MUMBAI: Domestic equity benchmark BSE Sensex dropped over 250 points in early trade on Thursday dragged by heavy selling in banking stocks ahead of the expiry of August derivatives amid weak cues from other Asian markets.
After hitting a low of 37,191.79, the 30-share index was trading 215.51 points, or 0.58 per cent, lower at 37,236.33 at 0930 hours, while the broader Nifty fell 58.90 points, or 0.53 per cent, to 10,987.20 in early trade.
In the previous session, the BSE barometer the 30-share Sensex settled 189.43 points, or 0.50 per cent, lower at 37,451.84.
Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty fell 59.25 points, or 0.53 per cent, to 11,046.10.
Top losers in the Sensex pack in early trade on Thursday included Yes Bank, HDFC, ICICI Bank, HCL Tech, TechM, Axis Bank, NTPC, Bajaj Finance and SBI, shedding up to 2 per cent.
On the other hand, Sun Pharma, Vedanta, Tata Motors, IndusInd Bank, M&M and Bharti Airtel rose up to 2.75 per cent.
During the day, investors can expect greater volatility in the market on the back of weekly and monthly expiration of the August futures and options (F&O) contracts, said Shrikant Chouhan, Head Technical Research, at Kotak Securities.
Foreign portfolio investors sold shares worth a net of Rs 935.27 crore on Wednesday, while domestic institutional investors purchased shares worth Rs 359.32 crore, provisional data showed.
The rupee, meanwhile, depreciated 18 paise against its previous close to trade at 71.95 in early session.
Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Korea and Japan were trading on a negative note in their respective late morning sessions.
Exchanges on Wall Street ended in the green on Wednesday.
Global oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.57per cent lower at 59.59 per barrel.