The BSE benchmark Sensex on Monday dropped over 150 points tracking weakness in other Asian markets amid heavy selling by foreign investors. Market sentiment also turned cautious ahead of the release of key macroeconomic data. The 30-share index fell 174.61 points, or 0.48 per cent, to 35,835.23 in early trade. Similarly, the NSE Nifty shed 60.10 points,or 0.57 per cent, to 10,733.85. On Friday, the Sensex had fallen 377.81 96 points to end at 36,009.84; and the Nifty too slipped by 26.65 points to close at 10,794.95. According to analysts, this week, stock market movement will be driven by the announcement of macroeconomic data points and quarterly earnings by various companies, including bluechips RIL and Wipro.
The government is scheduled to release the wholesale price index (WPI) and consumer price index (CPI) data later in the day.
The market would also continue taking cues from the movement of rupee, crude oil and investment trend by foreign investors, traders said.
On a net basis, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth Rs 687.20 crore Friday, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) were net buyers to the tune of Rs 123.17 crore, provisional data available with BSE showed.
In the morning session on Monday, the biggest losers in the Sensex pack were Axis Bank, L&T, Tata Steel, Vedanta, HDFC, M&M, IndusInd Bank, Bharti Airtel, TCS, ICICI Bank, NTPC and SBI, falling up to 1.61 per cent.
Shares of Avenue Supermarts, which runs the D-Mart chain, fell over 8 per cent after the company posted 2.1 per cent rise in its net profit to Rs 257 crore for the December 2018 quarter.
On the other hand, Infosys was the biggest gainer, rising 3 per cent, after the company on Friday said it will buyback shares worth up to Rs 8,260 crore and offer shareholders a special dividend of Rs 4 per share as part of the company's Rs 13,000 crore-capital allocation policy.
India's second largest IT firm, however, reported a 30 per cent drop in its December quarter net profit on higher expenses.
Other gainers include Yes Bank, Sun Pharma and HUL, rising up to 2.61 per cent.
Globally, elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 1.43 per cent, Kospi fell 0.66 per cent and Shanghai Composite Index was trading 0.56 per cent lower in early trade.
Japan's Nikkei, however, gained 0.97 per cent.
On Wall Street, Dow Jones Industrial Average ended marginally lower at 23,995.95 points on Friday.
The rupee, meanwhile, depreciated against the US dollar to 70.56. The benchmark Brent crude futures dropped 0.94 per cent to USD 59.91 per barrel.