Late rally helps indices to close marginally higher

The continuing sell off in Indian ADR's in US markets saw the domestic markets opening weak in the morning. Technology stocks and select other frontline stocks opened on a weak note.

After remaining sideways till around noon, the indices declined as bank stocks turned weak after the RBI declared its monetary policy.

The last hour of trade saw some short covering as today was the last day of trade of the April series for the futures and options segment. The indices pulled back into the green as some of the heavyweights like ITC, HDFC, Reliance, etc, gained and the morning's losers cut part of their losses.

Sensex closed at 6284, up 6 points and the Nifty at 1941, up 6 points. Nifty May futures closed the day at a discount of 25 points to the spot index.

Among Nifty stocks, Sun Pharma, VSNL and Hero Honda were the major percentage gainers while Oriental Bank of Commerce, Punjab National Bank and ICICI Bank were the major losers.

After opening weak, US markets bounced back yesterday to close in the positive. The indices were affected by reports of lower demand for durables which raised concerns of slowing economic growth. However, a sharp slide in oil prices perked up the market by mid-day. Dow closed almost half a per cent higher while NASDAQ had a more modest rise of less than one fifth of a per cent.