Benchmark indices began the trade on a bearish note on Wednesday with the Sensex tumbling 609 points in early trade, amid a weak trend in Asian markets.

The 30-share BSE Sensex fell 608.8 points to 56,498.72 in the initial trade. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty declined 182 points to 16,825.40.

Among the 30-share Sensex pack, NTPC, IndusInd Bank, HDFC, Axis Bank, Reliance Industries, ITC, HDFC Bank, and Asian Paints were the major laggards.

Sun Pharma, Mahindra & Mahindra, Dr Reddy's and Power Grid were among the winners.

Elsewhere in Asia, markets in Seoul, Tokyo, Shanghai and Hong Kong were trading sharply lower.

The US markets ended on a mixed note on Tuesday.

"FIIs have been deserting local equities in recent sessions and this could also dent market sentiment. The street is now anxiously awaiting the RBI September MPC meet outcome to trickle in on Friday," said Prashanth Tapse - Research Analyst, Senior VP (Research), Mehta Equities Ltd.

The 30-share BSE index had ended 37.70 points or 0.07 per cent lower at 57,107.52 on Tuesday. The Nifty shed 8.90 points or 0.05 per cent to 17,007.40.

Meanwhile, the international oil benchmark Brent crude declined 1.25 per cent to USD 85.19 per barrel.

Foreign institutional investors offloaded shares worth Rs 2,823.96 crore on Tuesday, according to data available with BSE.