Nifty ends tad below 8900, Sensex up 142 points; metals shine

3:30 pm Market close: After a heady swing, the market ended wirth some smart gains. The Sensex was up 142.01 points at 29462.27 and the Nifty gained 26.20 points at 8895.30. About 1374 shares have advanced, 1514 shares declined, and 198 shares are unchanged.

Sesa Sterlite was up 7 percent, Hindalco gained 3 percent. Tata Power and M&M are other top gainers in the Sensex. Heavyweights like Infosys, SBI, Tata Motors and ICICI Bank were losers in the Sensex.

3:15 pm Market check: The market is gaining quickly. The Sensex is up 152.33 points or 0.5 percent at 29472.59 and the Nifty up 37.90 points at 8907.00. About 1344 shares have advanced, 1515 shares declined, and 204 shares are unchanged.

Sesa Sterlite is up 7 percent while Hindalco, Tata Power, L&T and Tata Steel are top gainers.

03:00pm Market Update
The market rebounded in late trade led by capital goods, metals, technology stocks and HDFC. The Sensex rose 60.41 points to 29380.67 and the Nifty climbed 7 points to 8876.10.

About 1266 shares have advanced, 1544 shares declined, and 208 shares are unchanged on the BSE.

02:30pm Global Markets
A softer stance from the Federal Reserves knocked the dollar down on Thursday but failed to lift stock markets in Europe, where the looming deadline for Greece to get a new debt deal kept investors nervous.

In contrast, Japan's shares hit a 15-year high as the minutes from the Fed's meeting in January showed officials were concerned about hiking interest rates too soon. Export data also showed the weaker yen was helping the economy.

Investors revised their expectations for the timing of a first Fed hike and the trajectory of rates for the next couple of years. The dollar fell about 0.2 percent against a basket of currencies.

In Europe, whose barely growing economy could benefit from a weaker currency, the euro rose 0.2 percent to USD 1.1412 and the broader FTSEurofirst 300 index slipped 0.3 percent to 1,511.18 points.

The retreat from seven-year highs was accelerated by a slide in oil prices on expectations US inventories would reach record highs and a possible increase in Saudi output stoked new worries about oversupply. Brent crude futures for April fell below USD 60 a barrel, trading at USD 59.32 a barrel, down USD 1.21

Concerns about Greece, the country at the heart of the euro zone debt crisis for the past five years, also weighed. Athens is expected to seek an extension to its loan agreement with the euro zone, without which it could run out of cash in weeks. Euro zone officials said Athens had to agree to a deal by Friday, reports Reuters.

02:00pm Market Check
The market extended losses in afternoon trade due to further profit booking in FMCG, banks, oil and power stocks. The Sensex shed 174.18 points to 29146.08 and the Nifty fell 61.60 points to 8807.50.

The broader markets declined too; the BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices slipped 0.7 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively. About 1116 shares have advanced, 1646 shares declined, and 201 shares are unchanged on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Vibhav Kapoor of IL&FS says corporate earnings have been disappointing, valuations of most companies are looking stretched; sectors like cement and FMCG look very expensive now. One should reduce weightage in economy related sectors, he adds.

European markets are under pressure today as Germany and France fell more than 0.5 percent while the Dow futures indicate start could be on the weaker side today. Greece is likely to ask for an extension to repay its euro zone loans, but a deal has not been struck yet.

JSPL is the biggest gainer today, up a whopping 23 percent after the company won back its Gare Palma 2 and 3 blocks. The management told CNBC-TV18 that they can use coal from Gare Palma for other plants as well and additional merchant power sales can happen at coal e-auction prices. Other metals stocks too saw buying interest amid ongoing e-auction. Tata Steel, Sesa Sterlite and Hindalco Industries gained 1-2 percent.

Coal secretary Anil Swaroop says power companies won't be allowed to pass on premiums in fixed cost bids for power tariffs. He reiterates that Coal India's output will cross 500 million tonnes this year.

