The benchmark BSE Sensex in volatile trading on Wednesday fell by 170 points to settle at 27,225.93 on heavy selling in HDFC and Airtel as participants remained cautious ahead of April derivatives expiry and outcome of the Federal Reserve's two-day meet.
Persistent selling by foreign investors on MAT worries, disappointing Q4 earning numbers and delay in land acquisition bill led to book-profiting ahead of expiry of the April derivatives contract expiring on Thursday.
"Profit-booking before the important Q4 numbers, Fed meet on 28-29th April and MAT issue is fuelling this correction," said Vinod Nair, head, Fundamental Research at Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services.
Telecom giant, Bharti Airtel settled down by 3.32% and was the top loser from the Sensex pack as its March quarter net profit failed to enthuse investors.
Airtel had reported a 30.5% jump in its March quarter's net profit at Rs 1,255 crore on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, HDFC, which on Wednesday reported a 9.6% increase in its consolidated net profit at Rs 2,646.35 crore for the March quarter, fell by 2.11%.
Selling was mainly seen in FMCG, auto, metal and refinery counters, while realty, consumer durable, pharma, IT and banking stocks attracted buying support.
The BSE 30-share index resumed a shade lower at 27,395.71 and slipped further to a low of 27,176.54. It recovered briefly to touch the session's high of 27,438.96 on short-covering of positions in select bluechip stocks.
However, it succumbed to selling in late afternoon trade and finally settled at 27,225.93, a loss of 170.45 points or 0.62%.
The 50-issue NSE Nifty also moved down by 45.85 points or 0.55% to 8,239.75 after shuttling between 8.219.20 and 8,308.20 intra-day. Lack of fresh trigger from overseas markets too weighed on the local stocks as Asian markets closed mixed. However, European stocks were trading slightly better in their morning deals.