Sensex loses 188 points, Nifty below 6800; ITC drags 3%

03:50 pm Results
Private sector lender Axis Bank beat street expectations with the fourth quarter (January-March) net profit rising 18.5 percent year-on-year to Rs 1,842 crore on higher other income and net interest income.

Net interest income during the quarter jumped 18.8 percent to Rs 3,165 crore while non-interest income (Other income includes fee income, commission, gains from securities' transactions etc) climbed 10.3 percent to Rs 2,213 crore year-on-year.

Net interest margin of the bank expanded sequentially to 3.89 percent from 3.71 percent during January-March quarter.

Asset quality improved sequentially. Gross non-performing assets (NPA) declined marginally (up 16 basis points year-on-year) to 1.22 percent while net NPA stood at 0.40 percent as against 0.42 percent quarter-on-quarter and 0.32 percent year-on-year.

 03:40 pm Market closing
The market ended on a weak note with Nifty below the 6800-level. The Nifty is down 58.05 points at 6782.75. The Sensex is down 188.47 points at 22688.07. About 1217 shares have advanced, 1505 shares declined, and 150 shares are unchanged.

M&M, Dr Reddy's Labs, HDFC, Axis Bank and SBI were top gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers are ITC, NTPC, HUL, ICICI Bank and Hero MotoCorp.

03:20 pm Results
State Bank of Hyderabad today reported a 17 per cent rise in its net profit at Rs 444 crore for the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2014, as againt Rs 380 crore in the same period last year.

SBH Managing Director M Bhagavantha Rao said that net interest income during the quarter rose by 2.3 percent to Rs 1,027 crore from Rs 1,004 crore in the corresponding period a year ago.

"General economic slowdown in the country and situation in the state impacted the business and industry which in turn affected the asset quality of the bank," Rao told reporters.

03:10 pm RBI view
Outgoing Reserve Bank Deputy Governor K C Chakrabarty today termed his stint at the central bank as "very satisfactory," but said there are certain things which still remain unaccomplished, especially on the financial inclusion front.

The commercial banker-turn-central banker, who announced his decision to quit last month - two months before his second term was to end on June 30 - citing personal commitment, is stepping down today.

Chakrabarty, known for speaking his mind, has been credited with doing a lot in the field of financial inclusion by pushing banks to lend to the economically weaker sections and opening more branches in unbanked areas.

Some of his initiatives include stopping banks from charging prepayment penalties on mortgage loans, forcing lenders to end discriminatory pricing, interest rate deregulation on the savings accounts, and ending penalties for not maintaining minimum balance, among others.

02:55pm Interview
In an interview with CNBC-TV18, Yes Bank CFO Rajat Monga discussed the bank's fourth-quarter earnings and its plans going forward.

Asset quality is improving for the bank though the exact outlook remains clouded due to weakness in the economy, he said.

''We had a better Q4, we had new slippages of about Rs 50 crore but we had recoveries of about Rs 70 crore which actually helped us reduce our stock of NPA so we are now reporting a 31 bps gross NPA position which was at 39 bps as of December 31,'' he said.

While Yes Bank's deposit book grew a weak 11 percent, Monga said he sees FY15 credit growth at 20 percent.

02:40pm Tata Teleservices in news
Japan's NTT DoCoMo Inc will sell 26.5 percent stake in Indian mobile phone joint venture Tata Teleservices through the equity method. Post this deal, the Japanese company will be exiting the telecom space in India completely.

Japan's top operator of mobile phone services plans to exercise its stake sale right before June, 2014. NTT Docomo has the option to sell stake to the Tatas for Rs 7,250 crore or the fair market price, whichever is higher. However, it is unclear whether the Tata Group will buy out NTT Docomo's stake. Sources say Vodafone is likely to buy out the entire NTT Docomo stake in TTSL.

NTT Docomo had paid USD 2.6 billion for the stake between 2009 and 2011, and Docomo is likely to book losses to the tune USD 500-780 million due to the writedown that has taken place.

