Market closes marginally up; DLF gains 7%, Zee Ent off 4.1%

3:30 pm: Key indices closed with a 0.15 percent gain, with DLF (up 7.1 percent) and Zee Entertainment (down 4.1 percent) being the biggest movers among the top 100 stocks.

Apart from realty, which got a shot in the arm following a Delhi government decision to boost developable area, metal stocks were among the gainers with a 1 percent rise.

IT and pharma shares, however, exhibited weakness with a 0.25 percent fall on average.

3:00 pm: Indian stocks gave up most gains they had notched up in afternoon trade to trade marginally higher as they headed into the last hour of trade.

At the time of writing, both the Sensex and Nifty were up 30 and 9 points respectively (0.1 percent), receding off earlier highs.

The climb down came as investors chose to sell shares in consumer non-durables, IT and pharma. While providing strength to the index are property shares (the BSE Realty index was up 4.1 percent) with leader leader DLF surging 8 percent following a Delhi government decision to increase the city's floor area ratio by 200 percent.

While high-beta capital goods, metals, and oil & gas shares rose 0.4 percent to 0.8 percent.

Top gainers on the Sensex are GAIL, Hindalco and Sesa Sterlite, rising 2.2 percent to 2.8 percent while losers are Bharti Airtel and ICICI Bank, down 2.4 percent and 1.3 percent.

The market breadth, however, is holding up with advances (1676) outpacing declines (1171).

2:30 pm: The Nifty is now at 8,490, merely 10 points away from the key 8,500 level. The Nifty's all-time closing high (which it reached on Monday) is 8,530.

Meanwhile, real estate stocks have got a fresh lease of life, after there were reports the Delhi government had increased the floor area ratio (FAR) for over 1000 square meter plots by 200 percent.

The move would see taller apartments being built, make way for more housing stock and also bring down property prices.

DLF has surged 6.9 percent, Unitech is up 5.3 percent while Ansal Properties has added 1.3 percent.

2:00 pm: Indian equities continued to add to their gains following a mildly negative start to trade, with mid- and small-cap shares outperforming the benchmarks.

At the time of this writing, the Sensex was up 100 points, or 0.34 percent , to 28,439 points while the Nifty rose 24 points, or 0.28 percent, to 8,485.

The biggest Sensex gainers were GAIL (up 3.1 percent), BHEL (2.5 percent) and ITC (2.1 percent). GAIL was up along with other gas stocks amid reports the government was to decide on gas pooling plans today. ITC rose after brokerage firms expressed optimism the government would not decide to ban sale of loose cigarettes, as was reported yesterday.

Bharti Airtel and Bajaj Auto led the losers' list with 1.6 percent and 1.2 percent fall. Both stocks fell after Nigeria, a key African market for both companies, devalued its currency by 8 percent.

In sector movers, IT and pharma shares are underperforming while metals, oil & gas and capital goods are witnessing buying. (Watch an instant visual summary of sector wise movements here .)

Several stocks have staged a strong intraday recovery as the benchmarks climbed. Realtor DLF has climbed 8.5 percent from the day's low, while Ashok Leyland and Cromton Greaves are up 6 percent and 5.1 percent.

1:30 pm: Indices have made a good comeback in the last half an hour with the Sensex now up 79 points at 28417 and the Nifty up 22 points at 8484. Market breadth too has improved with gainers outpacing losers nearly 2:1 on the NSE.

Second line shares continue to fare better than their large cap counterparts with Gujarat Gas(+ 15 percent) and Oberoi Realty (+8%) being among the key gainers.

Brokers say every rise in indices is likely to be met with profit taking as the market does not have enough triggers to sustain the uptrend.

Kotak Securities has rated Oberoi Realty as one of its top picks in the real estate space.

"Even though debt has increased, Oberoi's balance sheet still remains strong with additional leveraging capacity to eventually raise monies for business development," the brokerage said in a note to clients.

In sectoral trends, realty, metal and FMCG shares are among the best performers, while IT shares have been under pressure right through the day.

Sanjeev Prasad of Kotak Institutional Equities feels the FMCG and pharma spaces may appear expensive, but a de-rating was unlikely as these stocks would be a good hedge in the event of the much anticipated economic reforms not coming through. He is bullish on stocks like Marico, Dabur and Britannia.

"Valuations have become pretty expensive across the board if you look at any consumer staple company or pharmaceutical company but I am willing to make a call that you may not see that kind of de-rating even if you see a big slowdown in terms of economic reforms momentum, etc. Valuations probably will hold up more in anticipation of the kind of medium-term growth as far as some of these sectors are concerned," he said in an interview to CNBC-TV18 this morning.

