Nifty ends at 7532, Sensex up 135 points; Maruti, Reliance gainers

3:30 pm Market closing: The Sensex ended up 134.73 points or 0.6 percent at 24793.96, and the Nifty was up 46.50 points or 0.6 percent at 7531.80. About 1386 shares advanced, 1207 shares declined, and 129 shares are unchanged.

Maruti, L&T, ONGC, HUL and Reliance were top gainers while Hindalco, HDFC, Adani Ports, Cipla and Wipro. 3:10 pm International market: Technical rebound in the global equities could continue, says Ben Luk of JPMorgan Asset Management. The key factor this month has been the driving oil prices, which now stand at USD 40 per barrel, he adds.

Speaking to CNBC-TV18, Luk says there are expectations of European Central Bank (ECB) and Bank of Japan to ease monetary policy further, which will help in easing liquidity.

Luk continues to be more positive on equities than bonds with emphasis on European equities. However, he advises caution on European high yield space.

2:59 pm Market Update: The Sensex rose 82.80 points to 24742.03 and the Nifty advanced 31.10 points to 7516.40.

2:50 pm Supreme bags order: Supreme Infrastructure India has bagged EPC work of Rs 75.72 crore from Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) for the construction of six lane bridge on Ulhas Creek near Durgadi fort on Bhivandi-Kalyan-Adilabad Road (NH-222).

The company has also bagged the EPC work in JV with 49 percent work share of Rs 109.27 crore from Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) for the construction of six lane bridge across Ulhas creek on proposed Motagaon- Mankoli Road.

2:45 pm EPF compulsory in small firms too?: Government is considering amendments to Employees' Provident Fund (EPF) provisions to make it applicable on every establishment in which ten or more persons are employed, Rajya Sabha was informed today.

Replying to starred question, Minister of State for Labour and Employment Bandaru Dattatreya said at present, these provisions are applicable only to establishments which employ 20 or more people.

Maintaining that it wanted to provide wider coverage to EPF provisions, he said the government is also committed to provide social security to those in the unorganised sector and referred to a pilot project for rickshaw pullers as an initiative to spread social security benefits on a wider scale.

2:30 pm SC notice to Mallya: Supreme Court has issued a notice to Vijay Mallya on banks' plea. The court observed that banks can serve notice to Mallya and ask him to voluntarily return to India.

Bankers told Supreme Court that they believe Vijay Mallya has left for London.

They seek summoning of Vijay Mallya and impounding of his passport as they want him to be present in person before the court.

Attorney general told Supreme Court that Mallya has been out of India since March 2.

2:20 pm Lupin completes GAVIS acquisition: Drug major Lupin today said it has completed the acquisition of privately held US-based GAVIS Pharmaceuticals LLC and Novel Laboratories (GAVIS).

Lupin had announced the acquisition on July 23, 2015.

The acquisition enhances the company's scale in the US generic market and also broadens its pipeline in dermatology, controlled substance products and other high-value and niche generics, Lupin said in a statement.

Lupin CEO Vinita Gupta said: "The GAVIS portfolio augments our US business and niche generic pipeline. We plan to leverage the formulation expertise of Gavis to enhance both Lupin's generic as well as specialty pipeline."

2:00 pm Market Check: Equity benchmarks recouped losses in afternoon trade, supported by index heavyweights Reliance Industries, HDFC Bank, L&T and Infosys. Positive European equities opening also aided the market.

The 30-share BSE Sensex rose 52.40 points to 24711.63 and the 50-share NSE Nifty advanced 21.85 points to 7507.15 while the market breadth remained weak as about 1290 shares declined against 1119 advancing shares on the BSE.

European equities were slightly higher today, shrugging off the weakness in Asian stocks and a decline in oil prices. France's CAC, Germany's DAX and Britain's FTSE gained 0.2-0.5 percent.

Asian markets were mixed, with China shares dropping, as analysts pointed to renewed investor concerns over the mainland's economy following lower-than-expected trade data for February. The Shanghai composite ended down 39.26 points, or 1.35 percent, at 2,862.12. Japanese benchmark Nikkei 225 finished down 140.95 points, or 0.84 percent, at 16,642.20 while South Korea's Kospi ended higher by 6.83 points, or 0.35 percent, at 1,952.95.

