Nifty ends below 8800; Axis up 5%, ITC & HUL fall 2%

03:30pm Market close
The market succumbed to profit booking pressures as the Nifty could not retain holding above the 8800-level. The 50-share index was down 11.50 points at 8797.40 while the Sensex slipped 60.68 points at 29122.27. About 1618 shares have advanced, 1298 shares declined, and 256 shares are unchanged.

Axis Bank gained over 5 percent, while Hindalco was 4 percent. Among the gainers were Wipro, L&T and GAIL. Bharti Airtel lost over 3 percent, Dr Reddy's Labs, HUL, ICICI and ITC were other laggards.

03:00pm Cut in sugare prices
Sugar prices eased by Rs 10 per quintal at the wholesale sugar market in the national capital today due to huge stocks position following ample supplies from mills against on subdued demand. Marketmen said besides falling demand from bulk consumers despite ongoing wedding season, mounting stocks in the market following persistent supplies from mills mainly put pressure on sweetener prices. Sugar ready M-30 and S-30 prices were lower by Rs 10 each to Rs 2,780-3,010 and Rs 2,770-2,990 per quintal.

02:50pm Will RBI cut repo rate tomorrow?
The Reserve Bank of India will announce its credit policy on February 3 after governor Raghuram Rajan surprised the street with an out of turn repo rate cut of 25 bps on January 15, 2015 on the premise that inflation number has come down and would remain largely range bound in the next few months.

Against this backdrop, is there a scope of further rate cut tomorrow?

A CNBC-TV18 poll of the bankers and economists suggests only 10 percent of the respondents are still looking forward to another rate cut of 25 bps, but the majority believes the rates will remain unchanged this time, but the governor may act post the Union Budget.

A 55 percent respondents expect the RBI to announce three more rate cuts in 2015 taking repo to 7 percent by the end of the year; 35 percent expect only two more cuts this year while 10 percent see only one more cut coming their way.

A majority also said the RBI will lower its CPI forecast for March to under 6 percent while 35 percent expect RBI to keep March CPI forecast unchanged at 6 percent; only 20 percent see RBI cutting it to below 5.5 percent.

02:30pm Payment bank licence
Telecom investor Aditya Birla Nuvo and retailer Future Group were among the first big names to apply for licenses to run so-called payments banks, under rules meant to put basic banking within the reach of hundreds of millions.

Monday is the deadline for applications to run payments banks - which cannot lend - but also for permits to run small finance banks.

Indian authorities, including the RBI which will award the licenses, hope the permits will further financial inclusion, in a country where nearly half the population does not have access to formal banking.

Aditya Birla Nuvo, which is the biggest shareholder in India's third-biggest cellular carrier Idea Cellular Ltd , said it plans to own 51 percent of the payments bank, while Idea will own the remainder. Idea can later raise its holding to 60 percent.

Future Group, one of India's biggest retailers, also said it had applied on Monday for a payments bank permit.

Top Indian telecommunications carrier Bharti Airtel Ltd has said it would apply, reports Reuters.

02:00pm Market Check
The market remained volatile with a negative bias in afternoon trade while midcaps outperformed. The Sensex fell 107.51 points to 29075.44 and the Nifty declined 26.05 points to 8782.85.

However, the BSE Midcap Index gained 0.5 percent and Smallcap climbed 1 percent. About 1555 shares have advanced, 1231 shares declined, and 246 shares are unchanged on the BSE.

Ajay Argal of Barings Asset Management says he remains positive on Indian equities at current levels. Market is not very expensive from a 3-4 years time horizon, he adds.

Shares of ICICI Bank, ITC, HUL, Bharti Airtel and Dr Reddy's Labs slipped 2-4 percent whereas Axis Bank, L&T, Wipro and Hindalco gained 2-4 percent.

