BSE Sensex
BSE SensexReuters

Indian stock markets are expected to decline for the fifth straight session on Thursday after the minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) July policy meeting released Wednesday offered few clues on when the US central bank might reduce its asset purchase program.

The minutes from the FOMC July policy meeting showed that almost all participants were comfortable with chairman Ben Bernanke’s stance that the central bank should begin winding down the massive asset purchase program later this year if the economy continues to improve as they expect.

Majority members have agreed that a change to the stimulus was not yet appropriate at the July meeting, while a few officials thought it would soon be time to slow somewhat the pace of $85 billion-per-month asset purchase plan, the minutes showed.

"The minutes didn't tell us much. It tells us that like everybody else the Fed is confused and they are not getting any clear signals from the economy. That is what you see in an economy bumbling along at 2 percent," Erik Davidson, deputy chief investment officer for Wells Fargo Private Bank in San Francisco, told Reuters.

Indian markets declined on Wednesday, with the BSE Sensex falling below 18,000 level and NSE Nifty slipping below its psychological 5400 level, as the rupee plunged to a new record low of 64.54 against dollar in intraday trade at the interbank foreign exchange market before closing the day at a record closing low of 64.04.

Meanwhile, Asian markets mostly declined on Thursday. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 declined 0.20 percent and China's Shanghai Composite gained 0.17 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.24percent and South Korea's KOSPI slipped 0.78 percent.

US stock markets ended lower on Wednesday after July Fed minutes showed officials support stimulus cuts later this year if economy improves. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.70 percent, the S&P 500 Index was down 0.58 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index fell 0.38 percent.