Mumbai: The BSE benchmark Sensex extended its losses for the third consecutive session on Thursday, losing over 72 points in opening trade on sustained selling by funds amid a weakening trend on other Asian bourses.

The 30-share Sensex, which has lost almost 243 points in the past two trading sessions, fell further by 72.57 points, or 0.46 percent, to 15,655.28 in the first five minutes of trade on Thursday.

In a similar fashion, the wide-based National Stock Exchange Nifty index declined by 19.20 points, or 0.41 percent, to 4,686.60. Banking, IT, metal and realty stocks led the fall.

Brokers said sustained selling by funds amid a weakening trend on other Asian bourses in tandem with overnight losses in the US mainly influenced the trading sentiment.

In the Asia region, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index fell by 1.21 percent and Japan's Nikkei index by 0.73 percent in morning trade on Thursday. The US Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 1.14 percent lower in Wednesday's trade.

(Agencies)