Sensex drops by 51 points on weak Asian cues

Mumbai: The BSE benchmark Sensex declined by 51 points in early trade on Wednesday amid selling pressure on oil & gas, banking, IT and auto stocks, triggered by weak Asian cues.

Asian stock markets resumed lower after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the US economic recovery was proving to be "uneven" and "frustratingly slow".

Auto stocks fell ahead of a meeting of a government panel that will decide on prices of diesel and cooking gas.

The 30-share Bombay Stock Exchange Sensex index resumed lower at 18,448.40 and hovered in a range between 18,477.17 and 18,400.44 before quoting at 18,444.41 at 1015 hours, showing a net loss of 51.21 points, or 0.28 per cent, from its last close.

The NSE`s 50-share Nifty index also fell by 17.20 points, or 0.31 per cent, to 5,538.95 at 1015 hours.

In the Sensex pack, 20 stocks fell while the remaining 10 rose.

Major losers in early trade were ONGC (down 1.92 per cent), Bharti Airtel (1.30 per cent), Maruti Suzuki (1.10 per cent), RIL (0.99 per cent) and M&M (0.79 per cent).

The key benchmark indices in Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong and South Korea were down by between 0.22 per cent and 1.21 per cent in morning trade today.