The Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex on Friday fell by 37 points in opening trade on selling by funds, largely in tandem with weak global markets.
However, stocks of Reliance Industries Ltd surged 3.46 per cent and averted any major fall in the Sensex, after the company beat market forecast to report better-than-expected profits on earning more than average margins on refining oil, despite extreme volatility in prices.
The 30-share index Sensex, which had gained 34.67 points on Thursday, shed 37.15 points to 8,776.69 points.
The 50-share National Stock Exchange index Nifty dipped below 2,700 points and lost 16.95 points to 2,696.85 in opening trade.
Brokers said sentiment continued to remain negative in the absence of any positive trigger with global markets remaining weak due to the deepening financial crisis.
Stocks of the country's largest listed company, Reliance Industries, shot up by Rs 39.25, or 3.46 per cent, at Rs 1,172.20 after the company beat earnings forecast. Over 2 lakh shares changed hands in opening trade on the BSE.
RIL posted a 10 per cent decline in net profit to Rs Rs 3,501 crore in the October-December quarter as opposed to market expectations of net earnings of Rs 3,000-3,100 crore.
However, stocks such as Ranbaxy Laboratories fell 3.82 per cent at Rs 179, Infosys Technologies 0.86 per cent at Rs 1,219, BHEL 0.39 per cent at Rs 1,362, Mahindra and Mahindra 3.30 per cent at Rs 278, Tata Steel 0.22 per cent at Rs 178.80, Tata Power 1.01 per cent at Rs 707.10, Tata Consultancy 0.04 per cent at Rs 496 and Wipro 0.55 per cent at Rs 216.40.
Meanwhile, Japan's Nikkei fell by 2.44 per cent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed one per cent in early trade on Friday.