Market sizzles: Nifty ends at 7704, Sensex surges 333points; HUL up

3:30 pm Market closing: The Sensex gains 332.63 points or 1.3 percent at 25285.37 and the Nifty was up 99.90 points or 1.3 percent at 7704.25. About 1486 shares have advanced, 1174 shares declined, and 184 shares are unchanged.

HUL was up 4 percent while SBI, L&T, HDFC and Tata Motors were top gainers while Lupin, BHEL, Hero MotoCorp, GAIL and Coal India were losers in the Sensex.

3:10 pm Market sizzles: The Sensex is up 340.86 points or 1.4 percent at 25293.60, and the Nifty is up 94.80 points or 1.2 percent at 7699.15.
About 1464 shares have advanced, 1145 shares declined, and 173 shares are unchanged.

HUL, SBI, Bharti Airtel, Sun Pharma and Tata Motors are top gainers while Lupin, BHEL, Hero MotoCorp, GAIL and Coal India.

2:58 pm Market Update: Equity benchmarks rallied further in last hour of trade. The Sensex climbed 246.72 points or 0.99 percent to 25199.46 and the Nifty rose 76.35 points or 1 percent to 7680.70.

2:40 pm FIPB nod: Japanese insurer Nippon Life Insurance, Tata AIA and Aviva Life were among the 15 companies whose foreign direct investment proposals totalling Rs 7,262 crore have been approved by the FIPB.

Besides, the proposal of Yes Bank to hike foreign investment limit to 74 percent from existing 41.87 per cent without any sub-limits has been referred to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA).

"Based on the recommendations of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) in its meeting held on March 7, the government has approved 15 FDI proposals involving Rs 7,261.6 crore and recommended one proposal for approval of CCEA involving FDI of Rs 6,885 crore," a Finance Ministry statement said.

2:20 pm Europe Update: European markets traded lower, following mixed trade in Asia, as a slide in commodity prices weighed on investor sentiment.

The volatility in the oil price in recent months has hit sentiment in global markets despite Brent futures having recently staged a recovery to rise above USD 40 per barrel.

2:00 pm Market Check
The market extended rally in afternoon trade with the Sensex rising 194.69 points to 25147.43. The Nifty is inching closer to 7700, up 55.80 points to 7660.15 led by buying in FMCG, banking & financials and oil stocks.

The market breadth was positive as about 1357 shares advanced against 1173 declining shares on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Ambuja Cements, UltraTech Cement, Bharti Airtel, Punjab National Bank, ACC, SBI, Tata Motors and HUL topped buying list, up 2-5 percent while Lupin, Hero Motocorp, BHEL, Asian Paints and Wipro were down 1-2 percent.

Chinese markets stood out in a mixed trading session in Asia today, with many market watchers predicting a quiet week ahead in the absence of major economic data from the US and China, and with many markets off for Good Friday. Chinese markets finished up, with the Shanghai composite ending up 64.97 points, or 2.20 percent, at 3,020.12. Market watchers pointed to China's loosening of controls over margin lending as a catalyst for the moves.

The South Korean Kospi gave up early gains to finish lower by 2.36 points, or 0.12 percent, at 1,989.76. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index erased morning gains to close near flat at 20,684.15.

1:55 pm Interview: Indiabulls Housing Finance is trying to increase its market share in home loan book from the current 50 percent to 60 percent, Gagan Banga, Vice Chairman of the company told CNBC-TV18.

While the competition in housing space has increased, Banga said that their main competitor are private banks. Public sector banks are suffering from non-performing loan issues and most of foreign banks are cutting business in India, he added.

The company is trying to initiate product mix change, he added. The pricing power, he said, has improved considerable in last 12-18 months.

Discussing the spreads, Banga said that the company will maintain spreads between 300-325 basis points (bps) over next three years.

1:45 pm Market outlook: Dipan Mehta, member of the BSE and NSE, believes that the broad-based rally seen in the market so far might turn selective, as corporate earnings are right around the corner.

Investors should focus only on companies with quality earnings to ensure good returns in the long term, Mehta said.

He felt it was best to use the current jump in certain metals and other commodity stocks to exit them as long-term fundamentals of these businesses look weak.

He also advised exiting PSU bank stocks.

1:30 pm PSU banks consolidation: The much-debated consolidation of public sector banks (PSBs) is likely to begin next year. Sources have told CNBC-TV18 that this timeline of consolidation has already been communicated to banks. The government has informed PSBs that it wants six-seven large banks to remain in the long run and atleast one candidate for merger will be identified by September-October this year, sources said. The process of merger of the main bank with a smaller bank will be initiated by April 2017. The government will allow smaller banks to exist post consolidation, but with restricted operations, sources said. The sources added that smaller banks may be asked to become niche banks with limited operations.

The market continues to rise as the Sensex is up 143.27 points or 0.6 percent at 25096.01. The Nifty is up 40.40 points or 0.5 percent at 7644.75.About 1342 shares have advanced, 1120 shares declined, and 165 shares were unchanged.

