Market ends flat; CIL, ONGC, Tata Motors slip ahead of Q4 nos

After trading in 40 points range, the 50-share NSE Nifty closed flat on Wednesday ahead of expiry of May derivative contracts on Thursday but strong buying action was back in broader space after a two-day fall.

The Sensex was up 6.58 points to close at 24556.09 and the Nifty gained 11.65 points to 7329.65 while the BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices advanced 0.4 percent and 1.63 percent, respectively.

The consolidation may continue till the expiry and RBI policy due next week, say experts.

Deven Choksey of KR Choksey Securities believes the market will continue consolidating for a while, but the current Bull Run phase will prevent it from consolidating to a very large degree.

According to him, owing to events like F&O expiry on Thursday, the Reserve Bank of India's bi-monetary policy next week, monsoon progression in subsequent week and policy announcement pertaining to Budget, investors/traders would like to keep some amount of cash in their hand.

Cement stocks topped the buying list in Nifty; UltraTech Cement and Ambuja Cements rallied 5 percent each followed by ACC with 4 percent.

Private power producer Tata Power gained nearly 4 percent. Rajen Shah of Angel Broking feels the current year would be very interesting for the company. ''Interestingly over the next three years the capacity of company is doubling from almost 9000 MW currently to about 18000 MW,'' he adds.

Shares of HDFC Bank, Infosys, TCS, Axis Bank, Bharti Airtel, Hero Motocorp, Wipro, Dr Reddy's Labs and BHEL (Q4 earnings announcement on Thursday) gained 1-2 percent.

However, top coal producer Coal India, commercial vehicle maker Tata Motors and state-run oil & gas company ONGC fell 2-3 percent ahead of fourth quarter earnings on May 29.
03:50 pm Results

State-owned steel maker Steel Authority of India (SAIL) disappointed street with the fourth quarter net profit rising 1.5 percent year-on-year to Rs 453 crore, impacted by weak operational performance.

According to CNBC-TV18 poll estimates, analysts had expected net profit of Rs 840 crore on total income of Rs 13,212.9 crore for the quarter.

Total income grew 10 percent to Rs 13,509 crore in the quarter ended March 2014 from Rs 12,284.7 crore in same quarter last year.

Operating profit increased 39 percent on yearly basis to Rs 1,221 crore and margin expanded 210 basis points to 9 percent in the quarter gone by, which both were lower than analysts' forecast of Rs 1,600 crore and 12.1 percent, respectively.

03:37 pm Market closing
It was a slow moving day with not much action in any of the counters. The benchmark indices remained flat throughout the day. The Sensex was up 6.58 points at 24556.09 and the Nifty closed at 7329.65, up 11.65 points. About 1908 shares advanced, 1048 shares declined, and 97 shares were unchanged.

Tata Power, HDFC Bank, Hero MotoCorp, Dr Reddy's Labs and Bharti Airtel were major gainers in the Sensex. ONGC and Coal India were top losers.

03:30 pm Raghuram Rajan's speaks
Reserve Bank Governor Raghuram Rajan made a case for more coordination in monetary policies by different central banks to deal with the spillover effect on emerging markets.

"...my call for more coordination in monetary policy... In its strong form, I propose that large country central banks, both in advanced countries and emerging markets, internalise more of the spillovers from their policies in their mandate...," he said in his remarks at a conference organised by Bank of Japan in Tokyo.

He further said that given the difficulties of operationalising the strong form, "I suggest that, at the very least, central banks reinterpret their domestic mandate to take into account other country reactions over time, and thus become more sensitive to spillovers".

03:20 pm Deal
Nestle SA said it was boosting its emerging skincare business by buying the rights to several dermatology products from Canada's Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc for USD 1.4 billion in cash.

The Swiss food giant took a deeper dive into healthcare in February by taking over the Galderma dermatology joint venture it had with L'Oreal and hinted at the time that more deals would follow.

Under the agreement with Valeant, Nestle is acquiring rights to commercialise in the United States and Canada Restylane, Perlane and Emervel, products used for corrective facial cosmetic treatments, and Dysport, a cosmetic dermatology treatment. It will also get rights to Sculptra, a dermal filler for cosmetic and medical use.

