The BSE benchmark Sensex dropped by 134 points in early trade today due to fresh selling pressure in realty, banking, auto and metal stocks amid weak Asian cues.
Profit-booking by speculators after two sessions of gains also dragged the Sensex down. Banking stocks, which posted handsome gains in the recent rally, fell on profit-booking.
The 30-share Sensex resumed lower at 18,425.85 and declined further to 18,390.57 before quoting at 18,475.20 points at 1015 hours, showing a net loss of 133.61, or 0.72 per cent, from its last close.
The NSE 50-share Nifty also fell by 42.90 points, or 0.77 %, to 5,549.10 at 1015 hours from its previous close.
The major losers in early trade were ICICI Bank (down 2.77 %), Tata Motors (2.67 %), M&M (2.17 %), DLF (1.82 %), Maruti Suzuki (1.72 %) and Jaiprakash Associates (1.68 %).
In addition, the cautious approach adopted by investors ahead of the release of food inflation data later today also dampened the sentiment, traders said.
Asian stocks dropped earlier today after weak US data raised questions about future demand for Asian exports as well as the likely trajectory of economic growth.
The key benchmark indices in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan fell between 0.57 % and 1.96 %. Trading in US index futures indicates that the Dow Jones could fall 6 points at the opening bell on Thursday.