Sensex, Nifty end flat; HDFC up 3%, Reliance & ITC gain

03:35 pm Market closing
The market maintained uptrend throughout the day  with some major support by FMCG stocks. The Sensex ended up 73.61 points at 25715.17,and the Nifty up was 20.30 points at 7684.20. About 1723 shares advanced, 1245 shares declined, and 103 shares were unchanged.

HDFC was up 3 percent, Reliance , ITC, Axis Bank and HUL saw agressive banking on the Sensex. On the losing side were Tata Power, GAIL, SBI, BHEL and Sesa Sterlite.

03:20 pm Upgrade
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said today that it had revised the outlook on Tata Steel UK Holdings (TSUKH) to stable from negative. At the same time, the agency affirmed its 'BB-' long-term and 'B' short-term corporate credit rating on TSUKH.

The recovery rating on TSUKH's £3.53 billion bank loan is unchanged at '2'. We also affirmed the 'BB' issue rating on the company's bank loan, a report from the rating company stated.

03:10 pm Sun Pharma-Ranbaxy
The USD 4-billion merger of Ranbaxy Labs with Sun Pharmaceutical has got clearance from the two leading stock exchanges -- BSE and NSE.

The 'no-objection' from the two exchanges would allow the two companies to file their scheme of amalgamation with the High Court for further clearance of the deal and marks one of the numerous regulatory approvals that Sun Pharma and Ranbaxy need to consummate for the transaction.

The deal had separately come under scanner of the markets regulator Sebi for alleged insider trading violations and the present 'no-objection' from the exchanges.

03:00 pm Results
Housing finance company Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) reported a 14.7 percent growth, better than street expectations, in first quarter net profit at Rs 1,345 crore compared to Rs 1,173 crore in same quarter last year. Analysts had expected it at Rs 1,332 crore for the quarter.

Income from operations grew 16 percent to Rs 6,446 crore during April-June quarter from Rs 5,557 crore in the year-ago period.

HDFC said its loan book during the quarter was at Rs 2.03 lakh crore as as against Rs 1.77 lakh crore as on June 2013. "This is after considering loans sold during the preceding 12 months amounting to Rs 6,980 crore," it added.

02:50 pm World news
Israeli forces killed at least 10 Palestinian militants who tunneled into southern Israel from the Gaza Strip to carry out an attack on Monday, the military said.

"A short while ago two terror squads were detected infiltrating through two tunnels from the northern Gaza Strip into Israel," a military spokeswoman said.

Israeli aircraft targeted one of the squads and soldiers opened fire on the other, killing at least 10 militants, the spokeswoman said. She declined to comment on whether there were any Israeli casualties.

02:40pm Earnings
Public sector lender Canara Bank's first quarter (April-June) net profit grew 1.9 percent, lower than expected, to Rs 807 crore on account of lower other income during the quarter despite fall in provisions. Its asset quality performance weakened on sequential basis.

According to CNBC-TV18 poll estimates, analysts had expected the bank to report net profit of Rs 871 crore and net interest income of Rs 2,491 crore for the quarter.

Net interest income, the difference between interest earned and interest expended, grew 22 percent to Rs 2,429 crore during June quarter compared to Rs 1,991 crore in same quarter last year. Other income (non-interest income) fell 17 percent on yearly basis to Rs 1,026.9 crore in the quarter gone by.

02:30pm HSBC on Kaveri Seed
HSBC initiates coverage of Indian agricultural sector with "overweight" ratings for seed supplier Kaveri Seed Company and agrochemical firm PI Industries citing their "growth profiles, favourable sector trends and attractive valuations."

HSBC says projections for India's food demand could see agricultural yields improving by 1.7 percent annually, making companies in this segment "stronger gainers in coming years."

The investment bank also initiates UPL limited with an "overweight" rating, calling the company "India's only genuine play on global crop protection."

But HSBC initiates Rallis India Ltd with a "netural" rating, saying a recent rally has made valuations rich, reports Reuters.

02:20pm Safari Industries in focus
Safari Industries India says the board of directors of the company approved allotment of 8.3 lakh equity shares of Rs 10 each at a price of Rs 600 per share aggregating to Rs 49.8 crore on preferential basis to Tano India Private Equity Fund II.

