Equity benchmark Sensex tanked over 700 points in early trade on Friday tracking losses in index majors Reliance Industries, HDFC twins ad ICICI Bank amid persistent foreign fund outflow.

The 30-share index was trading 704.22 points or 1.17 per cent lower at 59,280.48 in initial deals. Similarly, the Nifty fell 181.70 points or 1.02 per cent to 17,675.55.

HDFC was the top loser in the Sensex pack, shedding around 4 per cent, followed by IndusInd Bank, Kotak Bank, Axis Bank, Reliance Industries and HDFC Bank.

On the other hand, Tata Steel, Titan, ITC and HCL Tech were among the gainers.

In the previous session, the 30-share index tanked 1,158.63 points or 1.89 per cent to close at 59,984.70, while Nifty plummeted 353.70 points or 1.94 per cent to 17,857.25.

Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) were net sellers in the capital market, as they offloaded shares worth Rs 3,818.51 crore on Thursday, as per exchange data.

With Nifty moving below the 20-Day Moving Average, the market has turned distinctly weak. The major drag on the market now is the sustained FII selling, said V K Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist at Geojit Financial Services.

This comes after foreign brokerages like Morgan Stanley, Nomura and UBS downgraded India on excessive valuations. "When smart money selling turns aggressive, retail exuberance would be overwhelmed. This is happening now," he noted.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai and Tokyo were trading with gains in mid-session deals, while Hong Kong and Seoul were in the red.

Stock exchanges in the US ended on a positive note in the overnight session.

Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude advanced 0.27 per cent to USD 83.89 per barrel.