Mumbai: The BSE benchmark Sensex fell marginally by 19 points in early trade on Thursday as funds and retail investors preferred to book profits after two sessions of gains.

The 30-share index, which had gained almost 171 points in the previous two sessions, fell by 19.49 points, or 0.11 percent, to 17,708.71, with stocks of IT, metals and PSU sectors leading the fall.

Similarly, the wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty declined by 5.10 points, or 0.09 percent, to 5,375.25.

Brokers said profit-booking by speculators as participants booked profits influenced the trading sentiment, however, a slightly better trend in Asian region capped the losses.

In the Asian region, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was up by 0.27 percent, while Japan's Nikkei Index gained 1.36 percent in the morning trade on Thursday.

The US Dow Jones Industrial Average had ended 0.06 percent lower in Wednesday's trade.

(Agencies)

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