Mumbai:  The BSE benchmark index Sensex on Thursday declined by over 36 points in early trade due to profit- booking by speculators after recent gains amid mixed trend at the Asian markets.

The 30-share barometer, which has gained over 64 points in the previous two sessions, fell by 36.07 points, or 0.21 percent, to 17,426.74, with stocks of banking, realty and auto sectors succumbing to profit-booking.

Similarly, the wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty fell by 12.55 points, or 0.24 percent, to 5,290.00

Brokers said besides profit-booking by participants after recent gains, mixed trend in cautious trading on Asian bourses ahead of a European Central Bank policy meeting later in the day.

In the Asian region, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was up marginally by 0.24 percent, while Japan's Nikkei Index edged lower by 0.08 percent. The US market remained closed on Wednesday for 'Independence Day' holiday.


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