Nifty ends May F&O at 8319; ITC, Infosys, Hero gainers

03:30 pm Market close: The Nifty ended May F&O series at 8319, down 15.60 points or 0.19 percent. The Sensex was down 57.95 points or 0.21 percent at 27506.71.

Tata Motors, Vedanta, Hero, Infosys and ITC were top gainers while Tata Power, Cipla, M&M, Bharti Airtel and Sun Pharma were major laggards in the Sensex.

03:10 pm Coal reforms? Having successfully completed the coal block auction earlier this year, which netted the exchequer in excess of Rs 2 lakh crore, the government is now preparing to auction coal linkages for the unregulated sector. A coal linkage is an assured commitment of supply by government monopoly Coal India to various end users as such power, steel and cement plants, and it is one of the two ways (other being e-auction) that Coal India sells the mineral. ''A government committee has accepted recommendations of a report by SBI Caps [that called for spectrum-like auction of e-linkages],'' Coal Secretary Anil Swarup told CNBC-TV18 today. ''The objective is to make price determination market-driven. We will attempt to work out a system by June 30.''

02:40pm Bank of India under pressure: Bank of India disappointed street on Thursday with the fourth quarter net loss of Rs 56.1 crore against profit of Rs 557.5 crore in the year-ago period despite tax writeback of Rs 773 crore (against Rs 108.7 crore in Q4FY14).

Gross non-performing assets (NPA) increased 132 basis points sequentially to 5.39 percent and net NPA climbed 88 basis points to 3.38 percent in the quarter gone by.

The scrip of Bank Of India was quoting at Rs 192.65, down Rs 11.45, or 5.61 percent on the BSE.

02:20pm Expert on Shanghai fall: Following a heady 50 percent run year-to-date, the Chinese share market today dropped precipitously, down 6.5 percent.

Media reports said leading brokerages have tightened margin funding rules in order to curb in order to what many analysts believe is heightened speculative activity in the market.

''There are two things that are happening today,'' Shaun Rein of China Market Research told CNBC-TV18. ''The margin investors are going out. But more importantly, there has been no fundamental reason why the market has gone up while the Chinese economy is slowing down.''

''The market is going up because people think they will go up,'' Rein said, while adding that he did not expect a straight decline ahead and shares would move with fits and starts.

Rein pointed out that make-up of the Chinese equity market was different from, say, the US.

''In the US, most shares are held by institutions, who are largely buy-and-hold investors,'' he said. ''In China, they are largely held by individuals who like to flip.''

02:00pm Market Check

The market continued to struggle at 8300 on the Nifty due to selling in banking & financials, pharma and oil stocks. The Sensex dropped 167.85 points to 27396.81 and the Nifty fell 53.10 points to 8281.50.

The market breadth too remained weak with the advance:decline ratio of 1080:1394 shares on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Sun Pharma and Mahindra & Mahindra shed 1.5 percent and 3 percent, respectively ahead of March quarter earnings tomorrow. HDFC and HDFC Bank were the biggest contributors to the Sensex's fall, down more than 1 percent.

However, Tata Motors (up 2 percent), Infosys (up 1 percent) and ITC (up 0.54 percent) topped the buying list.

Arvind, Bombay Burmah, Godrej Industries, Novartis India and Amtek Auto were the top midcap gainers, up 4-6 percent while Responsive Industries, Finolex Industries, Dhanuka Agritech, Redington and Risa International lost 5-7 percent.

In the smallcap space, AstraZeneca surged 15.73 percent post the company turned profitable during March quarter.

1:50 pm FII view: Abhay Laijawala, Deutsche Equities said while the brokerage remained constructive on market outlook & are maintaining our December 2015 Sensex target of 33,000, it does believe that both the economy & stock market are now urgently looking for critical offsets to balance the continued absence of private sector investment.

With the private sector still on sidelines, rural consumption deteriorating & export growth looking anemic, public investment has emerged as the most critical driver for economic revival, until private sector has recovered, he added.

