Markets decline on Reliance and interest rate worries

On Monday, the markets started on a cautiously optimistic note with modest gains. Good corporate results and the rally in Satyam helped the indices to close higher. Tuesday saw the markets drifting lower even on the face of some good corporate results.

Wednesday was a big day on the results calendar as Reliance came out with its annual numbers. Though the company reported excellent growth in revenues and profits, the markets declined as the family feud hit a peak.

Thursday was important for traders as the April series of futures and options expired. The markets opened weak before short covering helped the indices to close with marginal gains.

Friday was a painful day for most investors as the indices declined by 2 per cent. The sharp fall in bank stocks led the decline as the markets interpreted RBI's monetary policy as signaling a difficult outlook for the banking sector.

US markets were affected by the first signs of an economic slowdown after successive quarters of steady growth. The US economic growth for the first quarter of 2005 at 3.1 per cent was slower than the previous quarters. A fall in orders for durables and equipment affected sentiments further. This was more bad news for the markets after the rise in consumer prices reported during the previous week.

The US markets managed to close the week on a positive note on Friday as another set of data showed that consumer spending have increased despite higher prices. The higher consumption was aided by a rise in income level by one half of a per cent.