Nifty ends at 8201; TCS & HDFC gainers, Maruti falls 1%

03:30 pm Market closing
After a sluggish day, the market ended on a flat note. The Sensex ended up 33.17 points at 27241.78 and the Nifty was up 26.60 points at 8200.70. About 1406 shares have advanced, 1427 shares declined, and 126 shares are unchanged.

TCS, HDFC, L&T, Hindalco and Sun Pharma are top gainers in the Sensex. The top losers are Maruti, BHEL, ITC, HUL and Cipla.

03:00pm Market Update
The Sensex fell 39.51 points to 27169.10 while the Nifty rose 1.80 points to 8175.90. The market breadth was negative as declining shares outnumbered advancing ones by a ratio of 1401 to 1294 on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Gujarat Gas, Reliance Capital, State Bank of India, Union Bank of India, Bank of India and Tata Steel were most active shares on exchanges.

02:45pm Interview
RB Kabra, President, HSIL said the company has plans to pare its long-term debt by raising capital worth Rs 250 crore. The current debt for the company including the working capital stands at Rs 950 crore, out of which Rs 550 crore is long-term debt and Rs 400 crore is working capital debt.

The company plans to raise capital in the next few weeks, said Kabra.

The company has also scaled down the overall revenue growth outlook from 20 percent to 15 percent. The lower growth forecast was on back of a drop in a business category which they have now exited, said Kabra. The building products business would grow at around 16-18 percent but the packaging product would continue to do well this year.
 
Talking about the market share he said, with the total ceramic sanitary ware market being divided in to two parts, organised and unorganised, the company per se has 40 percent market share out of the overall 60 percent organised market.

Meanwhile, Kabra said the company will continue its focus on premium products because customers nowadays prefer aesthetically better looking products.

02:25pm Nikkei update
Japanese stocks ticked up today, with sentiment buoyed by bullish expectations for 2015 helping to overcome slight losses from profit-taking in the morning session.

The Nikkei benchmark closed up 0.1 percent at 17,818.96 in quiet trade. The average added 1.1 percent over the holiday-shortened week, which saw the thinnest trade volume since May.

Market heavyweight Fanuc Corp added 0.4 percent, accounting for a third of the Nikkei's overall gains.

The broader Topix gained 0.4 percent to 1,427.50, while the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 gained 0.3 percent to 12,693.12, reports Reuters.

02:00pm Market Check
Equity benchmarks continued to be rangebound with the Sensex falling 53.04 points to 27155.57 and the Nifty losing 2.70 points to 8171.40. About 1231 shares have advanced, 1369 shares declined, and 132 shares are unchanged.

The volumes were abysmal today with cash market volumes at less than Rs 6,000 crore.

UR Bhatt of Dalton Capital expects the Nifty to be in the range of 7900-8300 till the Budget and public sector banks could be the big gainers of 2015.

In the largecap space, ITC, Zee Entertainment, ICICI Bank, Grasim, Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors and BHEL fell 0.9-1.3 percent whereas Jindal Steel and DLF topped the buying list on Nifty, up 2.5-3 percent. HCL Technologies, Hindalco, Tech Mahindra, Sesa Sterlite, Infosys, HDFC and TCS gained 0.6-1.6 percent.

The rupee continued to slip on month end dollar demand, trading at 63.65 to the dollar versus a close of 63.51 on Wednesday. Dollar inflows are likely to pick up only next week.

In important news in the telecom space today, Bharti Airtel decided to charge higher tarriff for voice over internet protocol (VOIP), said it would charge VOIP players 16 times the rate of normal data pack charges. Telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the government will look into it and come back with a structured response.

1:30 pm Market outlook: Sandip Sabharwal of asksandipsabharwal.com is very skeptical of the market for the first few months of 2015. According to him the market is likely to enter a difficult phase. The upcoming earnings season could be one of the worst in past several years and some of the global headwinds with regards to liquidity also remain, feels Sabharwal. Sector specific, he thinks telecom could outperform once the auction process is over but It and captial goods could report muted third quarter earnings. Some midcap stocks could be good bets for 2015.

