Sensex down by 120 pts

Mumbai: The BSE benchmark Sensex lost nearly 120 points in opening trade today on fresh selling by funds and retail investors amid a weak trend on other Asian bourses and a hike in petrol prices by state-run oil companies.

The 30-share barometer, which had gained 195.49 points in the previous session, fell by 119.88 points to 18,411.40 within the first few minutes of trade, with auto, banking, metals and realty sector stocks coming under pressure.

Similarly, the wide-based National Stock Exchange Nifty index declined by 35.15 points to 5,509.60 points.

Brokers attributed the downslide on the bourses to a fresh round of selling by funds and retail investors in tandem with a weakening trend on other Asian bourses and the biggest-ever hike in petrol prices of Rs 5 a litre by state-run oil companies.

Bucking the trend, state-run oil companies such as Bharat Petroleum, Hindustan Petroleum and Indian Oil Corporation were trading in the positive zone, as the hike in petrol prices will reduce their subsidy burden.

In other markets in Asia, Hong Kong`s Hang Seng index was trading lower by 0.68 per cent, while Japan`s Nikkei shed 0.80 per cent in morning trade today.

In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down by 0.79 per cent in Friday`s trade.