Sensex skids over 261 points, Nifty ends at 8214; Maruti up 3%

3:30 pm Market close: Dragged sharply by oil & gas, pharma, FMCG and banking stocks the market ended with severe losses. The Sensex closed down 260.95 points or 0.9 percent at 27176.99 and the Nifty ended at 8213.80, down 91.45 points or 1 percent at 8213.80. About 667 shares have advanced, 2063 shares declined, and 144 shares are unchanged.

SBI, Bharti Airtel, Dr Reddy's Labs, BHEL and HDFC fell around 3 percent each. Maruti gained over 3 percent after posting firm March quarter results while Vedanta, Wipro, Bajaj Auto and Tata Motors were top gainers in the Sensex.

BSE Midcap index slipped over 2 percent from previous close.

3:00 pm Market check: The Sensex is down 256.48 points or 0.9 percent at 27181.46 and the Nifty is down 86.25 points or 1 pecent at 8219. About 622 shares have advanced, 2039 shares declined, and 143 shares are unchanged.

Maruti and Vedanta are up around 3 percent while Wipro, Coal India and Tata Motors are other top gainers in the Sensex. BHEL, SBI, Dr Reddy's Labs & HDFC lose 3 percent. ICICI Bank falls 2 percent.

2:30 pm ICICI Bank: ICICI Bank matched street expectations on Monday with the profit rising 10.2 percent year-on-year to Rs 2,922 crore in the quarter ended March 2015. Strong net interest income, other income and operating profit boosted the profit but asset quality worsens during the quarter. Asset quality has worsened with the gross non-performing assets (NPA) rising 75 basis points year-on-year (up 38 bps sequentially) to 3.78 percent and net NPA climbing 64 bps Y-o-Y (up 34 bps Q-o-Q) to 1.61 percent in the quarter gone by.

Bears continued to keep tight control on Dalal Street as the Sensex fell 156.82 points to 27281.12 and the Nifty declined 60.95 points to 8244.30. Pharma, capital goods, FMCG and select banking & financials led the fall today.

The market breadth also remained weak as about 1959 shares have declined against 616 shares advanced on the Bombay Stock Exchange. The BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices dropped 1.5 percent and 2.3 percent, respectively.

Maruti Suzuki gained 3.6 percent in afternoon trade after its Q4 earnings beat street expectations on every parameter. Profit climbed a whopping 60.5 percent year-on-year to Rs 1,284 crore, supported by higher volumes and favorable foreign exchange.

"Higher volumes, material cost reduction initiatives, favorable foreign exchange and lower sales promotion expenses contributed to the bottomline during the quarter," said the car maker in its filing to the exchange.

Axis Bank, Tata Motors, Wipro and Vedanta gained 1-2.5 percent whereas HDFC, SBI, Infosys, Dr Reddy's Labs, Sun Pharma, ONGC, HUL, Hero Motocorp and BHEL dropped 1-3 percent.

1:50 pm Results: Maruti beat street expectations with the fourth quarter profit rising a whopping 60.5 percent, supported by higher volumes and favorable foreign exchange. The profit increased to Rs 1,284 crore from Rs 800 crore in the year-ago period. "Higher volumes, material cost reduction initiatives, favorable foreign exchange and lower sales promotion expenses contributed to the bottomline during the quarter," said the company in its filing to the exchange. Revenues increased by 12.6 percent to Rs 13,625 crore in the quarter ended March 2015 from Rs 12,101.4 crore in the same quarter last year.

1:30 pm Market outlook: Jai Bala of 1857 Advisors said that while the market was due for a bounceback in the immediate term as it was "oversold", he recalled his conversation on March 4 and March 20 when he had said the current correction would "longer and deeper" than the ones in the past.

"At the moment, the structure remains the same," he said. He did not lay much importance to levels such as the 200 DMA, but he marked out 17,700 on the Bank Nifty and 8,125 on the Nifty as levels where one could "start to fish". "But if they break, the Nifty could come down to 7,900."

At a fundamental level, even as many individual stocks have corrected 25-30 percent, there should be no urgency to buy stocks, according to veteran broker Dipan Mehta.

