Nifty ends at 7461, Sensex slumps 253 points ahead of Fed meet

3:30 pm Market closing: The Sensex ended lower 253.11 points or 1 percent at 24551.17, and the Nifty slipped 78.15 points or 1 percent at 7460.60 ahead of Fed meet. About 1003 shares have advanced, 1633 shares declined, and 159 shares are unchanged.

SBI, Bharti Airtel, Tata Steel, Axis Bank and BHEL were top gainers while Lupin, HDFC, Dr Reddy's, Sun Pharma abd Cipla were losers.

3:20 pm Goldman downgrades HDFC: Goldman Sachs downgraded Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) to sell from neutral and slashed target price to Rs 990 from Rs 1,190 earlier as it feels core business of corporate lending is likely to be pressured. The stock lost 3.8 percent intraday.

The brokerage also cut FY17-18 earnings per share estimates by 9-13 percent to factor in lower lending spreads and higher credit costs. HDFC will continue to underperform board Sensex and retail private banks, it feels.

2:59 pm Market extends losses: The Sensex plunged 259.55 points or 1.05 percent to 24544.73 and the Nifty dropped 76.50 points or 1.01 percent to 7462.25.

About two shares declined for every share advancing on the BSE.

Lupin (-7 percent), HDFC (-4 percent), Zee Entertainment (-3 percent) and ITC (-3 percent) were the big losers in the Nifty.

Other laggards in the index were TCS (-1 percent),Hindalco (-1 percent),Adani Ports (-1 percent) and Dr Reddys Labs (-2 percent).

Gainers included SBI (2 percent), PNB (2 percent), Tata Steel (2 percent) and Bank of Baroda (2 percent).

In sectoral performance as reflected by the respective indices, healthcare (-2.7 percent), FMCG (-1.8 percent), IT (-0.8 percent) and auto (-0.5 percent) were under pressure, while metals (0.3 percent), oil & gas (0.3 percent) and consumer durables (0.1 percent) gained.

2:50 pm Europe Update: European equities were trading lower with basic resources the worst performing sector. Britain's FTSE and France's CAC fell 0.6  percent followed by Germany's DAX with 0.4 percent loss.

European markets followed a shaky lead in Asia where markets were mostly lower. The Bank of Japan decided to keep its monetary policy steady rather than increasing its firepower. Economists now expect further stimulus in July as the central bank waits to assess the impact of its uncharted entry into negative interest rates.

2:40 pm Joint lenders forum meet: Banks will not shy away from taking legal action or making use of the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act (SARFAESI) to recover their dues from companies where promoters provide no clear repayment schedule, sources tell CNBC-TV18.

As per sources, promoters of companies like Adhunik Metaliks , Adhunik Power and Uttam Galva were called in for questioning on Tuesday, the second day of the 2-day marathon joint lender forum meetings hosted by State Bank of India (SBI) at its headquarters. 

Some other companies like Visa Steel , Aban Offshore and Essar Steel have also been directed to come in for questioning, sources say.

2:20 pm PE investments in 2015: Private equity investments during the October-December period totalled USD 3.9 billion, taking the deal value for the year 2015 to USD 19.5 billion - the "best ever" for India, says a report.

According to the PwC MoneyTree India report, a quarterly study of PE investment activity based on data provided by Venture Intelligence, the fourth quarter of 2015 saw investments worth USD 3.9 billion, a 12 per cent drop as compared to the same period of 2014.

However, despite the drop, the stellar performance throughout the year helped 2015 become the best year ever, with a total of USD 19.5 billion worth of PE inflows across 159 deals.

2:00 pm Market Check
The market continues to skid as the Sensex is down 256.11 points or 1 percent at 24548.17, and the Nifty slips 73.60 points or 0.9 percent at 7465.15. About 847 shares have advanced, 1656 shares declined, and 150 shares are unchanged.

Tata Steel, SBI, Axis Bank, Bharti Airtel and BHEL are top gainers while Lupin, HDFC, ITC, Cipla and Sun Pharma are losers in The Sensex.

Private equity investments during the October-December period totalled USD 3.9 billion, taking the deal value for the year 2015 to USD 19.5 billion - the "best ever" for India, says a report. According to the PwC MoneyTree India report, a quarterly study of PE investment activity based on data provided by Venture Intelligence, the fourth quarter of 2015 saw investments worth USD 3.9 billion, a 12 percent drop as compared to the same period of 2014.

However, despite the drop, the stellar performance throughout the year helped 2015 become the best year ever, with a total of USD 19.5 billion worth of PE inflows across 159 deals.

1:55 pm OMC: The oil marketing companies (OMCs) are expected to approach the government and Election Commission to seek clarity on petrol and diesel price hike likely to be announced later today. OMCs are looking to raise prices by Rs 2-2.50 per liter. However, with the Budget Session concluding on Wednesday and upcoming state elections, OMCs will first take up the matter with the government before announcing such a steep hike. Multiple reasons that are likely to work against OMCs include the upcoming elections and repeated excise hikes that restricted customers to enjoy full benefits of falling oil prices.