According to him, a strategic thrust on public investment can be one of the strongest offsets the government can consciously provide India Inc to tide over this period of transition.

1:30 pm Results: Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL) is likely to report a profit of Rs 1,479.4 crore in March quarter, down 67.9 percent compared to Rs 4,609.2 crore in the year-ago period, according to a CNBC-TV18 poll. The company will announce its earnings on May 28. Analysts feel the sequential improvement may be much better. In Q3FY15, the state-run oil retailer had reported a loss of Rs 325.4 crore on revenue of Rs 51,045 crore.

The market is still under pressure as the Sensex is down 183.57 points or 0.7 percent at 27381.09. The Nifty is down 58.50 points or 0.7 percent at 8276.10. About 1033 shares have advanced, 1327 shares declined, and 162 shares are unchanged.

Cipla, M&M, Tata Power, HDFC and Dr Reddy's Labs are major laggards while Tata Motors, Vedanta, Infosys, GAIL and ITC are top gainers in the Sensex.

Meanwhile, bankers say the Reserve Bank of India should take steps to boost liquidity in addition to delivering a widely expected interest rate cut next week if it hopes to see lower lending rates and a pick-up in credit growth.

Lenders' failure to fully pass on the RBI's two interest rate cuts this year has been a major frustration for policy makers. Commercial banks blame the central bank's tight grip on liquidity for keeping the cost of funds high, a claim Governor Raghuram Rajan dismissed as "nonsense" at the April policy review.

12:55pm Market Update: Equity benchmarks fell further in afternoon trade today, the day of expiry for May derivative contracts. The Sensex fell 191.73 points to 27372.93 and the Nifty declined 58.65 points to 8275.95.

About 1049 shares have advanced, 1298 shares declined, and 169 shares are unchanged on the BSE.

Meanwhile, Shanghai crashed 6.5 percent and Hang Seng lost 2.6 percent in late trade.

12:35pm Market Expert: The Indian stock market now needs one big push from the FIIs, feels Ajay Srivastava, CEO, Dimension Consulting.

In an interview with CNBC-TV18, he says the government is doing its bit, domestic investors have been investing and expectations have become more realistic. But a sustained upswing is unlikely till foreign investors start buying heavily.

He says the economy needs more than a 25 basis point-cut by the RBI to get moving. He feels the RBI needs to be more aggressive in cutting rates and must also ensure that banks pass on the benefits to borrowers.

12:20pm Bankers on RBI policy: Bankers say the Reserve Bank of India should take steps to boost liquidity in addition to delivering a widely expected interest rate cut next week if it hopes to see lower lending rates and a pick-up in credit growth.

Lenders' failure to fully pass on the RBI's two interest rate cuts this year has been a major frustration for policy makers.

Commercial banks blame the central bank's tight grip on liquidity for keeping the cost of funds high, a claim Governor Raghuram Rajan dismissed as "nonsense" at the April policy review.

Rajan has maintained that there's sufficient cash and has publicly ruled out major moves like a cut to lenders' mandated cash reserve requirement (CRR) .

Traders and bankers said they were now lobbying for more modest but still potentially effective measures, including easing a daily requirement that currently forces banks to hold at least 95 percent of the current 4 percent CRR with the central bank.

That could be brought down to 85-90 percent, and help spur credit growth. In the latest fiscal year, lending growth slowed to its weakest in almost two decades.

12:00pm Market Check

The market extended losses amid consolidation in noon trade, dragged by HDFC group, healthcare, select technology and banks stocks.

The Sensex fell 105.5 points to 27459.14 and the Nifty dropped 32.50 points to 8302.10.

HDFC and Cipla topped the selling list, down over 2 percent followed by Sun Pharma (ahead of Q4 earnings), Bharti Airtel, Mahindra & Mahindra, ONGC, Dr Reddy's Labs and Hindalco with 1-1.8 percent loss. HDFC Bank was down 0.6 percent.