1:50 am Buzzing: Shares of Jindal Steel & Power surged over 19 percent as it won Gare Palma IV/2 &3 at Rs 108 per tonnes in the ongoing coal e-auction. Jindal power submitted three bids for this coal block and has won at the lowest price compared to Rs 712 per tonne and Rs 1110 per tonne for the power sector.

The government is auctioning the coal blocks after the Supreme Court cancelled allocation of 204 mines in September last year. It has put 19 mines on block in the first tranche.The last day for the auction of mines in first tranche is 22 February.

1:30 pm Market outlook:  The reality of the market right now is that it is way ahead of itself, says Vibhav Kapoor of IL&FS.

Kapoor says the corporate earnings for Q3 have been disappointing and despite that stocks are seeing higher levels. He further adds that the market is extremely expensive with stocks trading at high valuations like cement companies that are trading 25 times FY16 earnings.

Furthermore, Kapoor is also wary of the market as he expects below 10 percent returns from equities in the next 12 months.

However, a 5-7 percent rally in the market will make a case for asset reallocation, he adds. Kapoor also investors to reduce the weightage to economy related cyclical stocks as the macros aren't seen to be improving significantly.

The market is still in red as the Sensex is down 77.50 points at 29242.76. The Nifty slips 34.60 points at 8834.50. About 1147 shares have advanced, 1506 shares declined, and 205 shares are unchanged.

Tata Steel, M&M, Infosys, HDFC and TCS are top gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers are Tata Power, NTPC, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank and Wipro.

Taking positive cues from global markets, gold prices rose sharply by Rs 233 to Rs 26,370 per 10 grams in futures trade today as participants created speculative positions.

Analysts said the rise in gold prices at futures trade was mostly due to a firming trend overseas after minutes from the Federal Reserve's January meeting signalled many officials were inclined to keep interest rates near record lows for longer.

12:50pm FII View
"The investment case for India is a strong one at the moment. The combination of declining oil prices and food prices has allowed inflation to come down, along with action taken by the government to deal with more structural long-term risks of inflation in turn that is allowing RBI to start to finally lower rates. I think that is a very positive background, particularly with the slow but gradual improvement in the economy in India," says Ewen Cameron Watt of BlackRock.

12:30pm Hindalco in News
Aditya Birla group firm Hindalco Industries has won the Gare Palma IV/5 mine in Chhattisgarh by outbidding companies like BALCO, Sesa Sterlite, Ambuja Cements, which were also vying for the same block.

"Gare Palma IV/5 mine was won by Hindaco Industries at Rs 3,502 per tonne today. The mine was put on offer yesterday and the bidding for the block lasted for over 12 hours," a senior Coal Ministry official said.

Hindalco has bagged two mines out of the 13 put on offer so far. On the second day of auction, Hindalco Industries had won Kathautia mine in Jharkhand.

States, including Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and West Bengal, are set to get over Rs 50,000 crore from the coal blocks sold in the ongoing auction, sources said.

The total number of blocks sold so far is 13 with Essar Power MP Ltd bagging the Tokisud North mine in Jharkhand on the fifth day of the coal auction yesterday, reports PTI.

12:00pm Market Check
The market remained under pressure in noon trade due to profit booking in banking, power, FMCG, oil and select auto stocks. The Sensex fell 73.93 points to 29246.33 and the Nifty declined 36.30 points to 8832.80.

The broader markets also lost ground, down 0.2 percent. Declining shares outnumbered advancing ones by a ratio of 1435 to 1104 on the BSE.

Tata Power, ICICI Bank, ITC, NTPC, Wipro, Reliance Industries, Axis Bank, Bajaj Auto and SBI were down 1-2 percent while Tata Steel, M&M, Infosys, HDFC, Maruti, Cipla and TCS gained 1-2 percent.

