Nifty ends above 7800 for 1st time, up for 8th straight day

Equity benchmarks saw record closing high again on Thursday with the 50-share NSE Nifty holding 7800-mark for the first time (at close) supported by FMCG, technology and metal stocks.

The market gained strength in last hour of trade after seeing consolidation from the beginning, continuing upmove for the eighth consecutive session today. The Sensex climbed 124.52 points to 26271.85 and the Nifty rallied 34.85 points to 7830.60 after hitting a day's high of 26292.66 and 7,835.65, respectively.

After eight-session of rally (1265 points on the Sensex), experts expect some amount of profit booking in near term but they believe the long term bull run is intact.

According to independent market expert Ambareesh Baliga, the valuations are quite expensive right now and it is best to book some profits. He feels the deep crack will pull the market down by nearly 300-400 points but not below 7400.

Metals stocks like Tata Steel and Hindalco Industries gained 2-2.5 percent after China's factory data. The HSBC/Markit Flash China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 52.0 in July, the highest reading since January 2013, from June's final reading of 50.7 as new orders surged.

FMCG major Hindustan Unilever gained 1.5 percent. Its parent company Unilever said underlying sales rose 3.8 percent as against expectations of 4.3 percent.

Wipro, third largest software services exporter in India, up 1.3 percent ahead of June quarter earnings that will be announced in evening today. Analysts expect 1.44 percent growth in its dollar revenue.

Shares of Infosys, Reliance Industries, ITC, HDFC Bank, L&T, State Bank of India, TCS and Tata Motors were other gainers, up 0.3-1 percent.

However, Gail was the biggest loser in the Sensex, falling 2 percent followed by Dr Reddy's Labs, Hero Motocorp, Axis Bank, Cipla and NTPC with marginal losses.

Private oil & gas producer Cairn India was down nearly 7 percent after a 65 percent fall in bottomline during April-June quarter. Another concern was that the company has extended a loan of USD 1.25 billion (nearly Rs 7,500 crore) to its parent Vedanta for a two-year period as a part of the former's treasury operations.

On the earnings front, ACC gained 1 percent despite a 7 percent decline in profit at Rs 240 crore year-on-year in June quarter. Sequential improvement in operating profit on a per tonne basis (9 percent at Rs 712/tonne) was the positive factor along with 4 percent growth in sales volumes on yearly basis.

TVS Motor Company, the third largest two-wheeler maker, posted 39.3 percent year-on-year growth in profit as against 92.3 percent expected by street due to higher total expenses. The stock fell more than 6 percent.

In the broader space, Reliance Capital was up 4 percent and Max India gained 0.9 percent after the cabinet approved raising foreign direct investment (FDI) limit in insurance sector to 49 percent from 26 percent earlier.

Jaiprakash Power Ventures fell 7 percent after Abu Dabhi-based energy company, TAQA has withdrawn from the agreement to acquire company's two hydro power projects in Himachal Pradesh for Rs 10,500 crore.

Drug maker Ipca Laboratories plunged 13 percent after it stopped shipments from Ratlam unit (Madhya Pradesh) for the US market as it received certain inspection observations from USFDA.

Advancing shares outnumbered declining ones by a ratio of 1505 to 1455 on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

03:45 pm Unilever's result
Unilever missed second-quarter sales expectations on Thursday, citing a slowdown in emerging markets and declining prices in developed ones.

The Anglo-Dutch maker of Ben & Jerry's ice cream, Dove soap and Lipton tea said underlying sales - which exclude the impact of foreign exchange, acquisitions and disposals - rose 3.8 percent, below analysts' expectations of 4.3 percent.

"Overall there's a slowdown in Asia," Chief Financial Officer Jean-Marc Huet told Reuters, citing China and Vietnam in particular. "Russia has been difficult, you can imagine why."

For the first half of the year, core earnings per share rose 2 percent to 0.78 euros, handily beating analysts' estimates for a 2.6 percent decline.

