Sensex, Nifty close at 20-month low; Bajaj Auto outperforms

3:30 pm Market closing: The market has ended at fresh 20-month low. The Sensex closed down 417.80 points or 1.7 percent at 24062.04 and the Nifty ended 125.80 points or 1.7 percent at 7309.30. About 543 shares have advanced, 2071 shares declined, and 138 shares are unchanged.

Bajaj Auto, Sun Pharma, Hero MotoCorp and Wipro were losers in the Sensex. Hindalco, Adani Ports, SBI, Tata Motors and Reliance were top gainers.

3:00 pm Market recovers a bit: The Sensex recovered more than 200 points from day's low, down 430.98 points or 1.76 percent to 24048.86. The Nifty reclaimed 7300, down 130.50 points or 1.76 percent to 7304.60.

2:50 pm Earnings: UltraTech Cement's third quarter standalone profit shot up 39.4 percent to Rs 508 crore against Rs 364.4 crore in year-ago period. It was supported by strong operational performance, other income and lower finance cost.

Revenue increased 4 percent to Rs 5,826 crore during the quarter compared to Rs 5,599.3 crore in same quarter last fiscal on volume growth. Domestic cement sales volume increased by 7 percent compared to same quarter last year.

UltraTech says though cement prices remained subdued, performance during the quarter was encouraging, driven by operational efficiencies, judicious fuel mix and lower energy cost.

2:40 pm Market Update: The 30-share BSE Sensex crashed 628.15 points or 2.57 percent to 23851.69 and the 50-share NSE Nifty cracked 189.40 points or 2.55 percent to 7245.70.

More than seven shares declined for every share advancing on the Bombay Stock Exchange. More than 400 BSE stocks hit lower circuit.

2:30 pm Oil falls on surplus worries: Crude futures slumped, with US oil dropping more than 3 percent towards USD 27 a barrel and its lowest since 2003, on worries about global oversupply.

That came after the International Energy Agency, which advises industrialised countries on energy policy, warned that oil markets could "drown in oversupply" in 2016.

Brent crude dropped 2.8 percent to USD 27.93 a barrel and US oil slipped 3.34 percent to USD 27.5 a barrel.

2:20 pm Power tariff policy: The Cabinet today approved a new power tariff policy that aims at promoting clean energy, better regulation of discoms and faster rollout of investments.

"Union Cabinet today approved a new power tariff policy which will promote clean energy, support Swachh Bharat programme, better regulations for discoms and encourage faster roll out of investments in the sector," said a source after the Cabinet meeting here.

Besides encouraging faster roll-out of investment, the new policy will reflect a concern for environment and encourage renewable energy.

It will also look to strengthen regulatory mechanism so that discoms become more efficient and conscious towards their duties to consumers.

2:10 pm FII View: Never mind all that chatter about 2016 likely to be another 2008. The market is still not pricing in the possibility of an extreme event, says a note by Ridham Desai of Morgan Stanley.

According to Desai, depressed earnings-and not high share prices-- are making India's valuations look rich.

"Certainly, investors have been disappointed with earnings growth in India, and this is probably causing equities to give up their valuations (stock prices) for most of the past year, not helped by the growth scare in the world at large and its concomitant damage to global share prices," says the note.

2:00 pm Market Check
Equity benchmarks extended losses in afternoon trade, falling more than 2 percent on weak European cues. The 30-share BSE Sensex fell 544.87 points or 2.23 percent to 23934.97 and the 50-share NSE Nifty declined 166.20 points or 2.24 percent to 7268.90.

The market breadth continued to be pathetic as more than six shares declined for every share advancing on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Reliance Industries, ITC, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, SBI, Tata Motors, L&T and HDFC are top contributors' to Sensex gains, down 1-6 percent.

European stocks are trading sharply lower, taking cues from a weak session in Asia and fresh lows in the oil markets. London's FTSE, Germany's DAX and French CAC fell 3 percent.

