Equity benchmark Sensex slipped over 100 points in early trade on Thursday, tracking losses in index majors ICICI Bank, HDFC twins and ITC amid persistent foreign fund outflows.
Despite starting slightly higher, the 30-share index turned red to trade 125.54 points or 0.22 per cent lower at 58,215.45. Similarly, the Nifty was trading 30.15 points or 0.17 per cent down at 17,384.90.
ICICI bank was the top loser in the Sensex pack, shedding around 2 per cent, followed by NTPC, Bajaj Finserv, HUL, Asian Paints, ITC and HDFC. On the other hand, Tech Mahindra, Reliance Industries, Kotak Bank and Infosys were among the gainers.
In the previous session, Sensex settled 323.34 points or 0.55 per cent lower at 58,340.99, and Nifty fell 88.30 points or 0.5 per cent to end at 17,415.05. Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) were net sellers in the capital market, as they offloaded shares worth Rs 5,122.65 crore on Wednesday, as per exchange data.
"In the bull-versus-bear fight going on in the market now, fodder for bears is the sustained selling by FIIs who have sold equity worth around Rs 18,000 crore during the last six days. This sustained selling is in sync with the view of most foreign brokerages that valuations are stretched," said VK Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist at Geojit Financial Services.
The strategy of 'buy-on-dips' which worked well since April 2020, is not working now, he said, adding that valuations remain high even after this correction. Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Hong Kong and Tokyo were trading with gains in mid-session deals, while Shanghai and Seoul were negative.
Stock exchanges in the US largely ended on a positive note in the overnight session. Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude fell 0.01 per cent to USD 82.24 per barrel.