But sales volume, measuring the amount of products sold, rose only 1.9 percent against the 2.4 percent gain forecast by analysts and 1.9 percent in the first quarter.

03:35 pm Market closing
The market has ended at record closing high after a volatile trading session. The Nifty closed above 7800 for first time ever, at 7830.60, up 34.85 points. The Sensex ended at record closing high of 26,271.85 up 124.52 points. About 1502 shares have advanced, 1456 shares declined, and 129 shares were unchanged.

Hindalco, Tata Steel, HUL, Wipro and ITC are top gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers were GAIL, Hero MotoCorp, Cipla, Dr Reddy's Labs and ICICI Bank.

03:20 pm DIPP: DIPP Secretary Amitabh Kant told CNBC-TV18 that the government remains committed to opening up the FDI regime, something that was announced in the Union Budget will shortly go to Cabinet with liberalised rules for FDI in defence, construction and railways.

Kant said the consultations are at a final stage and the Cabinet note is fully prepared and it is just a matter of time before final Cabinet approval will be sought as a formality.

He also said this government is committed to increasing manufacturing and bringing it to a growth rate of nearly 14-15 percent per annum and the government is taking various steps.

For example 55-60 percent of the items that have earlier been classified as defence have now been delicensed and deregulated which means that Indian manufacturers don't even need a licence now to manufacture all these defence items. There will also be 49 percent in defence via the automatic route that can also give a booster shot as far as defence is concerned.

03:10 pm  Bahrti's new licence: Telecom major Bharti Airtel today said it has been granted a 3G licence in Niger, paving the way for roll-out of the latest mobile technology in the country. "The license acquisition is also a significant indicator of Airtel's long-term commitment to provide revolutionary telecommunications services across Africa and in Niger.

"This will help accelerate the growth opportunities presented by 3G technology," Airtel Africa CEO Christian deFaria said in a statement. Airtel now has 3G licences in all its 17 African nationsand commercially operational in 15, with Niger and Chad in
progress.

02:55pm Midcap gainers and losers
Tata Sponge, Gabriel India, Goa Carbon, Financial Technologies, Tata Metaliks, Atul, NDTV and Phillips Carbon rallied 7-20 percent.

However, Ipca Labs, JP Power, Liberty Shoes, Sun TV, Voltas, Dewan Housing lost 3-12 percent.

02:45pm DHFL slips 3% despite strong profit
Dewan Housing Finance Corporation's, a housing finance company, April-June quarter (Q1FY15) net profit rose by 22.5 percent at Rs 147.2 crore against Rs 120 crore in the same quarter last fiscal.
 
Total Income jumped from Rs 1,107.4 crore to Rs 1,426.6 crore, Y-o-Y, a growth of 29 percent.

On the sequential basis, the company's net profit was up by 4 percent at Rs 147.2 and total income was up marginally at Rs 1,426.6 crore.

02:35pm Market Expert
"The index will move higher, over the next two years or so. We are well in a bull market but when I look at the index constituents besides the Nifty, 30 percent of it in defensive type sectors and share prices won't move up as much as they have done over the past few years. Therefore, the P/E will come down and it will be derated by the P/E coming down," said Andrew Holland, CEO, Ambit Investment Advisory.

02:25pm SBBJ rallies 2%
Public sector lender State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur (SBBJ) reported a 14.5 percent growth in standalone net profit at Rs 214.6 crore in the quarter ended June 2014 on account of lower operating expenses but the higher provisions and lower other income capped profitability. Profit in same quarter last year was Rs 187.5 crore.

Net interest income grew 13.5 percent to Rs 751.68 crore in April-June quarter from Rs 662.19 crore in corresponding quarter of last fiscal.

