Sensex ends 120 points up, Nifty below 8600; ITC gains 6%

03:30pm Market closing
After hitting record highs, the market turned flat to ends with some gains. The Sensex closed up 120.11 points at 28562.82, and the Nifty was up 26.75 points at 8564.40. About 1489 shares advanced, 1459 shares declined, and 124 shares were unchanged. ITC was star of the day, with a hefty gain of 6 percent at close. Other gainers in the Sensex include Sesa Sterlite, Cipla, HUL and HDFC Bank. Among the top losers were Bharti Airtel, Hindalco, Tata Power and BHEL.

03:15pm Shipping stocks in focus
Shipping stocks see huge buying interest on hopes of relaxations in rules for the sector. Bharati Shipyard rallied nearly 14 percent followed by ABG Shipyard, Varun Shipping, SCI, Shreyas Shipping and Pipavav Defence with 4-5 percent gains. The government today asked Reserve Bank of India to relax rules to revive the shipbuilding industry. The government also asked RBI and finance ministry to sanction special dispensation for 5 years. Meanwhile, for the revival of the industry, the government on Monday also launched the PM JalMargYojna and projects for setting up dry and satellite ports, besides converting riverways into waterways.

03:00pm Market Update
The market gained strength in late trade with the Sensex rising 154.78 points to 28597.49 and the Nifty climbing 34.10 points to 8571.75 led by banking & financials and FMCG stocks. ITC stayed strong with 5.3 percent gains as report suggests that the government is unlikely to ban sale of loose cigarettes in near-term. Sesa Sterlite extended gains, up 3.4 percent followed by Cipla with 2.7 percent upside. Shares of HDFC, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, State Bank of India and Axis Bank advanced 0.7-0.9 percent whereas Infosys, L&T and Reliance Industries were marginally under pressure.

02:45pm ONGC in News Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), India's biggest explorer, will next week sign a deal to acquire stake in two Siberian oilfields, including the strategic Vankor, during Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to India. ONGC Videsh, the overseas arm of state explorer, will sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for acquiring the stake in Vankor and Yurubcheno-Tokhomskoye fields, government officials said. The MoU is part of Putin's energy engagement as he seeks to expand trade links with Asian nations to counter sanctions from the US and its allies. Putin is set to arrive here on December 11. Russia's biggest oil company Rosneft has offered to sell 10 percent stake in the strategic Vankor oilfield in Siberia to OVL, reports PTI.

02:25pm Europe Update
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index edged up to trade near a 2-1/2-month high, with an improving US economic outlook and expectations of further stimulus from the European Central Bank helping the market. Investors' focus was on ECB President Mario Draghi, who will present the bank's updated forecasts for growth in output as well as inflation at a policy meeting later in the day. The ECB could extend a scheme to buy rebundled debt to purchasing corporate bonds, but it is unlikely to announce any radical immediate move such as printing money to buy government bonds, reports Reuters.

02:00pm Market Check|
The market continued to see consolidation after touching record high in the early trade. The Sensex gained 43.98 points at 28486.69 and the Nifty fell 0.05 point to 8537.60. The broader markets gained 0.3 percent. The market breadth remained marginally positive. About 1444 shares have advanced while 1313 shares declined on the Bombay Stock Exchange. ABB climbed 13 percent as ABB Global CEO told CNBC-TV18 that they have no plans to delist subsidiary ABB India. He says that they have plan to double exports from India in next 3-5 years.

Godfrey Phillips and VST Industries posted gains of 4 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively. The government is unlikely to ban sale of loose cigarettes in near-term as the proposal will hurt tobacco farmers. The health and agriculture ministries will now conduct a study on the same, say sources. Sadbhav Engineering gained 2 percent after the company's subsidiary Sadbhav Infra filed a DRHP with Sebi to undertake IPO . Sadbhav Infra will issue 1.62 crore shares worth Rs 600 crore in an IPO. Sadbhav Engineering owns 80 percent of Sadhav Infra and the remaining 20 percent is owned by Norwest Venture Partners and Xander Group.

1:50 pm Interview: The government relaxed rules for foreign direct investment (FDI) in the construction sector by reducing minimum built-up area as well as capital requirement and easing the exit norms. It has also allowed for 100 percent FDI in sonstrcution space via automatic route. While this is a positive move, the benefits of implementing the new norms will flow in with a lag, believes SN Subrahmanyan, whole-time director & senior executive vice president (construction), Larsen & Toubro . Furthermore, he believes some stability will come in capital flows in the infra space soon.

