Sensex, Nifty end higher; Infosys & ITC lead, HDFC drags

03:30 pm Market Closing: The market closed higher for the third consecutive session Friday. The Sensex rose 17.19 points to 28463.31 and the Nifty gained 1.80 points at 8609.85. About 1432 shares have advanced, 1403 shares declined, and 170 shares are unchanged on the BSE.

Top gainers were Mahindra & Mahindra, BHEL, Lupin, Infosys, ITC, Tech Mahindra and UltraTech Cement, up 1-2 percent. However, HDFC, Coal India, Axis Bank, HUL, Asian Paints and Ambuja Cements topped the selling list, down 1-2.7 percent.

03:15 pm Motherson Sumi at new high: Shares of Motherson Sumi Systems touched a life high of Rs 539.45, up 3 percent intraday after European car sales hit highest level since 2009. The stock rallied 18 percent in the current calendar year 2015.

European subsidiaries contribute about 80 percent to the total revenues of Motherson.

As per the data released on July 16, Europe's car registration showed 15 percent growth in June despite Greece crisis, the biggest year-on-year rise in monthly car sales since December 2009.

During January-June period of 2015, new registrations for passenger cars in Europe rose by 8.2 percent to more than 7 million units.

03:00 pm Market Update: The Sensex fell 7.22 points to 28438.90 and the Nifty declined 5.05 points to 8603.00. About 1378 shares have advanced, 1394 shares declined, and 171 shares are unchanged on the BSE.

02:50 pm GIC Housing in News: GIC Housing rallied 2 percent after reporting a 11.4 percent growth in first quarter net profit at Rs 28.2 crore compared to Rs 25.4 crore in the year ago-period.

Net interest income (the difference between interest earned and interest expended) grew by 16.6 percent to Rs 60.4 crore from Rs 51.8 crore during the same period.

02:45 pm NIIT in focus: NIIT has reported a 25 times growth in first quarter profit at Rs 15 crore compared to Rs 0.6 crore in the corresponding quarter of last fiscal. It offers learning management and training delivery solutions to corporations, institutions and individuals.

Revenue grew by 4 percent to Rs 233.2 crore during April-June quarter from Rs 225 crore in the year-ago period.

While addressing press conference, Rahul Patwardhan, CEO of NIIT said skills business saw turnaround in Q1 and the company would be training 1 crore people under Skill India Mission.

Operating margins expanded by 135 basis points to 7 percent year-on-year, he added.

02:25 pm Media FDI cap: The government is looking to rationalise the foreign direct investment (FDI) policy and open up the media sector , say sources. The FDI cap for print media as well as for news broadcast may be hiked to 49 percent.

However, there is no clarity on whether this will be done under the automatic route, though that would seem very unlikely.

The policy that is being discussed internally at the moment between various government departments is whether there could be a cap on the equity that the largest Indian shareholder has to hold. So, while it will hike the FDI cap, the control of this joint venture company in print media or in news broadcast, will have to be Indian.

The proposal has been discussed with the Law Ministry and it has given its in-principle approval. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has been holding various consultations with all kind of experts, so, it is perhaps a matter of days before we see a policy announcement.

02:00 pm Market Check
The market continued to lacklustre in trade with the Sensex hovering around 28500, up 61.76 points at 28507.88. The Nifty advanced 17.40 points to 8625.45.

The BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices gained 0.3-0.6 percent. Advancing shares outnumbered declining ones by a ratio of 1465 to 1228 on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Yes Bank, Reliance Industries, Wockhardt, Axis Bank, Voltas, Larsen & Toubro, Tata Motors and ICICI Bank were most active shares on exchanges.

Mahindra and Mahindra's (M&M) agri business division today forayed into branded edible oil space under 'NuPro' brand with the launch of Virgin Kachchi Ghani Mustard Oil. The stock gained 0.9 percent.

At 01:55 pm Market Update: The Sensex advanced 65.04 points to 28511.16 and the Nifty climbed 18.50 points to 8626.55. About 1468 shares have advanced, 1225 shares declined, and 167 shares are unchanged on the BSE.

01:35 pm Market Expert: The Indian market continued to have a higher bias and the overall market is looking rather good, said VK Sharma of HDFC Securities.

