Sensex tanks 231 points, Nifty ends in red; BHEL, ITC gainers

03:30 pm Market close
The market snapped 7th day winning streak today by closing with major loss. The Sensex ended down 230.86 points or 0.8 percent at 29231.41 and the Nifty slipped 61.70 points or 0.7 percent  at 8833.60.

About 1490 shares have advanced, 1436 shares declined, and 204 shares are unchanged.

BHEL was up 5 percent while ITC, Hindalco, M&M and Dr Reddy's Labs were big gainers in the Sensex. Reliance lost 3 percent. ICICI Bank, Tata Power, Infosys and Bharti Airtel were major laggards in the Sensex.

03:00pm Market Update
The Sensex fell 173.66 points to 29288.61 and the Nifty dropped 45.60 points to 8849.70.
About 1491 shares have advanced, 1375 shares declined, and 194 shares are unchanged.

02:45pm Interview
Bangalore-based Prestige Estates Projects yesterday pre-launched two projects in Hyderabad, Prestige Highfields and Prestige Ivy League, that would cumulatively add about Rs 2,700 crore to the company's top line over the next few years, CMD Irfan Razack told CNBC-TV18 in an interview.

The two projects together have developable area of 4.7 million square feet and may see average realizations of Rs 5,500 psf (Highfields) and Rs 7,000 psf (Ivy League), he added.

02:30pm Market Expert
Kamlesh Rao, CEO of Kotak Securities believes the government will work towards reducing the fiscal deficit, which is a key factor for any government.

"With the need to increase consumption demand, there will be a relook at the personal and corporate taxation rates. A focus on kicking the capex cycle which is the big stimulus required for sustained economic growth. Inverted tax laws will hopefully find correction to realize the ''Make in India'' plan of the government," he says.

"At 8900-9000 certainly one cannot act on short term view as the markets are going to remain volatile on the back of internal or external news flow but in the next 12 to 18 months of time we are expecting steady and positive indications. Down side is limited to 8000 as per Nifty and 27000 as per Sensex.  On the higher side, we are expecting 25 percent to 30 percent returns in next 12 to 18 months of time," Rao adds.

02:00pm Market Check
The market continued to see selling pressure in afternoon trade, dragged by index heavyweights like Reliance Industries, ICICI Bank, HDFC, Infosys and L&T.

The Sensex declined 101.13 points to 29361.14 and the Nifty slipped 25.55 points to 8869.75. However, the broader markets saw buying interest as the BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices gained 0.3 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively.

About 1455 shares have advanced, 1299 shares declined, and 202 shares are unchanged on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Nirmal Jain, chairman, IIFL said it is unlikely to see a big rally or crash in market till Budget. He believes the government is moving in the right direction and all circumstances are conducive for a 'historic' Budget.

Jain also said that Budget is not the only criterion to judge the big-ticket reforms taken by the government as it is taking lot of efforts to push through the goods and services tax (GST) which is set to get implemented from 2016 onwards.

Reliance Industries topped the selling list, falling nearly 3 percent followed by ICICI Bank, HDFC, Infosys, Bharti Airtel, Tata Power and Wipro with 1-1.7 percent loss. L&T, Maruti and HUL declined over half a percent.

JSPL continued to be in focus after it failed to qualify to bid for the Gare Palma IV/1 coal block. The management, however, told CNBC-TV18 that their strategy for the auction is non-aggressive and they didn't want to exceed their quoted price for the coal block.

However, BHEL was the biggest gainer on Sensex, up 4 percent. ITC, Tata Motors, TCS, State Bank of India, M&M, Dr Reddy's Labs, Tata Steel and Hindalco Industries climbed 0.7-1 percent.

In global data, markets in Europe opened lower by 0.5 percent amidst continued uncertainty over Greece. On data front, German producer prices showed further fall in January, leading to increased fears that region is falling into a deflationary spiral.

1:55 pm Oil market: Oil markets edged up to halt a two-day drop, helped by expectations that data later in the day would show a continued decline in the US oil rig count, a clear sign of the pressure the tumble in crude has put on crude producers.

A weekly survey by Baker Hughes last week showed the US oil rig count fell to its lowest since August 2011, although government data indicated US oil output was 9.2 million barrels a day, the highest since 1973.  "I assume we're going to continue to see another big fall and that's going to provide support for the market," said Tony Nunan, a risk manager at Mitsubishi Corp in Tokyo.

