Iraq tremors drag Sensex 348 points, Nifty below 7550; IT firm

04:00 pm LPG cylinder
The price of domestic LPG cylinders will not be increased and the number of subsidised refilling given to consumers would continue, Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.

"LPG will be provided to the consumers at the same rate at which it is being made available now. No additional burden will be imposed on them. The subsidy and the number of subsidised cylinders that people are getting will be continued by our government," Mr Pradhan told reporters in Patna.

About petrol and diesel prices, he said these are big issues and the central government is paying attention to them.

03:50 pm Indo-pak relationship
Days after Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif wrote to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi expressing a desire to work with India, Modi too, has reciprocated the sentiment saying that he is looking forward to working with Pakistan.

Sharif held a bilateral meeting with Modi on May 27 on the sidelines of the Indian Prime Minister's swearing in ceremony in Delhi. After his visit to India, Sharif wrote a letter saying that he was satisfied with the meeting and looked forward to working with Modi in "harmony on all unsettled matters".

In a letter on June 2, Sharif said that the future of the poor was integrated with "our common economic destiny". "I look forward to working with you in harmony on all unsettled matters for the benefit of both nations. Hope that our endeavours will lay the foundation of a much brighter future," Sharif said.

03:40 pm Market closing
Shadows of Iraq tensions fell on Indian market which dragged benchmark indices with investors growing cautious. The Sensex was down 348.04 points or 1.36 percent at 25228 and the Nifty ended at 7542.10, down 107.80 points. About 943 shares have advanced, 2148 shares declined, and 75 shares are unchanged.

BPCL fell 5 percent while Tata Steel, Axis Bank, Hero MotoCorp, NTPC and Hindalco were major laggards in the Sensex. Among the gainers were HUL, M&M, Infosys and Dr Reddy's Labs.

03:30 pm 'Oil'y spill
Brent crude oil hit a nine-month high near USD 115 a barrel as the United States threatened military action against Islamist militants who have taken towns and cities in Iraq, raising concerns over its oil exports.

Sunni insurgents gained more ground in Iraq, moving into two towns in the eastern province of Diyala after security forces abandoned their posts. Brent LCOc1 hit a session peak of USD 114.69 a barrel, its highest since September. The contract was up USD 1.00 at USD 114.02 by 0830 GMT.

Brent was set for gains of more than 5 percent this week, the biggest weekly rise since July 2013, while U.S. crude was on track for its biggest jump since December.

03:20 pm International markets
Sterling surged after the Bank of England hinted at an interest rate rise this year, while escalating violence in Iraq drove oil to a nine-month high and dampened equity markets.

European shares were still on course for the ninth week of back-to-back gains but opened in the red, with caution restored by the unrest in Iraq and signs that, at least in some countries, the era of record low interest rates is near an end.

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said late on Thursday that British interest rates could rise sooner than financial markets expect, in a surprisingly stark warning that monetary policy may start to tighten before the end of this year. Markets had previously been expecting a rate hike in the first quarter of 2015.

03:10 pm Interview
Chennai-based Indian Overseas Bank's (IOB) board has approved capital infusion of Rs 3500 crore. The public sector lender has asked the government to put in the additional capital (worth Rs 3,500 crore) in FY15 through stake dilution to raise the bank's core capital to stick to the latest international accounting norms.

As of March 31, IOB's tier I capital adequacy ratio stood at 7.47 percent and tier II was at 3.31 percent.

The government currently holds 73.80 percent and LIC has 14.77 percent in the bank. The IOB board has also approved raising up to Rs 1200 crore via qualified institutional placement.

M Narendra, Chairman, Indian Overseas Bank, said the bank is looking to raise Rs 1200 crore via QIP in the next two months, and are at the final stages of talks with merchant bankers for the issue. He, however, said that IOB is not looking to pare stake in non-core assets.

02:58pm L&T bags orders
L&T Construction, the brand of Larsen and Toubro, has won new orders worth Rs 1027 crore across various business segments in May and June 2014.

