Nifty ends at 6537; metals, IT, pharma crack & banks lead

03:40 pm Market closing: The Sensex ended up 15.04 points at 21934.83, and the Nifty was up 10.60 points at 6537.25. About 1450 shares advanced, 1331 shares declined, and 156 shares were unchanged.

03:30 pm Order win: Infrastructure major Larsen & Toubro said it has won orders worth Rs 2,935 crore across various business segments in February and March.

"In the transportation and infrastructure business, new orders worth Rs 1,035 crore have been won," L&T said in a statement.

These include a major engineering, construction and procurement (EPC) order from Rail Vikas Nigam for building roadbed, major and minor bridges, track linking, outdoor signalling and electrical works in connection with doubling of Sambalpur-Barpali, Barpali-Bolangir, Bolangir-Titalgarh sections, part of Sambalpur-Titalgarh doubling of East Coast Railway project in Odisha, it said.

03:20 pm FTIL fraud: At least three auditors have come under the scanner of the Corporate Affairs Ministry for their alleged lapses in carrying out audits of crisis-hit NSEL and its promoter group Financial Technologies.

The ministry has issued show cause notices to three auditors seeking explanation for the lapses in auditing the books of NSEL and Financial Technologies (India) Ltd, according to a senior official. The notices have been sent for violations of Companies Act.

Besides, the Ministry has sought clarifications from the Law Ministry, Sebi and Forward Markets Commission (FMC) to finalise action against "gross violations" by FTIL and related entities. Jignesh Shah-led FTIL is the promoter of National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL). In the wake of the Rs 5,600 crore payment crisis at the bourse, these entities alongwith those related to them have come under the scanner of multiple agencies for various violations.

3:10 pm Coal scam: CBI today filed its first charge sheet in a Delhi court in the coal blocks allocation case against Navabharat Power Pvt Ltd for allegedly misrepresenting facts and making "fraudulent" claims to "embellish" its applications to get allotments between 2006 and 2009.

Besides Navabharat Power Pvt Ltd, its two directors - P Trivikrama Prasad and Y Harish Chandra Prasad were named in the charge sheet filed before Special CBI Judge Madhu Jain. According to court sources, CBI has charge sheeted Navabharat Power Pvt Ltd and its two directors under Sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 420 (cheating) of the IPC. CBI has not charged them under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act, the sources said.

3:00 pm Stocks in news: Shares of metal companies plunged after data on Saturday showed China's exports unexpectedly tumbled in February, raising fears of a slowdown in the world's second-largest economy. The BSE metals index is down 7.2 percent year-to-date, while the benchmark Sensex is up 3.4 percent in the same period.

"Metal stocks have not yet participated in the ongoing rally on fears relating to the slowdown in China," said Varun Khandelwal, fund manager, Bullero Capital Pvt Ltd. "The recent trade data from China was rather poor; it also affirmed that the earlier negative print was not an aberration in data."

2:50 pm Banks roar: The rally in the market has been led by the banking sector. The Bank Nifty has gained 18 percent since February13 and is trading at 3-month highs. The leaders of the Bank Nifty rally has been the private space with Axis and Yes Bank gaining 29 percent and ICICI Bank gaining 22 percent while Bank of Baroda from the public sector banking space gaining the most at 23 percent.

2:40 pm Buzzing: Shares in Sun Pharmaceutical Industries fall as much as 2.8 percent after the US Food and Drug Administration said the drug maker was voluntarily recalling 2,528 bottles of its generic version of diabetes drug Glumetza from US-based Santarus Inc.

Sun began recalling the bottles of metformin HCL extended-release tables in the United States on January 28, 2014, after it received a customer complaint that one of the bottles contained tablets of epilepsy drug Gabapentin, the FDA said in a release on its web site.

A Sun spokeswoman confirmed the recall on Monday morning, adding that the company did not expect a significant impact.

The FDA classified the recall as a "Class II," which signifies a remote chance of severe adverse consequences or death due to the product flaw.

The Sensex is up 62.15 points at 21981.94, and the Nifty is up 23.10 points at 6549.75. About 1376 shares have advanced, 1336 shares declined, and 146 shares are unchanged.

Bank Nifty is above 12,000 mark. The index crosses 12,000 mark for first time since December 10, 2013.

