Sensex ends below 29000, down 256 points; SBI, ONGC drop 2%

The market extended losses, falling 0.9 percent on the first day of Budget week, dragged by banking & financials, FMCG and oil stocks.

It was a second straight day loss for the market. The 30-share BSE Sensex broke 29000 level, down 256.30 points to 28975.11 while the 50-share NSE Nifty closed below the 8800-mark, down 78.65 points at 8754.95.

Experts feel the market may not see major upside or downside during the week as most of the positives already discounted.

''The market will be volatile over the next few days. We do not expect major changes on the tax front in the Budget while all positives that may come from Railway Budget are already priced in,'' says Sanjay Dutt of Quantum Securities.

The Budget session of the parliament kicked off today after President Pranab Mukherjee highlighted the government's growth strategy in last 9 months in a joint session of both the houses. PM Narendra Modi urged the opposition to allow a constructive debate on all issues.

In stocks, index heavyweights took the big knock – Reliance Industries shed 2.5 percent followed by ITC with 1.5 percent loss and HDFC with 1.8 decline.

Among banks, State Bank of India and Axis Bank slipped 2 percent each while rivals ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank were down over 0.5 percent. ONGC, Tata Steel, HUL, Bajaj Auto and GAIL lost 1-2 percent.

JSPL went down 1.6 percent and DLF dropped 3 percent after the National Stock Exchange decided to exclude both stocks from the Nifty with effect from March 27 while Idea Cellular and Yes Bank will be included.

However, TCS, Larsen & Toubro, Mahindra & Mahindra, Sesa Sterlite and NTPC bucked the trend, up 0.5-1 percent.

The broader markets too were under pressure as the BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices fell 0.84 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively. About 1195 shares advanced while 1708 shares declined on the Bombay Stock Exchange.
Meanwhile, the rupee closed lower at 62.32 a dollar, down 10 paise compared to Friday's close.

On the global front, Nikkei closed at fresh 15-year high on Greek deal while in Europe, France's CAC and Germany's DAX gained 0.3 percent while Britain's FTSE declined 0.25 percent.

03:30 pm Market closing: The market tumbled on first day of crucial Budget week. The Sensex slumped 256.30 points or 0.9 percent at 28975.11, and the Nifty slipped 78.65 points or 0.9 percent at 8754.95. About 1201 shares advanced, 1707 shares declined and 209 shares were unchanged.

Reliance fell 3 percent while GAIL, SBI, Tata Steel and Axis Bank were among the laggards in the Sensex. Among the gainers were M&M, TCS, Sesa Sterlite and NTPC.

03:00pm Lupin in News: Indian drugmaker Lupin said that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has raised concerns over production processes at the company's Pithampur plant in central India.

The FDA inspected the plant in January this year, after which it issued the company a so-called Form 483, listing six observations on the manufacturing processes at the plant, Lupin said in a statement, without giving details.

Lupin said it has received one drug approval and two site-transfer approvals from the same plant since the FDA audit.

In a Form 483, the FDA typically outlines conditions or practices at a drug-making unit that may cause the products made there to be in violation of the US agency's standard production requirements, reports Reuters.

2:45 pm Exclusive: Starting April 1, a category called "restructured assets" will not be available to banks. They have to classify stressed accounts as non performing loans (NPLs), and make higher provisions. But despite the March 31 deadline drawing near, banks are not rushing to restructure before the window closes.

There is no doubt that there is very high stress in the system when it comes to the bad loans. Infact most of the banks have reported about 6 percent rise in non-performing loans (NPLs) which is very worrying.

Last year the number of cases referred to the CDR cell was about 101 which was worth about Rs 1.3 lakh crore. However, this year so far, the number of cases that have been referred are only 25 which amounts to about Rs 23,000 crore. This figure is not even one fifth of the number of recasts that happened last year and although there is one more month to go for the March quarter to end, bankers are not expecting a rush in restructuring.

2:25 pm Market check: The market slips further dragged by oil & gas, pharma and FMCG stocks. The Sensex is down 175.61 points or 0.6 percent at 29055.80 and the Nifty slips 62.10 points or 0.7 percent at 8771.50. About 1178 shares have advanced, 1601 shares declined, and 220 shares are unchanged.

Reliance, Bajaj Auto, ONGC, Axis Bank and HDFC are major laggards in the Sensex.