The buildings and factories business has received orders worth Rs 967 crore. The major order is from a reputed developer for the construction of 19 residential towers (19 floors each) in Bengaluru city involving complete civil, structural and finishing works.

In addition, the B&F business has also received orders from various ongoing jobs.

Additional orders worth Rs 60 crore have also been received from various ongoing jobs of heavy civil infrastructure, power transmission & distribution and water & renewable energy businesses.

02:50pm Block Deal: Bain Capital sells 46.3 lakh shares (representing 2.31 percent equity) of Hero Motocorp at Rs 2,635.95-2,643.05 apiece on NSE, BSE.

02:45pm Indian Bank is likely to sell Rs 1,169 crore non-performing assets (NPAs) in June, reports CNBC-TV18 quoting sources. The bank will sell Bartronics India NPA on cash basis, say sources.

02:38pm Ashok Leyland bags order
The Government of Sri Lanka has placed an order for 2,200 buses with Ashok Leyland. "This is the one of the largest purchase by the Sri Lankan Transport Board (SLTB), as the Government aims to modernise its existing fleet and significantly improve the country's public transport network, says the company in its filing.

Ashok Leyland will supply these 2200 buses within the next six months.

Vinod K Dasari, Managing Director, Ashok Leyland says, ''This is a huge order especially at a time when the domestic market is just about to bounce back. This order reaffirms our strategy to substantially enhance our sales outside India''.

02:30pm M&M outperforms, up 0.2%
Brokerage house upgraded the stock to overweight from neutral and raised target price to Rs 1,445 from 1,340, a 20 percent upside from current levels.

According to the report, M&M is the cheapest large cap in domestic auto universe.

"Weakness in the tractor business might act as a short-term headwind for the stock, but we expect the positive impact of the utility vehicle to offset this business going forward. We expect 10-12 percent growth in M&M's UV volumes from Q215 after a decline of 17 percent in the past 12 months," the report says.

The report also says, "Long term potential of the tractor market and expected pick-up in the UV growth rates in the near term mean we are comfortable reiterating our positive stance on the stock over the next 12-24 months. Any correction led by monsoon news flow should be an opportunity to buy the stock."

02:20pm Telenor to acquire 100% stake in Uninor
Norwegian telecom firm Telenor today said it will take complete ownership of its Indian unit Uninor by acquiring the 26 percent stake held by Lakshdeep Investments for Rs 780 crore.

The company, which currently owns 74 percent stake in Uninior, has filed an application with FIPB seeking to raise its ownership to 100 percent.

"An application has been filed with the Foreign Investment Promotion Board of the Government of India, seeking approval for an additional investment of Rs 780 crore to raise
ownership in Uninor to 100 percent," Telenor said in a statement.

It added that the investments will be utilised to acquire the remaining stake held by Lakshdeep Investments as a financial investor, reports PTI.

02:10pm FII View
Tushar Mahajan, Head, Listed F&O - India, Nomura Financial Advisory & Sec in an interview to CNBC-TV18 says as we get closer to the end of the series, Nifty is likely to inch up to the  levels of 7750.

However, he is not sure if the June contract will end at 7750 levels but believes the downside remains protected around 7550.

According to him the industrials, cement and banking space could help propel Nifty upwards but defensive sector like Information Technology (IT), will continue to show muted performance.

2:00pm Equity benchmarks plunged 1.5 percent in afternoon trade on escalation of the crisis in Iraq. The International Energy Agency says provided the conflict does not spread to the south, Iraqi oil supply is not at risk.

The Sensex fell 365.48 points to 25210.73 and the Nifty lost 114.80 points to 7535.10 while the BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices dropped 2.5 percent and 3 percent, respectively. More than three shares declined for every share advancing on the BSE.

Hindalco Industries, NTPC, Tata Steel, Axis Bank, Hero Motocorp, DLF and BPCL topped the buying list, falling 3-8 percent while Dr Reddy's Labs, Infosys, Sun Pharma, HDFC, M&M, HCL Technologies, Tech Mahindra and ITC bucked the trend.

