Sensex up 148 points, Nifty ends above 8450; SBI drags 3%

3:30 pm Market close: The market ended with good gains supported by infra, oil, IT and pharma stocks. The Sensex was up 148.15 points or 0.5 percent at 27957.50 and the Nifty ended 37.95 points or 0.4 percent at 8458.95. About 1205 shares have advanced, 1515 shares declined, and 160 shares are unchanged.

HDFC, TCS, Sun Pharma, ONGC and L&T were top gainers in the Sensex. Amogn the losers are SBI, Hindalco, Wipro, Axis Bank and Tata Power.

2:50 pm Result: Drug firm Strides Arcolab on Friday reported a standalone net profit of Rs 69.66 crore for the quarter ended March 31, 2015. The company had posted a net loss of Rs 48.26 crore for the corresponding period of the previous fiscal, Strides Arcolab said in a filing to the BSE.

The company's standalone total income from operations, however, rose to Rs 270.03 crore during the quarter under consideration as against Rs 256.73 crore in the year ago period.

For the full fiscal ended March 2015, the company posted a standalone net profit of Rs 532.32 crore. It was Rs 3,512.92 crore for the same period of previous fiscal. The company's standalone total income from operations stood at Rs 929.41 crore for the fiscal ended March this year.

2:30 pm FM on rupee: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the value of the rupee should be market-driven, while noting India had potential to touch doubt-digit economic growth.

The rupee has fallen nearly 1 percent against the U.S. dollar so far this year, despite signs of an improving economy, with analysts predicting India could surpass China's growth.

But analysts believe the currency is still over-valued in real effective exchange rate (REER) terms, which is calculated on a trade-weighted basis against a basket of 36 currencies and is adjusted for inflation.

The market maintains its uptrend amidst announcement of corporate earnings of few companies. The Sensex is up 145.71 points at 27955.06 and the Nifty is up 39.25 points  at 8460.25. About 1209 shares have advanced, 1336 shares declined, and 165 shares are unchanged.

Sun Pharma, TCS, HDFC, ONGC and L&T are top gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers are Bajaj Auto, Wipro, Vedanta, Hero MotoCorp and Hindalco.

SBI has flattened after announcing its Q4 earnings. It has beaten estimates with net profit rising 23.1 percent to Rs 3742 crore from Rs 3040.7 crore in corresponding quarter last quarter.  Net interest income (NII), during the quarter rose 14 percent to Rs 14,712 crore compared to Rs 12,903 crore year-on-year (Y-o-Y).  Its asset quality improved in the period.

However, surprise in the pack is Punj Llyod as it is 16 percent. Its Q4 net profit soared to Rs 268 crore compared to Rs 5 Lakh but total income fell to Rs 1,290 crore from Rs 2,037 crore on a yearly basis. Its other income  grew to Rs 570 crore to Rs 11 crore (Y-o-Y).

1:50 pm Market outlook: Nilesh Shah of Envision Capital believes the Modi government has been more than satisfactory as it has managed fiscal consolidation very well. In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Shah says the government must now look at non-strategic areas for divestment and suggests making Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) a public entity. On the earnings season, Shah says a revival will be seen sooner rather than later. He also expects the market to perform well and sees a 15-20 percent higher Sensex target.

1:30 pm Result: State Bank of India's March quarter earnings have beaten estimates with net profit rising 23.1 percent to Rs 3742 crore from Rs 3040.7 crore in corresponding quarter last quarter. Net interest income (NII), during the quarter rose 14 percent to Rs 14,712 crore compared to Rs 12,903 crore year-on-year (Y-o-Y).

Gross non-performing assets (NPA) was at 4.25 percent versus 4.90 percent quarter-on-quarter while net NPA stood at 2.1 percent against 2.8 percent sequentially.  In absolute terms, gross NPA was at Rs 56,725 crore against Rs 61,991 crore (Q-o-Q). Net NPA came in at Rs 27,590 crore versus Rs 34,468.7 crore (QoQ).   

