Late sell-off drags market: Sensex, Nifty end flat

03:30 pm Market close: Late sell drags the market sharply. The Sensex ended up 3.33 points at 29007.99 and the Nifty was up 5.15 points at 8767.25. About 1234 shares have advanced, 1659 shares declined and 201 shares are unchanged.

Tata Steel, Tata Power, Dr Reddy's Labs, Sun Pharma and BHEL were among the losers. Gainers were HDFC, Bharti Airtel, Infosys, Wipro and ITC.

03:00pm Market Consolidates: The Sensex rose 13.51 points to 29018.17 and the Nifty advanced 6.70 points to 8768.80.

About 1209 shares have advanced, 1611 shares declined, and 194 shares are unchanged on the BSE.

02:45pm Budget Expectations: India is likely cut its annual fertiliser subsidy by 4 percent to around Rs 70,000 crore in its Budget proposals for fiscal year 2015-16, two government sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

India had earmarked a subsidy of Rs 72,970 crore for the current fiscal year ending March 31.

"There is no plan to increase fertiliser prices," one of the sources told Media. He said the roadmap for reforms in the subsidy structure for the fertiliser sector would be unveiled after the Budget.

02:30pm South Indian Bank in focus: The Reserve Bank of India on Tuesday notified that the aggregate share holdings in the bank by non-resident Indians (NRI)/persons of Indian Origin (PIO)/foreign institutional investors (FII)/registered foreign portfolios investors (RFPIs) and through global depository receipts (GDR)/American depository receipts (ADR)/foreign direct investment (FDI) in the primary/secondary markets have gone below the prescribed threshold ban limit stipulated under the extant FDI policy.

Hence, the restrictions placed on the purchase of shares of the above bank are withdrawn with immediate effect, it adds.

02:00pm Market Check
The market erased its morning gains as the Nifty came off its highs, trading below 8800 while midcap traded in the red giving up its gains. The market breadth was weak with more stocks on declining end.

The Sensex advanced 27.63 points to 29032.29 and the Nifty rose 5.45 points to 8767.55. The BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices fell marginally.

Michael Kurtz, chief Asia equity strategist at Nomura expects a very strong Budget with a focus on reforms, infrastucture spending may be hiked to 2.5 percent of GDP and India remains largest overweight in the Asia basket.

Shares of HDFC Bank, TCS, L&T, Sun Pharma, HUL, ICICI Bank, Hero Motocorp and Tata Steel declined 0.3-1.4 percent. Reliance Industries also came off its high, up 0.3 percent. However, HDFC, Infosys, Tata Motors, ONGC, Bharti Airtel, M&M and Wipro gained 1-2 percent.

The rupee appreciated today, trading at 62.05 a dollar against a close of 62.19 in previous session due to weak dollar on back of heavy capital inflows.

Globally it is a mixed day. In Asia, while China and Japan closed in the red, Korea and Taiwan ended with gains. European markets are mixed as Greece fears subsided. This after the list of reforms presented by Greece met the approval of creditors and euro zone neighbours.

1:55 pm Sealed deal: Shares of Dalmia Bharat jumped 8 percent intraday on Wednesday after it has increased stake in OCL India, one of the largest cement entities in Eastern India with plants in Orissa and West Bengal.

''The company's subsidiary Company, Dalmia Cement (Bharat) Limited on February 25, 2015 has increased its stake in OCL India Limited from 48 percent to 74.6 percent through inter-se transfer within the promoter group of OCL India Limited,'' Dalmia Bharat said in a statement.

1:30 pm Ratings upgrade? Moody's Investors Service said that its assessment of India's credit ratings will be determined mainly by the extent of its fiscal reforms, not recent revisions to its economic growth data. The comments come a day after rival Standard & Poor's said India must boost growth, cut its fiscal deficit and fulfil promises of financial and fiscal reforms in order to justify an upgrade in its credit rating. The Government on Saturday will present its Fiscal Budget for the new fiscal year starting in April amid high hopes that it will find a way to boost capital spending while exercising fiscal restraint.