Most active shares were Hero Motocorp, United Spirits, City Union Bank, Escorts, SBI, Infosys and Unitech.

The rupee fell 37 paise to 59.62 a dollar amidst weak risk appetite and as foreign banks bought dollars. More importantly, oil importers are expected to rush to buy dollars today in anticipation of further rise in brent prices.

1:55 pm FII woes: Pressing the need to incentivise retail investors to enter domestic capital markets, industry leader Deepak Parekh today called for cutting down the dominance of foreign institutions whom he likened to big 'party-hoppers'. "We have to incentivise and encourage retail investors to enter our capital market because it cannot be dominated by foreign institutions," HDFC Chairman Parekh said in a BFSI conference organised by SBI Cap Securities today.

He said although FIIs (Foreign Institutional Investors) have invested USD 15.9 billion in equity and debt in India this year, they are big party-hoppers. "If they don't like your music and if they don't like the drinks being served, they will find another party to hop on to really quickly," he said. According to Parekh, retail investors are still hesitant and it is unfortunate that they enter markets on the highs, instead of investing on the lows.

1:45 pm Market outlook: Richard Titherington, Chief Investment Officer - Emerging Market Equities at JPMorgan is betting on Indias's energy and IT sector but expresses concern over valuations in consumer staples. Speaking to CNBC-TV18, he also warns against indiscriminate buying in smallcap space.

Titherington, however, feels the domestic market is trading at fair value which not only makes him optimistic in the medium term but also for the long term where he sees India outperforming its emerging market peers. A sustained bull market rally is given with additional bonanza of India outperforming its peers in next 12-24 months, he says while assuring that he is comfortable with overweight position on India.

Speaking about India's macro economic situation, Titherington says the new government's reforms decisions will be watched but a meaningful recovery is unlikely to show up until next year. He cautions that what India experienced in the past six months have been phenomenal and the same upmove cannot be replicated for the next six months.

1:35 pm Modi's plan to revive SEZ: Seeking to revive the beleaguered Special Economic Zones, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a meeting of the officials of commerce and finance ministries tomorrow to sort out the taxation and other problems hampering the implementation of the scheme.

The meeting, according to sources, will be attended by Commerce Secretary Rajeev Kher and Revenue Secretary Rajiv Takru.

"Issues such as impact of imposition of minimum alternate tax (MAT) and dividend distribution tax (DDT) on SEZs; issues of conflict between revenue and commerce department will come up for discussion in the meeting," a source told PTI.

1:25 pm Will oil price rise higher? Jonathan Barratt of Barratts-Bulletin.com believes that  this is more of a kneejerk reaction and breakthrough some technical levels of resistance.

"In terms of production from the region, most of it is from southern area. I think the key is whether or not the Shiite, the Sunni and Kurds continue this conflict and that to me is one of the concerns because it may not be about oil," he said in an interview to CNBC-TV18.

According to Barratt resistance is at USD 115 per bbl and if tension start to escalate then prices may rise.

1:15 pm Market check: The market quickly slipping away. The Sensex is down 334.52 points or 1.31 percent at 25241.69 and the Nifty is down 104.25 points or 1.36 percent at 7545.65. About 908 shares have advanced, 2022 shares declined, and 66 shares are unchanged.  

The market slipped in the red with Nifty hovering around 7600. The Sensex is down 147.78 points at 25428.43 and the Nifty down 48.50 points at 7601.40. About 965 shares have advanced, 1937 shares declined, and 70 shares are unchanged.

BPCL is the top loser on the Nifty. Oil & gas and banks drag markets lower while IT stocks gain in trade.ONGC, NTPC, Hindalco, Tata Steel and Axis Bank are losers in the Sensex. Meawhile, Infosys, HDFC Bank, Hero MotoCorp, Sun Pharma and BHEL.

Global markets are cautious amid concerns of escalating tensions in Iraq and rising oil prices. Asia is mixed while Europe opened lower.

The rupee fell to over a four-week low on weak risk appetite globally. Likely dollar demand from oil importers may also weigh on the rupee. Gilts gave up some gains on profit sales.

