Spooky global cues: Sensex sheds 243 points, Nifty below 7700

03:40 pm Cognizant results
IT services provider Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp reported a 16.5 percent rise in quarterly revenue, helped by higher IT spending in North America and Europe.

The company's net income in the second quarter ended June 30 rose to USD 371.9 million, or 61 cents per share, from USD 300.4 million, or 49 cents pershare, a year ago.

Revenue rose to USD 2.52 billion from USD 2.16 billion a year earlier.

03:30 pm Market closing
Global markets weighed on Indian investors' sentiments. The Sensex was down 242.74 points or 0.9 percent at 25665.27 and the Nifty slipped 74.50 points or 0.96 percent at 7672.05. About 1496 shares have advanced, 1479 shares declined, and 116 shares are unchanged.

Infosys, M&M, Reliance, BHEL and HUL are top gainers while ITC, ICICI Bank, Sesa Sterlite, Axis Bank and Bharti were among major losers in the Sensex.

03:20 pm Rajan's reaction to RBI moves
A day after he lowered SLR, the mandatory government bond holding requirements for banks, Reserve Bank Governor Raghuram Rajan today said RBI is all for reducing "pre-emptions" over a longer horizon for more efficiency in the financial system.

"The broader, longer term programme of five years, is that we should reduce the amount of pre-emptions we have in the system including SLR and make a more effective priority sector lending (PSL) process," Rajan said during the customary post-policy call with analysts.

Rajan drew attention towards the Nachiket Mor committee on PSL and said that the RBI is trying to make the entire process more effective.

03:10 pm Sebi order
Clamping down on an illegal scheme assuring high returns to investors for investment in land, Sebi has barred HNC Infrastructures & Shares India and its directors from raising any funds from public as well as from floating any new schemes.

Based on its preliminary findings into the scheme by HNC Infrastructures, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) found that the Madhya Pradesh-based company was running a 'collective investment scheme' (CIS) without requisite approvals and registration from the market regulator.

03:00 pm Metals melt
Prices of zinc and copper fell by Rs 2 per kg at the local non-ferrous metals market today on bearish global trend amid subdued demand from consuming industries. Traders said sentiments remained weak after zinc declined in the overseas markets on speculation that the dollar's strength will slow demand for the metal and an increase in stockpiles.

02:50 pm Waves of global crisis
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said on Wednesday the threat of a direct intervention by Russia's military in Ukraine has risen over the last couple of days.

"We have reasons to suspect - we have been receiving such information in the last several hours - that the risk of a direct intervention (by Russia's military in Ukraine) is for sure higher than it was several days ago," Tusk told a news conference.

Russia has been conducting exercises near the border with Ukraine, raising concerns on the ground and in a number of Western capitals.

Moscow has also called an emergency meeting of the United Nations' Security Council over what it described as a "humanitarian situation" in Ukraine.

02:40pm Europe Check
European markets extended losses on disappointing GDP data from Italy. Italy MIB index declined over 2 percent as country fell into recession with the Q2 GDP stood at negative 0.2 percent sequentially as against expectation of 0.2 percent.

France's CAC, Germany's DAX and Britain's FTSE dropped 1-1.5 percent. Nervous investors took refuge in high-rated bonds on reports of a build-up of Russian troops near the border with Ukraine.

The euro came under pressure, trading at nine-month low against the dollar amid threats of retaliatory Russian sanctions against the European Union, and signs the crisis in Ukraine was hitting Europe's biggest economy Germany.

German industrial orders slid in June at their steepest rate since September 2011, with the economy ministry saying geopolitical tensions had probably led to more cautious ordering.

02:30pm Rupee expert
The rupee is trading at multi-month low and has been among the worst performers in the Asian currencies on Wednesday. It fell to 61.33/34 after hitting 61.41, its lowest since March 14 and weaker than its 60.8450/8550 close on Tuesday.

Talking about the currency movement, A Prasanna, Chief Economist at I-Sec PD, says the weakness has been coming out of global concerns, and may not be ''anything specific with rupee or India''.

''There are geopolitical concerns but also in the backdrop there are jitters in the market that the Fed might be closer to warning the market about the first rate hike. So, in that context you would see dollar strengthening across most of the currencies. I do not think rupee can be immune to that,'' he said, adding that as far as the broader trading range is concerned, ''our range would be 60-62/USD''. In case the volatility increases, he feels the RBI will also step in and ensure that it is settled.

