Nifty holds 6700 amid pressure; TCS up 3.5%, HDFC down 3.5%

03:50 pm TCS Q4 poll
TCS is set to declare its fourth quarter (January-March) earnings on Wednesday evening. Analysts believe the company is unlikely to surprise with its quarterly earnings given the management had indicated (in its analyst meet held in March) that revenues and margins in fourth quarter will be lower than third quarter. However, the company had also said FY15 will better than FY14.

According to CNBC-TV18 poll, profit after tax of the company is likely to fall 2.9 percent sequentially to Rs 5,175 crore but revenues (in rupee terms) may increase 1.7 percent Q-o-Q to Rs 21,662 crore and (in dollar terms) 2.2 percent to USD 3515 million during March quarter.

"We expect constant-currency growth of 2 percent Q-o-Q in the March quarter. However, cross currency movement (due to USD depreciation versus other major currencies, particularly GBP) is likely to add about 0.3 percent points to reported sequential revenue growth (in USD terms). Hence, we expect USD revenue growth to be about 2.3 percent Q-o-Q," JP Morgan says in its report.

 03:40 pm Market closing
After a lot of struggle, the market closed on a negative note. The Sensex was down 144.03 points  at 22484.93, and the Nifty ended down 43.20 points  at 6733.10. About 1278 shares have advanced, 1415 shares declined, and 166 shares are unchanged.

Hindalco lost 4 percent while Axis Bank, HDFC, Sesa Strelite and Tata Steel fell around 3 percent each. TCS and Wipro were up 4 percent. Hero Motocorp, Infosys and NTPC were other gainers in the Sensex.

03:30 pm Sharp slide
Shares in Yes Bank fell as much as 6.7 percent after JPMorgan downgraded the stock to 'underweight' from 'overweight,' saying absolute valuations "aren't that attractive in the context of slowing earnings."

Macro headwinds, elevated credit costs and challenges in Yes Bank's retail loan business and retail deposit base were other reasons for the downgrade, the investment bank said.

03:20 pm Oil dispute
State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) and Reliance Industries will appointed a common international expert to resolve the dispute over their Krishna Godavari basin gas fields being inter-connected, reports PTI.

ONGC says at least three wells drilled by RIL on the boundary of KG-D6 block in Bay of Bengal are within "few hundred meters" of its gas fields. It fears the fields are connected and RIL may be drawing out its gas.

RIL disputes the ONGC theory and the two firms have shared data to collaborate on their claims.

Sources said the two firms have now decided to appoint a reputed global consultant to study data on both sides.

ONGC and RIL will in next few days share names of their preferred consultants and arrive at a common name thereafter.

03:10 pm Bulls
India-based fund managers are growing more confident in the domestic economy and plan to raise allocations to auto makers and private sector lenders, betting that no change to interest rates will underpin an economic recovery, a Reuters poll showed.

The expected allocations for April-June follow the lead of foreign investors who have already been investing in India-focused shares, such as Tata Motors Ltd, since the start of the year. That has sparked a rally in the broader Nifty which climbed to a record high last week and is up 7.5 percent this year.

The confidence in India marks a shift from last year when IT outsourcing firms and drug makers featured among top gainers as investors sought more exposure to the global economy, with economic growth at its weakest pace in a decade.

02:59pm Clariant Chemicals up 7%
Clariant Chemicals (India) says it has entered into an agreement to sell its land located in Kolshet, Thane aggregating to about 87 acres to Ishwer Realty and Technologies Private Limited for an aggregate consideration of Rs 1154.25 crore.

Ishwer Realty is a subsidiary of Lodha Developers Private Limited.

02:50pm Mindtree to announce Q4 numbers on Wed
According to CNBC-TV18 poll, profit after tax is likely to go up 4 percent sequentially to Rs 92 crore on revenues of Rs 810 crore (up 2.5 percent Q-o-Q) in the quarter ended March 2014.

