    
The two most-heaviest on the Sensex with their 23 percent weightage, Reliance Industries and Infosys declined. RIL fell by 0.46 percent to Rs 944.30 and Infosys by 1.05 percent to Rs 2,849.75.
     
As the selling pressure spread over a broader front, midcap sector index lost 0.77 percent to 6,849.59 and smallcap index by 0.74 percent to 8,306.55.

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