Monday, the Indian market slipped deep into the red, weighed down by losses in the other global markets after rallying over 23 percent in the past twelve trading sessions. While frontline stocks were under severe pressure, second-line stocks were relatively less affected. Banking, metal and realty stocks bore the brunt of the selling on aggressive profit taking, but select stocks in the defensive consumer durable and healthcare sectors closed firm.

Meanwhile, markets across the Asia-Pacific region fell on Monday, as fresh concerns about the stability of the banking sector resurfaced after U.S Treasury Secretary stated that big banks might need much more assistance than anticipated. Officials of the major banks stated that they had experienced tougher conditions during March after reporting better-than-expected results in the first two months of 2009.

Australia's All Ordinaries index fell 1.70%, China's Shanghai Composite index slipped 0.69%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index tumbled 4.70%, Japan's Nikkei 225 index slumped 4.53% and South Korea's KOSPI moved down 3.24%

The European markets were also trading sharply lower as worries surrounding General Motors mounted on news that the Obama administration has asked General Motors chief executive Rick Wagoner to step aside. The Obama Administration will continue to provide operating funds to General Motors and Chrysler for the next few weeks, but has given the companies a final deadline, threatening bankruptcy if the beleaguered auto giants do not step up their efforts to reorganize.

Back home, the BSE Sensex opened lower at 9,902 and extended its free fall all through the day. The index slipped to a low of 9,521 before finishing at 9,568, down 480 points or 4.78% over the previous close. Likewise, the S&P CNX Nifty fell 130 points or 4.20% to 2,978.

On the BSE, the market breadth was extremely negative, with decliners outnumbering advancers by 1470 to 905. The broad-based BSE 500 index tumbled 3.97% and the mid-cap index moved down 1.48%, while the small-cap index shed a modest 1.18%.

Among the major decliners, ICICI Bank slumped 5.10%, HDFC tumbled 4.30%, State Bank of India fell 2.66%, Mahindra & Mahindra lost 2.24%, Hindustan Unilever moved down 1.89% and Hindalco ended down 1.66%.

HDFC Bank, DLF, BHEL, Infosys, ACC and Larsen & Toubro were the other prominent losers. Twenty-eight out of 30 Sensex stocks ended in the red, but NTPC and Sun Pharma closed in the green. NTPC rose 0.80% and Sun Pharma moved up 0.25%.

Titagarh Wagons plunged 6.49% after the company's board gave an in-principle approval to the merger of Titagarh Steels and Titagarh Biotec with the company. Mahindra Ugine Steel plunged 7.57% after Fitch Rating India downgraded its national long-term rating and revised the rating outlook from stable to negative.

Larsen & Toubro tumbled 4.27% despite bagging an order worth Rs.345 crore from the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) for manufacturing and supplying steam generators. Central Bank of India declined 3.44% even as the government proposed to subscribe a sum of Rs.1, 400 crore in Innovative Tier-I capital instruments of the bank.

Grasim Industries tumbled 4.53% on announcing the commissioning of its new 3.3 MTPA Clinkerisation Plant at Kotputli (Rajasthan). Ranbaxy Laboratories fell 3.65% on reporting a net loss of Rs.1, 044.8 crore ($204 million) for 2008 compared to a net profit of Rs.617.7 crore in the previous year.

Tata Power lost 2.28% after it commenced the commercial operation of a coal- based thermal power plant at Trombay Thermal Power Station in Chembur, Mumbai. Unichem Laboratories moved down 2.33% despite receiving an approval from the US Food and Drug Administration for Topiramate tablets in multiple strengths. KEC International slipped 1.63% even as it bagged new orders worth Rs.207 crore.

Rain Commodities jumped 12.80% after its board decided to buy back its own shares at a price not exceeding Rs.127 per share. Asian Paints gained 2.38% after its board approved a scheme of amalgamation of Technical Instruments Manufacturers (India), a wholly owned subsidiary, with the company

Novartis India added 2.38% on speculation that its Swiss parent could de-list the Indian unit at a later date. Cadila Healthcare soared 5.61% after it signed an agreement with Eli Lilly to discover and develop new cardiovascular medicines

Matrix Laboratories rose 3.25% to Rs.146 after the US-based generic drug maker Mylan opted to buy out the remaining 29% stake of Matrix at an indicative price of Rs.150 per share. The final de-listing price will be decided through the reverse book-building procedure.

Reliance topped the traded value with a turnover of Rs.354.60 crore followed by ICICI Bank (Rs.229.17 crore), Aban Offshore (Rs. 131.88 crore), Tata Steel (Rs.131.50 crore) and Reliance Infrastructure (Rs.126.66 crore).

Cals Refineries topped the traded volume with trades of around 1.64 crore shares followed by Reliance Natural Resources (1.32 crore), Unitech (1.22 crore), S Kumars (98.66 lakh) and Suzlon (79.07 lakh).

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