The market erased morning gains amid consolidation. The 30-share BSE Sensex declined 30.08 points to 29201.33 and the 50-share NSE Nifty slipped 19.20 points to 8814.40.

However, the broader markets were still in green. The BSE Midcap was up 0.2 percent and Smallcap gained 0.3 percent. About 1361 shares have advanced, 1369 shares declined, and 213 shares are unchanged on the BSE.
 
Dhananjay Sinha, Emkay Global Financial Services says market needs to be looked at from the context of what was reported in the third quarter earnings and the recent political developments pertaining to Delhi election outcome and Bihar, which impinges on the positivity of the current government.

The market has been running up significantly higher implying that has become expensive just on the basis of downgrades. Therefore, one needs to be a bit circumspect of what the market is currently pricing and what can be evolved going forward with Budget in prime focus, Sinha adds.

Mahindra and Mahindra climbed 2 percent as the utility vehicle maker launched its XUV500 Xclusive edition at Rs 14.48 lakh ex-Mumbai today. Sesa Sterlite was up 3 percent as its subsidiary BALCO won Gare Palma IV/1 coal block at Rs 1,585 per tonne and the company also proposed its name change to Vedanta.

TCS and L&T gained 1.4 percent each while Reliance Industries, HDFC, Axis Bank, SBI, HUL and Bajaj Auto fell 0.7-1.3 percent.

1:45 pm Budget outlook: Ahead of the much-awaited Budget over the upcoming weekend, the market is expected to remain volatile over the next few days, is the word coming in from Sanjay Dutt, director, Quantum Securities. At the moment, the market is at the upper end of the trading range, he says. As expected, there will be a lot of noise in the run up to the Budget. But Dutt does not expect major changes on the tax front in the Budget. "The Budget needs to be a radical, out-of-the-box type of a Budget," he told CNBC-TV18. If it indeed turns out to be a Modi Budget, or if finance minister Arun Jaitley truly manages to deliver, there will be a big rally in the market, he adds. As far as the Railway Budget goes, all positives that may come from it are already priced in, he says. Certain core issues have been plaguing the Railways for many years now and if Suresh Prabhu has to bring the railways back on track, there is a need for some radical decisions on that front as well.

1:30 pm Buzzing: Shares of Kotak Mahindra surged 4 percent while ING Vysya was up 3 percent intraday on Monday after the proposed Rs 15,000-crore merger deal got the Competition Commission's (CCI) approval.

According to the fair trade regulator, the merger, which would create the country's fourth largest private sector lender, is "not likely to have an appreciable adverse effect on competition in India". In an order dated February 12, the CCI said that share of both entities in various relevant markets is "insignificant".

In this case, the regulator took into account multiple relevant markets including those for deposits, home loans, agricultural banking and card business. These were considered in accordance with the international best practices regarding the assessment of the mergers in the banking sector.

The market is flat as the Sensex is up 53.23 points at 29284.64 and the Nifty is up 8.85 points at 8842.45. About 1341 shares have advanced, 1305 shares declined, and 201 shares are unchanged.

Sesa Sterlite, L&T, TCS, M&M and Tata Power are top gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers are GAIL, Reliance, Axis Bank, HDFC and Hero.

President Pranab Mukherjee today said inflation has fallen to a record low due to a number of decisive steps taken by the government and the economy is again on a high growth trajectory. Delivering his address to the joint sitting of Parliament, whose Budget session commenced today, he said, "Inflation and food inflation, in particular, are at a record low due to a number of decisive measures taken by the government."

Wholesale inflation turned negative for the second time in three months as fall in petroleum and food prices dragged it to a five-and-a-half year low of (-) 0.39 percent in January. The overall food inflation was at 8 percent.

12:55pm Market Expert
Dhananjay Sinha, Emkay Global Financial Services says market needs to be looked at from the context of what was reported in the third quarter earnings and the recent political developments pertaining to Delhi election outcome and Bihar, which impinges on the positivity of the current government.

The market has been running up significantly higher implying that has become expensive just on the basis of downgrades. Therefore, one needs to be a bit circumspect of what the market is currently pricing and what can be evolved going forward with Budget in prime focus.

