Sensex ends above 26000; Sun Pharma, TCS gain; banks fall

03:55 pm FII view
Investment guru Marc Faber is gung-ho on Indian equities and prefers betting his chips on India rather than the US. Faber, the author of Gloom Boom & Doom Report, said he doesn't see the latter giving good returns in the next five-10 years horizon. The key near-term trigger for the Indian market is pro-reform Modi government's maiden Union Budget on July 10.

Investors are closely watching the event and with the countdown in its last leg, Faber expects the Indian government to look at simplifying tax code. Also, to boost the subdued investment climate, team Modi will have to fix a slew of issues, he added. Faber cautioned that Indian market's move from heron will be largely dependent on global data and the second half of the year could be difficult for Indian equities, which have been witnessing a massive hope rally for quite sometime now.

03:35 pm Market closing
Optimism and euphoria drove market sentiment with both the benchmark indices hitting record high. The Sensex managed to shut above 26000, up 138.02 points or 0.53 percent at 26100.08. The Nifty tad lower than the 7800-level, at 7787.15, up 35.55 points or 0.5 percent. About 1709 shares advanced, 1379 shares declined, and 92 shares were unchanged.

IT and pharma stocks led the rally while banks and oil & gas declined. Sun Pharma was up 4 percent while TCS, Tata Power, Infosys and Dr Reddy's Labs were other gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers were HDFC Bank, ONGC, GAIL, Axis Bank and Reliance.

03:20 pm Rail Budget hopes
Having done a pre-budget hike of 14.2 percent in passenger fares and raised freight rates, Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda's maiden budget is likely to adopt a realistic approach in announcing new trains, lines and survey in view of the cash crunch of Rs 26,000 crore.

With the growth in passenger earnings declining, railways is likley to spell out its strategy to earn additional revenue to reach the target in the current fiscal. While many unviable projects may be scrapped, Gowda will also announce some new projects on priority basis in the rail budget 2014-2015 tomorrow.

Since the government is grappling with ever-increasing fuel cost, harnessing alternative energy like solar power and bio-diesel in a big way is likely to feature in the NDA government's first Rail Budget as it is believed to be the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi who wants use of non-renewable energy in rail sector so that the dependence on fuel is less. Gowda is likely to announce pilot project for introduction of automatic closing of doors in Shatabdi coaches

03:10 Newer roads
The conglomerate headed by billionaire Ajay Piramal is hunting for road projects put up for sale by stressed developers, betting a change of government will stimulate growth and revive an infrastructure sector plagued with delays.

Piramal Enterprises, which sells drugs and financial services, has earmarked Rs 5000 crore for projects jeopardised by an economy struggling through its longest period of sub-5 percent growth since the 1980s.

"India has never had the balance sheet needed to absorb these investments. With no third parties coming in, contractors and developers have only stretched themselves further," Parvez Umrigar, co-head of Piramal's Structured Investment Group, told Reuters in a recent interview.

"We believe there is adequate appetite (among developers) in the market presently for assets

03:00pm Market Expert
Institutional investors, both foreign and local, are not fully invested in India and are awaiting a correction before putting in more money, says Ridham Desai, Managing Director of Morgan Stanley.

In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Desai said the market should not be hoping for major tax cuts in the upcoming Budget, even as he said that India was in the midst of a big macro trade.

He expects the fiscal deficit to range between 4.5-4.8 percent and said the government needs to improve its quality of expenditure and should fix the revenue side of deficit. He cautioned that increasing tax rates at this juncture could be counterproductive, and the government could continue on the path of tax reforms.

02:50pm Glenmark under pressure
Shares of Glenmark Pharma declined 1.7 percent after Credit Suisse downgraded the stock to neutral to factor in negative surprise of higher cash taxes and limited potential upside.

According to the report, FY14 annual report shows cash tax rate increased to 30 percent versus 23 percent in FY13. "This was driven by lower tax exemptions at Nalagarh and Goa plants. Tax rate could reduce with ramp-up of new plants (Sikkim and Indore SEZ), but should stay high at 28 percent. The P&L tax rate is low at 17 percent due to MAT credits and unused tax losses," it explains.

It also reduced target price on the stock by 5 percent to Rs 610 apiece.

02:40pm Indian Infotech up 10%
Indian Infotech and Software, on July 21, will consider and approve raising of fresh capital up to USD 20 million by way of issuance of ADR/GDR/FCCB/QIP or any other mode under the relevant guidelines. The funds will be utilised for the expansion of business.

