Sensex down 155 points, Nifty below 8400; Tata Steel up 5%

3:30 pm Market closing: After a choppy session, the market ended on lower levels. The Sensex was down 155.11 points or 0.6 percent at 27735.02 and the Nifty slipped 31.40 points or 0.4 percent at 8398.30. About 1370 shares have advanced, 1442 shares declined, and 155 shares are unchanged. Cement and pharma stocks were under pressure while a weak rupee also added pressure on the indices. Sun Pharma, SBI, Tata Motors, NTPC and Wipro were major laggards in the Sensex. Tata Steel remained top gainer, adding 5 percent at day's end. Other gainers were Coal India, Maruti, BHEL and Cipla.

3:00 pm HDFC Bank Q4 results: HDFC Bank's net profit rose 20.6 percent to Rs 2807 crore in the quarter ended March 2015 as compared to Rs. 2326.52 crore year-on-year. During the quarter, its net interest income was up 21.4 percent at Rs 6013 crore versus Rs 4952 crore on a yearly basis. Net interest margin (NIM) was flat at 4.4 percent quarter-on-quarter. 

According to a CNBC-TV18 poll, profit was seen growing 20.9 percent year-on-year to Rs 2,812 crore and net interest income rising 20.6 percent to Rs 5971 crore in the quarter ended March 2015. 

Its gross non-performing assets (NPA) was at 0.9 percent versus 1 percent (Q-o-Q) while net NPA was at 0.2 percent. In absolute terms, gross NPA stood at Rs 3438.4 crore compared to Rs 3467.9 crore in the last quarter of the same fiscal. Net NPA was at Rs 896.3 crore.

2:30 pm Market outlook: Amit Dalal, executive director, Tata Investment Corp in an interview to CNBC-TV18 said it is not right time for long-term investors to exit. neither is it the best time to invest. "I would neither be a big seller nor be a big investor right now," he added. The house has a preference for private banks over public sector banks (PSUs) because the non performing asset (NPA) problem for the PSU banks according to Dalal could worsen if government regulations impose provisioning for bad debts. The house is upbeat on ICICI Bank and plans to stay invested in it. Dalal said: “Next three years would largely be positive for banks unless something goes wrong in the economy and we are stuck with paradigm we don’t have with us.”

The market is still under huge selling pressure. The Sensex is down 170.99 points or 0.6 percent at 27719.14 and the Nifty is down 38.75 points or 0.5 percent at 8390.95. About 1299 shares have advanced, 1336 shares declined, and 153 shares are unchanged.

Sun Pharma, Tata Motors and NTPC are down above 2 percent while SBI & M&M are other losers in the Sensex. Among the gainers are Tata Steel, Coal India, Cipla and Maruti Suzuki. Cairn India is down 2 percent ahead of its March quarter results.

Meanwhile, the government is considering clarificatory amendments to the rules relating to Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) for the benefit of foreign investors who have been battling tax demands worth Rs 40,000 crore.

"Clarificatory amendments to MAT rules are under consideration of the government," Minister of State for Finance, Jayant Sinha, told reporters. Sinha, along with top government officials, had held meeting with Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) yesterday, pressing for government's Rs 40,000 crore tax demand, saying they should approach courts to get relief on these matters.

1:30 pm Telecom: India's telecom regulator has ruled on the definition of adjusted gross revenue (AGR) for telecom companies. The TDSAT has said that AGR will include all receipts except capital receipts and revenue from non-core sources such as rent, profit on sale of fixed assets, dividend , interest and miscellaneous income, etc will be included in AGR. The regulator has also included forex adjustment under AGR apart from ruling that licenses fee will not be charged twice on the same income. Profit booking drags the Nifty below 8400. The 50-share index is down 55.65 points or 0.7 percent at 8374.05. The Sensex is down 234.78 points or 0.8 percent at 27655.35.

About 1279 shares have advanced, 1302 shares declined, and 147 shares are unchanged.

Only metal stocks led by Tata Steel are seeing huge buying interest. Coal India, Maruti and BHEL are top gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers are Sun Pharma, NTPC, SBI and M&M.

Meanwhile, manufacturing activity in Asia's top two economic powerhouses slowed further in April, a disappointing outcome that calls for yet more stimulus and puts pressure on the United States and Europe to do more of the heavy lifting to drive global growth.

