Mumbai: The Sensex closed at 18,178.33 after falling 118 points in late sell-off in banking, IT and realty stocks. The rising oil prices due to unrest in the Middle East will stoke inflation, leading to hike in interest rates.

The Bombay Stock Exchange 30-share barometer initially moved in a narrow range between the positive and the negative regions till late mid-session, ahead of the expiry of February derivatives contract series on Thursday.

However, fag-end off-loading pulled down the Sensex to 18,178.33, a net fall of 117.83 points or 0.64 per cent. On Tuesday, it had lost 142.15 points.

Similarly, the NSE 50-issue Nifty also dropped further by 31.85 points or 0.58 per cent to 5,437.35.

Overall, it has led to fears of inflationary pressures and apprehensions of interest rate hikes across Asia and other regions, which could stall economic growth.