Sensex opens 155 points lower

Mumbai: The Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex fell by over 155 points in opening trade today as investors locked in gains registered in yesterday`s session amid a weak trend on other Asian bourses.

However, an early rally in stocks of Reliance Industries, the most valuable scrip in the 30-share Sensex pack, cushioned the fall.

The 30-share barometer, which rallied by 226.79 points in yesterday`s volatile session, declined by 155.01 points, or 0.84 per cent, to 18,283.30 points in the first few minutes of trade today as auto, realty and banking stocks succumbed to selling pressure.

In a similar fashion, the wide-based National Stock Exchange Nifty index slid by 52 points, or 0.94 per cent, to 5,466.60 points.

Brokers said profit-booking by market participants following a 1.25 per cent rise in the Sensex in yesterday`s trade influenced the trading sentiment.

A weakening trend on other Asian bourses on continued concerns over political tensions in the Middle East also vitiated the market sentiment, they said.

However, stocks of the most-weighted firm on the Sensex, Reliance Industries, bucked the general trend and rose by 4.68 per cent to Rs 1,001.25 after the company announced the sale of a 30 per cent stake in 23 blocks, including the giant KG-D6 gas fields, to UK`s BP Plc for USD 7.2 billion.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong`s Hang Seng index was down by 1.52 per cent and Japan`s Nikkei lost 1.03 per cent in early trade today. US markets were closed yesterday.