Mumbai, May 18: The BSE Sensex drifted lower by another 125 points in early trade today amid unabated foreign fund outflows and surging global crude oil prices. The rupee depreciating against the US dollar also affected momentum. Brokers said sentiment remained weak largely on sustained capital outflows by foreign funds and rising global crude oil prices, which went past the USD 80 per barrel mark.
Investors also kept an eye on political developments in Karnataka. The 30-share index fell by 125.10 points, or 0.35 percent, to 35,024.02 in the opening trade. The gauge has lost 407.59 points in the previous three sessions. In similar fashion, the NSE Nifty declined by 34.35 points, or 0.32 percent, to 10,648.35.
Sectoral indices led by capital goods, IT, teck, oil and gas, banking and PSU were trading in the negative zone. Major losers were Wipro, L&T, HDFC Bank, Adani Ports, Infosys, Tata Motors, Asian Paints, Bharti Airtel, ICICI Bank, Maruti Suzuki, Axis Bank, ITC Ltd and Reliance Industries, falling by up to 1.28 percent.
Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) net sold shares worth Rs 830.94 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought equities to the tune of Rs 428.92 crore yesterday, as per provisional data. The trend at other Asian markets, however, was better as investors kept a cautious watch on developments in US-China trade negotiations. Japan's Nikkei advanced 0.25 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 0.22 percent in early trade. China's Shanghai Composite index too rose 0.46 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, however, ended 0.22 percent lower in yesterday's trade.