1:00 pm: The consolidation in Indian equities continued in afternoon trade Wednesday, with outperformance in metals and oil & gas offset by weakness IT and pharma. The broader market, however, bucked the trend.

At the time of this writing, the Sensex and the Nifty were down 33 points and 11 points (0.13 percent each) to 28,306 and 8,451. The BSE midcap index rose 0.56 percent while the smallcap index was up as much as 0.9 percent.

GAIL, Cipla and ITC were the biggest gainers in the Sensex rising 1.5 percent to 3 percent while Bharti Airtel and Bajaj Auto were down 1.7 percent each.

The latter two were down after Nigeria, a key African market for both, devalued its currency by 8 percent today.

Power and gas shares rose after a CNBC-TV18 report said the government would today chalk out plans for gas pooling, a move in which power plants that have gas suppliers far away could enter into swap arrangement with a nearby supplier, saving transportation costs and potentially helping idle power plants with 28,000 megawatts capacity that are currently starving for fuel.

JSW Energy surged 6.6 percent, Petronet LNG climbed 4.1 percent while Torrent Power was up 8.1 percent.

Jet Airways was up 2 percent after industry official met the civil aviation minister yesterday to discuss several issues related to the industry such as the 5/20 rule, high airport charges, etc.

State-run HMT jumped 6.1 percent amid reports the government was planning a rescue package for the loss-making company.

Financial Technologies appreciated 5.9 percent after it agreed to sell stake in MCX-SX to Rakesh Jhunjhunwala among other investors.

While ITC clmbed 1.8 percent, a day after falling 5 percent, after brokerages expressed the view that the announcement yesterday -- that the government may decide to ban sale of loose cigarettes - was unlikely to come through.

A number of shares, including Asian Paints, Castrol, Container Corp and Gujarat State Petronet, have hit 52-week highs in trade today.

While Elder Pharma, Era Infra, Gujarat NRE Coke and Omaxe hit 52-week lows.

12:30 pm: The market is continuing to consolidate in a small range, with key benchmarks down 0.1 percent to 0.2 percent.

Meanwhile, India's third quarter GDP data may come in between 5-5.3 percent in the September quarter, down from 5.7 percent in the June quarter. Read why: India's recovery may have hit a wall .

12:00 pm: Indian equities were trading with a negative bias in afternoon trade even as outperformance was seen in the broader market.

At the time of this writing, the Sensex was down 20 points, or 0.07 percent, to 28,317 while the Nifty was down 7 points, or 0.08 percent, to 8,456. BSE small and midcap indexes were up 0.5 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively.

On a sectoral basis, IT shares were down 0.5 percent while consumer non-durables were off 0.2 percent. Interest rate-sensitive stocks such as banks, property and auto, which were trading in the red earlier, managed to crawl back above the flat line.

Real estate stocks were led by a turnaround in heavyweight DLF, which edged 3.5 percent higher. The stock had earlier slipped amid news that the company was facing a cash crunch and would not be able to pay a Rs 580 crore penalty in an ongoing anti-trade case.

Shares in power and gas companies withnessed a spike after a CNBC-TV18 report said the oil and power ministers would meet today to finalize a gas pooling agreement, a move that is expected to benefit stranded power plants with capacity of 28,000 megawatts.

Torrent Power surged 9.4 percent, JSW Energy appreciated 4.3 percent while CESC climbed 1.7 percent. In gas stocks, Nifty constituent GAIL jumped 3.3 percent, while IGL and Petronet too rose 3 percent and 4 percent respectively.

In news-driven movers, Bajaj Auto and Bharti Airtel slipped 1.7 percent and 1.4 percent after Nigeria, a key African market for both players, devalued its currency by 8 percent.

11:30 am: Bluechips have now firmly turned in the red. The Sensex is now down 75 points or 0.26 percent to 28,263 while the Nifty is off 23 points, or 0.28 percent, to 8,439.

The broader market has been holding up well though.

In other asset classes, crude oil (Indian basket) is down 0.8 percent, gold is up marginally (0.2 percent) to Rs 26,370, the rupee is flat while bond yields on the 10-year benchmark government bond are little changed at 8.16 percent.

Asian markets are trading mixed with the Japanese Nikkei trading flat-to-lower while Hang Seng and Shanghai Composite were up 0.2 percent and 0.3 percent respectively.

11:00 am: Frontline Indian shares slipped marginally in early trade after a quiet start but the market marked the comeback of the high-beta trade with oil & gas and metal sectors as well as mid- and small-cap shares outperforming.

At the time of writing, the Sensex was down 39 points, or 0.14 percent, to 28,298 while the Nifty was down 16 points, or 0.19 percent, to 8,447.

Among the Nifty 50 shares, GAIL, Asian Paints and Cipla were the top gainers, with a 1.9 percent to 3.1 percent rise while Bajaj Auto, HCL Tech and Zee Entertainment were the biggest losers, with 1.6 percent to 4.6 percent losers.