Revenues in dollar terms may rise 3 percent quarter-on-quarter to USD 131 million during the quarter.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation may increase to Rs 160 crore and margin may expand by 30 basis points to 19.8 percent, according to poll.

02:40pm Inflation rises
Inflation in India rose to a seven-month high of 5.7 percent in the month of March, snapping a three-month easing trend that will give the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) less scope to support the economy amid fresh signs of slowdown.

A CNBC-TV18 poll of economists and analysts was anticipating inflation to come in around 5.2 percent.

The inflation in the food items, based on the wholesale price index (WPI), shot up by 9.9 percent in March as against 8.12 percent in the previous month.

The overall WPI inflation, which was on decline since December, had dropped to a nine-month low of 4.68 percent in February.

As per the data released by the government today, the January inflation number has been revised upward to 5.17 percent as against earlier estimate of 5.05 percent.

02:30pm Diageo open offer
Diageo wants a larger sip of United Spirits and is firing on all cylinders to ensure that it has a sizable share.

After many months of speculation Diageo has today announced an open offer for 26 percent of United Spirits stake thus taking its shareholding in the company from 28.78 percent to 54.78 percent.

The open offer has been priced at Rs 3030 per share, which is a 22.5 percent premium to the price at which Diageo last acquired USL shares on 31st January 2014, and a 20 percent premium to the 60 day VWAP for USL.

At Rs 3030 per share, if subscribed in full, Diageo will pay about Rs 11,448 cr or 1.1 billion pounds taking Diageo's total investment in United Spirits to Rs 18,023 cr or 1.85 billion pounds.

02:20pm Rupee Update
The rupee is trading at 60.32/33 versus its Friday's close of 60.1750/1850 hurt by demand for the greenback from oil refiners.

Losses in other Asian units versus the dollar also hurt sentiment for the Indian unit. Most emerging Asian currencies dipped on Tuesday, burdened by a strong dollar after upbeat US retail sales data and ongoing tensions in Ukraine.

The rupee is seen holding in a 60.20 to 60.50 range during the rest of the session.

Traders say the higher-than-expected wholesale inflation data had little impact on the rupee and traders are awaiting the retail inflation data, a measure which the Reserve Bank of India now focusses on for direction, reports Reuters.

02:10pm FII View
Wary of India's outperformance in the emerging market space, Aberdeen Asset Management MD Hugh Young cautions investors that valuations are far from compelling. A long-term investor in India, Aberdeen chooses to offer a contrarian view at a time when Indian market has been making frequent new highs, thereby drawing voluminous of FII inflows.

Justifying his view, Young says political turmoil has been India's perennial problem and a rerating on grounds of a much expected leadership change makes ''us skeptical but I hope the skepticism is unfounded.''

02:00pm The market trimmed losses supported by technology stocks. The Sensex declined 123.43 points to 22505.53 and the Nifty fell 35.50 points to 6740.80. About 1193 shares have advanced, 1367 shares declined, and 177 shares are unchanged.

The BSE IT index climbed 2 percent as TCS and Wipro surged over 3 percent ahead of January-March quarter earnings on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.

Infosys gained over a percent as its March quarter net profit grew 4 percent, higher-than-expected, to Rs 2,992 crore and announced the FY15 revenue growth at 7-9 percent in dollar terms.

Bharti Airtel rose over a percent too after Chad government has awarded 3G/4G licence to India's largest telecom company by subscribers base. In other news, Bharti Airtel said Bombay HC has approved merger of broadband services subsidiary with company.
 
However, housing finance company HDFC fell over 3 percent.

2:00 pm In focus: Shares in Multi-Commodity Exchange of India Ltd surge as much as 7.5 percent after stakeholder Financial Technologies (India) Ltd said it had received nine non-binding bids in the sale of its 24 percent stake in the bourse operator.

Financial Tech did not name the prospective bidders, but said it would finalise the list of bidders by April 25, according to an exchange filing.

