Mumbai: BSE Sensex on Thursday lost over 249 points to about 18,336 amid rising crude oil prices and lower growth in domestic industrial output.

The 30-share Bombay Stock Exchange index, Sensex, which remained range-bound in last three sessions, fell sharply by 249.17 points to 18,335.79 as front-runners led by metal, capital goods and banking sectors declined.

The gauge touched the day's low of 18,314.34 points as crude oil rebounded from a three-day lows and base-metal prices fell in London Metal Exchange.

National Stock Exchange index Nifty dipped below 5,500 level, losing 78.90 points to 5,486.15 on all-round selling.

Brokers said the trading sentiment remained weak on low industrial production figures and weak global trend because of rising crude oil prices.

The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) growth slowed to 7.3 per cent in March, from 15.5 per cent in the same month last year.

Crude oil, on the other hand, gained 1.19 dollar to 99.40 dollar a barrel in the US. Brent North Sea crude for June delivery gained USD 1.23 to USD 113.80, spurring concerns of inflationary pressures that could lead to hike in interest rates if the trend continued.

These developments undermined the impact of easing food inflation, which fell to 7.7 per cent for the week ended April 30 from 8.53 per cent in the previous week.

The metals sector index suffered the most by losing 2.99 per cent to 15,180.06 as Sterlite Industries, the largest copper and zinc producer, dropped 4.76 per cent to Rs 168.20, pacing losses in global metal as other commodity prices declined.