Sensex closes flat on Tuesday, but gains 9% in 2013

The market closed the last session of 2013 on a flat note amid thin volumes with the Nifty holding the 6300 level on Tuesday. The Sensex rose 27.67 points today to close at 21,170.68, and the Nifty climbed 12.90 points to 6,304, but the broader markets outperformed benchmarks. The BSE Midcap Index gained 0.7 percent and Smallcap advanced 0.3 percent as advancing shares outnumbered declining ones by a ratio of 1485 to 1055 on the BSE.

The market has seen record highs in 2013 supported by gush of foreign money (USD 20 billion), but could not outperform global peers. The Sensex rallied 9 percent and the Nifty surged 6.5 percent while US and European markets soared between 12-35 percent. All-time low of rupee (68.85 per dollar on August 28), higher inflation, Fed tapering woes, economic slowdown and state elections results were the key factors in the year gone by. Now for 2014, general elections, Federal Reserve move on further tapering, inflation and economic condition will be important factors, believe experts.

''The concerns over the next few months will be on the pace of the Fed tapering and on the outcome of the general elections in April-May 2014. While an accelerated taper will impact liquidity flows into India, the absence of a clear mandate for any particular political party will be negative from the reforms perspective. This can have a bearing on the growth rates for the next fiscal,'' Dipen Shah, Head- Private Client Group Research, Kotak Securities said.

Tata Power was the biggest gainer today, rising nearly 3 percent followed by Reliance Industries, Axis Bank and Wipro with 1 percent gain. However, BHEL topped the selling list, falling 1.6 percent. HDFC Bank slipped 0.6 percent after Foreign Investment Promotion Board deferred bank's proposal to hike FII investment limit. Auto stocks will be in focus for rest of the week as these companies will start announcing their December sales numbers on Wednesday. Nomura expects the 2-wheeler industry volumes to grow by around 5 percent led by strong performance by Honda Motorcycles (HMSI) while it expects car industry volumes to decline around 7-8 percent year-on-year as overall demand still remains subdued.

The brokerage house expects weakness in the commercial vehicle industry to persist. In the broader space, Apollo Tyres rallied 5.77 percent to Rs 107.15 after US-based Cooper Tire cancelled USD 2.5 billion merger agreement with the company. Brokerages said termination of the deal is positive for Apollo and removes debt overhang. Universal Commodity Exchange, the sixth national commodity exchange, is in talks to buy Financial Technologies' stake in MCX, reports CNBC-TV18 quoting sources. MCX rose 0.87 percent to Rs 478.80 a piece. Trent climbed 0.67 percent to Rs 1,266.20 as all hurdles cleared for the first foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail. British-giant Tesco is set for India debut after the foreign investment promotion board cleared its joint venture with Tata group's Trent. Tesco will invest USD 110 million in India. Meanwhile, the rupee rose 11 paise to 61.80 against the US dollar.

Indian equity benchmarks underperformed global peers in 2013, but outperformed broader markets. The Sensex gained 9 percent and Nifty 6.5 percent while US and European markets surged between 12-57 percent. The BSE Midcap Index plunged 5.5 percent and the CNX Small Cap dropped 9 percent. Among sectors, IT and pharma were the biggest gainers, rising more than 59 percent and 22 percent, respectively followed by Auto and FMCG with 7-11 percent gains. However, realty, banks, power, metals and capital goods underperformed. BSE Realty fell the most, losing 32 percent while Bank and Metal indices plunged over 9 percent. Meanwhile, the rupee plunged almost 11 percent against the dollar. It touched a record low of 68.85 on August 28. Foreign institutional investors purchased USD 20 billion worth of shares in 2013, the third-highest flows.

HCL Technologies topped the buying list among frontliners, soaring 103.5 percent followed by TCS (up 73 percent), Sun Pharma (54.2 percent), Infosys (50.4 percent), Lupin (48 percent), Wipro (41 percent), Dr Reddy's Labs (38 percent) and Tata Motors (20.5 percent). However, Jaiprakash Associates crashed 44 percent and Jindal Steel dropped 42 percent. IDFC slipped 36 percent while Punjab National Bank, DLF, SBI, Bank of Baroda and ACC were down 22-28 percent. In the midcap space, Infotech Enterprises, Firstsource Solutions, Aurobindo Pharma, Natco Pharma, Escorts, Eicher Motors, TVS Motor, Mahindra Ugine, Suven Life, TVS Motor, BF Utilities, Hexaware and CESC rallied 50-130 percent. Thomas Cook was up 43 percent and Apollo Tyres jumped 21 percent.

