Infy loses 8%, Sun Pharma falls 5%; Nifty ends below 6500

03:40 pm Market closing: After struggling with the bears, the market closed in negative terrain. The  Nifty gave away the 6500-level, holding it well for five consecutive days. The Nifty ended down 23.80 points at 6493.10. The Sensex was down 81.61 points  at 21774.61. About 1278 shares advanced, 1495 shares declined, and 141 shares were unchanged.

The market started to slide in the last trading hour. BSE Realty fell 3.7 percent in last 40 minutes of trading while BSE Metals lost 2 percent. Infosys was the biggest laggard of the day, slipping over 8 percent at close. With that Infosys marked the biggest percentage loss since April 2013.

Sun Pharma ended down 5 percent. Sesa Sterlite, Axis Bank and TCS were other losers in the Sensex.

Among the gainers in the Sensex were M&M, ONGC, HDFC Bank, Coal India and Hero MotoCorp.

03:30 pm Costly: Market regulator Sebi will soon consider a significant revision in the fees it charges from various entities so as to meet expenses for its regulatory and investor-centric activities.

A final decision on the proposed revision, which includes pushing back the fees to the level seen before a reduction was announced in 2009 for some intermediaries, would be taken after the issues are discussed by Sebi's board at a meeting scheduled for later this month, sources said.

The proposal to revise fees are based on recommendations made by a Committee on Rationalisation of Financial Resources (CRFR), which has submitted its report to Sebi after detailed discussions and a "thorough study" of various parameters.

03:20 pm Indian pharma company in pain: Generic drugmaker Dr Reddy's Laboratories is recalling about 58,656 bottles of the heartburn drug lansoprazole in the United States due to a microbial contamination, the US Food and Drug Administration said.

It was classified as a "Class II" recall which indicates a remote chance of severe adverse consequences or death due to the product flaw.

While product recalls are not uncommon, the FDA announcement comes amid a string of quality problems for Indian drug makers.

In a weekly report, the US regulator also announced it was banning imports from Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Karkhadi manufacturing plant in the western state of Gujarat.

03:10 pm Shining gold: Gold extended gains to a third session, scaling fresh six-month highs as investors sought to hedge their bets against geopolitical tensions in Ukraine and economic slowdown fears in China.

Gold is seen as a safe-haven asset during times of economic and political uncertainty, when the metal is preferred by investors over riskier assets such as equities. It has gained 14 percent so far this year on the global uncertainties.

A recent bond default in China and a weak exports report sent equities and base metals lower. More data on Thursday showed China's economy slowed markedly in the first two months of the year, with growth in investment, retail sales and factory output all falling to multi-year lows.

Spot gold rose 0.4 percent to USD 1,371.76 an ounce by 0737 GMT, after jumping 1.3 percent on Wednesday. The metal earlier on Thursday hit USD 1,374.85, its highest since September 10.

02:59pm Gas price announcement likely next week
Oil ministry is likely to announce gas price for April-June quarter next week, reports CNBC-TV18 quoting unnamed sources.

It is learnt that new gas price may be around USD 7.60-7.90 per mmBtu.

Sources say oil ministry expects companies to sign gas sale pacts with buyers before April 1 and the ministry will meet election commission today on gas price hike.

02:50pm Losers
L&T Finance Holdings lost more than 5 percent. Earlier the stock was on buyers' radar after the NSE added it in F&O segment.

TCS, Sesa Sterlite, NTPC, Maruti Suzuki and Wipro declined 0.5-1 percent.

02:40pm Market erases gains
The market erased gains in last hour of trade weighed down by profit booking in banks and index heavyweights.

The Sensex declined 88.82 points to 21767.40 and the Nifty fell 23.00 points to 6493.90.

Top lender State Bank of India trimmed gains to 0.4 percent from 3 percent while rival Axis Bank fell 0.6 percent.

Infosys and Sun Pharma extended fall to 8.5 percent and 4.5 percent, respectively.

02:30pm Maruti Suzuki in focus
Beleaguered carmaker Maruti Suzuki has sent a clarification to market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) over the recent decision to have its parent set up a manufacturing plant in Gujarat, it is learnt.

Sources told CNBC-TV18 that the company is yet to receive a response from the regulator, which was reportedly looking into whether the transaction flouts corporate-governance and related-party transaction norms.

02:20pm Nikkei falls to 1.5-week low
Japan's Nikkei share average edged down to a 1-1/2-week low, erasing earlier gains after weaker-than-expected Chinese output and retail sales data disappointed the market.

The Nikkei ended down 0.1 percent at 14,815.98, the lowest closing level since March 4. It had risen as high as 14,919.84 earlier following strong Japanese machinery orders data, reports Reuters.