1:50 pm Boardroom: CMC, which posted a good set of numbers in its fourth quarter, said it has been able to add Rs 19 crore to the topline and Rs 32 crore to the bottomline on account of a favourable verdict over a long-term court case.

Speaking to CNBC-TV18, MD and CEO R Ramanan said the company will face a sticky margin situation as it plans to push investments back into the business in FY15.  The company expects operating margins in the range of 15-17 percent now and an enhancement going forward.

''Our focus will be how to grow the solutions and services business in new geographies, including the Middle East and Africa, with renewed focus in Europe and the UK,'' he said.

For FY16, the company has targeted about Rs 165 crore capex, primarily for their new facility at Salt Lake, Kolkata.

1:40 pm Buzzing: Investors are lapping up shares of Clariant Chemicals (India) after the company has signed an agreement to sell land in Thane (Mumbai sub urban area) for Rs 1,154.25 crore. The stock gained as much as 12.34 percent intraday to touch a new 52-week high of Rs 741.90.

"The company has entered into an agreement to sell its land located in Kolshet, Thane aggregating to about 87 acres to Ishwer Realty and Technologies Private Limited for an aggregate consideration of Rs 1154.25 crore," the company says in its filing. Ishwer Realty is a subsidiary of Lodha Developers Private Limited.

1:30 pm Exclusive:  In her first interview, the global CFO and executive director of Diageo PLC, Deirdre Mahlan, spoke to CNBC-TV18 and explained that the simple logic behind the second open offer was to allow a certainty of control via increasing the stake.

Deirdre also said that the lenders of Kingfisher Airlines that hold USL shares as collateral are free to tender to the open offer as long as they provide customary guarantees requisite in the offer.

However she clarified that Vijay Mallya will not be tendering in the open offer as the offer is for public shareholders and not promoters.

The market is still struggling with deep cuts. The Sensex is down 199.55 points at 22429.41, and the Nifty is down 59.05 points at 6717.25. About 1086 shares have advanced, 1343 shares declined, and 175 shares are unchanged.

WPI inflation for March accelerated to a three-month high of 5.7 percent on back of rising food and fuel costs. All eyes are on CPI data which will be released later today. CPI for March is seen at 8.2 percent versus 8.1 percent month-on-month on back of hardening food prices.

Infosys kicks off fourth quarter earnings session. It beats street by reporting fourth quarter net profit at Rs 2,992 crore, up 4 percent quarter-on-quarter. The company surprised the street with its dollar revenue growth guidance of 7-9 percent as against forecast of 6-8 percent. However, dollar revenues slipped 0.4 percent to USD 2,092 million.

TCS and Wipro are up 2-3 percent ahead of announcing December quarter results.

12:59pm Market falls further
The Sensex slipped 204.57 points to 22424.39 and the Nifty fell 59.55 points to 6716.75. About 1089 shares have advanced, 1329 shares declined, and 181 shares are unchanged.

HDFC, Sesa Sterlite, Hindalco Industries, Tata Motors and M&M plunged 2.5-3.5 percent.

12:55pm Zenotech Laboratories up 5%
Sun Pharma has made an offer to buy 28.1 percent stake of Zenotech Laboratories via open offer. It will pay Rs 19 per share to shareholders of Zenotech Labs.

Sun will spend Rs 18.42 crore for 96.9 lakh shares of Zenotech Labs.

12:50pm Gruh Finance rallies 16%
Gruh Finance, a subsidiary of HDFC, has reported a 16.7 percent growth in fourth quarter (January-March) net profit at Rs 73.6 crore as against Rs 63.06 crore in a year ago period.

Net interest income of the company grew 23.8 percent to Rs 106.49 crore from Rs 86 crore during the same period.

For the year ended FY14, the housing finance company has reported net profit of Rs 176.96 crore, a growth of 21 percent compared to previous year.

The board of directors of the company has recommended payment of dividend for the financial year 2013-14 of Rs 3 per share. The board also recommended the issue of bonus shares in the ratio of 1 equity share for every 1 equity share held.