Wockhardt, Orchid Chemicals, Orbit Corporation, DB Realty, Unitech, HDIL, Godrej Properties, United Bank, Union Bank of India, Andhra Bank, Indian Bank, Canara Bank, Shree Ganesh Jewellery, PC Jeweller, TBZ, Core Education, Educomp Solutions, Everonn Education, Gitanjali Gems, Opto Circuits, UB Holdings, Future Retail, Elder Pharma, Ruchi Soya, Dena Bank and Allahabad Bank crashed 30-90 percent.

Nikkei was the best performing market, climbing nearly 57 percent - strongest run-up since 1972 while US and European markets gained between 12-35 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is headed towards its biggest annual gain since 1996 while European indices posted biggest annual gains in four years. Argentina Index surged 89 percent and Irish Index was up 33 percent. Commodities Gold declined around 30 percent in 2013, the biggest annual loss in three decades while silver dropped 35 percent, the biggest annual fall since 1981. However, WTI crude gained 9 percent and Brent crude rose 1 percent in the year gone by.

03:40 pm Market closing: The market ended last trading day with mild gains. The Sensex closed up 27.67 points at 21170.68, and the Nifty managed to shut at 6304, up 12.90 points. About 1478 shares have advanced, 1063 shares declined, and 160 shares are unchanged. Tata Power was up 3 percent , while Wipro, Axis Bank, Reliance and Dr Reddy's Labs were top gainers in the Sensex. Among the top losers were BHEL , Maruti Suzuki, M&M, Infosys and HDFC Bank .

03:35 pm IT Gainers In 2013: HCL Tech up 103%, TCS up 73%, Infosys is up 51%, Wipro is up 40%.

Pharma Gainers 2013: Sun Pharma up 54%, DRL up 38%, Aurobindo Pharma up 107%

03:30 pm Market in 2013: Indian market underperforms global markets in 2013. IT and pharma sector are biggest gainers in 2013. Realty, PSU banks, metals underperform in the year. Rupee plunged almost 11% against the Dollar last year while rupee hit its all-time low of 68.85/ dollar on August 28. In dollar terms, Sensex and Nifty gave negative returns (around -3%).

03:20 pm Commodities: China may buy more Iranian oil next year as a state trader is negotiating a new light crude contract that could raise imports from Tehran to levels not seen since tough Western sanctions were imposed in 2012, running the risk of upsetting Washington. An increase would go against the spirit of November's breakthrough agreement relaxing some of the stringent measures slapped on Iran two years ago over its nuclear programme. The November deal between Tehran and the group known as P5+1 - made up of the United States and five other global powers - paused efforts to reduce Iran's crude sales but required buyers to hold to "current average amounts" of Iranian oil imports.

03:10 pm Interview: S Varadrajan, CMD of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited ( BPCL ) expects the 50 paisa diesel price hike regime to continue in 2014 as well. Shares of oil marketing companies have been buzzing in trade of late on hopes of higher hike in diesel prices than the current 50 paise per litre per month. According to media reports, the oil & gas ministry is mulling a new subsidy-sharing mechanism in-line with Kirit Parikh recommendation and will move a Cabinet note for the same. "Going forward, as per the current policy statement, we do hope that we will be allowed to pass-through these increases over the next year also as part of the larger deregulation for diesel," Varadrajan told CNBC-TV18.

02:54pm MCX India among top five most active stocks CNBC-TV18 learns that Universal Commodity Exchange (UCX) is in talks to buy Financial Technologies' (FTIL) stake in MCX. UCX is the sixth national commodity exchange and commenced operations in April 2013. It may seek support from its government-backed shareholders like IDBI, NABARD and IFFCO etc, which hold 10-16 percent. Sources say that UCX is in initial discussions with two-three FIIs to buyout FTIL's stake in MCX. Since, no institution can hold more than 5 percent in any exchange, UCX is expected to finalise their proposal only after it gets the backing of some key shareholders of MCX. This process has just started and it will take a while before anything materialises since the case against FMC's 'fit and proper order' is still to be heard in the Bombay HC. Only after the court's ruling is UCX likely to submit their formal proposal to FMC. Meanwhile, MCX is in the process of finalising a new MD and CEO. Multi Commodity Exchange of India rose 0.7 percent to Rs 478 on the BSE.

