Mumbai: The BSE benchmark Sensex today declined by nearly 33 points in early trade on profit-booking by funds and retail investors.

However, a firming trend on Asian boures following overnight rally in the US and European markets capped the losses.

The 30-share barometer, which had gained 194.79 points in the previous session, fell by 32.88 points, or 0.19 per cent, to 16,829.92.

Similarly, the wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty shed 9.70 points, or 0.18 per cent, to 5,106.20.

Brokers said profit-booking by speculators after yesterday’s strong gains mainly led to a fall in stock prices.

However, hopes of rate cut by the Reserve Bank early next week and a firming trend in Asian markets restricted the losses, they added.

In the Asian region, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was up 0.16 per cent, while Japan’s Nikkei Index gained 0.61 per cent in the morning trade. The US Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 1.31 per cent higher in yesterday’s trade.