Galderma already commercialises the products included in the deal outside the United States and Canada.

 03:10 pm Market outlook
With the Narendra Modi government coming to power with an absolute majority, Dipen Sheth of HDFC Securities believes every investor should be long on India. He sees no reason for a change in optimism with a gifted and a visionary individual or leader heading the government. He says at the moment there is no point in looking at levels and it doesn't matter at what level an investor is interested in buying. He believes nothing can hold back optimism for the next 5-10 years.

He advises investors to stop looking at blended multiples and start looking at parts of the economy that can grow soon. He believes all those sectors that are stuck because of red tape and other such issues will shoot up soon. He recommends buying L&T , SBI and Maruti Suzuki in large caps. He says Maruti is the best discretionary play right now. Sheth also feels the cement sector is healing now, especially in South India.

02:55pm Amara Raja Batteries falls 2% on Q4 earnings
Net profit of the company grew 34 percent year-on-year to Rs 80 crore and revenue was up 10.5 percent to Rs 888 crore in the quarter ended March 2014, which were lower than analysts' forecast of Rs 92 crore and Rs 908 crore, respectively.

Operating profit rose 22 percent to Rs 138 crore and margin expanded 160 basis points to 15.5 percent in the quarter gone by.

02:45pm Aban Offshore Q4 nos
Aban Offshore, India's largest offshore drilling entity in the private sector, reported profit of Rs 160.3 crore in the quarter ended March 2014, up from Rs 60.7 crore in same quarter last year.

Total income increased to Rs 1,052 crore from Rs 960 crore during same period. The stock jumped nearly 4 percent.

02:35pm ICRA on buyers' radar
Shares of rating agency ICRA hit record high at Rs 2400, up 20 percent intraday as Moody's has increased its open offer price to Rs 2400 per share from Rs 2000 per share. The international rating agency's open offer is to acquire an additional 26.5 percent or 26.5 lakh shares in the company.

Moody's already holds 28.5 percent in ICRA. Moody's contributes 15 percent of ICRA's revenues. ICRA provides offshore rating services to Moody's. ICRA is the third-largest rating company in the country by revenues.

Currently, the stock gained 17.75 percent to Rs 2355 on the BSE.

02:25pm FII View
Jyotivardhan Jaipuria, Bank of America Merrill Lynch says Sensex target for the year-end is 27,000 led by re-rating of the market as investors continue to expect a spate of policy announcements towards faster project clearances, attracting FDI and reduction in subsidy.

02:15pm Gainers and Losers
Private sector lender HDFC Bank and power producer Tata Power rallied 2.5 percent each while Bharti Airtel and Dr Reddy's Labs gained 2 percent each. Infosys, TCS, L&T, Wipro and BHEL climbed 1 percent each.

However, shares of HDFC, Tata Motors, ONGC, M&M, Coal India, Sun Pharma, GAIL, Tata Steel and Bajaj Auto fell 1-2.6 percent.

02:00pm Equity benchmarks continued to consolidate in afternoon trade with the Nifty holding the 7300 level ahead of expiry of May derivative contracts on Thursday.

The Sensex fell 14.95 points to 24534.56 while the Nifty rose 6.05 points to 7324.05. However, the broader markets bucked the trend, the BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices gained 0.4 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively. About 1791 shares have advanced, 1052 shares declined, and 103 shares are unchanged.

Two-wheeler maker Hero Motocorp gained 2.5 percent ahead of quarterly earnings today evening. According to CNBC-TV18 poll estimates, analysts expect profit after tax of the company to fall 9 percent year-on-year to Rs 522 crore during the quarter due to margin contraction and higher tax rate.

2:00 pm Poll: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is likely to keep monetary policy steady in June despite sluggish economic activity as inflation remains elevated, a Reuters poll showed. In his fight to lower stubbornly high inflation, RBI chief Raghuram Rajan has hiked interest rates three times since he took office in September, surprising markets on two of those occasions, even as economic growth slowed to decade-low rates.