02:44pm Ventura Securities initiates buy on Emami According to the report, leadership presence in niche under-penetrated product categories, expansion of its distribution reach and strong focus on rural markets should help Emami drive its top line going ahead. "Moreover, despite the revenue concentration among the top four brands, no single brand accounts for more than 20-22 percent of revenues and hence provides stability to revenues. This coupled with the regular flow of 2-3 new product launches / extensions every year should help keep the company's brand and product portfolio reinvigorated," the report says. Ventura further says Emami has a very aggressive marketing strategy in place. "Its two-fold A&P strategy of using celebrity endorsements (one at the national level and another at regional level) should help improve their brand communication. This coupled with expansion of distribution network and rural focus should ensure growth momentum of company's brands, going ahead." The brokerage house expects Emami's revenues to grow at 14.7 percent CAGR over FY13-15E to Rs 2,237.2 crore by FY15E from Rs 1,699.1 crore clocked in FY13. Ventura initiates coverage on Emami as a buy with a price objective of Rs 539 representing an upside potential of around 14 percent over the next 15 months.

02:34pm Bajaj Finserv talks to CNBC-TV18 Despite the Tatas pulling out of the race to get a bank licence,  Bajaj Finance has no intention of following suit. Sanjiv Bajaj, MD, Bajaj Finserv even brushes aside rumours of Bajaj Auto being worried about the impact on its exclusivity deal if Bajaj Finance were to get a banking lisence. Bajaj Finance, infact, continues to have strategic deals with Baja Auto. He says the slowdown in the economy has had an impact on the financing business. But a stable government at the Centre can give an immediate fillip to the consumer mood, he adds. In the life insurance business, he sees growth in 2014 to be better than 2013. He says the life insurance business is seeing changes due to product regulation. The group's general insurance business has grown at 15 percent this year, which is healthy given the existing environment.

02:24pm Auto companies to announce December sales numbers this week Nomura said demand has slowed down significantly post a relatively better festival season. "Both customer footfalls and conversion rates remain slow." Overall, the brokerage house expects the 2-wheeler industry volumes to grow by around 5 percent led by strong performance by Honda Motorcycles (HMSI) while it expects car industry volumes to decline around 7-8 percent year-on-year as overall demand still remains subdued. Nomura expects weakness in the commercial vehicle industry to persist -- expect 19-20 percent decline in both medium and heavy commercial vehicle and light commercial vehicle industry volumes in December-13. "We expect growth momentum in the tractor segment to sustain and expect 12 percent volume growth for M&M in December-13."

02:14pm Sushil Finance recommends hold rating on IndusInd Bank Sushil Finance said IndusInd Bank has emerged as one of the leading private sector bank over the last couple of years. "Strong advances growth, gradual improvement in NIMs coupled with healthy asset quality over FY09-13 has led to significant re-rating in the stock." With focused approach and well-defined management strategies, the brokerage house expects IndusInd Bank to maintain strong growth run-rate going ahead. "Lower corporate bond exposure along with higher focus on core-fee income generation offers further impetus to profit growth," Despite current slowdown, Sushil Finance expects advances and deposits to grow at a CAGR of around 24 percent and 19 percent respectively over FY13-15E. "Minimal exposure to stress sectors and lower restructuring book is likely to keep asset quality intact." Hence considering the above investment arguments and strong growth prospects, The brokerage house recommends holding rating on the stock with a price target of Rs 475 apiece. 02:04pm The market is completely directionless in afternoon trade on the last session of the year 2013 due to lack of trigger. The Sensex advanced 25.15 points to 21,168.16, and the Nifty added 10.55 points to 6,301.65, but the broader markets continued to outperform benchmarks The BSE Midcap Index rose 0.5 percent and Smallcap gained 0.3 percent as advancing shares outnumbered declining ones by a ratio of 1325 to 991 on the BSE. Tata Power is the biggest gainer in the Sensex, rising 3 percent while IDFC and Jaiprakash Associates are top gainers in the Nifty, soaring nearly 4 percent. Index heavyweight Reliance Industries continued to support the market with more than a percent gain followed by Tata Motors and TCS. However, BHEL topped the selling list, losing 1 percent. HDFC Bank dropped 0.8 percent as Foreign Investment Promotion Board has deferred bank's proposal to hike FII investment limit.

