Mumbai: The Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex on Wednesday fell by 79 points in opening trade on selling in metal, capital goods and realty stocks by funds, which took cues from weak global markets.
The 30-share index lost 79.20 points, or 0.48 percent, at 16,416.85 points in the first five minutes of trading.
The wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty fell by 28.60 points, or 0.47 percent, to 4,903.25 points.
Brokers said fresh selling by funds following weak trend in global markets mainly led to fall in shares prices.
They said a rise in refinery stocks saved the market from major fall.
State-run explorer Oil & Natural Gas Corp and oil marketing companies such as Bharat Petroleum Corp, Hindustan Petroleum Corp and Indian Oil Corp may rise as government may consider fuel price deregulation.
Government will shortly consider a proposal that it give up control of fuel prices, the oil minister said on Wednesday, a move which would ease pressure on government finances and improve earnings of oil retailers.
"The market may start lower because of weak global cues and lower metal prices," said Surekha Joshi, senior trader of institutional equities at SPA Securities.
Non-ferrous metals producer Sterlite Industries may reel under pressure as copper prices dropped.
Japanese share fell by 0.58 percent, while Hong Kong shares were 1.31 percent lower in morning trade after overnight losses on the US stock markets.
The US stocks closed lower by 0.26 percent as investors booked profits ahead of this week`s keenly awaited official jobs data.