The Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex on Tuesday fell by 31 points in a volatile session as investors offloaded auto, banking and refinery stocks.

Rally in IT stocks, led by the Infosys, which reported a marginal rise in net profit for the fourth quarter, however, restricted the losses.

The Sensex slipped by 31.04 points to close at 17,821.96 points. The benchmark touched a low of 17,736.09 points.

The wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty fell by 16.75 points to 5,322.95 points.

Fears that rising commodity prices would push up inflation and force the Reserve Bank of India to hike key rates pulled down the stocks of banks and interest-related sectors.

A weakening trend in Asian region and lower opening in the European stock markets this afternoon also influenced trading sentiment to some extent, brokers said.

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