2:00 pm Exclusive: Institutes have already started showing their interest to buyout FTIL stake in MCX . Universal Commodity Exchange (UCX), which recently commenced its operations is in initial discussions with 2-3 FIIs to buyout FTIL stake in MCX. It is also likely to rope in support from its government shareholders like IDBI , NABARD, IFFCO.

1:50 pm Market outlook: An investor should hedge bets in the current market situation says Dipen Sheth, head-Institutional Research, HDFC Securities as there isn't enough clarity on the market. Speaking to CNBC-TV18, Sheth says given the rising expectations, there are far too many uncertainties in the equity market. ''The wall of worry has been breached and the wall of expectations now has to be decisively broken. So, we will probably hang around where we are for the next few months. There may be some volatility for sure as we approach elections and as the end game plays out,'' he further explains. Sheth further adds that Reliance is likely to breakout in 2014.

1:40 pm Valuation game: The Piramal Group is set to make a handsome Rs 3,000 crore windfall on the sale of nearly 11 percent stake it had picked up in Vodafone India through 2011 and 2012. The Foreign Investment Promotion Board on Monday allowed British telecom firm Vodafone Plc to buy out the remaining minority stake in Vodafone India. While the deal is subject to cabinet clearance, when it goes through, Piramal Enterprises will get about Rs 8,900 crore for its 10.97 percent direct equity holding. Piramal had acquired the stake from Vodafone's erstwhile partner, Essar, at a cost of Rs 5,900 crore (Rs 2,893 crore in August 2011 and Rs 3,007 crore in February 2012 in two tranches). The sale nets an internal rate of return of nearly 22 percent.

1:30 pm: Telecom Commission's meeting scheduled for today to consider the matter of spectrum usage charge has been deferred. "It's (TC meeting) not there tomorrow. Next date will be known tomorrow only," official sources told PTI. The inter-ministerial panel was to take a view on levying uniform spectrum usage charge, an issue that has divided telecom operators. The spectrum usage charge, which is levied annually by government as a percentage of revenue earned by telecom companies from telecom services, varies between 3 and 8 percent in case of mobile operators.

The market is going as we draw close to 2013. The Sensex is up 12.87 points at 21155.88, and the Nifty is up 6.90 points at 6298.00. About 1321 shares have advanced, 999 shares declined, and 147 shares are unchanged. BHEL , Maruti Suzuki, HUL , HDFC Bank and Infosys are top gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers are Tata Power , Reliance, Tata Motors , Bajaj Auto and TCS . Gold stage a modest rebound after falling more than 1 percent in the previous session, but the precious metal is on track for its biggest annual loss since 1981 as investors shift their money to equities.

12:59pm Stocks In News All hurdles cleared for the first foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail. British-giant Tesco is set for India debut after the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) cleared its joint venture with Tata group's Trent. Tesco will invest USD 110 million in India. Trent rose 1.71 percent to Rs 1,279.25 apiece. Piramal Enterprises gained as much as 6.5 percent intraday after FIPB cleared Vodafone Plc proposal to hike its stake to 100 percent in Indian subsidiary. This will provide an exit route to minority investors like Piramal Enterprises, which holds 11 percent stake in Vodafone India. Reports suggest Piramal Enterprises might get Rs 8,900 crore. The stock added 0.7 percent to Rs 559.30.

12:54pm Dishman Pharma talks to CNBC-TV18 Dishman Pharma climbed 3.5% to Rs 97.50 apiece as the company said its China facility is doing extremely well. "We may reach breakeven for China facility in FY14," JR Vyas, CMD of Dishman said. According to him, the company may surpass FY14 revenue guidance by at least 5 percent.

12:44pm Market Expert The market is expecting a Narendra Modi-led NDA government coming to power, which has got built into this rally. But a lot of events are happening and the ride for BJP may not be as smooth as the market is expecting, says Anish Damania, Head-Institutional Equities, IDFC Securities. He feels the Nifty may consolidate around current levels till the election time and may oscillate in the 6,000-6,500 range.

12:34pm Aurobindo Pharma in focus Bank of America Merrill Lynch advises buying Aurobindo Pharma. The brokerage house raised target price on the stock from Rs 425 to Rs 450 apiece and also raised earnings per share expectations for FY14/15e by 5 percent each to factor in new launches. It also expects stronger October-March period of FY14 as against April-September period of same financial year. According to the brokerage house, the healthcare company will deliver strong operating performance over next two years. Further re-rating will depend on company's ability to improve balance sheet, Bank of America Merrill Lynch report says.

