BSE Sensex, Nifty end flat; midcaps lose steam, FMCG drags

3:40 pm Bond market: Trading in corporate bonds at the country's capital markets plunged 32.3 percent at Rs 75,040 crore in the first month of the current fiscal over the same period year-ago, latest data by market watchdog Sebi showed.

Dealings in corporate bonds worth Rs 1.1 lakh crore were reported by the NSE, BSE and Fixed Income Money Market and Derivatives Association of India (FIMMDA); for April 2013.

However, the trading in bonds for the month of April, this year, was the second highest-level recorded since 2007-08 after Rs 1.1 lakh crore in the same month, last year.

3:30 pm Market closing: After an initial surge, the market failed to make any headway. The Sensex was up 20.14 points at 22344.04 and the Nifty was up 7.30 points at 6659.85. About 1312 shares have advanced, 1400 shares declined, and 135 shares were unchanged.  FMCG, realty and midcaps dragged while banking stocks held on gains.

BHEL, Tata Motors, Cipla, ICICI Bank and Wipro were top gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers were Hero Motocorp, ITC, Sun Pharma, Bharti Airtel and Tata Power.

3:20 pm Results: State-owned Union Bank reported a nearly 27 percent fall in its net profit at Rs 578.88 crore for the quarter ended March 31, 2014.

The public sector bank had reported a net profit of Rs 789.38 crore in the corresponding quarter of the last financial year (2012-13), Union Bank of India said in a regulatory filing to the stock exchanges.

Total revenue of the bank stood at Rs 8,444.91 crore for the (January-March) quarter in 2014, as against Rs 7,500.59 crore in the same period last fiscal.

The bank's net NPA (non performing assets) during the quarter rose to Rs 5,340.08 crore from Rs 3,353.38 crore in the same period, last fiscal.

3:10 pm Interview: Prakash Tulsiani, Managing Director, Gujarat Pipavav said: ''Let us wait for the coming government, have a look at the policies that come in and see how the consumption pattern of India changes, and look at what happens to the EU - whether the volume intake or the imports in those areas increase, which will help the trade of India. So that will automatically bring in volumes for the ports.''

When asked about debt-equity ratio, he said it was very comfortable at present because the company got the balance sheet in order in case they wanted to go in for expansion, which could lead to borrowing debt.

Meanwhile on the currency front he said, rupee has been pretty much stable in the last 3-4 months and did not fluctuate much against the US dollar. So, in Q4 there wasn't too currency gains or losses that affecting our bottomline.

2:50 pm Buzzing: Shares of Procter & Gamble Hygiene and Health Care hit 52-week high, up 8 percent intraday on its March quarter earnings.

It reported 55.03 percent increase in net profit at Rs 80.76 crore in the quarter ended March 31, 2014, driven by focus on cost efficiency.

The company, which follows July-June financial year, had reported a net profit of Rs 52.09 crore in the corresponding period of the last fiscal.

Procter & Gamble's net sales in the quarter under review stood at Rs 500.35 crore, an increase of 20.09 per cent compared to Rs 416.63 crore in the year-ago period, the company said in a BSE filing.

The Sensex is up 47.77 points at 22371.67, and the Nifty is up 14.10 points at 6666.65. About 1173 shares have advanced, 1440 shares declined, and 138 shares are unchanged. Midcaps too lose steam, trading in-line with benchmark indices.

The Bank Nifty tops the sectoral gainers' list. FMCG and realty stocks lose steam. Realty major, DLF is one of the top losers on the Nifty, down one percent.

Key Asian markets end higher on upbeat china trade data. But Vietnamese shares tumble over 6 percent on back of tensions with China in the South China sea. Europe trades in the green as Ukraine tensions ease.

The rupee trades higher against the dollar tracking positive global cues. Government bond prices also gain as traders take positions. However, gains are likely to be capped ahead of auction on Friday.

1:55 pm Interview: City Union Bank has sold around Rs 10 crore of loans to asset reconstruction companies, MD and CEO N Kamakodi said in an interview to CNBC-TV18. He said the bank's track record of loan recovery has been good.

The Tamil Nadu-based bank has got the Reserve Bank of India's permission to raise foreign institutional investor (FII) limit to 35 percent. So far, no FII has approached the bank to pick up a stake, Kamakodi said. The bank's net interest margin is 3.5 percent.

"Last year in March the FIIs were banned from trading in the City Union Bank counter because the 24 percent ceiling was getting breached at that point of time. In August 2013 during our annual general meeting shareholders approved for increase in that limit to 35 percent which we applied to Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for further approval. So after the due process we just got the approval from RBI that we can increase the FII, FDI and all our foreign institutions limits up to 35 percent and there is now a gap of about 10 percent incremental exposure the FIIs can take," he said.

