Mumbai: Equity benchmark Sensex dropped over 250 points in early trade on Thursday, tracking losses in index majors Reliance Industries, ICICI Bank and Infosys amid weak cues from global markets.

The 30-share BSE index was trading 279.13 points or 0.69 per cent lower at 40,428.18, and the broader NSE Nifty fell 80.05 points or 0.67 per cent to 11,857.60.

ICICI Bank was the top laggard in the Sensex pack, shedding around 2 per cent, followed by Asian Paints, Reliance Industries, PowerGrid, Nestle India and SBI.

On the other hand, Bajaj Finserv, Bajaj Finance, Bharti Airtel, L&T and UltraTech Cement were among the gainers.

In the previous session, Sensex settled 162.94 points or 0.40 per cent higher at 40,707.31, and the broader NSE Nifty rose 40.85 points or 0.34 per cent to finish at 11,937.65.

Exchange data showed that foreign institutional investors bought equities worth Rs 2,108.48 crore on a net basis on Wednesday.

According to Arjun Yash Mahajan, Head Institutional Business at Reliance Securities, domestic trade set-up does not look inspiring as of now. The market is expected to open flat to marginal loss and may consolidate at these levels.

However, news pertaining to government working on new stimulus package may offer support to the market in the near term, he said, adding that 2Q earnings and management commentaries so far have been encouraging, which bode well for Indian equities.

On the global front, bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul were trading on a negative note in mid-session deals.

Stock exchanges on Wall Street too ended in the red in overnight session.

Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.50 per cent lower at USD 41.52 per barrel.

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