The Indian market fell sharply on Wednesday, as investors took profits after a 4% rally in the previous session. Additionally, political uncertainty ahead of the announcement of results of the month-long general elections, which will be announced on Saturday, led to the sell-off. After showing some resilience in early trading, the broader market also succumbed to selling pressure.

After moving choppily in a range of 12,256-11,934, the BSE Sensex finished the session sharply lower at 12,019, down 138 points or 1.14% from the previous close. Likewise, the S&P CNX Nifty showed sideways movement before settling at 3,635, down 46 points or 1.25%.

On the BSE, the mid-cap index slipped 0.13%, the small-cap index shed 0.48% and the broad-based BSE 500 index ended down 0.75%. The market breadth was negative, with decliners outnumbering advancers by 1336 to 1154. Stocks across the sectors ended mostly in the red. While metal, IT and FMCG stocks bore the brunt of the selling pressure, consumer durable, healthcare and auto stocks showed modest losses compared to the broader market.

Among the major decliners, Tata Steel tumbled 3.67%, Sterlite fell 3.46%, ONGC declined 3.44%, Jaiprakash Associates moved down 2.90% and Maruti Suzuki ended down 2.67%. State Bank of India, Mahindra & Mahindra, TCS, Reliance Communication, HDFC Bank, ITC and ICICI Bank were the other prominent losers.

On the other hand, ACC advanced 3.37%, HDFC gained 3.03%, Grasim added 1.83% and Ranbaxy Laboratories closed up 1.05%. Hindalco, Tata Motors, Reliance Infrastructure and Bharti Airtel also ended in positive terrain.

Outsourcer TCS fell 2.36% despite bagging a five-year contract from Volkswagen Group UK, a unit of Volkswagen AG. Infosys declined 1.51%, Wipro closed down 0.13% and Satyam ended down 1.22%.

Educomp Solutions rose 2.01% on bagging a Rs.83.82 crore order from Gujarat government to introduce computer aided learning for 8,50000 students of government run schools of the state.

Property developer DLF pared its early gains and closed down 1.59% after its promoters sold 168 million shares of the company to institutional investors for Rs.3860 crore in an open market transaction. Unitech fell 3.24%, Parsvnath moved down 1.53% and Akruti City slipped 0.53%, but Sobha Developers and IndiaBulls Real Estate closed stronger.

Telecom player Bharti Airtel closed up 0.35% after data released by the Cellular Operators' Association of India revealed that the company has added 2.81 million new mobile users in April. Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) also rose 1.51%, but Reliance Communication fell 2.22% and Idea Cellular drifted down 1.32%.

Media stock Television Eighteen ended up 0.30% after the company proposed to raise Rs.510 crore from its existing shareholders through a rights issue for retiring its debt. Retailer Pantaloon Retail slipped 0.19% after its shareholders approved a proposal to raise Rs. 368 crore via preferential issue of equity shares and warrants for funding its expansion plans.

Sugar stocks closed mixed after reports suggested that sugar production has fallen 50% in the leading sugar producing state Maharashtra during October-April 2009.

Aviation stock Jet Airways closed down 0.28% after the company tied up with the department of tourism, government of Kerala, to offer 'Jet2Kerala', a special scheme that offers low-cost air tickets to domestic tourists flying to the state. JetAirways slipped 0.28% and SpiceJet shed 0.49%, while Kingfisher closed unchanged

ICICI Bank ended down 1.61% after it entered into an agreement with Visa to issue debit cards in the United States. HDFC Bank fell 2.22% and SBI declined 2.57%, but Yes Bank surged up 10.60%, Punjab National Bank gained 1.69%, Canara Bank added 1.04% and Axis Bank closed up 0.30%.

Union Bank of India rose 2.30% after the Life Insurance Corporation of India hiked its stake in the state-run bank by 2.032% to 9.183% through open market transactions between 28 January and 8 May.

Steel maker SAIL fell 2.95% on reports that the company is not looking at any price increases in the hot rolled coil segment in the short-term. Other steel stocks such as Tata Steel, Ispat Industries and JSW Steel also ended deep in the red.

Piramal Life Sciences was locked at the 5% upper circuit limit after it received regulatory approval from the Drug Controller General of India for the initiation of two Phase I/II combination trials of its cancer molecule P276 for pancreatic, and head and neck cancer in India

Non-banking finance company Shriram Transport Finance gained 4.86% after its net profit for the March quarter rose 38% to Rs.153.85 crore. Aditya Birla Nuvo added 2.39% amid reports the company will create a separate holding company for its financial services business comprising asset management, insurance, stock broking and distribution.

Among state-owned oil-marketing companies, HPCL advanced 2.49% and BPCL closed up 0.68%, but IOC moved down 1.02%. Oil explorer Reliance Industries, Cairn India and ONGC closed in negative territory.

On the BSE, DLF topped the traded turnover with a total turnover of Rs.4, 153.15 crore, followed by Reliance (Rs.284.08 crore), Reliance Capital (Rs.268.crore), ICICI Bank (Rs.256.81crore) and HDIL (Rs.244.42 crore).

DLF also topped the traded volume with trades of 180 million shares, followed by Cals Refineries (24.41 million), Unitech (22.27 million), Suzlon (21.71 million) and Birla Power (17.49 million).

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