Sensex gains 133 points, Nifty ends above 6250; Hindalco up 7%

4:00 pm World market check
European stocks rose, supported by expectations a low reading of euro zone inflation later in the day will force the European Central Bank to ease monetary policy further and a record high close on Wall Street the previous session, reports Reuters.

But worries over the tense political situation in Ukraine limited these gains, helped fuel a safe-haven rise in the Japanese yen against the dollar and anchored benchmark U.S. Treasury yields near their lowest in three weeks.

"The inflation data could be a trigger for the ECB to cut rates again. In the second half of the year, you could also see the central bank start buying assets in the American style. These measures have the potential to favourably impact the market," said Philippe Gijsels, head of research at BNP Paribas Fortis Global Markets in Brussels.

03:40 pm Market closing
The market ended first day of March series on a strong note. The Nifty closed at 6276.95 up 38.15 points while the Sensex was up 133.13 points at 21120.12. About 1320 shares advanced, 1317 shares declined, and 158 shares were unchanged.

Hindalco ended with a gain of 7 percent. Other gainers were Tata Motors, TCS, BHEL and ONGC. Among the losers were Maruti Suzuki, NTPC, Tata Steel, Reliance and HDFC Bank.

03:30 pm Update
State-owned NTPC will lay the foundation stone for the 2,640 MW power project in Madhya Pradesh, entailing an investment of Rs 17,000 crore, on Sunday.

The Bundelkhand super thermal power project, located in Chhatarpur district, would have four units -- each having 660 MW generation capacity.

Half of the total electricity generated from the plant would be supplied to Madhya Pradesh.

"The estimated cost of the project shall be approximately Rs 17,000 crore and is envisaged to be commissioned in the 13th Plan (2017-22) linked to development of coal mine," NTPC said in a statement.

03:15 pm Chinese Currency
China's yuan has been depreciating steeply against the US dollar on expectations that the People's Bank of China (PBOC) will tweak its exchange rate policy and widen the daily trading band of yuan trades and make the currency slightly more free floating. Currently, PBOC allows a 1 percent trading band in a day and sets the next trading band 1 percent of the previous day's close, thus allowing the yuan to trade in that band.

The Chinese currency has lost 1 percent against the US dollar in the last six days and is set for a biggest weakly loss ever.

Mitul Kotecha, global head of currency strategy, Credit Agricole told CNBC-TV18 that significant inflows of capital led to real concern and yuan was becoming one way bet hence this volatility.

03:05 pm Macro outlook
Gaurav Kapur, senior economist at Royal Bank of Scotland expects the headline third quarter GDP for FY14 at 4.7-4.8 percent. He expects a large part of growth to come from the farm sector, which may grow over 6 percent. Manufacturing is expected to be in line with the IIP number, it may show negative growth for the quarter. Finally on to services, he sees it growing below 6 percent, which has been the trend for some time now.

Kapur believes the CSO estimate for FY14 GDP growth at 4.9 percent is on the higher side. He says if the GDP has to grow at 4.9 percent for the full fiscal year, manufacturing sector in the fourth quarter will have to clock over 2 percent growth, which looks difficult.

02:55pm ITI erases some gains
State-run telecom equipment manufacturer ITI rallied 6 percent on hopes of another revival package. But the stock trimmed gains to 2 percent now as Cabinet approved Rs 200 crore soft loan to company.

Reports had suggested that ITI might get centre's help to the tune of Rs 32 crore per month.

Meanwhile, the government on February 12 had approved a Rs 4,156.79-crore plan for revival of ailing ITI which is expected to be implemented over a period of 18 months.

02:45pm CCEA okays increase in fixed cost for urea plants
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Friday okayed Rs 350/tonne increase in the fixed cost for urea plants in accordance to the Group of Minister's recommendations . Fixed cost include salary and wage expenses, contract labour, repair and maintenance, and selling costs. Experts say, the fixed cost increase, which has been a long-pending demand of the industry, will not be sufficient to cover the incremental jump in actual costs.

As per the proposal, the fixed cost of urea produced by plants which are 30 years old or more by Rs 150 per tonne and for all other plants by Rs 350 a tonne. The minimum fixed cost would be Rs 2,300 per tonne.

The move is expected to lead to an increase in subsidy by about Rs 900 crore which will have a positive impact on urea players.

The CCEA is would also consider a proposal to modify New Investment policy for urea.

