The BSE benchmark Sensex today dropped by over 126 points on funds selling auto, banking and realty stocks amid rupee again breaching the 56-mark against the dollar and a weak trend in global markets.

The Sensex, which had gained 220 points in last two trading sessions, hit a day’s low of 16,295.31 but finally pared some losses to close at 16,312.15, down 126.43 points, or 0.77 per cent.

Tata Motors, which plunged 11.80 per cent, led the Sensex losers as the auto maker suffered heavy losses on reports that its Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) unit missed market estimates.

Out of the Sensex pack, 20 stocks including Bhel (3.05 pc), ICICI Bank (2.62 pc) and DLF (2.53 pc) ended with losses.

Brokers said the weak rupee, which breached the 56-mark again in early trades, made investors jittery and renewed fears of slowing economic growth.

The rupee hit an intra-day low of 56.21, just 16 paisa away from its record low of Rs 56.38 hit on May 24.

Dealers said market participants squaring off pending positions ahead of monthly settlement in the derivatives segment tomorrow also contributed to today’s fall.

A weak trend in Asian stocks and lower opening in Eurpe amid dampened hopes of a stimulus package in China and surging Spanish borrowing costs also sapped the domestic market mood to some extent. Across the market, nearly 1,660 stocks fell while 1,046 stocks rose.

The 50-share National Stock Exchange index Nifty closed 39.35 points down or 0.79 per cent to 4,950.75 led by stocks of auto, realty and banking sectors.

In the BSE, the BSE-Auto index suffered the most by losing 3.97 per cent, followed by BSE-Realty index (2.18 pc) and BSE-Bankex (1.77 pc). However, bucking the trend the BSE-IT and BSE-TECH sector rose on expectations of higher margins on account of weak rupee.

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