1:30 Market outlook: The market is good to dip into, is the word coming in from Ravi Sundar Muthukrishnan of ICICI Securities. Post Budget, the low quality stocks did very well, says Muthukrishnan adding that the good quality names should now start doing well. "So, we think that there is a good market to buy particularly the quality stocks because in this run-up, not many have actually run-up," he says. Muthukrishnan says that the PSU stocks were rallying on back of budget news and low commodity prices, which has now run its course. He recommends staying away from the PSUs due to non-performing loan issues. However, he advises some private bank names, especially ones with large retail base.

The Sensex is down 78.24 points or 0.3 percent at 24580.99, and the Nifty slips 14.45 points or 0.2 percent at 7470.85. About 1069 shares have advanced, 1283 shares declined, and 123 shares are unchanged.

Maruti, L&T, ONGC, Axis Bank and M&M are top gainers while Hindalco, ITC, HDFC, Sun Pharma and Tata Steel are losers in the Sensex.

Gold prices were down by Rs 158 to Rs 29,940 per 10 grams in futures trade today as participants cut down their holdings, largely in line with a weak trend overseas.

Analysts said there is a weakening trend in the overseas markets where gold dropped as the dollar gained ahead of a key European Central Bank meeting this week, reducing demand for the precious metal.

Globally, gold fell 0.54 percent to USD 1,254.20 an ounce in Singapore.

12:59 pm Market Update: The Sensex declined 79.29 points to 24579.94 and the Nifty fell 13.80 points to 7471.50.

Vedanta (-4 percent), Hindalco (-4 percent), Cairn India (-3 percent) and BPCL (-2 percent) were the big losers in the Nifty. Other laggards in the index were ICICI Bank (-1 percent),TCS (-1 percent),NTPC (-1 percent) and Wipro (-1 percent).

Gainers included Yes Bank (3 percent), Tech Mahindra (3 percent), Maruti Suzuki (2 percent) and Larsen (1 percent). The trend in key Asian markets was broadly bearish. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 19 points at 19991, and Singapore's Straits Times was up 14 points at 2793. China's Shanghai closed at 2859, down 42 points or 1.5 percent over its previous close, Japan's Nikkei 225 closed at 16642, down 140 points , Korea's KOSPI closed at 1952, up 6 points , and Taiwan's Taiwan Index closed at 8634, down 30 points .

12:50 pm Buzzing: Shares of Unichem Laboratories gained 4.7 percent intraday on getting approval from the US health regulator for its antipsychotic drug.

"Unichem has received abbreivated new drug application (ANDA) approval from the US Food and Drug Administration for Quetiapine Fumarate tablets 25mg, 50mg, 100mg, 200 mg, 300 mg and 400mg," says the Mumbai-based pharma company in its filing to exchange.

Quetiapine Fumarate tablets are equivalent to Seroquel tablets of AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP.

Unichem says product will be commercialised from company's Ghaziabad plant and active pharmaceutical ingredient will also be made in house at Pithampur API plant.

12:40 pm Market recovers: Equity benchmarks trimmed losses in afternoon trade with the Sensex falling 55.01 points to 24604.22 and the Nifty down 4.20 points to 7481.10.

12:35 pm Godrej ups stake in Kenyen firm: FMCG firm Godrej Consumer Products (GCPL) has hiked its stake in DGH Phase Two Mauritius, which owns Kenya's Style Industries, to 90 percent from 51 percent for an undisclosed sum.

The company has been acquiring brands, especially in the African continent, mostly targeting local firms in emerging markets. It acquired a 51 percent stake in Darling South Africa in September 2011 and Darling Mozambique in October 2011. Darling Group Holdings operates in 14 countries across Africa, which sells hair extension products under brand names like 'Darling' and 'Amigos'

12:20 pm FII View: Alexander Redman of Credit Suisse says the brokerage reversed long-standing preference for Indian against Brazilian equities shifting to a profoundly contrarian 15 percent underweight stance on India and 10 percent overweight position on Brazil.