02:10pm RBI on bonds
The Finance Ministry on Friday received the central bank Reserve Bank of India's proposal to raise foreign institutional investor (FII) limit in government bonds by USD 5 billion.USD 30 billion is the overall limit. There was USD 20 billion for FIIs and USD 10 billion for sovereign wealth funds.

The sovereign wealth funds (SWF) have not at all exhausted their limit. It is only about USD 3 billion. The FII limit is almost exhausted; there is hardly anything left. Hence, without endangering or increasing the debt liability of the government of India, one could still allow a little more FII money to come in and that is why this was being contemplated.

02:00pm The market continued to be volatile with a positive bias in last hour of trade. The Sensex rose 115.11 points to 25756.67 and the Nifty climbed 29.30 points to 7693.20. About 1688 shares have advanced, 1161 shares declined, and 112 shares are unchanged.
 
Sridhar Sivaram of Morgan Stanley remains very positive on the market. He expects a rate cut from the RBI as early as August and expectations of 15 percent earnings growth this year looks very easy to achieve, he adds.

Reliance Industries and HDFC topped the buying list, up nearly 2.5 percent followed by ITC with 1.5 percent and Axis Bank with 1.8 percent. Aluminium major Hindalco Industries trimmed losses to 0.4 percent from 2.4 percent.

A big deal transpired in the commodities space today. MCX and Financial Technologies surged 4-7 percent as Kotak Mahindra Bank agreed to buy a 15 percent stake in MCX for Rs 459 crore from Financial Technologies. The deal values MCX at Rs 600 a share. Kotak Mahindra Bank says that the bank will have no board seat or management control in MCX.

The rupee trades sideways today but the government bond prices rose on reports that the RBI will notify an increase in the FII open category investment limit for government debt investment in the next two days.

On the global front, European markets fell more than 0.5 percent with the German index down almost 1 percent. Sentiment remains subdued due to ongoing tensions in Gaza and Ukraine. The United Nations is considering a resolution to demand that armed groups in Ukraine allow international investigators to access the crash site.

2:00 pm Gainer: Shares of Strides Arcolab gained as much as 5.5 percent intraday on acquiring Raricap and India's branded generic business of Bafna Pharmaceuticals .

"Strides entered into an agreement with Bafna to acquire majority stake of their India branded generics business for a cash consideration of Rs 48.1 crore. The transaction is expected to close by end of September 2014 and is subject to customary closing conditions and statutory approvals," said the company in its filing.

Raricap, which was acquired by Bafna from Johnson & Johnson in 2011, is the eighth largest in oral haematinic segment in India with 8 SKU's in oral and liquid forms with an annual revenue of Rs 20 crore. Raricap has grown at CAGR of around 64 percent in last three years, it added.

1:50 pm Tax collection: After missing target in the last financial year, the government today exuded confidence that tax collection during the current fiscal would exceed Budget estimate of Rs 13.64 lakh crore. "Revenue collection targets fixed for 2014-15 will not only be achieved but also surpassed," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said.

He was addressing the 30th annual conference of Principle Chief Commissioners, Principle Director Generals (DGs), Chief Commissioners & DGs of Income Tax Department here. Jaitley emphasised that the credibility of Income Tax department is its greatest asset. "Credibility of income tax department is its greatest asset, that's why highest standards of ethics are expected from officers of the department," PIB said in a tweet.

1:40 pm FII view: Sridhar Sivaram, MD, Morgan Stanley Investment Management continues to be bullish on the Indian equity market. In an interview to CNBC-TV18, he said, any substantial correction in the market from the current levels seems unlikely, but shallow ones are possible. Every correction will be used by market participants to reposition their portfolio, he added.

He expects cyclicals and financials to lead market's way up. He is also positive on the cement sector and utilisations could see a pick-up going ahead. According to Sivaram, 15 percent earnings growth in FY15 is achievable.

1:30 pm Buzzing: Paul Mackel, managing director - head of Asian currency research, HSBC says 60 per dollar is the fair value of rupee currently. He is constructive on the rupee. He expects dollar-rupee to remain relatively stable.

"Last week the rupee tried to weaken a bit when there was becoming a more risk-off in the market but some of that external sentiment seems to be stabilising right now, so the rupee is recovering a bit but going forward I am still biased towards exchange rate stability continuing," he said in an interview.