Asian stocks slid, with major indexes declining by more than 1 percent each, as global sentiment remained low on concerns over economic growth, China and low oil prices.

1:50 pm CEO Survey: India has emerged as one of the five most promising markets for businesses globally as it offers one of the best opportunities for both domestic as well as global companies, says a survey.

According to the annual global CEO survey of consultancy giant PwC released here at the WEF Annual Meeting, the top five markets considered as most important for overall growth prospects by the respondents are USA, China, Germany, the UK and India.

It further noted that the confidence level among Indian CEOs remains higher than the global average although they have also become less confident since last year about the growth prospects of their own companies.

1:40 pm  Ridham Desai view: Never mind all that chatter about 2016 likely to be another 2008. The market is still not pricing in the possibility of an extreme event, says a note by Ridham Desai of Morgan Stanley. According to Desai, depressed earnings-and not high share prices-- are making India's valuations look rich. "Certainly, investors have been disappointed with earnings growth in India, and this is probably causing equities to give up their valuations (stock prices) for most of the past year, not helped by the growth scare in the world at large and its concomitant damage to global share prices," says the note.

1:30 pm Outlook: This is an opportune time to go bargain-hunting for stocks, as recovery in India's economic cycle is likely to happen within a year, feels Lalit Nambiar, Fund Manager at UTI MF. Nambiar believes that the underlying growth story of India will prompt long-only foreign institutional funds, looking for good investment bets, to return here soon. Cement, automobiles and industrial manufacturing are some of the sectors that are likely to lead the recovery, Nambiar says.

1:20 pm Result poll: Axis Bank, the country's third largest private sector lender, is likely to see slowdown in profitability growth to single digit on higher provisions expected in quarter ended December 2015. Profit is seen rising 6.3 percent to Rs 2,021 crore in Q3 compared to Rs 1,900 crore in year-ago period, according to average of estimates of analysts polled by CNBC-TV18. Earnings will be announced on January 20. Net interest income, the difference between interest earned and interest expended, is expected to report similar growth trend seen in Q2FY16. NII may increase 15.1 percent year-on-year to Rs 4,133 crore from Rs 3,589.6 crore in same period.

The market remains under bear's grip. The Sensex is down 441.88 points or 1.8 percent at 24037.96, and the Nifty slips 134.95 points or 1.8 percent at 7300.15. About 392 shares have advanced, 2053 shares declined, and 104 shares are unchanged.

Hero MotoCorp, Bajaj Auto, Wipro and GAIL are top gainers in the Sensex. Among losers are Adani Ports, BHEL, SBI and Coal India.

Asian stock markets slumped to fresh four-year lows as a relentless slide in oil prices snuffed out an attempted rally on Wall Street and dealt a further blow to global investors' appetite for riskier assets. US crude wallowed at its lowest since 2003 after the world's energy watchdog warned the market could "drown in oversupply". US futures shed nearly 3 percent to USD 27.68 while Brent crude lost 2 percent to USD 28.21 a barrel.

Japan's Nikkei closed down 3.7 percent, leaving it 20 percent below last year's peak, meeting the technical definition of a bear market. The pain was felt widely with Australian stocks down 1.3 percent and South Korea off 2.3 percent.

12:58 pm Market Update: The Sensex dropped 441.88 points or 1.81 percent to 24037.96 and the Nifty declined 134.95 points or 1.82 percenet to 7300.15.

The market breadth remained positive as about five shares declined for every share advancing on the BSE.

12:50 pm BoAML on Bharat Forge: Bharat Forge FY17 EPS is facing multiple cyclical headwinds including weaker exports of steel forging for USA capital goods and heavy trucks, says Bank of America Merrill Lynch in its note.

According to the brokerage, an incremental negative is the slowdown in EU heavy truck demand. Hence, it sees downside risk to its estimate of
only 1 percent EPS growth in FY17, which is 25 percent below consensus.

BoAML has maintained underperform rating on the stock with a target price of Rs 650.