02:20pm Apollo Tyres on sellers' radar
Apollo Tyres, one of the largest tyre manufacturers in India, met street expectations on bottomline and topline front, but disappointed with operational performance. Net profit of the tyre maker grew by 37.4 percent to Rs 228 crore in the quarter ended June 2014 aided by other income. Profit in the year-ago period was Rs 165.9 crore.

Operating profit (EBITDA) in Q1FY15 grew by 40.8 percent to Rs 428 crore and margin expanded by 90 basis points to 13.2 percent compared to corresponding quarter of last fiscal, which were lower than analysts' estimates of Rs 445 crore and 13.8 percent, respectively due to lower operational performance at South African and European subsidiaries.

02:10pm IDBI Bank under pressure
Public sector lender IDBI Bank's net profit in April-June (Q1FY15) quarter plunged 66 percent to Rs 105 crore on account of lower other income and net interest income but supported by lower provisions. Profit in the year-ago period was Rs 307 crore.

Net interest income, the difference between interest earned and interest expended, slipped 15.3 percent on yearly basis to Rs 1,249.5 crore during the quarter while other income (non-interest income) dropped 30 percent year-on-year (down 56.5 percent sequentially) to Rs 500 crore in the quarter ended June 2014.

02:00pm The market remained in negative terrain in last hour of trade weighed down by banks, metals, healthcare and select auto stocks. The Sensex dropped 203.31 points to 25704.70 and the Nifty plunged 63.20 points to 7683.35.

About 1481 shares have advanced, 1401 shares declined, and 108 shares are unchanged.

Shares of ICICI Bank, ITC, Tata Motors, ONGC, Axis Bank, Tata Steel, Hindalco Industries, Bharti Airtel and Sesa Sterlite plunged 2-2.5 percent followed by HDFC Bank, HDFC, TCS, State Bank of India, Sun Pharma, Maruti Suzuki and Cipla with over a percent.

However, Infosys bucked the trend, rising 2 percent as reports suggest that three ex-Infoscions led by Mohandas Pai and V Balakrishnan wrote a letter to the board urging them to consider a buyback which can infuse confidence in the stock.

Shares of Reliance Industries, Mahindra and Mahindra, BHEL and Hindustan Unilever gained 0.2-1 percent.

2:00 pm Deadlock? There is no end to the deadlock between the government and the opposition parties on the Insurance Bill. Even as the Centre is buying more time over the issue, an all-party meeting scheduled for Wednesday has been scrapped.

According to sources, the government is expected to take a final call on the issue. Sources also say that separate consultations are on with leaders from all political parties. Opposition parties want the Bill referred to a Select Committee. The Congress has claimed that it has the support of the AIADMK along with other parties who are opposed to certain clauses in the Bill.

1:50 pm Cotton price: A sharp drop in cotton prices overseas and a weak monsoon have aised India's imports in recent weeks, which could lift shipments more than 25 percent above the official forecast for this season ending September and help support cotton futures.

Cotton sowing in India, the world's second-largest producer and exporter of the fibre, has been delayed this year due to erratic monsoon rains, raising concerns about production.

Mills in the coastal textile hubs of southern India buy cotton from Africa due to lower freight costs and are bringing in shiploads now as benchmark prices fell to a five-year low on Aug. 1 because of the prospect of ample global supply.

Worldwide inventories could swell to a record of nearly 106 million 480-lb bales by the end of the US crop year ending July 2015, helped by a surge in output in the United States, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

1:40 pm Results: Amara Raja Batteries, one of the largest manufacturers of lead acid batteries for both industrial and automotive applications, beat street expectations by reporting a 8.3 percent growth in profit after tax at Rs 106 crore in April-June quarter of current financial year 2014-15 driven by higher sales growth despite higher depreciation cost. Profit in the year-ago period was Rs 97.8 crore.

According to CNBC-TV18 poll estimates, analysts had expected the company to report net profit of Rs 102.7 crore on revenue of Rs 980 crore for the quarter.

Revenue during the quarter increased by 15 percent to Rs 1,029 crore compared to Rs 893.7 crore in corresponding quarter of last fiscal.

