Nifty ends above 6600 ahead of F&O expiry; TCS down 2%

03:40 pm Market closing
The market has been on a high and breaking records at every closing. For the first time, Nifty closed above 6600, at 6601, up 11.65 points ahead of March series F&O expiry. The Sensex ended up 40.09 points at 22095.30.

About 1262 shares have advanced, 1600 shares declined, and 132 shares are unchanged.

03:30 pm Macro outlook
Fall in high Current Account Deficit (CAD) limits India's vulnerability to global financial market volatility although elevated inflation still poses risks, says rating agency Moody's.
Moody's assigns 'Baa3' rating on India, with a stable outlook.

"With India, signs of a decline in its high CAD as a percentage of GDP and the make up of the government's debt profile limit the extent of sovereign exposure to global financial market volatility. But continued higher inflation poses risks," Moody's Investors Service said in a report.

 03:12 pm Market check:
The Nifty hovers around 6600, up 12.80 points or 0.19% at 6602.55. The Sensex is up 45.78 points at 22100.99. About 1221 shares have advanced, 1568 shares declined, and 135 shares are unchanged.

Sesa Sterlite and Hindalco are up 4 percent each. Tata Motors, Coal India and L&T are other top gainers in the Sensex.

Among the top losers are Dr Reddy's Labs, Sun Pharma, M&M, TCS and ITC.

03:10 pm Buzzing
Shares in Shriram City Union Finance gain as much as 3.83 percent after Morgan Stanley initiates coverage on the company with an "overweight" rating.

Shriram City is an attractive investment option, with a proven retail lending franchise, competitive advantage in high-growth small business loans, strong balance sheet and profitability and attractive valuation, the note says.

Valuation of the company has scope to re-rate given strong relative positioning, improving fundamentals and fading overhangs, it says.

02:59 pm Rupee at 8-month high, up 35 paise to 60.18/$
The strength seen in the Indian currency is just sentiment-driven because the underlying economy continues to be weak, believes market expert Jamal Mecklai. The rupee hit its highest level in eight months aided by expectations of continued foreign fund inflows.

"The Indian market certainly looks cheap in dollar terms," he told CNBC-TV18 in an interview.

Mecklai, CEO, Mecklai Financial Services cautioned that the high volatility makes it difficult time to take position in the rupee now. He further added that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is likely to intervene to curb the currency from falling too much into its 50s and thereby support exports. "We can't afford to let the exports side down because the Chinese currency is also weakening," he added.

02:50pm BJP's possible manifesto
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would aim to create 250 million jobs over the next 10 years as part of an economic development programme that could create 100 new 'smart' cities, its election manifesto will say.

The BJP has put jobs and urbanisation at the centre of its policy pitch as it seeks to oust the Congress-led government in a general election starting on April 7, two party sources told Reuters.

"The manifesto's priorities, in this order, are jobs, investment, manufacturing and infrastructure," said one party official involved in drafting the document, which is expected to be released next week, reports Reuters.

02:40pm Educomp on buyers' radar
Shares of Educomp Solutions rallied 3 percent on getting approval for its corporate debt recast package from CDR panel.

"The request for restructuring debts outstanding on reference date (July 08, 2013) comprising working capital debt of Rs 399.04 crore and long term debt of Rs 83.05 crore with CDR lenders has been approved by CDR Empowered Group vide letter of approval dated March 19, 2014," the company said in its filing.

The company further said the restructuring package agreed with CDR lenders (led by State Bank of Patiala) envisages extended repayment tenure of 10 years including moratorium period of 2.5 years from cut off date (April 01, 2013) and funding of interest for a period of 2 years from cut off date.

02:30pm Congress Manifesto
As expected, the Congress Party's election manifesto was all about Rahul Gandhi speaking of achievements like Women's Bill, food bill, all inclusive growth and upliftment of the downtrodden.

Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh said that the party recommits itself to an inclusive India and ensures growth benefits to all sections of the society. "UPA provided an agenda for growth and the country grew more during UPA's tenure than opponents claim. UPA pulled 140 million people out of poverty,'' he added.

02:20pm Interview
Srei Infrastructure  received the Reserve Bank approval to set up, own and operate white-label ATMs on Tuesday. Hemant Kanoria, CMD, Srei Infrastructure says this is a good opportunity for the company because it already has a lot of centers in rural areas through Sahaj.