12:55pm Nikkei update
Japan's Nikkei share average bounced off a 2 1/2-week low struck in early trade, spurred by a Jiji news agency report that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to announce the policy regarding a cut in the corporate tax rate later in the day.

The Nikkei rose 0.8 percent to 15,097.84, after earlier falling to 14,830.99, the lowest since June 2. For the week, the index added 0.1 percent, posting a fourth consecutive weekly gain.

Oil sector shares surged after crude prices jumped to nine-month highs on Thursday due to fears that the escalating conflict in Iraq will disrupt supplies from OPEC's second-largest producer, reports Reuters.

12:48pm Zee Learn denied reports of stake sale in company to raise Rs 300 crore.

12:45pm MCX in news
Bombay High Court has refused stay to Financial Technologies on FMC order. Forward Markets Commission ordered the company to dilute stake in MCX below 2 percent.

Bombay HC told Financial Technologies that as of today, shareholding in MCX have to be below 2 percent. Financial Tech held 26 percent stake in MCX as of March 2014.

12:42pm Market Update
Equity benchmarks extended losses following weak opening of European markets. The Sensex fell 150.39 points to 25425.82 and the Nifty dropped below the 7600, down 52.40 points to 7597.50.

The BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices shed more than a percent. Declining shares outnumbered advancing one by a ratio of 1759 to 1079 on the BSE. Oil & Gas, Realty, Infrastructure, PSU, Power, Metal and Bank indices declined 1-2.5 percent.

12:40pm European markets fell marginally in early trade on Iraq tensions. France's CAC and Germany's DAX declined 0.3 percent each while Britain's FTSE slipped 0.4 percent.

12:35pm Block deals
About 7.84 lakh equity shares of Container Corporation of India changed hands on National Stock Exchange at Rs 1,180 apiece while in case of Essar Ports, 12 lakh shares exchanged on BSE and NSE at Rs 87.50 a share.

12:25pm Ashok Leyland has received order for 2,200 buses from Sri Lankan government. The company will supply 2,200 buses within next 6 months.

12:15pm Market Expert
Despite the current optimism, Sanjay Dutt of Quantum believes the market is unlikely to rally another 5-6 percent from hereon.

According to him, it is difficult for Nifty to breach the 8000 mark in the near-term. However, Dutt believes midcaps will continue to outperform. He is bullish on banking space as new government and the hope of its reforms may instill fresh hope in the sector.

On crude, which has breached a price of USD 113/barrel, Dutt believes the rise in prices is unlikely to affect India, as of now, as the market is fully valued. But if it (crude) crosses the USD 120/barrel barrier, then it may be a concern.

12:00pm Equity benchmarks as well as broader markets fell marginally amid volatility in noon trade. The Sensex lost 117.87 points to 25458.34, and the Nifty declined 42.55 points to 7607.35 while the BSE Midcap and Smallcap lost 0.5 percent each.

About 1232 shares have advanced, 1577 shares declined, and 92 shares are unchanged.

The rupee dropped 20 paise to touch one-month low of 59.45 against the US dollar due to Iraq tensions that impacted Brent oil too, which slipped to nine-month high.

BPCL topped the selling list, falling 4 percent followed by Hindalco Industries, Bharti Airtel, NTPC, Axis Bank, Sesa Sterlite, Bank of Baroda, DLF and United Spirits with 1.5-3 percent.

However, BHEL, M&M, Bajaj Auto, Infosys, Hero Motocorp, HCL Technologies and Ambuja Cements gained 0.9-2 percent.

12:00 pm US may strike: The United States is not ruling out air strikes to assist the Iraqi government fight a growing radical Islamist insurgency, President Barack Obama said on Thursday, raising the possibility of the first American military intervention in Iraq since the end of the US-led war.

Obama was asked whether Washington would consider drone strikes to combat violence that threatens to break up the country. "Iraq is going to need more help. It's going to need more help from us, and it's going to need more help from the international community," he said.