02:10pm Market Expert
Seeing the sectoral decomposition of the pre-election rally, the first leg of the rally year-to-date was led largely by IT and pharma but the anticipation is that the neglected sectors like PSU banks and realty continue to provide tailwind to the market, we still have higher levels to go to, Sanjay Sinha, Founder, Citrus Advisors told CNBC-TV18 in an interview.

The trend of the inflation is downwards and therefore rate cut is an eventuality if not on April 1, it may be soon. But he still believes that there is far more steam left in the markets.

02:00pm Consistent buying in banks, oil & gas, FMCG and auto stocks helped the equity benchmarks maintain positive momentum despite more than 8 percent correction in heavyweight Infosys.

The Sensex advanced 57.42 points to 21913.64 and the Nifty rose 24.65 points to 6541.55. About 1400 shares have advanced, 1232 shares declined, and 157 shares are unchanged.

Sugar stocks too participated in today's upmove with Bajaj Hindusthan, Balrampur Chini, Oudh Sugar Mill, Rana Sugars, Sakthi Sugars, Simbhaoli Sugar and Triveni Engineering rallying 13-19 percent.

1:50 pm Asian market check: Japan's Nikkei share average edged down to a 1-1/2-week low on, erasing earlier gains after weaker-than-expected Chinese output and retail sales data disappointed the market, reports Reuters.

The Nikkei ended down 0.1 percent at 14,815.98, the lowest closing level since March 4. It had risen as high as 14,919.84 earlier following strong Japanese machinery orders data.

The broader Topix index shed 0.3 percent to 1,203.46.

The JPX-Nikkei Index 400, a gauge comprising firms with high return on equity and strong corporate governance, dropped 0.3 percent to 10,885.43.

1:40 pm Banking stocks rally:  Banking stocks saw huge buying interest on hopes that Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will keep policy rates unchanged in its policy meet scheduled to be held on April 1 after CPI inflation eased to 2-month low. The sector is also seeing a hope-rally hinged on the likelihood of a strong government and  turnaround in economy

BSE Bank Index rallied 2.04 percent to 14003.69 as stocks like State Bank of India, YES Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Canara Bank and Bank of India surged 3 percent each.

Axis Bank, Bank of Baroda, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, IndusInd Bank, Punjab National Bank and Union Bank were up between 1-2.5 percent.

1:30 pm: Macro outlook: The down tick seen in the consumer price index (CPI) number yesterday could be a one-off. In fact, the next few months could see headline CPI inflation moving higher, believes Sonal Varma, India Economist, Nomura Financial Advisory & Securities. She is expecting the number to inch back up to 8.5 percent. And there could be two factors responsible for that. One, the current adverse weather conditions in India like the unseasonal winter rains, hailstorms in certain part of India and the El Nino phenomena could again pose a risk to food inflation and vegetable prices may go up.

Two, the moderation seen in core CPI was mainly because of transport and communication segment and if one excludes that then the number was indeed higher said Varma. "The underlying services segments of CPI still remains very sticky, some segments like medical, education which are relatively inelastic as compared to some of the other items like personal care which are more elastic to demand," she said.

It is a positive trading session at Dalal Street with the Nifty holding above 6,500 led by gains in banking heavyweights and Reliance Industries.

Bank Nifty is up 2 percent while IT index tanks over 3 percent on back of weak guidance by Infosys. Broader markets outshine benchmark indices.

SBI, ONGC, M&M, Coal India and HDFC Bank are top gainers in the Sensex. Sun Pharma continues to lose over 3 percent.

Asian markets trade mixed. Weaker-than-expected Chinese economic data limits gains in Shanghai.

Brent futures inched higher on Thursday, holding above USD 108 a barrel, as investors focused on risks from the unfolding crisis in Ukraine and as OPEC raised its 2014 global oil demand growth forecast for a second straight month.

12:55pm Oil companies on fire
HPCL, BPCL and IOC surged between 7-10 percent while ONGC rose nearly 3 percent as CNBC-TV18 reported quoting government sources that the government will start oil subsidy disbursal for the October-December quarter from March 18.

It is learnt that it will pay Rs 10,000 crore oil subsidy in three tranches in March.

12:45pm PSU stocks in focus
PSU stocks see huge buying interest with the BSE PSU Index rallying 2.5 percent to 6017.22, a three-month high.

BEML, Hindustan Cooper, HPCL, BPCL, Power Finance Corporation, STC India,  and MMTC are top gainers, rising between 8-13 percent.