1:30 pm Analyst meet: The strategic focus of Infosys will now be on 'renew' and 'new'. Outlining the strategy for the IT major for the first time, CEO Vishal Sikka said that the company will renew existing services and enter newer services. Speaking at analyst meet, he said that the company is also looking at acquisitions in under penetrated geographies and verticals and newer services like artificial technologies and automation. The company is looking to move its business process outsourcing (BPO) and infrastructure management services to the automation area, which will help in bring down financial cost. The other two segments that will be renewed will be verification services and application maintenance. These four areas have significant contribution to the company's revenues.

The market is still flat with the Nifty hovering around 8550-level. The 50-share index is up 10.85 points at 8548.50 and the Sensex is up 91.20 points at 28533.93. About 1402 shares have advanced, 1280 shares declined, and 123 shares are unchanged. ITC, Sesa Sterlite, Cipla, HUL and ONGC are top gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers are ICICI Bank, Bharti Airtel, BHEL, Hindalco and Tata Power. Coal India is down 1 percent as its workers union is mulling to go for a strike to protest against the coal ordinance and company's divestment plans. Meanwhile, any revision in gold import duty is unlikely to take place before the Budget and there is no proposal as of now to reduce the 10 percent duty, a finance ministry official said. There has been widespread expectations of reduction in customs duty on gold due to the improved current account deficit situation. The Commerce Ministry has also been pitching for a cut in import duty on the precious metal.

12:50pm ABB India in Focus
Shares of ABB rallied 14 percent. Investors are hurriedly buying its shares after global CEO has said that there is no plan to delist its Indian arm. He said that the company is planning to double exports from India in next 3-5 years and exports are likely to form nearly 50 percent of India business. The management also added that there is a significant pick-up in orders in next 24-36 months. The power and automation technology provider has been on buyers' radar after it won orders worth Rs 334 crore from two public utilities group, Bihar Grid Corporation (BGCL) and West Bengal State Electricity Transmission Company. As per the agreement, ABB will build new transmission and distribution sub-stations that will boost power supplies in the region.

12:30pm FII View
Bullish Rakesh Arora, Head of Research - India at Macquarie Capital Securities has a new Nifty target of 9,960 for the next 12 months. He expects earnings to grow 19-20 percent and adds that this fresh Nifty target is driven by 15 times earnings estimate for FY17. Given the ongoing slide in global oil prices, he foresees more upside to the market if this fall continues further. Further he adds that hope trade in India will continue for some more time and the market is unlikely to see major correction anytime soon. If any correction happens, it will be limited to 4-5 percent, he said.

12:00pm Market Check
Equity benchmarks remained lacklustre after shedding more than one percent gain in morning trade. ITC managed to support the frontliner indices while capital goods, select financials and auto stocks weighed. Midcap index has seen consolidation after outperformance in previous session. The 30-share BSE Sensex rose 54.28 points to 28496.99 and the 50-share NSE Nifty advanced 5.20 points to 8542.85. About 1293 shares have advanced, 1277 shares declined, and 115 shares are unchanged on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

ITC continued to see a relief rally, up almost 4.5 percent today reacting to news that the government is unlikely to ban to sale of loose cigarettes. Godfrey Phillips and VST Industries gained 5.6 percent and 2.5 percent respectively on the same news. Infosys remained in focus today after CEO, Vishal Sikka outlined strategy for the first time, saying 'renew' & 'new' will be the strategic focus for the IT major. He is also looking at acquisitions in under-penetrated geographies and verticals.

Private sector lender ICICI Bank was among the top five most active shares. The face value of the share split into Rs 2 from Rs 10. Globally, Shanghai let Asian markets higher. Japan's Nikkei and China's Shanghai both traded near multi-year highs. Analysts expect Europe to open higher ahead of the European Cental Bank meet later today.

11:50 am Buzzing: Shares of ONGC rose 2 percent intraday as Citi maintains bullish stance on the stock expecting a new subsidy sharing formula. The brokerage has a buy rating on the stock with a target price of Rs 440 per share. ''A new subsidy sharing formula could be a material positive for the upstream state-owned enterprises (SOEs) especially for ONGC, which has underperformed both the broader market (by 22 percent) and its smaller peer OIL (by 10 percent) in the last three months on the back of the overhang of the upcoming share sale and amidst the backdrop of the recent steep fall in global crude prices which could hurt upstream SOEs unless their subsidy burden falls commensurately,'' Citi says in a note.