But near-term demand for OPEC oil is likely to remain under pressure as US shale production remains strong, BP said this week.

1:45 pm Coal auction: A day after Jindal Steel & Power engineered a virtual coup by bagging rights to explore Gare Palma IV/2 and 3 at a low price of Rs 108 per tonne, a development that sent its shares soaring 26 percent yesterday, the company suffered an upset by failing to qualify as a bidder for Gare Palma IV/1.

In an exclusive interview with CNBC-TV18, JSPL MD and CEO Ravi Uppal said the company was not comfortable with the prices that were being quoted for the mine in question. ''We have known that mine intimately as we were operating it for 12 to 14 years. We quoted a price that we were comfortable with. But it did not qualify.''

JSPL had been previously operating blocks IV/1, 2 and 3 and while 2 and 3 (which it won back yesterday) was for the regulated power sector, block 1 was for the unregulated sector (steel, cement and iron).

1:30 pm FII view: As a global investor, Geoff Dennis of UBS will be focusing on fiscal deficit and whether it can be reigned within 3.5-4 percent of GDP, structural reforms once again focusing on the fiscal side and significant increases in infrastructure spending. "What's important is the trajectory of fiscal deficit and whether it is coming down… As long as it is lower than 4 percent of GDP, the market will not be too worried," he told CNBC-TV18.

Despite high valuations, Dennis remains overweight on India. He believes valuations should be high as he expects earnings growth to be 15-16 percent in dollar terms in two years. He says earnings growth continues to remain a challenge for many emerging markets, further justifying the high valuations in India.

The market is still struggling to get in green zone. The Sensex is down 105.28 points or at 29356.99 and the Nifty is down 25.35 points at 8869.95. About 1426 shares have advanced, 1202 shares declined, and 205 shares are unchanged.

BHEL is up 4 percent while Hindalco, SBI, Tata Steel and Sesa Sterlite are top gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers are Reliance, ICICI Bank, Wipro, Tata Power and Wipro.

Abhay Laijawala, Deutsche Equities believes the government needs to unequivocally signal its medium-term commitment to reviving stalled investment momentum, through increasing capital expenditure in critical sectors like roads, railways, irrigation and defence.

''The government can do this by articulating a 3-4 year roadmap to raise share of capital expenditure to 20 percent of total budget expenditure by FY18 from 10-12 percent currently,'' he adds.

12:30pm FII View
As a global investor, Geoff Dennis of UBS will be focusing on fiscal deficit and whether it can be reigned within 3.5-4 percent of GDP, structural reforms once again focusing on the fiscal side and significant increases in infrastructure spending.

"What's important is the trajectory of fiscal deficit and whether it is coming down… As long as it is lower than 4 percent of GDP, the market will not be too worried," he told CNBC-TV18.

Despite high valuations, Dennis remains overweight on India. He believes valuations should be high as he expects earnings growth to be 15-16 percent in dollar terms in two years. He says earnings growth continues to remain a challenge for many emerging markets, further justifying the high valuations in India.

12:00pm Market Check
The market remained under pressure in noon trade due to selling in technology, private banking & financials, select auto and oil stocks.
 
The Sensex fell 119.14 points to 29343.13 and the Nifty declined 31.55 points to 8863.75. However, the broader markets outperformed benchmarks with the BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices rising 0.3-0.6 percent. Advancing shares outnumbered declining ones by a ratio of 1417 to 1122 on the BSE.
 
Jindal Steel & Power fell 1 percent (losing nearly 7 percent from day's high and it had rallied 25 percent yesterday on winning Gare Palma IV/2 & 3 mines) as the company did not qualify for Gare Palma IV/1.

Crompton Greaves climbed 3 percent as the board of directors decided to implement a 100 percent demerger of the consumer products business.

SpiceJet shot up 17 percent, reacting to the CCI nod for Ajay Singh's takeover. Ajay Singh told CNBC-TV18 that the first tranche of money will come in by next week and the final tranche by April-end.

Mastek gained 11 percent as the software services provider says its subsidiary Majesco filed with SEC for listing on NYSE. "We file form S-4 with SEC for merger of arm with Cover-All Tech," it adds.

Global markets were cautious. Nikkei was at a fresh 15-year high but investors awaited some news from Greece and whether it will apply for an extension of its bailout programme.