02:25pm Strides Arcolab up 15%
Strides Arcolab surges after the drugmaker said its oral drug manufacturing facility in Bangalore continues to maintain compliance with the manufacturing standards of the US health regulator, reports Reuters.

"US FDA recently inspected this facility as part of GMP compliance audit and raised Form 483 (inspection observations) during the Dec 2013 inspection (which has now been satisfactorily closed)," Macquarie said in a note to its clients.

This is a key positive development as important approvals in the United States including anti-HIV and anti-organ rejection drugs are awaited from this facility, the Macquarie note added.

02:15pm Maruti Q4 numbers
Maruti Suzuki, the largest car producer in India, reported net profit at Rs 800 crore in the quarter ended March 2014, up 17.5 percent (partly boosted by other income) compared to previous quarter that was lower than analysts' forecast.

"Lower volumes, higher sales promotion expenses and a stock compensation to dealers owing to reduction in excise duty (exceptional expense) impacted the bottomline during the quarter," the company reasons.

According to CNBC-TV18 poll estimates, analysts had expected the car maker to report net profit of Rs 950 crore on revenue of Rs 12,302 crore for the quarter.

Revenue grew 11 percent sequentially to Rs 12,101 crore during March quarter. Other income was up 2.5 times to Rs 406.6 crore in the quarter gone by while tax expenses increased 20.8 percent Q-o-Q to Rs 246.98 crore.

02:00pm Equity benchmarks remained under pressure weighed down by private banks, FMCG, oil & gas and auto stocks. The Sensex fell 167.95 points to 22708.59 and the Nifty lost 56.25 points to 6784.55. Declining shares outnumbered advancing ones by a ratio of 1506 to 1090 on the BSE.

Top private sector lender ICICI Bank dropped 2.5 percent post Q4 earnings. The bank reported profit after tax of Rs 2,652 crore in the quarter ended March 2014 (missed estimates), up 15 percent compared to a year-ago period, supported by non-interest income, higher retail advances and operating profit but impacted by higher provisions.

Index heavyweights ITC and Reliance Industries slipped 2.7 percent and 1.76 percent, respectively.

1:55 pm Gold check: Gold futures rose by 0.50 percent to Rs 28,443 per 10 gm today as speculators enlarged positions on the back of firming global trends. At the Multi Commodity Exchange, gold for delivery in far-month August rose by Rs 142, or 0.50 per cent, to Rs 28,443 per 10 grams, with a business turnover of 90 lots.

In a similar fashion, the metal for delivery in June moved up by Rs 140, or 0.49 per cent, to Rs 28,930 per 10 grams, with a trade volume of 1,763 lots.

1:45 pm Buzzing: Shares of Alstom India surged 9 percent  while Alstom T&D India hit three-year high at Rs 284.05 per share (up 11 percent) intraday. Investors are excited about the stocks as the parent company is likely to sell stake to US giant General Electric for about USD 13 billion.

''Acquiring Alstom's assets could propel GE toward its goal of increasing the earnings contribution from its core industrial manufacturing business to 70 percent from 55 percent last year, as it reduces its finance exposure,'' the report said.

Alstom has been hit hard by Europe's economic weakness and a drop in orders for power equipment from utilities, which in turn are suffering from low electricity prices. Its train business has held up better and secured record orders.

1:35 pm Buyout brewing: Japan's NTT DoCoMo Inc is likely to sell 26.5 percent stake in Indian mobile phone joint venture Tata Teleservices Ltd through equity method. Post this deal, the Japanese company will be exiting the telecom space in India completely. The Japan's top operator of mobile phone services plans to exercise stake sale right before June.

NTT Docomo has the option to sell stake to the Tatas for Rs 7,250 crore or the fair market price. However, it is unclear whether the Tata Group will buy out NTT Docomo's stake. Sources say Vodafone is likely to buy out the entire NTT Docomo stake in TTSL. NTT Docomo had paid USD 2.6 billion for the stake between 2009 and 2011, and Docomo is likely to book losses to the tune USD 500-780 million due to the writedown that has taken place.

