Sensex moves in tight range; hovering below 18,500

Sensex moves in tight range; hovering below 18,500 Mumbai: The BSE benchmark Sensex fell by almost 44 points in early trade Thursday as funds and retail investors preferred to book profits after yesterday's gains.

The 30-share barometer, which gained 74.53 points in the last session, moved down by 43.58 points, or 0.24 percent, to 18,461.80 with stocks of FMCG, oil and gas, and metal sectors leading the fall.

Similarly, the wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty shed 10.70 points, or 0.19 percent, to 5,609.

Brokers said besides profit-booking by speculators, a mixed trend at the Asian markets following overnight losses at European and the US markets, influenced the sentiments.

In Asia, Japan's Nikkei Index gained 0.08 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index shed 0.31 percent in early trade today.

In the US market, which resumed after a two-day shutdown forced by superstorm Sandy, Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.08 percent lower in yesterday's trade.