The flash HSBC/Markit Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for China fell to a one-year low of 49.2, from 49.6, pushing deeper below the 50-point level that is supposed to separate growth from contraction.

12:50 pm Market check: The Sensex is down 185.80 points or 0.7 percent at 27704.33 and the Nifty is down 40.10 points or 0.5 percent at 8389.60. About 1312 shares have advanced, 1206 shares declined, and 145 shares are unchanged. NTPC, M&M, SBI, Hero MotoCorp, and Wipro are laggards in the Sensex.

12:30 am Buzzing: Shares of Gammon India jumped over 10 percent intraday on Thursday as it is planning to raise Rs 100 crore via compulsory convertible debentures issue to promoters on preferential basis.

The board will meet on April 27 to consider and approve issue of zero coupon unsecured compulsorily convertible debentures to the promoters.

The market remains volatile with tremendous strength seen in metals. The Sensex is down 116.31 points at 27773.82 and the Nifty is down 21.35 points at 8408.35. About 1331 shares have advanced, 1102 shares declined, and 161 shares are unchanged.

M&M, NTPC, SBI, Wipro and Sun Pharma are major losers while Tata Steel, Coal India, Maruti, Bajaj Auto and BHEL are top gainers in the Sensex.

The Indian rupee on Thursday weakened against the dollar, tracking losses in Asian currencies. The local currency is at 63.23 per dollar. Ananth Narayan, Head, Financial Markets, Standard Chartered Bank, says the rupee did not keep pace with dollar strengthening against major currencies.

According to him, rupee depreciating further to 64-65 per dollar will not be a big move and will help exports. A gentle depreciation should be the base case for the rupee, he adds.

11:55 am Gold check: Gold was stuck below USD 1,200 an ounce following its biggest drop in over a month, as strong U.S. housing data stoked expectations the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates soon. The metal fell 1.3 percent on Wednesday, its biggest single-day decline since March 6. Bullion took a hit after data showed US home resales surged to their highest level in 18 months in March as more homes came on the market. The dollar rose against a basket of major currencies following the data, also weighing on gold, which tends to gain on safe-haven bids when the greenback falls. 

The focus will now be on more US data to be released later in the day and the Fed's policy meeting later this month, as traders look for stronger clues about the timing of the rate
rise. Markets were also watching the unfolding of the Greek debt crisis.

11:30 am Market outlook: The correction in recent times was more India-specific considering other regions were resilient during the period, says Jitendra Sriram, managing director and head of research at HSBC India.

He expects earnings cycle and capex recoveries to drive the market. According to him, the earnings season so far has been reasonable, barring a few hiccups in IT. He prefers domestic cyclicals to defensives. He says it will be challenging if monsoon deficiency as per IMD's forecast on Wednesday plays out.

His year-end Sensex target is 30,100. Sector-wise, he is underweight on IT and pharma, but likes Infosys and Sun Pharma. He is also overweight on private sector banks. 

The market has given up all its gains to trade at the lowest point in the session as select technology and auto stocks drag. The Sensex is down 96.44 points at 27793.69 and the Nifty is down 16.40 points at 8413.30. About 1305 shares advanced, 861 shares declined and 133 shares were unchanged.

Metal stocks are still holding up gains with Tata Steel leading the pack with 4 percent gains. Coal India, Maruti, Cipla and Tata Power are other gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers are M&M, Wipro, NTPC, Sun Pharma and SBI.

Meanwhile, rating agency Moody's today said emerging economies in Asia Pacific region, including India, have a high degree of immunity to external shocks, but will face challenges when the US Federal Reserve begins raising interest rates. "A common challenge for emerging economies in the region will come when the US Federal Reserve begins to raise interest rates. "Asia Pacific sovereigns generally exhibit strong external payments positions and government debt profiles relative to peers elsewhere in the world - factors that should stand them in good stead," Moody's Investors Service said.

Asian markets trade mostly higher today. Shanghai sees choppy trade after weak China PMI data. Brent is above USD 62 per barrel.

10:50 am Market check: The market is slipping into red. The Sensex is down 27.28 points at 27862.85 and the Nifty is up 4.20 points at 8433.90. About 1382 shares have advanced, 735 shares declined, and 128 shares are unchanged. M&M, Wipro, Sun Pharma, NTPC and SBI are losers while Tata Steel, Maruti, Coal India, Tata Power and HUL are gainers in the Sensex.