The market is still in the red dragged by oil and pharma stocks. The Sensex down 130.45 points at 27307.49. The Nifty is down 49.25 points or 0.6 percent at 8256.00. About 585 shares have advanced, 1891 shares declined, and 136 shares are unchanged.

HDFC, Dr Reddy's Labs, SBI, HUL and Hero Motocorp are losers while Vedanta, Axis Bank, Tata Power and NTPC are top gainers in the Sensex.

Brent crude prices held near a 4-4.5 month high above USD 65 a barrel, supported by concerns over fighting in Yemen disrupting Middle East supplies and signs that US shale output may have started to decline.

The number of active US rigs drilling for oil has fallen for a record 20 weeks in a row to the lowest since 2010, according to Baker Hughes data, fuelling expectations of a drop in US production.

12:58pm Market Update: The market remained under pressure as the Sensex fell 156.37 points to 27281.57 and the Nifty slipped 57.20 points to 8248.05. About 567 shares have advanced, 1895 shares declined, and 136 shares are unchanged on the BSE.

12:50pm UPL earnings: UPL's fourth quarter consolidated net profit grew by 20 percent year-on-year to Rs 440 crore and revenue increased by 9 percent to Rs 3,624 crore.

Operating profit of the generic crop protection, chemicals and seeds company shot up 17 percent to Rs 785 crore and margin expanded by 160 basis points to 21.7 percent during January-March quarter compared to the same period last year.

Operationally numbers were strong during quarter but revenue and profit slightly missed street expectations. According to a CNBC-TV18 poll, profit was expected at Rs 460 crore on revenue of Rs 3,764 crore for the quarter.

12:35pm Market Update: The Sensex went down 137.12 points or 0.50 percent at 27300.82 and the Nifty declined 54.85 points or 0.66 percent to 8250.40. About 555 shares have advanced, 1869 shares declined, and 132 shares are unchanged on the BSE.

12:20pm Kotak in focus: Kotak Mahindra Bank has been in the spotlight with new shares issued by the private sector lender due to amalgamation of ING Vysya Bank becoing eligible for trading from today.

In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Uday Kotak, Executive Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of Kotak Mahindra Bank, said the merger from practical point of view is effective April 1 and the forecast for merged entity will be given along with Kotak Mahindra earnings on May 5.

According to Kotak, the current foreign shareholding in the merged entity stands at 48 percent and there's huge headroom to increase it further.

ING holds 6.5 percent in the merged company and have a lock-in period of one year, he said.

12:00pm Market Check
The selling pressure continued on Dalal Street as the key indices fell half a percent in noon trade, dragged by healthcare and select banking & financials stocks. It is a big day for Kotak Mahindra Bank as new shares issued due to amalgamation of ING Vysya Bank started trading from today.

The Sensex dropped 102.31 points to 27335.63 and the Nifty fell 44.95 points or 0.54% at 8260.30 while the BSE Midcap Index slipped 1.3 percent and Smallcap lost 2.4 percent.

Advance decline ratio remained weak as declining shares outnumbered advancing ones by a ratio of 1836 to 513 on the BSE.

Globally, Chinese shares hit multi-year highs while caution over upcoming central bank meetings weighed on the rest of Asian indices. In commodities, Brent crude rose to USD 65 a barrel.

Maruti and ICICI Bank gained half a percent ahead of Q4 earnings today. Maruti may see a good quarter as a CNBC-TV18 poll indicates a 43 percent rise in profits and big gains in margins are expected due to currency tailwinds. For ICICI Bank, net interest income growth is expected to be similar to Q3 at 13 percent and net interest margin is expected to be flat.

United Spirits is in focus, down nearly 2 percent as the board asked its promoter and chairman Vijay Mallya to step down for allegedly diverting company funds to other group entities. Diageo Plc says that they have certain contractual obligations to support Mallya as USL chairman. Legal experts believe that a lengthy legal battle is in the offing.

