Mumbai: The BSE benchmark Sensex on Friday fell over 56 points on weak global cues and funds selling on fears of more interest rate hikes to curb high inflation, even as smart gains by industry leader RIL and TCS capped its losses.

The 30-share Sensex, which had gained over 206 points in last two trading sessions, fell by 56.28 points to 18,561.92 as inflation soared to 9.44 pc in June, raising concerns that RBI might again raise interest rates later this month to tame excess demand.

Broad-based National Stock Exchange index shed 18.70 points to 5,581.10, with stocks of metal, realty and auto sector suffering losses.

Weak trend in Asia and lower opening in Europe following a decline in the US markets ahead of release of crucial stress test results of the Euro zone's troubled banking sector also dampened the market sentiment.

Asian stocks dropped after international rating agency Standard and Poor’s said it might cut the US’s credit rating and the Federal Reserve ruled out immediate further bond purchases.

On the Bombay Stock Exchange's key index Sensex, TCS, the country's largest software exporter, bucked the trend, gaining 2.03 per cent to Rs 1,148.05 a share after its first-quarter profit rose by 28 per cent, slightly above the market expectations.  Market leader RIL also gained about 1 per cent, capping the market losses.

Infosys, the second-heaviest scrip on the Sensex, fell marginally for the third day after announcing its lower-than- expected market quarterly results, losing 0.38 per cent to Rs 2,730.55 a piece.

(Agencies)