11:30 am Market outlook: Bullish Rakesh Arora, Head of Research - India at Macquarie Capital Securities has a new Nifty target of 9,960 for the next 12 months. He expects earnings to grow 19-20 percent and adds that this fresh Nifty target is driven by 15 times earnings estimate for FY17. Given the ongoing slide in global oil prices, he foresees more upside to the market if this fall continues further. Further he adds that hope trade in India will continue for some more time and the market is unlikely to see major correction anytime soon. If any correction happens, it will be limited to 4-5 percent, he said. On specific-sectors, Arora is overweight on industrials, banks and auto. Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, Maruti Suzuki and L&T are his top stock bets.

The Nifty and Sensex flattened out after touching record highs in the early minutes of trade. The Sensex is up 68.36 points at 28511.07 and the Nifty is up 8.00 points at 8545.65. About 1284 shares have advanced, 1022 shares declined, and 90 shares are unchanged. ITC is managing to support the benchmark induces. The stock is up 5 percent followed by Cipla, ONGC, Sesa Sterlite and Maruti. Among the losers are ICICI Bank, Hindalco, Tata Power, BHEL and Axis Bank. The rupee recovered from initial losses against the US dollar and was quoted barely steady at 61.91 on selling of the American currency by banks and exporters on good foreign capital inflows. Euro is staggering near two-year lows on concerns over further ECB stimulus injections Some more gains in the USD/INR pair is likely but dollar inflows towards debt investments likely to limit upside. Globally, Nikkei and Shanghai continue to trade at multi-year highs. The European Cental Bank meet today will be in focus.

10:59am Page Industries at new high
Shares of Page Industries hit a fresh record high of Rs 10,599.15 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, up 7.2 percent after brokerage Barclays initiated coverage of the stock with an overweight rating. The brokerage has 12-month P/E-based price target of Rs 10,954 (13 percent potential upside) on the stock. It expects Page's robust earnings trajectory to be sustained (33 percent CAGR for FY14-17E despite its healthy base of 40 percent CAGR for FY09-14) on the back of its distinctive positioning among peers, its focus on innovation and sustained product portfolio expansion, and proven business model.

Bangalore-based Page Industries is the exclusive licensee of JOCKEY International Inc (USA) for manufacture and distribution of the JOCKEY brand Innerwear/Leisurewear for Men and Women in India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and UAE. It is also the exclusive licensee of Speedo International for the manufacture, marketing and distribution of the Speedo brand in India. Barclays said with India's per-capita innerwear spending at just one quarter of the emerging market average, significant scope for market growth exists with Page appearing healthily positioned given its strong brand presence, range of innovative introductions (driving healthy volume growth), planned further global brand launches and realisations.

10:45am ICICI Bank quotes ex-split
ICICI Bank gained 1 percent after its sub division of shares. India's largest private sector lender, on September 9, had decided to split its shares, for the first time in history, from one share into five shares. The bank fixed record date as December 05, 2014 for the purpose of ascertaining the eligible shareholders who would be entitled to receive five equity shares of nominal value of Rs 2 each in lieu of one equity share of nominal value of Rs 10 each of the bank. Further the bank said each American Depositary Share (ADS) of ICICI Bank will continue to represent two underlying equity shares as at present. The number of ADSs held by an American Depositary Receipt holder would consequently increase in proportion to the increase in number of equity shares, it added.

10:30am Sadbhav in News
Shares of Sadbhav Engineering hit record high at Rs 284.75 apiece, up 7.5 percent intraday after its arm has draft papers with Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) for an initial public offering (IPO). The stock gained 4 percent now. The subsidiary of Sadbhav Engineering, Sadbhav Infrastructure Projects is planning raise up to Rs 600 crore through the IPO. ''The issue consists of a fresh issue of equity shares of Rs 10 each aggregating up to Rs 6,000 million and an offer for sale of up to 16,178,811 equity shares by Xander Investment Holding XVII Ltd and up to 16,178,811 equity shares by Norwest Venture Partners VII-A-Mauritius,'' the company said.