12:40 pm India & UK deal: India and the UK have agreed to strengthen their economic cooperation in infrastructure and financial services as they vowed to address cross-border tax evasion and avoidance.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who held talks with his UK counterpart George Osborne as part of the 8th India-UK Economic and Financial Dialogue and had a series of meetings with UK-based investors and fund managers, on Tuesday said that his visit had carried the economic and financial dialogue with Britain forward.

After talks between Jaitley and Osborne, a joint statement was issued that talked about advancement of cooperation in a range of sectors including infrastructure financing, addressing issues of cross-border tax evasion and avoidance besides opening up of the Indian legal sector to foreign lawyers.

12:25 pm Earnings Poll: UltraTech Cement 's third quarter standalone profit is seen rising 22 percent to Rs 445 crore compared to Rs 364.4 crore in year-ago period, according to analysts polled by CNBC-TV18. It is likely to get support from other income and lower interest cost.

Revenue may increase 4.3 percent to Rs 5,840 crore in quarter ended December 2015 from Rs 5,601 crore in same quarter last fiscal due to capacity growth.

UltraTech, which has pan-India presence, is expected to register 3 percent growth in sales volume at 11.6 million tonnes against 11.3 million tonne year-on-year, driven by new capacity addition and Jaiprakash Associates' acquired assets.

12:15 pm Market Experts: Nifty trading around 7300 has worried a lot of market analysts. Global tremors arising out of the turmoil in China is the biggest factor driving stock prices down, says Jagdish Malkani, Member, NSE.

However, with "reasonably good" macro-economic conditions, the government managing implementation of the One Rank One Pension and the 7th Pay Commission and RBI cracking the whip on loan defaulters, it is not all gloom and doom yet, he adds.

Meanwhile, Deven Choksey, MD at KR Choksey Investment Managers says there are lots of concerns about the banking system and he expects opportunities to arise in some of the good quality banking names.

12:00 pm Market Check
Bears kept control over Dalal Street today as the Sensex breached 24000 level for the first time since May 16, 2014. Oil, banking & financials and infra stocks continued to be under pressure while Wipro was the only gainer on Sensex, up 0.2 percent.

The 30-share BSE Sensex fell 451.88 points or 1.85 percent to 24027.96 and the 50-share NSE Nifty declined 141.65 points or 1.91 percent to 7293.45. The market breadth was pathetic as about five shares declined for every share advancing on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

The rupee weakened past 68 a dollar in afternoon trade, the lowest level since September 2013, down 38 paise on correction in equity markets.

Asian markets continued to see selling pressure with the Nikkei and Hang Seng falling nearly 4 percent on global growth concerns. Oil also extended sell-off on glut worries. Brent crude fell 2.2 percent to USD 28.13 a barrel and US oil shed 3.2 percent to USD 27.55 a barrel.

Europe futures fell 1-2 percent, indicating negative opening. Dow futures also dropped more than 250 points.

11:55 am Poll: JSW Energy's third quarter consolidated profit is seen falling to Rs 353 crore from Rs 380 crore in a year-ago period, according to analysts polled by CNBC-TV18. It is likely to be impacted by higher interest and depreciation cost. Earnings will be announced on December 20.

Revenue may increase 9.3 percent to Rs 2,601 crore in quarter ended December 2015 compared to Rs 2,381 crore in same quarter last fiscal.

Analysts say earnings could be negatively impacted by softness in merchant power demand (40-45 percent of company's offtake is merchant power). Merchant rates were low in December quarter due to low demand and hence, realisations can drop 5 percent Y-o-Y.

11:45 am Rupee view: Dennis Tan, FX Strategist, Barclays Investment Bank expects the USD uptrend to continue and that Rs 68.5 per USD would be an important level to look out for.

The USD-rupee rate, at 68 currently, is at its weakest since August 2013. Tan believes the rupee could get weaker unless there are clearer signs of turnaround in the economic growth globally and the Reserve Bank steps in to curb the volatility.