Also when compared to the all-time high of March 4, 44 percent of Nifty stocks are already much higher, he says, indicating that the index is not reflecting the real story. "The portfolio have investors has done well in the past three months when the general perception is that the market has not performed well," he told CNBC-TV18.

Deven Choksey of KR Choksey Shares & Securities too said that the market mood is much better despite the fact that there hasn't been any fundamental change. That is why the Nifty range has shifted from 8000-8500 to 8250-8750, he said.

01:25 pm IT stocks in focus: The US government has decided to widen the ambit of H-1B visa probe, sources say. The US Department of Justice, Homeland Security and Labour Departments will be investigating the issue.

These departments are likely to investigate layoffs of US workers between FY09 and FY15, especially investigate displacements of 50 US workers by IT companies.

All large IT contracts are also likely to come under the scanner. It is also important to note that all large IT companies have huge exposure to the US.

01:00 pm Market Check
The market remained in a tight range in afternoon trade following mixed global cues. The Sensex gained 1.48 points at 28447.60 and the Nifty rose 1.35 points to 8609.40.

The broader markets gained strength with the BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices rising 0.3 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively., About 1411 shares have advanced, 1147 shares declined, and 169 shares are unchanged on the BSE.

BHEL and Vedanta topped the buying list on Sensex, up 1.8 percent each followed by ITC, ICICI Bank, L&T, Sun Pharma, Lupin and TCS with marginal gains. However, HDFC plunged 2 percent and Coal India fell 1.5 percent. HUL declined 1 percent.

In earnings action, ACC will report its numbers today. According to a CNBC-TV18 poll, topline may decline 2 percent due to lower volumes but ready-mix-concrete business may support. Margins may be hit owing to weak pricing environment.

Mindtree rallied nearly 4 percentg after company's dollar revenue growth at 4.8 percent beat estimates but margins missed estimates with a sequential decline of 190 basis points. Management reiterated growth in FY16 to be better than industry growth and announced acquisition of 2 small companies.

Asian markets gained with Shanghai index up 3.5 percent. In Europe, Germany's parliament is set to vote today on the reform-for-aid package agreed for Greece. European markets were flat.

12:55 pm Market Update: The Sensex gained 10.07 points at 28456.19 and the Nifty rose 3.30 points to 8611.35. About 1411 shares have advanced, 1142 shares declined, and 166 shares are unchanged on the BSE.

12:40 pm Gold Update: A fall in global gold prices to eight-month lows this week failed to boost demand in top consumers China and India as would-be buyers anticipate further declines on the back of a strengthing US dollar.

Bullion took a hit after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told Congress the US central bank is on track to lift interest rates this year if the US economy expands as expected, sending the dollar to a seven-week high versus a basket of currencies.

Spot gold fell as far as USD 1,142.10 an ounce on Thursday, its lowest since November 2014. It is on course to extend its losing streak to a fourth week.

Domestic prices in India remained at a discount to the global spot benchmark, although the discount narrowed to USD 4-USD 5 an ounce from USD 6-USD 8 last week.

12:20 pm Essar Oil in News: The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) has approved the planned delisting of shares in Essar Oil, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The delisting plan had already been approved by National Stock Exchange. Essar Oil, a unit of India's diversified Essar Group, was given the BSE green light on Wednesday, the sources said.

Spokespeople for the BSE and the NSE could not be immediately reached for comment. An Essar spokesman declined comment.

Russian oil giant Rosneft is in a talks to buy a stake of up to 49 percent in Essar Oil, which operates a 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) Vadinar refinery in Gujarat.

12:00 pm Market Check
The market is consolidating with infra, IT and pharma stocks rallying. The Sensex is up 19.05 points at 28465.17, and the Nifty up 2.50 points at 8610.55. About 1302 shares have advanced, 1133 shares declined, and 149 shares are unchanged.

Vedanta, BHEL, Hindalco, Sun Pharma and Tata Steel are top gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers are HDFC, Coal India, HUL, Axis Bank and Wipro.

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble have urged conservative lawmakers to back a third debt deal for Greece, on the eve of a key Bundestag vote on the new rescue package.

