Mumbai: The BSE Sensex fell 271 points on Friday to close below the 18,000 mark. Investors sold stocks, including blue-chip Reliance Industries, over concerns that surging oil prices will stoke inflation and lead to even higher interest rates.

The Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark index Sensex, dipped 271.06 points to close at 17,878.81 after touching the day's low of 17,849.53.

The gauge had lost 208.82 points on  after the Reserve Bank increased key rates for the eighth time since last March, and revised upwards inflation forecast to 8 per cent for the fiscal ending this month, from earlier prediction of 7 per cent.
Similarly, the broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty lost 72.95 points, or 1.34 per cent to 5,373.70, after hitting a low of 5,366.40 points during the session.

Besides, a significant fall in the heaviest-weighed Reliance Industries (RIL) had a bearish impact on the sentiments, they added. It fell 3.71 per cent.

The BSE oil and gas sector index suffered the most by losing 2.67 per cent to 9,688.38, with RIL shares plummeting to Rs 993.15. ONGC lost 1.03 per cent to Rs 269.85.

Bharat Heavy Electricals, the biggest power-equipment maker, declined 2.01 per cent to Rs 1,925.65. The largest mortgage lender HDFC fell 2.57 per cent to Rs 620.95.

(Agencies)