The Sensex picked up cues from a lacklustre Asia as it stumbled 156 points today in the beginning of the week after investors started to take profit ahead of key IIP and inflation numbers due later in the day.
Asian shares traded in the negative territory after polls in the UK threw up a hung Parliament and markets await the results of the first round of France's parliamentary elections. The 30-share index plunged by 155.91 points, or 0.49 per cent, to 31,106.15. The gauge had gained 48.70 points in the previous session on Friday. Sectoral indices such as technology, IT, capital goods, bank, PSU, power, auto, oil and gas tripped, falling by up to 0.62 per cent. Major IT players felt the heat as Wipro, TCS and Infosys slid by up to 2.08 per cent.
National Stock Exchange's Nifty retreated by 45.35 points, or 0.46 per cent, to 9,622.90. Profit-booking by participants paced up ahead of key macro data - index of industrial production (IIP) for April and consumer price index-based inflation for May are slated for release after market hours today. A depreciating rupee against the dollar weighed, traders said. While Japan's Nikkei was down 0.36 per cent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 1.02 per cent in early trade today. China's main Shanghai Composite was also down by 0.24 per cent.
In the meanwhile, the ongoing political churn in the UK cast its cloud on the rupee as it depreciated 15 paise to 64.39 against the US dollar in early session today ahead of release of key IIP and inflation data later in the day.