According to a CNBC-TV18 poll, the PSU bank was expected to report net profit at Rs 3481 crore in January-March quarter, up 14.5 percent in year-ago period. Its net interest income was seen growing 9.4 percent to Rs 14114 crore.

The market is still up as the Sensex is up 222.43 points or 0.8 percent at 28031.78 and the Nifty is up 57.50 points or 0.7 percent at 8478.50. About 1283 shares have advanced, 1163 shares declined, and 162 shares are unchanged.

SBI is up 3 percent while Sun Pharma, HDFC, TCS and ONGC are top gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers are Bajaj Auto, Wipro, Vedanta, Hindalco and Hero Motocorp.

The market capitalisation of shares listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's main board hit a record high on Friday, topping a 26-year peak and marking one victory in Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's campaign to jolt the economy out of a long phase of deflation and stagnation.
The total market capitalisation of the TSE's first section rose to 591.30 trillion yen (USD 4.9 trillion), surpassing the previous peak of 590.09 trillion yen hit in December 1989, when share prices hit record peaks at the height of the Japanese asset bubble.

Investors say the market's fundamentals look much better now compared to 26 years ago, when Tokyo shares were traded at 60 times earnings. Ratios of price to earnings above 20 are often considered too expensive.

12:50 pm Coal block auction: After the successful coal block auction, sources say the coal ministry is planning to push for coal mines and linkage auction next. The government intends to focus on meeting the demands of the unregulated sector, which includes iron, steel, cement and aluminium industries. Hailing the government's plan, PC Parakh, Former Coal Secretary, says it won't increase coal supply to the unregulated sector because for that to happen supply has to increase.

But it will remove discretionary allocation of coal and improve transparency, he adds. Partha Bhattacharya, former Chairman, Coal India , too agrees with Parakh but is worried about irrational and aggressive bidding by corporates to secure coal linkages. Parakh opines as long as there is supply shortage, aggressive bidding is bound to happen.

12:30 pm Oil subsidy: Indian Oil Corp (IOC) will get Rs 2,932 crore subsidy and Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) Rs 2,291 crore for selling fuel below cost in Q4 of 2014-15, but Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) will not get any support.

The Finance Ministry has sanctioned Rs 5,223 crore fuel subsidy for the January-March quarter to cover almost all of the revenue loss that the two retailers suffered on selling domestic cooking gas (LPG) and kerosene at government rates.

Sources said that out of the subsidy sanctioned, IOC will get Rs 2,932.62 crore and BPCL the remaining Rs 2,291 crore.

HPCL, they said, will not get any subsidy due to certain adjustments for the past payments. With this, the total subsidy provided by the government in 2014-15 goes up to Rs 27,308 crore. For the first three quarters, the government had provided Rs 22,085 crore.

The Sensex is up 209.16 points or 0.7 percent at 28018.51 and the Nifty is up 56.80 points or 0.7 percent at 8477.80. About 1312 shares have advanced, 1047 shares declined, and 144 shares are unchanged.

SBI, HDFC, Sun Pharma, TCS and ITC are top gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers are Bajaj Auto, Wipro, Vedanta, Hero Motocorp and Hindalco.

India should have a tax on company profits that is more consistently applied than it is now and should bring down its effective rate to global levels, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said.

"We must ... remove discretion, phase out exemptions and bring the effective rate down to global levels," Jaitley told a news conference called to mark the first year of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government in power.

He also said minimum alternate tax (MAT) issue will be resolved through judicial process and the government will take all efforts to meet the April 1, 2016 deadline for GST. He added that 'simplification of tax policies is our objective.'

Jaitley's comments reiterated a budget commitment to cut the rate of corporate tax to 25 percent from 30 percent over the next four years, and represented an olive branch to foreign portfolio investors surprised by a slew of tax claims.