Auto sales for January showed weakness for 2-wheeler sector. Bajaj Auto reported a 9 percent drop in January auto sales while TVS Motor posted just a 1.1 percent Y-o-Y growth in sales. On the other hand, Maruti recorded a 14 percent jump in total sales led by the near doubling in export sales. Eicher Motors too gained post a 25 percent rise in total sales.

HCL Technologies added another 5 percent to Friday's rally as brokerages appeared bullish on the stock. CLSA raised target price to Rs 2,200 and expects to see continued earnings surprises & re-rating potential. Citi too raised the target to Rs 2,175 on their sole 'buy ' call in the Indian IT services space.

Sun Pharma and Ranbaxy traded at all-time highs. The US Federal Trade Commission has given a conditional nod to the USD 4 billion merger based on divestment of anti-bacterial drug. The merger now just needs approval from Punjab and Haryana High Court which will be hearing on the merger today.

In macro data, HSBC manufacturing PMI indicated the economy is expanding but at a slower pace with the figure slowing to a 3-month low of 52.9 in January 2015 against 54.5 in December 2014.

1:55 pm Result: Bharat Forge surpassed street expectations on Monday by reporting 108.8 percent growth in the bottomline during October-December quarter. Net profit increased to Rs 196.3 crore from Rs 94 crore on year-on-year basis. A poll of CNBC-TV18 had expected profit at Rs 174.2 crore on revenue of Rs 1,202 crore for the quarter. Revenue of the forging company grew 44 percent to Rs 1,198 crore in the quarter ended December 2014 from Rs 832.1 crore in the year-ago period, which was in line.

1:45 pm Market check: The market recovers a bit as the Nifty manages to rise above the 8800-level. The 50-share index is up 2.00 points at 8810.90. The Sensex is down 10.85 points at 29172.10.  About 1557 shares have advanced, 1163 shares declined, and 231 shares are unchanged.

Hindalco is up 4 percent while Axis Bank and Wipro gain 3 percent each. GAIL & L&T are up 1.5 percent.

1:30 pm FII View: Shane Lee Director, Economist & Strategist-Equity Research, CIMB says the expectations around India's growth is worrisome since the only way it can pick up is through investments, which at the moment looks sluggish.  Lee says he is overweight on financials and consumer discretionaries in India but  underweight on cement.  However, he says Indian equities may not repeat the tops achieved last year. He has kept a Nifty target of 5500 this year.

Speaking about US market, Lee said the US GDP numbers may force the Fed to push back its interest rate raising programme. However, a lot of capital flew into US bond market over the last few weeks.

Profit booking continues on Dalal Street dragging the indices sharply. The Sensex is down 190.68 points or 0.6 percent at 28992.27. The Nifty slips 50.20 points or 0.6 percent at 8758.70. About 1504 shares have advanced, 1152 shares declined, and 242 shares are unchanged.

Bharti Airtel, Dr Reddy's Labs and ICICI Bank are down 3 percent while Bajaj Auto and HUL are other losers in the Sensex. Among the gainers are Hindalco, Wipro, GAIL, Sun Pharma and TCS.

Japanese share prices fell after soft US and China economic data raised doubts over global growth prospects, while shares in two printer manufacturers tumbled after disappointing earnings. Beneficiaries from sliding oil prices in the past several months - ranging from airline companies and rubber makers to power companies -also took a big hit after oil prices posted their biggest rebound in 2-1/2 years.

12:30pm Market Expert
As far as markets are concerned, the middle of the last week where it was at around 8900, I had expressed concern that the Sensex juggernaut looked likely to halt in the short-term because we were at that point in time trading at 13 percent premium to last 10 years' average, said Ajay Bodke, Head - Investment Strategy and Advisory at Prabhudas Lilladher, adding that the Nifty has seen a 100-point correction from there.

It was a rude check for the markets, the way PSU banks came out with numbers last week. Even private bank behemoth ICICI Bank showcased stress in its loans.

