Nifty ends below 7450 ahead of expiry, Sensex flat; HUL slips 2%

Its tug of war on Dalal Street as the bears cash in at every bounce. The Nifty ended below 7450 ahead of January F&O expiry. The 50-share index closed up 1.60 points at 7437.75 and the Sensex was up 6.44 points at 24492.39. About 1363 shares have advanced, 1196 shares declined, and 189 shares are unchanged.

NTPC, Dr Reddy's Labs, Tata Motors and Tata Steel were top gainers while BHEL, HUL, Hero MotoCorp, Adani Ports and Hindalco were losers in the Sensex.

The midcaps were under pressure after most of their reported earnings missed topline expectations.

Despite the current volatility, few analysts feel long-term outlook for the market remains positive. Vaibhav Sanghavi, MD of Ambit Investment Advisory expects more outflows from emerging markets.

In the near-term, the Nifty can possibly rebound to 7550 and if the global rally continues then 7700 is also a possibility, says CNBC-TV18's Udayan Mukherjee. However, he adds that the current rally is only a relief rally. The trend, according to him, is on the way down with periodic upmoves. He believes the market is currently in the 'acceptance' phase.

Meanwhile, indices are contemplating if US Federal Reserve will hike interest rate decision later in the day. In Asia, the Shanglai composite extended its losses from yesterday's 6 percent drubbing and ended half a percent in the red.

The Japanese Nikkei and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng, however, were not perturbed with the former gaining more than 450 points. The Hang Seng also closed more than a percent in the green.

Both the Nymex and the Brent were under pressure and heading towards the 30-dollar a barrel mark.

3:30 pm Market closing: The market ended flat. The Sensex was up 6.44 points at 24492.39, and the Nifty was up 1.60 points at 7437.75. About 1363 shares have advanced, 1196 shares declined, and 189 shares are unchanged.

NTPC, Dr Reddy's Labs, Tata Motors and Tata Steel were top gainers while BHEL, HUL, Hero MotoCorp, Adani Ports and Hindalco were losers in the Sensex.

2:58 pm Market Update: Equity benchmarks continued to be in consolidation mode ahead of F&O expiry. The Sensex rose 21.09 points to 24507.04 and the Nifty went up 4.15 points to 7440.30.

About 1343 shares have advanced, 1149 shares declined, and 189 shares are unchanged on the BSE.

2:40 pm Aurobindo Pharma in news: Aurobindo Pharma has received approval from the US health regulator to manufacture and market generic Voriconazole tablets used for the treatment of fungal infections.

The company has received final approval from the US Food & Drug Administration (USFDA) to manufacture and market Voriconazole tablets in the strengths of 50 mg and 200 mg, Aurobindo Pharma said in a statement.

It expects to launch the product, generic version of PF Prism C V's Vfend tablets in the same strengths, by March end. 2:20 pm Business sentiment improves: Business sentiment among Indian companies rose for the first time in three months in January, largely supported by the first increase in new orders since last June, a survey said today.

Deutsche Boerse's MNI India Business Sentiment Indicator, a gauge of current sentiment among BSE-listed companies, rose from 60.7 in December to 61.8 in January -- the highest since October 2015 as domestic orders strengthened. "On the whole, the January survey was a little more positive, although not unanimously so.

On the brighter side, overall sentiment was up, supported by the first increase in new orders since last June," MNI Indicators Chief Economist Philip Uglow said.

2:00 pm Market Check: Equity benchmarks continued to be rangebound with the Sensex rising 26.95 points to 24512.90 and the Nifty up 6.25 points to 7442.40. The broader markets outperformed benchmarks with the BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices up 0.4 percent each.

The market breadth remained positive as about 1327 shares advanced against 1096 declining shares on the BSE.

Power Grid Corporation gained more than 3 percent ahead of Q3 earnings due later today. A CNBC-TV18 poll sees 23 percent year-on-year growth in profit at Rs 1,508 crore and 21 percent growth in revenue Rs 5,265 crore, supported by commissioning of assets. Earnings will be announced on January 27.