1:21 pm Results: ICICI Bank's March quarter net profit jumped to Rs 2652 crore from Rs 2304.1 crore year-on-year. Its net interest income also increased to Rs 4356 crore on a yearly basis. However, its non-performing assets also grew to Rs 10,505.8 crore from Rs 10399.1 crore quarter-on-quarter.

During the quarter, its net interest margin was at 3.35 percent compared to 3.3 2 percent in the last quarter of same fiscal.

1:20 pm Maruti results: Shares of Maruti Suzuki fell 3 percent. Its March quarter earnings were below street estimates with net profit at Rs 800 crore compared to CNBC-TV18 poll of Rs 950 crore. However, its net profit rose 17.5 percent from Rs 681.2 crore on a quarterly basis. During the period, its revenue was at Rs 12,101 crore in-line with CNBC-TV18 estimates of Rs 12,302 crore. The car maker's EBITDA margin was at Rs 1248 crore.

The company says that higher ad spends impacted profitability in 2013 and overall it was a sluggish year for the industry. In a media briefing, the company also blamed higher sales promotion expense and lower volumes for denting profit. ''Stock compensation to dealers impacted bottomline as well,'' it added.

The market starts May F&O series on a subdued note. The Nifty has slipped below 6800-level. The Nifty is down 49.30 points at 6791.50. The Sensex is down 133.75 points at 22742.79, and About 1085 shares have advanced, 1345 shares declined, and 163 shares are unchanged.

Oil & gas and FMCG stocks dragged the indices while close watch is kept on March quarter earnings of Maruti, ICICI Bank and ACC. ITC, GAIL, HUL, NTPC and Reliance are top losers in the Sensex. Among the gainers are M&M, Dr Reddy's Labs, HDFC, BHEL and Bharti Airtel. 

Tokyo's Nikkei edged up on Friday, helped by a slightly lower-than-expected inflation print for April which reinforced some hopes for further monetary easing by the Bank of Japan.
The Nikkei's gains were limited by weakness in other Asian bourses, notably Chinese shares, and as investors cut positions ahead of the weekend.

The Nikkei share average closed up 0.2 percent at 14,429.26. The Nikkei lost 0.6 percent on the week, and it has shed 11.4 percent so far in 2014.

12:45pm Nikkei outperforms other Asian markets
Tokyo's Nikkei edged up, helped by a slightly lower-than-expected inflation print for April which reinforced some hopes for further monetary easing by the Bank of Japan.

The Nikkei's gains were limited by weakness in other Asian bourses, notably Chinese shares, and as investors cut positions ahead of the weekend.

The Nikkei share average closed up 0.2 percent at 14,429.26. The Nikkei lost 0.6 percent on the week, and it has shed 11.4 percent so far in 2014, reports Reuters.

12:35pm ICICI Bank to announce Q4 nos
According to CNBC-TV18 poll estimates, India's largest private sector lender ICICI Bank's profit after tax is likely to increase 22 percent year-on-year to Rs 2811 crore and net interest income (NII) is seen rising 16 percent to Rs 4,428 crore in March quarter.

The major factor to watch out for is its asset quality performance during the quarter. After third quarter the management had said around Rs 3000 crore will be restructured, which may have been priced in but above that will be a disappointment.

Analysts believe the net interest margin is expected to be stable and advances growth above 15 percent. Provision coverage ratio will also be closely watched as it fell to 70 percent in Q3FY14 from 73.1 percent in Q2FY14.

12:25pm Tata Teleservices in focus
Japan's NTT DoCoMo Inc will sell 26.5 percent stake in Indian mobile phone joint venture Tata Teleservices through the equity method. Post this deal, the Japanese company will be exiting the telecom space in India completely.

Japan's top operator of mobile phone services plans to exercise stake sale right before June. NTT Docomo has the option to sell stake to the Tatas for Rs 7,250 crore or the fair market price. However, it is unclear whether the Tata Group will buy out NTT Docomo's stake. Sources say Vodafone is likely to buy out the entire NTT Docomo stake in TTSL.

