Sensex ends 260 points higher, Nifty at 7866; metals shine

3:30 pm Market closing: The market ended on a strong note. The Sensex was up 259.65 points or 1 percent at 25850.30 and the Nifty gained 79.85 points or 1 percent at 7865.95. About 1506 shares advanced, 1158 shares declined, and 253 shares were unchanged.

Hindalco, GAIL, vedanta, BHEL and Sun Pharma were top gainers while M&M, Hero, Bajaj Auto and Wipro were down.

2:55 pm Pharma update: Natco Pharma and its US partner Allergan have settled a pending litigation with biopharmaceutical firm Celgene regarding generic Lenalidomide capsules used for treatment of multiple myeloma.

"Celgene has agreed to provide Natco with a license to Celgene's patents required to manufacture and sell an unlimited quantity of generic Lenalidomide in the United States beginning January 31, 2026", Natco Pharma said in a filing to BSE.

In addition, Natco will receive a volume-limited license to sell generic Lenalidomide in the United States commencing in March 2022, it added.

2:45 pm Cars: Honda Cars India will hike prices of its vehicles across models by up to Rs 16,000 from January to offset impact of rising input costs.

"We will hike prices in the range of Rs 10,000-16,000 from January, depending on the model. The price increase has been necessitated on account of increase in input costs," Honda Cars senior vice-president (Marketing and Sales) Jnaneswar Sen told PTI.

Currently, HCIL sells a range of vehicles starting from the entry-level small car Brio to the CR-V, with price ranging between Rs 4.25 lakh and Rs 25.13 lakh (all prices ex-showroom Delhi).

2:30 pm Odd-even game: The Delhi High Court refused to give interim stay on AAP government's plan to impose the odd-even number plate formula for plying of private vehicles from January 1.

A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath declined the request made by one of the five petitioners that the court should at least grant stay on the implementation of the government's idea till January 6, which has been fixed as the next date of hearing on the PILs.

"Sorry. We do not know whether it (the odd-even formula) will be implemented or not. The Delhi government has not yet come out with any scheme on this issue," the bench said, adding, "As of today we cannot grant such relief."

The market has extended gains and is riding on a three-week high. The Sensex is up 265.38 points or 1 percent at 25856.03 and the Nifty is up 79.40 points or 1 percent at 7865.50. About 1592 shares have advanced, 944 shares declined, and 222 shares are unchanged. Hindalco, GAIL, BHEL, Vedanta and Sun Pharma are top gainers in the Sensex. M&M is down 1 percent.

As Sebi tightens its noose on defaulters and market manipulators, the number of attachment proceedings initiated by the markets regulator against the defaulters has surged by more than five times to 1,610 in the past fiscal.

In comparison, the number of attachment proceedings initiated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) stood at 299 in 2013-14. These proceedings involve attachment of bank accounts, lockers, shares and debentures, among others.

The move comes after entities failed to pay penalties imposed on them for violations of various securities market regulations.

1:55 pm Personal finance: As a new year beckons, retirement fund body EPFO is gearing for a giant leap in 2016 in terms of the technology usage and for maximising the returns on its over Rs 6 lakh crore corpus.
 
A key focus area would be to improve the services it offers to nearly six crore subscribers across the country, including by way of providing online PF withdrawal facility as well as easy and real-time access to all its offerings through smartphones.

Expectations are also high that EPFO may revise upward its interest rate, which has remained unchanged at 8.75 percent for two consecutive financial years beginning 2013-14.

1:45 pm Pharma expansion: Facing an increasingly watchful eye of the health regulator in the US, Indian pharmaceutical firms are gearing up to tap new markets in 2016 as they look to consolidate their positions after a spate of mergers and acquisitions consummated this year.

Globally also, it remained a year marked with record mergers, led by the USD 160 billion deal between Viagra maker Pfizer Inc and Botox manufacturer Allergan.

These deals came at a time when the domestic pharma firms continued to remain under intense regulatory spotlight, specially of the US Food and Drug Authority (FDA), while they stared at yet another challenge domestically over possibility of prices of more drugs coming under government control.

1:30 pm Market outlook: The new year is going to herald the start of a consumption boom, thanks to robust government spending as well as with measures such as the implementation of the Pay Commission recommendations coming in, says Krishna Kumar Karwa, Managing Director of Emkay Global Financial Services. In an interview with CNBC-TV18, Karwa said he would advise investors to take exposure to autos, affordable housing, cement and consumer durable sectors. "Rural and semi-urban India has been struggling but the Pay Commission implementation will revive them," he said.

The market is still holding up gains as the Sensex is up 239.80 points or 0.9 percent at 25830.45. The Nifty gains 70.95 points or 0.9 percent at 7857.05. About 1583 shares have advanced, 906 shares declined, and 223 shares are unchanged.

GAIL, Hindalco, BHEL, Vedanta and Sun Pharma are top gainers in the Sensex. Pharma, metals, oil & gas stocks are leading the rally.

