Nifty ends flat on expiry day; cautious ahead of EU summit

Indian equity benchmarks closed flat for the second consecutive session on Thursday (a expiry day for June series), but rallied 4% in June series on hopes of some policy reforms going ahead as India will get new Finance Minister next week after Pranab Mukherjee resigned. Even the expectations of stimulus measures from central banks aided the rally, though banks disappointed. June series was quite good for the market as compared to previous series as benchmarks fell 5% in May series.

The NSE benchmark rose 7.25 points to close at 5,149.15 after trading in a tight range of 5,125.30-5,159.05 intraday. Meanwhile, the BSE benchmark gained 23 points at 16,990.76.

Traders as well as investors remain cautious as they are not ready to take long positions ahead of European Union summit that will begin today for two days in Brussels.

The two-day meeting is expected to produce a roadmap for fiscal, financial and political union and agree a package of growth-boosting measures, but emergency intervention to ease stresses in the bond market look doubtful.

The market's attention instead is turning to the policy meeting of the European Central Bank next week where a rate cut is seen as a growing possibility.

"We think the European Central Bank is best suited for post-summit fire-fighting at short notice," analysts at Standard Chartered Bank said in a note. "We expect a 25 basis point rate cut at its July 5 meeting."

France's CAC, Germany's DAX and Britain's FTSE were down 1-2% after weak economic data. Bank of England said banks' third quarter losses increased on default by medium and large firms. The bank expects mortgage spreads to widen significantly in Q3.

Back home, market will now await concrete steps from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who took charge of the finance ministry on Tuesday and said would take steps to revive economic growth.

Cigarette major ITC rallied 1.5% and top software services exporter TCS rose 1%. Power stocks like Tata Power and NTPC gained for second consecutive session, rising 1.4% each.

Among metals and mining stocks, Coal India and Tata Steel moved up over 1.5% whereas Hindalco and Sterlite lost 1.2-2%.

Country's largest private sector lender ICICI Bank was up 0.5% while its rivals State Bank of India and HDFC Bank slipped 0.9% each.

Top commercial vehicle maker bounced back to 0.4% after falling more than 5% since yesterday. Two-wheeler major Hero Motocorp climbed 1.6%.

Index heavyweight Reliance Industries and engineering and construction major by sales Larsen & Toubro declined 0.5% each.

Shares of Axis Bank tanked 3% amid hefty volumes. About two crore shares changed hands on exchanges at Rs 960 a share via block deal. Sources said HSBC Bank Mauritius was going to sell its stake in Axis Bank via accelerated book building route.

In the second line shares, OnMobile Global tumbled 17%. Manappuram Finance slipped 3% on profit booking as the stock had rallied 38% in previous three sessions.

Gati declined 1.55% on profit booking; the stock had rallied 7% after Japan's KWE invested Rs 267.7 crore in Gati-Kintetsu Express Pvt Ltd for 30% stake.

Rolta India gained 4% after company redeemed FCCBs worth USD 134.7 million. Educomp Solutions surged over 4%.

Indian Hotels rose 3% as Tata Sons increased stake in company by 4.78% to 24.36% for Rs 497 crore. Brigade Enterprises climbed 15% amid heavy volumes as the comapny signed JV deal with Govt of Singapore for development of residential projects.

For the week, the BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty closed marginally lower.

At 14:19 hours IST: Nifty, Sensex lacklustre; European mkt down on BoE comments

The BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty dropped marginally amid volatility in afternoon trade due to fall in European markets. Tata Motors fell more than 2% as company shut down its Jamshedpur plant for three days due to prevailing economic conditions; the stock had fallen 3% yesterday.

The BSE benchmark was down 40.80 points to 16,926.96 and the NSE benchmark declined 14.7 points to 5,127.20 ahead of expiry.

Germany's DAX tanked 1.4% as country's adjusted jobless rate increased to 6.8% versus estimate of 6.7%. France's CAC and Britain's FTSE were down 1% and 0.7%, respectively. The Dow Jones futures slipped 76 points or 0.61%, indicating lower opening of US markets.