12:24pm BPCL talks to CNBC-TV18 S Varadrajan, CMD of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) expects the 50 paisa diesel price hike regime to continue in 2014 as well. Shares of oil marketing companies have been buzzing in trade of late on hopes of higher hike in diesel prices than the current 50 paise per litre per month. According to media reports, the oil & gas ministry is mulling a new subsidy-sharing mechanism in-line with Kirit Parikh recommendation and will move a Cabinet note for the same. State oil companies review petrol prices every fortnight and adjust them, if need be, to align with trends in the international oil prices and the rupee-dollar exchange rate. In the case of diesel, the state-set price is about Rs 10 per litre below international rates, but the government is increasing the price by about 50 paise every month to gradually align them with market levels. "Going forward, as per the current policy statement, we do hope that we will be allowed to pass-through these increases over the next year also as part of the larger deregulation for diesel," Varadrajan told CNBC-TV18.

12:14pm FIIs boost Foreign institutional investors supported the market very nicely in the year 2013. They have bought more than Rs 15,000 crore worth of equity shares in December as compared to Rs 24,299 crore of buying in a year ago period. For the year, they purchased Rs 1.12 lakh crore worth of shares as against Rs 1.3 lakh crore in earlier year.

12:04pm The market is rangebound in noon trade on the last day of 2013 with the Nifty hovering around the 6300 level. Apollo Tyres and MCX India are the most active shares on exchanges. The Sensex rose 21.65 points to 21,164.66, and the Nifty advanced 6.50 points to 6,297.60. About 1224 shares have advanced, 837 shares declined, and 124 shares are unchanged. Pankaj Pandey of ICICI Direct expects the Sensex to trade at around 23000 by December 2014. "If corporate earnings and economic recovery do not pan out as expected, we will continue to see volatility ridden market next year, he adds. Shares of Apollo Tyres rallied 6 percent to Rs 107.40 apiece as US-based Cooper Tire decided to terminate USD 2.5 billion merger agreement , signed on June 12. Shares of MCX gained 1 percent as sources say Universal Commodity Exchange (UCX) is in talks to buy Financial Technologies' stake in company. It is learnt that UCX is in talks with 2-3 FIIs to buy out Financial Technologies' stake in MCX.

11:50 am Buzzing: Shares in Gati rose as much as 12.5 percent to their highest since February 2012 after a fund run by independent investor Radhakishan Damani bought 4 million shares, or 4.6 percent of the total equity in the logistics provider, according to NSE and BSE exchange data. Derive Investments, an investment company run by Damani who is known in India for his stock picks, bought shares through a series of bulk deals on Monday, according to the data.

11:40 am Interview: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has raised the red flag over the rise in bad loans once again in its Financial Stability Report. The central bank says that NPAs will rise from 9 percent to 10 percent of banks' total assets in a year . Speaking exclusively to CNBC-TV18 veteran banker and Non-Executive Chairman of ICICI Bank KV Kamath said banks will have to take a haircut to resolve the issue of infra loans and assets. If it is a power project or particularly infrastructure project where the useful life could be 15-20 years, then the haircut would be minimal, but for projects with seven-eight years life, the haircut would be larger, he added. According to him, it is difficult to precisely put a number whether banks should go for a 10-15-20 percent haircut, but a haircut would be required in every case.

11:40 am Interview: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has raised the red flag over the rise in bad loans once again in its Financial Stability Report. The central bank says that NPAs will rise from 9 percent to 10 percent of banks' total assets in a year . Speaking exclusively to CNBC-TV18 veteran banker and Non-Executive Chairman of ICICI Bank KV Kamath said banks will have to take a haircut to resolve the issue of infra loans and assets. If it is a power project or particularly infrastructure project where the useful life could be 15-20 years, then the haircut would be minimal, but for projects with seven-eight years life, the haircut would be larger, he added. According to him, it is difficult to precisely put a number whether banks should go for a 10-15-20 percent haircut, but a haircut would be required in every case.

