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Sensex ends below 18K, falls 155 points

The Sensex, which had lost 350 points in the last two trading sessions, fell further by 154.93 points, or 0.86 per cent to 17,923.57.

twitter-logo PTI   New Delhi     Last Updated: February 24, 2012  | 17:04 IST

The Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex on Friday fell for the third day in a row to below the 18K mark, down 155 points on profit booking amid weak global trend and concerns over steep hike in crude oil prices.

The Sensex, which had lost 350 points in the last two trading sessions, fell further by 154.93 points, or 0.86 per cent to 17,923.57.

Brokers said selling pressure gathered momentum as crude oil prices climbed above $124 dollar, as worries mounted over Iranian supplies.

They said banking stocks declined as market expectations for a rate cut in the RBI policy meeting next month faded on widening trade deficit and reports of Citigroup selling its entire stake in HDFC.

Weak Asian markets also dampened market sentiment.

The broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty lost 54 points, or 0.98 per cent to 5,429.30 with stocks of capital goods, realty and banking sectors suffered the most.

The capital sector index was major loser by falling 2.96 per cent to 10,560.97 followed by realty sector index by 2.28 per cent to 1,928.46. Banking index fell by .95 per cent to 12,068.47 and oil and gas index by 1.71 per cent to 8,652.69.

Major Sensex losers were SBI, HDFC Ltd, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Reliance Industries, BHEL, Larsen and Toubro, DLF Ltd., Tata Motors and Bajaj Auto.

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