Essar Oil's delisting got through as the markets regulator Sebi gave its go-ahead to the stock exchange BSE to accept nearly 2 crore shares tendered by the state-run LIC for the promoters' buyout offer.

The delisting had got mired in "technicalities" on the last day of the offer on Monday, after a large block of tendered shares could not be 'confirmed' within the stipulated time, prompting BSE to refer the matter to Sebi.

While the promoters' buyback offer had got more than sufficient bids, the non-confirmation of this large chunk of shares - tendered by LIC - had come in the way of the closure of the delisting offer.

12:45 pm Purchase: Piramal Enterprises Ltd's (PEL) Consumer Products Division on Wednesday announced acquisition of five brands from Organon India Pvt Ltd and MSD BV for Rs 92 crore to beef up its offerings in the over-the-counter (OTC) healthcare segment.

 "The acquisition includes mainly the brands Naturolax, Lactobacil and Farizym, which PEL intends to continue in the Gastro-Intestinal (GI) segment through the over-the-counter (OTC) route. The brands hold a rich legacy in India and have a high consumer pull," Piramal Enterprises Ltd said in a BSE filing.

The acquisition of five trademark rights is for India. "In line with our strategy, we aim to be a top 3 player in the OTC market by 2020 and the addition of this portfolio of brands will help us move swiftly towards that objective," Piramal Enterprises executive director Nandini Piramal said.

12:30 pm Buzzing: Shares of Sun Pharma continued to rally for second day after it lost almost 7 percent on Monday following a warning letter by US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Halol manufacturing unit. The drug major rose 3 percent intraday on Wednesday after analysts found no serious compliance breach in the warning letter. Most analysts were still positive on the stock after the warning letter was issued but were waiting for details.

On December 22, the USFDA made public the warning letter which states that inspection 483 mentioned 23 observations. Out of the 23 observations, 10 were related to the injectables facility, 4 were on the oral solids facility, 8 were related to quality control labs and 1 was on warehousing.

The market is holding firm as the Nifty is up 73.30 points or 0.9 percent at 7859.40. The Sensex is up 252.38 points or 0.9 percent at 25843.03. About 1616 shares have advanced, 723 shares declined, and 193 shares are unchanged.

GAIL, Hindalco, BHEL, Vedanta and Sun Pharma are top gainers.

The rupee resumed higher at 66.26 as against yesterday's closing level of 66.33 at the Inter-bank Foreign Exchange (forex) market. It moved in a range of 66.30 and 66.22 during the morning deals before quoting at 66.21 at 1121 hours.

The dollar index was up 0.08 per cent at 98.30 against a basket of six currencies in the early trade.

Overseas, the dollar edged down in Asian early trading today after data overnight painted a mixed picture of the US economy, with major currency pairs trading in a narrow range as traders wound down in a holiday-heavy week. In New York, the euro edged higher against the dollar yesterday, adding to gains from the previous day, as oil prices recovered slightly.

11:55 am Third deal in a row: Wipro will acquire Viteos Group, a BPaaS (business process as-a-service)provider for alternative investment management industry for USD 130 million in a all-cash deal. The software company says that the acquisition will expand Wipro's capital markets portfolio in fund accounting services and enhance its business process services capabilities. The deal is expected to be closed by fourth quarter of FY16.

11:45 am Interview: Prestige Estates has bought back private equity firm Red Fort India's 62.5 percent stake in Exora Business Park. Exora's annual rental income is around Rs 135 crore, while the enterprise value is Rs 1,400 crore, says Irfan Razack, Chairman and Managing Director of the company. This is one of the largest deals in commercial real estate space.

Speaking to CNBC-TV18, Razack says the funding for acquisition was done through internal accruals. Furthermore, this move will enable the company achieve its rental guidance of Rs 450-500 crores in FY16, Razack adds. The deal is likely to be completed by June 30 next year.

On future outlook, he says construction of malls and commercial properties will add to the company's rental portfolio, which may go upto Rs 800-850 crore.

11:30 am Market outlook: The new year is going to herald the start of a consumption boom, thanks to robust government spending as well as with measures such as the implementation of the Pay Commission recommendations coming in, says Krishna Kumar Karwa, Managing Director of Emkay Global Financial Services. In an interview with CNBC-TV18, Karwa said he would advise investors to take exposure to autos, affordable housing, cement and consumer durable sectors. "Rural and semi-urban India has been struggling but the Pay Commission implementation will revive them," he said.

The market continues to rise ahead of a long holiday session. The Sensex is up 263.79 points or 1 percent at 25854.44 and the Nifty gains 75.95 points or 0.9 percent at 7862.05. About 1609 shares have advanced, 575 shares declined, and 161 shares are unchanged.

GAIL, BHEL, Hindalco, Sun Pharma and Tata Steel are top gainers.

Oil prices rose after the US benchmark WTI overtook its European counterpart Brent in reaction to the lifting of a 40-year US crude exports ban.

But Brent regained lost ground and analysts said an imminent report by the Department of Energy on US oil inventories could reverse recent gains ahead of the long Christmas Day weekend. At 0830 IST, the two standards stood roughly at parity.