02:35pm Jubilant Life Sciences holds 6% rally
Investors are lapping up shares of Jubilant Life Sciences after the company announced successful resolution to USFDA warning letter for Canada's Montreal facility. The stock gained as much as 8 percent intraday on Friday.

"Jubilant Life Sciences has received a communication from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), classifying its pharmaceutical manufacturing facility at Montreal, Canada as acceptable," the company said in its filing.

This resolves all issues raised by the FDA on the facility in February 2013 and subsequent communications, it added.

02:25pm L&T on buyers' radar for 10th day today
The stock of Larsen and Toubro, the engineering and construction major, is on buyers' radar on Friday after its subsidiary bagged orders worth Rs 5,220 crore in the year 2014 so far. It gained more than 1.5 percent in intraday trade, continuing upmove for the 10th consecutive session today. It has rallied 13 percent since February 18.

"Although there is still sluggishness in economy, these orders reflect that there is some positive movement in the infrastructure sector which augurs well for both the country and L&T going forward," SN Subrahmanyan, senior executive vice president, infrastructure and construction said.

L&T Construction has bagged Rs 2,019 crore worth of projects in water and renewable energy business and Rs 1,461 crore worth of orders in buildings & factories business.

In power transmission and distribution segment, it has received new orders worth Rs 1,001 crore, which includes international order from National Grid, Saudi Arabia for construction of 161 km of 110kv double circuit transmission line.

It also bagged Rs 739 crore worth of orders in heavy civil infrastructure business.

02:15pm Firstsource talks to CNBC-TV18
With a combination of product mix, superior growth in healthcare and customer management segment, Firstsource Solutions aims to clock a revenue growth of 9-10 percent for FY14 said CEO & MD Rajesh Subramaniam in an interview to CNBC-TV18.

The net profit for the company is likely to be between Rs 180-185 crore for FY14 he said.

Margin expansion will also flow through on back of interventions done over the last 12 months like weeding out of non-profitable accounts and weeding out lines of businesses that were bleeding cash, said Subramaniam. "The margin improvement at the EBITDA level, we see at least another 150 basis points improvement in FY15,'' he added.

02:00pm The market remains firm today and is heading towards positive close for the fifth consecutive session supported by foreign institutional investors. FIIs bought nearly Rs 4,000 crore worth of shares in last 10 consecutive sessions.

The Sensex advanced 101.20 points to 21,088.19 and the Nifty rose 24.65 points to 6,263.45. About 1244 shares have advanced, 1277 shares declined, and 164 shares are unchanged.

Aluminium major Hindalco Industries topped the buying list, rising over 6 percent followed by TCS and Tata Motors with a 3.5-4 percent upmove.

ONGC jumped 3 percent while Sun Pharma, Axis Bank, Cipla, Dr Reddy's Labs and BHEL rallied 2 percent each. Shares of ICICI Bank, Larsen & Toubro and Sesa Sterlite climbed over a percent.

However, Maruti kept its top position in the selling list, falling 4.6 percent as investors are not convinced with clarifications given by the management about the Gujarat Suzuki plant.

Index heavyweight Reliance Industries fell below the Rs 800 level, down 1.75 percent. HDFC Bank, Hindustan Unilever, Wipro, Tata Steel, NTPC and Hero Motocorp slipped 1-2 percent.

1:50 Stock in news: Shares of Bosch slipped 3 percent intraday on Friday as it announced dismal December quarter earnings. The auto part maker's net profit slumped 19 percent to Rs 138.98 crore in the December quarter of 2013. The company had reported a net profit of Rs 172.05 crore in the corresponding last year.

The company follows January-December as full year for announcing earnings.

During the period, its total income rose to Rs 2,162 crore from Rs 2,131.80 crore year-on-year.

1:40 pm FII view: Rahul Singh, Head of Equity Research of Standard Chartered Securities believes that the portfolio for a lot of FIIs and domestic investors is not tailored for a favourable outcome in the elections.

He says a little bit of election beta rally has picked up steam in the last three-four weeks. The portfolios need to add a bit of an election beta and reasonably priced election beta - investors don't need to go out there and buy some high risk stuff but reasonably priced stocks, he adds.

''What one can expect and one should expect reasonably is 10-15 percent return at the index level. That would probably be election agnostic with accounting for some volatility in the middle of the year if we do not get a good election result,'' he adds.

1:30 pm Buzzing: Shares of Tata Power fell over 1 percent on Friday after the board approved raising funds upto Rs 2,000 crore via rights issue. This week, the stock had been a favourite among investors after Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) allowed compensatory tariff of Rs.0.524 per unit for its Mundra plant.

