The BSE benchmark Sensex opened 221 points down on Monday, as funds and retail investors continued selling on fears of another hike in key interest rates by the RBI to reign in inflation.

The 30-share index of the Bombay Stock Exchange that tumbled 868 points in the previous four sessions, slid by another 221.58 points today to 19,470.23 level at the opening trade, with all the sectoral indices trading in red.

In a similar fashion, the broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty fell by 71.70 points to 5,832.90 points.

Brokers said trading sentiment turned weak on fears that the Reserve Bank of India may raise interest rates in its efforts to curb a surging food inflation, which at 18.44 per cent for the week ended December 25, 2010 was the year’s highest so far.

Meanwhile, the Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was down by 0.14 per cent in the morning trade today.

More In: Markets | Business