1:30 pm Bet on India: Glenn Maguire, Chief Economist (Asia Pacific) at ANZ says the view on India is quite favourable right now with the country is showing higher growth potential than China currently. He says India is benefiting from the recent hard measures taken by the government, like on diesel pricing, which a lot of other countries are still grappling with.

"Compared to China, and the enormous problems with its financial system, the relative outlook for India is quite constructive," he told CNBC-TV18's Sonia Shenoy and Latha Venkatesh.
Maguire also voiced his support to yesterday's RBI monetary policy. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Raghuram Rajan chose to stick to the script on Tuesday, keeping key policy rates unchanged, but warned about inflationary risks should a shortfall in monsoon rains spark a surge in food prices.

1:20 pm LIC stake buy: Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) is looking at equity investments of around Rs 60,000 crore for 2014-15. Speaking to a news channel, chairman SK Roy said the government-run issuer is positive on Indian stocks. "I see further upside for market in FY15," Roy told the channel.

Roy says LIC's overall investments in 2014-15, including outside of equities, may cross Rs 3 lakh crore. Moreover, he does not see the impact of poor monsoon on the economy.

''I think the RBI holding rates is positive for markets,'' he said.

The Sensex is down 90.85 points at 25817.16 and the Nifty is down 30.10 points at 7716.45. About 1544 shares have advanced, 1181 shares declined, and 109 shares are unchanged.

HUL makes a life time high, touching a record high of Rs 731. The stock has rallied 24 percent in 2014. Analysts say HUL remains among the best plays on the urban consumer recovery.

 Infosys, BHEL, HUL, Reliance, M&M are top gainers in the Sensex. Amogn the losers are Tata Motors, ICICI Bank, ONGC, Bharti and ITC.

Rupee falls to over four month lows, in-line with global dollar strength and weakness in emerging market currencies. Good dollar buying was seen from foreign banks likely on behalf of clients looking to exit their equity and debt investments in India.

Brent crude rose towards USD 105 a barrel, bouncing off a nine-month low hit in the previous session after industry data showed a large drop in U.S. crude stocks last week.

The rebound came after oil prices tumbled on Tuesday as investors grew increasingly nervous about weak seasonal demand and poor refinery margins in a well-supplied global market.

01:00pm Economist on India
Glenn Maguire, Chief Economist (Asia Pacific) at ANZ says the view on India is quite favourable right now with the country is showing higher growth potential than China currently. He says India is benefiting from the recent hard measures taken by the government, like on diesel pricing, which a lot of other countries are still grappling with.

"Compared to China, and the enormous problems with its financial system, the relative outlook for India is quite constructive," he told CNBC-TV18.

12:50pm Suven Life in demand
Suven Life Sciences announces today that the grant of one product patent from Australia and one product patent from Eurasia corresponding to the new chemical entities (NCEs) for the treatment of disorders associated with neurodegenerative diseases and these patents are valid through 2030 and 2029 respectively.

The granted claims of the patents include the class of selective 5-HT compounds discovered by Suven and are being developed as therapeutic agents and are useful in the treatment of cognitive impairment associated with neurodegenerative disorders like alzheimer's disease, attention deficient hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), huntington's disease, parkinson and schizophrenia. The stock gained nearly 3 percent.

12:40pm Market Check
Equity benchmarks extended losses in afternoon trade with the Sensex losing 158.34 points to 25749.67 and the Nifty falling 49.50 points to 7697.05.

Shriram Transport, Force Motors, Jammu and Kashmir Bank, Infosys, Wockhardt, Reliance Industries, Larsen and Toubro, ICICI Bank, and HDFC are most active shares on exchanges.

12:30pm Macquarie on oil retailers
Macquarie says oil marketing companies (oil retailers) headed into "a sweet spot." Oil retailers will benefit from falling diesel subsidy burden and rebounding gross refining margins.

Competition from private players is also a year away, Macquarie estimates.

Brokerage upgrades Hindustan Petroleum Corporation to outperform from neutral and Indian Oil Corporation to neutral from underperform while it maintains outperform on Bharat Petroleum Corporation, reports Reuters.

12:20pm Sanofi India in news
Sanofi India today has entered into a marketing and distribution agreement with Emcure Pharmaceuticals for its oncology portfolio in India.

As per the agreement, while Sanofi will continue to own its oncology range (comprising four brands namely Taxotere, Jevtana, Fludara and Fasturtec), Emcure will market and distribute these brands through its specialty unit.