Apart from this, there have been reports that the Tata Group is mulling to exit Viom and is seeking to raise Rs 8,000-10,000 crore. But Kanoria says he hasn't heard anything from the Tata Group on the matter. Infact, he further goes on to say that he doesn't see any merit in any partner exiting Viom.

Viom is a joint venture between Srei Infra and  Tata Teleservices (TTSL). TTSL holds 54 percent stake in the JV, while Srei holds 18 percent.

02:10pm Subrata Roy gets conditional bail
Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to release on bail the head of the Sahara conglomerate, Subrata Roy, after setting certain conditions.

The court asked Sahara to deposit Rs 5000 crore to the securities regulator as well as provide bank guarantees for another Rs 5000 crore.

Sahara Chairman Roy, 65, was arrested on February 28 after failing to appear at a contempt hearing in a long-running legal battle between the group and the securities regulator over refund of billions of dollars to investors in outlawed bonds. He had been held in a Delhi jail since March 4, reports Reuters.

02:00pm The marked erased gains with the Nifty falling below 6600 level amid volatility. The Sensex slipped 7.18 points to 22048.03 while the Nifty rose 1.10 points to 6590.85.

About 1144 shares have advanced, 1596 shares declined, and 144 shares are unchanged.

Housing finance company HDFC lost ground in last hour of trade, falling nearly 1 percent while HDFC Bank declined 0.6 percent.

FMCG major ITC plunged 1.7 percent and its rival Hindustan Unilever went down 0.2 percent.

Drug makers Sun Pharma and Dr Reddy's Labs tumbled over 2 percent followed by Cipla with 1 percent.

Top software services exporter TCS plummeted 2 percent while rivals Wipro and Infosys are flat.

However, shares of Reliance Industries, L&T, Tata Motors, Axis Bank, Maruti, ONGC, Sesa Sterlite, Hindalco Industries, Coal India, Bajaj Auto and Tata Steel gained 1-3 percent

12:59pm Bank of India talks to CNBC-TV18
Bank of India's restructuring portfolio has reduced in the last quarter and it expects to lower the gross and net NPAs (non-performing assets) in the coming quarter, said CMD VR Iyer.

The public sector lender has lowered its net interest margin (NIM) guidance from 3 percent to 2.9 percent during the quarter. The bank expects NIM from international portfolios around 1.3 percent.

Speaking to CNBC-TV18, Iyer said the bank has already sold bad assets worth Rs 2,000 crore during the quarter and is looking to sell more such bad loans to asset reconstruction companies in the fourth quarter.

She added that they will be able to grow 18-20 percent in the coming years.

12:50pm BJP's manifesto to focus on new jobs, cities
The Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would aim to create 250 million jobs over the next 10 years as part of an economic development programme that could create 100 new 'smart' cities, its election manifesto will say.

The BJP has put jobs and urbanisation at the centre of its policy pitch as it seeks to oust the Congress-led government in a general election starting on April 7, two party sources told Reuters.

"The manifesto's priorities, in this order, are jobs, investment, manufacturing and infrastructure," said one party official involved in drafting the document, which is expected to be released next week, reports Reuters.

12:40pm Sintex Industries gains over 4%
Plastic products manufacture Sintex Industries is going to divest its entire stake in Zep Infratech, the wholly owned subsidiary of the company to Khadayata Decor.

12:30pm SREI Infra, Tata Teleservices in focus
Tata group is planning to consider exiting Viom and raise around Rs 8,000-10,000 crore, reports CNBC-TV18 quoting sources.

Tata Tele Services holds nearly 54 percent in Viom.

It is learnt that TPG and Bain may be frontrunners for Tata group stake in Viom.

Tata Tele Services is yet to respond to CNBC-TV18 query.

Tata Tele Services (Maharashtra) gained nearly 4 percent and SREI Infrastructure, which is also a joint promoter of Viom, rallied over 11 percent.

12:20pm Asian shares hit 2-week highs
Asian shares raced to two-week highs, with investor confidence getting a much-needed boost from upbeat US data and diminishing concerns over the Ukraine/Crimea crisis.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 1.1 percent to its highest level since March 11, while Japan's Nikkei ticked up 0.3 percent.

European shares are expected to follow suit, with both Germany's DAX and France's CAC seen rising 0.4 percent.

US consumer confidence rose more than expected in March, to its highest level since January 2008 and US house prices increased solidly in January, reports Reuters.

