Indian shares fell for a second straight session on Wednesday as caution prevailed ahead of state elections results, including that of the crucial state of Uttar Pradesh, and a U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting next week.
The election in Uttar Pradesh is the world's largest this year and will have a key influence on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's chances of clinching a second term in 2019.
Exit polls will be released on Thursday and results will be out on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve has a policy meeting on March 14-15 and markets are expecting a rate hike after recent hawkish comments by policymakers.
"The market is in a consolidation phase and is probably already over-rated. Election results followed by the Fed meeting are important for the Indian market, after which it will take a call accordingly next week," said R.K. Gupta, managing director at Taurus Asset Management Company.
"Whatever may be the outcome of the elections, the market is going to take a correction."
The broader NSE Nifty was down 0.41 percent at 8,910.75 by 0542 GMT, steadily retreating from a two-year closing high hit on Monday.
The benchmark BSE Sensex was 0.44 percent lower at 28,872.47.
IT stocks were among the biggest percentage losers on the NSE index, with Infosys Ltd (INFY.NS) and HCL Technologies Ltd (HCLT.NS) shedding more than 1 percent each.
Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd (KTKM.NS) rose as much 2.69 percent to a record high after a block deal by an unknown buyer and a media report that Canadian pension fund Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec was looking to buy a stake.
Financial stocks Yes Bank Ltd (YESB.NS) and IndusInd Bank Ltd (INBK.NS) gained up to 1.83 percent and 0.75 percent, respectively, and were among the top gainers on the Nifty.
(Reporting By Darshana Sankararaman in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)