1:45 pm Market outlook: Elara Capital in its strategy note has kept a very high range for Nifty at 5750-7200, with a closing target of 6600 in CY14. Managing Director Harendra Kumar feels the market is too euphoric and there's too much speculation going on about the kind of reforms that the new government may bring.

He thinks the market will find its level once the election euphoria gets over but till that time one needs to be ''extremely cagey''.

Elara advises churn and rotation into defensives due to lack of options. ''At 15x FY15E earnings, it is time to be cognizant of the risks to the market, and, in our view, it is not too early to consider strategies to hedge oneself against a sharp crack in the market'', the note said, adding that investors who are owners of top performers of this year's rally should lock in gains and replace them with under-owned stocks.

1:30 pm Buzzing: Cipla is higher on reports that Teva is wooing Cipla with a USD 6 billion offer. Teva is making a third attempt to woo Cipla and would look to buy the entire promoter stake of over 36 percent.

P&G is up on very good results.

The market is flat. The Sensex is up 5.80 points at 22329.70 and the Nifty is up 1.80 points at 6654.35. About 1144 shares have advanced, 1322 shares declined, and 136 shares are unchanged.

Most stocks are in red except bank, infra, oil & gas and realty.

In the Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei share average rose on Thursday as comments by the US Federal Reserve chief and upbeat Chinese data improved sentiment, while Nintendo pared early losses after its chief said it will plan to launch a console for emerging markets.

The Nikkei ended up 0.9 percent at 14,163.78, recovering from a three-week closing low of 14,033.45 hit on Wednesday.

Brent crude hovered around USD 108 a barrel, holding onto most of the gains from the previous session as Chinese customs data showed crude imports in the world's second biggest oil user jumped to a record high.

China's crude imports rose 22.4 percent in April from March, and the data also showed that total exports rose against forecasts for a decline, offering some rare good news for the nation's slowing economy.

"People have been bearish on China, so if we have any good news out of China it should at least provide some support," said Tony Nunan, oil risk manager at Mitsubishi Corp in Tokyo.

12:55 pm Chinese import data: China's exports and imports returned to slight growth in April, beating market forecasts and offering some positive signals for the world's second-largest economy after a weaker-than-expected start to 2014.

Exports rose 0.9 percent in April from a year earlier, following falls of 6.6 percent in March and 18.1 percent in February, the General Administration of Customs said on Thursday.

Imports grew 0.8 percent from a year ago, after an 11.3 percent fall in March, to produce a trade surplus of USD 18.5 billion, more than double the USD 7.7 billion surplus in March.

All three figures bettered the median forecasts in a Reuters poll, with exports and imports defying expectations of another fall.

12:45 pm Interview: Anup Bagchi, MD & CEO of ICICI Securities feels the oil and gas space could see a substantial jump going forward. He also recommends increasing allocation in Reliance Industries.

"With regards to this quarter earnings there haven't been any substantial upgrades. Things are turning a bit but haven't still turned around. So to that extent I feel that there will be a pop at a sideways movement because on the ground, it is not that liquidity has come in although sentiment has certainly improved. However, I don't think real cash flows have started to move on the ground and in the short-term and medium-term, apart from sentiment that is what drives the market," he said in an interview to CNBC-TV18.

12:30 pm Buzzing: Shares of Brigade Enterprises jumped to 15-month high at Rs 84.65, up 10 percent intraday . Investors are lapping up the stock as it reported strong March quarter earnings.  During the period, it saw a revenue growth of 30 percent at Rs 386 crore and net profit jumped 73 percent to Rs 49.2 crore. Its margins were stable at 23.2 percent.

There was a good rise in revenues and operational performance due to a few big projects coming in for revenue recognition in the quarter. Also, sales in ongoing residential projects in Bangalore picked up in the luxury segment while new value home project Brigade Meadows in Bangalore has seen great response.

The market is flat with the Nifty hovering around 6650. The Nifty is up 3.75 points at 6656.30 and the Sensex is up 10.28 points at 22334.18. About 1135 shares have advanced, 1148 shares declined, and 122 shares are unchanged.

Banks are on buyers list while FMCG and realty stocks are under selling pressure.

Asian shares got a lift from dovish comments by the US Federal Reserve chief and upbeat Chinese trade data that suggested some signs of stabilisation in the world's second-largest economy.

Risk assets were also underpinned by signs of easing tensions in Ukraine after Russian President Vladimir Putin called on pro-Moscow separatists to postpone a secession vote.

Gold was trading below USD 1,300, following its biggest drop in three weeks, as its safe-haven appeal dimmed on signs of easing tensions in Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin called on pro-Moscow separatists in Ukraine to postpone a vote on secession just five days before it was to be held, potentially pulling Ukraine back from the brink of violent dismemberment.

