Sensex ends up 401points, Nifty at 7563; auto, pharma, IT rise 1-2%

3:30 pm Market closing: The market has ended with big gains. The Sensex closed up 401.12 points or 1.6 percent at 24870.69 and the Nifty was up 138.90 points or 1.9 percent at 7563.55. About 1561 shares have advanced, 1043 shares declined, and 183 shares are unchanged.

Hero MotoCorp, Sun Pharma, Coal India, Bajaj Auto and Dr Reddy's Labs were top gainers while SBI, Tata Steel, ICICI Bank, NTPC and ITC were losers in the Sensex.

2:58 pm Market extends rally: The 30-share BSE Sensex rose 363.92 points or 1.49 percent to 24833.49 and the 50-share NSE Nifty climbed 125.25 points or 1.69 percent to 7549.90.

2:40 pm Earnings: Mumbai-based road developer IRB Infrastructure's third quarter earnings surpassed analysts' expectations on Friday with profit growing a whopping 27.9 percent year-on-year to Rs 169.6 crore, driven by strong revenue growth despite weak operating profit margin.

Revenue increased by 38.3 percent to Rs 1,333 crore in quarter ended December 2015 compared to Rs 963.83 crore in year-ago period.

Operating profit (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) in Q3 jumped 23.9 percent to Rs 687.5 crore but margin contracted by 610 basis points to 51.5 percent compared to same quarter last fiscal.

2:20 pm Gold slips from 3-month high: After rising for the third straight day, gold prices today eased from a three-month high by falling Rs 85 to Rs 27,050 per 10 grams at the bullion market, reflecting weak global cues amid a decline in demand from jewellers.

Silver remained under selling pressure and lost another Rs 350 to trade below the Rs 35,000-mark at Rs 34,850 per kg. Traders said that besides a weak trend overseas, easing demand from jewellers and retailers at the existing higher levels at the domestic spot market mainly led to the fall in the precious metals prices here.

2:00 pm Market Check
Equity benchmarks extended rally in afternoon trade with the Sensex climbing 307.63 points or 1.26 percent to 24777.20, tracking positive global cues and upside on oil prices.

The Nifty jumped 107.65 points or 1.45 percent to 7532.30, driven by technology, FMCG, HDFC group, oil and auto stocks. The BSE Midcap gained 1.5 percent as the market breadth was positive.

About 1524 shares advanced against 976 declining shares on the BSE.

Coal India topped the buying list on Sensex, up 5 percent followed by Infosys, HDFC, Sun Pharma, HUL, Hero Motocorp, Dr Reddy's Labs, ONGC, Wipro, Bajaj Auto and GAIL with 2-4 percent while SBI, ICICI Bank, Bharti Airtel, NTPC and Maruti Suzuki fell 1-3 percent.

1:45 pm Divestment: Government's 10 percent stake sale in Engineers India got fully subscribed today, with bids pouring in from institutional investors, even as the retail segment remained under-subscribed so far.

At the floor price of Rs 189 apiece, the sale of over 3.36 crore shares would fetch about Rs 637 crore to the exchequer, considering 5 percent discount being offered to retail shareholders.

The stake sale received bids for over 3.39 crore shares, representing 1.01 times the total shares on offer as on 1300 hours, NSE data showed.

1:30 pm Result poll: Larsen and Toubro 's (L&T) third quarter profit is expected to increase 21 percent year-on-year to Rs 1,050 crore despite lower operating profit margin, according to analysts polled by CNBC-TV18. Lower depreciation and interest cost may support bottomline but hydrocarbon and heavy engineering business may dent profitability. Earnings will be announced on January 29. Revenue is seen rising 11 percent to Rs 26,470 crore in quarter ended December 2015 compared to Rs 23,848 crore in year-ago period, driven by infrastructure business. Company's full year order inflow guidance is an important factor to watch out for. Analysts expect guidance to reduce further for the quarter.

The market is rising further with support from metals, oil & gas, pharma and IT stock. The Sensex is up 265.89 points or 1 percent at 24735.46, and the Nifty is up 87.80 points or 1 percent at 7512.45. About 1456 shares have advanced, 905 shares declined, and 162 shares are unchanged.

Coal India is up 6 percent, Hero, HDFC, Sun Pharma and HUL are top gainers while ICICI Bank, SBI, Bharti, Maruti and Lupin are losers in the Sensex.

The Reserve Bank of India is approaching the end of its rate-cutting cycle and is expected to go for a final 25-bps repo rate cut at its policy review
meet on February 2.

According to the global financial services major, a rate reduction is likely as inflation may be in line with RBI's January 2016 under-6 percent target.

"We continue to expect a final 25 bps RBI repo rate cut on February 2. That said, RBI is approaching the end of its rate-cutting cycle," Bank of America Merrill Lynch said in a research note.