Bharat Forge gained more than 3 percent after the Kalyani Group announced a defense tie up with Dassault Rafale. Baba Kalyani told CNBC-TV18 that defence and aerospace are a strategic part of the company's growth programme.

Tata Motors DVR, Jain Irrigation DVR and Future Retail DVR rallied 5-7 percent after S&P BSE indices announced rules for considering DRVs in all BSE indices. They will consider including DVRs in Sensex, BSE 100, BSE 200, BSE 500 when indices are rebalanced in June.

11:50 am ECB funding: The European Central Bank agreed to raise the emergency funding available to Greek banks to 68.3 billion euros (USD 78 billion), a slight increase on the previous limit, a person familiar with the ECB talks said. The rise in the provision of Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA), over which the ECB has control, is critical for Greece's banks, and gives Athens some leeway while it tries to negotiate a financing deal with European partners. The ECB had already raised the ELA available to Greek banks by 5 billion euros to about 65 billion last Thursday. The new cap is roughly 3.3 billion euros higher.

11:30 am Buzzing: Stocks like Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilizers (RCF) and National Fertilisers jumped 6-7 percent intraday on Thursday after the Oil Ministry has proposed to pool gas price for fertiliser plants.  After power, the Oil Ministry has moved a proposal to pool or average out prices of domestic natural gas and imported LNG used by fertiliser plants to make the cost of fuel uniform and affordable.

Fertilizer plants consume about 42.25 million standard cubic meters per day of gas for manufacture of subsidised urea. Out of this, 26.50 mmscmd comes from domestic fields and the rest 15.75 mmscmd is imported liquefied natural gas (LNG). The USD 4.2 per million British thermal unit price of domestic gas is about one-third of cost of LNG.

The market is quickly giving away gains after hitting 8900-mark. The 50-share index is down at 8815, down 53.35 points or 0.6 percent while the Sensex is down 138.26 points or 0.5 percent at 29182.

Tata Steel, Infosys, BHEL, Maruti and Hindalo are top gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers are ICICI Bank, Tata Power, Axis Bank and ITC.

Global cues are supportive with the Nikkei trading at 15-year high reacting to export data and dovish Fed minutes. However major markets such as China, Hong Kong and Singapore are shut. Crude oil futures fell by Rs 96 to Rs 3,217 per barrel today as speculators reduced positions amid a weakening trend in Asian trade ahead of US stockpile report.

The trading sentiment dampened at futures trade after crude oil prices retreated in Asian trade today ahead of the release of a closely watched report that is forecast to show a surge in US stockpiles to 33-year high, adding to a global supply glut, analysts said.

10:45am Market Update
The market erased early gains on profit booking. The Sensex rose 11.43 points to 29331.69 and the Nifty fell 16.35 points to 8852.75. About 1182 shares have advanced, 1050 shares declined, and 176 shares are unchanged.

ICICI Bank and Reliance Industries dragged the market, down 1 percent each. Tata Power, State Bank of India, Axis Bank, ITC, Bajaj Auto, NTPC and Wipro were down 0.6-1 percent.

10:30am Gold companies in focus
The Reserve Bank on Wednesday lifted the ban on imports of gold coins and medallions by banks and trading houses. The RBI in a notification also said banks are permitted to import gold on consignment basis. Domestic sales will be, however, permitted against upfront payment only.

Speaking on the above circular, S Subramaniam,CFO, Titan Co said the RBI move was more on the credit side – there was issue on credit on gold imports for domestic consumption but that has now been clarified. The gold metal loan authorised by domestic banks will now be available for domestic consumption.

The most welcome development of this easing in gold lending norms is that hedging will become easier.

Although it does not change things too much for the company per se because earlier also RBI had liberalised gold loan credit for some four-five banks and they were already getting credit, said Subramaniam. However, now the ban has been lifted and all banks can provide credit.

10:00am Market Check
The market remained firm for the seventh consecutive session today. The Sensex rose 121.36 points to 29441.62 and the Nifty climbed 24.30 points to 8893.40.

