Mumbai: The Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex lost nearly 300 points in opening trade on Thursday amid panic selling in markets worldwide following the US Federal Reserve's warning that the outlook for the world's largest economy is grim.

The 30-share index, which lost 34.13 points in Wednesday's volatile session, fell by 299.62 points, or 1.75 percent, to 16,765.53 in the first few minutes of trade on Thursday, with all sectoral indices, led by metal and banking, trading in the negative zone.

The wide-based National Stock Exchange Nifty index also plunged by 93.25 points, or 1.81 percent, to 5,040.00 in opening trade.
Brokers attributed the widespread losses to a massive sell-off by funds, influenced by the weak trend in global markets after the US Federal Reserve warned of significant downside risks to the American economy.

In the Asian region, Japan's Nikkei index was trading 2.12 percent lower, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index tumbled by 4.11 percent in early trade on Wednesday. The US Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 2.49 percent lower in Wednesday's trade.