Sensex gains 178 points, Midcap & Smallcap up 1.5%; JSPL jumps

The market remained higher in trade for the second consecutive session with the 50-share NSE Nifty closing above 8600 level, led by bank stocks again.

The index climbed 61.85 points to 8627.40 while the 30-share BSE Sensex rose 178.35 points to 28533.97. The broader markets outperformed benchmarks with the BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices rising 1.5 percent each.

Experts believe the upside may continue till Budget (to be announced on February 28). However, they see some correction post Budget.

A pre-Budget rally is likely, but that is more because the market has already seen a good correction, says Ajay Srivastava of Dimensions Consulting.

According to him, barring a handful of banking stocks and the top 20 companies, FIIs have been generally cautious on India. However, domestic investors have aggressively bought turnaround stories in the hope of an improvement in earnings.

Private banks, FMCG, metals, select technology and healthcare stocks supported the market. However, capital goods and oil stocks were mixed.

Axis Bank spiked nearly 3 percent followed by ICICI Bank with 1 percent gain and HDFC Bank with 0.3 percent upside. However, State Bank of India fell 0.4 percent.

Jindal Steel & Power topped the buying list, up 6 percent after Delhi High Court directed the government to withdraw two coal blocks of JSPL from auction. Tata Steel, Sesa Sterlite and Coal India gained 1-2 percent.

Aluminium major Hindalco Industries advanced 0.44 percent ahead of Q3 earnings (on Thursday). A CNBC-TV18 poll sees a 26 percent rise in profit and 21 percent increase in revenue for Q3.

TCS remained confident of beating NASSCOM's 12-14 percent growth guidance for FY16. Natarajan Chandrasekaran, CEO & MD told CNBC-TV18 that the company is seeing growth across markets, adding government's push for digital India will aid revenues. The stock gained 0.7 percent.

Among others, Maruti Suzuki, NTPC, HUL and Bajaj Auto were other prominent gainers, up 1-2 percent. However, ONGC shed 2.6 percent. M&M and Tata Motors were down 0.8-0.9 percent.

However, BHEL lost 2.4 percent ahead of Q3 earnings tomorrow. A CNBC-TV18 poll expects a 38 percent decline in profit and 13 percent fall in revenue.

In the broader space, Fortis Healthcare, NCC, Pipavav Defence, HCC, Syndicate Bank, Jindal Saw, GMR Infra, Texmaco, Aurobindo Pharma, Rolta, Wockhardt, Ashok Leyland, Adani Power and DCB Bank surged 6-20 percent.

However, Intellect Design, J&K Bank, HDIL, JP Infra, Muthoot Finance and NIIT Technologies slipped 2-3 percent.

Advancing shares outnumbered declining ones on the Bombay Stock Exchange by a ratio of 1733 to 1071.

Global markets were mixed as investors are cautious ahead of a meeting of eurogroup finance ministers in Brussels to discuss a solution to the Greek debt crisis. In Asia, Shanghai gained 0.5 percent while Hang Seng declined 0.9 percent. European markets were trading marginally lower (at 16 hours IST).

03:30 Market closing
The market ended in green for second straight day. The Sensex was up 178.35 points at 28533.97, and the Nifty ended up 61.85 points at 8627.40. About 1729 shares have advanced, 1076 shares declined, and 216 shares are unchanged.

Axis Bank was up 3 percent while NTPC, Maruti, L&T and RIL were top gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers were ONGC, BHEL, M&M, Cipla and Tata Motors.

03:20 pm Sugar sale
The world's second biggest sugar producer, is considering giving export incentives for 1.4 million tonnes raw sugar, Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, as mills started distress sale of the sweetener to pay cane farmers.

"The ministry's views is that we should give subsidy for 1.4 million tonnes...the paper has been circulated for a cabinet meeting," Paswan told. Without any government incentive, Indian sugar is uncompetitive in world markets well supplied by low-cost producers Brazil and Thailand.

Subsidies of Rs 3,300 a tonne helped exports of raw sugar last year and government sources said last month India was considering a rise in the subsidy to Rs 4,000 this year.