1:20 pm Brokerage views: JP Morgan is overweight on Oberoi Realty , even though its April-June quarter result was disappointing as it feels pre-sales has started to improve and new launch pipeline points to recovery ahead.

The brokerage sees the stock touching Rs 239.40 per share. According to the brokerage, Oberoi's key projects are not reaching revenue recognition threshold and limited launches generated over F14 were the key reasons for earnings disappointment. The real estate company's Q1 net profit declined 36.8 percent to Rs 64.33 crore from Rs 101.81 crore on an annual basis.

The market is still on firm footing led by oil & gas and FMCG stocks. The Sensex is up 144.14 points at 25785.70, and the Nifty up 37.60 points at 7701.50. About 1685 shares have advanced, 1023 shares declined, and 112 shares are unchanged.

Reliance, HDFC, Maruti, Axis Bank and ITC are top gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers are Hindalco, Infosys, Tata Power, GAIL and Tata Motors.

The rupee recovered by 10 paise to 60.18 against the US dollar at the Interbank Foreign Exchange market on selling of the American currency by exporters amid increased capital inflows.

Further, strengthening of the euro and the yen against the dollar in overseas market and a higher opening in the domestic equity market also supported the rupee, forex dealers said.

12:50pm Market Expert
Sridhar Sivaram, MD, Morgan Stanley Investment Management continues to be bullish on the Indian equity market. In an interview to CNBC-TV18, he said, any substantial correction in the market from the current levels seems unlikely, but shallow ones are possible. Every correction will be used by market participants to reposition their portfolio, he added.

12:40pm Suzlon Energy on buyers' radar
Shares in wind turbine maker Suzlon Energy surged nearly 5 percent, its daily limit, following the government's move to re-introduce the acceleraed depreciation scheme for the wind energy sector.

The gains add to Suzlon's 3.6 percent gain in the previous session. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on late Friday that the government would amend the Finance Bill in this regard.

Accelerated depreciation allows companies to claim a bigger deduction during the initial years after the purchase of an asset compared with other depreciation accounting methods, under which the cost is spread evenly over the lifespan of an asset.

The accelerated depreciation scheme was disallowed two years ago under the previous Congress-led government.

Suzlon, whose units include REpower Systems SE, is the only listed wind energy player in India. Its shares were up 4.85 percent at 25.95 rupees, outperforming a 0.6 percent gain in the broader Nifty, reports Reuters.

12:30pm Rolta in News
Rolta announced today that it has awarded an additional scope of work by Sadara Chemical Company to implement a comprehensive engineering information system within Sadara's Jubail integrated chemical complex. "This multi-million dollar award of additional scope is an amendment to the contract which was awarded earlier and which was also multi-million dollar in value," says the company in its filing.

12:20pm Idea Cellular earnings today
Idea Cellular, one of the largest telecom operators in India, will declare its first quarter (April-June) earnings today. According to CNBC-TV18 poll estimates, analysts expect stable numbers with the profit after tax growing 6.8 percent sequentially to Rs 630 crore and revenue rising 4.1 percent to Rs 7,336 crore during the quarter.

Revenue growth may be driven by a 3.5 percent volume growth and a 1.5 percent improvement in revenue per minute.

Operating profit may increase 4.6 percent to Rs 2,333 crore in the quarter ended June 2014 and margin may expand to 31.8 percent from 31.7 percent quarter-on-quarter due to increase in revenue per minute.

12:10pm FII View
Rakesh Arora, Macquarie says economic data has started to improve as optimism translates into increased activity on the ground. ''Inflation dropped more than expected, Infosys and TCS have started the result season with beats, oil prices are back to normal and, more importantly, rains have picked up. Buy the dips as the rally gathers strength,'' he added.

12:00pm Equity benchmarks remained steady in noon trade with the Sensex gaining 117.43 points to 25758.99 and the Nifty rising 30.55 points to 7694.45 supported by banks and FMCG stocks. Index heavyweight Reliance Industries held its morning gains, up nearly 3 percent after April-June quarter earnings. Consolidated net profit of the company increased to Rs 5,957 crore from Rs 5,881 crore on sequential basis.

Shares of HDFC, ITC, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank and Maruti Suzuki gained 0.5-1.7 percent whereas Infosys, L&T, Hindalco Industries, Tata Motors, ONGC, Wipro, Gail and Tata Power fell 0.4-2 percent.

The BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices outperformed benchmarks, up 1 percent each. Advancing shares outnumbered declining ones by a ratio of 1641 to 918 on the BSE.

Among midcaps, MCX India shot up 10 percent as Kotak Mahindra Bank will buy 15 percent stake in the company from Financial Technologies for Rs 459 crore. Delta Corp, Gujarat Flourochem, Century Plyboards and Eros International gained 5-8 percent.

11:50 am FII view: Sridhar Sivaram, MD, Morgan Stanley Investment Management continues to be bullish on the Indian equity market. In an interview to CNBC-TV18, he said, any substantial correction in the market from the current levels seems unlikely, but shallow ones are possible. Every correction will be used by market participants to reposition their portfolio, he added. He expects cyclicals and financials to lead market's way up.

He is also positive on the cement sector and utilisations could see a pick-up going ahead. According to Sivaram, 15 percent earnings growth in FY15 is achievable. On macros, he sees retail inflation cooling off to 6 percent going ahead and expects the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to oblige the market with an interest rate cut as early as August.

11:40 am Exclusive: Reacting on RBI's proposal to allow a wide number of firms like supermarkets and telecom companies to set up payment bank, Kishore Biyani, CEO, Future Group, said the pre-paid card mechanism can work well on a pan-India basis, especially for the supermarkets. Biyani said they do not need a telecom partner for the payment bank as they already have technology platform in place to implement the mechanism.

Though he feels that it's too early to talk about capex involved in payment banks business, Biyani said for Future Group, the capex requirement won't be much as they have the infrastructure and technology.

11:40 am HDFC Bank result: HDFC Bank , the India's second largest private sector lender, reported a profit after tax of Rs 2,233 crore in April-June quarter, a growth of 21 percent compared to Rs 1,844 crore in same quarter last year. Profitability of the bank was lower than street estimates due to higher provisioning and lower other income while NII was in line.

Net interest income, the difference between interest earned and interest expended, grew 17 percent to Rs 5,171 crore in first quarter of current financial year from Rs 4,419 crore in corresponding quarter of last fiscal.

11:30 am Buzzing: Shares of Zee Entertainment Enterprises rose over 1 percent intraday. Brokerages are enthused about the stock post its April-June quarter earnings.

Deutesche Bank suggests to buy it with a target of Rs 330 impressed for achieving over 20 percent ad revenue growth for the entertainment channels, driven by price hikes and 8-9 percent like-for-like domestic subscription revenue growth is also better-than-expected. It is optimistic that the new channel, Zindagi, is off to a strong start and its ratings will probably support ad revenues in second half of FY15.

The brokerage says that low subscription revenue growth and margin erosion due to new investments will result in lower profit growth in FY15 but it's better than previously expected. Therefore it has increased Zee's ad revenue growth for the year from 15 percent to 17 percent for FY15 driven by price increases and the success of the new channel.

11:20 am FII view: Mahesh Nandurkar, CLSA says, "Several parameters viz. car sales, power generation, inflation, IIP etc have shown some improvement. The process of bottoming out is clearly visible on multiple fronts, though some factors viz. late monsoon, possibility of excise duty benefits on car expiring in June, base effect in case of inflation have helped YoY comparison. Our thesis of economic growth recovery stays intact and we are overweight domestic cyclical sectors in our model portfolio. Our overweights include banks and auto."

It is a good start of the week as the market holds on to its gains. The Sensex is up 111.92 points at 25753.48 and the Nifty is up 29.90 points at 7693.80. About 1570 shares have advanced, 710 shares declined, and 96 shares are unchanged.

Reliance is up 3 percent, followed by Maruti, HDFC, Axis Bank and M&M. Among the losers are Hindalco, Infosys, Tata Power and Tata Motors.

Asian stocks were firm as investors set aside geopolitical concerns for the moment to focus on the generally upbeat flow of US corporate earnings ahead of a host of results due this week.
Volumes were light, however, with Japanese markets on holiday. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.24 percent, with small gains for most markets across Asia.

Gold prices rose 0.15 per cent to Rs 28,007 per 10 grams in futures trade today as speculators
created fresh positions on positive cues from global markets. At the Multi Commodity Exchange, gold for delivery in far-month October was up by Rs 41, or 0.15 percent, to Rs 28,007 per 10 grams in a business turnover of four lots.

