Mumbai: A benchmark index for Indian equities markets on Monday closed below the 18,000-level as traders offloaded stocks amid negative global cues and the sceptre of rising inflation.

The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 18,269.06 points, closed at 17,985.69 points, down 340.4 points or 1.86 percent from its previous close at 18,326.09 points.
It had fallen to an intra-day low of 17,971 points.

The 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange shut shop at 5,383.7 points, down 1.87 percent.

Broader markets too closed in the negative with the BSE midcap index closing 1.43 percent down and the BSE smallcap index 1.56 percent down.