Although the threat of a below-average monsoon in coming months is expected to fan price pressures, all but three of the 52 economists polled on May 15-27 predicted the RBI would hold fire when it meets on June 3. One economist expected a 25 basis point increase and the remaining two expected a cut.

1:50 pm Results: Electrical equipment maker Havells India has reported a 25 percent growth in fourth quarter (January-March) net profit at Rs 136.9 crore on standalone basis, supported by other income and higher revenue.

Standalone total income from operations grew 12 percent to Rs 1,310 crore in the quarter ended March 2014 from Rs 1,169.6 crore in the year-ago period while other income jumped to Rs 14.1 crore from Rs 2 crore during the same period.

Core operating profit or earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) climbed 15 percent Y-o-Y to Rs 168 crore and margin expanded 35 basis points to 12.85 percent in the quarter gone by.

1:40 pm Buzzing: Shares of Bombay Dyeing and Manufacturing Company rose 9 percent intraday as it reported spectacular March quarter earnings with a big boost from the real estate segment.

It reported 31.33 percent jump in net profit at Rs. 207.25 crore (against Rs 157.8 crore in corresponding quarter last fiscal) for the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2014.

Net sales of the company stood at Rs. 1,126.25 crore for the quarter, up 33.26 percent compared with Rs. 845.1 crore for the year-ago period.

1:30 pm Market outlook: With the Narendra Modi government coming to power with an absolute majority, Dipen Sheth of HDFC Securities believes every investor should be long on India. He sees no reason for a change in optimism with a gifted and a visionary individual or leader heading the government. He says at the moment there is no point in looking at levels and it doesn't matter at what level an investor is interested in buying. He believes nothing can hold back optimism for the next 5-10 years.

He advises investors to stop looking at blended multiples and start looking at parts of the economy that can grow soon. He believes all those sectors that are stuck because of red tape and other such issues will shoot up soon. He recommends buying L&T , SBI and Maruti Suzuki in large caps. He says Maruti is the best discretionary play right now. Sheth also feels the cement sector is healing now, especially in South India.

The market is unable to budge as the Nifty is hovering below 7330. The Nifty is up 12.95 points at 7330.95 and the Sensex is up 12.56 points at 24562.07. About 1716 shares have advanced, 992 shares declined, and 97 shares are unchanged. Capital good lead the gains while auto stocks drag.

BHEL, Tata Power, Hero Motocorp, HDFC Bank and Dr Reddy's Labs are top gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers are GAIl, M&M, Tata Motors, Coal India and ONGC.

Brent futures rose on Wednesday, holding above USD 110 a barrel on renewed optimism over steady demand growth in the world's top oil consumer the United States, following healthy economic data, with supply disruption concerns providing additional support.

Orders for long-lasting US manufactured goods unexpectedly rose and consumer confidence perked up, underpinning risk assets and bolstering US equity markets to another record close. Some analysts see the sharp gains in shares possibly prompting more profit-taking and in turn dragging down oil.

Strong economic data in the United States shored up Asian stocks to one-year highs with another record close for the S&P 500 underpinning risk appetite and sending safe-haven gold to 3-1/2 month lows.

Financial spreadbetters expected a flat to slightly higher open for Europe, with Britain's FTSE seen unchanged, Germany's DAX gaining as much as 0.14 percent to a record high and France's CAC rising 0.1 percent.

Riskier asset markets sped up overnight after the United States reported an unexpected rise in durable goods orders in April and higher home prices for March. Services industries, which dominate the economy, also grew at a rapid clip in May.

The sunny mood saw MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan scale a fresh one-year high of 490.15 -- it was last up 0.6 percent. Tokyo's Nikkei ticked up 0.4 percent, and South Korean shares rose 0.8 percent.

12:55pm Karur Vysya Bank gains 3% on improvement in asset quality
Private sector lender Karur Vysya Bank's net profit fell 25.6 percent year-on-year to Rs 119.6 crore in the quarter ended March 2014 due to lower other income and higher provisions but asset quality of the bank improved during the quarter.

