Extending losses for the third straight day, the BSE Sensex on Friday fell over 46 points in early trade due to sustained selling by funds despite a rally in sugar companies’ stocks.

The 30-share BSE benchmark index, which had lost 531.25 points in the past two sessions, lost 46.72 points, or 0.25 per cent, to 18,462.98 in the early trade.

Similarly, the wide-based the National Stock Exchange Nifty declined by 12.90 points, or 0.23 per cent, to 5,561.85.

Stocks of FMCG, IT, banking and tech sectors remained under pressure and were trading in the negative zone with losses of up to 0.82 per cent.

Brokers said continued selling by funds and retail investors amid mixed trend in Asian bourses, mainly influenced the trading sentiment.

However, shares of sugar manufacturers rallied after the government partially decontrolled the sugar sector on Wednesday, giving millers freedom to sell in the open market and removed their obligation to supply the sweetener at a subsidised rates to ration shops.

Among major gainers, shares of Bajaj Hindusthan surged by 7.51 per cent, Balramapur Chini by 7.84 per cent and Shree Renuka Sugar by 7 per cent.

In the Asia region, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was down by 2.11 per cent while, Japan’s Nikkei index rose 3.57 per cent in the morning trade. The U.S. Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.38 per cent up in Wednesday’s trade.

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