However, Tata Motors rebounded sharply on short covering, down 2.6 percent. Vedanta gained 2 percent.

11:50 am Market outlook: The Indian stock market now needs one big push from the FIIs, feels Ajay Srivastava, CEO, Dimension Consulting. In an interview with CNBC-TV18, he says the government is doing its bit, domestic investors have been investing and expectations have become more realistic. But a sustained upswing is unlikely till foreign investors start buying heavily. He says the economy needs more than a 25 basis point-cut by the RBI to get moving. He feels the RBI needs to be more aggressive in cutting rates and must also ensure that banks pass on the benefits to borrowers.

11:30 am Brokerage views: Brokerages are concerned about GAIL's petrochemical business and fear a downgrade. The company's fourth quarter net profit declined16 percent sequentially to Rs 510.75 crore, impacted by higher other expenses and loss at petrochemicals division. Total income from operations slipped 4.7 percent to Rs 14,270.62 crore during January-March quarter compared to Rs 14,969.41 crore in December quarter.

CLSA has a sell rating on the stock with a target of Rs 360 per share and slashed earnings per share (EPS) by 8-11 percent factoring in lower crude and lower gas trading profits. Expecting a downgrade, it says GAIL's gas transmission volumes may remain subdued in next two years. It feels long term LNG contract with Qatar remains a big risk.

Bank of America Merill Lynch maintains an underperfom rating with a target of Rs 327 per share. It feels earnings growth in FY16-17 is likely to be just 4-6 percent despite a low base.

The market is still flat with the Nifty below 8350-level. The 50-share index is down 14.15 points at 8320.45. The Sensex is down 19.66 points at 27545.00. About 1061 shares have advanced, 982 shares declined, and 141 shares are unchanged.

Tata Motors is up 2 percent while Vedanta, ITC, Hero and Infosys are top gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers are Hindalco, Tata Power, M&M, HDFC and Cipla.

Meanwhile, after severe heat conditions prevailed in several parts of India, there is likely to be some respite from the blistering heatwave. Skymet Ceo Jatin Singh has said that the worst of heatwave is over. He added that the monsoon might be a week late.

Skymet has also predicted that thunderstorms are expected between May 30 and June 3. "From May 30 to June 3, you have a series of thunderstorms hitting north India, central India and east India. The worst is almost over now. It should get better in a couple of days," he said.

10:45am Earnings poll: Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) is expected to report a profit of Rs 6,000 crore on revenue of Rs 21,000 crore, according to the average of estimates of analysts polled by CNBC-TV18. Operating profit is likely to be around Rs 11,700 crore for the quarter.

Analysts expect nil subsidy burden during the quarter against Rs 13,600 crore in the year-ago period as entire compensation of Rs 10,700 crore may be paid by the government and oil marketing companies may absorb Rs 2,200 crore of losses.

For FY15, ONGC's subsidy burden may fall to Rs 36,300 crore from Rs 53,800 crore in previous financial year. Net realisation for the quarter is expected to be at USD 53.7 a barrel against USD 35.6 a barrel in Q3. Analysts see full benefit of higher gas prices at USD 5.6 mmBtu in Q4.

10:20am FII View: Abhay Laijawala, Deutsche Equities said while the brokerage remained constructive on market outlook & are maintaining our December 2015 Sensex target of 33,000, it does believe that both the economy & stock market are now urgently looking for critical offsets to balance the continued absence of private sector investment.

With the private sector still on sidelines, rural consumption deteriorating & export growth looking anemic, public investment has emerged as the most critical driver for economic revival, until private sector has recovered, he added.

According to him, a strategic thrust on public investment can be one of the strongest offsets the government can consciously provide India Inc to tide over this period of transition.