11:55 am FII view: As a global investor, Geoff Dennis of UBS will be focusing on fiscal deficit and whether it can be reigned within 3.5-4 percent of GDP, structural reforms once again focusing on the fiscal side and significant increases in infrastructure spending.

"What's important is the trajectory of fiscal deficit and whether it is coming down… As long as it is lower than 4 percent of GDP, the market will not be too worried," he told CNBC-TV18.

Despite high valuations, Dennis remains overweight on India. He believes valuations should be high as he expects earnings growth to be 15-16 percent in dollar terms in two years. He says earnings growth continues to remain a challenge for many emerging markets, further justifying the high valuations in India.

11:45 am Buzzing: Shares of Aurobindo Pharma gained 3 percent intraday as Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BoAML) reiterated its buy rating on the stock. The brokerage house sees 38 percent upside potential from current price level.

Aurobindo corrected 20 percent over the past few days due to weak Q3FY15 operational performance. Operational performance was hit due to one-off expenses such as mark-to-market losses on inventory and one-time penalty for non-supply of products.

The brokerage believes the drug maker has multiple levers of growth such as strong US pipeline, turnaround of WE business and positive contribution of Natrol acquisition. Hence, it sees the current weakness in the stock as a particularly good buying opportunity.

11:30 am Interview: RG Rajan, CMD of RCF says gas prices will go up by USD 2-3/mmBtu post gas-pooling. The USD 4.2 per million British thermal unit price of domestic gas is about one-third of cost of LNG. The cost of gas, which is the most important component for production of urea, varies from plant to plant owing to differential rates at which imported LNG is contracted as well as cost of transportation.

The proposal moved for inter-ministerial consultations, before being put up to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), calls for averaging of different rates of domestic and imported gas to ensure supply of fuel to all urea plants at a uniform delivery cost, sources said.

The market is still under pressure as the Sensex is down 199.41 points or 0.6 percent at 29262.86 and the Nifty is down 54.90 points or 0.6 percent at 8840.40. About 1251 shares have advanced, 1022 shares declined, and 176 shares are unchanged.

BHEL, Hindalco, Dr Reddy's Labs, Tata Steel and SBI are top gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers are Reliance, ICICI Bank, HDFC, Wipro and Tata Power.

Globally, Asia is mixed with Nikkei at a fresh 15-year high. However caution prevails on Greece and whether it will apply for an extension of its bailout programme before the Friday deadline.

10:55am FII View
Abhay Laijawala, Deutsche Equities says the brokerage believes the government needs to unequivocally signal its medium-term commitment to reviving stalled investment momentum, through increasing capital expenditure in critical sectors like roads, railways, irrigation and defence.

''The government can do this by articulating a 3-4 year roadmap to raise share of capital expenditure to 20 percent of total budget expenditure by FY18 from 10-12 percent currently,'' he adds.

According to him, key beneficiaries will be L&T, Siemens, UltraTech Cement, Axis Bank, SBI, SAIL, Tata Steel, Container Corporation and Gujarat Pipavav.

10:30am Aurobindo Pharma rallies
Shares of Aurobindo Pharma gained 3 percent as Bank of America Merrill Lynch reiterated its buy rating on the stock. The brokerage house sees 38 percent upside potential from current price level.

Aurobindo corrected 20 percent over the past few days due to weak Q3FY15 operational performance. Operational performance was hit due to one-off expenses such as mark-to-market losses on inventory and one-time penalty for non-supply of products.

The brokerage believes the drug maker has multiple levers of growth such as strong US pipeline, turnaround of WE business and positive contribution of Natrol acquisition. Hence, it sees the current weakness in the stock as a particularly good buying opportunity.

10:00am Market Check
Dragged by index heavyweights, the market is crumbling down. The Sensex is down 235.25 points at 29227.02 and the Nifty is down 65.20 points at 8830.10. About 1025 shares have advanced, 874 shares declined, and 162 shares are unchanged.

Reliance, ICICI Bank, HDFC, Tata Power and Axis Bank are major losers in the Sensex. Among the gainers are Hindalco, BHEL, Tata Steel, GAIL and Sesa Sterlite.

Japanese stocks rose to a fresh 15-year high and the dollar was on the front foot again on upbeat US data, but continuing uncertainty over the Greek debt negotiations weighed on the euro.

