The BSE benchmark Sensex fell for the fifth straight day by losing over 36 points in early trade today due to sustained selling by funds on fears of a rate hike by the Reserve Bank amid a weak trend in other Asian markets.
The 30-share barometer fell by 36.56 points, or 0.18 per cent, to 20,679.02. The index had lost 611.03 points in the previous four sessions.
Stocks of banking, FMCG, power, oil and gas and auto sectors were the major losers that pulled down the Sensex.
The National Stock Exchange index Nifty fell 15.00 points, or 0.24 per cent, to 6,153.40.
Brokers said persistent selling by funds on fears of a rate hike by the RBI in its mid-quarter review of monetary policy on December 18 and a weak trend in the Asian region on speculation that the Federal Reserve will announce a cut in stimulus at its policy meeting this week, mainly dampened the trading sentiment here.
Among other Asian markets, Hong Kong's Hang Seng traded lower by 0.16 per cent and Japan's Nikkei fell 0.65 per cent in early trade.
The US Dow Jones Industrial Average, however, ended 0.10 per cent higher on Friday.