"My team is working around the clock to identify how we can provide the most effective assistance to them. I don't rule out anything, because we do have a stake in making sure that these jihadists are not getting a permanent foothold," he said.

11:50 am Opinion: Tushar Mahajan, Head, Listed F&O - India, Nomura Financial Advisory & Sec in an interview to CNBC-TV18 says as we get closer to the end of the series, Nifty is likely to inch up to the  levels of 7750.

However, he is not sure if the June contract will end at 7750 levels but believes the downside remains protected around 7550.

According to him the industrials, cement and banking space could help propel Nifty upwards but defensive sector like Information Technology (IT), will continue to show muted performance.

On the derivatives side, foreign insitutional investors (FIIs) have been buying hedges to protect downside but overall the bias continues to be positive. 60-70% portfolios could be hedged currently, says Mahajan.

11:40 am Boiling oil: Investors are buying oil producers stocks and selling refiners on boiling Brent price due to Iraq unrest. Shares of Cairn India jumped 2 percent while BPCL, HPCL and IOC slipped 3-4 percent intraday.

Brent futures rose towards USD114 a barrel and hit a nine-month high, as supply disruption fears took centre stage with the United States threatening military action in Iraq as Sunni Islamist militants push on towards Baghdad.

The jihadists extended their lightning advance to towns only about an hour's drive from Baghdad while trucks carrying Shi'ite volunteers in uniform rumbled towards the front lines to defend the city, stoking concerns of prolonged unrest and bloodbath.The forces of Iraq's autonomous ethnic Kurdish north have taken control of the oil hub of Kirkuk as the troops of the Shi'ite-led government abandoned posts.

11:30 am FII view: Richard Titherington, Chief Investment Officer - Emerging Market Equities at JPMorgan is betting on Indias's energy and IT sector but expresses concern over valuations in consumer staples. Speaking to CNBC-TV18, he also warns against indiscriminate buying in smallcap space.

Titherington, however, feels the domestic market is trading at fair value which not only makes him optimistic in the medium term but also for the long term where he sees India outperforming its emerging market peers. A sustained bull market rally is given with additional bonanza of India outperforming its peers in next 12-24 months, he says while assuring that he is comfortable with overweight position on India.

11:20 am Buzzing: Shares of City Union Bank rallied as much as 8.7 percent intraday to touch new 52-week high of Rs 78.95 after about 2.47 crore equity shares (amounting 4.55 percent stake) changed hands on the BSE at Rs 73.75 apiece through block deal.

Sources told CNBC-TV18 that L&T Finance sold 4.55 percent equity in the bank at Rs 73.75 apiece via this block deal. Axis Capital was the broker to this deal.

L&T Unnati Finance, the subsidiary of L&T Finance, held 2,47,12,337 equity shares (representing 4.55 percent stake) in the bank as of March 2014. 

Lack of domestic triggers and boiling oil price on Iraq crisis is making investors cautious and the market is sluggish. The Sensex is up 38.40 points at 25614.61and the Nifty is up 10.05 points at 7659.95.

About 1475 shares have advanced, 1054 shares declined, and 81 shares are unchanged.

BHEL, Bajaj Auto, M&M, Coal India and HDFC Bank are top gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers are TCS, Hindalco, Axis Bank and Bharti Airtel.

Rupee is at the weakest level in a month on weak global cues and foreign banks dollar buying. Dollar is at around 2 week lows against the yen and the euro stable at levels of 1.35.

Bonds are higher as the better-than-expected CPI data for May helps sentiment. As of Thursday FIIs had not utilised gilt investment limits of Rs 6661 crore.

Asian markets trade weak amid fears about escalating violence in Iraq and caution on Chinese data. The Bank of Japan leaves policy unchanged in its meeting.

All eyes are on crude with crude futures rising multi-month highs as the crisis in Iraq threatened to disrupt supplies from the second biggest OPEC producer. Brent touched USD 113 - the highest level since September 2013. Risk off sentiment helped gold helping it rise to highest level in three weeks.

