Mumbai: The Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark index Sensex on Monday fell about 40 points to close at 17,839 as rising crude oil prices led to concerns over inflationary pressures and high interest rates.

The Sensex, which had lost 480 points in the previous two sessions, fell another 39.76 points at 17,839.05. Initial gains were capped by profit selling on concerns that surged crude oil prices to lead high inflation and further hike in interest rates, hitting corporate margins.

In a choppy trade, the gauge touched the day's high of 18,007.73 and a low of 17,792.17 points. The broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty also fell 8.95 points to 5,364.75 after moving between 5,413.30 and 5,348.20.

Crude oil rose in Asia as Western forces staged air strikes to halt Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's attacks on civilians.
While the fall was led by stocks in realty, IT, tech, consumer durables and capital goods, the shares of healthcare, banking and FMCG sector rose and saved the market from a sharp decline.

With the general weakening trend, the smallcap sector index fell by 0.29 per cent to 7,775.36 and midcap index by 0.27 per cent to 6,492.30.

(Agencies)