There is currently lot of focus on Asian foreign currency market with most investors worried over further depreciation in the Yuan, adding his forecast for Yuan is at 6.9 per dollar.

11:30 am Market outlook: "Stock market reflects the triumph of the optimist, not the pessimist," value investor Ramesh Damani tells CNBC-TV18, highlighting the fact that the Sensex has delivered a compounded return of 18 percent over the last 15 years. Damani says the ongoing meltdown in the market is a great opportunity to buy some good business, adding there were plenty of them. "Time is a friend of great businesses; it will make them greater," says Damani, advising investors to take a longer term perspective while buying at current levels. He says he is market capitalisation agnostic and will buy a good business irrespective of it being a large cap or a small cap.

The market is still struggling with severe cuts. The Sensex is down 388.91 points or 1.6 percent at 24090.93 and the Nifty is down 121.75 points or 1.6 percent at 7313.35. About 391 shares have advanced, 1775 shares declined, and 80 shares are unchanged.

Adani Ports, BHEL, Coal India, SBI and Axis Bank are major losers while Hero MotoCorp is only gainer in the Sensex.

Rupee tests 68 per dollar, hitting 28-month low. The Indian currency has depreciated 2.4 percent against dollar in 2016.

US crude tumbled below USD 28 a barrel, hitting new 12-year lows, after the International Energy Agency (IEA) warned that the oil market could "drown in oversupply". The EIA yesterday said oil prices are set to fall further this year as supply vastly exceeds demand, with major oil exporter Iran's return to the market offsetting any production cuts from other countries.

The market has been awash with supplies owing to high production levels in the US and in the OPEC cartel, which last year rejected calls to slash output as it looks to maintain its market share.

10:45 am PwC survey: The confidence level of chief executives worldwide about growth prospects of their own companies has fallen but Indian CEOs are among the most confident, says a new survey.

India has also become one of the five most promising overseas markets for the businesses globally, according to the annual global CEO survey of consultancy giant PwC released here at the WEF Annual Meeting.

The confidence level among Indian CEOs remains higher than the global average although they have also become less confident since last year about the growth prospects of their own companies.

As per the findings, CEOs are less optimistic about prospects this year and those who think global growth would improve over the next 12 months have declined to 27 percent from 37 percent seen in 2015. Further, those who think the situation would worsen have increased to 23 percent from 17 percent.

10:30 am Interview: Ganesh Natarajan, Vice Chairman and CEO of Zensar Technologies cited seasonality, weakness in the enterprise business and revenue loss of nearly USD 2.5 million due to customer furloughs as the three key reasons for the company's muted third quarter (Q3) FY16 performance.

On Tuesday, Zensar reported 1.4 percent quarter-on-quarter decline in dollar revenue at USD 114.8 million for Q3FY16 compared USD 116.4 million.

Natarjan, however, pointed out that he is excited about the strong performance of the company's digital business. "Our digital business performance has been spectacular with deal size increasing gradually. We are currently executing a deal of USD 20 million,'' he added.

He highlighted that currently 20 percent of their pipeline is linked to digital and this is going to increase to 30 percent within the next 2 quarters.

10:15 am Oil Update: Crude futures slumped again today, with US oil falling to its lowest since September 2003 below USD 28 a barrel on worries over a global supply glut.

That came as the International Energy Agency, which advises industrialised countries on energy policy, warned on Tuesday that oil markets could "drown in oversupply".

US crude futures were trading down 79 cents at USD 27.67 a barrel and Brent crude declined 1.5 percent to USD 28.32 a barrel.

10:00 am Market Check: The market continued to be under selling pressure in morning trade following global weakness. All sectoral indices traded in red with the Nifty Energy, Bank and Metal falling more than 2 percent.

The 30-share BSE Sensex fell 379.90 points or 1.55 percent to 24099.94 and the 50-share NSE Nifty declined 118.10 points or 1.59 percent to 7317. The BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices lost more than 1.6 percent.