Bodke said the Nifty is still trading at 11.3 percent premium (to last 10 year's average) and hence he expects another 2-3 percent correction. More so, he sees global cues to further drag it down.

According to him, the banking sector is clearly the weakest spot.

12:00pm Market Check
The market extended losses amid consolidation in noon trade. The 30-share BSE Sensex fell 211.23 points to 28971.72 and the Nifty shed 52 points to 8756.90 led by weakness in financials, auto stocks and select FMCG names.

However, the BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices outperformed benchmarks, up 0.5-0.7 percent. Advancing shares outnumbered declining ones by a ratio of 1419 to 1080 on the BSE.

Bajaj Auto slumped 2 percent after the company posted a 9 percent drop in January auto sales, the lowest in 18 months. Rajiv Bajaj told CNBC-TV18 that the impact came on the back of the excise duty hike. He is hopeful of a bump in exports post Nigeria polls next month. On the other hand, Maruti Suzuki recorded a 14 percent jump in total sales led by the near doubling in export sales. The stock gained 1.5 percent. Eicher Motors too gained 2 percent post a 25 percent rise in total sales.

Future Retail surged 11 percent as the company announced its plans to apply for a payment bank license. The new entity, if approved will be named nu-future payments bank. Reports suggest that the new payment bank will not come under any listed entity. Additionally, sources indicate that IDFC too may pick up a stake in the payments bank.

Despite posting a weak set of Q3 earnings, Monsanto rallied over 13 percent and posted a fresh 52-week high on reports that genetically modified crops could soon become a reality in India. Advanta too gained about 4 percent.

Berger Paints is under pressure, down 3 percent after Q3 earnings missed street expectations with standalone revenue growth in low double digits. However, margins expanded beyond 13 percent as the softening of input costs starts reflecting in numbers. Peer company Asian Paints topped the selling list on the Nifty, down 5.5 percent.

HCL Technologies added another 5 percent to Friday's rally as brokerages appeared bullish on the stock. CLSA raised target price to Rs 2,200 and expects to see continued earnings surprises & re-rating potential. Citi too raised the target to Rs 2,175 on their sole 'buy ' call in the Indian IT services space.

Sun Pharma and Ranbaxy Labs traded at all-time highs. The US Federal Trade Commission has given a conditional nod to the USD 4 billion merger based on divestment of anti-bacterial drug. The merger now just needs approval from Punjab and Haryana High Court which will be hearing on the merger today.

Jet Airways and SpiceJet gained 3 percent after jet fuel prices cut for the seventh time since August last year. HSBC expects Jet to post a profit of Rs 430 crore in FY16.

11:55 am India PMI: Growth in India's factory activity slipped in January from December's two-year high as new orders rose at a weaker rate despite factories keeping price increases to a minimum, a business survey showed on Monday.

Cooling growth and inflation could give the Reserve Bank of India reason to cut interest rates again in the coming months but any move may depend on the government's annual budget due on Feb. 28.

The HSBC Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), compiled by Markit, fell to a three-month low of 52.9 in January from December's two-year high of 54.5.

It has been above the 50 level, which denotes growth, since November 2013 but missed poll expectations for a smaller drop in January, to 53.5.

11:40 am Auto sales: Car market leader Maruti Suzuki sold 1.16 lakh units in January, a growth of 13.7 percent compared to 1.02 lakh units sold in the year-ago period driven by domestic as well as exports growth.

Domestic sales grew 8.7 percent year-on-year to 1.05 lakh units during the first month of the calendar year 2015, largely supported by Ciaz car (that launched in October 2014). Exports jumped 89 percent to 11,047 units during the same period.

Passenger vehicles sales climbed 7.9 percent to 89,014 units in January from 82,461 units in same month last year. Ciaz (which falls into the mid-size car segment) along with SX4 reported sales at 6,005 units in January against 191 units in the year-ago month.

