The Bombay Sock Exchange sensitive index, Sensex, fell sharply on Thursday on below-expectation of quarterly results posted by software major Infosys and heavy selling in banking scrips on fears of interest rate hike.

Erasing Wednesday's gain of 338 points, the benchmark index ended lower by 351.28 points to 19182.82, its lowest close since November 26, 2010. The index dropped 400 points intra-day and could not recover much.

The National Stock Exchange's wide-based Nifty nosedived by 111.35 points to 5751.90 from 5863.25. Market observers attributed the fall in the broader market to the not-so-good Infosys numbers and massive sell-off in the banking space as edgy investors feared another rate hike in a bid to tame rising inflation. Among sectoral indices, banking index was the biggest laggard, shedding 445.91 points or 3.53 per cent to end at 12170.03.

Rupee drops 11 paise

The rupee on Thursday lost 11 paise to close at 45.24/25 against the dollar due to a sharp fall in stock markets amid a fresh dollar demand from importers and banks.

At the interbank foreign exchange market, the rupee in early trading was up 13 paise at 45 from its last closing. A fall in equities, however, weighed on the rupee and it dipped to the day's low of 45.27 before concluding at 45.24/25. — PTI

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