Net interest income - the difference between interest earned and interest expended - grew 12.2 percent to Rs 348.3 crore in January-March quarter from Rs 310.3 crore in the year-ago period while other income (non-interest income) slipped nearly 7 percent on yearly basis to Rs 145.71 crore.

On the asset quality front, gross non-performing assets (NPA) of the bank declined 65 basis points sequentially (down 14 bps Y-o-Y) to 0.82 percent in the quarter gone by and net NPA dropped 7 bps Q-o-Q (up 4 bps Y-o-Y) to 0.41 percent.

12:40pm Interview
Thermax posted an 8 percent decline in net profit to Rs 106 crore and the total income fell 6 percent to Rs 1,382.5 crore on a year-on-year basis.

In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Thermax's managing director MS Unnikrishnan said the bottomline hit was largely due to environment business.

He said the free cash flow for the company has gone up to Rs 145 crore from Rs 15 crore on a year-on-year basis.

Thermax's order intake for the full year has increased by 11 percent despite a difficult market condition, said Unnikrishnan, adding the company has around 24 percent more orders than what they opened the last year.

Though the environment business may remain under stress in near-term, the energy segment has seen a strong order intake, he added.

Thermax is looking for improved topline performance in FY15, but that will also depend on execution of orders, Unnikrishnan said.

12:30pm Buzzing stocks
Oil India fell 2% on reporting a 30 percent decline in sales and a 37.5 percent decline in profit to Rs 565 crore on sequential basis. Higher subsidy and lower production impacted fourth quarter numbers.

Sun Pharma is in focus today after its subsidiary Taro reported lower than expected sales and profit. While sales rose 13.4 percent Y-o-Y to USD 187.2 million, which was down 12.5 percent Q-o-Q and margin too have contracted 900 basis points sequentially. Sun Pharma will announce its Q4FY14 earnings on Thursday.

Jet Airways tanks 6.4 percent on posting its largest ever quarterly loss at Rs 2,153 crore in Q4 driven by Rs 700 crore exceptional loss due to impairment provision and an EBITDA loss of Rs 1,151 crore due to big rise in operating costs and other expenses. Jet ended FY14 with a Rs 4,129 crore loss.

Bombay Dyeing spiked 6 percent as it reported solid set of earnings in March quarter with a big boost from the real estate segment. Revenue jumped 33 percent to Rs 1,141 crore and profits rose 31 percent Y-o-Y to Rs 207 crore.

12:15pm Market Expert
Deven Choksey of KR Choksey Securities believes market will continue consolidating for a while, but the current Bull Run phase will prevent it from consolidating to a very large degree.

According to Choksey, the F&O expiry on Thursday, the Reserve Bank of India's bi-monetary policy next week, monsoon progression in subsequent week and policy announcement pertaining to Budget may make investors pile up some cash until market is done with these events.

12:00pm The market remained in tight range in noon trade with the Nifty hovering around 7320 level but the broader markets continued to outperform benchmarks.

The Sensex rose 7.70 points to 24557.21 and the Nifty advanced 11.55 points to 7329.55 while the BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices gained 0.6 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively. About 1613 shares have advanced, 939 shares declined, and 91 shares are unchanged.

Utility vehicle maker Mahindra & Mahindra fell nearly 3 percent. Shares of Tata Motors, Coal India and Coal India declined 2 percent each. Bajaj Auto, NTPC and ONGC slipped around 1.5 percent.

However, Tata Power topped the buying list, rising 3.6 percent followed by BHEL with 3 percent. Private sector lender HDFC Bank gained 2.6 percent while Reliance Industries, TCS, Wipro, Hero Motocorp, Cipla and Dr Reddy's Labs climbed over a percent.

Cement stocks were on buyers' radar with the UltraTech Cement, ACC and Ambuja Cements gaining 3.6-4.6 percent.

12:00 pm Modi's priority list: Complying with the Supreme Court directive, the new government on its first day in office constituted a special investigative team (SIT) headed by a former Supreme Court Judge to unearth black money, including in the case of Hasan Ali.