The market is still holding up its gains as the Sensex is up 182.93 points at 29187.59. The Nifty is up 53.85 points at 8815.95. About 1356 shares have advanced, 1309 shares declined, and 211 shares are unchanged.

HDFC, Infosys, M&M, Tata Motors and ONGC are top gainers in the Sensex. Among the top losers are Sun Pharma, HUL, Tata Steel, Hero and TCS.

Brent crude rose marginally towards USD 59 a barrel, helped by better than expected Chinese factory activity data, the Federal Reserve's flexible stance on US interest rates and the eurozone's approval of reforms proposed by Greece.

US crude was weaker, however, after settling lower for the fifth consecutive session on Tuesday on the back of a bigger than expected crude stock build-up. Brent added 22 cents to USD 58.88 a barrel by 0317 GMT, while US crude futures fell 2 cents to USD 49.26 a barrel. China's factory sector showed marginal expansion, according.

01:10pm Market Update: The Sensex rose 209.65 points to 29214.31 and the Nifty climbed 60.40 points to 8822.50. About 1359 shares have advanced, 1267 shares declined, and 201 shares are unchanged on the BSE.

HDFC and Infosys were biggest contributores to the Sensex gains, up 2-2.7 percent. Tata Motors and State Bank of India gained over a percent.

01:05pm Tata Steel under pressure: Tata Steel Thailand PCL, the Thai unit of India's Tata Steel Group, said it expects to post a net loss for the fiscal year ending March 2015 due to falling steel prices and weak demand.

But improved domestic demand and better outlook for steel prices should help it flip to a profit in the next fiscal year, President and Chief Executive Rajiv Mangal told reporters.

Thailand's domestic steel demand is expected to rise at least 5 percent in 2015, while steel prices have bottomed out and should gradually increase, he said.

12:55pm OCL India in News: Dalmia Bharat says Dalmia Cement has increased stake in OCL India from 48 percent to 74.6 percent. The company bought this stake in OCL via inter-se transfer.

Dalmia Bharat holds 85 percent stake in Dalmia Cement.

12:30pm FII View on Budget
Michael Kurtz, chief Asia equity strategist at Nomura says the Modi government will remain focused on fiscal consolidation and hence doesn't expect a relaxation of fiscal constraints in the Budget. He expects finance minister Arun Jaitley to maintain fiscal deficit target of 3.6 percent for FY16.

Kurtz, however, expects infrastructure investment to be hiked to 2.5 percent of GDP in the Budget and for it to come through pruning of subsidies and more asset sales. He expects a very strong Budget with focus on reforms.

12:00pm Market Check
The market continued to hold its morning gains supported by oil, select banking & financials, technology and auto stocks. All eyes are on the expiry of February derivative contracts and Railway Budget (both on Thursday).

The 30-share BSE Sensex climbed 206.19 points to 29210.85 and the 50-share NSE Nifty rose 60.45 points to 8822.55. The broader markets underperformed benchmarks with the BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices rising 0.3 percent each.

Vikas Khemani, President & CEO, Edelweiss Securities clearly believes that since the market is already entering into the Budget with built-in expectations, so it is more likely to be in a wait and watch mode. Therefore the decline seen in the last two days could be termed as nervousness.

The market is already overbought and is likely to wait for the event to get over before showing a confirmed trend. So it is unlikely that there would a big post-Budget rally, says Khemani.

ABG Shipyard gained 18 percent on reports that the Mahindra group is looking to acquire a controlling stake in the company. ABG is in the midst of a Rs 11,000 crore debt restructuring plan.

Dalmia Bharat gained 5 percent and OCL India fell 5 percent. Sources told CNBC-TV18 that Dalmia Bharat bought 26.6 percent stake in OCL India today in an inter-se promoter transfer. OCL India will become a subsidiary of Dalmia Bharat after the transaction.