03:00pm Interview
IT services firm Cognizant has guided to a 16 percent growth for calendar year 2015 and believes its forecast is fair since it is seeing increased traction in all its businesses.

The company is also eyeing 19 percent growth for fiscal FY15 led by higher spending in healthcare. The forecast is higher than Nasscom's projection of 12-14 percent growth exports for FY16. The Nasdaq-listed IT company has crossed the USD 10 billion revenue mark.

Speaking to CNBC-TV18, Malcolm Frank said it will continue to focus on growth and surpassing its peers has been a natural by product. Cognizant bases its upbeat guidance on strong demand environment across services, that too after factoring in higher Visa costs. The company does not think US will pass its Immigration Bill in next two years.

02:45pm Ricoh India locked at 20% upper circuit
Ricoh India has turned profitable during October-December quarter with net at Rs 10.6 crore as against loss of Rs 0.2 crore in the year-ago period. The bottomline was supported by strong revenue growth and higher other income.

Net sales of the leading office automation company shot up 80.3 percent to Rs 409 crore in Q3FY15 from Rs 226.8 crore in same quarter last year.

Goods business increased 115.6 percent Y-o-Y to Rs 289.8 crore with EBIT loss at Rs 5.5 crore (against loss of Rs 8.5 crore in Q3FY14). Services segment reported a 29 percent growth at Rs 119.3 crore with EBIT rising 64.6 percent at Rs 34.4 crore in the quarter gone by.

02:30pm Syndicate Bank in News
State owned Syndicate Bank has registered a decline of around 20 percent in net profit for the third quarter ended December 2014 at Rs 304.99 crore. Bank's net profit in the corresponding October-December quarter of previous fiscal stood at Rs 379.76 crore.

Total income has increased from Rs 5,011.28 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2013 to Rs 5,921.58 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2014," it said in a filing to the BSE.

The net interest margin, a gauge of profitability, fell to 2.25 percent during Q3-FY15, from 2.76 per cent in Q3-FY14.

On the asset front, gross non performing assets (NPAs) or bad loans increased to 3.6 percent of gross advances, from 2.8 percent in the year ago period. Net NPAs were at 2.38 percent of net advances in the third quarter of 2014-15, up from 1.66 percent during the same period a year earlier.

02:00pm Market Check
It's a steady day of trade on Dalal Street. The market gained for the second consecutive day led by banking stocks. The broader markets outperformed benchmarks with the BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices rising 1.3 percent each.

The Sensex advanced 208.90 points to 28564.52 and the Nifty climbed 72.05 points to 8637.60. About 1603 shares have advanced, 1060 shares declined, and 224 shares are unchanged on the BSE.

Ajay Srivastava of Dimensions Consulting expects the market to rise in the run-up to the Budget. He says FIIs are mainly betting on largecaps and banking names. He remains cautious on PSU banks as he sees another deep correction if NPAs rise.

Global markets traded mixed. Investors are cautious ahead of a meeting of eurogroup finance ministers in Brussels to discuss a solution to the Greek debt crisis.

The rupee traded marginally higher today tracking strength in equities. The 10-year benchmark yield is rangebound ahead of retail inflation data due tomorrow.

TCS is confident of beating NASSCOM's 12-14 percent growth guidance for FY16. Natarajan Chandrasekaran, CEO & MD told CNBC-TV18 that the company is seeing growth across markets, adding government's push for digital India will aid revenues.

Jindal Steel topped the buying list on Nifty, up 8 percent followed by L&T, Bank of Baroda, PNB, Axis Bank, Reliance Industries, Maruti and NTPC with 2-3 percent gains.

1:50 pm Market outlook: A pre-Budget rally is likely, but that is more because the market has already seen a good correction, says Ajay Srivastava of Dimensions Consulting. In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Srivastava says he expects a sell off in post the Budget. According to him, barring a handful of banking stocks and the top 20 companies, FIIs have been generally cautious on India. However, domestic investors have aggressively bought turnaround stories in the hope of an improvement in earnings. It is already clear that the improvement will take longer than what was initially expected, to play out and that could be the trigger for the post-Budget sell off, feels Srivastava.