The company will also consider and approve the issue of bonus shares by way of capitalisation of free reserves of the company and will recommend dividend if any for the year 2013-14.

02:30pm Interview
Speaking to CNBC-TV18, Anand Agarwal, director and CEO, Sterlite Technologies says the company's order book is currently around Rs 5000 crore.
 
The Pune-based transmission solution provider for telecom and power companies recently bagged an order worth Rs 2500 crore from Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL). Agarwal expects to execute 20 percent of Rs 2,000 crore BSNL order in FY15.

Standard Chartered Private Equity will invest Rs 500 crore in power transmission infrastructure business of Sterlite Technologies.

02:20pm Rupee extends losses
The rupee is at 60.00/01 versus its Friday's close of 59.72/73, as lack of dollar supplies on account of the US markets holiday hurts while caution also prevails ahead of the Budget on Thursday.

The dollar edged higher today and touched its highest level in more than a week versus a basket of major currencies, staying on firm footing in the wake of last week's solid US jobs data, reports Reuters.

02:10pm FII View
International investors are surely looking forward to the Budget in India but for them the clue would be performance of the currency than the absolute level of equity market, says Nick Parsons of National Australia Bank in an interview to CNBC-TV18.

According to him, the outperformance of the Indian market will continue since it remains a compelling fundamental story for international investors.

However, he cautions that in case the general sentiment towards emerging markets turn sour, maybe driven by perceptions of US interest rates, monetary policy or US inflation then Indian market would see profit taking. ''Should investors begin to take fright, they can only take profits where they have got them,'' says Parsons.

02:00pm Equity benchmarks remained volatile with a positive bias ahead of Budget on Thursday. The Sensex rose 66.51 points to 26028.57 and the Nifty advanced 14.80 points to 7766.40. About 1622 shares have advanced, 1374 shares declined, and 92 shares are unchanged.

IDFC kept its top position in the buying list in the Nifty, up 7 percent followed by Tata Power, Infosys, TCS, DLF, Dr Reddy's Labs and Tata Motors with 2-3.5 percent. However, HDFC Bank, ONGC, Gail, ICICI Bank, HDFC, Kotak Mahindra Bank, UltraTech Cement, United Spirits and NMDC lost 0.8-1.9 percent.

In the midcap space, HMT, Info Edge, Rajesh Exports, Dewan Housing and MMTC gained 5-11 percent whereas Den Networks, Bajaj Finance, Religare Enterprises and Greaves Cotton fell 3 percent.

Among smallcaps, NBCC, Gravita India, ITI, Sharon Bio Medicine and Nava Bharat Ventures rallied 15-18 percent while PC Jeweller, Himadri Chemical, OnMobile Global, Cox & Kings and Minda Industries slipped 4-6 percent.

1:50 pm Exclusive: Prime Minister Narendra Modi government's maiden Budget is unlikely to offer a lot to the salaried class. Sources tell CNBC-TV18 that the document may not announce any major exemptions for professionals due to lack of fiscal space. The government's ''hands are tied'' as there is limited room for big bold move in the Budgets. There are high hopes from the new government that it will raise tax slabs and also significantly hike the annual tax exemption limit to provide a much-needed relief to salaried class, which is reeling under the stubbornly high inflation.

Sources say the finance ministry is wary of the impact of high exemptions on the fiscal gap. It will take at least two years to get economic revival on track. A hike in exemption from the currently Rs 2 lakh to Rs 5 lakh will cost the exchequer Rs 64,000 crore. While raising 80C deduction limit from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 3 lakh will lead to the government losing out on Rs 40,000 crore in tax revenues.

1:40 pm Buzzing: Shares of Orchid Chemicals surged 3 percent, hitting 52-week at Rs 83.90 per share intraday as it has concluded active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturing facility deal with Hospira.

The US-based injectable drugs major has completed acquisition of API manufacturing facility and an associated research and development (R&D) facility from Orchid Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals for around USD 218 million, it said.

The acquisition enables Hospira to vertically integrate into the beta-lactam antibiotic APIs (penems and penicillins) and is also expected to improve Hospira's cost position in this therapeutic space. In addition, backward integration into these beta-lactam APIs will improve the company's security of supply. Beta-lactam antibiotics represent a class of drugs with a wide spectrum of antibacterial activity.