Bank Of England said banks' third quarter losses increased on default by medium and large firms. The bank expects mortgage spreads to widen significantly in Q3.

Back home, country's largest lender State Bank of India declined 1.5% while its rival ICICI Bank rose 0.25%.

Index heavyweight Reliance Industries, top telecom operator Bharti Airtel and FMCG major HUL were down over 0.5%.

State-owned oil & gas producer ONGC, engineering and construction major by sales Larsen & Toubro and private sector lender HDFC Bank were marginally lower.

However, cigarette major ITC and private power producer Tata Power rallied 1% each.

Software services exporter Infosys, largest coal mining company Coal India, state-owned power equipment maker BHEL and power producer NTPC were up over 0.5%.

At 12:46 hours IST: Nifty in tight range; Infosys, ITC, ICICI Bank move up

The NSE Nifty has been moving in a tight range around the 5150 level since yesterday ahead of F&O expiry. The market is heading for strong closing in the current series as compared to previous series. Benchmarks rallied 4% in June series on hopes of rate-cut, stimulus from central banks globally and some policy or reform decision from new finance minister. However, benchmarks crashed 5% in May.

The BSE benchmark gained 41.80 points at 17,009.56 and the NSE benchmark rose 10 points to 5,151.75. The broader markets were up 0.4%.

The Indian rupee appreciated by 21 paise to 56.94 to the US dollar as against previous closing of 57.15 to the dollar.

State-owned power producer NTPC 1.6% as company agreed to sign fuel pact with Coal India at a minimum assured supply of 65%. Private power producer Tata Power too gained 1.6%.

Shares of cigarette major ITC, software services exporter Infosys, largest coal mining company Coal India and state-owned power equipment maker BHEL were up nearly 1%.

Engineering and construction major by sales Larsen & Toubro and housing finance company HDFC went up 0.4% each.

Country's largest private sector lender ICICI Bank was up 0.7% whereas its rival State Bank of India lost 1%.

Top commercial vehicle maker Tata Motors fell over 1% as company shut its Jamshedpur plant for three days due to 'prevailing economic condition'.

Oil & gas producers Reliance Industries and ONGC were marginally lower.

At 11:46 hours IST: Choppy Sensex holds 17000; Axis Bank, Yes Bank most active

The BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty continued to trade with marginal gains since early trade led by consistent buying interest in Infosys, ICICI Bank and L&T. Metals and power stocks too gained whereas the fall in Tata Motors, TCS and SBI has capped the upside.

The BSE benchmark was up 55 points at 17,022.73 and the NSE benchmark rose 15 points to 5,156.95.

Axis Bank tanked nearly 3% amid heavy volumes as HSBC Bank Mauritius may have sold its stake (4.75% or 1.96 crore shares) in the bank through accelerated book building route. According to sources, the block deal may be valued at around USD 326-333 million.

Yes Bank was down 1.5% as CNBC-TV18 reported quoting sources that HSBC Bank Mauritius will sell its stake in the bank through accelerated book building route. The firm will sell 1.68 crore equity shares at a price band of Rs 318-324 a share through block deal that would be valued around USD 93- 98 million for 4.75% stake.

Most active shares on exchanges were Axis Bank, SBI, ABG Shipyard, Yes Bank, Tata Motors and ICICI Bank.

Software services exporter Infosys moved up 1% whereas its rival TCS declined 0.5%.

Private sector lenders ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank were up 0.8% and 0.2%, respectively while State Bank of India was down just 0.11%.

Capital goods majors Larsen & Toubro and BHEL advanced 0.4-1%. Power stocks like Tata Power and NTPC rallied 1.4-1.7%.

Cigarette major ITC and state-owned oil & gas producer ONGC rose around 0.5%.

However, country's largest commercial vehicle maker Tata Motors dropped nearly 1%.

