Mumbai, (Agencies): As investors continued to dump stocks on concerns that rising input costs, high interest rates and crisis in Egypt hit corporate profits, the BSE benchmark Sensex tanked for the fifth day on Tuesday, losing over 305 points to close at 18,022.22.

Although it opened in the positive territory, Sensex dipped below the 18,000 mark during the intra-day trady – the lowest level in five months.

Before settling at 18,022.22 -- a steep fall of 305.54 points or 1.67 per cent, the Bombay Stock Exchange initially touched a high of 18,452.06 on the back of firm global cues, but emergence of heavy selling across-the-spectrum pulled it down to 17,982.17.

In January alone, it saw 10.63 per cent slump, worst performance since 2008.

Interest-rate sensitive stocks in the realty sector bore the brunt for the fifth straight day, followed by auto, capital goods, refinery and FMCG sectors.

All the 13 sectoral indices closed in the negative terrain, down between 4.04 per cent and 0.80 per cent.

The top heavyweight and petrochem conglomerate, RIL, tumbled 2.57 per cent to end below the 900-level at 895.65 and was the major contributer to the Sensex fall.

Sharp fall in L&T, Tata Motor, ICICI Bank, ITC, Infosys Tech, SBI and Jindal Steel too aided the downtrend.

Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs), the main driving force, pulled out Rs 920.38 crore yesterday, after pulling out nearly Rs 1,990 crore on January 27 and 28, which mainly affected the market sentiment.