The market is still struggling with the Sensex down 107.36 points at 27101.25. The Nifty was down 18.25 points at 8155.85. About 1221 shares have advanced, 1325 shares declined, and 118 shares are unchanged.

Trading volumes remained low as investor interest was subdued despite Friday being the first trading day for the new monthly derivatives contract, traders said. Infosys, Sun Pharma, HDFC, Hindalco and SBI are major gainers while ITC, Maruti, ICICI Bank and Tata Motors are laggards.

Japanese stocks ticked up, with sentiment buoyed by bullish expectations for 2015 helping to overcome slight losses from profit-taking in the morning session. The Nikkei benchmark closed up 0.1 percent at 17,818.96 in quiet trade. The average added 1.1 percent over the holiday-shortened week, which saw the thinnest trade volume since May.

12:55pm Market Update
The Sensex declined 22.18 points to 27186.43 while the Nifty rose 2.60 points to 8176.70. About 1253 shares have advanced, 1229 shares declined, and 114 shares are unchanged.

12:40pm Zensar in Focus
Investors bought more shares of Zensar Technologies after the software services provider bagged multi-million dollar deals in its infrastructure management (IM) business in the US.

"We are delighted with the traction in the IM managed services business and are also getting wins in new areas like end user experience management," said Ganesh Natarajan, vice chairman and CEO of the company.

The deal pipeline in enterprise applications and infrastructure management is strong, he adds. "We look forward to a good year in 2015-16," says Natarajan.

The company recently signed several new deals in infrastructure management, including contracts from financial services firm, US-based life science tools and molecular diagnostic products company, international digital security company etc.

Recently Zensar signed partnership with Aternity Inc, to expand its managed services footprint globally for end user experience management.

12:25pm Market Expert
Rahul Arora, CEO, Nirmal Bang Institutional Equities says the house has a positive outlook for 2015 and sees Nifty around 9500 plus/minus 5 percent by Diwali next year backed by strong fundamentals.

The house expects earnings to pick up towards the backend of FY16 and there is a definite case for interest rates to come down. They also expect a stable global scenario going forward with respect to oil, Ukraine and clarity on US interest rates.

Every dip in the market should be utilised as a buying opportunity, says Arora. Even today's levels could be an entry point for the long-terms investors, he adds.

Speaking about the expectations from the Budget, he says foreign institutional investors (FIIs) would be watching it far more keenly than domestic investors and in case the Budget delivers on expected lines, then there could get the big delta in direction of 9500 for the Nifty.

12:00pm Market Check
The 50-share NSE Nifty remained in a consolidation mode on the first day of January series. The Nifty retraced after touching the 8,200 mark in early trade, up 5.6 points to 8179.70 while the broader markets marginally outperformed benchmarks with the advance decline ratio favouring the advances.

The 30-share BSE Sensex declined 11.27 points to 27197.34 while the BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices gained 0.2-0.4 percent.

Shares of ITC, Tata Motors, HUL and Maruti Suzuki were major contributors to the Sensex fall, down over a percent while HDFC, Infosys, L&T, HDFC Bank, SBI, Axis Bank, Sun Pharma, Coal India and Sesa Sterlite supported with more than half a percent gains.

Power Grid was among the top gainers on Nifty. Reports suggested that the power ministry has invoked provision of "compressed time schedule" to award 8 new transmission projects to the company. The estimated cost for these 8 projects is seen at Rs 36,000 crore.

Bharti Airtel was in focus after the company hiked rates for voice over internet protocol calls, like skype or viber. Kotak says this move is aimed at making VOIP calls more expensive compared to legacy voice calls.

Other stocks in focus include Reliance Capital. The stock gained 0.9 percent after Sumitomo Mitsui picked up 2.77 percent stake for Rs 371 crore. Reliance Capital says this is the first step and an increase in stake will be discussed further.

SpiceJet rallied 8 percent as the company is expected to provide a revival plan to the government today. Reports indicated that JPMorgan Chase and former founder Ajay singh is planning to invest USD 200 million in the beleagured airline and the deal is likely to be finalised in the next 6 weeks.