12:10pm Market Expert
The market momentum in India is strong and likely to continue, Andrew Holland, CEO, Ambit Investment Advisors said. According to Holland, from the BRICS basket India clearly stands out given the concerns in China and Russia. ''India is the ironed shirt in the laundry basket,'' he said in an interview to CNBC-TV18.

Like most experts, Holland also expects the market move post election to be more stock-specific than index-driven. Further, he sees upward revision of earnings projection for FY15 aided by pick-up in the economy.

12:00pm Equity benchmarks maintained early gains with the Sensex holding 22100 level supported by metals, oil & gas, auto, capital goods and select banks stocks. However, FMCG and healthcare stocks are under pressure.

The Sensex advanced 69.86 points to 22125.07 and the Nifty rose 22.95 points to 6612.70. About 1295 shares have advanced, 1130 shares declined, and 137 shares are unchanged.

Among oil & gas stocks, Reliance Industries and ONGC recouped yesterday's losses, rising more than 1.5 percent. GAIL continued its run-up, gaining 2 percent.

Shares of Hindalco Industries and Sesa Sterlite are top gainers in the Sensex, climbing over 3 percent followed by Tata Steel with 2 percent after decided buyer for its Borivali land in Mumbai.

Commercial vehicle maker Tata Motors and top car manufacturer Maruti Suzuki advanced 2 percent each.

Top lenders State Bank of India, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank gained 0.9-1.8 percent whereas HDFC Bank fell 0.6 percent.

However, ITC, Hero Motocorp and Dr Reddy's Labs are under pressure, falling nearly 2 percent. Sun Pharma dropped over 1.4 percent.

12:00 pm Asian Market: Asian shares raced to two-week highs, with investor confidence getting a much-needed boost from upbeat US data and diminishing concerns over the Ukraine/Crimea crisis.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 1.1 percent to its highest level since March 11, while Japan's Nikkei ticked up 0.3 percent.

European shares are expected to follow suit, with both Germany's DAX and France's CAC seen rising 0.4 percent.

U.S. consumer confidence rose more than expected in March, to its highest level since January 2008 and US house prices increased solidly in January.

11:50 am Market outlook: The market momentum in India is strong and likely to continue, Andrew Holland, CEO, Ambit Investment Advisors said. According to Holland, from the BRICS basket India clearly stands out given the concerns in China and Russia. ''India is the ironed shirt in the laundry basket,'' he said in an interview to CNBC-TV18.

Like most experts, Holland also expects the market move post election to be more stock-specific than index-driven. Further, he sees upward revision of earnings projection for FY15 aided by pick-up in the economy. On specific stocks, he is bullish on Indian IT stocks despite the recent fall and he recommends investors to stick to the sector. Holland continues to buy defensive sector. From the metals pack, he is positive on Tata Steel.

11:40 am Mining cap: Goa, India's top iron ore exporting state, should be allowed to produce up to 20 million tonnes per year when an 18-month old mining ban is lifted, a court-appointed panel report seen by Reuters.

The capped amount is less than half of the coastal state's peak output, potentially cutting shipments to China.

The Supreme Court is likely to implement the recommendation by the panel that it appointed in November.

11:30 am Rupee outlook: The strength seen in the Indian currency is just sentiment-driven because underlying economy continues to be weak, believes market expert Jamal Mecklai. The rupee hit its highest level in eight months on Wednesday aided by expectations of continued foreign fund inflows.

Mecklai, CEO, Mecklai Financial Services cautioned that the high volatility makes it difficult time to take position in the rupee now. He further added that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is likely to intervene to curb the currency from falling too much into its 50s and thereby support exports. "We can't afford to let the exports side down because the Chinese currency is also weakening," he added.

11:20 am Buzzing: Shares of Wheels India rose 14 percent intraday as the management commented that post the rights issue it will bring down debt/equity ratio to 1:1. The stock fell sharply after its rights issue was offered at a 50 percent discount to market price in February.

Srivats Ram, MD, Wheels India says the intention was not just to follow Sebi guidelines on promoter holding. At present, promoters hold 75 percent shares, while the rest is held by public shareholders.

The company raised Rs 86.51 crore via the rights issue. Ram expects to see growth in FY15 after almost two years of de-growth. The company's FY14 topline has slumped 6.5 percent due to sluggish growth in the commercial vehicle segment. However, he believes that the CV industry has bottomed out.

The market manages its momentum ahead of March series F&O expiry. The Sensex is up 68.31 points at 22123.52, and the Nifty is up 21.30 points at 6611.05.