Tatas need to meet performance target by March 31, 2014. NTT Docomo holds 11.76 percent stake in Tata Teleservices (Maharashta).

12:15pm Market Expert
Dipen Sheth, Head Of Institutional Research, HDFC Securities expects the market to rally if the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) grabs around 250 seats. However, it is likely that an unfavourable poll outcome can trigger a FII sell-out.

Meanwhile, Sheth said that he is not looking to add to positions in cyclical stocks at this point, but would bet on auto and cement stocks in model portfolio.

12:00pm Equity benchmarks declined marginally in noon trade. The Sensex slipped 30.78 points to 22845.76 and the Nifty fell 17.55 points to 6823.25. About 1108 shares have advanced, 1192 shares declined, and 152 shares are unchanged.

Top car maker Maruti Suzuki lost 1.5 percent ahead of announcing January-March (Q4FY14) quarter earnings. Analysts expect to see strong sequential improvement in Q4 as Maruti had reported strong margin performance despite muted volumes in December quarter. According to CNBC-TV18 poll estimates, profit after tax of the car maker is likely to grow 39 percent sequentially to Rs 950 crore and revenue may increase 13 percent to Rs 12,302 crore during March quarter.

However, utility vehicle maker Mahindra & Mahindra climbed over 3 percent followed by Dr Reddy's Labs and BHEL with 2 percent.

11:40 am Order win: L&T recently won the Rs 4500 crore Doha Metro award, making the company one of the leading contractors of metro systems in the world.

SN Subrahmanyan, Whole-time Director & Senior Executive Vice President (Construction), L&T, says the company won't be executing the order on its own – a consortium including L&T will execute the job.

He adds that the Doha Metro project is a prestigious one and is towards the FIFA 2020 games, hence it is a part of the country's (Qatar) development.

11:30 pm Monsoon woes: With the prospect of a weak monsoon looming, investors should brace for a hawkish stance by the Reserve Bank of India in the coming monetary policy feels brokerage house Kotak Securities. The Indian Meteorological Department has forecast June-September monsoon at around 95 percent of Long Period Average (LPA), which qualifies as 'sub-normal' southwest monsoons.

In its report Kotak Securities has said that it would be premature to factor in in weak agriculture production right away. But if El Nino conditions are fully factored in, agriculture GDP growth may be lower by 250-300 bps (current estimate 3.3 percent) and average retail inflation may be 100 bps higher (current estimate 7.6 percent).

11:20 pm Buzzing: Shares of Mangalore Chemicals and Fertilisers saw further buying interest on Friday after the largest non-promoter shareholder SCM Soilfert raised its stake to 25.3 percent by buying more than Rs 6 crore worth of shares of the company on Wednesday. The stock rallied as much as 7 percent intraday, in addition to 6.62 percent upmove in previous trading session.

SCM Soilfert, the wholly owned subsidiary of Deepak Fertilizers and Petrochemicals Corporation, purchased 10 lakh equity shares at Rs 62.50 apiece through block deal on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Meanwhile, Deepak Fertilisers on Wednesday said the company itself and its wholly subsidiary SCM Soilfert have made an open offer to the public shareholders of Mangalore Chemicals to acquire up to 3,08,13,939 equity shares, constituting 26 percent of the voting share capital. The offer price fixed at Rs 61.75 per share. 

The market is volatile as May F&O series kick-starts. The Nifty is down 14.05 points at 6826.75 and the Sensex is down 25.55 points at 22850.99.

About 1086 shares have advanced, 1000 shares declined, and 122 shares are unchanged.

M&M, BHEL, HDFC, Dr Reddy's Labs and SBI are top gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers are Reliance, HUL, ITC, Cipla and NTPC.

Rupee is lower on global risk aversion and month end dollar purchases. Gilts are firm as participants expect demand at today's gilt auction to be strong.

Dollar is under pressure against the yen trading at a near one week low. Gold is little changed today but is still at 2.5 month lows. Brent crude spiked up as the Ukrainian crisis worsened.