Addressing the conservative CDU/CSU parliamentary faction, Merkel said she was "absolutely convinced" that the government should begin negotiations on the bailout, according to one of the participants at the extraordinary meeting.

Calling on the deputies to give the government a mandate for the negotiations, she said the conditions imposed on Greece in return for the massive rescue package were tough but justified, the source added.

11:50 am Market outlook: Vibhav Kapoor of IL&FS issues a warning to very optimistic traders/ investors. He agrees that with global headwinds out of the way, Nifty has made higher bottom at around 8000 levels. Apart from global positivity, other macros, including low commodity prices, too have been aiding sentiment. There are signs of improvement even in the country's micro environment, particularly with the government taking gradual actions, he said.

There are signs of improvement even in the country's micro environment, particularly with the government taking gradual actions, he said. However, poor earnings remain a concern but the biggest negative is that of stretched valuations, Kapoor said. Most consumer companies' valuations are steep even at FY17 levels. Nifty too is stretched. He thinks one cannot make too much money from here and the market must consolidate at some point.

11:30 am Buzzing: Shares of Lupin gained more than 1 percent on approval from US Food and Drug Administration for diabetes drug.

The pharma major has received an approval from the USFDA for PrandiMet (also known as Prandin) generic that is used for treatment of type 2 diabetes.

Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk is the innovator of the drug and has received approval from USFDA in June 2008. "PrandiMet had been approved to lower the blood glucose in adult patients with type 2 diabetes whose hyperglycemia cannot be controlled satisfactorily by meglitinide and/or metformin," Novo said in its release published in 2008.

The market is absolutely flat as the Sensex is up 9.32 points at 28455.44, and the Nifty down 1.20 points at 8606.85. About 1231 shares have advanced, 1022 shares declined, and 142 shares are unchanged.

BHEL, Tata Steel, Sun Pharma, Bharti Airtel and Hindalco are top gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers are HDFC, Coal India, HUL, Axis Bank and Tata Motors.

Oil prices edged up but further gains are unlikely, analysts said, owing to ongoing concerns about a global supply glut, while increasing dollar strength will also likely weigh on the downside. Crude investors continue to fret as the global economy struggles to get back up to speed, despite a strong pick-up in the United States, the world's biggest oil consumer.

While fears over the Greek debt crisis abate, prices took a hit this week after crude-rich Iran and world powers agreed a historic deal to check the country's nuclear ambitions, which in turn eases crippling sanctions on its crucial oil exports.

10:55 am Market Update: The Sensex gained 1.19 points at 28447.31 and the Nifty fell 4.75 points to 8603.30. About 1213 shares have advanced, 1007 shares declined, and 140 shares are unchanged on the BSE.

10:40 am ACC Q2 nos forecast: Cement major ACC is expected to degrow in the quarter ended June. Profit is likely to fall 11 percent year-on-year to Rs 217 crore and total income may drop 2 percent to Rs 3,012 crore, according to a CNBC-TV18 poll.

The company follows January-December as its financial year.

Analysts expect cement volumes to decline in April-June quarter (following weakness in past two consecutive quarters) due to poor sales seen in Southern and Northern markets.

The topline of ACC, which has pan India presence, may be dragged by lower volumes but realisations and RMC may support. Analysts see poor realisations in northern and western regions.

Southern presence may help realisations as cement prices jumped 15 percent Y-o-Y. Ready mix concrete (RMC) business may support topline. RMC business clocked revenue of Rs 439 crore in Q1CY15 and Rs 305 crore in Q2CY14.

10:15 am Market Expert: Vibhav Kapoor of IL&FS issues a warning to very optimistic traders/ investors. He agrees that with global headwinds out of the way, Nifty has made higher bottom at around 8000 levels. Apart from global positivity, other macros, including low commodity prices, too have been aiding sentiment. There are signs of improvement even in the country's micro environment, particularly with the government taking gradual actions, he said.

However, poor earnings remain a concern but the biggest negative is that of stretched valuations, Kapoor said. Most consumer companies' valuations are steep even at FY17 levels. Nifty too is stretched. He thinks one cannot make too much money from here and the market must consolidate at some point.

