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Sliding for the third straight day, equity benchmark Sensex dropped 287 points on Thursday amid losses in index majors Reliance Industries, Infosys and ICICI Bank as monthly derivatives expired.

After a volatile session, the 30-share BSE index ended 286.91 points or 0.48 per cent lower at 59,126.36. Similarly, the NSE Nifty declined 93.15 points or 0.53 per cent to 17,618.15.

PowerGrid was the top loser in the Sensex pack, shedding around 3 per cent, followed by Asian Paints, Axis Bank, Kotak Bank, Bajaj Auto, SBI and M&M.

On the other hand, Bajaj Finserv, Bajaj Finance, NTPC, Sun Pharma and HUL were among the gainers.

According to traders, expiry of monthly futures and options (F&O) contracts induced volatility during the session.

"Indian markets started mixed following mixed Asian markets cues as China official data shows unexpected contraction in factory activity. During the afternoon session, markets scaled back to trade in green due to buying in consumer durables, realty and telecom stocks," said Narendra Solanki, Head- Equity Research (Fundamental), Anand Rathi.

Further, traders took solace from Commerce Minister's statement that India and the US should engage in a much bigger way and New Delhi is ready to expand the economic partnership with the US, Solanki added.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai and Seoul ended with gains, while Hong Kong and Tokyo were in the red.

Exchanges in Europe were largely trading with gains in the afternoon session.

Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude rose 0.24 per cent to USD 78.28 per barrel.

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