12:40pm Interview
Two salary hikes in nine months have not helped Infosys in bringing down employee attrition rate, which is hovering around a steep 18.7 percent, up from from 16.3 percent a year ago. Chief Executive SD Shibulal, who is set to retire early next year, said the attrition rate made the company uncomfortable.

The USD 100-billion IT industry, which gets more than half its revenues from the United States and Europe, finds retaining staff a big challenge.

Even though it is a matter of concern, Infosys is reluctant to further compensate its employees with fatter wage rewards just now. The impact of the previous hikes plus promotions and visa costs is expected to set behind the IT behemoth's margins by 250-300 bps in Q1FY15.

Speaking to CNBC-TV18, Rajiv Bansal, Senior VP and CFO, Infosys says the company cannot afford further raise in wages and hopes previous interventions to retain talent will show results by next year. Thus, at the moment, the company is focused on growth acceleration.

12:30pm YES Bank falls 5%
JPMorgan downgraded the stock to "underweight" from "overweight," saying absolute valuations "aren't that attractive in the context of slowing earnings."

Macro headwinds, elevated credit costs and challenges in Yes Bank's retail loan business and retail deposit base were other reasons for the downgrade, the investment bank said, reports Reuters.

12:20pm Clariant Chemicals up over 7%
Investors are lapping up shares of Clariant Chemicals (India) after the company has signed an agreement to sell land in Thane (Mumbai suburban area) for Rs 1,154.25 crore. The stock gained as much as 12.34 percent intraday to touch a new 52-week high of Rs 741.90.

"The company has entered into an agreement to sell its land located in Kolshet, Thane aggregating to about 87 acres to Ishwer Realty and Technologies Private Limited for an aggregate consideration of Rs 1154.25 crore," the company says in its filing.

Ishwer Realty is a subsidiary of Lodha Developers Private Limited.

12:10pm FII View
Rakesh Arora, Macquarie says investors are contemplating whether a possible Modi victory in elections is already factored in. ''The market has underperformed so consistently in the last five years that despite the big run-up, it is trading at a 5 percent discount to the 17-year average PE ratio of 14.5 times,'' he adds.

He says the brokerage house estimates the market can go up 7-20 percent, depending on the strength of the new coalition government.

12:00pm Equity benchmarks extended losses in noon trade following increase in WPI inflation to 5.7 percent in March as against 4.68 percent in previous month. Economists had expected it at 5.2 percent.

The Sensex lost 185.82 points to 22443.14 and the Nifty fell 53.45 points to 6722.85. About 1077 shares have advanced, 1257 shares declined, and 148 shares are unchanged.
 
Housing finance company HDFC topped the selling list, losing over 3 percent followed by HDFC Bank, Axis Bank and State Bank of India with 1-1.8 percent. FMCG majors ITC and HUL slipped over 1.5 percent

Auto stocks too slid with the Tata Motors and M&M falling 2.5 percent each. Top car maker Maruti Suzuki dropped 1.3 percent while two-wheeler majors Bajaj Auto and Hero Motocorp plunged 1.5 percent each.

However, technology stocks bucked the trend with the IT index rising 1.5 percent following Infosys' fourth quarter numbers and announcement of FY15 dollar revenue guidance.

Infosys climbed 1.5 percent as its Q4 net profit grew 4 percent sequentially to Rs 2992 crore and it expects dollar revenue growth of 7-9 percent in FY15. TCS and Wipro, which will announce quarterly earnings this week, jumped nearly 2 percent.

11:50 am Drug recall: Drug major Lupin is voluntarily recalling 9,210 bottles of its antibiotic drug Suprax, used to treat bacterial infections, in the US market, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA).

According to the information available on the USFDA website, Lupin Pharmaceuticals Inc, the US-based unit of the company, is recalling two lots of Suprax as the "product did not meet specification in total impurities at the nine-month stability station".

The company is recalling 4,038 bottles of Suprax in the first lot and 5,172 bottles of the drug in the second lot in the US market, it added.