Asset quality improved significantly during the quarter with the gross non-performing assets (NPA) falling to 3.60 percent from 4.18 percent Q-o-Q and 3.88 percent Y-o-Y while net NPA slipped to 2.14 percent from 2.76 percent Q-o-Q and 2.27 percent Y-o-Y.

02:15pm Metal stocks shine
Tata Steel, Sesa Sterlite and Hindalco Industries gained 1-2 percent on account of China data.

02:10pm China PMI
China's factory activity expanded at its fastest pace in 18 months in July as new orders surged, a preliminary HSBC survey showed on Thursday, the latest indication that the economy is picking up as government stimulus measures kick in.

The HSBC/Markit Flash China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 52.0 in July from June's final reading of 50.7, beating a forecast of 51.0 in a Reuters poll.

It was the highest reading since January 2013, and above the 50-point level that separates growth in activity from contraction for the second consecutive month, reports Reuters.

02:00pm Equity benchmarks gained strength with the 50-share NSE Nifty rising 21.05 points to touch a record high of 7816.80 and the 30-share BSE Sensex advancing 82.44 points to 26229.77.

About 1439 shares have advanced, 1377 shares declined, and 122 shares are unchanged.

ACC, which has pan-India presence, missed street expectations with the second quarter (April-June quarter) net profit falling 7 percent at Rs 241 crore compared to Rs 259.1 crore in same quarter last fiscal on account of higher total expenses. The stock fell nearly 1 percent.

Two-wheeler maker TVS Motor dissapointed street with the first quarter net profit and revenue reporting at Rs 72.3 crore and Rs 2,305.4 crore as against CNBC-TV18 poll of Rs 100 crore and 2,336 crore. The stock plunged 4 percent after rising as much as 5 percent intraday.

2:00 pm Interview: The Cabinet today approved an amendment to the Insurance Bill, which increased the composite cap of foreign investment in the insurance sector to 49 percent from 26 percent.

The move was announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the Union Budget on July 10.

As per the legislation, total foreign ownership, including through the direct and portfolio route, will be capped at 49 percent, which means control in an insurance company would wrest in the hands of a local promoter.

''It's a good move and should help cash-starved companies raise capital,'' SBI Life MD and CEO Atanu Dey said. ''Many foreign joint venture partners should be looking to increase their stake.''

1:50 pm Result: ACC, which has pan-India presence, missed street expectations with the second quarter (April-June quarter) net profit falling 7 percent at Rs 241 crore compared to Rs 259.1 crore in same quarter last fiscal on account of higher total expenses.

Revenue grew 7.5 percent on yearly basis to Rs 3,059 crore (in line) during the quarter aided by higher volumes. Sales volumes increased to 6.35 million tonnes in June quarter from 6.12 million tonnes in the year-ago period.

"Demand for cement showed some improvement and the company's overall sales volumes during the quarter improved by 4 percent, as compared to the corresponding period of the previous year," said the company in its filing.

1:40 pm FII view:  Banking shares are unlikely to outperform the market from these levels, says Andrew Holland, CEO, Ambit Investment Advisory. In an interview with CNBC-TV18's Ekta Batra and Anuj Singhal, Holland says corporate earnings is not a big trigger for the market to move higher.

Holland prefers to bet on cyclicals, and sees the infrastructure sector improving over the next three years. He is bullish on stocks like Thermax and Alstom T&D. He sees Alstom getting re-rated and the stock doubling from current levels.

In the metals space, he is bullish on Hindalco and Tata Steel.  He sees Bharat Forge consolidating at these levels.Holland is not too worried about factors like fiscal deficit and deficient monsoon, and sees the Nifty steadily climbing over the next two years.

1:30 pm Market outlook: Focusing on the technicals of the trade, Abhijit Paul of Alphative Advisors said there has been a seven consecutive positive days for the Nifty Spot and ''the close to that 7800 mark seems like it is getting a little tired''.

He feels a mild correction is a bit healthy and said that from a very short-term view, Nifty support close to 7650-7680 holds well.