M B Shah, head of the SIT that also comprises another retired Supreme Court judge Arijit Pasayat as vice-chairman, will be assisted by the Revenue Secretary, directors of CBI, IB, RAW and ED, the CBDT Chairman and an RBI deputy governor. The Supreme Court, which appointed the two judges, had last week granted the government one week to set up the SIT. The Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi held its first meeting today in which it named the members of the SIT.

11:50 am Big rise: Shares of rating agency ICRA hit record high at Rs 2400, up 20 percent intraday as Moody's has increased its open offer price to Rs 2400 per share from Rs 2000 per share. The international rating agency's open offer is to acquire an additional 26.5 percent or 26.5 lakh shares in the company.

''The revised offer price of Rs 2,400 per equity share shall be paid to all shareholders who have validly tendered their equity shares in the offer subject to the other terms and conditions,'' it said in a statement. Moody's already holds 28.5 percent in ICRA. Moody's contributes 15 percent of ICRA's revenues. ICRA provides offshore rating services to Moody's. ICRA is the third-largest rating company in the country by revenues.

11:40 am FII view: Jyotivardhan Jaipuria, Bank of America Merrill Lynch says Sensex target for the year-end is 27,000 led by re-rating of the market as investors continue to expect a spate of policy announcements towards faster project clearances, attracting FDI and reduction in subsidy.

''Large-cap buys include Maruti, ICICI Bank, SBI, ONGC and UltraTech. Midcap buys include Eicher Motors, Motherson Sumi, Yes Bank, Aurobindo Pharma and Bharat Forge,'' he adds.

Sakhti Siva, Credit Suisse says investors are asking if it's time to take profits in India and is there still room for cyclicals to outperform defensives. ''We continue to be overweight on cyclicals and suggest funding that from expensive defensives,'' she adds.

She further says, ''The five most overvalued Indian stocks using our P/BV vs ROE valuation model are HUL, ITC, TCS, Hero Motocorp and Sun Pharma.''

11:30 am Buzzing: hares of two-wheeler maker Hero Motocorp gained as much as 3.1 percent intraday ahead of announcement of fourth quarter (January-March) earnings today. According to CNBC-TV18 poll estimates, analysts expect profit after tax of the company to fall 9 percent year-on-year to Rs 522 crore during the quarter due to margin contraction and higher tax rate.

Revenue is likely to increase 6 percent to Rs 6,518 crore from Rs 6,145.7 crore during the same period, driven by 4 percent growth in volume, say analysts. Volume uptick may be led by growth in scooters and CD deluxe segment.

Operating profit or earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation may grow 3.6 percent on yearly basis to Rs 880.5 crore but margin may fall 40 basis points to 13.4 percent in the quarter ended March 2014 due to higher advertising expenses.

11:20 am Interview:  Sentiment is definitely beginning to revive, but it will take some time to reflect in demand, says RC Bhargava, chairman, Maruti Suzuki . Bhargava expects demand to pick up this year because of a stable government at the Centre. He estimates growth to be around 9-10 percent.

"This year is going to be good for launches as we are optimistic of a higher growth rate," he said in an interview to CNBC-TV18, adding that his company would be able to maintain margins because of a firm rupee and indigenisation.

The market is flat ahead of May series F&O expiry tomorrow. The Nifty is up 9.35 points at 7327.35 and the Sensex is up 17.06 points at 24566.57. About 1471 shares have advanced, 852 shares declined, and 77 shares are unchanged.

Coal India, M&M, Tata Motors, ONGC and Bajaj Auto are the top losers in the Sensex.

Rupee is at near two-week lows on weak Asian currencies and month-end dollar demand from importers. Bond prices trade marginally lower due to lack of buying support.

Most Asian currencies are marginally weak as the dollar strengthened after US data indicated recovery The euro and yen are mostly steady.

Gold prices declined as appeal for risk off trade retreated. Crude prices traded steady with Brent at USD 110 per barrel and Nymex at 104/bbl. Asian equities are mostly higher tracking gains in the US. Japanese shares were stronger for the sixth consecutive session.

