Mumbai: Amidst growing food inflation concerns, the BSE benchmark Sensex on Friday fell
for the third straight session, losing over 116 points to 18,268.54, as poor industrial data for April sparked selling in heavyweights such as RIL and SBI.

The 30-share index, which has lost over 110 points in last two sessions, shed another 116 points.

Broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty dipped 35.25 points to below the crucial 5,500 mark at 5,485.80.

The sentiment turned bearish after reports of a slowdown in factory output. Marketmen said index of industrial production halving to 6.3 per cent in April came as a double blow as food inflation too had risen to two-month high on Thursday.

Maket leader RIL, which carries the maximum weight in the Sensex, came under selling pressure and dropped by 1.06 per cent to Rs 944 a share.

Heavy machinery stocks were battered and sectoral index declined by 1.08 per cent to 13,262.50. BHEL fell by Rs 8.10 to Rs 1,925.10, Larsen and Toubro by Rs 28.30 to Rs 1,693.70 and ABB Ltd by Rs 5.05 to Rs 839.20.

Banking stocks were another casualty, with SBI dropping by Rs 20.20 to Rs 2,242.95, ICICI Bank Rs 11.05 to Rs 1,034.95 and HDFC Bank by Rs 1.70 to Rs 2,359.10.

Agencies