"Realising that managing the complexities of cancer necessitates the availability of a wide range of products and supporting therapies, we found that combining our efforts and product range with that of Emcure Oncology, makes immense sense for both companies," said Shailesh Ayyangar, vice president - South Asia and Managing Director - Sanofi India Limited and Sanofi – Synthelabo (India).

Sanofi will continue to provide strong scientific and medical support to Emcure's already well-established and fast growing Oncology business, he added.

12:10pm FII View
Apart for profit booking, Shane Oliver head investment strategy & chief economist, AMP Capital Investors said the geopolitical issues, Russia-Ukraine and worries of Fed have also impacted the market.

"My feeling is in the very short-term, the risk is still on the downside but I wouldn't look at markets falling a lot further from here. Then we see markets rebounding and breaking out to new highs and that includes for the Indian share market. I think as confidence returns again, investors realise that the world is not coming to an end, and the global growth is continuing to improve and also the global monetary environment is incredibly supportive then I think that the strength in Indian share market will return," he elaborated.

12:00pm Equity benchmarks continued to see marginal selling pressure in noon trade with the Sensex falling 71.08 points to 25836.93 and the Nifty losing 25.60 points to 7720.95.

About 1523 shares have advanced, 1054 shares declined, and 111 shares are unchanged.

Top lenders State Bank of India and ICICI Bank dropped 1-2 percent while rivals HDFC Bank and Axis Bank slipped 0.4 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively. Commercial vehicle maker Tata Motors and top telecom operator Bharti Airtel went down 2 percent each.

Cigarette major ITC, state-run ONGC and drug maker Sun Pharma slipped 1 percent each. Metals stocks like Sesa Sterlite, Hindalco Industries and Tata Steel lost 0.5-1.4 percent.

Cement stocks like Grasim Industries, Ambuja Cements, UltraTech Cement and ACC fell 1-2 percent on profit booking after rising 4-5 percent in previous trading session.

However, shares of Infosys, Reliance Industries, HDFC, L&T, HUL, BHEL, Mahindra and Mahindra, and Coal India bucked the trend, up 0.5-2 percent.

11:50 am Buzzing: Healthcare firm Sanofi India gained nearly 2 percent after it has entered into a marketing and distribution agreement with Emcure Pharmaceuticals for its oncology portfolio in India.

As per the agreement, while Sanofi will continue to own its oncology range (comprising four brands namely Taxotere, Jevtana, Fludara and Fasturtec), Emcure will market and distribute these brands through its specialty unit.

"Realising that managing the complexities of cancer necessitates the availability of a wide range of products and supporting therapies, we found that combining our efforts and product range with that of Emcure Oncology, makes immense sense for both companies," said Shailesh Ayyangar, vice president - South Asia and Managing Director - Sanofi India Limited and Sanofi – Synthelabo (India).

11:40 am Market outlook: Amit Khurana, Co- Head Equites & Head of Research, Dolat Capital Market believes India will outperform on a structural basis and see interest come in at lower levels both for the market and specific stocks.

The house is upbeat on PSU banks and cyclicals. PSU Banks will have much better earnings momentum in the second half, says Khurana.

11:30 am Rajan meets analysts: A day after the Reserve Bank of India left rates unchanged, it assured that interest rate moves will be guided more by domestic factors than external ones. Speaking to analyts at a conference call, RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan said the central bank does not manage liquidity through foreign exchange markets. It is not a long term tool that RBI relies on, but is viewed as an opportunity tool that sometimes RBI uses. Rajan is open to increasing the foreign debt limits, should the existing limits fill up.

11:20 am Houseviews: Citi maintains sell rating on Hero due to increasing competitive intensity. It reasons that excise duty impact at Haridwar, higher freight expenses due to elevated diesel prices and slightly higher ad spending and royalty on new models dented Q1 earnings.

Detsche Bank, too, suggests to sell it with a target price of Rs 1950. "The 30 percent EPS growth in FY15 is driven by the termination of the lump sum royalty payment to Honda. Market share gains and margin improvement are key risks," it says.

Bank of America Merill Lynch has reduced forescasts, retaining target price at Rs 2685 per share. Although it has slashed forecasts, it believes there is upside risk to our estimates if the tax anomaly is removed, due to increased cost savings. The brokerage expects growth momentum to sustain, further aided by upcoming launches and enhanced scooter capacity. 
 