11:40 am Strategy: The best strategy to play the market at present would be to gradually reshuffle the portfolio so that one is invested more into winning stocks than defensives like IT and pharma said Dipan Mehta, Member, BSE & NSE in an interview to CNBC-TV18.

According to him, it is now probably the right time to enter economically sensitive sectors like banking, capital goods, autos, real estate since these sectors seem to be doing better and could outperform in the medium to long-term. They could also prove to be good bets post elections, believes Mehta.

"Currently, at every rise one should look at reducing exposure and at every correction increase exposure," Mehta told the channel.

11:30 am Analysis: Hugh Young of Aberdeen Asset Management Asia is impressed with the progress of Infosys in the last couple of quarters, but advises investors against exuberance as he feels it is still a long road ahead. ''For us, still the major concerns are at the management level and whether we are really seeing the proper changes put in place,'' Young said in an interview to CNBC-TV18. ''So far so good, so we are impressed,'' he said. As on March 31, 2014, the Scotland-based fund held 1.17 percent stake in Infosys. According to Young, the changes being made at Infosys would take at least a year or two to show up in the company's financial performance.

11:20 am Outlook: The direction and pace of policy reforms in India, more than which political party takes control after elections, will have a bearing on the sovereign rating, said Standard and Poor's rating agency on Tuesday.

"An important factor is how fragmented the government will be. The more parties involved in the next coalition government, the more likely policies will be incoherent and less supportive of credit attributes," said Kim Eng Tan, sovereign credit analyst at S&P, in a statement.
The world's biggest-ever election is under way in India, Narendra Modi, the prime-ministerial candidate of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), taking on the ailing ruling Congress party and several regional parties.

Most surveys predict BJP will win the biggest chunk of seats but fall shy of the halfway mark, forcing them to seek a coalition with the powerful regional parties. Voting runs until May 12 and results are due on May 16.

The market is unable to budge as Nifty struggles below 6750. The Nifty is down 42.25 points at 6734.05 and the Sensex is down 149.52 points at 22479.44. About 1054 shares have advanced, 989 shares declined, and 136 shares are unchanged.

Infosys is higher reacting to better-than-expected Q4FY14 results with EBIT margins coming in at 25.48 percent and better than estimates FY15 guidance.

Wipro, Bharti Airtel, TCS and Dr Reddy's Labs are top gainers in the Sensex.

Shares of United Spirits hit record high at Rs 2940.55, up 15 percent intraday. Global liquor company Diageo has announced to launch tender offer to acquire 26 percent further in United Spirits.

''The tender offer will be at a price of Rs 3,030 per share and the total consideration for the increased stake will be Rs 11448.91 crore. Diageo has launched the tender offer through Relay BV a wholly-owned indirect subsidiary of Diageo,'' it said in a statement.

Among the laggards are HDFC, Tata Motors, Hindalco, M&M and Hero Motocorp.

Asian shares edged higher after upbeat US data helped Wall Street bounce from a sharp selloff in recent days, though tensions in Ukraine tempered demand for riskier assets.
The MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan inched up 0.1 percent, edging back towards an 11-month high of 486.70 hit last week.The small gains underlined the tense geopolitical backdrop as the crisis in Ukraine kept investors on edge.

Ukraine's president threatened military action after pro-Russian separatists occupying government buildings in the east ignored an ultimatum to leave and another group of rebels attacked a police headquarters in the region. The flare-up came less than a month after Russia completed its annexation of Ukraine's southern Crimea peninsula.

10:59am TCS to report Q4 nos on Wednesday
Brokerage house Motilal Oswal expects Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) to report a 0.8 percent growth quarter-on-quarter (growth of 48.9 percent year-on-year) in net profit at Rs 5354.8 crore.

Sales are expected to increase by 2.1 percent Q-o-Q (up 32.4 percent Y-o-Y) to Rs 21747.5 crore, according to Motilal Oswal.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) are likely to rise by 1.3 percent Q-o-Q (up 45.3 percent Y-o-Y) to Rs 6771.2 crore.

