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Sensex, Nifty close lower as rate-sensitive stocks lead decline

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The Sensex closed 215 points lower as nervous investors took money off the table amid speculation that the RBI may go for a rate hike this week.

Rate sensitives led the decline, with the BSE Realty index emerging as the worst performer among sectoral indices by slumping 3.25 per cent. Banking, financials, consumer durables and capital goods tumbled up to 1.83 per cent.

The RBI's Monetary Policy Committee began its three-day meeting today amid speculation that it may hike the key interest rate on June 6 for the first time in over four years due to firming inflation.

While the Sensex closed at 35,011, down 215 points or 0.61 per cent, Nifty ended lower by 67 points, or 0.63 per cent, at 10,628 level.

Top Sensex losers were HDFC Bank, Bharti Airtel and Adani Ports.

Bucking the trend, Dr Reddy's, Infosys, M&M and Tata Steel were the top Sensex gainers.

The broader markets too were under pressure, with the BSE small-cap index losing 2.09 per cent, while the mid-cap index finished 0.82 per cent down.

Market breadth was negative with 2155 stocks closing lower against 535 ending higher on BSE 500.