12:35pm Market Expert
The current monentum in the market is likely to continue but long-investors need to be cautious and should not catch this momentum says Harendra Kumar, Head of Institutional Broking & Global Economy, Elara Capital in an interview to CNBC-TV18.

According to him this is a market for traders, but they too have to move in and out quickly to take advantage of the momentum.

Long-term investors can look at cherry-picking beaten down stocks or could wait for a correction post elections to make a strategic entry, says Kumar.

12:25pm Gainers and Losers
Index heavyweight Reliance Industries advanced 1.9 percent and state-run oil & gas major ONGC jumped 2.7 percent.

Engineering and construction major Larsen & Toubro rose over a percent as its transportation infrastructure business secured order worth Rs 3,655 crore for mega-road project in Qatar.

Software services providers TCS and Wipro rebounded with a percent gain but Infosys is still down with 7 percent loss after NR Narayana Murthy said he was not happy with company's performance in the last two years.

"Company's growth rate was at 5.8 percent in FY12 and FY13 compared to 11 percent for Indian software industry," Murthy elaborated.

Drug maker Dr Reddy's Labs rallied 2 percent whereas Sun Pharma fell 4 percent due to USFDA import alert for Karkhadi unit in Gujarat.

Shares of Tata Steel, Hero Motocorp, Bajaj Auto, Tata Power, Hindalco Industries, GAIL and BHEL gained 1-2 percent.

12:15pm Banks on fire
Banks gained the most today on hopes that Reserve Bank of India will keep policy rates unchanged in the policy meet scheduled to be held on April 1. CPI inflation for February slipped to 8.1 percent from 8.79 percent in January, which is near to RBI's comfort level of 8 percent.

"CPI inflation has continued to move downwards which is a good sign, though it would be premature for the RBI to reverse its stance on interest rates. More likely a status quo position could be expected on April 1," CARE Ratings said.

State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank climbed between 1.7-2 percent.

12:00pm The market continued to hold positive momentum in noon trade on the back of support from banks, oil & gas and PSU stocks. The Sensex rose 66.75 points to 21922.97 and the Nifty advanced 26.60 points to 6543.50. Advancing shares outnumbered declining ones by a ratio of 1322 to 1026 on the BSE.

China's industrial output rose 8.6 percent in the first two months of 2014 from a year earlier, missing market expectations, with growth in retail sales also weaker than expected, the National Bureau of Statistics said, reports Reuters. Annual growth in factory output in the first two months of the year is the weakest since March 2009.

China's Shanghai Composite trimmed gains to 0.8 percent from 1.27 percent in early trade.

11:50 am View on Chinese economy and market: China's economy is only growing at just over half the rate that authorities are reporting, perennial contrarian commentator Marc Faber, editor and publisher of The Gloom, Boom and Doom Report, told CNBC.

"I think we are already at a 4 percent growth rate anyway. The figures that China publishes are figures they just take out of a drawer to make it look good," Faber – also known as Dr. Doom – told CNBC Asia's Squawk Box on Thursday.

"If you look at the import figures of the trading partners of China, they are all actually showing that exports of China are hardly growing," he added.

Faber asked investors to look at the recent slump in the Chinese stock market and commodity prices to truly evaluate the state of the country's economy.

11:40 Stock in news: Investors are lapping up shares of Jubilant Life Sciences as the company announced a price increase of 18 percent for Niacin feed-grade, with immediate effect. The stock gained as much as 3.4 percent intraday.

The price hike is for non-contract customers and wherever existing contracts permit, the company said in its release.

The company said, "Nutrition business of Jubilant Life Sciences, the manufacturer of vitamin B3 (Niacin & Niacinamide) is backward integrated up to the initial raw material stage with global scale of operations."

The company primarily manufactures and markets vitamin B3, which is formulated for human, pharmacological, cosmetics and animal feed consumption, as well as Choline Chloride (also referred to as vitamin B4), an important feed additive for poultry.

11:30 am China IIP: China's industrial output rose 8.6 percent in the first two months of 2014 from a year earlier, missing market expectations, with growth in retail sales also weaker than expected, the National Bureau of Statistics.

Retail sales climbed 11.8 percent in January and February compared to the year ago period, the government said. Fixed-asset investment, an important driver of economic activity, was up 17.9 percent in the first two months from the same period last year, the bureau said, some way below forecasts for a 19.4 percent increase.

11:20 am Buzzing: Shares of L&T jumped 1.5 percent intraday as it bagged a Rs 3655 crore order in Qatar. The transportation infrastructure business of the company obtained an international order worth Rs 3,655 crore from ASHGHAL (Public Works Authority), state of Qatar for design and construction of Al Wakrah Bybass Road.