1:20 pm Buzzing: Shares of Jaiprakash Power Ventures fell as much as 7 percent intraday on Thursday after Abu Dabhi-based energy company, TAQA has withdrawn from the agreement to acquire company's two hydro power projects in Himachal Pradesh for Rs 10,500 crore.

This is seen as huge blow for JP Power, which is on a debt reduction spree. The company was looking to pare debt to the tune of nearly Rs 15,000 crore this year, with the help of this deal.

The 300MW of Baspa hydroelectric plant and 1000MW of Karcham plant are based in Himachal Pradesh.

''..TAQA India Power Ventures informing us that they will be withdrawing from the acquisition agreement dated 1 March 2014 entered into between JP Power and TAQA. They have also stated that they have been constrained to take the said decision as a result of a change in the business strategy and priorities of their group," said Jaiprakash Power in its filing.

The market is consolidating after touching record highs yesterday. The Sensex is down 14.66 points at 26132.67 and the Nifty is down 6.20 points at 7789.55. About 1334 shares have advanced, 1371 shares declined, and 112 shares are unchanged.

Hindalco, Tata Steel, Sesa Sterlite, BHEL and HUL are top gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers are GAIL, Dr Reddy's Labs, Hero Motocorp and HDFC.

Insurance stocks are gaining in trade as the cabinet approves amendment to Insurance Laws Bill giving its nod to raising FDI cap in insurance to 49 percent from 26 percent earlier. It has also approved amendment to SEBI Act.

It's an important day on the earnings calender as cement majors ACC and Ambuja report April-June quarter earnings. ACC is expected to post a muted 6.5 percent growth in the bottomline owing to a 200 basis point fall in margins. Meanwhile, Ambuja cements may see margin improvement leading to an 18 percent rise in profits.

Gold futures fell 0.42 per cent to Rs 27,764 per 10 grams today as speculators trimmed positions, tracking weak global trend.

01:00pm Ambuja Cements gains further ahead of earnings
According to CNBC-TV18 poll estimates, analysts expect profit after tax of Ambuja Cements to increase 18 percent year-on-year to Rs 384 crore on revenue of Rs 2,609 crore (up 10 percent compared to a year ago period for the quarter.

Operating profit is likely to rise 13 percent to Rs 590 crore from Rs 523 crore and margin may expand by 60 basis points on yearly basis to 22.6 percent in the quarter gone by.

12:50pm HUL in focus
Unilever missed second-quarter sales estimates, citing a slowdown in emerging markets and continuing malaise in developed markets.

The Anglo-Dutch maker of Ben & Jerry's ice cream, Dove soap and Lipton tea said underlying sales - which exclude the impact of foreign exchange, acquisitions and disposals - rose 3.8 percent, compared to analysts' expectations of 4.3 percent.

"Overall there's a slowdown in Asia," Chief Financial Officer Jean-Marc Huet told Reuters, citing China and Vietnam in particular. "Russia has been difficult, you can imagine why."

The global markets in which Unilever operates are now growing at about 2.5 percent, Huet said, down from about 3 percent at the start of the year, reports Reuters.

02:40pm Ipca Labs on sellers' radar
Ipca said during the recent USFDA inspection at the company's active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) manufacturing facility situated at Ratlam (Madhya Pradesh), the company has received certain inspection observations in Form 483 from the USFDA.

Consequent to this, it has voluntarily decided to temporarily suspend API shipments from this manufacturing facility for the US markets till this issue is addressed. This stoppage will also have impact on company's formulation export business to the US market.

12:30pm TVS Motor strong ahead of Q1 earnings
Analysts expect a positive surprise in earnings with the bottomline doubling year-on-year on account of robust volume growth during the quarter.

According to CNBC-TV18 poll estimates, analysts expect profit after tax of India's third largest two-wheeler maker TVS Motor Company to surge 93 percent year-on-year to Rs 100 crore on revenue of Rs 2,336 crore (up 33 percent compared to Q1FY14) in the quarter ended June 2014.

