Indices lose early gains on continued selling pressure

The levels could not be maintained however, as the markets set on a declining path for the rest of the day. What started of as a gradual weakening gathered pace by afternoon and the indices dropped fast thereafter.

Continued profit booking in frontline stocks like Bajaj Auto, Infosys and Tata Motors saw the indices falling deeper into negative territory later in the afternoon. Gains in Reliance prevented further decline.

Sensex closed at 6782, down 50 points and the Nifty at 2091, down 12 points from yesterday's close. Nifty June futures discount to the spot narrowed to 17 points from yesterday's 21 points.

Among Nifty stocks, VSNL, Reliance Industries and Tata Chemicals were the major percentage gainers while L&T, Tata Motors and Hindalco were the major losers.

After a nervous opening, US markets recovered yesterday after the Fed chairman testified that the economy was in good shape and inflation under control. Dow gained one quarter of a per cent. Gains on NASDAQ were higher aided by Intel which revised its earnings estimates upwards.

Crude oil futures for July delivery surged over 3 per cent to close above $54 to a barrel yesterday. The commodity rallied after reports that storms in the Atlantic were forcing oil companies to remove personnel from offshore oil rigs.