The brokerage reduced exposure to India as it anticipates a steady modest deterioration in the external position, he says.

According to him, Indian valuations are attracting unjustifiable premiums and India's earnings revisions are the most negative in emerging market.

12:00 pm Market Check
Equity benchmarks remained under pressure in noon trade with the Sensex falling 124.31 points to 24534.92 and the Nifty down 30.15 points to 7455.15. The market breadth was weak as about 1294 shares declined against 925 advancing shares on the BSE.

Shares of HDFC, ITC, Hindalco Industries and Tata Steel topped selling list on Sensex, down 2-4 percent followed by TCS, ICICI Bank, Sun Pharma and SBI with a percent loss. L&T, Maruti Suzuki and ONGC gained 1-2 percent.

Most Asian markets stumbled today, with China shares dropping sharply, as analysts pointed to renewed concerns about the mainland's economy following lower-than-expected trade data for February. The Shanghai composite dropped 2.2 percent. Elsewhere, the Japanese benchmark Nikkei 225 was lower by 0.8 percent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index fell 0.5 percent.

11:30 am Market outlook: The market is good to dip into, is the word coming in from Ravi Sundar Muthukrishnan of ICICI Securities. Post Budget, the low quality stocks did very well, says Muthukrishnan adding that the good quality names should now start doing well. "So, we think that there is a good market to buy particularly the quality stocks because in this run-up, not many have actually run-up," he says. Muthukrishnan says that the PSU stocks were rallying on back of budget news and low commodity prices, which has now run its course. He recommends staying away from the PSUs due to non-performing loan issues. However, he advises some private bank names, especially ones with large retail base.

Selling pressure continues in the market as the Sensex is down 188.70 points or 0.8 percent at 24470.53. The Nifty is down 50.85 points or 0.7 percent at 7434.45. About 831 shares have advanced, 1177 shares declined, and 101 shares are unchanged.

GAIL, Maruti, HUL, M&M and ONGC are top gainers while Hindalco, HDFC, Tata Steel, SBI and ICICI Bank are losers in the Sensex.

Laurence Balanco of CLSA says the Nifty's recent break above 7,257 resistance triggers the short-term bullish implication of a minor 12/29 February double-bottom pattern.

This breakout supports an upside target of 7695, below major trend resistance at the 200-DMA and upper boundary of the March 2015-to-date downtrend channel at the 7,954-8,064 area, he adds.

According to him, this rebound is unlikely to break above the cited downtrend resistance with a retest and probable break of the February lows likely. Below the February lows, the next chart support is at the 6,300-6,350 area, Balanco says.

10:59 am Market Update: Equity benchmarks remained under pressure. The Sensex fell 174.20 points or 0.71 percent to 24485.03 and the Nifty declined 46.10 points or 0.62 percent to 7439.20.

About 1141 shares declined against 840 advancing shares on the BSE.
10:50 am Stake sale: Engineering firm Crompton Greaves today said it had sold its international transmission and distribution business to First Reserve International for enterprise value of 115 million euros.

"The sale will enable the company to reduce debt and focus on its faster growing Indian businesses," Crompton said in a release to the exchanges. "The company continues to actively examine its other international B2B bsuinesses with a view to monetise these businesses to enhance shareholder value."

10:35 am Buzzing: Shares of National Aluminium Company fell nearly 3 percent intraday on postponement of plan to buy back government shares.

Indian aluminium company NALCO 's plan to buy back up to Rs 3,250 crore (USD 483 million) of government shares will be delayed to the next fiscal year because of procedural delays, a government official said Tuesday.

"Buy-backs are a long process; you need to complete four to five important procedures," Mines Secretary Balvinder Kumar told Reuters.

The government will miss its divestment target in the 2015/16, for the sixth year in a row, as weak commodity prices dented demand for shares of NALCO and other state-controlled companies such as Coal India.

