Mumbai, March 15 (IANS) A benchmark index for Indian equities markets fell 132 points Friday, due to heavy selling pressure in interest rate-sensitive banking, auto and realty stocks ahead of the RBI monetary policy review.
The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 19,570.01 points, was trading at 19,438.10 points in the afternoon session, down 0.68 percent or 132.34 points from its previous day close at 19,570.44 points.
The Sensex slumped to a low of 19,426.55 points in the intra-day and touched a high of 19,673.16 points.
The wider 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange was trading 0.69 percent or 40.85 points down at 5,868.10 points.
There was heavy selling pressure in the Interest rate sensitive realty, banking and auto stocks ahead of the monetary policy review.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is scheduled to announce mid-quarter review of the monetary policy for 2012-13 March 19. Continuing inflationary pressure has dampened the hope for rate cuts by the central bank.
According to official figures released this week, retail price-based inflation surged to 10.91 percent and wholesale price-based inflation accelerated to 6.84 percent in February.
In a bid to contain inflationary pressure, the central bank has been maintaining a tight monetary policy, which has hurt growth and company's profitability.
The BSE realty index was down 2.30 percent. Banking index fell 1.90 percent, oil and gas index was down 1.15 percent and auto index was trading 0.73 percent lower in the afternoon session.