"Ahead of the Budget session there has been certain amount disquiet with respect to the land acquisition ordinance that the government had brought in earlier and there it needs to be passed in the parliament. There does seem to be a certain kind of dissatisfaction with respect to the farming community and there are political ramifications out of that. So, the government will have to mellow down some of these amendments," feels Sinha.

12:30pm Monnet Ispat shares in demand
Monnet Ispat & Energy bagged one coal block in Chhattisgarh on the last day of the auction, bringing down the curtains on the first phase of coal auctions that will fetch the states over Rs 1 lakh crore.

"Monnet Ispat, highest bidder at Rs 2,619 (per tonne) for Gare Palma IV/7 (coal mine)," Coal Secretary Anil Swarup tweeted. In another tweet, he said, "Coal block auction releases a value of more than Rs 1.5 lakh crore.

Includes the benefit of around Rs 37,000 crore of tariff reduction." And further tweeted that "Rs 1.09 lakh crore of e-auction amount and Rs 12,800 crore to go to states in the next 30 years".

The government was successful in selling all the 19 mines in the first lot of auction which began on February 14. The companies that have bagged 19 blocks include Reliance Cement, GMR Chhattisgarh, Hindalco, Sunflag Iron and Steel, Jaiprakash Associates, Jaiprakash Power Ventures, OCL Iron and Steel, Bharat Aluminium, Essar Power MP, Jindal Power and UltraTech Cement.

The second round of auction in which government has put on sale 21 mines will begin from February 25.

12:00pm Market Check
The market started the Budget week on a flat note as the Nifty traded near the 8,850 mark. The broader markets marginally outperformed benchmarks.

JSPL and DLF fell 1-1.5 percent on account of the Nifty index changes that were announced on Friday. Both stocks will be excluded from the Nifty with effect from March 27 while Idea Cellular and YES Bank will be included.

Titagarh Wagons, UltraTech Cement, MCX India, Tata Elxsi, IIFL Holdings, Lupin, HDFC, L&T and Wockhardt were the most active shares on exchanges.

The Budget session of the parliament kicked off today. President Pranab Mukherjee addressed a joint session of both the houses. PM Modi says the government will try to discuss all the important bills and he expects the opposition to allow a constructive debate on all issues.

In the oil ministry espionage case, the custody of the first set of 5 accused ends today. Their custody was extended on Saturday to question and probe involvement and complicity of other senior executives. The accused will be produced in the court tomorrow.

Global cues were firm with the Nikkei trading at fresh 15-year high as Greece got an extension of its bailout program by 4 months.

11:55 am Market outlook: While there are a lot of expectations from the Modi government's Union Budget, only one parameter will really change things around for the Indian economy, says market expert Udayan Mukherjee. In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Mukherjee says experts are talking about the fiscal deficit and ease of doing business or strong framework for corporate India, but none of them are as critical as the steps the government will take in order to revive growth. ''The government will rein in the fiscal deficit number by hook or by crook, so fiscal deficit won't make much of a difference. Company CEOs won't trust any corporate framework as much they'll trust their revenues,'' says Mukherjee before adding that any capital expenditure expansion will only come through if the earnings improve.

While there are a lot of expectations from the Modi government's Union Budget, only one parameter will really change things around for the Indian economy, says market expert Udayan Mukherjee. In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Mukherjee says experts are talking about the fiscal deficit and ease of doing business or strong framework for corporate India, but none of them are as critical as the steps the government will take in order to revive growth. ''The government will rein in the fiscal deficit number by hook or by crook, so fiscal deficit won't make much of a difference. Company CEOs won't trust any corporate framework as much they'll trust their revenues,'' says Mukherjee before adding that any capital expenditure expansion will only come through if the earnings improve.

While there are a lot of expectations from the Modi government's Union Budget, only one parameter will really change things around for the Indian economy, says market expert Udayan Mukherjee. In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Mukherjee says experts are talking about the fiscal deficit and ease of doing business or strong framework for corporate India, but none of them are as critical as the steps the government will take in order to revive growth. ''The government will rein in the fiscal deficit number by hook or by crook, so fiscal deficit won't make much of a difference. Company CEOs won't trust any corporate framework as much they'll trust their revenues,'' says Mukherjee before adding that any capital expenditure expansion will only come through if the earnings improve.