1:30 pm Interview: The resolution for fund raising, and a ceiling on the amount that can be raised is passed in every Annual General Meeting but it is not necessary that the bank will go in for a qualified institutional placement (QIP) as of now said P Sitaram, CFO, IDBI Bank in an interview to CNBC-TV18. The resolution stands valid till the next AGM. The bank currently is adequately capitalised but is open to disinvestment of non-core assets based on opportunities said Sitaram. IDBI bank has received the nod to raise Rs 4,000 cr via QIP or FPO.

1:20 pm Market outlook: Institutional investors, both foreign and local, are not fully invested in India and are awaiting a correction before putting in more money, says Ridham Desai, Managing Director of Morgan Stanley. In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Desai said the market should not be hoping for major tax cuts in the upcoming Budget, even as he said that India was in the midst of a big macro trade. He expects the fiscal deficit to range between 4.5-4.8 percent and said the government needs to improve its quality of expenditure and should fix the revenue side of deficit. He cautioned that increasing tax rates at this juncture could be counterproductive, and the government could continue on the path of tax reforms.

The market consolidates with a positive bias ahead of the Budget and on back of strong fund flows. The Sensex is up 57.26 points at 26019.32 and the Nifty is up 12.50 points at 7764.10. About 1539 shares have advanced, 1330 shares declined, and 88 shares are unchanged.

IT, capital goods and power stocks support the market while banks and oil& gas stocks trade lower.

Tata Power, Infosys, Dr Reddy's Labs, Bharti Airtel and TCS are top gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers are HDFC Bank, ONGC, GAIL, ICICI Bank and Maruti.

Global cues are tepid. Asian markets trade lower in absence of a lead from Wall Street last week on back of a holiday on July 4. In the US, developments in Ukraine are back in focus after the Ukrainian army seized control of the town of Slavyansk over the weekend, previously occupied by pro-Russian rebels.

Brent crude hit a more than three-week low below USD 111 a barrel amid expectations of a rise in supplies as Libya gears up to resume oil exports from two ports that have been closed for nearly a year. The benchmark dropped 2.3 percent last week, its biggest weekly decline since early January, as the Libyan news offset worries about exports from strife-torn Iraq.

01:00pm FII View
Bharat Iyer, JP Morgan says sector positioning is polarised ahead of the Budget. ''Beneficiaries of potential reforms - Energy, metals, financials and infrastructure have been outperforming. Consumption-related sectors have underperformed on expectations of increased taxes,'' he adds.

According to him, post Budget performance would be determined by the extent to which expectations are met. ''Our key pre-budget economy sensitive plays are - HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Tata Motors, Grasim, Reliance Industries, Sesa Sterlite and Titan Company,'' he adds.

12:50pm Adani Ports surges 2%
India's largest port developer Adani Ports has signed an agreement with the CMA CGM Group of France to develop a new comman user container terminal at Mundra Port. "This will be the fourth container terminal in Mundra capable of handling 1.3 million TEUs annually," the company says in its filing.

The construction phase will be initiated immediately and completion will be in a 24 months. The project comprises of design and construction of a 650 meters terminal along with 27 hectares of back area with a water depth of 16.5 meters.

''This new container terminal will be an absolutely world class facility that will stimulate the growth of cargo benefiting customers as well as help accelerate the industrial development over the vast hinterlands that Mundra provides access to. This will make Mundra the largest container port in the country," says Gautam Adani, chairman of the Adani Group.

12:40pm SSWL bags order
Steel Strips Wheels has bagged an export order from ALCAR. The order will cater to the after-market demand. "The order is worth 30000 wheels & will cater to passenger car segment and will serve the European Union and Russian markets," says the company in its filing.

12:30pm Crude update
Brent crude hit a more than three-week low below USD 111 a barrel today amid expectations of a rise in supplies as Libya gears up to resume oil exports from two ports that have been closed for nearly a year.

The benchmark dropped 2.3 percent last week, its biggest weekly decline since early January, as the Libyan news offset worries about exports from strife-torn Iraq.

Brent rose 3 cents to USD 110.67 a barrel by 0642 GMT, near a more than three-week low of USD 110.51 hit earlier. US oil fell 22 cents from Thursday to USD 103.84 a barrel. There was a public holiday in the United States on Friday, reports Reuters.

12:20pm Divestment target
As the Budget session begins, the country's focus centre has predictably shifted to new finance minister Arun Jaitley who will present his maiden Budget on Thursday.

Speaking about his expectations, Sajjid Chinoy of JP Morgan told CNBC-TV18 that he hopes the policymakers adopt a balanced path this time round - of a credible assumptions on the revenue side and continuance in fiscal consolidation to lower fiscal deficit. Speaking about his expectation from revenues, Chinoy says he sees 15-16 percent gross tax revenue growth and would want the government to increase divestment to Rs 80000 crore.

