The benchmark Sensex slid 180 points on Tuesday as crude oil prices recovered and investors booked profits in banking, PSU and oil & gas sector stocks.

The absence of fresh triggers and cautious sentiment before the expiry of monthly derivative contracts on Thursday and the release of GDP data on Friday also weighed on sentiment, traders said. ICICI Bank, ITC, HDFC and Reliance Industries dragged the Sensex lower. Bharti Airtel and Coal India were among the biggest losers on the index.

The 30-share S&P BSE Sensex resumed steady at 20604.27 and then declined to 20390.62. It ended at 20425.02, down 180.06 points. The CNX Nifty on the National Stock Exchange fell 56.25 points to end at 6059.10.

“Profit booking at higher levels and rollover of positions ahead of F&O expiry this week are likely reasons for sell-off,” said Nidhi Saraswat, Senior Research Analyst at Bonanza Portfolio Ltd.

Asian stocks ended mostly lower on profit taking after recent gains. Key indices in China, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore fell while indices in South Korea and Taiwan were up.

Rupee steady

The rupee wiped out initial gains and closed unchanged at 62.50 against the dollar on Tuesday amid alternate bouts of demand and supply and falling local shares. At the interbank foreign exchange market, the rupee opened higher at 62.45 a dollar from the overnight close of 62.50 and improved to 62.28 on sustained dollar sales by exporters. However, it fell to a low of 62.5350 before settling stable at 62.50. — PTI