Mumbai: The BSE benchmark Sensex on Friday dipped 244 points as funds sold on weak global trend and renewed concerns that high inflation might lead to further hike in interest rates.

The Sensex, which had gained 252 points on Thursday, rolled back by 244.31 points to 16,453.76. With this fall, the benchmark has logged a decline of 9.6 percent in the July-September quarter, biggest dip in three years.

Brokers said interest rate concerns gathered momentum as food inflation rose to 9.13 percent for week ended September 17, from 8.84 percent in previous week - a development which Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had termed as "grave".

Trading sentiment also dampened on a weakening trend in the Asian region and lower openings in Europe over euro zone debt crisis and slowing US growth.

The broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty lost 72.20 points to 4,943.25 as stocks of metal, realty and banking sector suffered heavy losses.

The second heaviest on the Sensex, Infosys, fell 0.64 percent ahead of quarterly earnings announcement amid turmoil in global financial markets. Tata Consultancy lost 2.15 percent and Wipro by 2.30 percent. Software services exporters get more than 80 percent revenue from the US and European markets.

Coal India slumped 5.15 percent to Rs 332.75 after the cabinet approved a bill makes companies mining coal and other minerals pay for development of areas where they operate.

Shares of Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group companies fell even as the group asserted that it was not a beneficiary of any telecom licence issued in January, 2008. The metal sector index suffered the most - down 2.68 percent to 10,995.57, followed by realty - 2.08 percent to 1,762.96. Banking index lost 1.84 percent at 10,850.73 and auto index, 1.76 percent to 8,498.42.

(Agencies)