Operating profit (EBITDA) is likely to increase 68 percent on yearly basis to Rs 165 crore and margin may expand 140 basis points to 7 percent compared to same quarter last fiscal. Sequential growth in margin may be 50 basis points on account of better operating leverage, higher exports and superior product mix.

12:20pm Interview
Software services provider Geometric posted a consolidated net profit of Rs 19.2 crore in the first quarter, up 24.6 percent from Rs 15.4 crore in the year-ago period. The net profit, on a sequential basis, jumped 185.7 percent from Rs 6.72 crore.

Even the consolidated revenue grew 3.3 percent to Rs 268.85 crore from Rs 260.27 crore on a year-on-year basis, however, it fell 1.6 percent from Rs 273.36 crore Q-o-Q.

In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Manu Parpia, MD & CEO, Geometric Limited, said the company has guided that they want to match the NASSCOM target (13-15 percent) for the year.

He said one of the reasons for improvement in total margins is the other income, where they done forward cover in the past. ''We do not have any old forward covers left. Second, the operational efficiency is coming through and third is the return to growth, which is also having a positive impact,'' he added.

12:10pm JP Power in focus
Abu Dabhi energy company, TAQA has withdrawn from the agreement to acquire Jaiprakash Power Ventures' two projects, which it had agreed to buy for Rs 10,500 crore. This is seen as huge blow for JP Power, which is on a debt reduction spree.

These two hydropower plants are based in Himachal Pradesh.

''...TAQA informing us that they will be withdrawing from the acquisition transactions as defined in the acquisition agreement dated 1 March 2014 entered into between JP Power and Taqa. They have also stated that they have been constrained to take the said decision as a result of a change in the business strategy and priorities of their group,'' Jaiprakash Power said in a filing to BSE.

12:00pm Equity benchmarks remained lacklustre in noon trade after rallying for previous six consecutive sessions. The Sensex slipped 22.35 points to 26124.98 and the Nifty declined 7.85 points to 7787.90.

About 1344 shares have advanced, 1256 shares declined, and 110 shares are unchanged.

Cairn India was the prominent loser in the Nifty, down 5.43 percent post disappointing earnings in Q1FY15. Gail, Dr Reddy's Labs, Tata Motors, Power Grid Corporation, Cipla and Hero Motocorp lost 0.8-2 percent.

However, Tata Steel, Hindalco Industries, Sesa Sterlite, Mahindra & Mahindra, BHEL, Bank of Baroda and HCL Technologies rallied 1-2 percent.

Among midcaps, Cholamandalam, AIA Engineering, Edelweiss Financial, TVS Motor and 3M India gained 4-7 percent while Ipca Labs, Alembic Pharma, Apollo Tyres, Essar Ports and Alstom T&D lost 3-7 percent.

11:55 am Buzzing: Shares of Ipca labs plunged 10 percent intraday as it has temporarily suspended shipments to the United States from one of its drug ingredient manufacturing plants after the US Food and Drug Administration expressed concerns regarding the unit.

The shipment halt from the company's Ratlam manufacturing facility located in Madhya Pradesh will also impact Ipca's US drug exports from its Silvassa and Indore plants, where the company makes drugs using ingredients from its Ratlam plant, Ipca said in a statement on Thursday.

Ipca said the FDA issued it a so-called "Form 483," a letter in which the agency typically outlines concerns discovered during inspections.

11:45 am Result poll: ACC, one of the largest cement companies in India, will announce its second quarter (April-June) earnings today. According to CNBC-TV18 poll estimates, analysts expect profit after tax and revenue of the company, which has pan-India presence, to grow 6.5 percent each on yearly basis to Rs 276 crore and Rs 3,035 crore, respectively.