About 1226 shares have advanced, 1001 shares declined, and 112 shares are unchanged.

Hindalco, Tata Motors, Coal India, Sesa Sterlite and Maruti Suzuki are top gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers are ITC, Hero Motocorp, Dr Reddy's labs and TCS.

The rupee surged to a near eight-month high on foreign fund inflows ahead of upcoming general elections. Panic dollar sales by exporters also added to rupee's rise.

Gilts are slightly while underlying sentiment remains cautious ahead of the release of government's borrowing plan, RBI's April 1 monetary policy review.

The dollar strengthened post the better economic data. Euro was trading lower against the dollar and the yen was trading flat against the dollar with a weak bias.

Asian markets trade higher as investor sentiment improves on better economic data from the US. Easing diplomatic standoff between Russia and the west also eased sentiment as US President Barack Obama and allies agree to hold off on more damaging economic sanctions unless Moscow goes beyond the seizure of Crimea.

Gold futures hovers near 5-week lows while Brent crude trade close to USD 107 per ounce.

10:59am Geojit BNP in focus, up over 1%
Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services has decided to invest Rs 70 crores by way of equity capital in Geojit Credits.

Geojit Credits is a non deposit taking NBFC and a subsidiary of Geojit BNP Paribas.

Geojit Financial Management Services Private Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Geojit BNP Paribas also decided to invest Rs 32.5 crore by way of equity capital in Geojit Credits.

10:50am Rosneft may tie up with ONGC for oil supply
Rosneft , the world's top listed oil producer by output, may join forces with Indian state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) to supply oil to India over the long term, the Russian state-controlled company said on Tuesday.

It said both companies, which work together on Russia's Sakhalin-1 project, may also join forces in Rosneft's yet-to-be built liquefied natural gas plant in the far east of Russia to the benefit of Indian consumers of LNG.

Rosneft, which is increasing oil flows to Asia to diversify away from Europe, did not provide any additional details but said it had discussed potential cooperation with Reliance Industries and Indian Oil.

10:40am Wheels India talks to CNBC-TV18
Wheels India went in for a rights issue in February, which was offered at a 50 percent discount to the market price at that time. Srivats Ram, MD, Wheels India says the intention was not just to follow Sebi guidelines on promoter holding. At present, promoters hold 75 percent shares, while the rest is held by public shareholders.

He says the main aim of the company was to reduce debt and to bring down the debt/equity ratio to 1:1. The company raised Rs 86.51 crore via the rights issue.

Ram expects to see growth in FY15 after almost two years of degrowth. The company's FY14 topline has slumped 6.5 percent due to sluggish growth in the commercial vehicle segment. However, he believes that the CV industry has bottomed out.

10:30am Oberoi Realty jumps over 10%
Oberoi Realty bought Tata Steel's defunct manufacturing plant in Borivali, a western suburb in Mumbai. Oberoi Realty jumped 10 percent while Tata Steel rose 2 percent after the real estate developer announced buying the 25-acre land for Rs 1155 crore through e-auction.

"The Committee of Independent Directors appointed for the oversight and governance of the sale process by the Tata Steel Board declared Oberoi Realty Limited as the highest bidder of the auction on the basis of their final bid of Rs 1,155 crore, after several rounds of bidding," Tata Steel said in a statement.

10:20am Educomp Solutions up over 7%

Educomp Solutions said the board of directors on March 25 has accepted the letter of approval (LOA) issued by Corporate Debt Restructuring Empowered Group (CDR EG) approving the corporate debt restructuring proposal submitted by the company.

10:10am Rupee at 8-month high
The rupee appreciated by 22 paise to 60.25 against US dollar, tracking weakness in dollar and strong inflow of foreign money.

The strength seen in the Indian currency is just sentiment-driven because the underlying economy continues to be weak, believes market expert Jamal Mecklai.

"The Indian market certainly looks cheap in dollar terms," he told CNBC-TV18 in an interview.

Mecklai, CEO, Mecklai Financial Services cautioned that the high volatility makes it difficult time to take position in the rupee now. He further added that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is likely to intervene to curb the currency from falling too much into its 50s and thereby support exports. "We can't afford to let the exports side down because the Chinese currency is also weakening," he added.

10:00am Equity benchmarks continued to witness buying interest with the Nifty holding the 6600-mark supported by banks, capital goods, metals and auto stocks.

The Sensex rose 72.53 points to 22127.74 while the Nifty climbed 21.85 points to 6611.60 amid volatility ahead of expiry of March series derivative contracts.

