Indices lose further ground

After Friday's crash, there were many who expected similar weakness in the indices today as well. Other Asian markets were extremely weak, with Japan losing around three per cent, following Friday's crash in the US markets. Markets opened with losses of close to two per cent in early trades.

The large sell-off many traders were expecting did not happen and the markets recovered part of the losses by mid-day. Oil stocks and auto sector stocks led the recovery on expectations of better performance as crude prices have declined.

Technical problems at the NSE led to the futures and options market being shut down for under an hour and trading hours were extended. Selling emerged again towards close and the indices declined as some of the gainers in the morning lost ground. Sensex closed at 6157, down 92 points and the Nifty at 1928, down 29 points.

Among index stocks, Dabur, Bharat Petroleum and Tata Motors were the biggest percentage gainers while SAIL, Nalco and ICICI Bank were the top losers.

On Friday, US markets saw one of the worst declines in the last two years with both Dow and NASDAQ losing around two per cent each. Investors have started worrying about future corporate performance as some of the major companies have come out with lower guidance. After a couple of years of strong growth world economy seems to be hitting level ground, which could affect corporate performance.

ADR's of Indian companies also fell, in line with the overall market weakness. Infosys, which opened with gains after the previous day's crash, ended with losses of close to two per cent. HDFC Bank was the biggest loser with losses of close to four per cent. Wipro and VSNL lost around three per cent each while Tata Motors, ICICI Bank and MTNL all lost more than a per cent each.