Mumbai: The BSE benchmark Sensex on Thursday fell by over 204 points in early trade as funds and retail investors trimmed positions due to political crisis following Trinamool Congress, a key UPA ally, decision to withdraw its support to the government.

The 30-share index, which had lost 46.30 points in the previous session on Tuesday, fell by 204.08 points, or 1.10 percent, to 18,291.93 with stocks of metals, capital goods, auto and realty sectors leading the fall.

The markets remained closed on Wednesday for "Ganesh Chaturthi".

Similarly, the wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty dropped by 65.15 points, or 1.16 percent, to 5,534.90.

Brokers said trading sentiment turned weak following political crisis after Trinamool Congress, the second biggest constituent of the ruling UPA, decided to withdraw its support on the issue of petroleum price hike, FDI in retail and corruption, triggering selling by participants.

A weakening trend in the Asian region ahead of manufacturing data from China too dampened the sentiment, they said.

In Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index fell by 0.43 percent, while Japan's Nikkei Index shed 0.70 percent in the morning trade on Thursday.

The US Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.10 percent higher in on Wednesday's trade.

(Agencies)

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