HUL, SBI, Tata Motors, Bharti Airtel and ITC are top gainers while Lupin, Hero, BHEL, Coal India and NTPC are losers in the Sensex.

Gold prices declined by Rs 84 to Rs 29,325 per 10 grams due to speculative selling after weak global cues.Analysts said fall in the metal's prices at futures trade was mostly in tandem with global trend as the dollar stabilised after a slump sparked by the Federal Reserve lowering its interest-rate outlook for this year.

Meanwhile, Indian bonds rallied, sending the benchmark 10-year bond yield to its lowest since mid-2013, on hopes the central bank could cut interest rates by as much as 50 basis points next month after the government slashed the country's retail savings rate.

The government on Friday cut interest rates for term deposits offered to millions of small savers after the Reserve Bank of India reduced its key repo policy rate by 125 basis points last year.

Banks had eagerly awaited the move: the relatively high rates offered by the government had discouraged savers from openings savings accounts at private lenders, since the sector could not match the rates offered by the federal programme.

12:58 pm Market Update: The Sensex rose 151.53 points or 0.61 percent to 25104.27 and the Nifty advanced 43 points or 0.57 percent to 7647.35.

About 1339 shares advanced against 1105 declining shares on the BSE.

12:40 pm Infibeam IPO opens: Infibeam's initial public offer (IPO), the first ever in the ecommerce space, will open on March 21 and close on March 23. The company plans to raise Rs 450 crore with a per-share price band of Rs 360-Rs 420.

Vishal Mehta, MD of the company, told CNBC-TV18, that no existing shareholders will be selling stake. The promoters' stake, pre-IPO, stands at 56 percent. Equity dilution via the IPO is expected to be at 20-22 percent, he added.

Discussing the reports of two bankers - ICICI Securities and Kotak Mahindra Capital - dropping out of the IPO process, Mehta said that post the due diligence process, Infibeam had decided to retain only two banks, namely, SBI Capital and Elara Capital.

12:20 pm PTC India sanctions loans: PTC India Financial Services (PFS) has sanctioned loans of about Rs 1,100 crore to provide financial assistance to the power sector.

"PTC India Financial Services Ltd... sanctioned loans aggregating about Rs 1,100 crore for providing financial assistance to power/infrastructure sector in India," the company said in a release on BSE today.

These loans include four projects for renewable sector and two for transmission of power.

PFS is a leading infrastructure finance company promoted by PTC India.

12:00 pm Market Check
Equity benchmarks as well as broader markets continued to see buying interest, supported by banking & financials and FMCG stocks.

The 30-share BSE Sensex climbed 160.51 points to 25113.25 and the 50-share NSE Nifty rose 46.45 points to 7650.80. The BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices gained nearly a percent each.

About 1337 shares advanced against 1035 advancing shares on the BSE.

Shares of ITC, HDFC, HDFC Bank, Tata Motors, L&T, SBI, ICICI Bank, HUL and Axis Bank gained 1-2 percent while Lupin and Hero Motocorp fell over a percent.

11:40 pm Interview: Pirojsha Godrej, MD & CEO, Godrej Properties in an interview to CNBC-TV18, said the response for the second phase of its prestigious 'The Trees' project has been as overwhelming as the phase one.

According to him, the phase II sales numbers so far have been good. He also expects average realisations for phase II to be at least 10 percent higher than those of phase I.

Although the overall residential market has been weak for the sector, the company has found takers for its projects, says Godjrej. The weakness was especially seen in NCR and Ahmedabad compared to Mumbai, he added. However, commercial real estate has been the pocket of strength for the sector, says Godrej.

11:20 am IDBI's stake sale: IDBI Bank shares rallied 6 percent intraday as a media report suggested that the government has started process for dilution in the bank.

"The International Finance Corporation (IFC - subsidiary of World Bank), one of the investors interested in buying a stake in IDBI Bank, has finished inspection of the assets and liabilities of the state-run lender," a media report said quoting unnamed sources.

The report added that UK's development finance institution CDC Group Plc and US private equity firm TPG Capital are also in talks with the government to buy a stake. According to a report, quantum of stake sold to a strategic investor will likely be 15 percent or higher.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his Union Budget speech in February said, "The process of transformation of IDBI Bank has already started. Government will take it forward and also consider the option of reducing its stake to below 50 percent."

The Government of India currently holds 80.16 percent equity stake in the bank.

11:00 am Market Check
The market continues to rise with support from banks, capital goods and FMCG stocks. The Sensex is up 166.11 points or 0.7 percent at 25118.85, and the Nifty is up 51.70 points or 0.7 percent at 7656.05. About 1343 shares have advanced, 774 shares declined, and 134 shares are unchanged.

ITC, SBI, Bharti Airtel, L&T and Hindalco are top gainers while Lupin, Dr Reddy's Labs, Hero MotoCorp, BHEL and Coal India are losers in the Sensex.