11:30 am Market outlook: The market is expecting a Narendra Modi-led NDA government coming to power, which has got built into this rally. But a lot of events are happening and the ride for BJP may not be as smooth as the market is expecting, says Anish Damania, Head-Institutional Equities, IDFC Securities. He feels the Nifty may consolidate around current levels till the election time and may oscillate in the 6,000-6,500 range. He advises investors to go in for export oriented companies. He feels it might be a good time to get into the consumer space. Among midcap IT stocks, he is bullish on Tech Mahindra and Persistent Systems . He feels JP Associates will continue to outperform going forward.

The market is maintaining its momentum in the last trading day of the year. The Sensex is up 48.59 points at 21191.60, and the Nifty is up 15.50 points at 6306.60. About 1234 shares have advanced, 783 shares declined, and 139 shares are unchanged. Tata Power , Reliance , Bajaj Auto , TCS and Tata Motors are top gainers. Among the major losers are BHEL , HDFC Bank , Infosys , Sun Pharma and SBI .   Japan has been the best performing index in Asia and the world with a gain of over 55 percent this year. The Chinese markets underperformed this year with a loss of over 7 percent. European markets are set to gain the most in four years but have underperformed the US. Emerging markets saw the Indian markets outperform with a gain of 7 percent while others like Indonesia, Mexico, Chile and Brazil ended the year lower. Currencies saw the dollar gain over 20 percent against the yen and on track for the best year it has had in 34 years. The euro performance surprised this year set for the second straight year of gains. EM currencies had a rough ride with the Brazilian real losing 13% and South African rand losing 19 percent. The rupee at current reckoning has lost 11 percent. In commodities, 2013 saw the bull run in gold halting. Gold declined 28% the first annual decline since 2000. Brent is wrapping up the year with a gain of 1 percent for 2013.

10:59am Market Update The market remained in positive terrain as the Sensex rose 52.09 points to 21,195.10, and the Nifty added 16.20 points to 6,307.30. About 1143 shares have advanced, 617 shares declined, and 106 shares are unchanged. Apollo Tyres , MCX India, Tata Elxsi, Financial Technologies, Century Textiles, Tata Motors and TCS are most active shares on exchanges. Shares of MCX rallied 2 percent as sources say Universal Commodity Exchange (UCX) is in talks to buy Financial Technologies' stake in company. It is learnt that the deal size is likely to be pegged at around Rs 600-700 crore. UCX is in talks with 2-3 FIIs to buy out Financial Technologies' stake in MCX, sources say.

10:50am Market Expert Pankaj Pandey of ICICI Direct expects the Sensex to trade at around 23000 by December 2014. "If corporate earnings and economic recovery do not pan out as expected, we will continue to see volatility ridden market next year, he adds. Pandey likes FMCG, autos, private banks, telecom and cement sector. He remains negative on capital intensive sectors like PSU banks, capital goods and infrastructure, power, metals and real estate.

10:40am Crude Update Brent futures held above USD 111 a barrel on Tuesday on worries about a prolonged outage from OPEC member Libya, positioning the benchmark to end 2013 virtually unchanged. Fears of supply disruptions in the Middle East and Africa have offset concerns during the year about weak global demand, keeping Brent trading in a USD 22 range from USD 96.75 a barrel to USD 119.17 a barrel. But the US benchmark looks set to end 8 percent higher for 2013, recouping a 7 percent loss the previous year and giving it gains in four of the past five years. Brent crude rose 5 cents to USD 111.26 a barrel by 0317 GMT, after settling 97 cents lower in the previous session. US oil gained 7 cents to USD 99.36 after ending USD 1.03 down, reports Reuters.

10:30am Trent shares rally The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) on Monday approved Tesco's proposal to pick up stake in Trent's hypermarket subsidiary. UK-based retailer Tesco Plc had proposed to enter the Indian multi-brand retail segment in joint venture with a Tata Group company with an initial investment of USD 110 million (about Rs 682 crore). After the approval, Tesco will pick up a 50 percent stake in Trent Hypermarket Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Trent, a Tata group company. Hailing government's decision to approve Tesco's proposal to pick up stake in Trent 's hypermarket subsidiary , Govind Srikhande, MD, Shoppers Stop says the clearance will allow many more players to tie-up with the existing retail operator as against the desire to set up only Greenfield projects earlier. Trent stock climbed 2.88 percent to Rs 1,294 on the BSE.

