Belying all expectations, a better-than-expected industrial growth for November and promising third quarter earnings by trend-setter Infosys failed to cheer the markets and the benchmark Sensex today closed down by over 100 points.

After opening higher, the 30-share Sensex fell by 104.20 points to 17,422.51 to settle the day. It dipped to day’s low 17,392.55 but managed to recover some of the losses.

Brokers said markets were weighed down by heavy selling in banking stocks after SBI Chairman O. P. Bhatt yesterday warned that banking system could come under strain due to rising bad loans. Interest rate sensitive realty stocks took a heavy beating. Besides, metals shares also came under intense pressure.

They said anticipation of immediate hike in interest rate also worried investors. Reatly stocks were particularly hit because credit flows could be squeezed to the sector in view of rising defaults in bank loans, they added.

The key index has lost lost nearly 175 points in last three trading sessions.

The National Stock Exchange index Nifty also dropped 39.00 points to 5,210.40, after moving between 5,300.50 and 5,200.95 points during the session.

Marketmen said a mixed Asian trend and lower opening in European stocks also partly influenced the sentiment.

The realty sector index suffered the most by losing 3.10 per cent to 4,048.47, followed by metal index at 2.30 per cent to 17,789.47.

The banking index fell 1.96 per cent to 9,967.18 after SBI, the biggest lender, slid Rs 64.30 to Rs 2,203.25, on reports the industrial production grew at the fastest pace in 25 months, giving policy makers room to start withdrawing last year’s record interest-rate cuts. ICICI Bank, a largest private bank fell by Rs 26.80 to Rs 842.20.

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