Shares in metals and mining, and oil and gas companies were up about 0.4 percent on average. Utility stocks too notched up a 0.7 percent gain.

But losses in heavyweight financials and autos pressured the benchmark indexes with a 0.2 percent loss.

Small- and mid-cap shares outperformed the margin, rising 0.5 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively. A number of such stocks, such as Escorts Finance, Emkay Global, Welspun Syntex and Hindustan Everest, were locked in upper circuit filters with no sellers.

The market breadth too remained favourable with 1296 advances to 975 declines among BSE traded scrips.

10:30 am: The government will have to push through some key reforms in the Winter Session for the market to be able to sustain its upward momentum, believes Sanjeev Prasad, Senior Executive Director & Co Head (Strategy), Kotak Institutional Equities.

In an interview with CNBC-TV18 , Prasad said the market may correct if the government is unable to push through reforms, but added that every correction is a buying opportunity. Prasad was not too positive about earnings upgrades, and said there could be fewer upgrades than what the market was expecting.

10:00 am: Shares are trading without any firm direction in early trade, with weakness in real estate, bank and auto stocks being offset by strength in metals & mining, oil & gas, and capital goods.

At the time of this writing, the Sensex is down 9 points, or 0.03 percent, to 28,329 while the Nifty is off 6 points, or 0.08 percent, to 8,457.

Among banks, private banks are lagging their public sector peers, with Axis Bank, HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank receding 0.2 percent to 0.6 percent. SBI was up 0.4 percent.

Property shares also exhibited broad weakness, led by DLF amid reports India's biggest realty player had informed the apex court it would be unable to deposit Rs 580 crore as penalty in the anti-trade case it is fighting due to a cash crunch.

While autos were also pressured, led by Bajaj Auto, which sank 2.5 percent. Maruti and Tata Motors were down 0.4 percent and 0.8 percent respectively.

All three-rate sensitive sectors were also down after investors grapped with the question whether the Reserve Bank of India would cut interest rates even as RBI governor stayed away from discussing the same at a speech yesterday. An Economic Times poll of economists forecast there would no be rate cut this year even though inflation has slid below 6 percent, well below RBI's January 2015 target of 6 percent.

In news-driven movers, Coal India and SAIL moved up 0.7 percent and 1.3 percent amid reports the government was keen to push through their share sales this fiscal year.

Jet Airways surged 2.8 percent after officials of the industry met the civil aviation minister yesterday and discussed a host of issues such as the 5/20 rule, granting infrastructure status to the sector and reduction in airport charges.

ONGC was up 0.3 despite reports the government had formed a panel to probe delays in production at its KG D5 basin off the Andhra coast.

ITC jumped 1.5 percent, after falling 5 percent yesterday, as investors hoped the government would not go through with its plan of banning sale of loose cigarettes due to the difficulty in its implementation.

GMR Infra rose 1.2 percent after a report said it had emerged the L1 bidder for a Rs 5,000 crore project on the eastern dedicated freight corridor project, which is slated for completion by 2019.

While Financial Technologies surged 4.3 percent after it signed a stake sale agreement for MCX-SX with a host of investors, which included marquee names such as Rakesh Jhunjhunwala.

Benchmark indices opened weak Wednesday, with the Sensex down around 40 points to 28298 and the Nifty down 18 points to 8845. Brokers said investors were wary of buying at current levels because of expensive valuations. Also, the latest round of Sebi restrictions on participatory note investments could hurt FII inflows near term, they said.

ITC   shares were up around 2 percent to Rs 362 even as the government has accepted the recommendation of an expert panel to ban sale of loose cigarettes, and has moved a Cabinet note to tweak the anti-tobacco law.

Brokerage house Motilal Oswal has retained its buy rating on the stock, saying: "Regulatory and budget related overhang will weigh on the stock's near term performance . However, at a 23 percent discount to sector multiples and after underperformance v/s FMCG index and broader markets, valuations are undemanding."

Siemens shares were down around 1 percent to Rs 911 after the company Tuesday reported weak earnings for the June quarter.

Banking shares were under pressure in early trade, with the Bank Nifty down around 140 points to 17896.

Yesterday, RBI governor Raghuram Rajan launched a scathing attack against wilful corporate defaulters and called them freeloaders living off the hardworking people of this country. He said that good banking practices, such as stringent debt recovery and asking for higher promoter equity, would help lower interest rates across the board.

Coal India and SAIL shares were flat in early trade. According to a report in the Business Standard newspaper, the government is rushing to partly meet its divestment plan for this fiscal by selling stakes in Coal India, SAIL and NHPC by end-January.