However, operating profit (EBITDA) is likely to fall 6.1 percent year-on-year to Rs 460 crore in the quarter ended June 2014 and margin may decline 200 basis points to 15.2 percent from 17.2 percent during the same period due to moderate realisation growth. The company follows January-December (calendar year) as its financial year.

11:40 am Alert: JP Power is in focus as Abu Dabhi energy company, TAQA has withdrawn from acquiring its projects, which it had agreed to buy for Rs 10,500 crore.

11:30 amGuest Editor special: Market is in good shape, and has headed up fairly consistently, says Aditya Narain of Citi Group who is guest editor at CNBC-TV18 for the day. Narain said the stock prices indicate that bottom has moved up with the downside capped at 5-7 percent. Going ahead, the nature of growth will be fairly broad based; both for the economy as well as stocks, the guest editor said.

He advises investors to be little patient and not get perturbed by occasional consolidation phases. ''Last 10 days have been really good, and we may see moderate returns in next one year'' Citi has a year-end target for Sensex at 26300 and sees FY15 earnings growth at 9 percent and that for FY16 at 16 percent.

11:20 am Houseview: Investors are buying shares of YES Bank (up 2 percent intraday on Thursday) despite its April-June quarter results missing forecast. Its Q1 net profit rose 9.7 percent on yearly basis to Rs 439.5 crore despite fall in provisions. Lower other income and higher operating expenses impacted bottomline.

Credit Suisse maintains outperform rating on the stock with a target of Rs 663 per share. It is expecting loan growth to remain strong post capital raise. The bank raised Rs 2,942.1 crore via qualified institutional placement (QIP) in early June. However, JP Morgan is underweight on the stock but increased target to Rs 475 per share reasoning that growth challenges may persist unless the macro conditions for growth and rates improve.

The market is range bound with the Sensex down 16.25 points at 26131.08. The Nifty is down 5.45 points at 7790.30. About 1299 shares have advanced, 1104 shares declined, and 101 shares are unchanged.

GAIL, Dr Reddy's Labs, Bajaj Auto, Cipla and Hero MotoCorp are top losers in the Sensex. Among the gainers are Tata Steel, Hindalco, BHEL, M&M and Tata Power. Shares in steel makers surge after a surprisingly strong reading on Chinese manufacturing.

Shares of Max India and Reliance Capital rallied 5 percent intraday after the cabinet has approved amendment to Insurance Laws Bill. The cabinet has approved raising foreign direct investment (FDI) limit in insurance sector to 49 percent from 26 percent earlier. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his maiden Union Budget 2014 had proposed to hike FDI in insurance.

Gold was holding its ground above USD 1,300 an ounce on Thursday as violence deepened in the Middle East over the Gaza strip and as holdings in the top bullion-backed fund rose on safe-haven bids.

Spot gold was little changed at USD 1,304.01 an ounce by 0013 GMT, after dipping 0.2 percent in the previous session. US gold was also flat at USD 1,304.80. Gaza fighting raged on Wednesday, displacing thousands more Palestinians in the battered territory as US Secretary of State John Kerry said efforts to secure a truce between Israel and Hamas had made some progress.

11:00am FII View
Market is in good shape, and has headed up fairly consistently, says Aditya Narain of Citi Group.

Narain said the stock prices indicate that bottom has moved up with the downside capped at 5-7 percent. Going ahead, the nature of growth will be fairly broad based; both for the economy as well as stocks, the guest editor said.

He advises investors to be little patient and not get perturbed by occasional consolidation phases. ''Last 10 days have been really good, and we may see moderate returns in next one year''  Citi has a year-end target for Sensex at 26300 and sees FY15 earnings growth at 9 percent and that for FY16 at 16 percent.

10:50am Earnings Expectations
Wipro, one of the largest IT companies in India, will declare its first quarter (April-June) earnings today. The software services exporter is unlikely to beat its closest peers Infosys and TCS in terms of dollar revenue (of IT services).

