Market benchmark BSE Sensex fell over 100 points in early trade on selling in healthcare, metal, banking and auto stocks amid sustained foreign fund outflow and rising global crude prices.
Also, a weak trend in other Asian bourses weighed on domestic investor sentiment.
The 30-share Sensex was trading 88.01 points, or 0.25 per cent, lower at 35,788.21. The index had lost nearly 1,000 points in the previous six sessions.
Also, NSE Nifty was trading down by 30.40 points, or 0.28 per cent, at 10,715.65.
Major laggards were Sun Pharma, Vedanta, Hero MotoCorp, Tata Motors, M&M, HDFC, Tata Steel, SBI, Asian paint, RIL, HUL, Bajaj Finance, HDFC Bank, Yes Bank, Kotak Bank, Axis Bank and ICICI Bank, falling up to 1.95 per cent.
On the other hand, ONGC was the biggest gainer in the Sensex pack, rallying over 6 per cent, after the state-owned company Thursday reported a 65 per cent jump in its third quarter net profit as higher prices made up for a fall in oil output.
Other gainers include NTPC, PowerGrid, Coal India, L&T and ICICI Bank, rising up to 5.60 per cent
Sectoral indices led by healthcare, metal, banking, auto and realty were trading in the negative terrain, falling by up to 1.20 per cent.
However, oil and gas, IT and power indices rose up to 0.82 per cent.
The global benchmark, Brent crude was trading 0.63 per cent higher at USD 65.04 per barrel.
“Wholesale price index (WPI) numbers came in at 2.76 per cent in January against 3.8 per cent in December. The decline in inflation may further increase the probability of the Reserve Bank of India to cut interest rates in the coming months,” said Hemang Jani, Head – Advisory, Sharekhan by BNP Paribas.
Q3FY19 earnings so far have been lacklustre. The general elections will play a crucial role in the short term; and as we move closer to the elections one can expect the volatility in the market to only increase, he added.
Meanwhile, on a net basis, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth Rs 250.23 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought shares worth Rs 1,225.24 crore on Thursday, provisional data showed.
Global investor sentiment was also dampened after US retail sales recorded its biggest drop since 2009, raising fresh doubts about the strength of the US economy, offsetting optimism on trade talks between the US and China, brokers said.
In the Asian region, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.85 per cent and Japan’s Nikkei shed 1.20 per cent, Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.57 per cent and Korea’s Kospi cracked 1.52 per cent.
On Wall Street, the US Dow Jones Industrial Average also ended 0.41 per cent lower Thursday.