Analysts said fresh positions created by participants, tracking a firming trend in global market as investors weighed the outlook for higher US borrowing costs against demand for a safe-haven amid unrest in Ukraine and Gaza, influenced gold prices at futures trade here.

10:55am Morgan Stanley upbeat on India
Sridhar Sivaram, MD, Morgan Stanley Investment Management continues to be bullish on the Indian equity market. In an interview to CNBC-TV18, he said, any substantial correction in the market from the current levels seems unlikely, but shallow ones are possible. Every correction will be used by market participants to reposition their portfolio, he added.

He expects cyclicals and financials to lead market's way up. He is also positive on the cement sector and utilisations could see a pick-up going ahead. According to Sivaram, 15 percent earnings growth in FY15 is achievable.

On macros, he sees retail inflation cooling off to 6 percent going ahead and expects the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to oblige the market with an interest rate cut as early as August.

Further, he added that one of the pillars to revive growth is monetary stimulus and finance minister Arun Jaitley is trying hard to boost growth.

10:40am Earnings Expectations
According to CNBC-TV18 poll estimates, Vedanta Group company Hindustan Zinc's net profit is seen down 2.4 percent at Rs 1620 crore in April-June quarter against Rs 1660 crore in a year ago period on account of weaker volumes and lower margins.

However, its total income is likely to go up by 4.6 percent at Rs 3120 crore versus Rs 2984 crore and operating profit is seen up 1.1 percent at Rs 1520 crore versus Rs 1503 crore, Y-o-Y.

The operating profits margin is seen at 49 percent versus 50.4 percent, Y-o-Y.

10:30am MCX and FTIL in focus
Kotak Mahindra Bank will be acquiring 15 percent stake in MCX, held by FTIL. Paul Parambi, head of group strategy at Kotak Mahindra Bank says the bank is looking at the intrinsic value of MCX. He adds that Kotak is a pure financial investor in MCX and has no special rights with respect to seat on MCX board.

Parambi says the MCX deal is aimed at value-creating for shareholders of Kotak.

The total deal value is pegged at Rs 459 crore. ''FTIL have entered into a share purchase agreement (SPA) to sell 15 percent stake in MCX to Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited (KMBL) for a total consideration of Rs 459 crore. This transaction culminates majority of the divestment process initiated by FTIL since February 27, 2014,'' it said in an official statement.

This amounts to Rs 600 per share, which Parambi believes to be fair. Kotak Mahindra Bank says MCX transaction has nothing to do with existing Commex ACE.

10:20am HDFC and HDFC Bank merger?
The Reserve Bank of India's liberal norms for affordable homes may pave way for the merger of Housing Development Finance Corporation and HDFC Bank. The central has removed reserve requirements for infrastructure funding and affordable home loans through long-term bonds.

According to Manish Chowdhary of IDFC Securities, this merger will lessen the cost of merger entity and the cost of transition will also decline as cost of regulation reduces.

Also, this merged entity would be the country's second largest financial services player post State Bank of India (SBI). Chowdhary expects the merged entity to benefit HDFC Bank particularly.

IDFC has an outperform rating on HDFC Bank as it expects the lender to continue posting healthy earnings going ahead.

10:10am FII View
Mahesh Nandurkar, CLSA says several parameters viz. car sales, power generation, inflation, IIP etc have shown some improvement. ''The process of bottoming out is clearly visible on multiple fronts, though some factors viz. late monsoon, possibility of excise duty benefits on car expiring in June, base effect in case of inflation have helped YoY comparison,'' he added.

He further says thesis of economic growth recovery stays intact, adding the brokerage house is overweight on domestic cyclical sectors in its model portfolio. Its overweights include banks and auto.

10:00am Equity benchmarks extended rally with the Sensex rising 213.40 points to 25854.96 and the Nifty surging 56.30 points to 7720.20. The broader markets outperformed benchmarks with the BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices gaining more than a percent.

About 1486 shares have advanced, 465 shares declined, and 71 shares are unchanged.

Housing finance company HDFC and private sector lender HDFC Bank gained 2 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively ahead of first quarter earnings today. HDFC is expected to report a net profit at Rs 1,332 crore during April-June quarter, up 13.5 percent compared to Rs 1,173 crore in same quarter last year while analysts expect profit after tax of India's second largest private sector bank to rise 27.1 percent on yearly basis to Rs 2,345 crore in the quarter gone by.

