Mumbai: The BSE benchmark Sensex shed 44 points in opening trade on Friday on sustained selling by funds and retail investors amid fears of an impending interest rate hike by the RBI.

The 30-share BSE index, which lost 148.45 points in the previous session, declined further by 44.49 points, or 0.26 percent, to 16,892.40 in the first few minutes of trade.

In a similar fashion, the wide-based National Stock Exchange Nifty Index shed 11.40 points, or 0.22 percent, to 5,080.50.

Brokers said the market extended its losses as funds and retail investors continued to offload stocks, apprehending that the Reserve Bank of India might increase interest rates in its policy meeting on October 25.