10:55am Tide Water Oil in focus
Tide Water Oil (India) says it recommended final dividend of Rs 200 per share for the year ended March 31, 2014, subject to approval of the shareholders in ensuing Annual General Meeting, absorbing a sum of Rs 17.4 crore.

10:50am SAIL to announce Q4 nos
State-run steel maker Steel Authority of India's (SAIL) profit after tax is expected to rise 88 percent year-on-year (up 58 percent Q-o-Q) to Rs 840 crore during the quarter, according to CNBC-TV18 poll estimates.

Total income is likely to increase 7 percent (15.3 percent Q-o-Q) to Rs 13,212.9 crore in the quarter ended March 2014 from Rs 12,350 crore in same quarter last year due to higher volumes.

Operating profit may jump 73.2 percent Y-o-Y (42 percent Q-o-Q) to Rs 1,600 crore and margin may expand 460 basis points on yearly basis (220 bps sequentially) to 12.1 percent in the quarter gone by.

10:40am Losers
State-run Coal India and NTPC fell more than 2 percent followed by Tata Motors, ONGC, M&M and Bajaj Auto with over 1.5 percent.

State Bank of India, Sesa Sterlite, Tata Steel, GAIL and Hindalco declined 1 percent each.

10:30am FII View
Jyotivardhan Jaipuria, Bank of America Merrill Lynchsays Sensex target for the year-end is 27,000 led by re-rating of the market as investors continue to expect a spate of policy announcements towards faster project clearances, attracting FDI and reduction in subsidy.

''Large-cap buys include Maruti, ICICI Bank, SBI, ONGC and UltraTech. Midcap buys include Eicher Motors, Motherson Sumi, Yes Bank, Aurobindo Pharma and Bharat Forge,'' he adds.

10:20am Jet Airways down 6%
Jet Airways reported its highest-ever annual loss of Rs 4,129 crore  in FY14. Registering a fifth straight quarterly loss, the airline's March quarter net loss stood at Rs 2,153 crore as high expenses and adverse operating conditions dragged its earnings.

Its fourth-quarter loss in 2012-13 stood at Rs 495 crore, while its consolidated full-year loss in that fiscal was Rs 779 crore.

For 2013-14 fiscal, Jet reported operating loss of Rs 2,076.2 crore and a non-cash extraordinary write down of Rs 936 crore, aircraft-on-ground of Rs 417.6 crore, and impairment of goodwill of Rs 700 crore. On stand-alone basis, Jet Airways' total income in FY14 increased to Rs 17,713.47 crore from Rs 17,403.17 crore in FY13.

10:10am Interview
Pune-based forging company Bharat Forge expects FY15 margins to be higher than 25 percent on the back of improvements on the productivity side, says Baba Kalyani, chairman and managing director, Bharat Forge. The company's operating profit margin expanded 370 basis points to 24.7 percent in the fourth quarter of FY14.

Kalyani says the near 25 percent margin expansion in Q4 came largely from the non-automotive segment. He explains that a lot of the technology deployed this quarter were developed by its own R&D team at lower costs, which helped push margins. Going ahead, he sees the trend continuing.

He says the ratio between automotive and non-automotive segment at the moment is 40:60 and both the segments are seeing good growth.

Bharat Forge matched street expectations with the fourth quarter net profit rising 138 percent year-on-year (up 28.3 percent quarter-on-quarter) to Rs 119 crore due to higher revenue, other income and exceptional gain.

10:00am Equity benchmarks continued to be rangebound with the Sensex holding the 24500 level supported by technology, private banks and capital goods stocks. ICRA shot up 18 percent after Moody's has raised its open offer price for ICRA to Rs 2,400 a share from Rs 2,000 earlier. Moodys Investment Company India Private Limited held 28.51 percent stake in the company as of March 2014 and intends to buy additional 26.5 percent stake in the company.

The Sensex rose 37.52 points to 24587.03 and the Nifty advanced 13.25 points to 7331.25 while the broader markets outperformed benchmarks with the BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices rising 0.75 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively.

