Mumbai, May 29 : The benchmark BSE Sensex declined by nearly 78 points in early trade today as several stocks suffered losses on selling by funds and retail investors ahead of monthly expiry in the derivatives segment. The 30-share barometer, which had gained 6.58 points in yesterday’s choppy trade, moved down by 77.78 points, or 0.32 per cent, to 24,478.31 with IT, auto, PSUs, metal and banking stocks leading the fall.

Also, the National Stock Exchange index Nifty shed 13.25 points, or 0.18 per cent, to 7,316.40. Brokers said offloading of positions by foreign funds and retail investors on the last session of May’s expiry in the derivatives segment and mixed cues from other Asian markets influenced the trading sentiments.

Shares of Infosys plunged 6.10 per cent to Rs 2,978.75 after the company yesterday announced the resignation of board member and President B G Srinivas who was considered among the top contenders for the first non-founder CEO post. Among other Asian markets, Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.58 per cent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was trading0.22 per cent higher in early trade. The US Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.25 per cent down in yesterday’s trade.