According to CNBC-TV18 poll estimates, analysts expect dollar revenue to grow 1.44 percent sequentially to USD 1745 million in the quarter ended June 2014 as against growth of 2 percent and 5.5 percent reported by peers Infosys and TCS, respectively. Wipro (after Q4FY14 numbers) had estimated dollar revenue in the range of USD 1715-1755 million (-0.3 to 2 percent) for June quarter.

Rupee revenue may rise 0.8 percent to Rs 10,699 crore in first quarter from Rs 10,619 crore in previous quarter. However, earnings before interest and tax is expected to fall by 8.3 percent sequentially to Rs 2,390 crore and margin may decline to 22.33 percent in the quarter ended June 2014 compared to 24.5 percent in March quarter impacted by wage hike, rupee appreciation and visa cost.

10:40am Insurance Bill
Cabinet approved raising FDI cap in insurance to 49 percent from 26 percent earlier. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had proposed to hike FDI cap in insurance in Union Budget on July 10.

Reliance Capital and Max India rallied 2 percent each.

10:30am Japan exports
Japan's exports unexpectedly fell in June for a second straight month, weighed down by a drop in shipments to Asia and the United States, signalling that weak external demand may require bolder domestic policies to sustain the recovery.

Exports fell 2.0 percent in June from a year earlier, compared with a 1.0 percent increase expected by economists in a Reuters poll, data from the Ministry of Finance showed on Thursday.

That followed a 2.7 percent decline in the prior month, which was the first annual drop in 15 months.

Sluggish exports, a weak spot in the world's third largest economy, have been a concern for policymakers who hoped that a recovery in external demand would help offset the pain from the April sales tax hike to 8 percent from 5 percent, reports Reuters.

10:20am Interview
Polaris reported a 15.6 percent decline in its first quarter consolidated net profit to Rs 38.3 crore against Rs 45.4 crore on a quarter-on-quarter basis. Even the consolidated revenues dipped 7 percent to Rs 600 crore (Q-o-Q).

In an interview to CNBC-TV18, CMD, Arun Jain said the company is cautiously optimistic on margins and expects growth to improve significantly second quarter onwards. He sees revenues and margins in the next three quarters to be better than Q1.

Jain expects an EPS of Rs 20 for the services business and feels the products business should see a growth of 15-20 percent Y-o-Y.

10:10am Market Expert
Independent market expert Ambareesh Baliga suggests booking profits at the moment despite Nifty touching all-time highs by hitting 7809 intra-day. According to him, the valuations are quite expensive right now and it is best to book some profits.

''When you have a crack, it could be much deeper than what I thought earlier,'' Baliga cautions.

The deep crack will pull the market down by nearly 300-400 points but not below 7400, he adds.

10:00am Equity benchmarks continued to consolidate with a negative bias. The Sensex fell 21.20 points to 26126.13 and the Nifty lost 11.90 points to 7783.85. About 952 shares have advanced, 893 shares declined, and 72 shares are unchanged.

Cairn India topped the selling list in Nifty, down 4.5 percent after its first quarter bottomline dropped 64 percent on sequential basis due to change in depreciation policy. Cairn agreed to lend USD 1.25 billion to a Vedanta group company for two years at Libor+300 basis points, raising concerns of adequate cash utilisation. CLSA maintains underperform rating on the stock and cut target price to Rs 360.

Ipca Labs plunged 9 percent after it stopped shipments from Ratlam unit for the US market as it received certain inspection observations from USFDA. This stoppage will impact formulation export business to US market.

TVS Motor gained 4 percent ahead of its April-June quarter earnings. Analysts expect revenue rising 33 percent to Rs 2,336 crore and margin to expand 140 basis points while PAT is expected to nearly double to Rs 100 crore on yearly basis.

Geometric gained over a percent on good set of earnings with a dollar revenue growth of 1.5 percent and margin improvement to 17.3 percent versus 10.4 percent Q-o-Q.

