Sensex tumbles over 457 pts in pre-close trade

Mumbai: The BSE benchmark tumbled over 457 points in pre-close trade on Monday on heavy selling by funds fearing a hike in key interest rates by the Central Bank to curb the rapid escalation in prices.

The Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex, which lost 868 points in the last four trading sessions, fell further by 457.03 points to 19,234.78 at 1515 hours on Monday.

At the same time, the broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty dropped by 139.20 points to 5,765.40 points, with stocks in capital goods, realty, consumer durable and banking sector recording heavy losses.

Market analysts said the panic-stricken investors are reducing their positions on fears the Reserve Bank of India might raise interest rate in its third quarter monetary policy review on January 25, to stem the surge in inflation.

Besides, a weakening global trend further fuelled the down-trend, they said.