10:00 am Market Check
The market entered into a consolidation phase after 2-day rally. The 30-share BSE Sensex gained 33.25 points at 28479.37 and the Nifty rose 5.80 points to 8613.85. The broader markets, too, turned volatile.

Near term concerns like tepid earnings, policy logjam and global volatility aside, brokerage house Ambit reiterates that the Nifty can climb to 11000 over the next 24 months.

Sun Pharma gained more than 1 percent as brokerage CLSA raised target price on the stock to Rs 1,160, citing potential of Ranbaxy's Mohali plant. Lupin, too, rose over 1 percent on getting approval from US Food and Drug Administration for diabetes drug PrandiMet.

Mindtree surged 4 percent after better than expected revenue in the quarter ended June. Revenue increased by 6.9 percent quarter-on-quarter to Rs 981.6 crore and dollar revenue grew by 4.8 percent to USD 154.9 million during the quarter, better than forecast of 6.7 percent and 4.3 percent growth, respectively.

9:50 am Buzzing:  Shares of Lupin gained more than 1 percent on approval from US Food and Drug Administration for diabetes drug.

The pharma major has received an approval from the USFDA for PrandiMet (also known as Prandin) generic that is used for treatment of type 2 diabetes.

Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk is the innovator of the drug and has received approval from USFDA in June 2008. "PrandiMet had been approved to lower the blood glucose in adult patients with type 2 diabetes whose hyperglycemia cannot be controlled satisfactorily by meglitinide and/or metformin," Novo said in its release published in 2008.

Analysts feel this could be a limited competition drug. Actavis and Sandoz are few of the other generic filers for Prandin.

9:30 am Result poll: Cement major ACC is expected to degrow in the quarter ended June. Profit is likely to fall 11 percent year-on-year to Rs 217 crore and total income may drop 2 percent to Rs 3.012 crore, according to a CNBC-TV18 poll. The company follows January-December as its financial year. Analysts expect cement volumes to decline in April-June quarter (following weakness in past two consecutive quarters) due to poor sales seen in Southern and Northern markets.

After a stellar rally yesterday, the market has opened with marginal gains on Friday.  The Sensex is up 74.17 points at 28520.29 and the Nifty is up 12.75 points at 8620.80. About 627 shares have advanced, 137 shares declined, and 79 shares are unchanged.

Sun Pharma, Hindalco, Hero MotoCorp, L&T and Wipro are top gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers are Axis Bank, Coal India, Tata Motors, GAIL and Maruti.

The rupee has opened flat at 63.51 per dollar on Friday against 63.51 Thursday.

Himanshu Arora of Religare said, "The USD-INR pair is expected to trade slightly higher today amid latest comments from Fed Chair, Janet Yellen, that they plan to hike rates this year on back of strengthening US economy."

The dollar index rallied to a seven-week high. An easing in jobless claims reinforced market expectations of a 2015 US interest rate hike.

Asian markets are holding steady with a mild positive bias this morning.Nikkei has bounced up to its highest level since late June as the yen hovered near its weakest level in more than three weeks.

The Nikkei has reversed last week's 4 percent cut with a 4 percent gain this week.

Kospi index touched a two-week high in early trade but has come off more than half a percent from the day's top.

Posco is under pressure on news that it is scrapping plans for a USD 12 billion project it had agreed to set up in India more a decade ago. Taiwan has been an underperformer this week down 3 percent. Singapore markets shut today

US stocks closed near highs, with the Nasdaq at a record, as investors focused on earnings beats amid progress towards near-term resolution in the Greek debt crisis. The Nasdaq composite rallied more than 1 percent to set a new closing record of 5163.

European stocks closed higher after the European Central Bank (ECB) extended its emergency funding for the country's banks. Mario Draghi confirmed an increase in emergency funding to Greece by 900 million euro over one week.

He added the ECB would "grant in principle a 3-year ESM stability support to Greece, subject to the completion of relevant national procedures.

The dollar index rallied to a seven-week high. An easing in jobless claims reinforced market expectations of a 2015 US interest rate hike. Brent crude prices are steady around USD 57 per barrel after data showed a fall in crude inventories and strong demand from refineries in the US.

Gold falls to an eight-month low after the dollar index rises to a seven-week high.