Equity benchmark indices closed half a per cent higher on Wednesday with IT, pharma and metal stocks trading firm throughout the session. The BSE SandP Sensex closed 254 points or 0.5 per cent higher at 51,280 while the Nifty 50 ticked up by 76 points or 0.51 per cent to 15,175. Tata Motors gained by 2 per cent and Bajaj Auto by 1.9 per cent. JSW Steel ticked up by 3 per cent to Rs 413.80 per share while Hindalco and Tata Steel moved up by 2.3 per cent each. The other major gainers were Bajaj Finance, Sun Pharma, Axis Bank and Tech Mahindra. However, SBI Life, HDFC Life, ONGC, GAIL, Adani Ports, Hero MotoCorp and ITC traded with a negative bias. Meanwhile, Asian stocks bounced back from a two-month low after bond yields eased following a well-received auction. Japan's Nikkei was little changed with a meagre gain of 0.03 per cent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index gained by 0.47 per cent but South Korea's Kospi dropped by 0.6 per cent.