The Bombay Stock Exchange sensitive index, Sensex crashed by 240 points and closed at 17534.09 on Tuesday as investors preferred to book profits amid weak global cues and fears of a hike in lending rates. It closed at 17774.26 on Monday.

In tandem with Asian peers, the 30-share index opened weak and selling pressure in banking and metal stocks dragged the gauge to touch a low of 17,465 in the final hour of trade.

The Sensex ended at 17534.09, lower by 240.17 points, or 1.35 per cent, the lowest level since June 16. The wide-based 50-share Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange also lost 1.45 per cent and closed at 5256.15 against 5333.50. Marketmen attributed the correction in local markets, as a fallout of sharp fall in Asian stocks on worries of slowdown in the Chinese economy. Metal stocks took a hit as traders feared a dip in the intake of China, the biggest consumer.

Hindalco declined by 4.35 per cent to Rs. 144.15, the biggest loser in the Sensex, Tata Steel by 3.7 per cent to Rs. 481.50, Sterlite Industries by 1.44 per cent to Rs. 167.50 and Jindal Steel by 2.61 per cent to Rs. 621.10. “Weak global cues cast a shadow on the sentiment,” SMC Global Vice President Rajesh Jain said.

Reliance Industries, which carries the maximum weightage in the Sensex, also ended nearly two per cent lower, dragging it down.

Asian markets ended in deep red, led by China's Shanghai index that tanked 4.27 per cent. Japan's Nikkei index dropped 1.27 per cent and Hong Kong's Hang Sang lost 2.3 per cent. The European markets were also trading lower in mid—session.

Rupee falls 28 paise

The Indian rupee fell by 28 paise to 46.48/49 against the U.S. dollar on Tuesday on month-end demand for the American currency from importers. The rupee ended at 46.20/21 on Monday.

A firm dollar overseas also weighed on the rupee. The dollar was up against all its major rivals.

In fairly active trade at the interbank foreign exchange market, the rupee opened lower at 46.35/36 a dollar and traded in a range of 46.32 and 46.60. The rupee ended the day at 46.48/49, a fall of 0.61 per cent from its last close of 46.20/21. Meanwhile, global crude oil prices were trading below $ 77 a barrel in London on Tuesday.


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