10:15am FII View
Bhuvnesh Singh, Barclays says Indian equities have historically reacted positively to declines in crude prices. "In our analysis of the 11 instances of substantial declines in crude prices, we found that Indian equities outperformed the MSCI Asia ex-Japan Index in 9 out of the 11 instances. Some stocks have tended to do well in past instances of crude price declines," he elaborated. Among the large-cap stocks, consumer staples, oil marketing, consumer discretionary and stocks of companies with high logistic costs have been the key gainers in the past. Steel companies' stocks have been among the major underperformers, he added.

10:00am Market Check
The 30-share BSE Sensex shed nearly 300 points from day's high weighed down by capital goods, power and select banking & financials stocks. However, ITC, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and ONGC kept the market in positive terrain. The Sensex rose 85.04 points to 28527.75 and the Nifty advanced 3.10 points to 8540.75. About 1194 shares have advanced, 950 shares declined, and 93 shares are unchanged. Shares of Axis Bank, HDFC, Infosys, State Bank of India, Bharti Airtel, Larsen & Toubro, M&M, Sun Pharma and BHEL declined 0.3-1.3 percent. However, ITC maintained its uptrend, up 4 percent as sources told CNBC-TV18 that the government is unlikely to ban sale of loose cigarette in near term. Cipla rallied nearly 3 percent followed by HDFC Bank, ONGC, TCS, ICICI Bank and HUL with 0.3-0.7 percent gain.

9:50 am Market outlook
The Nifty could correct briefly over the next few sessions, but has a strong support level at 8460, says Vineet Bhatnagar, Managing Director, Phillip Capital. Bhatnagar says there is a higher probability of the index moving towards 8630 by the end of this year. He says FIIs are still net long on index futures. Bhatnagar is bullish on banking stocks like Lakshmi Vilas , Federal Bank and City Union in the short term. In the pharma space, he is bullish on IPCA and Ajanta Pharma . Other stocks he is positive on include TCS, ITC, Asian Paints and Marico.

9:30 am Buzzing: Shares of ITC soared 6 percent intraday as the government is unlikely to ban sale of loose cigarettes in near-term. Other cigarette-related stocks like Godfrey Phillips India and VST Industries were up 10 and 6 percent respectively. A Health Ministry proposal to ban sale of loose cigarettes is likely to be put on hold following objections by some MPs, including some Union ministers, and farmers associations against taking drastic regulatory steps.

At a meeting called by Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu, Health Minister J P Nadda assured the MPs that he will look into all issues pertaining to tobacco and arecanut growers and industry before taking any policy decision. Union Ministers besides MPs from two major tobacco-producing states Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, including Ananth Kumar and Nirmala Sitharaman and Mohanbhai Kundaria, were present at the meeting where Nadda was told to address all concerns and not to take any hasty step.

The market has opened at all-time high once again. The Sensex is up 282.94 points or 0.9 percent at 28725.65, and the Nifty is up 44.75 points or 0.5 percent at 8582.40. About 510 shares have advanced, 107 shares declined, and 27 shares are unchanged. ITC is up 5 percent while Cipla, ONGC, Tata Motors and BHEL are other top gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers are ICICI Bank, Sun Pharma and Coal India. The Indian rupee opened on flat note at 61.93 in the early trade. It has closed at 61.91 Wednesday. The euro fell to two-year lows on expectations the European Central Bank will be forced to inject even more stimulus to a sputtering euro zone economy.

Mohan Shenoi of Kotak Mahindra Bank said, "Dollar is continuing its rally against major global currencies. RBI appears to be active on both sides of the USD-INR market thereby keeping the currency subdued and rangebound. USD-INR is expected to trade today in a range of 61.70-62 per dollar." In the US, stocks rallied into the close, with the Dow and S&P 500 ending the day at records amid encouraging economic reports. In Europe, shares closed higher, amid expectations that further European Central Bank stimulus measures would be announced at its policy committee today.

Meanwhile, Asian markets are trading with gains this morning. Nikkei has climbed to yet another 7-year high while the yen weakened to a new seven-year low of 119.89 per USD. In commodities, Brent crude is hovering near USD 70 per barrel buoyed by positive inventory data. From precious metals space, gold rose above USD 1,200 an ounce, boosted by firmer oil prices that prompted investors to shuffle positions in a volatile market.