In what could be a breakthrough in the worst crisis between East and West since the Cold War, Putin also announced he was pulling Russian troops back from the Ukrainian border.

11:55 am Gold tracking: Gold was trading below USD 1,300, following its biggest drop in three weeks, as its safe-haven appeal dimmed on signs of easing tensions in Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin called on pro-Moscow separatists in Ukraine to postpone a vote on secession just five days before it was to be held, potentially pulling Ukraine back from the brink of violent dismemberment.

In what could be a breakthrough in the worst crisis between East and West since the Cold War, Putin also announced he was pulling Russian troops back from the Ukrainian border.

11:45 am Most powerful public companies: Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries leads the pack of 54 Indian companies in Forbes' annual list of the world's 2000 largest and most powerful public companies, with Chinese companies occupying the top three slots on the list.

The Forbes 'Global 2000' is a comprehensive list of the world's largest, most powerful public companies, as measured by revenues, profits, assets and market value.

China is home to the world's top three biggest public companies and five of the top 10. The US retains its dominance as the country with the most Global 2000 companies at 564.

Japan trails the US with 225 companies in aggregate. India is home to 54 of the world's biggest companies.

Reliance Industries is ranked 135 on the list with a market value of 50.9 billion dollars and 72.8 billion dollars in sales as on May 2014.

11:30 am Interview: Bajaj Finance 's Vice Chairman Sanjiv Bajaj is pinning hopes on a stable government reviving consumer sentiment. In an interview to CNBC-TV18's Latha Venkatesh and Sonia Shenoy he said loan defaults in the first three quarters of FY14 were negligible, indicating that the worst may be behind. But he also spoke of there being higher stress in the infrastructure and two-wheeler loans segment. The insurance business has been a mixed bag in terms of performance.

The general insurance business was growing slightly above the industry average, but the life insurance business continues to be under pressure. Bajaj sees new business (in insurance) picking up in the second half of this financial year.

The market has managed to hold some gains as the Sensex is up 92.21 points at 22416.11 and the Nifty is up 26.65 points at 6679.20. About 1187 shares have advanced, 812 shares declined, and 104 shares are unchanged.

Cipla, ICICI Bank, Tata Motors, Hindalco and Bharti Airtel are top gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers are GAIL, TCS, Hero Motocorp, Sun Pharma and Coal India.

The rupee gains tracking gains in Asian share indices following US Fed Chair Yellen's comments. It is ikely to remain range bound till election outcome. Gilts open steady but market participants avoid heavy positions ahead of the bond auction on Friday.

Currencies saw the dollar index bounce back from six-month lows. The yen is steady while the euro has come off from near two-month high ahead of the European Central Bank's interest rate decision later today.

In commodities, brent succumbs to some profit taking from post hitting a one week high while gold prices fall to sub 1300.

Asian markets rise on multiple news triggers. The latest being China's trade data for April which has come in at a surplus of USD 18.5 billion versus estimates of USD 13.9 billion. Tensions over Ukraine ease as Russian president Putin says he is ready to discuss a way out. The Vietnam index though is down nearly 6 percent on fears of a standoff with China.

11:55 am Boardroom: Nilesh Gupta, MD, Lupin said last year on generic side there were 22 approvals, 20 launches and at least four or five of them pretty interesting products and the next few years should be the same as well.

"Around 15-20 product approvals, 15-20 launches is what you can expect. We will have to acquire the branded side, whether it is technologies, whether it is products, whether it is companies itself and we will build it inorganically in the near term," he said in an interview.

Drugmaker Lupin Wednesday announced a positive set of earnings with the revenues up 20 percent year-on-year and a 36 percent rise in net profit, beating estimates, to Rs 553 crore in the fourth quarter ended March 2014 against Rs 408 crore a year earlier.

11:45 am Sale: Shriram City Union Finance (SCUF) shareholder Norwest Venture Partners today offloaded 2.78 percent stake in the NBFC for an estimated Rs 206.25 crore through an open market transaction.  Norwest Venture Partners X FII-Mauritius sold 16.50 lakh shares of SCUF to Wasatch Advisors, according to the block deal information with the BSE.

Shares of SCUF were offloaded for an average price of Rs 1,250, valuing the transaction size to Rs 206.25 crore. As of quarter ended March 31, Norwest Venture Partners held 38.23 lakh shares of SCUF amounting to 6.45 percent stake in the NBFC.

11:30 am Rupee: The rupee is trading at 60.01/02 after hitting 59.95, its highest since April 9 but still stronger than its close of 60.135/145 on Wednesday, tracking gains in the domestic share market.

