Mumbai: The BSE benchmark Sensex dipped below the 17,000 level by losing over 169 points in early trade on Thursday on sustained selling by funds amid a weak trend on other Asian bourses.

The 30-share barometer lost 169.35 points, or 0.94 percent down to trade at 16,952.27 points with capital goods, realty and IT stocks leading the fall.

The wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty declined by 42.65 points, or 0.82 percent, to 5,152.10 points.

Brokers said continued selling by funds amid a weak trend on other Asian markets mainly influenced the trading sentiment.

In addition, squaring-up of positions by participants as today being the last session of monthly expiry in the derivatives segment, also dampened the sentiment, they said.

All sectoral indices were trading in the negative zone with losses up to 1.30 percent.

In the Asian region, the Hong Kong's Hang Seng index fell by 0.99 percent, while Japan's Nikkei was down by 0.78 percent higher in the early trade on Thursday.