Minister of state for fertiliser, Hansraj Ahir, says they have planned financial restructuring for three sick companies including Madras Fertiliser and FACT, both stocks gained almost 8-9 percent.

Global cues supported the market as most asian equities traded higher reacting to a positive HSBC Flash PMI number from China. Janet Yellen's Dovish Congressional testimony also supported sentiment. Brent crude continued to trade sub USD 60 a barrel.

11:55 am Buzzing: Shares of ABG Shipyard surged 18 percent intraday as the debt-ridden company is possibly selling a strategic stake. Media reports indicate M&M, Adani and some foreign investors are in the race to acquire stake in the naval ships and vessels manufacturer.

ABG Shipyard is already amidst a Rs 11000 crore debt restructuring package and is currently scouting for strategic buyers. ''An ABG official said the company was in discussions with investment bankers to raise equity and was looking at several options. Its chief financial officer Dhananjay Datar said the company cannot comment on rumours and will 'come out with official conformation if any definite transaction takes place','' a media report said.

11:45 am FII view: Adrian Mowat, JP Morgan says India remains the highest net overweight market in emerging markets. "We downgraded China to neutral on February 9. The failure of the market to respond to the recent RRR cut may indicate that the market's belief in policy is waning. The focus is back on deteriorating economic growth," he adds. Earlier this month, he had told CNBC-TV18 that the fall in interest rates and commodity prices bodes well for emerging markets and the impact of both should show up by the second quarter.

11:30 am Buzzing: Shares of Bharat Forge hit a record high of Rs 1,314 up 3 percent after brokerage house Citi has upgraded the stock to buy from sell.

The target price is also revised upward to Rs 1,526 from its earlier target of Rs 898 by brokerage.

"Our upgrade is driven by greater clarity on aerospace and defence segments, reduced fears of a sharp negative impact of global oil & gas slowdown, orders from high-end European Union car OEM and recovery in Indian MHCVs," says the brokerage in its note.

Citi has raised its earnings per share estimates by 20/30 percent over FY16/17.

The market is spearing ahead of the Rail Budget and February F&O expiry tomorrow. The Sensex is up 180.06 points or 0.6 percent at 29184.72 and the Nifty is up 52.40 points or 0.6 percent at 8814.50. About 1286 shares have advanced, 950 shares declined, and 182 shares are unchanged.

HDFC, Infosys, ONGC, Bharti AIrtel and M&M are top gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers are Dr Reddy's Labs, Bajaj Auto, Hero MotoCorp, GAIL and Sun Pharma.

Global cues are supportive with Asian equities mostly higher reacting to HSBC Flash PMI that indicated a growth for the first time in three months. Brent crude continues to trade sub USD 60 a barrel.

Gold edged higher after dropping to a seven-week low the session before, with Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen indicating flexibility in raising US interest rates. Yellen said on Tuesday that while the Fed is preparing to consider rate hikes on a "meeting-by-meeting basis", an increase is not likely for at least the next couple of meetings.

10:30am Moody's on India: Moody's Investors Service said that its assessment of India's credit ratings will be determined mainly by the extent of its fiscal reforms, not recent revisions to its economic growth data.

The comments come a day after rival Standard & Poor's said India must boost growth, cut its fiscal deficit and fulfil promises of financial and fiscal reforms in order to justify an upgrade in its credit rating.

The government on Saturday will present its fiscal budget for the new fiscal year starting in April amid high hopes that it will find a way to boost capital spending while exercising fiscal restraint.

"The upward revisions of India's GDP growth based on methodological and base year updates -- highlight the strength of the economy, but do not impact Moody's overall assessment of the sovereign's credit profile," the agency said.

"Rather, fiscal and structural reform policies will determine the extent to which accelerating growth will buttress the sovereign credit profile."

10:00am Market Check
The market continued to see buying interest with the Nifty holding 8800-mark supported by banking & financials, oil & gas and metals stocks.