11:55 am Market outlook: The market is prone to trade between 7800-8200 due to lack of substantial triggers, tepid earnings and expectation of weak monsoons, says Harendra Kumar of Elara Capital. According to him there is nothing exciting in the market right now and therefore, there are not too many stocks to buy given the expensive valuations. In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Kumar says both Maruti Suzuki and ICICI Bank , to a certain extent, will arrest the fall of decline seen in early numbers. ''Both of them should be posting good numbers in line with analyst expectations, more so for Maruti and relatively lower for ICICI Bank in non-performing assets (NPAs) may be you will have some announcements but otherwise in terms of numbers both should be reasonably in terms of analyst expectations,'' he adds.

11:45 am Market check:  The Sensex is down 75.93 points at 27362.01 and the Nifty is down 37.60 points at 8267.65. About 484 shares have advanced, 1817 shares declined, and 130 shares are unchanged. Dr Reddy's Labs, SBI, BHEL, Cipla and HDFC are major losers in the Sensex while Vedanta, NTPC, Tata Motors, Wipro and ITC are top gainers in the Sensex.

11:30 am Result: Bharti Infratel's fourth quarter (January-March) net profit climbed 10 percent to Rs 557.5 crore compared to Rs 506.9 crore in December quarter, supported by other income despite higher tax cost. Year-on-year growth in bottomline was 18 percent.

It was mixed set of earnings. Profit was expected at Rs 532 crore on revenues of Rs 2,991 crore for the quarter, according to the average of estimates of analysts polled by CNBC-TV18.

Revenues declined (up 6 percent year-on-year) to Rs 2,947 crore in the quarter ended March 2015 from Rs 2,948.8 crore in previous quarter.

Operating profit increased 4.2 percent (up 15 percent Y-o-Y) to Rs 1,330 crore and margin expanded 180 basis points sequentially to 45.1 percent. Analysts had estimated operating profit at Rs 1,328 crore and margin at 44.4 percent.

Selling pressure mounts on the market. The Nifty is down 74.10 points or 0.9 prcent at 8231.15 as the the 50-share index is below its 200-day moving average for the first time in nearly 15 months. The Sensex is down 190.69 points or 0.7 percent at 27247.25. About 432 shares have advanced, 1719 shares declined, and 123 shares are unchanged.

Dr Reddy's Labs, Cipla, BHEL, Sun Pharma and SBI are major losers in the Sensex. Among the gainers are NTPC, Vedanta, ITC, Tata Motors and Bharti Airtel.

Asian shares scaled seven-year highs following stellar earnings from a few US hi-tech giants, but investors were cautious ahead of central bank meetings this week in the US and Japan and on deadlock in creditors' talks with Greece. Red-hot mainland Chinese shares soared, with Shanghai composite index rising 2.1 percent to seven-year highs on hopes of more monetary stimulus and launch of infrastructure projects linked to China's "Modern Silk Road" plan.

10:50am Market Update: Equity benchmarks extended losses with the Nifty trading at lowest level since January 9, 2015. The Sensex dropped 195.95 points to 27241.99 and the Nifty slipped 73.90 points to 8231.35.

The market breadth weakend further as about 1690 shares have declined against 433 shares advanced on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

10:35am Market Expert: The market is prone to trade between 7800-8200 due to lack of substantial triggers, tepid earnings and expectation of weak monsoons, says Harendra Kumar of Elara Capital.

According to him, there is nothing exciting in the market right now and therefore, there are not too many stocks to buy given the expensive valuations.

10:16am Market Update: The market extended losses, falling below its March low, dragged by banking & financials (except ICICI Bank), healthcare and capital goods stocks. The Sensex plunged 134.84 points to 27303.10 and the Nifty fell 54.65 points to 8250.60.

10:05am Petronet LNG dives: Petronet LNG has posted bad operational results, much below street expectations, in its fourth quarter ended March 2015. The company's EBITDA dipped 43 percent on weaker volumes and concerns persist on offtake of long-term cargo even in FY16.

Discussing the results, RK Garg, Director Finance, Petronet LNG, said the company has been trying to mitigate issues raised after sudden drop in crude prices, which in turn affected customers' buying capacity.

In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Garg said the company's long-term volumes have reduced significantly in Q4 and that 75 percent of capacity is under long-term contracts.