1:50 pm Stake sale: Global fund house First State Investments Management (UK) Ltd has bought stake in FMCG major Marico for over Rs 184 crore through an open market transaction.

According to a BSE filing, the investment firm which earlier had 6.72 percent stake in Marico, bought about 85.41 lakh shares, or 0.66 percent stake, in the company. The shares were bought on January 25 and based on the closing price of Rs 215.05, the transaction is estimated to have been valued at Rs 183.68 crore. First State Investments Management's total shareholding in the FMCG firm now stands at 7.39 percent. Marico's product portfolio consists of brands including Parachute, Parachute Advansed, Saffola, Hair & Care, Nihar, Livon, Setwet, Zatak, Mediker and Revive.

1:30 pm Interview: LT Foods will collaborate with DSM Nutritional Products to venture into new nutritional products. The company owns Daawat, Devaaya, Heritage and Royal Basmati rice brands and is in the business of milling, processing and marketing of branded and non-branded Basmati. The company has already launched non-rice consumer staples under the Daawat brand and margins for enriched products will be higher than current businesses, says VK Arora, CMD, LT Foods. Speaking to CNBC-TV18, Arora says LT Foods is on track to achieving volume growth of 20-25 percent in FY16 and it will be expanding in to nutritional products via Daawat rice brand.

The market is still in green with the Sensex up 78.79 points or 0.3 percent at 24564.74. The Nifty is up 22.55 points or 0.3 percent at 7458.70. About 1436 shares have advanced, 937 shares declined, and 162 shares are unchanged.

NTPC, Dr Reddy's Labs, Maruti, Tata Motors and GAIL are top gainers while BHEL, HUL, Axis Bank, Bajaj Auto and Coal India among losers.

Gold prices went up by a whopping Rs 361 to Rs 26,785 per 10 grams in futures trading today as speculators widened their bets, tracking a firming trend overseas.

Market analysts said speculators enlarged their bets on the back of a firming global trend ahead of the first Federal Open Market Committee meeting this year and as China's imports of the metal from Hong Kong surged to the highest level in more than two years, mainly influenced gold prices at the futures trade. Globally, gold increased as much as 1.07 per cent to over two-month high of USD 1,119.70 an ounce in New York last night.

12:58 pm Market Update: Equity benchmarks gained half a percent in afternoon trade. The Sensex rose 114.31 points to 24600.26 and the Nifty advanced 32.25 points to 7468.40.

About 1468 shares have advanced, 871 shares declined, and 150 shares are unchanged on the BSE.

12:40 pm Earnings: FMCG firm Godrej Consumer Products (GCPL) today reported a 23 percent increase in its consolidated net profit at Rs 323 crore for the third quarter to December, helped by lower costs. Net profit in the same period a year ago stood at Rs 263.6 crore.

Its consolidated net sales rose 5.7 percent to Rs 2,353.5 crore as against Rs 2,225.8 crore a year earlier, it said in a BSE filing.

During the quarter, GCPL's India business branded net sales rose 8 percent to Rs 1,261 crore whereas its international business grew 9 percent on an organic constant currency basis.

Godrej Group's Chairman Adi Godrej said: "In a challenging operating environment, we have delivered a resilient and competitive performance in third quarter of the current fiscal... Operating earnings growth was ahead of sales growth across most of our geographies, aided by lower commodity costs, calibrated price hikes, stringent cost management and effective leveraging of brand platforms."

12:20 pm HCL Tech acquisition: IT major HCL Technologies today announced acquisition of UK's Point to Point Ltd and Point to Point Products Ltd for GBP 8 million (approx Rs 78 crore).

The company also fully acquired HCL Training and Staffing Services Private Ltd for Rs 2.35 crore.

In a BSE filing, HCL Technologies announced "acquisition of 100 percent stake in Point to Point Ltd and Point to Point Products Ltd (jointly referred to as P2P), the companies incorporated in the UK and being a niche provider of complex workplace engineering services in the UK, for cash of GBP 8 million".

