The BSE benchmark Sensex declined by almost 166 points in early trade on Thursday as funds and retail investors preferred to book profits after six sessions of gains amid a weak trend in global markets.

The 30-share barometer, which has surged by over 470 points in the last six sessions, fell by 165.96 points, or 0.87 per cent, to 18,736.45.

Stocks of realty, power, banking and IT sectors declined due to profit-booking. Similarly, the wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty fell by 66.15 points, or 1.14 per cent, to 5,693.95.

Brokers said besides profit-booking by speculators, a weak trend in Asian trade following overnight losses at the US market on fears its economy is facing another huge economic crisis, spurring a sell-off, dampened the trading sentiments.

In Asian region, Japan’s Nikkei Index was down 1.64 per cent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index shed 1.28 per cent in early trade.

The US Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 2.36 per cent down in yesterday’s trade.

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