10:55am Rupee at one-month low
The rupee is trading at 59.47/48, after hitting 59.4925, its lowest since May 15 and below its close of 59.25/26, tracking weak global cues following tensions in Iraq and downbeat US economic data.

Asian stocks slid and crude oil scaled nine-month highs today as escalating civil war in Iraq hit risk appetite.

Traders expect the pair to see some resistance around 59.50 levels and strong resistance at 59.60 levels, reports Reuters.

10:45am Market Expert
In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Deven Choksey, MD, KR Choksey Shares says 7500 level is a good support for the Nifty and it is likely to cross 7750-7800 around expiry time. However, he does not expect the market to correct in the near-term.

He feels it would be a rewarding strategy to look at midcap companies from a fundamental strength perspective vis--vis expectations of growth.

According to him lack of proper monsoon could surely play a spoil sport but it is yet too early to take a call on that. It could impact vegetable prices more than food grains.

10:38am Walmart to launch B2B e-Commerce
Retailer Walmart says it will launch B2B e-Commerce in India in July first week and that business will initially focus on food. It will build on synergies for B2C e-Commerce when government allows FDI, it says.

Walmart further says it will be extending B2B e-Commerce to its 'best price' store members and will provide virtual store for assortment of products.

10:30am Iraq in news
The United States is not ruling out air strikes to assist the Iraqi government fight a growing radical Islamist insurgency, President Barack Obama said, raising the possibility of the first American military intervention in Iraq since the end of the US-led war.

Obama was asked whether Washington would consider drone strikes to combat violence that threatens to break up the country. "Iraq is going to need more help. It's going to need more help from us, and it's going to need more help from the international community," he said, reports Reuters.

10:20am Tata Motors global sales
Tata Motors reported 5.14 percent decline in global sales, including that of Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), to 77,575 units in May. The company had sold 81,783 units in the same month last year.

In the passenger vehicles category, the global sales last month were at 48,414 units, as against 43,142 units in May 2013, up 12.2 percent, Tata Motors said in a statement. Sales of luxury brand Jaguar Land Rover rose 24.85 percent to 38,998 units in May, compared with 31,210 units in the same month last year.

The sales of commercial vehicles declined 24.52 percent in May to 29,161 units from 38,641 units a year ago.

10:10am FII View
Chris Wood, CLSA says the picture remains the same in world financial markets with the latest "neither too hot, nor too cold" US payroll data. ''This keeps markets on track for continuing tapering without as yet real concrete evidence of the acceleration in US growth which the Fed is hoping for,'' he adds.

10:00am The market is quiet in early trade as the Sensex is up 40.31 points at 25616.52. The Nifty is up 11.10 points at 7661.00. About 1252 shares have advanced, 743 shares declined, and 66 shares are unchanged.

BHEL, Coal India, HDFC Bank, M&M and Tata Power are top gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers are TCS, HUL, Bharti Airtel, Hindalco and ONGC.

Brent futures rose towards USD 114 a barrel and hit a nine-month high, as supply disruption fears took centre stage with the United States threatening military action in Iraq as Sunni Islamist militants push on towards Baghdad.

The jihadists extended their lightning advance to towns only about an hour's drive from Baghdad while trucks carrying Shi'ite volunteers in uniform rumbled towards the front lines to defend the city, stoking concerns of prolonged unrest and bloodbath.

Asian equities fell. Weaker-than-expected US retail sales and jobless claims data released on Thursday further tempered economic optimism felt earlier in the week that had propelled Wall Street to record highs.

10:00 am Mishap: Six persons, including two Deputy General Managers, were killed and 35 others were affected after a poisonous gas leaked at Steel Authority of India's Bhilai Plant in Durg district of Chhattisgarh.

Steel Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has sought a report on the mishap and is likely to visit Bhilai on Friday. Sources said that carbon monoxide gas leaked through pipes when some work was being taken up in a blast furnace.

09:50 am Sebi norms: The Sebi board will be meeting in Delhi on June 19 to discuss expanding  framework of offer for sale (OFS) and public shareholding norms in government owned units.