10:00am Market Check

The market has turned flat as it approaches May F&O expiry. The Sensex is up 45.85 points at 27610.51 and the Nifty is up 13.85 points at 8348.45. About 973 shares have advanced, 642 shares declined, and 106 shares are unchanged.

Tata Motors, Hero MotoCorp, Coal India, Vedanta and Axis Bank are top gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers are M&M, GAIl, HUL, Hindalco and HDFC.

Asian shares edged up on vague hopes of a rescue deal for Greece while the dollar was at the helm in currency markets on expectations that the US Federal Reserve will raise rates later this year.

Although there are conflicting reports on the state of talks between Athens and international creditors, investors are pinning their hopes on a last-minute agreement as has been the case since the country's debt crisis began more than five years ago.

Greek officials voiced optimism for a cash-for-reforms deal, with economy minister George Stathakis saying Greece and its international creditors have converged on key points.

9:55 am Monsoon update: While the monsoon may start on time i.e. on May 30 or June 1, but the real monsoon season will begin post 6 or 7 June, says Jatin Singh of Skymet. In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Singh says the worst of the heat wave in India is almost over and thunderstorms can be expected between May 30 to June 3.

"From May 30 to June 3 you have a series of thunderstorms hitting North India, Central India, East India. So, I think the worst is almost over now and it should get better in a couple of days," he adds.

9:45 am Result poll: Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) is expected to report a profit of Rs 6,000 crore on revenue of Rs 21,000 crore, according to the average of estimates of analysts polled by CNBC-TV18. The state-run oil & gas explorer will announce its earnings on May 28. Operating profit is likely to be around Rs 11,700 crore for the quarter. Analysts expect nil subsidy burden during the quarter against Rs 13,600 crore in the year-ago period as entire compensation of Rs 10,700 crore may be paid by the government and oil marketing companies may absorb Rs 2,200 crore of losses.

9:30 am Rael deal? In an interesting turn of events,crisis hit Sahara has entered the fray for buying its own Grosvenor House hotel, which was put on sale by its lender Bank of China after a 'technical default'. The Indian group has been trying to raise funds to secure release of its chief Subrata Roy, who has been lodged in Tihar Jail for over a year, through monetisation of its various assets including the iconic London hotel. Sources said that Sahara group is still negotiating a 'refinancing' deal to transfer the Bank of China loans to some other lender, while it has also entered the bidding fray for Grosvenor House through a 'financier' backed by some global banks to ensure a better valuation of the property.

The market started off expiry day on a positive note. The Sensex gained 96.48 points at 27661.14 and the Nifty rose 25.60 points to 8360.20. About 537 shares have advanced, 211 shares declined, and 63 shares are unchanged on the BSE.

Tata Motors, ONGC, Infosys, Bharti Airtel, HDFC, Tech Mahindra and BPCL gained 0.7-1.7 percent while GAIL, M&M, Dr Reddys Labs, SBI, Hindalco, HCL Tech and PNB lost 0.4-2 percent.

The Indian rupee has opened at Rs 63.93 a dollar today, up 8 paise over previous day's close. In the previous session, the currency closed at 64.01 a dollar, the lowest closing level since May 12.

Mohan Shenoi, Kotak Mahindra Bank said, "Strong US data recently has strengthened Dollar against global majors. Rupee has also weakened marginally against Dollar with RBI interventions tempering volatility in the currency. We expect the USD-INR pair to trade in a range of `63.70-64.10/USD today.

"Expectations of a rate cut on June 2 by the RBI has turned the undertone in the bond market positive. However, the bullishness is limited to the new 10-year with all other securities underperforming. We expect the new 10-year benchmark yield to trade in a range of 7.65-7.68% today," he further added.

Meanwhile, the dollar retreated slightly overnight versus peers, crude prices moved up a bit, while remained steady.

Asian shares were largely higher while Wall Street closed higher overnight following a reported Greece deal that may assuage at least some of that indebted nation's crisis. The Nasdaq closed at a record high.