Private Bank stocks help indices to close higher

Markets opened flat in the morning and immediately dipped one third of a per cent. The recovery also came equally fast but the traders were too apprehensive to take the indices out of a narrow range.

Banks led by HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank were the flavour of the day. Both stocks maintained a steady up trend through out the day and closed with substantial gains.

HDFC Bank gained over 6 per cent while ICICI Bank gained around 3 per cent. HDFC, parent company of HDFC Bank, also gained over 3 per cent.

Punjab National Bank was the sole significant gainer among PSU bank stocks with gains of over 3 per cent. After languishing below Rs390, which was the price for its recent issue, causing much heartburn to retail investors the stock finally managed to close above Rs400.

The Nifty was stuck in a range for most of the session before making a move in the closing half hour. Recovery in some frontline stocks which were trading in losses earlier helped the indices to close the day with decent gains.

Sensex closed at 6781, up 23 points and the Nifty at 2098, up 5 points from yesterday's close. Nifty June futures discount to the spot narrowed to 10 points from yesterday's 14 points.