Mumbai: The BSE benchmark Sensex on Thursday fell by nearly almost 40 points in early trade as investors booked profits after two sessions of gains.

The 30-share barometer fell by 39.69 points, or 0.20 percent, to 19,212.92, led by losses in stocks of metal, realty, auto, banking and oil and gas sectors. The index had gained nearly 375 points in the previous two sessions.

Similarly, the wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty shed 17.30 points, or 0.29 percent, to 5,801.30. Brokers said profit booking by speculators after recent gains mainly influenced the trading sentiment but a firming trend in the Asian region, cushioned the fall to some extent.

In the Asian region, Japan's Nikkei Index was up by 0.39 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index gained 0.10 percent in early trade on Thursday. The US Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.30 percent higher on Wednesday.

(Agencies)

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