The market seems to be sulking without any major trigger to uplift sentiments. The Sensex is down 43.63 points at 25864.38 and the Nifty slips 16.45 points at 7730.10. About 1459 shares have advanced, 866 shares declined, and 96 shares are unchanged.

BHEL, Infosys, L&T, HUL and Coal India are top gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers are Tata Motors, ICICI Bank, Bharti Airtel and Sun Pharma.

Crude oil futures rose 0.66 percent to Rs 5,987 per barrel today as speculators created positions amid a firm trend in Asia. Marketmen said the rise in crude oil futures was largely in tandem with a firming trend in Asian trade on bargain-hunting, but gains were capped by concerns about tepid demand in the US.

Brent crude gained 31 cents to USD 104.92 a barrel in mid-morning trade on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

10:50am Bata India under pressure
Footwear firm Bata India reported 4.14 percent decline in standalone net profit at Rs 59.37 crore for the second quarter ended June 30, 2014 as against Rs 61.94 crore in the same period last year.

Net sales rose by 8.64 percent to Rs 621.58 crore in June quarter from Rs 572.13 crore in the corresponding period a year ago.

Commenting on the results, Bata India's Group managing director Rajeev Gopalakrishnan said: "The aggressive retail expansion and renovation of stores, aspirational designs and addition of a wider range of accessories like bags, sunglasses, belts to our product portfolio, the expectation is to increase this growth momentum on the back of increase in consumer confidence level as we move through the year." The stock fell nearly a percent.

10:40am Interview
The state-owned hydel power producer NHPC reported a 14 percent decline in net profit at Rs 616.03 crore in the three months ended June, mainly on account of higher finance costs. Net profit for the company came in at of Rs 719.26 crore.

The total generation capacity for the company stood at 4987 Mega Watts (MW). The first quarter saw a 17 percent increase in generation units on a year-on-year basis, said ABL Srivastava, Director-Finance NHPC.

The overall generation was aided by higher water levels, he said.

Srivastava said the company has taken up commissioning issues of Subhansari, Parbati plants with the power minister and is hopeful of comissioning the first unit of Parbati II by December, 2015.

10:30am Hero Motocorp remains under pressure
India's largest two-wheeler maker Hero Motocorp missed street expectations on all parameter with the standalone net profit growing 2.6 percent to Rs 563 crore in the quarter ended June 2014 from Rs 548.5 crore in the year-ago period impacted by weak operational performance.

According to CNBC-TV18 poll estimates, analysts had expected the company to report profit of Rs 632 crore (up 15.2 percent) on revenue of Rs 7,080 crore (up 15 percent) for the quarter.

Revenue grew by 14.24 percent on yearly basis to Rs 7,037 crore in the first quarter of current financial year driven by higher sales growth. Total sales volumes increased by 10 percent year-on-year to 17.15 lakh units in the quarter gone by.

10:20am Adani Power Q1 expectations
Gujarat-based Adani Power will announce its first quarter (April-June) earnings today. According to CNBC-TV18 poll estimates, analysts expect the company to report consolidated loss of Rs 274 crore during the quarter as against loss of Rs 1,198 crore in the year-ago period (adjusted Q1FY14 loss at Rs 600 crore) and profit after tax of Rs 2,529 crore in previous quarter (Q4FY14 adjusted loss at Rs 800 crore).

In Q4FY14, the company recognised revenues of Rs 1,843 crore as against forecast of Rs 1,530 crore towards compensatory tariff hike granted to Mundra plant by CERC.

Total income from operations is seen going up by 2 times on yearly basis (down 21 percent quarter-on-quarter) to Rs 4,737 crore in the quarter gone by.

10:10am Market Expert
The market is now in a consolidation mode and the next big upmove in the Nifty is likely only after November, says Sanju Verma of Violet Arch Capital Advisors. She sees the assemby elections and the US Senate elections as key local and global triggers for the market.

10:00am The market remained marginally under selling pressure weighed down by banking and financial, healthcare and auto stocks. The Sensex fell 26.20 points to 25881.81 and the Nifty declined 12.30 points to 7734.25 but the broader markets outperformed benchmarks.

The BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices gained 0.4 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively. Advancing shares outnumbered declining ones by a ratio of 1282 to 661 on the BSE.

The Indian rupee slipped further to 61.29 a dollar (four-month low), down 44 paise compared to previous day's closing value. Pramit Brahmbhatt, Veracity expects the currency to trade in a range of 60.50-61.50/USD today.

Shares of ITC, ICICI Bank, Tata Motors, HDFC Bank, TCS, Axis Bank, Sun Pharma, HDFC, State Bank of India, HDFC, ONGC, Bharti Airtel, Sesa Sterlite, Maruti Suzuki, Cipla and Dr Reddy's Labs declined 0.4-1 percent.

However, software services exporter Infosys gained 1.4 percent on reports that former top executives TV Mohandas Pai, V Balakrishnan and DN Prahlad have asked company n to buy back shares worth Rs 11,200 crore. Shares of L&T, Hindustan Unilever, Reliance Industries, M&M, BHEL and Coal India rose 0.3-2 percent.

09:55 am FTIL-Kotak deal
Financial Technologies (FTIL) today said its 15 percent stake sale in MCX to Kotak Mahindra Bank for Rs 459 crore was done at "fair" price after conducting a "transparent" bidding process.

The deal with Kotak was announced on July 20 (Sunday) and the transaction price was Rs 600 per share. On July 18 (Friday), shares of MCX had closed at Rs 786.25 apiece. Responding to a BSE query on the deal, FTIL informed the stock exchange that "this is a fair price and the price that has been arrived at after detailed negotiations and a transparent bidding process was adopted."

The Jignesh Shah-led FTIL said the BSE as a corporate body was also "interested" in purchasing these shares. On July 27, BSE had sought clarifications from FTIL with regard to the discounted price at which it had struck a deal with Kotak Mahindra Bank for sale of 15 percent in MCX.

09:45 am Infosys buyback
Former Infosys top executives TV Mohandas Pai, V Balakrishnan and DN Prahlad have asked the country's second largest software services firm to buy back shares worth Rs 11,200 crore, saying it will help check the "asymmetry of information" between management and investors.

In a letter to Infosys Board, the three former executives said there is a need "to announce a large and consistent buyback programme to show confidence in the management and the business model". While both Pai and Balakrishnan have served as Chief Financial Officers at Infosys in the past, Prahlad was a Senior Vice President at the Bangalore-based firm.

09:35am FII View
Bharat Iyer, JPMorgan says equity markets have gone into consolidation mode over the last two months, with quality outperforming again.

"We recommended playing a potential economic recovery through high-quality financials, commercial vehicles, cement and resources - metals and private sector energy. We believe any policy reform by the government to kick-start the investment cycle will initially have to start with the resources sector. Separately, we have remained positive on IT services and healthcare," he adds.

09:25am Hanung Toys plunges 5%
Hanung Toys' net loss increased significantly to Rs 131.5 crore in the quarter ended June 2014 from loss of Rs 78 crore in the year-ago period while total income from operations dropped 91 percent year-on-year to Rs 29 crore.

09:15am Equity benchmarks opened lower on Wednesday following weakness in global peers and also on the back of profit booking after rising more than 400 points (on the Sensex) in previous two sessions.

The Sensex declined 25.14 points to 25882.87 and the Nifty fell 14.45 points to7732.10. About 549 shares have advanced, 364 shares declined, and 51 shares are unchanged.

Hero Motocorp fell nearly 2 percent on account of lower than expected earnings in April-June quarter while Infosys and Hindustan Unilever rallied more than 2 percent.

The Indian rupee opened marginally lower by 9 paise at 61.03 per dollar on Wednesday against 60.84 Tuesday.

Dollar holding near an 11-month high against a basket of major currencies having got a second wind after upbeat US data bolstered expectations of solid economic growth in the third quarter.

Pramit Brahmbhatt of Veracity said, "Rupee is expected to depreciate today, as overnight US equities traded weak taking cues from growing tensions in Ukraine."

"Negative sentiments in the markets will also force local equities to open weak. Rupee is expected to trade in a range of 60.50-61.50/dollar," he added.

Asian markets declined with the Nikkei, Hang Seng and Shanghai falling 0.5-1 percent following loss in US equities. US stocks closed lower on Tuesday as concerns mounted over escalating tensions in Ukraine.