12:00 pm Market Check
The market gained strength in noon trade with the Sensex rising 71.07 points to 24557.02 and the Nifty climbing 20.85 points to 7457. The broader markets also gained further with the BSE Midcap and Smallcap up more than half a percent.

The market breadth was positive as about 1333 shares advanced against 896 declining shares on the BSE.

Aviation stocks like Jet Airways (up 2.5 percent), SpiceJet (up 11 percent) and InterGlobe Aviation (up 4 percent) were most active shares on exchanges.

Crude oil futures dropped around 2 percent intraday today, heading back towards USD 30 a barrel as profit-taking wiped out a chunk of the gains notched up in the previous session on hopes for output cuts.

Prices were also dampened by a bigger-than-expected build in US crude inventory and worries about the economy in China, the world's second-largest oil consumer.

Brent crude declined 27 cents to USD 31.53 a barrel, after hitting a session-low of USD 31.20 a barrel.

11:45 am Market outlook: Despite the current volatility, the long-term outlook for the market remains positive, says Vaibhav Sanghavi, MD of Ambit Investment Advisory. However, going ahead, he expects more outflows from emerging markets. Sector-wise, he is bullish on private sector banks and two-wheeler companies. Sanghavi also expects more focus on rural spending in the Budget.

Despite the current volatility, the long-term outlook for the market remains positive, says Vaibhav Sanghavi, MD of Ambit Investment Advisory. However, going ahead, he expects more outflows from emerging markets. Sector-wise, he is bullish on private sector banks and two-wheeler companies. Sanghavi also expects more focus on rural spending in the Budget.

11:30 am Udayan's comments: In the near-term, the Nifty can possibly rebound to 7550 and if the global rally continues then 7700 is also a possibility, says CNBC-TV18's Udayan Mukherjee. However, he adds that the current rally is only a relief rally. The trend, according to him, is on the way down with periodic upmoves.

He believes the market is currently in the 'acceptance' phase. Earlier investors and traders alike were of the view that a China hard landing is unlikely, but now the market is slowly coming to terms with the fact that there are global problems, he explains. So, what the market is seeing right now is a bit of a dead cat bounce, he adds. Post this phase, comes the assessment phase, when the market will move in a range or a band.

But after this phase, the market will either go into an overreaction, which is when prices can fall sharply, or it will be confident that the problems facing the market are manageable and hence consolidate.

The market is completely flat as the Nifty hovers around 7450. The 50-share index is up 7.70 points or 0.1 percent at 7443.85. The Sensex is up 34.37 points or 0.1 percent at 24520.32. About 1156 shares have advanced, 869 shares declined, and 128 shares are unchanged.

NTPC, Sun Pharma, Maruti Suzuki and ITC are top gainers while BHEL, Coal India, HUL, Adani Ports and L&T are losers in the Sensex.

Asia markets were mostly higher on Wednesday after Wall Street surged overnight on a bounce in oil prices and positive earnings news, shrugging off the recent global rout, at least temporarily. But China shares took another leg lower.

Oil plays around the region were mixed, however. While WTI crude oil settled up 3.66 percent, well off session highs of over USD 32 a barrel, in overnight US trade, it gave back some of those gains in Asian hours. WTI was down 0.99 percent at USD 31.13 a barrel in Asia trade, while Brent shed 0.25 percent to USD 31.72 a barrel.

10:59 am Market Update: The Sensex rose 32.49 points to 24518.44 and the Nifty advanced 5.65 points to 7441.80.

The market breadth remained positive as about 1147 shares advanced against 872 declining shares on the BSE.

10:40 am Persistent revenue target: Mid-sized IT firm Persistent Systems has said it is eyeing USD 1 billion in revenue and will focus on acquisitions to achieve the target.

"Along with our recently-closed acquisition, our run rate (revenue) is around USD 361 million a year and we are sticking to the target of USD 1 billion, which is natural aspiration for a company of our size," Persistent Chairman and Managing Director Anand Deshpande told PTI.