The project is likely to be completed in 32 months.

"The scope of work involves construction of 11 km road consisting of 10 lanes and four future lane sections with additional collectors/distributor roads, frontage roads and ramps," it said in a statement.

It will also provide road furniture and other related utility works for potable water treated sewer effluent, drainage, electrical, intelligent transportation system, irrigation and landscaping.

The market is maintaining its upmove as the Sensex is up 78.55 points at 21934.77. The Nifty is up 29.10 points at 6546.00. About 1216 shares have advanced, 839 shares declined, and 117 shares are unchanged.

IT stocks are bleeding with Infosys dragging the index. Wipro, Sesa Sterlite and Sun Pharma are other losers in the Sensex. Banking stocks are going strong with HDFC Bank and SBI as lead gainers. Other gainers in the Sensex are M&M, Dr Reddy's Labs and Reliance.

The rupee trades higher backed by strength from Asian currencies and better IIP and CPI data. Gilts trade higher on the sharp dip seen in headline and core CPI.

The dollar fell against the euro that strengthened to levels of 1.39 following comments from the German Finance Minister that interest rates in the Eurozone were too low. From a German perspective, however, the euro has retreated a little today.

Gold hit a 6-month high on safe haven buying. Copper recovered marginally from 4-year lows while iron ore traded at 18-month lows. Asian currencies gain tracking the dollar's broad weakness.

Asian markets are mostly higher today with Japanese markets rising on stronger than expected machinery data. Investors await IIP data from China.

10:55am FII View
"Despite the short-term overbought readings we would respect Nifty's conclusive breakout above 6,383-6,480 resistance. This breakout opens the door for a move up to the 7,036 area," Laurence Balanco, CLSA said.

According to him, BHEL, HDFC Bank and L&T have recently broken out of a multi-month consolidation pattern implying further gains in the coming weeks.

10:45am Market Update
The market extended its upmove with the Nifty reclaiming 6550 level supported by banks and oil & gas stocks.

The Sensex added 124.98 points to 21981.20 and the Nifty climbed 41.55 points to 6558.45. About 1187 shares have advanced, 767 shares declined, and 101 shares are unchanged.

India's biggest lenders State Bank of India, ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank rallied over 2 percent followed by index heavyweights Reliance Industries and ITC with 2 percent and 1 percent upmove, respectively.

10:35am Ipca Labs on fire
Shares of Ipca Labs gained 3.5 percent as the company received approval from US Food and Drug Administration for Cetirizine Hydrochloride oral tablets (antihistamine that treats itching, runny nose, watery eyes etc).

10:30am Manappuram Finance gains 2.5 percent
Kerala-based gold financing company Manappuram Finance has signed definitive agreement to acquire Milestone Home Finance Company from Jaypee Hotels.

"Manappuram plans to diversify its business by commencing housing finance activities," the company said in its filing.

10:20am L&T on buyers' radar
Engineering and construction major Larsen and Toubro gained more than a percent today as its transportation infrastructure business has secured order worth Rs 3,655 crroe for mega-road project in Qatar.

Qatar road project is scheduled to be completed in 32 months.

"This is the company's single largest road order in international market and is an important turning point in our plans of growing the company's business in Middle East region," SN Subrahmanyan, senior executive vice president, infrastructure & construction said.

10:10am Tata Motors gains 2%
Retail sales of Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), the UK subsidiary of Tata Motors, rose 14 percent to 30,487 units in February compared to a year-ago period.

Jaguar's retail sales jumped 15 percent to 5,300 units while Land Rover's retail sales increased 13 percent to 25,187 units during the last month.

10:00am Equity benchmarks are marginally higher because the heavy selling pressure in Infosys capped all the gains. Infosys fell nearly 8 percent that wiped out more than 160 points gains from the Sensex.

The 30-share BSE Sensex rose 50.07 points to 21906.29 and the Nifty climbed 17.75 points to 6534.65. About 1048 shares have advanced, 614 shares declined, and 87 shares are unchanged.

The fall in Infosys is because NR Narayana Murthy said he was not happy with company's performance in the last two years. "Company's growth rate was at 5.8 percent in FY12 and FY13 compared to 11 percent for Indian software industry," he elaborated.

Sun Pharmaceutical Industries fell 4 percent on getting USFDA import alert for its Karkhadi unit. The import alert is for all products from this unit.
 
Shares Reliance Industries, ICICI Bank, ONGC, HDFC Bank, ITC, HDFC, State Bank of India, Axis Bank, M&M, Dr Reddy's Labs, Bharti Airtel and Tata Steel gained 1-2 percent.