12:10pm Market Expert
Sandip Sabharwal, independent market analyst said the Budget is unlikely to impact the overall bullish trend of the market but given the high expectations from the Budget, there is every probability of a correction.

One could see a scenario where high beta banking and capital goods stocks may correct but other stocks may keep performing, said Sabharwal.

12:00pm Equity benchmarks continued to see buying interest in noon trade with the Sensex rising 83.38 points to 26045.44 and the Nifty gaining 17.80 points to 7769.40, in addition to more than 3 percent rally last week ahead of Budget.

Advancing shares outnumbered declining ones by a ratio of 1583 to 1163 shares on the BSE.

Tata Power, Infosys, TCS, Dr Reddy's Labs and Bharti Airtel topped the buying list in the Sensex, rising 2-3 percent followed by Tata Motors, Wipro and Hero Motocorp with 1 percent.

IDFC shot up 4 percent after Morgan Stanley has upgraded the stock to overweight with an increased target price of Rs 175. The brokerage feels that RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan's suggestion to exempt banks from cash reserve ratio (CRR) and statutory liquidity ratio (SLR) and relaxation of priority sector lending (PSL) lending norms may be a game changer for the stock.

However, shares of HDFC Bank, Reliance Industries, ONGC, ICICI Bank, ITC, Axis Bank, State Bank of India and Maruti Suzuki fell 0.2-1.2 percent.

11:50 am Tata Motors: Cyrus Mistry, Chairman, Tata Group wrote to Tata Motors shareholders acknowledging the fact that Tata Motors has not been seeing any revival either in the commercial vehicle (CV) or in passenger vehicle (PV) numbers losing considerable domestic business market share in CVs and PVs in FY14.

However, for FY15, he says that Tata Motors is now at an inflection point, the entire product portfolio is being revamped. This would include some keenly awaited products like the Zest and the Bolt that are being launched towards Diwali.

The company is working on a strong product pipeline of new technologies keeping in view the changing market and for the industry as a whole, one can expect a complete turnaround in the second half of FY15, he added.

11:40 am  Budget expectations: Pratip Chaudhari, former CMD, State Bank of India says banking sector needs to see bigger reforms for deposits and the tax treatment on bank deposits should be rationalised in the upcoming Budget.

Chaudhari believes the tax deducted at source (TDS) process on bank deposits needs to be revamped and its threshold must be increased.

He also adds that tax-free bonds must be abolished.

The banking sector has been expecting a capital infusion by the new government in the public sector banks. The sector is also hopeful that government may reduce its holding cap below 58 percent.

11:30 am Market outlook:  Institutional investors, both foreign and local, are not fully invested in India and are awaiting a correction before putting in more money, says Ridham Desai, Managing Director of Morgan Stanley.

In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Desai said the market should not be hoping for major tax cuts in the upcoming Budget, even as he said that India was in the midst of a big macro trade.

He expects the fiscal deficit to range between 4.5-4.8 percent and said the government needs to improve its quality of expenditure and should fix the revenue side of deficit. He cautioned that increasing tax rates at this juncture could be counterproductive, and the government could continue on the path of tax reforms.

Morgan Stanley is overweight on banks, autos, and energy materials. He feels the run up in engineering and capital goods shares may have been overdone and that further upsides could be limited. Investors looking to increase exposure to engineering and capital goods shares should now wait for a correction before putting in money, he says.

11:20 am Buzzing: Shares of Hero Motocorp rises over 1 percent intraday as it expanded its global presence into Latin America through its wolly-owned subsidiary HMCL Colombia SAS. The two-wheeler manufacturer has laid foundation stone of a manufacturing plant in Colombia, to be operational by mid-2015 with capacity of 78,000 units.

With a project cost of USD 70 million, the company will invest USD 38 million in capex, with the rest being utilised as working capital over the next three-year period. The equity investment will be made through HMCL's wholly-owned subsidiary in the Netherlands-HMCL BV, it said.

The state-of-the-art manufacturing plant is spread over 17 acres (68,000 sq meters) of land at the Parque Sur Free Trade Zone at Villa Rica in the state of Cauca, about 500 km south-west of Bogota. The manufacturing unit is likely to ramp up its production to around 150,000 units in the second phase.