Asian markets trade with caution as anxiety over the Ukrainian situation coupled with lack of clear cues from US weighs. Japan outperforms as the latest core consumer prices rose 1.6 percent in line with market expectations.

10:59am FII View
Sakthi Siva, Credit Suisse says, "While the old adage is 'sell in May and go away', we suggest to investors who sell in May to buy back in late June and early July as MSCI Asia ex-Japan has had 12 percent plus rallies in the second half  in three of the last four years with only 2011 being an exception."

"In the last four years, 2010 to 2013, corrections in MSCI Asia ex-Japan ranged from 5 percent to 10 percent between April 30-June 30," she adds.

10:50am Crude Update
Brent futures held near seven-week highs above USD 110 a barrel as escalating tensions over Ukraine between top oil producer Russia and the West worsened supply disruption fears.

Ukrainian forces killed up to five pro-Moscow rebels in what amounted to the first use of lethal force to recapture territory from the fighters, with the United States accusing Russia of trying to destabilise the region.

Yet, further gains in oil were capped after a US government report said the amount of oil that producers can quickly bring on line rose slightly.

Brent crude, set to post a third week of gains - the longest streak since one that ended in early September - rose 2 cents to USD 110.35 a barrel by 0406 GMT, after settling up USD 1.22, reports Reuters.

10:40am Prakash Industries hits 3-year high
Investors continued to buy shares of steel maker Prakash Industries on Friday after ace investor Rakesh Radheyshyam Jhunjhunwala on Wednesday has picked up more than a percent stake in company. The stock touched a three-year high of Rs 76, up 5 percent intraday.

He purchased 7.5 lakh equity shares at Rs 67.94 apiece on the National Stock Exchange and 7.5 lakh shares at Rs 68.15 on the Bombay Stock Exchange through block deals.

Prakash Industries' stock was quoting at Rs 74.20, up 2.49 percent in addition to 6.3 percent rally in previous trading session.

10:30am Tata Teleservices in focus
Japan's NTT DoCoMo Inc will unload its 26.5 percent stake in loss-making Indian mobile phone joint venture Tata Teleservices and exit the country as it struggles with tough price competition, sources familiar with the matter said on Friday.

NTT DoCoMo will make a formal decision at a board meeting on Friday, the sources said.

An NTT DoCoMo spokesman said the company was considering various options for its overseas operations but that nothing had been decided.

Japan's top operator of mobile phone services is expected to book about 80 billion yen (USD 780 million) in related losses in the financial year ended on March 31, results of which are due to be announced at 3 p.m. (0600 GMT), the sources said.

NTT DoCoMo invested 266.7 billion yen in Tata Teleservices in 2009. The company ranks seventh in India with 63 million subscribers as of the end of March, reports Reuters.

10:15am Biocon Q4 numbers
Biopharmaceutical major Biocon's consolidated net profit for the March quarter jumped 140 percent year-on-year to Rs 113 crore, and revenues grew 15 percent to Rs 746 crore. The company also said it was elevating its Chief Operating Officer Arun Chandavarkar as CEO and joint Managing Director. Chandavarkar had joined Biocon as General Manager– operations in 1990.

The jump in net profit is after adjusting for a one-off gain of Rs 202 crore during the fourth quarter last year.

The company's core biopharma business clocked a 17 percent growth in revenues to Rs 442 crore. This included income from licensing molecules as well.

Earnings before interest, taxes and depreciation (EBITDA) or operating profit grew 56 percent to Rs 193 crore as the company was able to restrict rise in expenditure to 5 percent.

10:00am Indian equity benchmarks are directionless. The Sensex rises 2.07 points to 22878.61 while the Nifty falls 2.70 points to 6838.10. About 907 shares have advanced, 788 shares declined, and 87 shares are unchanged.

Banking and financial stocks see buying interest. Top lenders State Bank of India and ICICI Bank gain more than a percent while housing finance company HDFC is up 1.6 percent.

Shares of Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra, Bharti Airtel, Dr Reddy's Labs, Axis Bank and BHEL advance 0.7-2 percent.

