Sliding for the fifth day, the benchmark Sensex fell over 175 points to a nearly four-week low today on selling by overseas funds in blue-chips amid a plummeting rupee after recent US jobs data cemented fears that Fed would soon start tapering its economic stimulus.
Sensex, which had lost 573.21 points in the previous four sessions, fell further by 175.19 points, or 0.85 per cent, to 20,490.96 -- its lowest level since 20,415.51 on October 17.
In the 30-share index, 24 stocks declined led by laggards like Reliance Industries, Bajaj Auto, Bharti Airtel, BHEL, L&T, Hero MotoCorp, Hindalco, Jindal Steel, ONGC and SBI.
Markets also appeared to shrug off positive sentiments emanating from data that showed October export growth rose to a 2-year high of 13.5 per cent to USD 27.2 billion.
Traders said they are are keeping a watchful eye on September IIP and October retail inflation data scheduled for release tomorrow that would influence the RBI's policy moves.
Inflation data based on WPI will be declared on Friday.
The broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty lost 61.95 points, or 1.01 per cent, to end at 6,078.80 led by stocks of realty and capital goods. Also, SX40 index, the flagship index of MCX-SX, ended 93.4 points at 12,180.24.
Brokers said the market remained under pressure as rupee fell to two-month low of 63.44 against the dollar, spurring concerns that capital inflows will slow and deter the RBI from easing liquidity curbs further.
Better US jobs data have raised speculations that improving economic growth might give the Federal Reserve to trim its USD 85 billion a month stimulus, analysts said Global investors are now tracking 'taper talk' with Fed Bank of Minneapolis President Narayana Kocherlakota and
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta chief Dennis Lockhart speaking tomorrow, they added.
Sectorally, the BSE Realty index suffered the most by losing 2.81 per cent, followed by Capital Goods (down 2.43 per cent), PSU (1.78 per cent), Power (1.51 per cent), Banking (1.42 per cent) and Oil&Gas (1.42 per cent).