11:50 am Market outlook: The market is unlikely to fall much ahead of the Budget, says UR Bhatt of Dalton Capital Advisors. In an interview to CNBC-TV18's Latha Venkatesh and Sonia Shenoy, he says the Nifty could move in a range of 7900-8300 till Budget. Bhatt sees 7900 as a strong support level for the Nifty. He expects shares of cement and engineering companies to be good buying opportunities post-Budget, as new projects take shape. He expects consolidation in the PSU banks space and feels these banks could be the surprise winners of 2015.

Bhatt feels the RBI may wait for the currency to stabilise before cutting interest rates. He sees spectrum auction as an important trigger in the telecom sector, and expects the next one year to be an uncertain one for telecom companies because of regulatory disruptions. His advice to clients for 2015 is to invest 50 percent in equities and the rest in debt.

11:30 am Buzzing: Investors lapped up more shares of SpiceJet ahead of submission of revival plan to the government on Friday. The stock gained as much as 10.5 percent intraday. "Beleaguered budget carrier SpiceJet would submit a revival plan to the government today on the basis of a proposed investment of USD 200 million from founding promoter Ajay Singh and US-based JP Morgan Chase," media reports said quoting unnamed official sources.

The potential investors are likely to buy stake from current promoter Kalanithi Maran by infusing USD 200 million within a month to help the airline stay afloat, said the report. The airline has already received Rs 17 crore from the investors, the sources said, adding that "it has wiped off all its dues to the oil companies".

The market seems to be still in a holiday mood and refuses to budge ahead. The Sensex is down 1.38 points at 27207.23 and the Nifty is up 7.75 points at 8181.85. The Nifty retraces after touching the 8200 mark in early trade. About 1169 shares have advanced, 945 shares declined, and 85 shares are unchanged.

SBI, Coal India, Sesa Sterlite, Axis Bank and Sun Pharma are top gainers in the Sensex. Among the top losers are GAIL, HUL, ITC, Wipro and Tata Motors.

Globally, Asian markets are mostly higher in post Christmas trade. Japan's economic data was mixed with the industrial data below estimates.

Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth a net Rs 2,808.27 crore on Wednesday, as per provisional data available with stock exchanges.

Brent crude futures held above USD 60 a barrel as strong US economic data supported the market, but oil prices were track for their fifth straight weekly decline as a building supply glut capped gains. On the supply side, data suggested an increasing glut as US data showed crude inventories unexpectedly rose by 7.3 million barrels last week to their highest December level on record. Analysts had expected a seasonal draw.

10:55am Market Update
The Sensex fell 24.64 points to 27183.97 while the Nifty rose 1.60 points to 8175.70.
About 1167 shares have advanced, 993 shares declined, and 76 shares are unchanged on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

10:40am Japanese bank picks up stake in RCap
Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG) on Thursday announced a strategic alliance with Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank in which the Japanese bank would pick up 2.77 percent stake in Reliance Capital, the group's non-banking financial company that has interests in financing, asset management and insurance.

The deal, valued at Rs 371 crore and to be carried out via a preferential allotment, will give Japan's is part of a long-term alliance and Sumitomo may increase stake in Reliance Capital further, CEO Sam Ghosh told CNBC-TV18.

''India is one of the favourable destinations for Sumitomo and this is a token investment,'' he said, adding that Rel Cap will be looking to set up a joint mergers and acquisition desk.

In 2011, Reliance Capital, which had total debt of about Rs 18,305 crore as of September, had sold 26 percent stake in its life insurance business to Japan's Nippon. Nippon also picked up 26 percent stake in its asset management business in 2012 and increased it to 35 percent in November this year.

10:25am Japanese economic data
Japanese annual core consumer inflation slowed for a fourth straight month in November due largely to sliding oil prices, highlighting the challenges the central bank faces in achieving its 2 percent inflation target.

Factory output unexpectedly fell and real wages marked the steepest drop in five years, underscoring the fragility of the recovery and dealing a blow to premier Shinzo Abe's stimulus policies aimed at pulling the economy out of stagnation.

The core consumer price index (CPI), which excludes volatile fresh food but includes oil products, rose 2.7 percent in November from a year earlier, matching a median market forecast, government data showed on Friday.

Stripping out the effects of a sales tax hike in April, core consumer inflation was 0.7 percent, slowing from 0.9 percent in October and far below the Bank of Japan's 2 percent target, reports Reuters.