The market is jumping with joy with hefty gains as we draw closer to Modi government's maiden Budget. The Sensex is up 111.02 points at 26073.08 and the Nifty up 26.05 points at 7777.65. About 1491 shares have advanced, 1019 shares declined, and 83 shares are unchanged.

Tata Power, Dr Reddy's Labs, Infosys, TCS and Bharti are top gainers in the Sensex. Among the laggards are HDFC Bank, ONGC, ITC, GAIL and Maruti Suzuki.

Gold prices fell by 0.21 percent to Rs 27,499 per 10 grams in futures trade today as speculators trimmed positions amid a weak trend overseas. Analysts said a weak trend in overseas markets as the outlook for higher borrowing costs in the US strengthened the dollar, reducing demand for the precious metal, put pressure on gold prices at futures trade here.

Globally, gold traded 0.40 per cent lower at USD 1,315.57 an ounce in Singapore today.

11:00am Hero Motocorp forays into Colombia
Hero Motocorp expanded its global presence into Latin America through its wolly-owned subsidiary HMCL Colombia SAS. The two-wheeler manufacturer has laid foundation stone of a manufacturing plant in Colombia, to be operational by mid-2015 with capacity of 78,000 units.

With a project cost of USD 70 million, the company will invest USD 38 million in capex, with the rest being utilised as working capital over the next three-year period. The equity investment will be made through HMCL's wholly-owned subsidiary in the Netherlands-HMCL BV, it said.

10:50am Interview
Direct to home service provider Videocon d2h is looking at a Diwali release for its proposed public float (IPO) plan this financial year, according chairman and managing director Venugopal Dhoot.

The company had received the permission from market regulator Sebi in March 2013 for its proposed Rs 700-crore IPO but did not launch the same due to bad market conditions.

10:40am Reliance Infrastructure in News
Reliance Infrastructure says the company has appointed MS Mehta as the chief executive officer (CEO) of the company with effect from July 7, 2014. "Mehta takes over as CEO from Shri Lalit Jalan who held the position for the last more than seven years," the release said.

Lalit Jalan has been promoted to the corporate centre as a director of corporate strategy and affairs of the group.

10:30am Morgan Stanley on IDFC
Morgan Stanley has upgraded IDFC to overweight with an increased target price of Rs 175. The brokerage feels that RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan's suggestion to exempt banks from cash reserve ratio (CRR) and statutory liquidity ratio (SLR) and relaxation of priority sector lending (PSL) lending norms may be a game changer for the stock.

Earlier, Rajan had indicated that banks may be exempted from CRR/SLR norms on long-term bonds raised for infrastructure financing to ensure a level playing field with other infrastructure financiers. Hence, Morgan Stnaley feels this may increase potential return on equity (ROE) over 20 percent. It, however, adds 'outcome is uncertain, but upside could be disproportionate.'

10:20am South Indian Bank on buyers' radar
Shares of South Indian Bank rallied 6 percent after The Pabrai Investment Fund picked up 1.45 percent equity stake in the bank on Friday.

The fund house bought more than 1.96 crore equity shares of the bank at Rs 32.50 apiece through a block deal, which was worth Rs 64 crore.

Mohnish Pabrai, who is managing partner of The Pabrai investment fund, is known as one of the biggest wealth creator and stern follower of Warren Buffet.

However, Multiples Private Equity FII I offloaded 1,45,45,500 shares (representing 1 percent stake) at same price. As of March 2014, it held 4 percent stake in the bank .

10:10am FII View
Neelkanth Mishra, Credit Suisse says other than a vague hope, there aren't any uniform 'expectations' from the Budget given no one knows what the government is working on. ''It means large-scale disappointment is also unlikely,'' he adds.

He further says the brokerage house expects the budget to be a non-event for the broader market, though specific changes such as revisions of excise duty for cigarettes, gold import duty or other such duty tweaks could affect specific sectors.

10:00am Equity benchmarks maintained early gains with the Sensex holding 26000-mark supported by technology, metals, healthcare and Tata Group stocks. The index rose 80.53 points to 26042.59 and the Nifty advanced 20.65 points to 7772.25.

The broader markets gained too with the BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices rising 0.3 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively. About 1301 shares have advanced, 783 shares declined, and 85 shares are unchanged.

Technology majors Infosys and TCS spiked 2 percent ahead of April-June quarter earnings season that will be kicked off with Infosys on July 11. Wipro rose 1 percent.