L&T

Wins Order Worth `3,655 Cr For Mega-road Project In Qatar

Qatar Road Project Is Scheduled To Be Completed In 32 Months

10:00 am Rupee and bond rally: The rupee and bonds rallied on Thursday after retail inflation data released after market hours on Wednesday came in above expectations, but further sharp gains are unlikely as investors expect the central bank to keep rates on hold in April, dealers said.

The benchmark 10-year bond yield was trading at 8.70 per cent after opening at 8.68 per cent, according to the central bank's reporting platform data. It had closed at 8.72 per cent on Wednesday.

9:50 am Relief: Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade on Thursday won dismissal of the indictment against her for visa fraud, with a US judge ruling she had full diplomatic immunity although prosecutors are not barred from bringing new charges in future, reports PTI.

District Judge Shira Scheindlin said in her 14-page order that ''it is undisputed'' that Ms. Khobragade acquired full diplomatic immunity at 5:47 m. on January 8 after the US State Department approved her accreditation as a counsellor to India's mission to the United Nations.

While the indictment was returned on January 9, Ms. Khobragade had the immunity till she departed from the US for India on the evening of January 9 and so the prosecutors cannot proceed with the current indictment.

9:40 am Buzzing: Shares of Sun Pharmaceutical Industries fell more than 6 percent intraday Thursday on getting USFDA import alert for its Karkhadi unit. US Food and Drug Administration has given import alert for all products from this unit.

9:30 am FII View: Laurence Balanco, CLSA says that despite the short-term overbought readings we would respect Nifty's conclusive breakout above 6,383-6,480 resistance. This breakout opens the door for a move up to the 7,036 area. BHEL, HDFC Bank and L&T have recently broken out of a multi-month consolidation pattern implying further gains in the coming weeks.

Bharat Iyer, JP Morgan feels Indian equities currently trade at a 40 percent premium to emerging markets and at the high end of the relative historic trading band. Consequently, we believe that further sustainable gains for Indian equities in the benchmark will have to be driven by superior earnings growth. Our money flow indicator suggests increased inflows into financials, industrials and consumer discretionary. Resources and healthcare saw selling.

9:20 am Big fall: Shares of Infosys are under tremendous selling pressure, dragging it 9 percent in early trade on Thursday. Investors are worried about the software company as executive chairman Narayana Murthy on Wednesday said he is not at all happy at the way Infosys has performed.

Raising concerns about its growth guidance, he said Infosys hasn't been able to cash in on the rupee depreciation and operating margins.

Addressing an investor concall hosted by Barclays, Murthy said, ''We expect to be somewhere between 11.5 percent and 12 percent in our revenue growth. Much more like 11.5 percent compared to what is being proclaimed as the Nasscom industry growth rate and that is about 13 percent.''

After holding gains for a long time, the market opened on a negative note but picked up momentum quickly. After losing over 100 points, the Sensex is up 29.64 points at 21885.86, and the Nifty is up 13.20 points at 6530.10.

About 468 shares have advanced, 175 shares declined, and 29 shares are unchanged.

Infosys falls 8 percent in early trade as Narayana Murthy raised concerns on its guidance.

The Indian rupee opened higher at 61.02 per dollar on Thursday as against previous day's closing value of 61.22 a dollar. It immediately breached 61 level and went upto 60.92 a dollar.
Mohan Shenoi, Kotak Mahindra Bank said continued custodial flows into stock markets should keep rupee well supported.According to him, the range for the rupee is seen between 61-61.30/USD today.

US stocks finished little changed on Wednesday, with the Nasdaq up for the first session in five, as investors grappled with the evolving situation in Ukraine but shrugged off concern over weakness in China's economy.

But the bigger concern right now is China. The economic slowdown in world's second largest economy is hammering prices of some raw materials, driving down industrial commodities from copper to iron ore and coal.

Copper has recovered marginally from 4 year low. After sliding to session lows of 6376.25$/ton, weakest level since July 2010, LME copper recovered to end at 6505. Three-month LME copper has shed more than 11 percent this year.

Iron ore prices continue to trade around 18-month lows. Iron ore is down 22 percent so far in 2014 to USD 104.7/tonne raising comparisons to with the slump in 2012 to below 90, which shut down many miners and left producers rethinking expansion plans.

In other commodities, Nymex held steady at around USD 98 a barrel in early Asian trade on Thursday, after plunging more than 2 percent in their biggest drop in two months overnight as investors turned their focus to the unfolding geopolitical crisis in Ukraine.

From precious metals space, gold was trading near its highest level in six months as investors sought to hedge their bets against geopolitical tensions in Ukraine and economic slowdown fears in China.