The growth in eight core sectors expanded to a 15-month high of 5.7 percent in February due to sharp pick-up in natural gas, refinery products, fertiliser, cement and electricity generation.

The 30-share index, which had gained 441.40 points in the previous two sessions, fell 123.82 points, or 0.48 per cent, to 25,218.04 in morning trade today.

Stocks of auto, metal, oil&gas, banking and technology sectors were leading the fall in morning trade.

Bharti Airtel, Tata Steel, M&M, HDFC Ltd, Tata Motors, ICICI Bank, Dr Reddy's, SBI, Hero MotoCorp, Axis Bank, GAIL and RIL dropped up to 2.22 percent.

In contrast, BHEL, Wipro, Asian Paints, Cipla, Coal India and Hindustan Unilever were trading in the positive zone.

The broad-based NSE Nifty dipped below the 7,700-mark by falling 38.80 points, or 0.50 per cent, to 7,699.60.

Brokers said profit-booking in stocks that logged gains recently and negative cues from other Asian markets and overnight losses at the US market, had an impact.

In the Asian region, Japan's Nikkei fell 2.91 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 1.35 percent in morning trade. Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.42 percent.

The US Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.18 percent down yesterday.

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