However, index heavyweights ITC and Reliance Industries fall more than a percent. Hindustan Unilever, TCS, L&T, Infosys, Wipro, HDFC Bank, Sun Pharma, ONGC and NTPC decline 0.2-1 percent.

10:00 am Buzzing: Shares of Cairn India fell over 4 percent as its guidance disappointed the Street. Its reported an 18 percent rise in its March quarter net profit as crude oil production from its showpiece Rajasthan fields soared.

Net profit in the January-March quarter rose to Rs 3,035 crore, or Rs 15.85 per share, from Rs 2,564 crore, a year ago, the company said in a statement here.

Sales climbed 16 per cent to Rs 5,049 crore. Cairn declared a final dividend of Rs 6.50 per share for the year ended March 31, 2014. Oil production from its Rajasthan fields rose 12 percent to 189,304 barrels per day in the fourth quarter.

9:50 am RBI norms: The Gujarat High Court today restored the Reserve Bank of India's power to decide the period after which a bad loan can be called a non-performing asset (NPA). "Section 2(1)(o) of Securitization and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest (SARFAESI) Act is held unconstitutional," the bench of Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattachrya and Justice J B Pardiwala said.

The High Court also observed that the Parliament was wrong in taking the power to decide NPA guidelines away from RBI.

9:40 am Result: Biopharmaceutical major Biocon's consolidated net profit for the March quarter jumped 140 percent year-on-year to Rs 113 crore, and revenues grew 15 percent to Rs 746 crore. The company also said it was elevating its Chief Operating Officer Arun Chandavarkar as CEO and joint Managing Director. Chandavarkar had joined Biocon as General Manager– operations in 1990.

The jump in net profit is after adjusting for a one-off gain of Rs 202 crore during the fourth quarter last year.

The company's core biopharma business clocked a 17 percent growth in revenues to Rs 442 crore. This included income from licensing molecules as well.

Earnings before interest, taxes and depreciation (EBITDA) or operating profit grew 56 percent to Rs 193 crore as the company was able to restrict rise in expenditure to 5 percent.

9:30 am Poll: Maruti Suzuki will declare its fourth quarter (January-March) earnings on Friday. Analysts expect to see strong sequential improvement in Q4 as Maruti had reported strong margin performance despite muted volumes in December quarter. According to CNBC-TV18 poll estimates, profit after tax of the car maker is likely to grow 39 percent sequentially to Rs 950 crore and revenue may increase 13 percent to Rs 12,302 crore during March quarter.

Operating profit is seen rising 11 percent quarter-on-quarter to Rs 1,500 crore but margin may decline 40 basis points to 12 percent during the quarter due to one time compensation of Rs 1,500 crore to dealers for an excise duty cut on inventory.

The market has once again opened on a flat note but March quarter earnings of key companies will hold key today. The Sensex is up 16.83 points at 22893.37, and the Nifty up 15.00 points at 6855.80. About 352 shares have advanced, 143 shares declined, and 45 shares are unchanged.

Cement companies like ACC, Ambuja and UltraTech Cement are in focus post announcing March quarter earnings. Poor demand hurt ACC in the first quarter as profits slip nearly 9 percent. Sales see just a marginal rise. Ambuja reported stable Q4 numbers but saw big improvement in operational performance. EBITDA showed big improvements as other expenses dip.

Dr Reddy's Labs, Sesa Sterlite, ONGC, Infosys and HDFC are top gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers are L&T, HUL, SBI, HDFC Bank and Tata Motors.

Indian rupee has opened flat at 61.06 a dollar on Friday as against Wednesday's closing value of 61.07 a dollar.

Pramit Brahmbhatt, Veracity India says Asian markets have opened on a weak note. "Indian equity is also expected to trade weak which will force rupee to depreciate further coupled with the month-end dollar demand from the oil importers," he adds.According to him, the range for the day is seen between 60.50 - 61.50/USD.

Meanwhile, all global cues are positive. The US markets ended higher with Nasdaq gaining half a percent. Ukraine tensions curbed gains and Europe too ended higher. Asian markets, however, are subdued today.