The Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark index, Sensex, on Friday dropped over 156 points, with interest-sensitive stocks coming under selling pressure amid fears of rate hike by RBI following unabated rise in food prices.

Extending the losses for the fifth day in a row, the Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex closed 156.06 points lower at 19,135.96.

Marketmen said interest rate sensitive banking, realty stocks took a beating as investors feared imminent rate hike by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) after food inflation rose to 8.76 per cent for the week ended April 16.

The National Stock Exchange index Nifty, too, dropped by 35.95 points to close at 5,749.50.

Meanwhile, RBI Governor D. Subbarao today met Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in New Delhi ahead of the annual policy meeting next week and reviewed the country’s macro economic situation.

Brokers said the fall was somewhat cushioned by Reliance Industries which gained 0.83 per ent.

Hero Honda at 0.80 per cent and Maruti Suzuki at 1.27 per cent were other notable gainers.

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