11:30 am Result analysis: Shares of HCL Tech jumped over 5 percent, touching record high at Rs 1889 per share intraday. Investors have been hurriedly buying the IT company's stocks after it posted stellar December quarter earnings on Friday.

Brokerages maintain bullish stance on the stock as HCL Tech's profit increased 2.3 percent sequentially to Rs 1,915 crore during the quarter. CLSA reiterates a buy rating and increased target price by 15 percent to Rs 2200 per share. It has also upgraded its FY16/17 EPS by 7/8 percent and feels that strong deals, hiring and margin levers, suggest continued earnings surprises and possibility of a re-rating.

Citi also maintains buy with an increased target of Rs 2175 from Rs 1980. Citing reasonable valuations HCL Tech is Citi's only buy in the Indian IT services space.

The market starts the week on a subdued note. The Nifty is down 22.65 points at 8786.25 as financials, auto stocks and select FMCG continue to weigh. The Sensex is down 87.41 points at 29095.54.

About 1409 shares have advanced, 858 shares declined, and 218 shares are unchanged.

Sun Pharma, Hindalco, Maruti, Wipro and L&T are top gainers in the Sensex while Dr Reddy's Labs, Bajaj Auto, HUL, ICICI Bank and Coal India are losers.

IT stocks continue their outperformance into today. Tech Mahindra gained reacting to its quarterly earnings that were released on Friday evening. The company reported a dollar revenue growth of 2.7 percent higher than estimates constant currency growth at 4.9 percent, EBIT margins too.

Globally, Asian markets are lower as lower China PMI sparks growth fears.The final HSBC PMI fell to 49.7 in January for China below flash estimates of 49.8, the data comes a data after the official PMI indicated a contraction for the first time in 2.5 years. Brent crude is above USD 50 a barrel.

10:50am Maruti Suzuki January sales
Maruti Suzuki's sales in January rose 13.7 percent to 1.16 lakh units compared to 1.02 lakh units sold in the year-ago period, aided by domestic as well as exports growth.

Domestic sales grew 8.7 percent year-on-year to 1.05 lakh units from 96,569 units while exports jumped 89 percent to 11,047 units from 5,847 units in the month ended January.

Passenger vehicles sales climbed 7.9 percent to 89,014 units in January from 82,461 units in same month last year.

10:30am Manufacturing PMI
Despite falling from December's two-year record of 54.5 to 52.9, the headline HSBC India Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) remained consistent with a solid improvement in business conditions in January.

PMI is a seasonally adjusted indicator designed to give an accurate overview of manufacturing operating conditions.

Moreover, the latest expansion was the fifteenth in as many months. Sector data highlighted consumer goods as the best performing of the three market groups for the third month in a row, says HSBC in its report.

"Manufacturing activity continued to signal improvement in January, though the rate of growth slipped to a three-month low. The slip can partly be attributed to consolidation after two months of impressive upticks," said Pranjul Bhandari, Chief India Economist at HSBC.

"New orders, both from domestic and international sources, also continued to grow, though at a slower pace than in December. New orders were strongest in the consumer goods sector. On the inflation front, growth in input and output prices moderated further due to cheaper commodity prices," he added.

"Sluggish growth and falling inflation further reinforces our view that the RBI should deliver upfront rate cuts. We expect the repo rate to be lowered by 75bp in the first half of 2015," said Pranjul.

10:00am Market Check
The market remained under pressure amid consolidation following weakness in Asian equities post China data. The Sensex fell 73.99 points to 29108.96 and the Nifty declined 16.30 points at 8792.60.

The broader markets outperformed benchmarks with the BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices gaining 0.6 percent each. About 1230 shares have advanced, 708 shares declined, and 195 shares are unchanged.

Sun Pharma gained more than 2 percent and Ranbaxy jumped over 3.5 percent to hit record highs. The US Federal Trade Commission approved the pharma major's plan to buy Ranbaxy on the condition that it divests one antibiotic product to avoid anti-competitive impact in the US market. Torrent Pharma will acquire Ranbaxy's minocycline business in the US.