The Pune-headquartered company had in December 2014 said it would like to achieve the USD 1 billion revenue mark in three-to-five years. 10:20 am Earnings estimates: Housing Development Finance Corporation 's (HDFC) October-December quarter earnings are likely to be subdued. Profit is seen rising 10 percent year-on-year to Rs 1,567.7 crore and net interest income may increase 8.3 percent to Rs 2,183.8 crore, according to average of estimates of analysts polled by CNBC-TV18.

NII growth (up 6.8 percent) in Q2 was slowest in last 6 years that may continue in Q3 as well, feel analysts. They expect profit to be impacted by overall slowdown in growth and lower profit on sale of investments.

Loan growth is also likely to continue being subdued. Analysts estimating it around 12.5-13 percent year-on-year growth net of sell downs. In Q2, Loan growth was at 12 percent net of sell downs.

10:00 am Market Check
Equity benchmarks continued to consolidate from early trade while the broader markets outperformed. Healthcare, technology and auto stocks supported market while infra stocks lost ground.

The 30-share BSE Sensex rose 44.11 points to 24530.06 and the 50-share NSE Nifty advanced 6.55 points to 7442.70. The BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices gained 0.2-0.4 percent, respectively.

The market breadth was positive as about 1093 shares advanced against 707 declining shares on the BSE.

Asia markets were mostly higher today after Wall Street surged overnight on a bounce in oil prices and positive earnings news, shrugging off the recent global rout, at least temporarily. But China shares took another leg lower.

The Shanghai Composite tumbled 2.82 percent by midday. The index had its worst day on Tuesday since the suspension of the circuit breaker rule in early January, closing down 6.4 percent, hitting its lowest level since December 2014. The Shenzhen Composite dropped 4.40 percent.

Amid concerns about slowing economic growth and depreciation of the yuan, shares on the mainland got an additional bit of bad news Wednesday: China's industrial profits fell 4.7 percent on-year in December, declining for a seventh month.

9:45 am FII view: Jonathan Garner, Morgan Stanley says he considers self-help policy easing from major emerging markets including China, as relatively unlikely, given current and capital account constraints at present. According to him, a clear signal from the Fed on no further rate hikes near term is the most likely positive catalyst for a near-term bounce but would not be sufficient to deliver a new bull market. He, therefore, remains underweight on emerging markets and Asia Pac Ex-Japan in a global equities context.

9:30 am Buzzing: Shares of Apollo Hospitals Enterprises gained 1.6 percent intraday after it announced sale of its stake in Apollo Munich Health Insurance Company.

Apollo Energy Company, an Apollo Hospitals Group Company, has approved divestment of 23.3 percent stake in Apollo Munich Health Insurance Company to its joint venture partner, Munich Re of Germany for Rs 163.5 crore.

The proposed transaction values Apollo Munich at Rs 703 crore.

"Post the proposed transaction, Apollo Hospitals Group’s shareholding in Apollo Munich shall reduced from 74.4 percent to 51.1 percent and correspondingly, Munich Re’s shareholding in Apollo Munich shall move to 48.7 percent and 0.2 percent will be held by employees, as per BSE filing.

The market has opened higher on Wednesday as the Sensex is up 109.45 points or 0.4 percent at 24595.40. The Nifty is up 38.25 points or 0.5 percent at 7474.40. About 504 shares have advanced, 124 shares declined, and 29 shares are unchanged.

Tata Motors, Sun Pharma, Axis Bank, Maruti and Bajaj Auto are top gainers in the Sensex. Among losers are GAIL and TCS.

The Indian rupee opened marginally lower by 7 paise at 67.90 per dollar versus 67.83 Monday.

Pramit Brahmbhatt of Veracity said, "We have a positive stance on the rupee for the day as it will take cues from the positive domestic as well as global equity market."

"We expect the rupee to maintain support at 68/dollar levels and resistance at 67.60/dollar for the day," he added. The dollar steady with the market waiting for a interest rate decision from the Federal Reserve.