Prices have particularly slumped since December 4 when the OPEC oil producers' group decided against limiting production despite tepid demand and the supply glut as exporters fight to keep market share.

10:45 am Interview: Bajaj Finserv and its listed subsidiary Bajaj Finance have had yet another rollicking year, both in terms of business and share price performance, and MD Sanjiv Bajaj says he plans to do the same thing he's done for years in 2016 too. "Over the past seven-eight years, we've followed a consistent strategy of being a diversified consumer lender. This doesn't change going into next year," Bajaj told CNBC-TV18 in an interview, even as that gives little away in explaining the companies' robust performance over the period.

10:30 am Update: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved ONGC converting its Rs 5,000 crore loan to subsidiary ONGC Videsh Ltd, into equity. Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) had extended a loan of Rs 6,000 crore to its overseas investment arm to meet its acquisitions requirements. Of this, Rs 5,000 crore is being converted into equity. With this, the equity base of OVL will rise to Rs 15,000 crore. All the loan ONGC had given to OVL was at zero interest.

The market is surging ahead with support from pharma, metals, oil and bank stocks. Stellar listing of two healthcare IPOs Alkem Laboratories and Dr Lal Pathlabs also boosted sentiment.

The Sensex is up 241.48 points or 0.9 percent at 25832.13 and the Nifty up 71.00 points or 0.9 percent at 7857.10. About 1516 shares have advanced, 399 shares declined, and 120 shares are unchanged.

GAIL, Tata Steel, BHEL, Sun Pharma and Vedanta are top gainers while Wipro loser in the Sensex. Shares of Alkem Laboratories has seen a robust debut on the exchanges Wednesday. The pharma stock is listed at Rs 1380 per share, up 31 percent from its issue price of Rs 1050 per share. It touched intraday high of Rs 1399 per share on the NSE.

Dr Lal PathLabs jumped 31 percent at Rs 720 per share on listing at bourses Wednesday. Its issue price was at Rs 550 per share. It shares touched high of Rs 720 intraday on NSE.

9:55 am FII view: With most global markets rallying and oil price recovering a bit, Ian Hui, Global Market Strategist at JP Morgan Asset Management believes it could be because the Fed uncertainty with regards to rate hike is out of the way but he is still worried about the dollar strength and commodity weakness in 2016 and so expects equity markets overall to remain volatile in first quartile of 2016.

With China expected to growth slowly next year too, there would be pressure on commodities, says Hui adding that oversupply concerns would continue to weigh on oil prices going forward.

With regards to India, he thinks the underperformance for the market will continue on back of policy (GST) concerns and uptick in inflation but amongst other emerging markets next year would still be generally positive for India.

9:45 am Market update: The Sensex is up 226.75 points or 0.9 percent at 25817.40, and the Nifty is up 62.65 points or 0.8 percent at 7848.75.
About 1392 shares have advanced, 277 shares declined, and 81 shares are unchanged.

9:30 am Sale: Chambal Fertilisers & Chemicals said its board has given approval to sell entire shipping business or dispose off all five ships/vessels owned by the company.

The company requires fund to set up new ammonia-urea project in Rajasthan. The Board of Directors, at its meeting held today, gave "in-principle consent to the: (i) sale or disposal of one or more or all of the 5 ships/ vessels owned by the company; or (ii) sell, transfer or dispose-off the entire shipping undertaking/business of the company on slump sale basis or some other appropriate structure."

The decision was taken after keeping in view the long-term shipping business outlook and the requirement of funds for new Ammonia-Urea Project proposed to be set up by the company at Kota, Rajasthan.

The market has opened strong following positive Asian cues. The Sensex is up 128.89 points or 0.5 percent at 25719.54 and the Nifty is up 44.35 points or 0.6 percent at 7830.45. About 469 shares have advanced, 82 shares declined, and 31 shares are unchanged.

Tata Steel, Hindalco, Vedanta, Sun Pharma and GAIL are top gainers in the Sensex.

The Indian rupee opened higher by 6 paise at 66.26 per dollar against previous close of 66.32.

NS Venkatesh of IDBI Bank said, "Rupee closed stronger at 66.32/dollar aided by sales by custodial banks. The dollar has been weakening a little bit globally which should aid the rupee strengthening today."

The dollar slipped against a basket of currencies as more traders booked profits on bullish greenback bets. The euro strengthened again, brushing off the indecisive outcome of the Spanish elections over the weekend.

Asian equity markets followed their Wall Street peers as investors cheered strong US data, a pause in the greenback's rally and higher oil prices.

Markets in Japan are shut for the Emperor's Birthday. The region is expected to see quiet trading for the rest of the week amid the Christmas holiday break. Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and the Philippines will be open for a half-day on Thursday while Japan and China will be the only major markets open on Friday.

After rallying sharply in recent months, the US dollar index recorded its fourth straight session of losses on Wednesday after briefly dipping below its 50-day moving average of 98.02 on Tuesday. Meanwhile, US crude added 1 percent, extending the previous sessions's near 2 percent rally.