10:50am Infosys' attrition rate rises
Infosys added close to 11,000 employees at the gross level and 2001 employees at the net level during the March quarter. For the year, it added close to 40,000 employees at the gross level, but net headcount declined 1823. The company's attrition level rose to 18.7 percent in FY14, compared to 16.3 percent in the preceding year.

Experts said this could be in line with the company's efforts to trim excess staff at all levels. The company had witnessed an exodus of senior managers last year, notable ones being former CFO V Bala, North America sales head Basab Pradhan and CEO aspirant Ashok Vemuri.

The company's utilization rate, including trainees was 74.4 percent in the March quarter, compared to 74.1 percent in the previous quarter. Excluding trainees, it was flat at 78 percent.

10:40am GRUH Finance on buyers' radar
GRUH Finance, a subsidiary of HDFC, climbed 8 percent to Rs 336.50 after it has reported net profit at Rs 73.6 crore in Q4FY14 as against Rs 63.06 crore in same quarter last year.

Net interest income increased to Rs 106.49 crore versus Rs 86 crore during the same period.

Gruh Finance has approved bonus issue in the ratio of one share for every one share held by shareholders.

10:30am CMC gains post earnings
CMC's Q4 consolidated net profit increased to Rs 89.4 crore from Rs 70.5 crore and net sales jumped to Rs 623.2 crore versus Rs 561 crore (Q-o-Q).

10:20am United Spirits at record high, up 11%
Global liquor company Diageo has announced to launch tender offer to acquire 26 percent further in United Spirits.

''The tender offer will be at a price of Rs 3,030 per share and the total consideration for the increased stake will be Rs 11448.91 crore. Diageo has launched the tender offer through Relay BV a wholly-owned indirect subsidiary of Diageo,'' it said in a statement.

Diageo currently holds 28.8 percent in United Spirits and post open offer its stake in the Indian spirits producer will rise to 54.8 percent.

The open offer will start around June 11 and will close around June 24.

10:10am Market Expert
The best strategy to play the market at present would be to gradually reshuffle the portfolio so that one is invested more into winning stocks than defensives like IT and pharma said Dipan Mehta, Member, BSE & NSE in an interview to CNBC-TV18.

According to him, it is now probably the right time to enter economically sensitive sectors like banking, capital goods, autos, real estate since these sectors seem to be doing better and could outperform in the medium to long-term. They could also prove to be good bets post elections, believes Mehta.

"Currently, at every rise one should look at reducing exposure and at every correction increase exposure," Mehta told the channel.

10:00am  Equity benchmarks declined further with the Sensex losing over 150 pts weighed down by banks, FMCG, oil & gas and auto stocks. However, consistent buying in technology stocks capped the downside.

The Sensex fell 152.27 points to 22476.69 and the Nifty slipped 44.60 points to 6731.70. About 933 shares have advanced, 873 shares declined, and 99 shares are unchanged.

Index heavyweights ITC and Reliance Industries dropped 1.7 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively. HDFC and HDFC Bank lost 2-3 percent.

Top lender State Bank of India declined 1 percent while its rival ICICI Bank slipped 0.4 percent.

However, Infosys held its 3 percent gains after it has reported a 4 percent growth in net profit and higher than expected dollar revenue growth guidance of 7-9 percent for FY15.

TCS, Wipro and HCL Technologies, which all are going to report quarterly earnings this week, gained 1-1.7 percent.

10:00 am Poll: The month-on-month consumer price index (CPI) for March is expected around 8.2 percent versus 8.1 percent and the wholesale price index (WPI) is seen higher at 5.2 percent according to CNBC-TV18 poll.

For the month of February the food inflation was in single digits, so the entire CPI data was at 25-month low. The data point that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) would closely watch is the core inflation, which was still sticky at 7.9 percent. For this month, the hardening in CPI is expected on account of an uptick in food inflation on the likely impact of hailstorms on food prices this month. It is not supposed to be as much as anticipated so yes there will be food prices that will harden but not as much as what the street was working with.