''The board has approved raising funds upto Rs 2,000 crore by way of a rights issue of equity shares of face value of Rs 1 each subject to all applicable statutory and regulatory approvals,'' it said in a statement to the BSE.

It also informed that terms and conditions of the rights issue including the rights entitlement ratio, the issue price, issue size, record date and timing will be decided subsequently by a duly constituted committee.

The market maintains its positive momentum. The Sensex is up 74.78 points at 21061.77, and the Nifty is up 15.65 points at 6254.45. About 1197 shares have advanced, 1229 shares declined, and 150 shares are unchanged.

Hindalco, Tata Motors, TCS, ONGC and BHEL are top gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers are Maruti Suzuki, NTPC, Wipro, HUL and Reliance.

Stocks like National Fertilisers, Rashtriya Chemicals and Chambal Fertilisers are in focus as the CCEA has hiked fixed costs for urea plants. The cabinet has cleared several big ticket proposals and ordinances including hiking dearness allowance. It has also okayed an ordinance to amend the securities law and give SEBI more powers.

Gold was little changed but was on track for its biggest monthly gain since July after investors and speculators chased prices higher on concerns about the pace of the US economy and unrest in Ukraine, reports Reutes.

Recent gains, though, may be hard to sustain in the absence of strong physical buying. And expectations of the US Federal Reserve continuing to reduce its stimulus programme could dent gold's appeal as a hedge against inflation.

12:55pm Maruti under pressure Moneycontrol Bureau
Shares of Maruti Suzuki lost 5 percent as investors are not convinced with clarifications given by the management about the Gujarat Suzuki plant.

In its statement, the auto maker said that Suzuki Motor Corporation's subsidiary in Gujarat will operate on the basis that while it would not make any losses, it would also not accumulate any cash surpluses. ''If the contract manufacturing agreement expires, and in case is not extended by mutual consent, the assets of the Gujarat subsidiary would be transferred to MSIL at a fair value to be determined by independent valuation,'' it said in a statement.

Most brokerages are worried about Maruti Suzuki's stance and feel that it should manufacture cars on its own.

''While management tried to explain how the deal doesn't hurt Maruti, no attempts were made to explain why this structure makes sense in the first place,'' Jefferies said in a note. Jefferies further added that if Suzuki has excess cash on its balance sheet which it wants to utilise to help Maruti, there are other cleaner ways - extend a loan or give one-year credit on royalty, etc.

Jefferies has a hold rating on the stock with a target of Rs 1613. ''Maruti is well positioned to grow share, margins and earnings in the near-term. But the stock is unlikely to get the valuation it used to get in the past due to emerging concerns on conflict of interest,'' it warns.

12:45pm ONGC talks to CNBC-TV18 on IOC stake buy
Government on Friday approved the Indian Oil Corporation stake sale at a discount of 10 percent to Oil and Natural Gas Corporation and Oil India, 5 percent each despite ONGC already holding 8-9 percent shares. The move is likely to fetch the exchequer a sum of Rs 5,300 crore .

Speaking to CNBC-TV18, Aloke Banerjee, director Finance, ONGC says the company is not disappointed by the government' decision to sell 5 percent to ONGC as barring the last six months, IOC has always been a good buy and therefore, the company can sell it whenever required.

ONGC is likely to close the year with a cash balance of around Rs 5000 crore.

12:35pm Jubilant Life Sciences spikes 6%
Investors are lapping up shares of Jubilant Life Sciences after the company announced successful resolution to USFDA warning letter for Canada's Montreal facility. The stock gained as much as 8 percent intraday on Friday.

"Jubilant Life Sciences has received a communication from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), classifying its pharmaceutical manufacturing facility at Montreal, Canada as acceptable," the company said in its filing.

This resolves all issues raised by the FDA on the facility in February 2013 and subsequent communications, it added.

Jubilant further said, "The development follows completion of FDA's review of the Company's responses post the February letter and the subsequent re-inspection conducted at Jubilant's Montreal facility in September, 2013. This development successfully resolves the FDA issues at our Montreal facility."

12:25pm Market Expert
Rahul Singh, Head of Equity Research of Standard Chartered Securities believes that the portfolio for a lot of FIIs and domestic investors is not tailored for a favourable outcome in the elections.

He says a little bit of election beta rally has picked up steam in the last three-four weeks. The portfolios need to add a bit of an election beta and reasonably priced election beta - investors don't need to go out there and buy some high risk stuff but reasonably priced stocks, he adds.

