Indices post strong gains

Indices opened on a flat note in the morning even as most Asian markets posted decent gains in early trades. Markets remained range bound for an hour or so before they started a strong up trend.

After making significant gains by noon, the indices again got stuck into a trading range till late in the afternoon. A strong rally in the last one hour helped the indices to close near the highs of the day.

The Sensex closed at 6540, up 40 points and the Nifty at 2014, up 21 points. Nifty May futures discount to the spot index narrowed to 4 points from Friday's 6 points. The gains on Nifty were much higher as stocks like TCS, which does not have representation on the Sensex, posted strong gains. ONGC, which has a higher weight on the Nifty, also added to the better performance of the Nifty.

Among Nifty stocks, BPCL, TCS and Satyam Computers were the major percentage gainers while SAIL, Hindustan Lever and Tata Steel were the major losers.

Reliance group stocks had a good day as all of them bounced back strongly. The finance minister had indicated over the weekend that the Ambani brothers were talking to each other and that a settlement could be expected shortly.

Reliance Industries, Reliance Energy, Reliance Capital and IPCL all gained over a per cent each in early trades. Reliance Industries closed with gains of over 2 per cent.

Oil marketing companies continued to gain on expectations of a hike in fuel prices shortly. BPCL was the significant gainer with gains of over 4 per cent. HPCL and Indian Oil also gained over 2 per cent each.