1:30 pm Buzzing: Shares of JP Associates fell over 3 percent intraday after its losses further widened in December quarter. Its net loss widened to Rs 116.09 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2014. The total income from operations during the quarter came down to Rs 2,583.35 crore, from over Rs 3,163.64 crore in the same quarter of the previous financial year.

Morgan Stanley says collapse in the real estate division led to weakness in revenue and margins. The EBIT margin fell 670 basis points Y-o-Y to 22.9 percent for the quarter, the lowest level in the last seven quarters. Given the pain across divisions, the company reported its worst quarterly EBIDTA margins in a decade at 16.3 percent (down 720 bps Y-o-Y) in Q3 FY15, resulting in a decrease of 43 percent Y-o-Y in EBITDA.

Macquarie maintains underperform rating on the stock with a target of Rs 27.30. Despite recent steps by the company on de-leveraging, Macquarie believes much more needs to be achieved for the company to have a comfortable balance sheet position.

Buying interest seems to continue in the market with Sensex gaining 227.34 points at 28582.96. The Nifty is up 73.10 points at 8638.65. About 1501 shares have advanced, 1011 shares declined, and 208 shares are unchanged.

L&T, ICICI Bank, Maruti, Axis Bank and NTPC are top gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers are ONGC, BHEL, Bharti Airtel, M&M and Tata Motors.

Gold inched up as the dollar took a breather after recent sharp gains and as caution prevailed in financial markets regarding Greece's future in the euro zone. The uncertainty over Greece debt issues has somewhat helped gold in recent days, but the metal is still down nearly 4 percent so far this month as a strong dollar and expectations of an interest rate hike in the United States have hurt the metal. Economic and financial uncertainties tend to boost demand for gold, seen as a safe-haven investment.

12:30pm Market Expert
A pre-Budget rally is likely, but that is more because the market has already seen a good correction, says Ajay Srivastava of Dimensions Consulting.

In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Srivastava says he expects a sell-off in post the Budget.

According to him, barring a handful of banking stocks and the top 20 companies, FIIs have been generally cautious on India. However, domestic investors have aggressively bought turnaround stories in the hope of an improvement in earnings.

It is already clear that the improvement will take longer than what was initially expected, to play out and that could be the trigger for the post-Budget sell off, feels Srivastava.

He expects smallcaps, midcaps and infra stocks to take a beating after the Budget.

12:00pm Market Check
The market gained for the second consecutive day today with the Nifty reclaiming 8,600 and Sensex scaling 28500 level. Gains were led by the banks. Both the PSU Bank and Bank Nifty indices climbed over a percent.

The 30-share BSE Sensex rose 153.39 points to 28509.01 and the 50-share NSE Nifty advanced 53.10 points to 8618.65. About 1450 shares have advanced, 938 shares declined, and 202 shares are unchanged on the BSE.

Fortis Healthcare, Wockhardt, UltraTech Cement, SBI, HDIL, Coal India, ICICI Bank and Larsen & Toubro were most active shares on exchanges. Fortis Healthcare surged 20 percent after 1.8 percent equity changed hands in 5 blocks on NSE and BSE.

Sun Pharma gained 1.6 percent today after Taro reported a revenue growth of over 11 percent in Q3. Margins beat estimates while net income came in higher by 23 percent at USD 142.5 million.

TCS remained confident of beating NASSCOM's 12-14 percent growth guidance for FY16. Natarajan Chandrasekaran, CEO & MD told CNBC-TV18 that he is seeing growth across markets. The stock traded above its 200-daily moving avearge today, up 1.2 percent.

Asian markets traded mixed as a drop in oil prices offset positive overnight cues from Wall Street. Uncertainty about a resolution to the Greek debt crisis also continued to weigh on investor sentiment.

11:55 am Poll: Taro Pharmaceutical Industries, a subsidiary of Sun Pharma, has reported a 28.7 percent growth in bottomline during October-December quarter at USD 142.5 million on yearly basis. The bottomline growth was driven by revenue, gross margin and cost containment.