12:58 pm Market Update: Equity benchmarks extended rally with the Sensex rising 263.81 points or 1.08 percent to 24733.38 and the Nifty climbing 91.10 points or 1.23 percent to 7515.75.

About 1440 shares have advanced while 904 shares declined on the BSE.

12:45 pm Rate cut possible?: The Reserve Bank of India is approaching the end of its rate-cutting cycle and is expected to go for a final 25-bps repo rate cut at its policy review meet on February 2.

According to the global financial services major, a rate reduction is likely as inflation may be in line with RBI's January 2016 under-6 percent target.

"We continue to expect a final 25 bps RBI repo rate cut on February 2. That said, RBI is approaching the end of its rate-cutting cycle," Bank of America Merrill Lynch said in a research note.

BofA-ML sees "compelling reasons" for a rate cut on Tuesday. First, inflation print could be in the comfort zone of RBI in the near term. Second, growth remains weak and a rate cut would provide an additional impetus to the fledgling recovery.

12:35 pm Earnings estimates: Larsen and Toubro 's (L&T) third quarter profit is expected to increase 21 percent year-on-year to Rs 1,050 crore despite lower operating profit margin, according to analysts polled by CNBC-TV18. Lower depreciation and interest cost may support bottomline but hydrocarbon and heavy engineering business may dent profitability. Earnings will be announced on January 29.

Revenue is seen rising 11 percent to Rs 26,470 crore in quarter ended December 2015 compared to Rs 23,848 crore in year-ago period, driven by infrastructure business.

Company's full year order inflow guidance is an important factor to watch out for. Analysts expect guidance to reduce further for the quarter.

12:20 pm Oil Update: Global benchmark Brent crude futures rose, set for a second weekly gain, moving 6.5 percent higher so far this week, spurred higher by hopes of a deal among oil-producing countries to tackle a growing supply glut.

Brent futures have jumped over 25 percent since hitting an intraday low of USD 27.10 a barrel on January 20 and are heading for their fourth straight session of gains.

Brent rose 2.1 percent to USD 34.60 a barrel and US crude climbed 1.8 percent to USD 33.80 a barrel.

12:00 pm Market Check: The market maintained its strong uptrend in noon trade with the Sensex rising 214.90 points or 0.88 percent to 24684.47. The Nifty climbed 78.30 points or 1.05 percent to 7502.95 driven by HDFC twins, oil, infra and FMCG stocks.

The broader markets also gained with the BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices rising 1 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively. The broader markets remained positive as about 1336 shares advanced against 914 declining shares on the BSE.

YES Bank surged 5 percent after stellar performance in Q3 with profit rising 25 percent and net interest income jumping 27.3 percent year-on-year. TVS Motor declined nearly 2 percent after lower than expected earnings during October-December period.

11:55 am Share sale: Government stake sale in Engineers India commenced on the bourses today, with 10 percent of the issue getting subscribed in initial hours even as the stock fell 1.5 percent in early morning trade.

 The floor or minimum offer price has been set at Rs 189, which is at a discount of 2.4 percent to the yesterday's closing price of Rs 194.05 on BSE.

 The government is looking to raise about Rs 637 crore from sale of 3.36 crore shares in EIL through a one-day OFS route at a floor or minimum price of Rs 189 apiece.

11:45 am Market check: The market is surging ahead. The Sensex is up 215.75 points or 0.9 percent at 24685.32 and the Nifty is up 73.95 points or 1 percent at 7498.60. About 1237 shares have advanced, 939 shares declined, and 151 shares are unchanged.

11:30 am Result: Private sector lender YES Bank surpassed analysts' expectations on third quarter earnings front. Profit shot up 25 percent year-on-year to Rs 675.7 crore on strong net interest income growth.

Net interest income grew by 27.3 percent to Rs 1,157 crore from Rs 909 crore.

The market is holding firm as the Sensex is up 127.85 points or 0.5 percent at 24597.42. The Nifty is up 45.55 points or 0.6 percent at 7470.20. About 1111 shares have advanced, 951 shares declined, and 149 shares are unchanged.

Coal India, Sun Pharma, M&M, GAIL and ONGC are top gainers while ICICI Bank, SBI, Bharti Airtel, Maruti and Tata Motors are losers in the Sensex.

US economic growth likely braked sharply in the fourth quarter as businesses doubled down on efforts to reduce an inventory glut and unseasonably mild weather cut into consumer spending on utilities and apparel.

Gross domestic product probably rose at a 0.8 percent annual rate, according to a Reuters survey of economists, also as a strong dollar and tepid global demand hurt exports, and lower oil prices continued to undercut investment by energy firms.

10:30 am Earnings: TVS Motor Company's third quarter earnings missed analysts' expectations on Friday with profit rising 19.4 percent year-on-year to Rs 107.7 crore, hit by Chennai floods and provision for bonus.