9:50 am Chinese data: China's factory activity expanded at its fastest pace in 18 months in July as new orders surged, a preliminary HSBC survey showed on Thursday, the latest indication that the economy is picking up as government stimulus measures kick in.

The HSBC/Markit Flash China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 52.0 in July from June's final reading of 50.7, beating a forecast of 51.0 in a Reuters poll. It was the highest reading since January 2013, and above the 50-point level that separates growth in activity from contraction for the second consecutive month.

9:40 am Buzzing: Cairn India is down 4 percent as the Anil Agarwal-led Vedanta Resources group company reported a massive fall of 65 percent in consolidated net profit at Rs 1,092.9 crore in April-June quarter compared to Rs 3,127.23 crore in same quarter last fiscal due to change in method of depreciation from straight line method to unit of production and weak operational performance. The sequential fall in bottomline was 64 percent. Exceptional cost on account of change in depreciation method was Rs 1,627.4 crore during the quarter.

Total income from operations grew 10.3 percent (down 11.2 percent quarter-on-quarter) to Rs 4,482.8 crore from Rs 4,062.93 crore on year-on-year basis, which was slightly better than analysts' expectations of Rs 4,600 crore on account of higher volumes and realisations despite higher profit petroleum tranche in Rajasthan. Revenue was after the profit sharing with the Government of India and royalty expenses in the Rajasthan block. Royalty for Rajasthan block was Rs 1,069 crore during the quarter.

9:30 am Poll: Wipro, one of the largest IT companies in India, will declare its first quarter (April-June) earnings on Thursday. The software services exporter is unlikely to beat its closest peers Infosys and TCS in terms of dollar revenue (of IT services).

According to CNBC-TV18 poll estimates, analysts expect dollar revenue to grow 1.44 percent sequentially to USD 1745 million in the quarter ended June 2014 as against growth of 2 percent and 5.5 percent reported by peers Infosys and TCS, respectively. Wipro (after Q4FY14 numbers) had estimated dollar revenue in the range of USD 1715-1755 million (-0.3 to 2 percent) for June quarter. Rupee revenue may rise 0.8 percent to Rs 10,699 crore in first quarter from Rs 10,619 crore in previous quarter.

The market is flat with negative bias. The Sensex is down 32.87 points at 26114.46 and the Nifty is down 10.95 points at 7784.80. About 443 shares have advanced, 355 shares declined, and 41 shares are unchanged.

Wipro, Sun Pharma, Bajaj Auto, HUL and TCS are top gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers are Bharti, Sesa Sterlite, Reliance, L&T and GAIL.

The Indian rupee opened marginally higher at 60 per dollar versus 60.09 Wednesday. The dollar rises to eight month highs versus the euro as worries over tougher sanctions on Russia and their potential impact on euro zone weighed on euro.

Mohan Shenoi of Kotak Mahindra Bank said, ''In the absence of any major triggers and with RBI absorbing FII inflows, the rupee is expected to trade in a narrow range of 60-60.25/dollar today.''

Asian stocks inched up as Japanese exports unexpectedly dropped 2 percent on year, down for a second straight month. Imports rose 8.4 percent, in line with estimates but deficit widened to USD 8.1 billion. Kospi's advanced estimate of second-quarter GDP came in at 0.6 percent from the previous quarter which is its slowest pace in more than a year. Key manufacturing data from China is awaited.

US stocks close mixed, with the S&P 500 finished at a record for the 26th time this year, as investors weighed earnings from companies including Boeing and Apple. However Dow Jones closed marginally in the red.

European shares closed higher amid corporate earnings news and ongoing turmoil in Gaza and Ukraine. Glaxo Smithkline's shares tumbled as much as 5.5 percent after it reported disappointing sales results for the first half of 2014. Sales were hit by a high-profile corruption investigation in china, tougher pricing on its top-selling asthma drug and the strength of sterling.