10:00am Market Check
Equity benchmarks erased early gains with the Sensex falling 38.04 points to 27170.57 and the Nifty declining 2.70 points to 8171.40 weighed by FMCG, metals, oil & gas and select technology stocks. However, banks and capital goods stocks remained firm.

About 870 shares have advanced, 873 shares declined, and 68 shares are unchanged on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Sandip Sabharwal of asksandipsabharwal.com is very skeptical of the market for the first few months of 2015. According to him the market is likely to enter a difficult phase. The upcoming earnings season could be one of the worst in past several years and some of the global headwinds with regards to liquidity also remain, feels Sabharwal.

Shares of ITC, Tata Motors, Hindustan Unilever, Wipro, Sesa Sterlite and GAIL declined 1 percent each while Infosys, State Bank of India, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, L&T, ICICI Bank, Sun Pharma, Coal India, Tata Power and BHEL gained 0.2-1 percent.

Power Grid gained 2 percent as reports suggest that power ministry invoked provision of ''compressed time schedule'' to award 8 new transmission projects to the company. The estimated cost for these 8 projects is seen at Rs 36,000 crore.

SpiceJet surged 9 percent ahead of the company providing a revival plan to government today. Reports suggest that JPM Chase and Ajay Singh could invest USD 200 million and the deal is likely to be finalised in next 6 weeks. Kalanithi Maran is keen to exit the airline completely.

9:50 am Buzzing: Shares of Va Tech Wabag gained nearly 5 percent intraday on winning sewage treatment plant order in Philippines.

The contract value of the order is about Rs 175 crore and the project is funded by World Bank. "Wabag will design and build the 60 MLD Valenzuela sewage treatment plant for Maynilad Water Services Inc. using the activated sludge process," said the company in its filing to exchange.

The contract also includes operation and maintenance of the plant as part of performance proving period of one year. "Wabag Philippines has proven once again by winning this repeat order in Valenzuela," said Coleridge Shelley, Director, Wabag Philippines.

9:30 am Gearing up for Budget:  Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will meet state finance ministers today to elicit their views on the forthcoming budget to be presented in Lok Sabha in February-end.

After meeting state finance ministers, Jaitley will start customary pre-budget consultations with different interest groups, including industry and trade unions.

He will be presenting the first full fledged budget of the Narendra Modi-led government in February. Last year, the then Finance Minister P Chidambaram had brought an interim budget in February for the fiscal 2014-15 and later in July, Jaitley presented a regular one. The meeting with state finance ministers assumes significance as Jaitley is also likely to discuss CST compensation and other issues related to proposed Goods and Service Tax (GST).

The market has opened January F&O series with marginal gains. The Sensex is up 64.99 points at 27273.60 and the Nifty is up 32.00 points at 8206.10. About 571 shares have advanced, 218 shares declined, and 20 shares are unchanged.

Coal India, SBI, HDFC, ICICI Bank and Tata Power are top gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers are GAIL, ITC, Maruti, Dr Reddy's and Hindalco.

The Indian rupee opened with marginal gain of 7 paise at 63.45 per dollar on Friday against 63.52 Wednesday.

The dollar edged up against the yen on light bargain hunting following two sessions of losses, with markets slowly getting into gear after the Christmas holiday.

Pramit Brahmbhatt of Veracity said, "Local equity market is likely to trade sideways today and will take cues from global markets for further directions. Though not much action is expected as most of the markets are closed on the occasion of Christmas and New year.''

''Asian markets have already started the day mixed. Dollar strength will keep the rupee under pressure. Range for the day is seen between 63.20-63.80/dollar," he added.

Global markets, meanwhile, are mixed with the US stocks ending near unchanged on Wednesday, with the Dow furthering its record climb, a day after its first trip above 18,000.  The jobless claims fell by 9,000 to 280,000 last week.

In Asian markets, Japanese shares kick off trade on a weak note following the release of a mixed bag of economic data.

In commodities, crude prices slip with Brent at USD 60 per barrel as crude inventories unexpectedly surged last week as imports jumped and refineries maintained output.
Back home, major public sector bank reforms may be on the anvil.