Indices close with modest gains

Markets opened firm on the back of improved global market sentiments ahead of the US Fed meeting. The rise in crude prices yesterday was considered as more of a technical move and markets are not attaching any significance to it.

The changes effected by the government to the fringe benefit tax and clarification from many companies about lower than expected impact of the tax helped improve sentiments.

Even domestic market players are keenly following the US Federal Reserve meeting as a significant change in interest rates could have an effect on FII inflows into the country.

Sensex closed at 6217, up 22 points and the Nifty at 1921, up 4 points. Nifty May futures discount to the spot index widened to 18 points from yesterday's 10 points.

Among Nifty stocks, Tata Chemicals, ACC and BHEL were the major percentage gainers while TCS, Wipro and BPCL were the major losers.

After Friday's crash of over 4 per cent, crude futures bounced back yesterday. June futures closed with gains of over 2 per cent at $50.92 to a barrel. The surge was attributed to short covering and crude has opened weak in early trades today.

US markets had a volatile day yesterday as investors are waiting for the decision on short term interest rates at the US Fed meeting starting today. After opening firm, the indices declined as crude prices surged. However, they reclaimed most of the lost ground towards closing. Dow gained half a per cent while NASDAQ gains were marginally lower.