Mumbai: The BSE benchmark index Sensex fell by over 78 points in early trade on Thursday on fresh selling by funds amid a weakening trend on other Asian bourses.

The 30-share index, which had gained 84.87 points on Wednesday, moved down by 78.33 points, or 0.44 percent, to 17,628.99 points.

The wide-based Nifty of the National Stock Exchange declined by 15.65 points, or 0.29 percent, to 5,352.50 points.

Metal, IT and oil and gas stocks led the decline.

Brokers said fresh selling by funds amid weakening trend on other Asian bourses mainly influenced the trading sentiment.

In the Asia region, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was down by 1.08 percent and Japan's Nikkei index shed 0.56 percent in morning trade on Thursday.

(Agencies)