Dealers say good demand for dollars from oil firms seen around 60 levels.

Traders expect the rupee to hold in a 59.90 to 60.20 range during the session, and domestic shares would be watched for cues on foreign fund flows.

After the initial surge, the market has flattened out gradually. The Sensex is up 16.28 points at 22340.18, and the Nifty is up 6.35 points at 6658.90. About 924 shares have advanced, 592 shares declined, and 80 shares are unchanged.

Metal stocks seem to be in good spirits with Hindalco and Tata Steel as lead gainers. Cipla, Bharti Airtel and Tata Motors are other gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers are GAIL, L&T, Hero Motocorp, Coal India and ONGC.

Financial Technologies and Multi Commodity Exchange of India are down 5 and 3 percent respectively as promoter Jignesh Shah was arrested. In what is the first major arrest in the Rs 5,600 crore National Spot Exchange Limited scam, the Economic Offences Wing arrested Shah. Former MCX CEO Shrikanth has said that Shah and Javalgekar shifted the blame for the fiasco on to Anjani Sinha. Both of them will be produced at a sessions court today.

Asian shares got a lift from dovish comments by the US Federal Reserve chief and upbeat Chinese trade data that suggested some signs of stabilisation in the world's second-largest economy.

Risk assets were also underpinned by signs of easing tensions in Ukraine after Russian President Vladimir Putin called on pro-Moscow separatists to postpone a secession vote.
Tokyo's Nikkei share average rose 1.1 percent while MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.5 percent, inching away from five-week lows hit on Wednesday

10:00 am Buzzing: Brigade Enterprises jumps 5 percent post its robust March quater earnings. Its net profit rose 73.42 percent to Rs 49.25 crore in the quarter ended March 2014 as against Rs 28.40 crore during the previous quarter ended March 2013. Sales rose 27.81 percent to Rs 345.11 crore in the quarter ended March 2014 as against Rs 270.01 crore during the previous quarter ended March 2013.

9:45 am International result: Technology outsourcing company Cognizant said growth in its North America healthcare business would remain slow this quarter due to lower spending by customers adjusting to US healthcare reforms.

The company, which has grown at a blistering pace in the last few years, said it expects revenue to grow by at least 16.5 percent in 2014, its slowest in five years.

Quarterly revenue from Europe rose 35 percent, the strongest growth since the company started breaking out revenue by region two years ago. The Teaneck, New Jersey-based company's revenue from the region grew 22.7 percent in the year-earlier quarter.

9:30 am FTIL scam: One of the things that the board will have to deal with in the absence of Jignesh Shah, who will be in jail for a few days at least, will be the sale of FTIL's stake in MCX. MCX will be in a hurry to get the stake sale done because it wants to be in quick compliance of the new commodity exchange regulations or guidelines. However, for FTIL investors, the important thing to watch out for is the value preservation of the stake. If Jignesh Shah's being in jail amounts to the stake sale being a distressed sale and that could lead to an erosion in the value of that stake in MCX, it would mean a loss on part of the FTIL investors.

After the bruises on Wednesday, the market opened in green territory today. The Sensex is up 74.11 points at 22398.01, and the Nifty is up 17.35 points at 6669.90. About 313 shares have advanced, 81 shares declined, and 16 shares are unchanged.

Cipla, Bajaj Auto, BHEL, Sesa Sterlite and Hindalco are top gainers in the Sensex. Among the laggards are Maruti, HUL, Hero Motocorp and TCS.

The Indian rupee advanced in the early trade. It opened higher by 18 paise at 59.95 per dollar versus 60.13 Wednesday.The dollar index is hovering around 79.20 levels. Against the euro it was steady near 1.39.

Mohan Shenoi of Kotak Mahindra Bank said that, "Bond market experienced a rally triggered by expectations of a decisive mandate in elections. However, the rally is now halted due to profit booking and expectations of higher CPI and WPI next week. Ahead of the auction tomorrow, the 10-year yield is expected to trade in a range of 8.78-8.83 percent."

"Rupee is finding it difficult to sustain below 60/dollar levels. Dollar-rupee is expected to trade in a range of 60-60.35/dollar," he added.

Global cues too are likely to support Nifty in its recovery. US markets ended mostly higher after Russian President Vladimir Putin signaled a willingness to talk on the Ukraine crisis. European markets closed mixed and Asian shares are rebounding in morning trade ahead of China trade data due today.

In other asset classes, the dollar index is hovering around 79.20 levels against the euro trading steady near 1.39.Nymex crude oil prices rose after a government report showed an unexpected sharp drop in inventories in the US. Brent Crude too gained.

From precious metals space, gold was trading steady after slipping almost 2 percent on Wednesday as investors took profits from a run-up spurred by geopolitical concerns.