Photographs: Reuters Manu Kaushik and agencies in Mumbai
Markets slipped on Wednesday, tracking weak global cues amid uncertainty ahead of election results on May 16.
Investors worldwide remained wary of US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's congressional testimony later on Wednesday.
Ukraine fears also weighed on sentiment today, with Russia rejecting a peace proposal amidst civil war-like situation in the former Soviet union republic.
Back home, global investment bank UBS's downgrade of IT bellwether Infosys index coupled with the strengthening rupee pushed BSE IT index down 2.5% to hit multi-month lows.
UBS downgraded the IT bellwether Infosys to 'sell', citing the longer-than-expected turnaround time at the IT outsourcer.
Heavyweight IT stocks such as Infosys and TCS shed 1-3%, pulling the benchmark stock indices lower.
HCL Tech slipped 4.5%, Tech Mahindra was down almost 3.6% and Wipro shed almost 2% from the IT pack.
The rupee is trading at 60.06 versus its previous close of 60.11/12 on broad losses in the dollar versus other major and regional units, but a sharp fall will be averted on caution ahead of the national elections outcome next week.
The 30-share Sensex slipped 184 points or 0.8% to close at 22,324 levels while 50-unit Nifty index shed 63 points at 6,663 levels.
Top blue-chip laggards were Infosys, HDFC, TCS, Wipro and Hindalco, while State Bank of India, Sun Pharma, NTPC and BPCL were gainers.
Foreign institutional investors bought shares worth a net Rs 45.93 crore on Tuesday, as per provisional exchange data.
Meanwhile, shares in Asia stumbled to a one-month low and the safe-haven yen hovered just below a multi-month high against the dollar on Wednesday as the heightened possibility of Ukraine slipping into civil war depressed risk appetite.
Japan's Nikkei share average tumbled 2.9% to a three-week low on Wednesday, posting its biggest daily drop since mid-March, as a stronger yen dragged down exporters and concerns about Ukraine curbed investors' risk appetites.
The Nikkei closed down 424.06 points to 14,033.45, its lowest closing level since April 15.
The broader Topix fell 2.6% to 1,152.01, with 2.1 billion shares changing hands, the largest volume since April 11.
Movers & shakers
Pharma major Lupin Ltd posted a growth of 40% in its net profit for FY13-14 at Rs 1,836 crore, against Rs 1314 crore for FY 2012-13, on strong growth in key markets like the US, Europe and South Africa.
Net sales for the year grew by 17.2% to Rs 11,087 crore during FY 2013-14, up from Rs 9,462 crore in FY 2012-13. The stock corrected little over 1% to close at Rs 990.20, despite posting healthy numbers.
Manipal-based public sector lender Syndicate Bank slipped a over 7% after announcing that its fourth quarter results.
Net profit for the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2014 declined 31% to Rs 409 crore compared to Rs 592 crore in the corresponding quarter last fiscal. he Bank's gross non performing assets have gone up by 55% to Rs 4,611 crore in the March quarter of 2014 from Rs 2,979 crore in the same quarter last year.
The percentage of Net NPAs stood at 1.56% from 0.76% in the year ago period. The return on assets has come down to 0.70% from 1.19% a year ago.
Allahabad Bank plunged almost 9% to Rs 95.05, after the bank said its gross non-performing assets , as a percentage of total assets, increased to 5.73% in the March quarter from 5.47% at the end of December quarter.
In individual names, IRB Infrastructure Developers strengthened by 5% to Rs 121 in an otherwise weak market after the company said it has bagged an order worth around Rs 2,300 crore from National Highways Authority of India.
Shriram City Union Finance gained 2.3% on huge block deal. About 1.65 million shares, representing 2.8% of total equity capital of Shriram City Union Finance, have changed hands at a price of Rs 1,251 per share in opening trades via block deal, the BSE data shows. However, the name of the buyers and sellers are not known.
The market breadth was negative. 1,234 stocks advanced while 1493 stocks declined.