Petrochemical major Reliance Industries kept its top position in the buying list, up 2.7 percent after April-June quarter earnings. Consolidated net profit of the company increased to Rs 5,957 crore from Rs 5,881 crore on sequential basis.

10:00 am Market check: The Sensex is up 205.40 points at 25846.96 and the Nifty up 54.15 points or 0.71 percent at 7718.05. About 1458 shares have advanced, 423 shares declined, and 71 shares are unchanged. MCX is up 13 percent intraday. Both HDFC twins gain 1-2 percent each.

9:55 am Result: Oberoi Realty said its net profit declined 36.8 percent to Rs 64.33 crore for the quarter ended June 30, 2014. This is against a net profit of Rs 101.81 crore in the same quarter last fiscal, Oberoi Realty said in a statement. The company's consolidated revenue dipped 19.6 percent to Rs 175.38 crore in the said quarter from Rs 218.39 crore in the year-ago period. Real estate segment contributed Rs 148.21 crore, while hospitality accounted for Rs 27.17 crore of the total revenue in the quarter.

9:45 am FII view: Rakesh Arora, Macquarie says, "Economic data has started to improve as optimism translates into increased activity on the ground. Inflation dropped more than expected, Infosys and TCS have started the result season with beats, oil prices are back to normal and, more importantly, rains have picked up. Buy the dips as the rally gathers strength."

9:35 am Poll: On earnings calendar today, HDFC Bank and HDFC will report April-June quarter earnings. For HDFC Bank net interest margins are expected to remain stable Q-o-Q while loan growth is expected to be higher than industry average leading to a strong 27 percent growth in profit. HDFC, in the meanwhile, may post a slightly muted bottomline as a deferred tax provision on special reserves could hike the tax rate and impact profits.

9:25 am Big buzzing: Shares of Financial Technologies (FTIL) and MCX are roaring with hefty gains of 8 percent and 6 percent intraday as the beleaguered companies cracked the Rs 459-crore deal with Kotak Mahindra Bank (up 3 percent).

FTIL is selling 15 percent stake in MCX to Kotak Mahindra Bank for a total consideration of Rs 459 crore, which will culminate majority of the divestment process initiated by FTIL since February 27, 2014.

In an earlier deal, FTIL had sold a 2 percent stake to investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala on July 8. With this stake sale Financial Technologies has successfully pared its holding in MCX to 5 percent from 26 percent.

Uday Kotak says that the investment in MCX, with its significant franchise, will create long-term shareholder value.

The market has kickstarted on a strong note as Sensex is up 170.25 points at 25811.81. The Nifty is up 43.50 points at 7707.40. About 672 shares have advanced, 128 shares declined, and 34 shares are unchanged.

Reliance is up 2 percent, Sun Pharma, Tata Steel, BHEL and Bharti Airtel are top gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers are GAIL and HUL. FTIL is up 7 percent.

The Indian rupee opened flat at 60.29 per dollar versus 60.28 Friday.The dollar holds steady as some calm returned to markets following an initial bout of risk aversion stemming from a flare up in geopolitical tensions.

Agam Gupta of Standard Chartered said, "Rupee is expected to trade between 60.20-60.45/dollar as market participants keep an eye on headlines from Ukraine and the Middle East. Expect oil demand to emerge on downticks and exporters will continue to sell on upticks," he added.

Asian stock markets started the week with gains but the mood was cautious due to ongoing geopolitical tensions. Trading volumes were light with Japan shut for a holiday on account of annual Marine Day. Kospi rose to their highest levels since December thanks to upbeat second-quarter earnings results.

Western leaders warn Putin that Russia will face more sanctions unless he ensures that air accident investigators have full access to crash site. A team of 133 Malaysian officials and experts, comprising of search and recovery personnel, forensics experts, technical and medical experts arrived in Kiev on Saturday morning. Ukraine government has said it cannot provide a safe corridor for the international team to access crash site.  The UN security council is considering a draft resolution to demand armed groups allow access to the crash site

In commodities, Brent crude slipped below USD 108 per barrel as investors book profits even as tensions between Russia and the west remained high.