1:30 pm Market outlook: Downgrade risks for corporate earnings are limited and recovery in commodity prices will contribute to earnings growth of many sectors, says Sanjeev Prasad, Senior Executive Director and Co-Head at Kotak Institutional Equities. Speaking to CNBC-TV18, Prasad says he expects economic growth to pick up from H2FY17 onwards. He is mildly bullish on market despite downside risks from global factors. Prasad is of the view that Reserve Bank of India (RBI) may be in a position to cut interest rate by 25 basis points (bps) in April and by 50 bps cumulatively by end of CY16. On the equity market, Prasad says market does not have a short term trigger and he expects about 18 percent growth for Nifty by the end of the year.

The Sensex is down 208.42 points or 0.8 percent at 24595.86, and the Nifty is down 61.50 points or 0.8 percent at 7477.25. About 889 shares have advanced, 1522 shares declined, and 141 shares are unchanged.

FMCG and healthcare stocks are under immense selling pressure.

The Indian benchmark 10-year bond yield slumped to a near five-month low on Tuesday after data showing headline retail inflation eased in February gave rise to expectations for a cut in the central bank's key policy rate next month.

The Reserve Bank of India is widely expected to cut repo rate by 25 basis points when it announces its policy statement on April 5.

Bonds were also lifted after the central bank said it will buy bonds up to 150 billion rupees (USD2.23 billion) on Thursday through an open market operation (OMO), which is likely to take pressure off banks facing cash shortages due to corporate tax payouts.
 
12:58 pm Market Update: Equity benchmarks extended losses in afternoon trade with the Sensex falling 215.64 points to 24588.64 and the Nifty down 61.20 points to 7477.55.

The market breadth remained weak as about 1495 shares declined against 886 advancing shares on the BSE.

HDFC, Lupin, ITC and Sun Pharma were top contributors to Sensex's losses.

12:45 pm Interview: Making accreditation under National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) compulsory will help improve overall quality and standards of the diagnostics market feels Om Manchanda, CEO, Dr Lal Pathlabs.

Speaking to CNBC-TV18, Manchanda says regulations in the diagnosis space have been limited and there exists scope to extend it to the diagnostic market, which is highly fragmented.

He believes growing regional competition will aid companies in getting more organized.

12:35 pm Oil falls: Oil prices fell in Asian trade today, extending losses from the session before as concerns start to take hold that a six-week recovery will peter out as markets remain oversupplied.

Saudi Arabia and non-OPEC member Russia, the world's two largest oil exporters, along with Qatar and Venezuela said last month they would freeze output at January levels to prop up prices if other oil-producing nations agreed to join the first global oil pact in 15 years.

But with US crude stockpiles continuing to build and Iran showing little interest in joining major producers in freezing production, oil prices may have gained too much too soon in recent weeks.

US crude futures were 50 cents lower at USD 36.68 a barrel.

12:15 pm Petrol price hike likely?: The oil marketing companies (OMCs) are expected to approach the government and Election Commission to seek clarity on petrol and diesel price hike likely to be announced later today.

OMCs are looking to raise prices by Rs 2-2.50 per liter.

However, with the Budget Session concluding on Wednesday and upcoming state elections, OMCs will first take up the matter with the government before announcing such a steep hike.

12:00 pm Market Check
Equity benchmarks continued to see selling pressure in noon trade, dragged by HDFC and ITC. The Sensex fell 161.62 points to 24642.66 and the Nifty declined 46.95 points to 7491.80.

The market breadth was also weak as about 1345 shares declined against 909 advancing shares on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Crompton Greaves was the biggest loser on exchanges, falling nearly 74 percent after demerger of its consumer products business into separate entity. Shareholder of Crompton will get one share of consumer products business for every share held in the company.

HDFC was the leading contributor to Sensex's losses, down 3 percent followed by ITC with 2 percent loss.

11:55 am Bond: The Indian benchmark 10-year bond yield slumped to a near five-month low on Tuesday after data showing headline retail inflation eased in February gave rise to expectations for a cut in the central bank's key policy rate next month.

The Reserve Bank of India is widely expected to cut repo rate by 25 basis points when it announces its policy statement on April 5.

Bonds were also lifted after the central bank said it will buy bonds up to 150 billion rupees (USD2.23 billion) on Thursday through an open market operation (OMO), which is likely to take pressure off banks facing cash shortages due to corporate tax payouts.

11:30 am Market outlook: Downgrade risks for corporate earnings are limited and recovery in commodity prices will contribute to earnings growth of many sectors, says Sanjeev Prasad, Senior Executive Director and Co-Head at Kotak Institutional Equities. Speaking to CNBC-TV18, Prasad says he expects economic growth to pick up from H2FY17 onwards. He is mildly bullish on market despite downside risks from global factors. Prasad is of the view that Reserve Bank of India (RBI) may be in a position to cut interest rate by 25 basis points (bps) in April and by 50 bps cumulatively by end of CY16. On the equity market, Prasad says market does not have a short term trigger and he expects about 18 percent growth for Nifty by the end of the year.

