The S&P BSE Sensex fell by 175 points to the lowest level in almost four weeks on Monday amid increasing fears the U.S. Federal Reserve would start tapering its stimulus programme after better-than-expected jobs data.
The index declined for the fifth straight day even as data showing exports in October rose at the fastest pace in two years. Sentiment was also dented as the rupee fell below the 63-level against the dollar. At the inter-bank foreign exchange market, the rupee opened lower at 63 a dollar from the previous close of 62.47, and recovered to a high of 62.93. However, it dropped to a low of 63.44 amid heavy dollar demand from importers, mainly oil refiners, and weak equities. The rupee closed at 63.24, a fall of 77 paise or 1.23 per cent. In four sessions, it has slumped 162 paise.
On the BSE, Hindalco and ONGC were the major losers as 24 of the 30 Sensex shares declined. Reliance Industries and Tata Motors were the biggest drag on the index. The Sensex opened lower, and hovered in a range of 20453.15-20672.53 before ending at 20490.96, a fall of 175.19 points. The 50-share CNX Nifty dropped by 61.95 points to 6078.80.