The two-wheeler manufacturer said reported profit was after provision for one off expenses of Rs 7.5 crore consequent to floods in Chennai and a further sum of Rs 10.6 crore was provided on account of retrospective amendment to Bonus Act. Out of this, Rs 5.7 crore relating to 2014-15 showed as exceptional item, it added.

Revenue increased 11.4 percent to Rs 2,939.6 crore in quarter ended December 2015 compared to Rs 2,639.3 crore in same quarter last year, supported by volume 7 percent sales growth.

10:00 am Market Check
The market is holding firm as February Future and Options series starts. The Nifty is up 36.55 points or 0.5 percent at 7461.20 and the Sensex is up 106.08 points or 0.4 percent at 24575.65. About 986 shares have advanced, 698 shares declined, and 89 shares are unchanged.

Coal India, GAIL, Sun Pharma, ONGC and HDFC are top gainers while ICICI Bank, SBI, Axis Bank, Maruti and Bharti Airtel are down.

The Bank of Japan adopted negative interest rates for the first time at the end of its two-day policy review on Friday, buckling under pressure to ease concerns about the health of the world's third-largest economy.

In a move that was signaled by the Nikkei business daily minutes ahead of the decision, the BOJ said it will apply a rate of negative 0.1 percent to excess reserves that financial institutional place at the bank and introduce a three-tier system on rates. The news saw the benchmark Nikkei shoot up 3 percent, the yen slide 2 percent against the greenback and US stock futures rally 1 percent.

No changes were made to the bank's government bond purchases or exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

9:54 am Surprising! The Bank of Japan adopted negative interest rates for the first time at the end of its two-day policy review on Friday, buckling under pressure to ease concerns about the health of the world's third-largest economy.

In a move that was signaled by the Nikkei business daily minutes ahead of the decision, the BOJ said it will apply a rate of negative 0.1 percent to excess reserves that financial institutional place at the bank and introduce a three-tier system on rates.

The news saw the benchmark Nikkei shoot up 3 percent, the yen slide 2 percent against the greenback and US stock futures rally 1 percent.

No changes were made to the bank's government bond purchases or exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

9:45 am Stake sale: Financial Technologies has exited Dubai Gold Exchange by selling its 27.3 percent stake for USD 10 million (about Rs 75 crore) to Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC).

In two separate transactions, Financial Technologies (India) Ltd and its wholly-owned subsidiary FT Group Investments Pvt Ltd, Mauritius (FTGIPL) would be selling the stake. FTIL and FTGIPL will sell 13 percent and 14.3 percent stakes, respectively.

In two different regulatory filings, the company informed that it has sold its 27.3 percent stake in Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange (DGCX) for USD 11 million. "Financial Technologies (India) Ltd.

9:30 am Maruti reacts negatively to Q3 nos: Maruti Suzuki's third quarter profit surged 27 percent to Rs 1,019 crore compared to Rs 802.2 crore in same quarter last fiscal, which fell short of expectations due to higher other expenses (including advertisement). Lower-than-expected operational income, fall in other income, higher tax expenses and employee cost also hit bottomline.

"Higher volumes, material cost reduction initiatives and favourable foreign exchange contributed to profit growth during the quarter," the company said in its filing.

Revenue increased by 19.9 percent to Rs 15,082 crore in quarter ended December 2015 compared to Rs 12,576 crore in year-ago period, which was higher than forecast due to strong volume growth.

The country's largest car maker sold 3.74 lakh vehicles in Q3, a growth of 15.5 percent over 3.23 lakh units sold in corresponding quarter of previous fiscal.

9:15 am Market Check: The market has opened volatile on first day of February series but immediately gained strength. The Sensex rose 122.59 points to 24592.16 and the Nifty climbed 45.50 points to 7470.15.

ONGC, ITC, Coal India, HDFC, Bharti Airtel, Vedanta, Cairn India and Kotak Mahindra Bank rallied 1.8-4 percent while ICICI Bank tanked 5 percent. Maruti Suzuki, Axis Bank, Tata Motors and Dr Reddy's Labs lost ground.

The Indian rupee gained in the early trade today. It has opened higher by 13 paise at 68.10 per dollar against previous close of 68.23.

Pramit Brahmbhatt of Veracity said, "Rupee will remain under pressure as FIIs are net sellers in the Indian equity market."

He further added, "The rupee remains weak above 67.80/dollar levels and can weaken further. The USD-INR is expected to trade in a range of 68-68.50/dollar today."

Dollar fell as a plunge in US durable goods orders supported the view of weakening US growth due to softer global demand.

Asian shares were trading higher with Shanghai and Hang Seng up 2 percent each. Nikkei gained 1 percent after Bank of Japan adopted negative interest rate policy.

US equities closed higher as a rise in oil and gains in Facebook outweighed pressure from declines in biotech stocks and concerns about economic growth. The major indices ended off session highs but recovered from an intraday dip into negative territory.