Another dull day for the markets

The markets opened lower in the absence of any fresh triggers and after yesterday's weakness in the US markets. The decline in crude prices was not unexpected and failed to cheer the markets.

After touching the low of the day early in the morning the indices started inching up and maintained the trend for most of the day. Some amount of selling pressure emerged towards close which prevented the indices from closing the day with marginal gains.

Volumes remained very low even after quite a few stocks were added recently to the futures and options segment. Institutional activity remains low in frontline stocks and most of the retail activity has shifted to the mid-cap segment.

Sensex closed at 6452, down 5 points and the Nifty at 1988, down 5 points. Nifty May futures discount to the spot index narrowed to 11 points from yesterday's 14 points.

Among Nifty stocks, Cipla, HDFC and Dr Reddy's were the major percentage gainers while Satyam, Nalco and Infosys were the major losers.

Yesterday, US markets declined and closed with substantial losses. Dow lost over a per cent as most old economy stocks came under pressure. NASDAQ was better off with under half-a-percent of losses after Cisco announced better than expected results. The sharp fall in crude prices led to a sell off in oil stocks which have been out performing the markets in recent months.