Auto stocks like M&M and Maruti are up 4 percent each on SIAM's optimism. Slowdown in the auto sector may be reversing for first time in the last one year. SIAM says negative trends in the industry have been arrested and expects positive passenger and commercial vehicle sales growth in FY 15.

BHEL, HDFC Bank and L&T continue to be top gainers in the Sensex. However, Tata Motors is down over 3 percent. TCS , Hindalco, Sun Pharma and GAIL are top losers in the Sensex.

Rupee is flat on back of subdued risk appetite globally post US and Chinese economic data. Gilts trade weak on better-than-expected US non-farm payrolls data for February.

Gold extended losses to a second session on Monday after strong US jobs data eased worries of an economic slowdown and dimmed the metal's safe-haven appeal.

Fears among Chinese investors over a slowdown in the world's second biggest economy also hurt prices, with investors in Shanghai futures and spot contracts dumping bullion.

The drop in prices after five straight weekly gains comes despite weaker Asian equities and a geopolitical crisis in Ukraine, which would typically support gold.

2:26pm Vascon Engineers up, up and away
Shares of Vascon Engineers soared almost 20 percent intraday on Monday. Investors are excited about the stock as it has bagged two projects worth Rs 245 crore. Read more

2:20 pm: Sectoral Check: BSE Oil&Gas index was trading at 13-month high at 9270, up 193 points or 2.1 percent. Reliance Industries and ONGC were top gainers in this sector.

2:15pm F&O gainers: Shriram Transport Finance was the top gainer in the F&O space with close to 7 percent gains. IDFC and IndusInd Bank were up over 5 percent each.

2:10pm Price Shockers: Shares of SRF, Vascon Engineers, HOEC, Hanung Toys, Jaiprakash Associates and Reliance Industrial Infra have gained in the range of 20 to 40 percent in last three trading sessions.

2:00 pm Opinion: Rishav Dev, equity strategist, Quant Capital - Institutional Equities believes emerging markets are likely to outperform developed markets, given a 12 month perspective.

According to him, global emerging markets have seen outflows of nearly USD 20 billion since September and considering history, such depressed flows are always followed by a strong outperformance of EMs versus DMs.

1:50 pm Interview: SL Bansal, CMD, Oriental Bank of Commerce expects the non-performing asset (NPA) problems for the PSU banks to ease post September quarter as economy has stabilised and banking sector is likely to see lot of improvement, which will lead to cash flows and up gradation of accounts. Gross NPAs of public sector banks rose to 5.17 percent of their advances by December 2013, against 4.18 percent a year before due to slowdown in domestic economy.

However, the growth in restructured assets seems to be stabilising, according to the latest Union finance ministry data. Bansal believes corporate loans will be next trigger point where some slippages can happen. OBC's corporate book is close to 47 percent of its total portfolio of Rs 1,30,000 crore worth of advances.

1:40 pm Market outlook: Commenting on the massive rally seen in Bank Nifty, Anish Damania Hd-Institutional Equities, IDFC Sec says he is not surprised because if the pre-election rally was to give an upside of around 10 percent as histroy suggests then surely investors would not want to be underweight banking stocks.

Therefore, he expects the upward momentum in banking to continue in the run-up to elections, so is positive on the space for the short-term. However, for the medium-term he is negative because the fundamental problems still remain and the economy is not going to suddenly show signs of revival just because a new government with majority comes in.

Similarly, on back of a hope rally Larsen and Toubro could see an upside to the tune of 5-7 percent in the near term but from medium-term outlook, it seems to have run its course and so the house remains negative on the stock says Damania.

1:30 pm Banks on buyers' radar: Morgan Stanley turns 'overweight' across all private sector lenders in India, after previously having that stance for only HDFC Bank, Housing Development Finance Corp (HDFC), ICICI Bank, and Axis Bank.

The investment bank, in a report dated March 10, says it expects a re-rating across the sector as the bad-loan cycle could be "close to the end" if the economy remains stable.

Morgan Stanley forecasts an improving economy, as indicated by a narrowing current account deficit and a stable currency, while also noting that liquidity has improved and real deposit rates have turned positive.