The market is still on a downtrend. The Sensex is down 120.58 points or 0.5 percent at 24683.70 and the Nifty slips 37.20 points or 0.5 percent at 7501.55. About 843 shares have advanced, 1205 shares declined, and 137 shares are unchanged.

SBI, Axis Bank, Reliance, BHEL, L&T and Reliance are top gainers while Lupin, HDFC, Cipla, ITC and Wipro are losers in the Sensex.

Oil extended its decline as hopes that major crude producers will freeze output to ease a world surplus faded, sending Brent crude back below USD 40. A meeting proposed by Russia and Saudi Arabia to discuss output limits has been pushed back to April from March 20, after signs some key producing nations do not support the move. Iran has said it would not join the effort until its own crude production reached pre-sanction levels of 4.0 million barrels per day, about double its current output.

10:35 am IPO: Online shopping portal Infibeam Incorporation will hit the capital markets on March 21 to mop-up Rs 450 crore through an initial share plan, becoming the first e-commerce firm to tap the IPO route.

The initial public offer (IPO) will conclude on March 23, as per the latest update available with capital markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi).

As per draft red herring prospectus, Gujarat-based Infibeam plans to come out with public issue of equity shares worth up to Rs 450 crore.

Infibeam competes with Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeal and others in the e-commerce space.

10:20 am RBI's OMO: Reserve Bank on Monday said it will buy government securities under the open market operations (OMOs) on March 17 to infuse liquidity of Rs 15,000 crore into the system.

"Based on the current assessment of prevailing and evolving liquidity conditions, the Reserve Bank has decided to conduct purchase of government securities under open market operations for an aggregate amount of Rs 150 billion on March 17, 2016," RBI said in a notification.

As part of the OMOs, RBI will purchase government securities maturing in 2020 (bearing interest rate of 8.27 percent), 2022 (8.35 percent), 2024 (8.40 percent), 2026 (8.33 percent) and 2028 (8.60 percent), 2032 (8.32 percent).

10:00 am Market Check
The market extended sell-off in morning trade with the Nifty breaking 7500 level, weighed down by HDFC group, pharma, FMCG, technology and metal stocks.

The 30-share BSE Sensex declined 146.07 points to 24658.21 and the 50-share NSE Nifty slipped 47.60 points to 7491.15.

Lupin remained top loser on Sensex, down more than 5 percent on Goa facility inspection by US health regulator.

HDFC, ITC, Sun Pharma, Wipro, Cipla, ONGC and GAIL were down 1-2 percent while SBI, ICICI Bank, L&T and Axis Bank gained 0.5-1 percent.

Asian markets were trading lower with the Shanghai down 1 percent followed by Nikkei and Hang Seng with 0.7 percent loss.

9:45 am Beemar Railways: Railways is "beemar' (sick), Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu said in Rajya Sabha with an assertion that he is working on a strategy to put the national transporter on track by tackling issues like resource crunch, ageing tracks and increasing investment in infrastructure. He said he was working on both short-term and long-term measures and following a regime of do's and don'ts as the Railways is passing through "very difficult times". He said government will put in place a new independent regulatory framework for revising rail fares to help maintain a balance between consumers and Railways, for which a bill will be brought soon in Parliament.

9:30 am IPO: Online shopping portal Infibeam Incorporation will hit the capital markets on March 21 to mop-up Rs 450 crore through an initial share plan, becoming the first e-commerce firm to tap the IPO route. The initial public offer (IPO) will conclude on March 23, as per the latest update available with capital markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi). As per Draft Red Herring Prospectus, Gujarat-based Infibeam plans to come out with public issue of equity shares worth up to Rs 450 crore.

Equity benchmarks started off Tuesday on a negative note, tracking tepid Asian cues. The 30-share BSE Sensex fell 34 points to 24770.28 and the 50-share NSE Nifty declined 17.25 points to 7521.50.

Lupin crashed 6 percent on Goa facility inspection by USFDA. HDFC and Sun Pharma declined over a percent while Infosys, SBI, TCS, L&T, Axis Bank and Maruti Suzuki gained 0.2-0.8 percent.

The Indian rupee has opened lower by 11 paise at 67.22 per dollar against 67.11 a dollar in previous session.

Ashutosh Raina of HDFC Bank said the market would be keenly awaiting the outcome of crucial FOMC meet starting today.

According to him, the USD-INR pair continues to gain from recent lows on the back of improvement in risk sentiment with oil and commodity prices moving higher, coupled with overall dollar weakness. Raina expects pair to continue trading between 66.50-67.50/dollar in the near term, with support expected at lower levels.

The dollar held on to its gains against major currencies ahead of the Fed meet.

In the global markets, Asian markets were tepid, tracking US equities' performance overnight.

Wall Street ended flat in light trading as investors lay low ahead of a US Federal Reserve meeting that is set to begin later today, where the Fed is expected to hold onto the current interest rates this week.

In other asset classes, crude prices slipped 3 percent overnight as US crude stockpiles continue to build. Brent crude traded around USD 39 per barrel and gold slipped below USD 1240 an ounce.