Since its launch in 2012, OFS has been a very successful mechanism and in a bid to rope in retail investors into it, the market regulator is likely to reserve 10 percent of OFS for retail investors. As an incentive to participate in the OFS, the sellers may be allowed to offer discount to retail investors, sources say.

Sources say that the market regulator may remove exemption given to PSUs for minimum 25 percent float because it feels that this is discriminatory. To create a level playing field, the board would mull making 25 percent minimum public shareholding mandatory for PSUs and it would prove provide PSUs three-year timeframe to meet this norm. However, Sebi can consider relaxation of this norm on case to case basis.

09:40am Hero Motocorp says it will invest Rs 500 crore for setting up plant in Colombia that will be operational from 2015 onwards. The two-wheeler major will enter Brazil with range of 2-wheelers in 2016, it adds.

Private equity firm Bain Capital is planning to sell a part of its stake in auto major Hero MotoCorp through a block deal. The deal offer is sized upto USD 300 million with an upsize of USD 93 million. Citigroup is likely to be the banker in this deal that will see Bain offload 8.57 shares, or 4.29 percent of its equity stake.

The price range for the block deal is in the range of Rs 2582- 2717 per share. The price quoted is a 0-5 percent discount to the stock's current market price. Bain Capital is reported to own 8.58 percent stake in Hero MotoCorp, worth Rs 4,600 crore currently.

09:35am Edelweiss Financial in focus, up 8%
Ace investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala picked up one crore shares of Edelweiss Financial Services for an estimated Rs 55 crore through the open market route. Jhunjhunwala purchased the shares (amounting to 1.3 percent stake) of the financial services firm for an average price of Rs 55 apiece, according to the bulk deal information with the BSE.

In separate transactions, Edelweiss Financial Services shareholders GPC Mauritius sold a total of 2.62 crore shares of the firm for about Rs 148 crore. Individually, GPC Mauritius I LLC offloaded 1.18 crore shares of Edelweiss Financial Services, while GPC Mauritius III LLC sold 1.44 crore scrips of the company.

09:25am FII View
Michael Hartnett, Bank of America Merrill Lynch says Brent oil prices breaking above USD 125 a barrel, Nasdaq failing to break 4371 or the Russell failing to break 1212 would argue for June consolidation. "But the case for a summer melt-up remains stronger than that for a summer melt-down," he adds.

09:15am Equity benchmarks started off Friday's trade with positive bias amid consolidation. The Sensex rose 20.67 points to 25596.88 and the Nifty gained 5.15 points at 7655.05.

Improvement in April industrial output data and fall in CPI inflation continued to support the market but concerns over rising crude oil prices due to Iraq warning weighed on market sentiment.

The broader markets continued to outperform benchmarks with the BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices gaining 0.5 percent each. About 899 shares have advanced, 373 shares declined, and 32 shares are unchanged.

BHEL rallied 2.6 percent followed by Coal India, Larsen & Toubro, Tata Power, HDFC Bank, Cairn India and Power Grid Corporation with 1-2 percent. However, TCS, Tata Motors, Maruti Suzuki, Wipro, Hindalco and BPCL fell 0.7-1 percent.

The Indian rupee opened marginally lower at 59.30 per dollar as against previous day's closing value of 59.25 a dollar.

Pramit Brahmbhatt of Veracity said, "Asian markets have opened in red taking cues from US economic data which failed to meet the expectations and also the growing tensions in Iraq have dented the global equities movement."

"Trading range for spot rupee is expected to be within 58.80-59.80/dollar," he added.

The dollar declined despite the geopolitical concerns as economic data surprised negatively. The dollar index slipped to 80.6.

US markets took a knock on geopolitical concerns and with economic data failing to impress. European markets closed mixed, giving up earlier gains generated after euro zone industrial production numbers met analysts' estimates showing its biggest rise since last November. Asian markets were mixed.

Crude prices soared as uncertainty looms over supplies from Iraq, Brent crude surged to 113 dollars for the first time in 2014.