''What one can expect and one should expect reasonably is 10-15 percent return at the index level. That would probably be election agnostic with accounting for some volatility in the middle of the year if we do not get a good election result,'' he adds.

12:15pm Jaiprakash Power Ventures up 9%
Jaiprakash Power Ventures said a meeting of the board of directors will be held on March 01, 2014, to consider the recommendations of the committee of directors / audit committee aiming at reduction of debt and unlocking the shareholders' value.

12:00pm Equity benchmarks are on firm footing in noon trade supported largely by healthcare, capital goods, banks and Tata group stocks. However, index heavyweights Reliance Industries and HDFC Bank, which lost over a percent, capped the gains.

The Sensex advanced 84.65 points to 21,071.64 and the Nifty rose 18.10 points to 6,256.90. About 1166 shares have advanced, 1060 shares declined, and 148 shares are unchanged.

Software services provider TCS and commercial vehicle maker Tata Motors extended gains to 3.5-4 percent on value buying followed by Hindalco Industries with a 3.4 percent upmove.

Dr Reddy's Labs continued its run for the second consecutive day after the company launched Sumatriptan injection USP, Autoinjector system in the US on Wednesday. The stock touched a new record high of Rs 2,939.80, gaining 3 percent in addition to 2 percent upmove in previous session.

11:50 am FII view: Rahul Singh, Head of Equity Research of Standard Chartered Securities believes that the portfolio for a lot of FIIs and domestic investors is not tailored for a favourable outcome in the elections.

He says a little bit of election beta rally has picked up steam in the last three-four weeks. The portfolios need to add a bit of an election beta and reasonably priced election beta - investors don't need to go out there and buy some high risk stuff but reasonably priced stocks, he adds.

''What one can expect and one should expect reasonably is 10-15 percent return at the index level. That would probably be election agnostic with accounting for some volatility in the middle of the year if we do not get a good election result,'' he adds.

11:40 am Buzzing: Shares of Maruti Suzuki slumped over 5 percent intraday as investors are not convinced with clarifications given by the management about the Gujarat Suzuki plant.

In its statement, the auto maker said that Suzuki Motor Corporation's subsidiary in Gujarat will operate on the basis that while it would not make any losses, it would also not accumulate any cash surpluses. ''If the contract manufacturing agreement expires, and in case is not extended by mutual consent, the assets of the Gujarat subsidiary would be transferred to MSIL at a fair value to be determined by independent valuation,'' it said in a statement.

Most brokerages are worried about Maruti Suzuki's stance and feel that it should manufacture cars on its own.

11:30 am Divestment:  The government has approved 10 pecent stake sale in Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) to state run ONGC and OIL at a discount of 10 pecent, which will fetch about Rs 5,300 crore to the exchequer, reports PTI.

"Yes, 10 pecent," Oil Minister Veerappa Moily said when asked if the IOC share sale will happen at a discount to market price.

The sale of 10 pecent stake or 24.27 crore shares will be through an off-market transaction, with ONGC and Oil India Ltd (OIL) buying 5 pecent stake each.  "The two companies (ONGC and OIL) will now work out the deal and the stake sale will happen very shortly. It should be happening in next few days. The government advises the board and the two boards will meet and decide. It will be an off-market deal," Oil Secretary Vivek Rae told reporters after an EGoM meeting.

11:20 am GDP Poll: The gross domestic product (GDP) for Q3 FY14 is expected to be flat on a quarterly basis. It is estimated to be around 4.8 percent, which compares to 4.5 percent on a year-on-year (Y-o-Y) basis and 4.8 percent on a sequential basis. The revised GDP data on a Y-o-Y basis is also expected to be announced. Moreover, the FY13 GDP was revised lower to 4.5 percent versus 5 percent, but the quarterly breakup wasn't given, so there could be a different figure which could come out.

The market is slightly higher as the Nifty maintains upmove. The Nifty is up 17.80 points at 6256.60 and the Sensex is up 81.15 points at 21068.14. About 1189 shares have advanced, 984 shares declined, and 143 shares are unchanged.

The rupee is lower, tracking Asian currencies. However, bunched-up inflows and overall improvement in global risk appetite are likely to support the Indian currency. Gilts are down as dealers stay on sidelines ahead of the release of October-December GDP estimates.

Asian markets are trading mostly lower as investors digest a raft of Japanese economic data and await China's official manufacturing data due tomorrow.

