Weakness across Asia keeps Indices down

Markets had a very flat opening even as reports of fresh earth quakes in Maharashtra came in. After struggling to trade in positive territory, the indices took the lead from other Asian markets and went down. Markets across Asia corrected today on worries of high crude prices. Sensex closed at 6752, down 58 points and the Nifty at 2129, down 17 points. The Nifty futures discount to the spot index remains at 9 points.

US markets rallied towards close after being in the red in afternoon trades. Crude continued its rally ahead of a crucial OPEC meeting in Iran. The Dow and NASDAQ both gained a third of a per cent. Indian ADR's continued their bad run with many of them closing with substantial losses. HDFC Bank, which had a strong rally over the last couple of weeks, led the weakness with a loss of around 3 per cent. Telecom stocks VSNL and MTNL also closed lower. Infosys, Satyam and Tata Motors managed to close with marginal gains.

The controversial Reliance Infocomm equity allotments came up for discussion in the Parliament today. The finance minister, while explaining government's stand, stated that there was no prima facie violation of rules and SEBI is investigating into investor complaints on Reliance Industries corporate governance practices.

After yesterday's run up, Jet Airways stock remained subdued today. It traded in a narrow range around Rs1,300 for most of the day except for a brief period when it slipped to Rs1,280 levels. The stock closed at Rs1,293, down Rs11.

Bharti Televentures and Punjab National Bank were major losers as RBI has banned fresh FII buying in both stocks. PNB has been losing steadily after close of its public issue which had led to a strong rally in the stock.

Tata group company VSNL was a major loser down close to 5 per cent in morning trades. VSNL ADR had a very bad day yesterday on the New York stock exchange. Other Tata stocks like Tata Motors, Tata Tea, Tata Power and TCS also closed in the red.