About 1324 shares have advanced, 635 shares declined, and 60 shares are unchanged.

Two-wheeler maker Hero Motocorp shot up 3 percent ahead of Q4 earnings. According to CNBC-TV18 poll estimates, analysts expect profit after tax of the company to fall 9 percent year-on-year to Rs 522 crore during the quarter due to margin contraction and higher tax rate.

State-run power equipment maker BHEL topped the buying list, gaining 4 percent followed by L&T and Bharti Airtel with 2 percent.

9:55 am Results poll: Two-wheeler maker Hero Motocorp will announce its fourth quarter (January-March) earnings today. According to CNBC-TV18 poll estimates, analysts expect profit after tax of the company to fall 9 percent year-on-year to Rs 522 crore during the quarter due to margin contraction and higher tax rate.

Revenue is likely to increase 6 percent to Rs 6,518 crore from Rs 6,145.7 crore during the same period, driven by 4 percent growth in volume, say analysts. Volume uptick may be led by growth in scooters and CD deluxe segment.

9:45 am RBI norms: Providing importers with greater flexibility in hedging, Reserve Bank has allowed them book forward foreign exchange contracts up to 50 percent of the eligible limit.

"...it has been decided to allow importers to book forward contracts, under the past performance route, up to 50 percent of the eligible limit," the RBI said in a notification.

This, the RBI said, has been done after a review of the evolving market conditions and with a view to providing importers with greater flexibility in hedging facility. It further said importers who have already booked contracts up to previous limit of 25 percent in the current financial year, will be eligible for difference arising out of the enhanced limits.

9:35 am Gainers & losers: BHEL is up 4 percent while Hero MotoCorp gains 2 percent ahead of announcing its March quarter results. L&T, Maruti, and ICICI Ban are other gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers are Coal India, Hindalco, Sesa Sterlite, Bajaj Auto and ONGC.

9:30 am Crash landing: Shares of Jet Airways crashed over 9 percent intraday as the carrier reported its highest-ever annual loss in FY14. Registering a fifth straight quarterly loss, the airline's March quarter net loss stood at Rs 2,153 crore as high expenses and adverse operating conditions dragged its earnings.

Its fourth-quarter loss in 2012-13 stood at Rs 495 crore, while its consolidated full-year loss in that fiscal was Rs 779 crore.

However, the airline company is taking measures to gather its act together. It said "tough decisions (have been) taken to clean up balance sheet and lay foundations for healthy financial future", while steps are being taken for new network and fleet plans along with "significant product enhancements".

After the bruises on Tuesday, the market has opened on a flat note. The Sensex is up 42.10 points at 24591.61, and the Nifty is up 6.95 points at 7324.95.

About 417 shares have advanced, 121 shares declined, and 30 shares are unchanged. BHEL, Bharti Airtel, Tata Steel, NTPC and Wipro are top gainers in the Sensex. Coal India, Sesa Sterlite, ONGC, ITC and M&M are major laggards in the Sensex.

The rupee has opened flat at 59.02 a dollar as against previous day's closing value of 59.04 a dollar.

Pramit Brahmbhatt, Veracity says taking positive overnight cues, the rupee is expected to trade strong, backed by the local equities though dollar demand from oil importers could cap gains. According to him, the range for the rupee is seen between 58.50-59.50/USD.

Among the global markets, the US markets ended broadly higher with the S&P 500 setting a new record. European shares closed slightly higher on Tuesday, as the UK's FTSE index rose after being closed for a public holiday and other bourses took a breather from their rally on Monday.

Asian markets are trading in the green this morning following the strong US markets close. Japan's Nikkei is trading at seven-week highs and has extended its winning streak into the sixth session.

In other asset classes, Nymex crude prices held above USD 104 per barrel, as projections for gains in petroleum stockpiles were counter-balanced by geopolitical tensions in Libya and Ukraine. Brent continues to hover around USD 110.

Precious metal gold's prices slipped 2 percent to a 3.5 month low, extending losses after strong data lifted optimism about the economy.