Net sales of the drug maker grew 11.3 percent year-on-year to USD 237.7 million with a volume decrease across all markets, say the company's statement.

Operating income jumped 18.1 percent to USD 159.3 million in December quarter compared to USD 134.9 million in same quarter last fiscal.

Research and development expenses decreased USD 2.3 million to USD 12.8 million while selling, marketing, general and administrative expenses remained relatively flat at USD 21.3 million during the quarter.

11:45 am FII view: Aditya Narain, Citi says India's equity market remains a foreign show: USD 335 billion current foreign ownership, 23 percent stake in top 500 companies. "But we are seeing a domestic dawn with MF flows matching foreign ones, rising share of equities in retail MF wallet and a possible bottoming in insurance outflows," he adds.

"While FIIs continue to be the most aggressive, they all get a more cyclical bias. FIIs in October-December 2014 built on banks and scaled back on IT, pharma and staples. Domestics played cyclicals through industrials and materials, but cut banks," Narain says.

11:30 am Discount fare: Beleaguered SpiceJet is trying its best to woo customers and grab a pie of the sky, after its management changed hands. The low-cost airline has launched another discount scheme, this time, promising to offer tickets at a rate cheaper than trains. The three-day discount sale till February 13 offers domestic ticket at Rs 599 while international flights start as low as Rs 3,499 per person.

Travel dates for availing the scheme July 1-October 24, 2015.

The market is gaining for the second consecutive day with the Nifty reclaiming 8600 in early trade. Gains are led again by banks. The 50-share index is up 36.95 points at 8602.50. The Sensex is up 104.87 points at 28460.49. About 1332 shares have advanced, 789 shares declined and 189 shares are unchanged.

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

Brent crude held steady above USD 56 a barrel and US crude rose briefly more than USD 1, after a smaller than expected rise in US crude stocks were viewed by some as a sign that a supply glut was starting to abate.

The gains in futures, however, were capped by a warning from the International Energy Agency (IEA) that ample global production would still swell world inventories before investment cuts begin to significantly dent output.

Most of the Asia is in the green following the US markets that finished higher on hopes of a resolution of Greek debt negotiations.

10:30am Crude Update
Brent crude held steady above USD 56 a barrel today, and US crude rose briefly more than USD 1, after a smaller than expected rise in US crude stocks were viewed by some as a sign that a supply glut was starting to abate.

The gains in futures, however, were capped by a warning from the International Energy Agency (IEA) that ample global production would still swell world inventories before investment cuts begin to significantly dent output.

"The supply growth in 2015 is likely to continue unabated, albeit at a somewhat lower rate," Fereidun Fesharaki at Facts Global Energy said in a note on Wednesday.

"This all means a weak market in 2015 and even lower oil prices. Demand rebound will not save the oil market," he said.

10:00am Market Check
The market remained firm in morning trade as the Sensex rose 141.61 points to 28497.23 and the Nifty climbed 44.85 points to 8610.40. The broader markets outperformed benchmarks with the BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices rising 0.7 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively.

More than two shares advanced for every share declining on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Shares of ICICI Bank, L&T, HDFC, Axis Bank, SBI, Maruti, Dr Reddy's Labs, NTPC and Coal India gained 1-2 percent while Tata Motors, ONGC, M&M, Bharti Airtel, Sesa Sterlite, Cipla and BHEL were down over 1 percent.

TCS traded above its 200 DMA, up 1.5 percent as Natarajan Chandrasekaran, CEO & MD told CNBC-TV18 that the company is confident of beating the 12-14 percent NASSCOM guidance put out for FY16 and will be able to beat the 13.1 percent guidance for FY15 as well.

Sun Pharma remained in focus after Taro reported good numbers with net sales up 11.3 percent to USD 237.7 million, margins expanded 380 basis points to 67 percent while net income up 23 percent at USD 142.5 million in Q3.

NBCC gained 4 percent after it secured project management and consultancy business orders amounting to Rs 231.40 crore from Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee.

Fortis Healthcare surged 20 percent after 1.8 percent equity changed hands in 5 blocks on NSE and BSE.

