Mumbai: The Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex fell by over 262 points in the early trade on Monday on fresh spell of sell-off by funds, triggered by political worries.

The 30-share barometer, which shed 3.31 points in the previous session, plunged 262.29 points or 1.42 per cent to 18,224.16 on the back of losses in auto, banking, metals, oil and gas, and IT sector stocks in the first few minutes of trade.

In a similar fashion, the wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty lost 79.95 points, or 1.44 per cent, to 5,458.80 points.

The trading turned weak due to political worries after a key ally, DMK, decided to pull out of the Congress-led government at the Centre, said traders.

A weak trend on other Asian bourses following weekend losses at the US also dampened the sentiment, they added.