Domestic equity benchmark BSE Sensex dropped over 250 points in early trade on Thursday dragged by heavy selling in banking stocks ahead of the expiry of August derivatives amid weak cues from other Asian markets.
After hitting a low of 37,191.79, the 30-share index was trading 215.51 points, or 0.58 per cent, lower at 37,236.33 at 0930 hours, while the broader Nifty fell 58.90 points, or 0.53 per cent, to 10,987.20 in early trade.
In the previous session, the BSE barometer the 30-share Sensex settled 189.43 points, or 0.50 per cent, lower at 37,451.84. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty fell 59.25 points, or 0.53 per cent, to 11,046.10.
Top losers in the Sensex pack in early trade on Thursday included Yes Bank, HDFC, ICICI Bank, HCL Tech, TechM, Axis Bank, NTPC, Bajaj Finance and SBI, shedding up to 2 per cent.
On the other hand, Sun Pharma, Vedanta, Tata Motors, IndusInd Bank, M&M and Bharti Airtel rose up to 2.75 per cent.
During the day, investors can expect greater volatility in the market on the back of weekly and monthly expiration of the August futures and options (F&O) contracts, said Shrikant Chouhan, Head Technical Research, at Kotak Securities.
Foreign portfolio investors sold shares worth a net of Rs 935.27 crore on Wednesday, while domestic institutional investors purchased shares worth Rs 359.32 crore, provisional data showed.
Meanwhile, the rupee depreciated by 17 paise to 71.95 against the US dollar in early trade on Thursday, tracking weak domestic equity market and persistent foreign fund outflows.
Pessimism over US-China trade talks prospects also put pressure on the domestic unit, forex dealers said.
However, a weak dollar against other major currencies overseas and softening crude prices restricted the rupee’s fall, they added.
At the interbank foreign exchange, the rupee opened weak at 71.96 and fell further to 72.05 against the US dollar. The domestic currency, however, pared some losses and was trading at 71.95.
Global oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.57per cent lower at 59.59 per barrel.