9:50 am Market check: The market is losing all gains weighed down by financials. The Sensex is down 164.30 points at 22464.66, and the Nifty slips 49.80 points to 6726.50.  About 684 shares have advanced, 818 shares declined, and 79 shares are unchanged.

HDFC is down 3 perecnt while Hindalco, HDFC Bank, Coal India and Bajaj Auto fall over 2 percent each.

9:40 am FII view: Rakesh Arora, Macquarie says investors are contemplating whether a possible Modi victory in elections is already factored in. ''The market has underperformed so consistently in the last five years that despite the big run-up, it is trading at a 5 percent discount to the 17-year average PE ratio of 14.5 times,'' he adds.

He says the brokerage house estimates the market can go up 7-20 percent, depending on the strength of the new coalition government.

Meanwhile, Markus Rosgen, Citi says investors were overly negative on emerging markets and it was a crowded short. ''Some of those shorts have now been unwound but in certain areas of emerging markets we foresee continued pain,'' he adds.

According to him, there's a lot of momentum in India currently, across elections, the market and stocks, but not so with earnings where we see only moderate growth.

9:30 am Buzzing:  Investors are buying shares of Infosys as its fourth quarter (FY14) performance was better-than-expected with net profit rising 4 percent quarter-on-quarter to Rs 2,992 crore. Shares of Infosys jumped 4 percent intraday with its FY15 dollar revenue guidance at 7-9 percent which is almost what the Street was expecting.

''I am pleased that we have been able to double our growth rate for the full year compared to last year, though performance in the last quarter of FY 14 has been disappointing. We have guided for a revenue growth of 7-9 percent next year and remain firmly focused on building the growth momentum by making all the necessary investments in our business,'' said CEO and MD SD Shibulal.

The Sensex is up 102.47 points at 22731.43, and the Nifty is up 16.40 points at 6792.70.

About 369 shares have advanced, 114 shares declined, and 55 shares are unchanged.

Infosys, India's second largest software services exporter, beat the street by reporting fourth quarter (January-March) net profit at Rs 2,992 crore, up 4 percent compared to previous quarter in FY14.

However, revenues fell 1.15 percent to Rs 12,875 crore as against Rs 13,026 crore on sequential basis.Analysts had expected bottomline at Rs 2,835 crore and revenue at Rs 12,962 crore for the quarter.

Infosys is up 4 percent, followed by TCS, Wipro, Sesa Sterlite and Tata Motors as top gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers are L&T, ITC, Bharti Airtel, Coal India and HDFC.

The Indian rupee opened lower by 14 paise at 60.31 per dollar against 60.17 Friday.

The dollar is firm versus major currencies, after US retail sales data signaled a brighter outlook for the US economy.

The euro remained under pressure from weekend comments from European Central Bank officials, including ECB President Mario Draghi, who rekindled speculation about more easing in the euro zone.

Against the yen, the greenback edged up to 101.93 yen, moving away from Friday's 3-1/2-week low.

Pramit Brahmbhatt of Veracity said that, "Rupee is expected to appreciate on the back of strong Asian and US equities. Indian local equity is also expected to open in green which will aid rupee. The range for the day is seen between Rs 59.50 - 60.75/dollar."

In the US, stocks advanced as investors embraced data that had US retail sales jumping the most since 2012 while tracking tensions in Ukraine. Major indices ended near session highs after scaling back on their gains late in the session. The CBOE volatility index fell 4.6 percent to 16.25.

In commodities, Brent crude rose to 108 dollar levels as western powers considered tougher sanctions against Russia over its actions in Ukraine.

In the precious metals space, gold rose to around a three-week high as mounting tensions in Ukraine curbed investor appetite for risk. SPDR gold trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, saw its holdings rise 1.80 tonnes to over 806 tonnes, the first inflow since March 24.