1:20 pm Buzzing: Shares of Dishman Pharma jumped 3 percent intraday on Monday as it is planning to sell off its Gujarat land to reduce debt. The drug company is in talks to sell its 175 hectares of land in Gujarat to Nirma for about Rs 650 crore, as it is reeling under a burden of Rs 800 crore debt, including current maturity of long term loans.

The Ahmedabad-based contract research and manufacturing services (CRAMS) company is also looking at exiting its Shanghai facility.

In 2009, Dishman had scrapped plans to set up an engineering Special Economic Zone (SEZ) due to global slowdown and merged it with the adjoining pharma SEZ in Bavla, near Ahmedabad.

The market consolidates after touching new high with the Sensex hitting 22,000 in early session while the Nifty is still holding above 6,500 levels. The Sensex is down 8.94 points at 21910.85, and the Nifty is down 2.35 points at 6524.30. About 1220 shares have advanced, 1291 shares declined, and 175 shares are unchanged.

Banks are on fire today with SBI gaining over 3 percent per share. Other gainers in the Sensex are L&T, Reliance, BHEL and M&M.

IT, pharma and metal stocks continue to bleed. TCS and Infosys are major losers in the Sensex.

Asian markets are weak as investors switch to 'risk-off' mode following disappointing Chinese export data. Japanese GDP data also dented trading sentiment.

Prashant Jain of HDFC AMC says the general elections at best is a near-term trigger. ''Indian market is attractive at current levels and its a good time for retail to make an entry,'' he advises.

Meanwhile, reversing for first time in the last one year, SIAM says negative trends in the industry have been arrested. SIAM expects positive passenger and commercial vehicle sales growth in FY15.

12:45pm Outlook on Elections 2014
Bigger regional parties mum on joining BJP: Vinod Sharma, political editor at Hindustan Times analyzed that despite the new alliances, none of the bigger regional parties like the Trinamul Congress or the AIADMK have offered to ally with Narendra Modi's party.  Read more

12:40pm: IDFC bearish on L&T
Larsen and Toubro could see an upside to the tune of 5-7 percent in the near term but from medium-term outlook, it seems to have run its course and so the house remains negative on the stock says Anish Damania of IDFC Securities. Read more

12:34pm IT stocks took a U-turn: Shares of four IT companies out of top five are down in the range of two to three percent today on profit booking. Barring Wipro, stocks of Infosys, HCL Tech, TCS and Tech Mahindra are down with hefty losses.

12:26pm Infotech Ent up 5% post Softential acquisition
Euphoric investors are buying shares of Infotech Enterprise , taking it up 5 percent intraday on Monday. Its wholly owned subsidiary, Infotech Enterprises America has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Softential. Read more

12:23pm S&P BSE-500 Stocks at 52-week high: Shares of Adani Enterprises, Adani Ports, Bata India, Cenrtury Textiles, Crompton Greaves, HDFC Bank, Larsen, MRF and Siemens have recorded fresh 52-week high in trade today.

12:13pm Reality check: Bank Nifty has rallied close to 16 percent in last one month on the back of short covering and hopes of credit growth picking up post elections. However, VR Iyer, Bank of India's CMD said the improvement in infrastructure sector can be seen only after the general elections.

She stated that the near-term outlook on asset quality is not very bright and margins are expected to remain under pressure. ''The micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) sector may come under stress if growth does not improve,'' she said. Read full interview

12:11pm Indian market took a breather after a stupendous rally last week that took benchmark index Nifty to surpass 6500 mark for the first time. The Nifty retreated today from its all-time high of 6548 on profit booking in pharma and IT stocks. Shares of banks and capital goods are leading the way for last four trading sessions.

The Sensex was down 9 points or 0.04 percent at 21910, and the Nifty was down 2 points or 0.03 percent at 6524.60. About 1202 shares advanced, 1167 shares declined, and 154 shares were unchanged.

Top gainers in the Nifty were IndusInd Bank (Rs 461.70, up 3.96 percent), IDFC (Rs 109.05, up 3.76 percent), Jaiprakash Associates (Rs 49.50, up 3.34 percent), SBI (Rs 1,701.60, up 3.15 percent) and BHEL (Rs 190.10, up 2.84 percent).

Tata Motors (Rs 396.20, down 3.15 percent), HCL Tech (Rs 1,445.65, down 2.84 percent), Ranbaxy Labs (Rs 360.80, down 2.58 percent), TCS (Rs 2,172.85, down 2.5 percent) and Hindalco (Rs 122.00, down 2.05 percent) were top losers.

