Falling for the fifth straight day, the BSE benchmark Sensex on Thursday closed 147.50 points lower at over two-week low of 18,471.37 weighed down by losses in metal and IT stocks amid weak global cues on persistent worries about US fiscal problem.
The Sensex, which had lost 284 points in the last four trading sessions, opened weak and continued to slide lower in line with Asian markets that mirrored a fall in US stocks yesterday on rising concern about the budget debate in the US.
After touching the day's low of 18,408.69, stock markets closed slightly better at 18,471.37 -- still down 147.50 points, or 0.79 per cent, over Tuesday's closing value. This was the lowest closing for Sensex since 18430.85 on October30.
On similar lines, the National Stock Exchange Nifty lost 35.95 points, or 0.63 per cent to close at 5,631.
Brokers said trading sentiment dampened on weak trend in Asia and lower opening in European markets later. The IT sector, which gets a substantial share of revenue comes from the US, suffered heavy losses. Infosys, Wipro and TCS fell in 1.9-2.2 per cent range.
Metals stocks, which track Asian markets especially China,
also lost sheen. Tata Steel, which dropped 2.66 per cent, was the biggest loser in 30-share Sensex. Hindalco and Jindal Steel lost 1.8-2.3 per cent.
Of the 13 BSE sectoral indices, only realty, consumer durables and power logged gains.
Traders said investor confidence was also hit after the luke response to the 2G telecom spectrum auction raised concerns over fiscal deficit.
However, telecom stocks including Bharti Airtel, rose. Airtel closed with nearly 3 per cent gain after the lower market-discovered prices in the auction cheered investors, said analysts.