10:20 am FII View: Laurence Balanco of CLSA says the Nifty's recent break above 7,257 resistance triggers the short-term bullish implication of a minor 12/29 February double-bottom pattern.

This breakout supports an upside target of 7,695, below major trend resistance at the 200-DMA and upper boundary of the March 2015-to-date downtrend channel at the 7,954-8,064 area, he adds.

According to him, this rebound is unlikely to break above the cited downtrend resistance with a retest and probable break of the February lows likely. Below the February lows, the next chart support is at the 6,300-6,350 area, Balanco says.

10:00 am Market Check
After a smart rally, bulls seem to be tired and on a resting mode today. The Sensex is down 162.08 points or 0.7 percent at 24497.15 and the Nifty slips 42.05 points or 0.6 percent at 7443.25. About 650 shares have advanced, 983 shares declined, and 82 shares are unchanged.

GAIL, HUL, Maruti, ONGC and Lupin are top gainers while Hindalco, Tata Steel, ICICI Bank, Tata Motors and SBI are losers in the Sensex.

Global oil and gas prices are likely to remain at current lows for several years, with oil dropping to USD 25 per barrel if Iranian production more than offsets supply cuts elsewhere, Moody's Investors Service said today.

"Oil prices continue the decline that began in June 2014, reaching lows not seen in more than a decade. We currently expect oil and gas prices to remain close to current lows for several years, as excess supply in the market is slowly absorbed," it said.

Moody's estimated oil prices to be around USD 33 per barrel in 2016, which will rise to USD 38 a barrel in the next and to USD 43 in 2018.

9:55 am Coal mining: As many as 22 mining projects of state-owned Coal India have received green clearance this fiscal. "So far, in the current fiscal, 16 coal mining projects of Coal India having an additional capacity of 48 million tonnes received environment clearance," an official said.

The official further said six mining projects of Coal India have received forest clearance.

CIL accounts for over 80 percent of the domestic coal production. The government has set a production target of 550 million tonnes for the coal PSU in the ongoing fiscal.

9:45 am Sale: Crompton Greaves is going to sell its transmission and distribution business outside India to First Reserve International, a US private equity fund for an enterprise value of euro 115 million. The company says that the sale will enable the company to reduce debt and focus on faster growing Indian businesses. The company continues to actively examine its other international B2B businesses with a view to monetise these businesses to enhance shareholder value. Stock rises 6 percent.

9:30 am Noose tightening: The Supreme Court will hear a plea by a consortium of banks seeking to stop Vijay Mallya from leaving the country. A group of banks led by the State Bank of India moved the apex court on Tuesday seeking to restrain Mallya from leaving India. Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi on Tuesday said the plea has been moved by 17 banks, including State Bank of India, against Mallya whose various firms have taken loan from them. He also said that the dues run into thousands of crores. Meanwhile, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley threw his weight behind the lenders, saying each penny lent must be recovered. "Well, I think it's not only a legal but a moral obligation that every banking institution in India has to recover the last pie," Jaitley said.

Oil prices may drop to $25 per barrel: Moody's

The market has opened sharply lower on Wednesday following weak global cues. Lower oil prices and China's growth concerns hit global markets. The Sensex fell 183.11 points to 24476.12 and the Nifty declined 51.40 points to 7433.90.

Lupin, Coal India, Maruti, NTPC and ONGC are top gainers while Hindalco, ICICI Bank, Tata Steel, Tata Motors and BHEL are losers in the Sensex.

The Indian rupee opened lower by 10 paise at 67.45 per dollar today versus 67.35 Tuesday.

Pramit Brahmbhatt, Veracity says weak global cues will trigger weakness in domestic equity market as well. He expects USD-INR to trade in a range of Rs 67.20-67.50 for the day.

On the global front, Asian shares stepped back further from two-month highs today as a retreat in oil prices and weak Chinese trade data revived concerns about the health of the global economy. Shanghai crashed 3 percent and Nikkei fell 1.6 percent. Hang Seng declined 0.6 percent.

US stocks ended near the lows of the day on Tuesday. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.64 percent, S&P 500 lost 1.12 percent and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.26 percent.