11:53 am Market check: The Sensex is down 31.53 points at 21888.26, and the Nifty is down 7.20 points at 6519.45. About 1206 shares have advanced, 1128 shares declined, and 149 shares are unchanged.

BHEL and SBI are up 3 percent each while Tata Motors falls 3 percent.

11:40 am Market outlook: The exuberance seen in the current market rally is clearly on back of the hope that India will have a stable new government says Ajay Bodke, Prabhudas Lilladher in an interview to CNBC-TV18. However, he advises investors to be cautious because of the sheer ferocity with which the market has already scaled highs.

He thinks in fair value terms 6850 on Nifty looks possible but reiterates that one needs to be cautious. He recommends buying on dips as a strategy.

According to him one should clearly watch out for the forthcoming events of the week that is the Crimean referendum on March 16 and Index of Industrial Production (IIP) numbers that are slated to come out later in the week, which could be a disappointing for the month of January.

11:30 am Stock in news: Tata Power is in focus today. The electric utility company will issue 33.2 crore shares via rights issue at Rs 60 per share. Eligible shareholders will be entitled for 7 shares for every 50 shares.

11:20 am Intrenational market: Maury Harris, MD & Chief Economist-America, UBS Investment Research expects the US Federal Reserve to continue its USD 10 billion taper programme. ''An increase in non-farm payroll is a very healthy increase considering that we had unusually bad weather in the month of February,'' he told CNBC-TV18. Harris, who has a year-end target of 1,950 on the S&P 500, expects the emerging markets to outperform their developed peers in the next one or two years.

The market has gone quiet with active buying seen in select stocks. The Sensex is down 2.56 points at 21917.23, and the Nifty is up 0.75 points at 6527.40. About 1194 shares have advanced, 1053 shares declined, and 151 shares are unchanged.

BHEL is up 3 percent, while SBI, L&T and Reliance are up 2 percent each. Tata Motors, TCS and Hindalco lose 2 percent each.

The rupee weakened against the dollar tracking Asian currencies. Dollar demand from oil importers also weighed and government bond prices fell today as the weakness in the rupee weighed and on better-than-expected US non farm payroll data.

The euro maintained its strength against the dollar although it retreated from intraday highs. Asian currencies saw the yen gain ground while the Malaysian rinngit, Pilipino peso weakened and Indonesian rupiah clawed back.

Gold trends lower on the back stronger non farm payrolls data while Brent gave up some gains after previous day gains.

Asian markets are lower on poor economic data from China dampening sentiment. Chinese exports dropped unexpectedly by 18.1 percent in February.

10:50 am Auto sales: Domestic passenger car sales increased 1.39 per cent to 1,60,718 units in February from 1,58,512 units in the year-ago month.

Motorcycle sales last month climbed 5.39 per cent to 8,43,307 units from 8,00,165 units a year earlier, according to data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).

Total two-wheeler sales in February rose 9.69 per cent to 12,20,012 units.

Sales of commercial vehicles were down 29.84 per cent to 47,982 units in February, SIAM said.

10:40 am FII view: Ray Farris, director, Credit Suisse expects the Indian rupee to remain rangebound for the next several weeks. He said the tone of the emerging market has deteriorated.

The rupee is trading at 61.29/30 versus its close of 61.08/09 on Friday, tracking losses in most other Asian currencies after the better-than-expected US payrolls data. Traders expect the pair to hold in a 61.15 to 61.45 range during the session.

Going forward, he expects the rupee to trade "constructively'' on possibility of a stable government. On the flip side, the seasonal factor in the country's current account balance, which has been very supportive of the rupee in the first quarter of the year, could turn negative for second quarter. There is a big flow swing of several billion dollars that takes place in Q2.

10:30 am Buzzing: Shares of Manappuram Finance soared over 8 percent in intraday trade after Reserve Bank of India raised FII purchase limit in the company to 49 percent. As per the data available on BSE, FIIs held 41.86 percent shares at the end of quarter ended December.