11:50 am Result: Leading theme park operator Wonderla Holidays & Resorts reported about 8 percent drop in the March quarter net profit at Rs 6.6 crore on excess tax provision of Rs 3.14 crore pertaining to its Kochi park.

"Our bottomline in the quarter was impacted by an excess tax provision of Rs 2 crore towards entertainment tax and service tax disputes with our Kochi park. While we agreed to part-pay Rs 2 crore towards entertainment tax dispute with Kochi Corporation, we also set aside Rs 1.14 crore towards service tax dispute dating back to 2011, again with regard to the Kochi park," its managing director and chief executive Arun K Chittilappilly said.

Accordingly, net profit for the quarter slipped to Rs 6.58 crore from Rs 7.15 crore, showing a decline of 7.89 percent , he said, adding that gross revenue rose over 14 percent to Rs 39.35 crore.

11:30 am Market outlook: Brokerage house Ambit Capital is recommending its clients to sell into this rally as it feels fundamental concerns will weigh the market down in the short term. ''With GDP growth unlikely to revive meaningfully in FY16 and with consensus likely to cut its earnings growth estimates for FY16, Indian equities are headed for a difficult two to three months in our view,'' the Ambit note to clients said. Ambit estimates this year's gDP growth at 7 percent and Sensex compnaies' earning growth at 9 percent.

The Sensex is up 185.84 points or 0.7 percent at 27995.19 and the Nifty is up 45.75 points or 0.5 percent at 8466.75. About 1200 shares have advanced, 852 shares declined, and 134 shares are unchanged.

SBI, HDFC, ITC, ICICI Bank and ONGC are top gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers are Bajaj Auto, Vedanta, Hindalco, Wipro and Hero Motocorp.

Oil prices fell in Asia today, unwinding sharp gains in the previous session that was fuelled by hopes that a global supply glut could end soon. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for July delivery eased 15 cents to USD 60.57 while Brent crude for July fell 21 cents to USD 66.33 in afternoon trade.

Minutes from the US Federal Reserve's April policy meeting released Wednesday showed board members are concerned that the world's biggest economy is not yet ready to absorb a rate hike from current record lows

10:50 pm Market check: The Sensex is up 177.87 points or 0.6 percent at 27987.22, and the Nifty is up 45.45 points or 0.5 percent at 8466.45. About 1178 shares have advanced, 856 shares declined, and 128 shares are unchanged.

SBI, ITC, ONGC, ICICI Bank and HDFC are top gainers in the Sensex. Among  losers in the Sensex Hindalco, Bajaj Auto, Vedanta, Wipro and Hero MotoCorp.

10:30 pm Market outlook: While the Indian equity market has discounted poor Q4 earnings, days of robust numbers are still far, says Krishna Kumar Karwa, managing director, Emkay Global Financial Services. In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Karwa says the economy will see a turnaround only after 4-5 more quarters. On sectoral bets, Karwa says public-sector banks are good long-term bets.

The market is maintaining its uptrend in early trade. The Sensex is up 98.12 points or at 27907.47 and the Nifty is up 17.10 points at 8438.10. About 1032 shares have advanced, 694 shares declined, and 109 shares are unchanged.

SBI is up 3 percent ahead of announcing its March quarter results. ITC is also up 1 percent. Other gainers are Tata Steel, ONGC and GAIL. Among the losers are Bajaj Auto, Wipro, Hindalco, Bharti Airtel and Vedanta.

Asian shares rose early after Wall Street set another record high with prospects for a Federal Reserve rate hike in June all but quashed, while the dollar steadied after losing ground to the euro for the first time this week on downbeat US data.

The Bank of Japan concludes its two-day policy meeting later in the session and while the central bank is widely expected to stand pat on policy, with some focus on how it perceived GDP growth in the first quarter.

