The Sensex fell almost 92 points to 24,400.52 in early trade today as participants cut down risky bets in view of the January derivatives expiry amid lacklustre Asian cues.
The rupee dealt a further blow, which fell another 14 paise to trade at a fresh 29-month low of 68.19 against the dollar at the forex market in early hours.
The 30-share barometer fell 91.87 points, or 0.37 per cent, to 24,400.52. The gauge had gained 530.18 points in the previous straight three sessions.
Losses in Bharti Airtel, HDFC Ltd, Tata Steel, Maruti Suzuki, Bajaj Auto, Asian Paints, SBI, L&T and ICICI Bank stocks kept the Sensex on edge.
The NSE Nifty too declined 28.15 points, or 0.37 per cent, to 7,409.60.
Today being the last trading session of the January futures and options expiry, winding-up of positions and profit-booking at select stocks took their toll.
Other Asian markets got the blues after the US Fed hinted at more interest rate hikes this year despite the lingering economic uncertainty, which also hit sentiment.
The Shanghai Composite index was down 0.51 per cent while Japan’s Nikkei eased back 0.04 per cent in early trade today. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was trading a tad higher.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 1.38 per cent lower in yesterday’s trade.
The rupee pared its initial losses, but was still trading down by 3 paise at 68.08 per dollar in late morning deals amid sustained demand for the US currency from banks and importers.
The Indian unit resumed lower at 68.13 as against yesterday’s closing level of 68.05 at the Interbank Foreign Exchange (forex) market.
The domestic unit hovered in a range of 68.11 and 68.19 during morning deals before quoting at 68.08 at 1113 hours.
The dollar index was up by 0.08 per cent at 99 against a basket of six currencies in early trade.
Globally, oil prices tumbled in Asia today after US commercial crude stock climbed to a record level, stoking worries about a global oversupply of the commodity.
The dollar weakened against the euro yesterday at the New York market after the release of an updated monetary policy statement from the Federal Reserve.
Meanwhile, the benchmark BSE Sensex was down 4.48 points, or 0.02 per cent, at 24,487.91 at 1115 hours.