''Buyers not taking quantities due to fall in crude prices will pay penalty, which is paid yearly, not on quarterly basis,'' he said.

According to Garg, improvement in margins will depend on offtakes. He hopes to see some (improvement) in the next two months.

10:00am Market Check
The market continued to consolidate ahead of expiry of April derivative contracts this week. The Sensex fell 47.74 points to 27390.20 and the Nifty declined 27.55 points to 8277.70.

The broader markets underperformed benchmarks with the BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices losing 1.4 percent and 2 percent, respectively. Nearly 3 shares declined for every share advancing on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Rakesh Arora, Macquarie said Indian market has been hurt due to negative sentiment surrounding MAT on FII investments.

According to him, earnings season is also panning out weak as expected and the first Met report on the monsoon is also not encouraging. He feels stocks, post a 15-20 percent correction, would be cheap and worth buying on dips.

Shares of Infosys, Larsen & Toubro, SBI, Sun Pharma, Mahindra & Mahindra, Cipla, Hero Motocorp, Tata Steel and GAIL dropped 1-1.5 percent while ITC and NTPC gained more than 1 percent.

9:40 am Result poll: Maruti Suzuki 's fourth quarter profit after tax is seen rising a whopping 43 percent year-on-year to Rs 1,145 crore compared to Rs 800 crore in the year-ago period led by operating performance, according to a CNBC-TV18 poll. Revenue is likely to increase 10.3 percent to Rs 13,350 crore in the quarter ended March 2015 from Rs 12,101.4 crore in the same quarter last fiscal. Overall, it is expected to be a good quarter for Maruti as volume growth was decent at 7 percent Y-o-Y. The company sold 3.46 lakh units in Q4 against 3.25 lakh units sold in the same quarter last fiscal on account of improving consumer sentiment, new launches and return of the first time buyer.

9:30 am Market update: The market has started to slip with the Nifty hovering around 8300-levels. The 50-share index is down 5.45 points at 8299.80. The Sensex is up 16.38 points at 27454.32.  About 531 shares have advanced, 882 shares declined, and 99 shares are unchanged.

GAIL, M&M, Tata Steel, Sun Pharma and Infosys are major laggards in the Sensex while Maruti, ICICI Bank, Tata Motors, ITC and Coal India are top gainers.

The market kickstarts the week on a firm note. The Sensex is up 90.68 points at 27528.62 and the Nifty is up 26.15 points at 8331.40. About 372 shares have advanced, 153 shares declined, and 83 shares are unchanged.

Wipro, ICICI Bank, Tata Motors, Infosys and Hindalco are top gainers in the Sensex. Bharti Airtel, HUL and Tata Steel are losers.

The Indian rupee declined in the early trade. It has opened lower by 14 paise at 63.70 per dollar against 63.56 Friday. The dollar started the week on the defensive after more disappointing US  economic data reinforced expectations the US Federal Reserve will not hike interest rates any time soon.

Agam Gupta of Standard Chartered said, "The USD-INR pair saw dollar demand come in on any dips last week and we expect that price action to continue. We expect importers to buy dollar on any dips to 63.35-63.40/dollar. Upticks to 63.85-63.90/dollar should see exporters hedge long-term receivables."

Among global markets, in the US, earnings from Microsoft and Amazon continued to lift spirits with the Nasdaq setting another record for the second day in a row.

The S&P 500 also finished at a new all-time high, Dow Jones though ended just barely in the green. Among big movers, Microsoft rallied 10 percent after posting earnings of 61 cents per share on USD 21.73 billion on revenue that beat estimates.

European equities finished slightly higher as investors reacted to a slew of corporate earnings news.  Asia was trading mixed in morning trade with Kospi hovering around four-year highs.

Among commodities, Nymex crude holds above USD 57 a barrel, close to a 2015 high as fights in Yemen intensified creating more tensions over the security of West Asia oil supplies.

From precious metals space, gold hit its lowest level in more than a month on Friday, falling for the third straight week as strength in global equities diverted interest from the precious metal, although uncertainty over the timing of a US rate rise kept prices in a tight range.