Markets decline as Reliance spat peaks

Yet another big result day with the largest private sector company Reliance Industries announcing its results. Great numbers from the company failed to strengthen the markets as controversies surrounding the Reliance group led to some selling by institutional investors.

Market weakness in the morning came mostly from the frontline technology companies. Led by Infosys, all the major software stocks lost ground in early trades. The fall was triggered by the large sell off in Infosys ADR yesterday at the NASDAQ.

Old economy stocks, especially Reliance, held the markets from further decline till late in the afternoon. When it looked as if the indices would close without further damage, a sudden bout of selling in heavyweights pulled them down.

Sensex closed at 6279, down 61 points and the Nifty at 1935, down 22 points. Nifty April futures discount to the spot index went up marginally to 8 points from Teusday's 7 points.

Among Nifty stocks, HLL, Cipla and Bajaj Auto were the major percentage gainers while ICICI Bank, MTNL and IPCL were the major losers.

Reliance Industries came out with better than expected results. After IPCL's strong results yesterday, the markets were almost expecting an excellent showing by the petrochemical and refinery major.