The US economy has shown signs of strength but its recovery has not been as robust as expected. Soft US data released overnight - weaker-than-expected existing home sales, the manufacturing sector and US Mid-Atlantic business activity - appeared to vindicate the Fed officials' cautious policy stance.

9:50 am Results: Indiabulls Real Estate (IBREL) reported an over two-fold increase in its consolidated net profit at Rs 93.13 crore for the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2015.

The company had posted a consolidated net profit of Rs 41.67 crore in the same period of previous fiscal, IBREL said in a filing to the BSE.

The company's total income from operation also rose to Rs 594.22 crore during the quarter, up 81.38 percent against Rs 327.60 crore in the same period of the previous fiscal.

During 2014-15 fiscal, the company's consolidated net profit was also up 10.82 percent to Rs 248.08 crore as against Rs 223.84 crore in the year-ago period.

Net sales during 2014-15 were also up 49.81 percent to Rs 2,601.18 crore as against Rs 1,736.24 crore a year ago.

9:30 am Results: Bakery and dairy products maker Britannia Industries reported a 55.35 percent increase in its consolidated net profit at Rs 167.25 crore for the quarter ended March 31, 2015.

The company had posted a net profit of Rs 107.66 crore in the same period of previous fiscal, Britannia Industries said in a filing to the BSE.

Britannia's net sales rose to Rs 2,031.83 crore during the quarter, up 14.32 percent against Rs 1,777.28 crore in the same period of previous fiscal.

During 2014-15 fiscal, the company's net profit was also up 74.18 percent to Rs 688.64 crore as against Rs 395.35 crore in the year-ago period.

Net sales during 2014-15 were also up 13.84 percent to Rs 7,775.09 crore as against Rs 6,829.32 crore a year ago.

The market has opened flat once again. The Sensex is up 48.57 points at 27857.92, and the Nifty is up 11.50 points at 8432.50. About 293 shares have advanced, 130 shares declined, and 66 shares are unchanged.

ONGC, GAIL, SBI, M&M and Coal India are top gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers are Bajaj Auto, NTPC, Hindalco, Bharti Airtel and Wipro.

Britannia is up 11 percent following a strong March quarter results. The Indian rupee opened with marginal gain of 6 paise at 63.58 per dollar against previous close of 63.64.

The US dollar weakens against the euro for the first time this week as investors were reluctant to enter new positions and as some US economic data disappoints. The dollar index is at 95.34 mark.

Pramit Brahmbhatt of Veracity said, ''Mixed US data signals that interest rate hike may not take place soon. Reduction in FII inflows coupled with profit booking in local equities may pressurise rupee to depreciate. However today, gains in Asian equities may support the local unit. Range for the day is seen between 63.20-64/dollar.''

Asian peers opened mixed in the morning with Japan's Nikkei trading with a mild negative bias as investors await the latest policy decision from the Bank of Japan though it is expected to continue monetary stimulus at the conclusion of the two-day meeting.The rest of Asia is trading in the green as the Kospi is higher as investors prepare for an extended weekend.

Meanwhile, stocks closed modestly higher in the US, with the Nasdaq outperforming as investors eyed slightly lower bond yields and mostly shook off the mixed economic data. Yields edged lower after disappointing existing home sales, with the 10-year yield dipping below 2.20 percent.

Europe too witnessed equities finishing largely higher as investors digested fresh data from the Eurozone.  According to the minutes of European Central Bank's last meeting - there are at least three important takeaways from the ECB minutes.

Firstly tapering of the programme was not discussed. Secondly, the positive economic outlook was conditional on full implementation of QE. Finally, the ECB will concentrate on inflation trends and not on single inflation data points.

In commodities, Nymex crude prices rose about 3 percent as a reported drawdown of stockpiles in the cushing delivery point to US crude futures' boosted optimism that a supply glut was easing. Brent crude is hovering around the USD 66 per barrel mark. Gold prices, meanwhile, held steady at around USD 1205 an ounce.