Indices close firm after weak opening

Markets opened with marginal losses following the weak trend in US markets on Friday. After declining close to half a per cent each, the indices began a slow and steady recovery which lasted for the rest of the day.

News of some aggressive buying by the FII's in the futures segment last week triggered the recovery. The results from MTNL and Siemens were better than expected and sustained the market confidence.

Lower than expected figures from HCL Technologies could not dampen the sentiment in Satyam which took off from where it closed on Friday and gained around 5 per cent by close today. TCS gave up a per cent after showing signs of recovery on Friday.

TCS and NTPC would replace Zee Tele and HPCL on the BSE Sensex. The move is in recognition of the large market capitalization and trading volumes in TCS and NTPC. The change will be effective from 6 June 2005.

Sensex closed at 6378, up 32 points and the Nifty at 1971, up 4 points. Nifty April futures discount to the spot index narrowed to 12 points from Friday's 18 points.

Among Nifty stocks, VSNL, MTNL and Satyam were the major percentage gainers while Dr. Reddy's, HCL Tech and Nalco were the major losers.

After Thursday's sharp bounce back, US markets saw an equally sharp decline on Friday. The indices which were trading flat till early afternoon suddenly declined on news of a possible nuclear test by North Korea. NASDAQ, which gained over 2 per cent on Thursday, lost one and a half percent on Friday. Dow lost over three-fourths of a per cent.

Crude futures for June delivery continued its bounce back on shortage fears of gasoline in the peak demand season starting next month. June futures on NYMEX rose over 2 per cent and closed above $55 to a barrel.