Asian currencies are trading mostly weak. In commodities, gold is on track for it's fourth week of gains as renewed tensions in Ukraine drove up safe-haven demand for the precious metal. Crude prices trend lower.

10:59am Lanco Infratech risess 4%
Lanco Infratech said it has become the successful bidder of the prestigious EPC contract for establishing 1 x 660 MW super critical Ennore Thermal Power Station expansion project by Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO).

The value of the EPC contract is about Rs 3,960 crore.

10:50am Alembic Pharma rallies 4%, hits 52-week high
Alembic Pharma and Torrent Pharma (up 0.4 percent) received approval from US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) for generic of Micardis HCT, reports CNBC-TV18 quoting sources.

Sources said both companies may get 6-month Micardis exclusivity.

Boehringer's Micardis hypertension drug has sales of USD 2.2 billion per year and the patent expired in January.

10:40am Q3 GDP may be flat
The gross domestic product (GDP) for Q3 FY14 is expected to be flat on a quarterly basis. It is estimated to be around 4.8 percent, which compares to 4.5 percent on a year-on-year (Y-o-Y) basis and 4.8 percent on a sequential basis. The revised GDP data on a Y-o-Y basis is also expected to be announced.

Moreover, the FY13 GDP was revised lower to 4.5 percent versus 5 percent, but the quarterly breakup wasn't given, so there could be a different figure which could come out.

Sectrolly, agriculture is expected to be anywhere between 5.3 percent and 7 percent, compared to 1 percent Y-o-Y and 4.6 percent sequentially. The industry performance is expected to be absolutely flat versus a 3.3 percent sequentially. Within the industry, one must watch out for numbers from manufacturing, construction and mining.

However, on the services side there is expectation of an uptick to around 6 percent, which compares to 6 percent on a Y-o-Y and 6 percent on a sequentially basis as well. According to Central Statistics Office (CSO) the estimate for trade, hotel and transport services are estimated to fall to a low of 3.5 percent for FY14.

10:30am Tech Mahindra in focus
Shares of Tech Mahindra jumped 2 percent. Investors are excited about the stock as the software company is strengthening its position in Europe by acquiring software services unit of German chemicals giant BASF.

''Tech Mahindra GmbH, Dusseldorf, a wholly-owned German subsidiary of Tech Mahindra has signed an agreement with BASF Business Services Holding GmbH to acquire its business with third party customers. It will focus on providing information services, supply chain operations and business process management for BASF group,'' it said in statement.

The company says legal closing of the transaction is likely to be done in the first quarter of FY 2015. As part of the transaction, all 60 employees of BASF Business Services Consult GmbH will be transitioned to Tech Mahindra.

Vikram Nair, Head-Europe (Enterprise), Tech Mahindra, said: ''It will bring us closer to our customers and will help us deliver holistic solutions. I am confident that the acquisition will spur rapid growth in this region.''

Meanwhile, Tech Mahindra will be included in the Nifty from March 28, the National Stock Exchange (NSE) said.

10:20am SKS Microfinance on buyers' radar
Shares of SKS Microfinance gained 1.5 percent after the announced the eighth substantial microfinance securitisation of Rs 162.62 crore during the current financial year.

With this, the total sum of securitisations completed for FY14 (Year-to-date) is Rs 1,270.91 crore, the micro-lender said.

SKS said it has downloaded the receivables from micro loans extended to 1,90,000 rural women entrepreneurs to a special purpose vehicle, and pass through certificates (PTCs) have been purchased by a leading private sector bank.

The entire pool, which qualifies for priority sector treatment as per RBI's priority sector lending guidelines, is rated A+ (SO) by a leading rating agency signifying adequate degree of safety regarding timely servicing of financial obligations. Such instruments carry a low credit risk, SKS said in its filing to the exchange.

10:10am FII View
Michael Kurtz, Nomura said most major equity markets/regions are now back within a percent or two of their January starting points, Japan being the key exception, still down nearly 5 percent in US dollar terms.

"US recovery stands on solid enough foundations to emerge healthy from its winter retreat. But that assumption is substantially 'in the price' now, suggesting the possibility of a sideways equity consolidation for a few weeks," he added.

10:00am The market maintained its positive momentum with the Nifty holding the 6250 level and Sensex the 21000 level supported by healthcare, banks, metals and Tata group stocks.

The Sensex rose 70.39 points to 21,057.38 and the Nifty climbed 14.95 points to 6,253.75. Advancing shares beat declining ones by a ratio of 906 to 585 on the BSE.

