The BSE benchmark Sensex on Thursday fell by almost 173 points in early trade due to sustained selling by investors on renewed worries over domestic political stability and a weakening trend in global markets.

The 30-share barometer fell by 172.94 points, or 0.92 per cent, to 18,628.70, with all the sectoral indices led by realty and banking falling up to 1.76 per cent. The index had lost 239.31 points yesterday.

Similarly, the wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty fell by 50.70 points, or 0.89 per cent, to 5,622.20.

Brokers said continued selling by funds and retail investors on concerns over fears of early general elections and a weak trend in the Asian region in line with overnight fall on the global markets dampened the trading sentiment.

Besides, fears of lower quarterly earnings by companies in the fourth quarter too fuelled the selling, they said.

In the Asian region, Japan’s Nikkei fell 1.71 per cent, while Hong Kong markets remained closed today. The U.S. Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.76 per cent lower yesterday.

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