Markets maintain up-trend

In a repeat of yesterday's action, markets opened on a flat note in the morning even on the back of some positive global cues. US markets had a firm closing yesterday and most Asian markets opened firm in the morning.

Some amount of selling emerged in the morning itself and the markets drifted into the negative. The indices traded with a weak bias till early in the afternoon.

Later in the afternoon, buying emerged and pushed the markets up. The rally sustained till close of the day helping the indices to finish the session with decent gains.

Sensex closed at 6565, up 25 points and the Nifty at 2029, up 15 points. Nifty May futures discount to the spot index widened marginally to five points from yesterday's four points. May futures are due for expiry this Thursday. Nifty June futures are quoting at a discount of 20 points to the spot.

Among Nifty stocks, SAIL, Sun Pharma and Tata Motors were the major percentage gainers while Zee Tele, Satyam Computers and Gujarat Ambuja Cements were the major losers.

US markets continued their up trend from last week and closed with decent gains. The minutes of the US Fed meeting held earlier this month will be released today and many analysts expect to find clues to a softening of the 'measured pace' stance on short term interest rates. The first quarter GDP rates are expected to be revised to at least 3.6 per cent later in the week from the earlier estimated 3.1 per cent. Both Dow and NASDAQ closed with gains of half-a-per cent.

Crude oil futures for July delivery rose around a per cent yesterday to close above the $49 to a barrel mark. After the steady downtrend over the last week, oil futures gained as traders built fresh positions on the July contracts.

On the NASDAQ, Infosys ADR surged close to 4 per cent. Satyam and Wipro ADRs on the NYSE did not disappoint either, with gains of over a per cent each. ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Tata Motors closed with losses. Telecom stocks, VSNL and MTNL, both managed to close with gains.

The surge in Infosys ADR prices was after reports that the company's sponsored ADR offering is receiving very good response from overseas investors. According to reports, the issue has been subscribed more than twice in Europe and received good response in Japan as well. Infosys closed with gains of close to a per cent on the domestic bourses today.

ONGC is planning to raise up to $3 billion by way of an overseas debt issue to finance its acquisition plans abroad. The stock closed with gains of half a per cent.

According to reports, ONGC is evaluating Tide Water Oil for a possible acquisition. Tide Water markets automobile lubricants. ONGC may also get a place in the Fortune 500 list of largest global corporations this year.