11:30 am Coffer filling: With telecom operators depositing a huge Rs 20,435 crore as earnest money for spectrum auction, government is set to garner over Rs 1 lakh crore from sale of radiowaves, after generating similar amount through sale of coal blocks. For the entire amount of spectrum put on auction, an earnest money deposit (EMD) of Rs 12,000 crore could have been enough but telecom operators have deposited Rs 20,435 crore, which shows that fierce bidding is likely in the auction, official sources told PTI. "The EMD amount, which is the highest so far, shows that there is high demand of spectrum and we are looking forward to a successful spectrum auction," a Department of Telecom official said.

The market continues to tread in green with the Sensex up 78.33 points at 29309.74.  The Nifty is up 11.50 points at 8845.10. About 1306 shares have advanced, 990 shares declined, and 198 shares are unchanged.

Sesa Sterlite, L&T, Hindalco, TCS and Infosys are top gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers are GAIL, Bajaj Auto, Tata Steel and Hero Motocorp.

Global cues are firm with the Nikkei trading at 15-year highs and the Dow closing at a record high for the first time in 2015 as Greece gets an extension of its bailout programme by four months.

Oil rebounded in Asia today as speculators hunted for bargains following a sharp decline last week, but analysts said prices remain weighed by an oversupply. Crude prices lost about 60 per cent of their value to about USD 40 between June and late January owing to an oversupply in world markets, a weak global economy and a strong dollar. Prices have risen above multi-year lows on news that the number of US oil rigs in operation has fallen and energy giants are cutting back on investment, but market-watchers say volatility is likely to continue for some time. 

10:50pm Market Expert
Ahead of the much-awaited Budget over the upcoming weekend, the market is expected to remain volatile over the next few days, is the word coming in from Sanjay Dutt, director, Quantum Securities. At the moment, the market is at the upper end of the trading range, he says.

As expected, there will be a lot of noise in the run up to the Budget. But Dutt does not expect major changes on the tax front in the Budget. "The Budget needs to be a radical, out-of-the-box type of a Budget," he told CNBC-TV18. If it indeed turns out to be a Modi Budget, or if finance minister Arun Jaitley truly manages to deliver, there will be a big rally in the market, he adds.

As far as the Railway Budget goes, all positives that may come from it are already priced in, he says. Certain core issues have been plaguing the Railways for many years now and if Suresh Prabhu has to bring the railways back on track, there is a need for some radical decisions on that front as well.

Coming back to the markets, despite most investors increasing their IT play, Dutt says he will not be doing the same. According to him, IT is a crowded trade right now. He infact advises investors move money from the IT sector to some of the riskier assets and to buy banks on every dip. He sees the Nifty hitting 9500-9800 in the next 12 months.

10:20am Gold Update
Gold hovered around the key USD 1,200-an-ounce level today, its lowest in seven weeks, as support for the safe-haven metal eased after a deal was struck over Greece's debt, while the absence of major consumer China also took a toll.

Spot gold was little changed at USD 1,202.10 an ounce by 0225 GMT, after dropping to USD 1,197.95 in the previous session as safe-haven bids receded. The metal recorded its fourth straight weekly decline on Friday.

Eurozone finance ministers reached an agreement to extend heavily indebted Greece's financial rescue by four months, officials on both sides said.

The deal removes the immediate risk of Greece running out of money next month and possibly being forced out of the single currency area, reports Reuters.

10:00am Market Check
The market remained firm with the Nifty hovering around 8850. Private banks, FMCG, technology, metals and healthcare stocks while heavyweights like HDFC, Reliance Industries were under pressure.

The Sensex rose 71.45 points to 29302.86 and the Nifty advanced 17.75 points to 8851.35. The broader markets outperformed benchmarks with the BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices rising 0.4-0.6 percent.

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

Hindalco Industries topped the buying list, up 1.7 percent on getting Gare Palma IV/4 coal block at Rs 3,001 per tonne in coal auction. Sesa Sterlite was up over a percent as its subsidiary BALCO won Gare Palma IV/1 coal block at Rs 1,585 per tonne and the company also proposed its name change to Vedanta.

Infosys, ICICI Bank, L&T, ITC, TCS, HDFC Bank, HUL, Wipro and Cipla gained 0.3-1 percent. GAIL, Bajaj Auto and Tata Steel fell more than 1 percent followed by HDFC and Reliance Industries with 0.4 percent loss.