Mumbai: After two-day gains with banking, realty and auto stocks suffering the most, the
Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark fell about 115 points to 18,494 on Thursday.

Asian markets closed bearish after weak economic data from the US and decline in Wall Street stocks. European markets also displayed feeble trend amid debt crisis in some EU nations.

There was selling in heavyweights like ICICI Bank, Tata Motors, HDFC Bank, HDFC, M&M, TCS, Sterlite Ind, Tata Steel, Infosys and REL Infra.

However, smart rise in RIL, HUL, ITC and Bajaj Auto cushioned the fall. Besides, there was some relief from food inflation, which fell to 8.06 per cent for week ended May 21 from 8.55 per cent in the previous week.

The Bombay Stock Exchange 30-share bellwether index resumed lower and remained in the negative terrain throughout the day to close at 18,494.18, down 114.63 points or 0.62 per
cent. In last two days, it had risen by about 377 points or 2.07 per cent.

The broad-based NSE 50-issue Nifty also fell 41.65 points or 0.74 per cent to 5,550.35.

"A global sell off in equities spooked Indian markets. US jobs report and debt crisis in the euro zone will be important near-term catalysts for risky asset classes," said Amar Ambani, Head of Research at IIFL.

Key indices in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan closed lower between 0.39 per cent and 1.69 per cent. In Europe, CAC was down 1.16 per cent, DAX-1.14 per cent and FTSE by 0.93 per cent.

Ambani said, meanwhile, that a drop in food inflation and steady inflows from FIIs lent good support to the market.

Reliance Infra was the top loser from the Sensex pack, down 4.66 per cent, followed by Rel Comm (4.11 pc), ICICI Bank (3.10 pc), Tata Motors (2.81 pc), M&M (2.19 pc), Maruti Suzuki (2.03 pc), Sterlite Inds (2.02 pc), Hindalco Inds (1.50 pc), Tata Steel (1.30 pc), Hdfc Bank (1.27 pc), Hdfc (1.19 pc), Wipro (1.18 pc) and Jindal steel (0.96 pc).

However, Hul rose by 3.53 per cent, Bajaj Auto (2.22 pc), Itc (0.77 pc) and RIL (0.54 pc).

Among sectoral indices, BSE-Bankex fell by 1.52 per cent, Metal (1.32 pc), Realty (1.26 pc) and Auto (1.16 pc), while FMCG rose by 1.01 per cent.

Small-cap as well as Mid-cap stocks underperformed the Sensex with their indices falling by 0.78 per cent and 0.68 per cent respectively.

The total market breadth at BSE turned negative as 1,659 stocks closed with losses, against 1,148 that finished with gains. The total volume was relatively higher at Rs 2,887.69
crore from Rs 2,711.84 crore on Wednesday.

Agencies