The Indian equity benchmarks fell in opening deals on Thursday amid weak cues from the global markets. Asian stocks retreated in line with a global selloff, as markets were spooked by more aggressive noises from U.S. policymakers about the need for tighter monetary policy. Investors also awaited Reserve Bank of India's (RBI's) bi-monthly policy outcome due on Friday.
Trends on the Nifty Futures on Singapore Exchange (SGX Nifty) also indicated a gap-down start for the domestic indices.
The 30-share BSE Sensex slipped 337 points or 0.57 per cent to 59,273 in early trade, while the broader NSE Nifty moved 82 points or 0.46 per cent down to 17,726.
However, mid- and small-cap shares were trading on a positive note as Nifty Midcap 100 moved 0.25 up and small-cap shares rose 0.57 per cent.
Eight out of the 15 sector gauges -- compiled by the National Stock Exchange -- were trading in the red. Nifty Financial Services and Nifty IT were underperforming the index by falling as much as 0.71 per cent and 0.79 per cent, respectively.
On the stock-specific front, HDFC twins (HDFC and HDFC Bank) were the top losers as the stocks cracked 2 per cent and 1.52 per cent, respectively. UPL, Wipro and Titan were also among the laggards. HDFC twins had surged 10 per cent each after the mega-merger announcement on Monday. Both the stocks have declined after that.
The overall market breadth stood strong as 1,901 shares were advancing while 767 were declining on BSE.
On the 30-share BSE index, HDFC twins, Wipro, Titan, TCS, Infosys, L&T and Maruti were among the top losers.
In contrast, Dr Reddy's, NTPC, Sun Pharma, PowerGrid, Hindustan Unilever and UltraTech Cement were trading in the green.
Sensex had tanked 566 points or 0.94 per cent to close at 59,610 on Wednesday, while Nifty had moved 150 points or 0.83 per cent lower to settle at 17,808.