Oil prices dipped slightly as fresh oversupply concerns spurred by an increase in operational US rigs bridled a recent rally. This follows a week of gains that lifted US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) above USD 40 for the first time since December, buoyed by a sharp drop in the dollar, making oil more affordable, and revived optimism that producers would strike a deal to freeze output.

Spot gold eased but found support from a weaker dollar as the US and European central banks kept alive the prospect of cheaper capital for longer.

As central bank rhetoric turns more dovish, investors will search for further hints of easing in a week with few data releases to indicate whether years of loose monetary policy are having any material effect.

10:58 am Market Update: Equity benchmarks maintained rally with the Sensex rising 178.10 points to 25130.84 and the Nifty climbing 53.40 points to 7657.75.

The market breadth remained positive as about two shares advanced for every share declining on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

10:40 am Rate cut possible?: The RBI is likely to cut interest rates by 25 basis points in the upcoming credit policy in April, says Neeraj Gambhir, ?Managing Director, Head Fixed Income, Nomura India. He feels it could be even more if the RBI feels that the downtrend in consumer inflation is sustainable, though the possibility of that is slim.

However, the market has already priced in a 25 basis point-cut and will be watching for the language of the RBI commentary in the credit policy, Gambhir says in an interview to CNBC-TV18.

He says the RBI decisions in the credit policy will also be based on the liquidity situation. Gambhir expects at least two open market operations (OMOs) by the RBI by December.

10:20 am Buzzing: Shares of SKS Microfinance, the micro finance lender, gained more nearly 2 percent intraday on seventh securitisation transaction in FY16.

"SKS, on March 19, completed seventh securitisation transaction during current financial year 2015-16 for a pool value of Rs 538.1 crore," said the Hyderabad-based lender in its filing.

With this transaction, total sum of securitisation completed during FY16 (year-to-date) is Rs 2,319.93 crore.

SKS said pool has been rated AA (SO) by a leading rating agency, signifying a high degree of safety regarding timely servicing of financial obligations, adding such instruments carry a very low credit risk.

Additionally, on same date, the company also assigned a pool of loan receivables of Rs 506.6 crore to one of largest public sector banks on direct assignment basis as per guidelines prescribed by Reserve Bank of India.

10:00 am Market Check
The market extended gain in morning trade with the Sensex rising 153.10 points to 25105.84, aided by banking & financials and FMCG stocks. The Nifty reclaimed 7650, rising 46.15 points to 7650.50.

The market breadth remained positive as about two shares advanced for every share declining on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

ITC was the biggest contributor to Sensex's gains, up 3 percent. Credit Suisse maintains its outperform rating on the stock, stating that it can rejoice as most states have not hiked value added tax on cigarettes in Budget.

Among others, HDFC, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, SBI, Axis Bank, Sun Pharma, HUL and Bharti Airtel gained more than 1 percent while Lupin, Dr Reddy's Labs and BHEL declined over a percent.

9:45 am Buzzing: Shares of ITC rose 2 percent intraday. Credit Suisse maintains its outperform rating on ITC, stating that it can rejoice as most states have not hiked value added tax on cigarettes in Budget.

Cigarette business, which is key revenue driver for ITC, has been reeling under four consecutive years of heavy tax increases and has seen a 16 percent dip in cigarette volumes over the past two years. "Three states - West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Kerala-have presented interim budgets as they are going into elections. The new governments will most likely present Budgets in June where there could be a possibility of a hike," it says in a report.

9:30 am Market mood: After investors survey, Ridham Desai of Morgan Stanley says investors bullishness on Indian stocks has come off even as investors remain overweight on India. It maintains stock picking as their investment strategy, and view positive signals on earnings growth to be the key driver for Indian equities (expecting 12 percent earnings growth in FY17).

According to Desai, investors seem to have taken some money off the table and conviction on market outperformance is down to its lowest level since H2FY13.

The market has started on positive note Monday. The Sensex is up 60.76 points or 0.2 percent at 25013.50, and the Nifty is up 14.85 points or 0.2 percent at 7619.20. About 346 shares have advanced, 110 shares declined, and 37 shares are unchanged.

SBI, GAIL, Lupin, Sun Pharma and Wipro are top gainers while Hero, Adani Ports, Dr Reddy's Labs, Infosys and Maruti are losers in the Sensex.

The Indian rupee opened marginally higher at 66.45 per dollar versus 66.50 Friday.

Pramit Brahmbhatt of Veracity said, "The rupee will try to conquer the resistance of 66.20/dollar after touching 66.50/dollar. Global equity market and crude will decide further direction."

The dollar stayed on the defensive, having extended its losses for a third week in the wake of dovish signals from the Federal

Meanwhile, markets in Asia were mixed morning, with some analysts predicting a quiet week ahead in the absence of major economic data from the US and China, and with many markets off for Good Friday.

Major US indexes closed in the green on Friday, with the Dow Jones industrial average up by 0.69 percent, S&P 500 higher by 0.44 percent and the Nasdaq composite ending 0.43 percent higher.