Sensex tumbles below 16k mark, down 406 pts

Mumbai: The BSE benchmark Sensex dipped below the 16,000 level, down 406 points at mid-session today, on brisk selling by foreign funds triggered by weak global trend amid fears of worsening euro-zone debt crisis.

The Sensex, which remained bearish in last two trading sessions, plunged further by 406.02 points, or 2.51 per cent, to 15,745.43 at 1330 hrs with most of the banking and other interest-linked stocks falling sharply.

Brokers said banking stocks suffered the most as State Bank of India plunged after reports that Moody?s Investors Service has lowered the financial strength rating of the country`s largest lender.

The gauge had dipped below the 16,000 mark on August 26.

The broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty dropped 121.20 points, or 2.50 per cent to 4,728.30 on all-round selling.

Trading sentiment dampened on weak trend in the Asian region and a lower openings in Europe. World stocks hit fresh 15-month lows on growing doubts over Greece`s ability to avert a default, which may spark a major banking crisis in Europe and accelerate the global economic slowdown.