After a better start at 19,978.49, the Sensex tumbled by 243.36 points, or 1.22 percent, to 19,676.85 at 1315 hrs led by stocks of bank, refinery and realty sectors.

Similarly, the broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty dropped by 74.25 points, or 1.25 percent, to 5,818.20.

Brokers said market sentiment turned bearish as investors indulged in reducing long positions created in the recent past before the monthly expiry in futures and options September contract on Thursday.

They said a weakening trend in the Asian region and lower opening in Europe further influenced the trading sentiment.


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