In the second line shares, Bajaj Finserv, Himadri Chemical, Kalpataru Power, Manappuram Finance and Indian Hotels gained 4-5% whereas Edelweiss Financial, Shree Global, Prestige Estate, eClerx Services and Kansai Nerolac lost 1.5-3.5%.

At 10:23 hours IST: Nifty moves around 5150; NTPC, Tata Power up 1.7%

The 50-share NSE Nifty has been moving around the 5150 level and the 30-share BSE Sensex around the 17000 level since yesterday. Even major Asian markets like Shanghai and Hang Seng were flat while Nikkei gained 1.4%.

Sudarshan Sukhani of s2analytics.com says an expiry day usually creates some volatility so it's wise to step aside.

The BSE benchmark was up 44 points to 17,011.85 and the NSE benchmark rose 13 points to 5,155.15. The BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices gained 0.5% each.

Country's second largest software services exporter Infosys went up 0.8% and top private sector lender ICICI Bank was up 0.5%.

Engineering and construction major by sales Larsen & Toubro moved up 0.8% and state-owned power equipment manufacturer BHEL climbed just 0.7%.

Cigarette major ITC and housing finance company HDFC rose 0.4% each.

Power stocks rallied for third consecutive session today; NTPC and Tata Power surged 1.7% each.

Among metals and mining stocks, Coal India, Tata Steel, Jindal Steel, Hindalco and Sterlite Industries gained 0.6-1%.

However, top commercial vehicle maker Tata Motors fell more than 1%, continuing the fall for second day. Yesterday the stock was down 3%.

Shares of TCS, HUL, State Bank of India, HDFC Bank, Hero Motocorp and Wipro were marginally lower.

The market breadth was positive; about two shares gained for every share falling on the National Stock Exchange.

At 9:20 hours IST: Nifty flat ahead of settlement; Tata Motors down 1%

The BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty opened flat for third consecutive session on Thursday as investors remain cautious ahead of European Union summit scheduled for June 28-29 in Brussels. Asian markets too were mixed in trade.

The market was quite volatile in trade ahead of F&O expiry today. The BSE benchmark rose 44.62 points to 17,012.38 and the NSE benchmark was up 12 points to 5,153.85.

The Indian rupee too has been moving around the 57 as against the US dollar since the announcement of measures to cap rupee's slide by the Reserve Bank of India.

ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, SBI, Tata Power, Hindalco Industries, Sterlite, L&T, JP Associates, Siemens, ACC, Ambuja Cements, JSPL, Sesa Goa, Tata Steel, Bank of Baroda, PNB, Reliance Industries were supporting the market.

However, Axis Bank fell 1.6% as sources said HSBC Bank Mauritius would sell its stake in the bank via accelerated book building route. It will sell 1.96 crore shares at a price band of Rs 950-970.9/share.

IDFC, Tata Motors, BPCL, Ranbaxy Labs, Dr Reddy's Labs and HUL, ONGC were under pressure.

The CNX Midcap Index rose 19 points to 7,213. About two shares advanced for every share declining on the National Stock Exchange.

In the second line shares, Manappuram Finance shot up 4.5% today and more than 40% this week.

Indian Hotels gained 2% as Tata Sons hiked stake in the company by 4.78% to 24.36% for Rs 497 crore.

Shree Renuka Sugars was up 1% as sugar prices rallied 3.5% at around 21 cents/lb in international market yesterday.

Brigade Enterprises shot up 6.5%. The company signed JV deal with Govt of Singapore. Brigade will invest Rs 100 crore in JV that will develop residential projects. Company expects revenues of Rs 700 crore in next 3-4 years.

Orchid was up 0.7% while Wockhardt declined 0.5%. Both these stocks hit 52-week high in the June series and pharma was the only sector that included maximum stocks that hit 52-week high in series.

However, Yes Bank was down nearly 2% as sources said HSBC Bank Mauritius would sell its stake in the bank via accelerated book building route. It will sell 1.68 crore shares at price band of Rs 318-324/share.