10:30 am Weak monsoon: Hours after the official forecast suggested "below normal" monsoon this year, domestic rating agency Crisil on Wednesday said a second straight year of weak rains will dent its 7.9 percent GDP growth estimate by 0.50 percent .

"According to our calculations, a deficient monsoon, if it comes true, will shave off 0.50 percent from our GDP forecast of 7.9 percent for fiscal 2016," it said in a note. A weak monsoon will decrease the efficacy of India's irrigation ecosystem and hit the agricultural output and farmers adversely, it said, adding that this is over and above the adverse impact of the unseasonal rains of last month which affected the crops.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said the country is likely to witness a "below normal" monsoon this season because of the El Nino phenomenon. Union Minister for Earth Sciences Harsh Vardhan said the monsoon would be 93 percent of the Long Period Average.

The market continues to maintain its uptrend boosted majorly by bank and metal stocks. The Sensex is up 165.48 points or 0.6 percent at 28055.61 and the Nifty is up 64.45 points or 0.8 percent at 8494.15. About 1384 shares have advanced, 418 shares declined, and 100 shares are unchanged.

Tata Steel, Tata Power, Coal India and Maruti Suzuki are top gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers are M&M and Infosys.

Jet Airways rises 3 percent as it will seek shareholders' approval next month to raise up to USD 400 million (over Rs 2,500 crore) through issue of securities on private placement basis. The aviation company has also puts half of its wide-body fleet on sale to reduce debt and looking to sell 16 aircrafts, including long-haul ones due to slack demand.

Meanwhile, the rupee fell by 16 paise at 62.98 against the US dollar in early trade today at the Interbank Foreign Exchange due to appreciation of the Greenback overseas on strong American housing sales data. Besides, fresh demand for the dollar from importers weighed on the local currency but a higher opening in the domestic equity market, limited the rupee's losses, forex dealers said.

9:50 am Infra boost: The government approved three highway projects which would cost an estimated Rs 5,529 crore. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, gave approval for development of the eight-laning of Mukarba Chowk to Panipat section of National Highway 1 in Delhi and Haryana. "The approval is in BOT (Toll) mode on Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer (BOT/DBFOT) basis," an official statement said, adding the cost is estimated to be Rs 2,204.51 crore. 9:30 am Poll: In January-March quarter, HDFC Bank is expected to report similar growth to Q3 . Profit may jump 20.9 percent year-on-year to Rs 2,812 crore and net interest income is seen rising 20.6 percent to Rs 5,971 crore in the quarter ended March 2015, according to a CNBC-TV18 poll. Provisions need to be closely watched as in Q3FY15, provisions spiked 44 percent Y-o-Y and 23 percent Q-o-Q to Rs 560.43 crore.

The market has opened on a strong note. The Sensex is up 142.02 points or 0.5 percent at 28032.15, and the Nifty is up 48.50 points or 0.6 percent at 8478.20. About 395 shares have advanced, 67 shares declined, and 65 shares are unchanged.

BHEL, HDFC Bank, Sun Pharma, TCS and Tata Steel are top gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers are Dr Reddy's Labs, GAIL, M&M and Bharti Airtel.

The Indian rupee opened with marginal loss of 13 paise at 62.95 per dollar versus 62.82 Wednesday. The dollar edges upward after a 6.1 percent jump in US home sales data lifted expectations Federal Reserve policymakers may soon hike interest rates.

Mohan Shenoi of Kotak Mahindra Bank said, "Globally, dollar continues to be trading in a range against major currencies with mixed US data offset by Grexit worries. Locally, weak stock market and RBIs view that the currency is overvalued is keeping the rupee under pressure. Rupee is expected to trade in a range of 62.85-63.20/dollar today."

Global cues, meanwhile, are positive. US stocks closed about half a percent higher, ending a day of choppy trade as investors weighed mixed earnings and signs of strength in the housing market.

European markets closed mixed while Asian stocks were trading in the green tracking overnight gains from Wall Street. Japan's Nikkei continued its advance above the 20,000 mark.
In commodities, renewed fighting in Yemen pushed brent crude marginally higher, trading at USD 62 dollars per barrel.

Gold slipped to USD 1180 an ounce as the dollar pared some losses after euro zone data disappointed, while the absence of major developments in the Greek crisis left investors cautious.