US weekly jobless numbers released overnight proved better than expected, diffusing some of the pressure on the dollar that followed dovish-sounding minutes from the last Federal Reserve policy meeting. The minutes had dented expectations for an early interest rate hike by the Fed, driving US debt yields and the dollar lower.

The greenback was also supported as the ebb and flow of confidence in the difficult talks between Greece and its lenders capped the euro.

9:55 am Coal auction: The sixth day of the coal block auction saw Jindal Steel and Power pulling off a coup by retaining two Gare Palma coal mines at Rs 108 per tonne and this is the lowest for the power sector coal block.

There were high expectations of a fierce bidding, but it closed quickly as compared to other coal blocks. The other coal block, which was up for auction was Bicharpur in Madhya Pradesh, which went to UltraTech Cement at Rs 3,003 per tonne.

The unregulated sector is clearly seeing a high bid for these coal blocks. The block to be auctioned today is the Gare Palma IV/4 meant for the steel, cement and iron sector. It has reserves of 12.30 million tonne and some of the qualified bidders are ACC Cement, BALCO, Hindalco, Jayaswal Neco, Sesa Sterlite, SKS Ispat amongst others.

9:40 am Market check: The benchmark indices slide further, dragged by index heavyweights. The Sensex is down 258.37 points or 0.8 percent at 29203.90 and the Nifty is down 69.50 points or 0.8 percent at 8825.80. About 796 shares have advanced, 848 shares declined, and 154 shares are unchanged.

ICICI Bank, Reliance, HDFC, Coal India and Tata power are major laggards.

9:30 am Market outlook: In the nine months to the Budget, the government has announced various schemes and that is where the economic growth will come from, is the word coming in from Deven Choksey of KR Choksey Securities. Companies such as Larsen and Toubro and BHEL that are executing these projects will gain the most, he says.

According to him, investors should also look at infrastructure asset class, especially the port business because RoC is much higher there. However, he advises investors to be selective while adding companies to their portfolios.

On the ongoing coal blocks auction, Choksey believes the aggressive nature of the bidding suggests that the companies will want to get back what they have invested as soon as possible, which in turn means production will increase.

The market has opened lower on last day of the week. The Sensex lost 114.78 points to 29347.49 and the Nifty fell 26.10 points to 8869.20. About 574 shares have advanced, 302 shares declined, and 127 shares are unchanged on the BSE.

Reliance Industries, ICICI Bank and Coal India declined 1.5-2 percent. HDFC, SBI, TCS, ITC, Axis Bank and HUL were down 0.3-0.8 percent while Tata Motors, Cipla, Hindalco, Maruti, M&M, Hero Motocorp and BHEL gained 0.3-1 percent.

Sugar stocks rallied 6-10 percent after cabinet cleared subsidy for raw sugar exports and fixed subsidy at Rs 4000/tonne for sugar season FY15.

The competition watchdog waved the green flag to Ajay Singh's plans to acquire majority stake in SpiceJet. Speaking exclusively to CNBC-TV18 Singh says first tranche of Rs 400 crore will come in next week and the second tranche by the end of March.

The Indian rupee gained in the early trade. It has opened higher by 13 paise at 62.21 per dollar versus 62.34 Wednesday.

Pramit Brahmbhatt of Veracity said, "Reduction in FII inflows coupled with weakness in local equities may pressurize rupee to depreciate. However, gains in Asian equities and some exporter selling may limit losses. We see the range for the rupee between 61.90-62.80/dollar."

Global markets were mixed over Germany's rejection of Greece's request for an extension to its loan agreement with its creditors weighing in on sentiment. The Greek government has said the Euro-group has only two options when it meets today, to either accept or reject offer made.

US stocks closed narrowly mixed after the S&P 500 touched a new intraday record, amid lower oil prices and Germany's rejection of the Greece loan extension plan.

Meanwhile in Europe, markets managed to hold on to their modest gains despite news on the Greece loan extension. The FTSE ended in the red while CAC and DAX ended in the green.

Nikkei was sitting at fresh 15-year high yet again boosted by a weaker currency as the yen is moving towards the 119 mark.

Trading volumes in Asia will be thin for the second day due to market closures in China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Malaysia.

In other asset classes, the dollar recovered on Thursday from the previous session's losses. Precious metal traded flat on the dollar rebound and latest standoff over Greece's bailout. Brent crude was trading at USD 60 barrels over news that US oil stockpiles increased by 7.7 million barrels last week.