Top software services exporter TCS and commercial vehicle maker Tata Motors jumped over 2 percent while pharma majors Dr Reddy's Labs and Sun Pharma gained 3 percent and 1.75 percent, respectively.

Among metals stocks, Sesa Sterlite and Hindalco Industries rallied 1.6 percent and 2.75 percent, respectively. Coal India rose 1.5 percent and Tata Steel advanced 0.8 percent.

India's largest lenders State Bank of India and ICICI Bank gained 0.4 percent each while rival HDFC Bank declined 1 percent.

BHEL remained on buyers' radar throughout the week, rising nearly 2 percent today.

However, Maruti Suzuki fell 4 percent post clarification of Maruti role in Gujarat unit. Top car maker said Suzuki's Gujarat subsidiary would not make losses or cash surpluses.

Shares of ITC, Hindustan Unilever and Reliance Industries are marginally in red.

10:00 am Whats brewing: Jignesh Shah-promoted Financial Technologies (FTIL) appointed a committee to oversee its restructuring plan, which includes divesting up to 24 percent stake in the Multi-Commodities Exchange (MCX). At a meeting, the board appointed a panel to propose and oversee a restructuring plan for FTIL in its efforts to charter a new growth path, a company release said.

The board, however, did not discuss the forensic audit conducted by PwC on MCX, it said. The forensic audit was conducted after an order by the commodities regulator FMC.

9:50 am New stocks in Nifty: Software company Tech Mahindra and liquor maker United Spirits, will be included in the Nifty from March 28. The two stocks will replace Jaiprakash Associates and Ranbaxy Laboratories, NSE said.

Among others, Federal Bank would replace Union Bank of India in CNX Bank index.

Nifty Midcap 50 index will have three changes -- financial stocks Bank of India , Canara Bank and Power Finance Corp replace HexawareTechnologies , Housing Development and Infrastructure and JSW Steel .

9:40 am GDP poll: Third quarter GDP numbers will be released today. According to a CNBC-TV18 poll, the data is expected to be at 4.8 percent. Agriculture is likely to lead the uptick within sectors. However, industries could contract due to continued weakness. The market is likely to consolidate, expect low volumes.

9:30 am  FII View: Michael Kurtz, Nomura, says US recovery stands on solid enough foundations to emerge healthy from its winter retreat. But that assumption is substantially 'in the price' now, suggesting the possibility of a sideways equity consolidation for a few weeks.

Michael Hartnett, Bank of America Merrill Lynch says, ''Weekly flows show investors piling into European and US equities, high yielding bonds and commodities, mainly gold and silver ETFs. But exodus from emerging markets (EM) assets continue as emerging market debt and equity funds see 22 and 18 straight weeks of redemptions respectively.''

The market opened on a flat note after a day holiday. The Sensex is up 20.55 points at 21007.54, and the Nifty is down 10.35 points at 6228.45. About 311 shares have advanced, 136 shares declined, and 29 shares are unchanged.

Dr Reddy's Labs, Tata Motors, Sun Pharma, Bajaj Auto and Sesa Sterlite are top gainers in the Sensex. Among the laggards are Maruti, HDFC Bank and ONGC.

The Indian rupee opened lower by 12 paise at 62.10 per dollar against 61.98 Wednesday. The dollar holds steady this morning, after a surge in us equities confirmed investor appetite for risk and helped the currency recoup some of the losses suffered earlier on geopolitical concerns.

Although potential flare-up in tensions in Ukraine is seen supportive of traditional safe-haven currencies like the Yen and the Swiss Franc.

Pramit Brahmbhatt of Alpari India said, "High month-end dollar demand by oil marketing companies is pushing rupee into the negative zone. Choppy equity is adding pressure. However, good dollar inflow for the IRFC bond sale will help ease the weakness."
"Markets are now awaiting the release of GDP for further cues for trading. The range of rupee for today is seen between 61.75-62.30/USD," he added.

Wall Street ended higher after Fed chief Janet Yellen said that the central bank would continue tapering its asset purchases while tracking data to figure how much recent softness in the economy is due to the weather. US stocks climbed, propelling the S&P 500 to a record close.
Asian markets softened in morning trade.

Among commodities, crude prices appear weak as civil unrest in Ukraine continued to curb risk appetite and fuel fears of weaker oil demand, although the contract remains on track for a monthly gain.

From precious metals space - gold hardly moved this morning but is still on track for its fourth week of gains after investors chased prices higher on concerns about the pace of the US economy and unrest in Ukraine.