About 1276 shares have advanced, 791 shares declined, and 161 shares are unchanged on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

The reality of the market right now is that it is way ahead of itself, says Vibhav Kapoor of IL&FS. He is also wary of the market as he expects below 10 percent returns from equities in the next 12 months.

However, a 5-7 percent rally in the market will make a case for asset reallocation, he adds.

Tata Steel topped the buying list, up 2.5 percent followed by Sesa Sterlite and Hindalco Industries with 1.6 percent upside. HDFC, Infosys, Cipla, Bharti Airtel, L&T, Maruti and Mahindra & Mahindra gained 1-4 percent.

However, ITC, Bajaj Auto, State Bank of India, Dr Reddy's Labs, ICICI Bank, Wipro, Reliance Industries and NTPC were under pressure.

9:55 am FII view: Jyotivardhan Jaipuria, Bank of America Merrill Lynch says FIIs continue to invest in India with the December quarter witnessing FII flows of more than USD 2 billion. This was the 9th consecutive quarter of positive inflows from the FIIs, he adds.

According to him, strong inflows from the FIIs over the last 5 years have resulted in all-time high foreign ownership for Indian markets.

"Overweight India positions are at an all-time high for GEM funds and the consensus bullishness creates the biggest risk to markets, in our view.  The good news, however, is that domestic mutual funds have seen inflows and have been buyers post-elections after being net sellers past few years," says Jaipuria.

9:45 am Gold companies:  Shares of gold companies rallied after Reserve Bank of India eased gold norms. The RBI  has lifted the ban on imports of gold coins and medallions by banks and trading houses. Stocks like Titan Company, Gitanjali Gems, TBZ and Shree Ganesh were up 4-6 percent intraday on Thursday.

The RBI in a notification also said banks are permitted to import gold on consignment basis. Domestic sales will be, however, permitted against upfront payment only.

"While the import of gold coins and medallions will no longer be prohibited, pending further review, the restrictions on banks in selling gold coins and medallions are not being removed," it said.

The RBI and the government have been receiving requests for clarification on some of operational aspects of guidelines on import of gold after withdrawal of restrictions on import of the metal on November 28 last year, the notification said.

9:25 am  Market chcek: The Sensex is up 117.23 points at 29437.49 and the Nifty gains 30.75 points at 8899.85. About 1042 shares have advanced, 358 shares declined, and 133 shares are unchanged.

Tata Motors, Cipla, Maruti, Bharti Airtel and M&M are top gainers in the Sensex. Among the top losers are Dr Reddy's Labs, Wipro, Hindalco, Coal India and ITC.

The market has opened on firm ground as the Sensex is up 103.76 points at 29424.02 and the Nifty is up 13.95 points at 8883.05. About 489 shares have advanced, 90 shares declined, and 114 shares are unchanged.

Cipla, Tata Power, M&M, Bharti Airtel and Axis Bank are top gainers in the Sensex.

Global markets are mixed following the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve's recent meeting. The Nasdaq was positive, about 100 points off the key 5,000 level, while the Dow Jones industrial average briefly turned positive before ending mildly lower above 18,000.

European markets finished higher with investors reacting to a slew of earnings and the negotiations surrounding Greece's bailout program. Russia and Ukraine markets were both higher by 2 to 3 percent.

Asian markets are trading quite barring the Nikkei that hit a fifteen-year high following better-than-expected export data. Markets in China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia are shut for the holiday.

In other asset classes, the dollar was trading flat after seeing a drop after minutes from the Federal Reserve's January meeting.

In commodities, oil prices fell as rising inventories continued to curb rallies. Industry spending cutbacks and falling US rig counts helped fuel Brent crude's price rebound from an almost six-year low but US data has continued to show rising oil inventories.

Gold edged higher on the back of the outcome of the Fed minutes.