10:20 am House Views: Morgan Stanley Upgrades financials to attractive from in-line. It has upgraded ICICI Bank target to Rs 1,500 per share from Rs 1,225 per share. HDFC Bank target revised to Rs 1,000 per share from Rs 875 per share.  HDFC target upped to Ra 1,100 per share from Rs 1,025 per share. IndusInd Bank target revised to Rs 550 per share from Rs 435 per share.

The market is going steady now after the initial rise. The Sensex is up 21.84 points or at 21941.63, and the Nifty is up 6.75 points at 6533.40. About 1019 shares have advanced, 748 shares declined, and 99 shares are unchanged.

Reliance, BHEL and Bharti Airtel are gaining 3 percent each, while L&T and Axis Bank are up 2 percent. However, pharma stocks are dragging with Sun Pharma, Dr Reddy's Labs and Ranbaxy in sellers' list. Coal India, Hindalco and GAIL are other losers in the Sensex.

Overseas investors pumped in over Rs 3,000 crore in the Indian stock market in the past week mainly on hopes of a strong mandate for the government to be elected in polls starting next month.

Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) were gross buyers of shares worth Rs 18,944 crore and sellers of stocks to the tune of Rs 15,869 crore till March 7, resulting in a net inflow of Rs 3,075 crore, according to data with the Securities and Exchange Board of India.

FIIs also infused Rs 10,358 crore in the debt market during the period.

9:50 am Red face: Google, which is facing antitrust investigation in India by fair trade watchdog Competition Commission of India (CCI), can face a penalty of up to about USD five billion if it is found to have violated competition norms of the country, reports PTI.

Google said it is "extending full cooperation" to the CCI in its investigation. The conclusion of a two-year review by the US antitrust watchdog has concluded that the company's services were good for competition, it added.

The case has been before the CCI as well for over two years now and it relates to allegations that Google is abusing its dominant position in the Internet search engine space.

Under competition regulations, an entity found violating the norms could be slapped with penalty of up to 10 percent of its three-year annual average turnover.

9:40 am Prashant Jain ED & CIO, HDFC Asset Management Prashant says: Expect P/E multiples to come down in consumer stocks. Banks' asset quality to improve once interest rate comes down. Consumer and FMCG remain the most overvalued sectors. Environment is improving for infra sector. Interest rates at peak levels, rates should lower going forward. Indications from managements like ABB is that worst is over. India's macroeconomic situation is improving. This is a good time for retail investors to add to equities. Government managed to contain fiscal gap, current account deficit well. Market will not be determined by election outcome after 1 year.

9:30 am Buzzing: Shares of Ranbaxy Laboratories fell 4 percent as it has recalled more than 64,000 bottles of the generic versions of its cholesterol-lowering drug in the United States due to reports of a dose mix-up, US regulators said.

Ranbaxy recalled tablets of atorvastatin calcium, the generic name for Lipitor's active ingredient, after a pharmacist found a 20-milligram tablet in a sealed bottle marked for 10-milligram tablets, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said on its website. The FDA declared a Class II recall, which signifies a remote chance of severe adverse consequences or death due to the product flaw.

After a stellar performance last week, the market opened on a weak note but picked up quickly to hit 22,000. The Sensex is up 37.10 points at 21956.89, and the Nifty is up 4.80 points or  at 6531.45. About 556 shares have advanced, 406 shares declined, and 64 shares are unchanged.

HDFC Bank, BHEL, L&T, Axis Bank and Maruti are top gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers are Hindalco, Dr Reddy's Labs, Coal India, Sun Pharma and Infosys.

The Indian rupee declined in the early trade. It opened lower by 17 paise at 61.25 per dollar versus 61.08 Friday.The yen rises across the board early this morning as investors give riskier currencies a wide berth after China's trade data fueled worries about a slowdown in the world's second-biggest economy.

The euro was steady against the dollar at USD 1.3874, having retreated from a 2-1/2-year peak of USD 1.39

According to Agam Gupta of Standard Chartered, expect range for the rupee at 61.15-61.45/dollar for the day.

In commodities, crude prices slipped in early Asian trade, as data showing an unexpected fall in China's exports has added to fears of a slowdown in the world's no. 2 economy, stoking demand growth concerns.

Gold edged lower for a second straight session on Monday after strong US jobs data eased fears of an economic slowdown and dimmed the metal's safe-haven appeal. Hedge funds and money managers raised their bullish bets in gold futures and options for a fourth consecutive week.