More than two shares advanced for every share declining on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Tata Motors, Hindalco Industries and GAIL are top gainers, rising more over 2 percent followed by Maruti Suzuki, Tata Steel and Sesa Sterlite with 1.8 percent.

Top private sector lender ICICI Bank, petrochemical major Reliance Industries and engineering & construction major L&T gained nearly a percent.

However, shares of ITC, TCS, HDFC Bank, Sun Pharma, Dr Reddy's Labs, Hero Motocorp and Cipla fell 0.3-1 percent.

9:50 am Buzzing: Investors are buying shares of Unity Infraprojects as the board members have approved to make an application for corporate debt restructuring. The stock gained as much as 10 percent intraday.

"The board of directors of the company on March 25 has approved to make a reference to corporate debt restructuring (CDR) cell of Reserve Bank of India under CDR system," the company said in its filing.

Total loan on the books of accounts of company was Rs 885 crore as of September 2013. The bulk of borrowing was for short term.

9:40 am Big deal and big gain: Shares of Oberoi Realty are just celebrating as it bought Tata Steel's defunct manufacturing plant in Borivali, a western suburb in Mumbai. Oberoi Realty jumped 18 percent while Tata Steel rose 2 percent intraday after the real estate developer announced buying the 25-acre land for Rs 1155 crore through e-auction.

"The Committee of Independent Directors appointed for the oversight and governance of the sale process by the Tata Steel Board declared Oberoi Realty Limited as the highest bidder of the auction on the basis of their final bid of Rs 1,155 crore, after several rounds of bidding," Tata Steel said in a statement.

9.35 am Market check: The Sensex is up 73.72 points at 22128.93, and the Nifty gains 23.90 points at 6613.65. About 892 shares have advanced, 434 shares declined, and 52 shares are unchanged.

IT stocks drag a bit as rupee is appreciating. TCS and Infosys are among the laggards in the Sensex. GAIL and Tata Motors are up 2 percent each.

9:30 am Market outlook: Nandan Chakraborty, Axis Capital believes poor track record of opinion polls, the recent market rally, and the fact that there are enough challenges facing a new government before it can spur growth, make a pre-poll portfolio positioning difficult. "We have revised our model portfolio where among Nifty companies, we are sharply overweight on Tata Motors, Maruti Suzuki, ICICI Bank, PNB, IDFC, L&T, Lupin and Tata Power," he adds.

Jyotivardhan Jaipuria, Bank of America Merrill Lynch says model portfolio continues to be a mix of rupee sensitives like IT and pharma, domestic economic plays, like autos and private banks and reform plays, like government oil companies and small exposure to deep cyclicals, which include beaten-down infrastructure and government banks. His top buys are ICICI Bank, Lupin, Maruti Suzuki, TCS and ONGC.

The market is scaling new highs a day before March F&O expiry. The Nifty opened above 6600 for the first time, up 25.90 points at 6615.65. The 50-share index has gained nearly 350 points (5.5 percent) in this month so far. The Sensex is up 87.87 points at 22143.08, and the Nifty About 333 shares have advanced, 84 shares declined, and 17 shares are unchanged.

Axis Bank, GAIL, BHEL, ICICI Bank and Tata Steel are top gainers in the Sensex.

Indian rupee opened at eight-month high on Wednesday, rising 18 paise to 60.30 per dollar as against previous day's closing value of 60.48.

Pramit Brahmbhatt, CEO, Alpari India said the rupee yesterday traded at a 6-month high with the help of positive investor sentiments before elections. RBI credit policy is scheduled on April 1 and the outcome will show the road ahead for the rupee, he added.

He expects the rupee in the range of 60.20-60.70/USD.

The dollar index meanwhile finds little follow-through momentum from last week.

The euro has steadied in early Asian trade after hitting a three-week low yesterday after ECB governing council member & BundesBank Chief Jens Weidmann said negative interest rates were an option to temper euro strength and that quantitative easing was not out of the question to combat deflation.

Meanwhile, the Wall Street bounced back after two days of losses as investors embraced upbeat consumer confidence report. Asian equities trading positive in morning trade, thereby making a case for a decent rally today.

Nymex Crude prices ticked higher above USD 99 dollars, reversing some of the previous session's losses with Brent Crude hovering around USD 106. And yellow metal gold is trading near its weakest level since mid-February, as shares firmed and the dollar held steady against other currencies on signs of a recovery in the US economy.