Benchmark equity indices declined in early trade on Monday amid weak trends in Asian markets and spike in Brent crude oil prices due to geopolitical tension in the Middle East.
Falling for the third day running, the 30-share BSE Sensex declined 243.36 points to 66,039.38. The Nifty slipped 59.2 points to 19,691.85.
From the Sensex pack, Nestle, Asian Paints, IndusInd Bank, HDFC Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank and Bajaj Finserv were among the major laggards.
Tata Motors, HCL Technologies, Axis Bank and Maruti were among the gainers.
In Asian markets, Seoul, Tokyo, Shanghai and Hong Kong were trading lower.
The US markets ended on a mixed note on Friday.
Global oil benchmark Brent crude climbed 0.10 per cent to USD 90.98 a barrel.
"Concerns regarding the spread of the Israel-Hamas conflict have triggered the sharp spike in Brent crude to above USD 90 and safe-haven buying has pushed gold to above USD 1900.
"From the geopolitical perspective, we are in uncharted territory and, therefore, prudence demands that investors remain cautious," said V K Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist at Geojit Financial Services.
Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) were buyers on Friday as they bought equities worth Rs 317.01 crore, according to exchange data.
The BSE benchmark had dropped 125.65 points or 0.19 per cent to settle at 66,282.74 on Friday. The broader Nifty of NSE fell by 42.95 points or 0.22 per cent to 19,751.05.