The 30-share BSE Sensex rose 167.87 points to 29172.53 and the 50-share NSE Nifty climbed 51.10 points to 8813.20. The BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices gained half a percent too.

About 1261 shares have advanced, 752 shares declined, and 176 shares are unchanged on the BSE.

Adrian Mowat, JP Morgan says India remains the highest net overweight market in emerging markets.

Shares of HDFC, Reliance Industries, ONGC, Mahindra & Mahindra and Sesa Sterlite topped the buying list, up 1.5-2 percent. Infosys, ICICI Bank and Tata Motors gained 1 percent each. However, ITC, L&T, Sun Pharma, HUL and Hero Motocorp saw marginal loss.

9:55 am Market outlook: The market has been rather volatile in the run up to the Budget. But despite that Taher Badshah of Motilal Oswal AMC advises investors to buy into every correction. From the point of view of the Budget, there is this expectation that it will be a path-breaking one, he says. But according to him, if finance minister Arun Jaitley just keeps to some of the ideas that he had initiated in July – whether it is the 'Make in India' campaign or smart cities or on the personal taxation front and provide more teeth to these programmes – it should be good enough. It will be well accepted by the market, especially if it is accompanied with correcting fiscal imbalances.

Even prior to the run up to the Budget, Motilal Oswal AMC had positions in the industrial space, especially logistics. It is currently happy to add on to the space. Badshah says the company built into these positions over the last one month as well. ''There is an attempt to realign portfolios in favour of infrastructure, rate-sensitive companies that more dependent on economic recovery,'' he told CNBC-TV18.

9:45 am Exclusive: MCX is hoping that the commodity transaction tax will be removed in the upcoming Union Budget, according to PK Singhal, Deputy Managing Director.

In an interview with CNBC-TV18, Singhal says Taiwan is the only other country which levies a CTT. He says commodity trading volumes have come down significantly since the imposition of CTT, and this is also leading to grey market transactions in which the government gets no revenue at all.

Average daily turnover on MCX has fallen from Rs 50,000 crore to Rs 30,000 crore since CTT was introduced, Singhal says. MCX has regained the market share it lost in the aftermath of the scam at NSEL, Singhal says.

9:30 am Buzzing: Godrej Consumer is up 1 percent as the FMCG firm hiked its stake in hair extension brand Darling South Africa and Mozambique businesses to 90 percent. "The company has entered into an agreement with the Darling Group for increasing its shareholding in Darling South Africa and Mozambique businesses to 90 percent in line with its intent of gradually scaling up its ownership of the Darling businesses," GCPL said in a BSE filing. It has been acquiring brands, specially in Africa, mostly targeting local firms in emerging markets.

The market has opened with some strength ahead of F&O expiry tomorrow. The Sensex is up 151.63 points at 29156.29, and the Nifty is up 46.25 points at 8808.35. About 649 shares have advanced, 146 shares declined, and 119 shares are unchanged.

Sesa Sterlite, Tata Power, SBI, M&M and ONGC are top gainers in the Sensex.

The Indian rupee gained in the early trade. It has opened higher by 20 paise at 62 per dollar versus 62.20 Tuesday.

The dollar edges lower against the yen and euro early after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen held back from giving a clear view on when the Fed may begin raising interest rates.

NS Venkatesh of IDBI Bank said, "Rupee closed stronger at 62.20/dollar yesterday. Today the market is expected to trade a little weak due to month-end importer demand. The rupee is likely to trade in a range of 62.10-62.30/dollar."

Globally, the US markets closed the trading day at 15-year highs after the US Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen said the central bank will remain patient on rate hikes.
Asian trade is mixed with Japan's Nikkei relatively under performing as the dollar-yen fell closer to the 118 levels.

In other asset classes, Brent Crude slipped to USD 58 per barrel and precious metal gold edged marginally higher after Yellen's comments on considering any hike on a "meeting-by-meeting basis."