Jet Airways and SpiceJet rallied more than 4 percent as aviation turbine fuel (ATF) is slashed by a steep 11.3 percent which now costs lesser than diesel. The price of ATF, or jet fuel, in Delhi was cut by Rs 5,909.9 per kilolitre, or 11.27 per cent, to Rs 46,513.02 per kl, oil companies announced.

9:50 am Big move: Shares of Jet Airways soared 5.5 percent while beleaguered SpiceJet jumped 7 percent intraday as aviation turbine fuel (ATF) is slashed by a steep 11.3 percent which now costs lesser than diesel.

The price of ATF, or jet fuel, in Delhi was cut by Rs 5,909.9 per kilolitre, or 11.27 per cent, to Rs 46,513.02 per kl, oil companies announced.

Last month's reduction saw the ATF price slip to Rs 52.42 a litre, below Rs 58.91 a litre cost of petrol in Delhi. Post this cut it costs Rs 46.51 per litre and is cheaper than diesel that sells at Rs 51.52 per litre.

ATF has a higher octane than petrol and diesel is a heavier fraction in the distillation process. Traditionally, auto fuels being of lesser quality than ATF, would cost less. ATF attracts an excise duty of 8 percent. Jet fuel constitutes over 40 percent of an airline's operating costs and the price cut will ease the financial burden of cash-strapped carriers.

9:40 am Brokerage: Brokerage house CLSA has initiated coverage on Adani Enterprises with a buy rating and a price target of Rs 750 following the proposal for a 4-way demerger announced by the company on Friday.

''We see Adani Enterprises' plan to de-merge into four entities to create value by eliminating hold company discount and bring focus on some of its under-appreciated businesses. De-merger shall also aid in fund raising for Adani's growth businesses on a leaner balance-sheet,'' said the CLSA note to clients.

9:30 am  Buzzing: Shares of both Sun Pharma and Ranbaxy jumped 3 percent each, touching all-time high of Rs 942 per share and Rs 728 respectively. The US Federal Trade Commission has approved the pharma major's plan to buy Ranbaxy on the condition that it divests one antibiotic product to avoid anti-competitive impact in the US market.

Torrent Pharma will acquire Ranbaxy's minocycline business in the US. Generic minocycline tablets are used to treat a wide array of bacterial infections, including pneumonia, acne, and urinary tract infections.

The Sun-Ranbaxy merger now needs approval from just the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The court will be hearing on the merger on February 2. Sun Pharma had agreed to buy Ranbaxy from Japan's Daiichi Sankyo in April.

The market is still under selling pressure on Monday morning trade. The Sensex is down 62.01 points at 29120.94 and the Nifty slips 10.95 points at 8797.95. About 495 shares have advanced, 312 shares declined, and 168 shares are unchanged.

Coal India is down over 2 percent, while Dr Reddy's Labs, ICICI Bank, SBI and HDFC Bank are losers in the Sensex. Among the gainers are Sun Pharma, ONGC, Wipro, Tata Power and Sesa Sterlite.

The Indian rupee opened lower by 13 paise at 61.99 per dollar versus Friday's closing value of 61.86 a dollar.

Dollar steady against a basket of major currencies. The dollar index is above 94. Meanwhile, US treasury prices jumped on Friday with long term yield hitting record lows after poor GDP data.

Agam Gupta of Standard Chartered said, "We should see supply of dollars from FIIs today as the Coal India OFS got approximately USD 1 billion of bids from these accounts. Should see exporters sell dollars on upticks towards 62.20. The spot should range between 61.85-62.25/dollar today."

Asian markets are negative in morning trade. In commodities, oil prices declined after a sharp rally on Friday where Nymex had surged 8 percent as unions called a strike at US oil and chemical plants on the weekend, cutting some of the gains made late last week.

Gold rose over 2 percent to USD 1280 an ounce.