Indices close with marginal losses after volatile trade

Indices opened the day marginally in the positive after yesterday's large decline. The continuing weakness in US markets and record oil prices kept the sentiment largely negative.

The markets dipped soon after, but recovered and maintained a steady uptrend till early afternoon. Reports blaming the confusion regarding imposition of higher margins on select stocks by the BSE for yesterday's sharp decline encouraged some traders to take fresh positions.

Indices gave up all their gains later in the afternoon as fresh buying failed to emerge. The last half hour saw some recovery, which helped the indices to inch closer to yesterday's closing levels.

Sensex closed at 7696, a loss of 10 points, and the Nifty at 2319, a loss of 5 points. Nifty August futures discount to the spot index narrowed marginally to 8 points from yesterday's 9 points.

Gujarat Ambuja, Grasim and Wipro were among the major gainers among Nifty stocks while Cipla, Nalco and VSNL were the major losers.

The US markets closed lower yesterday as crude surged to record highs and traders prepared for yet another short term interest rate hike by the US Fed. The Dow and S&P 500 indices lost around a quarter of a per cent each. NASDAQ continued its losing streak for the fourth day and closed with losses of over half a per cent.