NALCO rallied 5 percent on good Q3 numbers with margins expanding to 27.6 percent versus 12.4 percent and profit up 171 percent at Rs 354.5 crore. CIMB uppped target price to Rs 78 from Rs 72 earlier.

9:55 am Poll: Power Grid Corporation of India is expected to report a 20.1 percent growth (year-on-year) in profit at Rs 1,251 crore for October-December quarter, according to a CNBC-TV18 poll.

Total income of the state-run electric utility company may increase 18.2 percent to Rs 4,353 crore in December quarter from Rs 3,685 crore in same quarter last fiscal.

Operating profit (EBITDA) may jump 21 percent year-on-year to Rs 3,759 crore and margin may expand 200 basis points to 86.3 percent in the quarter gone by.

Analysts are factoring in a positive surprise on the earnings, aided by aggressive capitalisation of Rs 9,600 crore in April-September period of FY15. Company may continue to deliver strong earnings on strong execution and strong commissioning of assets during the last one year.

9:45 am DLF fund raising:  Realty major DLF plans to raise over Rs 3,000 crore through divestment or joint ventures in certain projects and will form two Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) next fiscal as part of its strategy to improve cash flow and reduce debt.

In its analyst presentation, India's largest realty firm DLF said it intends to keep the net debt of DevCo (development arm) range bound "through tactical divestments or JV's with strategic or financial investors of certain projects".

"Current value of deals in pipeline, at various stages of negotiations/due diligence/documentation exceeds Rs 3,000 crore," it added.

9:30 am FII view:  The key to track in the upcoming Budget is the government's commitment to the fiscal consolidation path, says brokerage house Morgan Stanley.

''While investors and media are eagerly awaiting the budget, we believe that the budget itself is unlikely to be a game changer. Our past experience in tracking the union budgets shows that it can at best be viewed as a platform for the government to set the broad objectives of its economic policy, and most of the details of the policy action actually take place outside of the budget,'' said the Morgan Stanley note.

''We believe that the government will maintain the fiscal deficit reduction roadmap as per the medium-term fiscal policy and target to reduce the fiscal deficit to 3.6 percent of GDP in F2016 from an expected 4.1 percent of GDP in F2015,'' the note said, adding that capex recovery, fiscal consolidation and reforms will be the critical factors.

The market has opened with some gains as the Nifty is above 8600-mark. The 50-share index is up 45.85 points at 8611.40. The Sensex is up 140.97 points at 28496.59. About 743 shares have advanced, 198 shares declined, and 127 shares are unchanged.

SBI is up 2 percent while Sun Pharma, Axis Bank, L&T and ICICI Bank are top gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers are Bharti Airtel, Infosys, ONGC, GAIL and Cipla.

The Indian rupee opened lower by 8 paise at 62.26 per dollar against previous day's closing value of 62.18 a dollar. The dollar hovered at one-month highs versus the yen, bolstered by gains in treasury yields, while uncertainty over a new debt deal for Greece kept a cloud over the euro.

Himanshu Arora of Religare said, "USD-INR pair is expected to trade higher today as dollar traded strong against a basket of currencies on Greek concerns and escalating violence in Ukraine."

Stocks in the US closed up about 1 percent as investors shook off early negative news out of Greece on hopes of a resolution. The major indices were in the green for the year, with the Nasdaq leading gains with a 1.09 percent year-to-date gain.

In Europe, the FTSE closed down with falling oil prices weighing on the basic resources and energy-dominated index. CAC and DAX closed higher following rumors of a compromise deal on Greek debt.  The Greek market closed higher by 8%.

There is speculation that the European Commission could be ready to table a compromise on Greece's bailout programme and propose a six-month extension to the country's bailout which is due to end on February 28.

Investors will be keenly watching for a possible Greek debt deal when the euro group of finance ministers meets in Brussels today where Greece's finance minister is expected to detail new reform proposals.

From the commodities space, crude prices slipped after the international energy agency warned that oil prices may decline as stocks continue to increase this year. Brent crude slips to 56 dollars per barrel. And the precious metals gold slipped marginally following a rise in dollar.