Tata Power topped the buying list, rising 2.5 percent after it signed option agreement to sell 5 percent stake in Kaltim Prima Coal mine. "Tata Power signed option agreement to sell stakes to a Bakrie group entity. Consideration for company's 5 percent stake in KPC is at USD 250 million," says the company in its filing.

Shares of Dr Reddy's Labs, Bharti Airtel, Sun Pharma, Tata Steel, Hero Motocorp, Hindalco and Sesa Sterlite gained 1-1.5 percent. However, HDFC Bank, Reliance Industries, ONGC, ITC, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, Maruti and HUL fell 0.2-1 percent.

9:55 am Global economy: Global economic activity should strengthen in the second half of this year and accelerate in 2015 although momentum could be weaker than expected, IMF chief Christine Lagarde said on Sunday, adding that the Fund did not expect a sharp slowdown in China.

Lagarde said central banks' accommodative policies could have only limited impact on demand and that countries should also act to boost growth by investing in infrastructure, education and health, provided their debt stays sustainable.

The IMF's update of its global economic outlook, expected later this month, will be slightly different from the forecasts published in April, she said.

9:45 am Exclusive: Oil minister, Dharmendra Pradhan says that there are no plans to hike LPG and kerosene prices and the government will think of new measures to remove subsidy burden. He further added that they have to attract FDI in oil & gas sector.

In an interview to CNBC-TV18, he said that at this juncture the government is planning for complete diesel deregulation but certainly some innovative ways need to be brought in to reduce subsidy burden.

"Kirit Parikh Committee's recommendation was to the previous government certain part of the recommendation has already been taken care. At this juncture I can say there is no plan to increase the LPG price and kerosene price," he said.

9:35 am Buzzing: Shares of Tata Power jumped 3 percent as it will sell 5 percent in an Indonesian coal company. The Tata group company said it will sell its 5 percent stake in PT Kaltim Prima Coal for about USD 250 million to cut its debt, less than six months after offloading its holding in another Indonesian coal company PT Arutmin.

"Tata Power, facing under recovery and cash flow challenges due to its Mundra UMPP operations has signed options agreements to sell 5 percent stake in PT Kaltim Prima Coal to get additional cash as well as to reduce its consolidated debt," the company said.

The company will sell its stake to Indonesian coal firm Bakrie Group entity. Post stake sale, Tata Power's stake PT Kaltim Prima Coal (KPC) will be 25 percent. As part of the deal, Tata Power through its subsidiaries has the option to sell 30 percent stake in Power Infrastructure Companies, which are associated with PT Kaltim Prima Coal, to the Bakrie Group entity.

9:25 am Budget session: The government will be presenting its maiden Rail Budget on July 8 and the Union Budget on the July 10. There are high expectations from the government which came to power on the promise of putting the Indian economy back on track. Opposition parties are likely to take up the issue of price rise, fuel price hike and the revision of rail fares.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh will be introducing the Andhra Pradesh re-organisation amendment bill 2014. The government is also likely to make a statement on the condition of Indians in Iraq on the floor of the house.

Just as Narendra Modi government's first Budget session of the 16th Lok Sabha begins today, the market opens at a record high with Sensex hitting above 26,000. The Sensex is up 114.88 points at 26076.94 and the Nifty is up 28.80 points at 7780.40. About 642 shares have advanced, 133 shares declined, and 23 shares are unchanged.

Tata Power, Tata Motors, ONGC, Cipla and Coal India are top gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers are ITC, ICICI Bank and Maruti Suzuki.

The Indian rupee opened lower at 59.81 per dollar against 59.73 per dollar on Friday.
The dollar clung on to most of last week's payrolls-inspired gains early. The dollar index was steady at 80.30 mark.

Agam Gupta of Standard Chartered said, ''Expect RBI to buy dollars on any dips while exporters and FIIs to sell dollars between 59.90-59.95/dollar ahead of budget this week. Expect rupee to remain in range of 59.50-59.90/dollar.''

In Asia, Bank of Japan is due to release its quarterly report later in the day. Mood was cautious after International Monetary Fund warned over the weekend that the pace of global growth may be weaker than expected in the second half of the year due to weak investment.

US markets remained shut on Friday on account of independence day. Meanwhile, European shares closed on a negative note, but were higher for the week, as traders digested a better-than-expected US jobs report and the European central bank's decision to hold fire.

Brent crude dipped below USD 111 a barrel on the prospect of revived Libyan exports and more US crude soon finding its way to refiners.

Gold prices remained vulnerable after strong US jobs data lifted the dollar, denting gold's investment appeal.