The market breadth was negative as more than six shares declined for every share advancing on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Asian stocks slid with Nikkei and Hang Seng declining by more than 3 percent, as global sentiment remained low on concerns over economic growth, China and low oil prices. Shanghai Composite slipped below 3000 level, down more than 1 percent.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut its global growth forecast for 2016 to 3.4 percent, from 3.6 percent. The organization cited slower growth in emerging markets, especially in China, falling commodity prices, and rising interest rates in the US as potential risks to global growth.

9:55 am Poll: UltraTech Cement's third quarter standalone profit is seen rising 22 percent to Rs 445 crore compared to Rs 364.4 crore in year-ago period, according to analysts polled by CNBC-TV18. It is likely to get support from other income and lower interest cost.

Revenue may increase 4.3 percent to Rs 5,840 crore in quarter ended December 2015 from Rs 5,601 crore in same quarter last fiscal due to capacity growth.

UltraTech, which has pan-India presence, is expected to register 3 percent growth in sales volume at 11.6 million tonnes against 11.3 million tonne year-on-year, driven by new capacity addition and Jaiprakash Associates' acquired assets.

9:45 am Market view: Michael Every of Rabobank says that more pain is expected in markets. Global uncertainty is making it difficult to predict the bottom for markets, he adds.

''The market is pricing in a global recession,'' Every says adding that in the ongoing volatility, equities are a weaker position as compared to fixed income securities.

9:35 am Market sell-off: The Sensex is down 418.68 points or 1.7 percent at 24061.16, and the Nifty down 133.50 points or 1.8 percent at 7301.60. The 50-share fell below 7300 for first time since June, 2014. About 199 shares have advanced, 1425 shares declined, and 46 shares are unchanged. Tata Steel, Reliance, SBI, Adani Ports and ONGC are top gainers in the Sensex. Sun Pharma and Infosys are green in the Sensex.

9:20 am China woes: China is in the acute phase of a deleveraging process that is causing remarkable volatility in the US stock market. China must make hard decisions to avoid crisis and move onto the second, more benign, phase.

China's debt binge has been well documented and now the inevitable deleveraging is occurring. Much like the US in 2008, China now faces tough choices. The political leaders in Beijing must engineer a deleveraging either through recapitalization, currency devaluation, economic growth, or outright default.

The probability of outright default is quite low. China has enough resources to absorb much of the bad debt, while default risks political and social unrest. It is doubtful that the Chinese leadership would choose this path. Choosing default, as the solution to its debt problem is a last resort, it's possible but not probable.

9:16 am Market update: The market slips away in early trade. The Sensex is down 349.51 points or 1.4 percent at 24130.33, and the Nifty is down 98.65 points or 1.3 percent at 7336.45. About 126 shares have advanced, 870 shares declined, and 41 shares are unchanged.

After a day of gain, the market has once again opened lower on Wednesday. The Sensex is down 265.75 points or 1 percent at 24214.09 and the Nifty is down 85 points or 1.1 percent at 7350.10. About 132 shares have advanced, 526 shares declined, and 35 shares are unchanged.

BHEL, M&M, L&T, SBI and ICICI Bank are major losers in the Sensex. Sun Pharma is the only green stock in the Sensex.

The Indian rupee declined in the early trade. It has opened lower by 12 paise at 67.77 per dollar versus 67.65 Tuesday.

Himanshu Arora of Religare said, "USD-INR pair expected to trade higher amid overall pessimism. Weakness in Yuan may also keep rupee under pressure."

"Range for USD-INR seen between 67.48-68/dollar," he said. The dollar posted modest gains as investor risk appetite improves on the back of expectation of further stimulus in China.

Asian share markets slipped early as a relentless slide in oil prices wiped out an attempted rally on Wall Street and dealt a fresh blow to risk appetite.

US crude wallowed at its lowest since 2003 after the world's energy watchdog warned the market could "drown in oversupply". US crude futures CLc1 shed another 49 cents to a new trough at USD 27.97 in early trade, while Brent crude LCOc1 was quoted at USD 28.76 a barrel.