10:20am Apollo Tyres on buyers' radar Shares of Apollo Tyres are on buyers' radar on Tuesday as US-based Cooper Tire decided to terminate USD 2.5 billion merger agreement , signed on June 12. The stock rallied as much as 11.5 percent in early trade to touch a new 52-week high of Rs 113 apiece. ''It is time to move our business forward,'' said Cooper Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President Roy Armes in a statement. ''While the strategic rationale for a business combination with Apollo is compelling, it is clear that the merger agreement both companies signed on June 12 will not be consummated by Apollo and we have been notified that financing for the transaction is no longer available. The right thing for Cooper now is to focus on continuing to build our business.'' Apollo Tyres management said that it is disappointed with Cooper Tire's decision to terminate the agreement. The company had made exhaustive efforts to find a sensible way forward. The stock rose 3.2 percent to Rs 104.55 apiece on the BSE.

10:00am The market has maintained positive bias amid volatility with the Nifty holding 6300 level, supported by heavyweights ITC , Reliance Industries and ICICI Bank . The Sensex rose 37.72 points to 21,180.73, and the Nifty advanced 12.25 points to 6,303.35 while the broader markets gained over 0.3 percent. About 780 shares have advanced, 442 shares declined, and 52 shares are unchanged. Anish Damania, Head-Institutional Equities at IDFC Securities feels the Nifty may consolidate around current levels till the election time and may oscillate in the 6,000-6,500 range. Reliance Industries, Bajaj Auto and Tata Power are the biggest gainers, rising 1 percent each. Shares of Tata Motors, Larsen and Toubro , ICICI Bank, TCS and Bharti Airtel rose between 0.4-0.8 percent. However, HDFC Bank and BHEL underperformed, falling over a percent. Infosys , Mahindra and Mahindra , Axis Bank and Maruti are under presssure.

9:50 am Buzzing: Shares in supermarket chain Trent rose 3.9 percent a day after the foreign investment regulator approved a USD 110 million investment plan by Britain's Tesco. Tesco this month took the initial steps to becoming the first foreign company to set up a chain of supermarkets in India's USD 500 billion retail sector after announcing it had applied to buy a 50 percent stake in Tata Group's Trent Hypermarket.

9:40 am Update: Royal Dutch Shell Plc and India's Oil and Natural Gas Corp ( ONGC ) purchased the remaining 35 percent of a Brazilian offshore oil block from their partner, Brazil's state-run Petroleo Brasileiro SA , Shell said in a statement. Under the accord, which the companies began negotiating in September, Shell will get an additional 23 percent of BC-10, raising its stake to 73 percent. ONGC will get an additional 12 percent, boosting its stake to 27 percent, Shell said.

9:20 am Big move: Shares of Apollo Tyres jump over 4 percent on the BSE. The USD 2.5 billion Apollo-Cooper deal collapsed last evening when Cooper alleged a breach of merger agreement by Apollo, while Apollo says it is disappointed that its partner has prematurely attempted to terminate the merger agreement.

The market has opened in the positive terrain. The Sensex is up 59.50 points at 21202.51, and the Nifty is up 15.05 points at 6306.15. About 303 shares have advanced, 60 shares declined, and 11 shares are unchanged. ONGC, Axis Bank , Coal India , ICICI Bank and M&M are top gainers in the Sensex. Among major losers are Tata Steel , Heromotocorp and NTPC . The rupee opened marginally higher by 7 paise at 61.84 per dollar on Tuesday as against previous day's closing value of 61.91 per dollar. The dollar index slipped below the 80 handle, while the euro dollar has spiked to 1.38 levels. Pramit Brahmbhatt of Alpari India feels the rupee is going to trade rangebound with a slight negative bias today following a weak equity and high dollar demand by oil marketing companies. "However, a strong Euro against the dollar in the international market and dollar selling by state run banks might provide some relief," he adds. US equity markets ended mixed with the Dow closing on a record high and the S&P 500 on track for its largest yearly increase in 16 years. Meanwhile, European markets ended lower in trade while most of Asian markets will be shut today. In the currency space, the dollar index has slipped below the 80 handle, while the euro dollar has spiked to 1.38 levels. In commodities,  crude prices are steady this morning following a fall yesterday as data showed that US total fuel demand hit a 26-month high in October while a key Libyan oil export port remained shut. From precious metals space, gold prices staged a modest rebound this morning after falling more than 1 percent in the previous session, but the precious metal is on track for its biggest annual loss since 1981 as investors shifted their money to equities.