Nifty ends above 7700, Sensex flat; Hindalco up, Reliance down

3:30 pm Market close: The market has ended flat. The Sensex ended up 7.07 points at 25337.56, and the Nifty gained 1.60 points at 7716.50. About 1258 shares have advanced, 1339 shares declined, and 168 shares are unchanged. Hindalco, Tata Steel, Bajaj Auto, Infosys and Bharti Airtel were top gainers while Reliance, Lupin, GAIL, Adani Ports and ONGC were losers in the Sensex.

2:59 pm Market Update: Equity benchmarks recouped losses in last hour of trade. The Sensex fell 0.16 points to 25330.33 while the Nifty rose 0.10 points to 7715.

Technology and FMCG stocks rebounded.

2:40 pm Sun Pharma in News: Sun Pharmaceutical Industries shares gained 1 percent intraday on distribution agreement with AstraZeneca India for innovative type 2 diabetes medicine.

"Sun Pharma and AstraZeneca Pharma India announced a partnership for distribution of dapagliflozin, an innovative type 2 diabetes medicine, in India. Dapagliflozin is AstraZeneca India's leading diabetes medicine," says the company in its filing.

Under the agreement, Sun Pharma will promote and distribute dapagliflozin under brand name Oxra. AstraZeneca India markets dapagliflozin under brand name Forxiga but under the terms of agreement, both companies will distribute dapagliflozin in India under different brand names.

"AstraZeneca will retain intellectual property rights to dapagliflozin," it says.

2:20 pm: Fund raising in YTD: Indian firms have raised a staggering Rs 46,000 crore from the primary market route in first ten months of the current fiscal, mainly on account of robust fund mobilisation through initial public offerings. In comparison, companies had garnered Rs 13,158 crore in the April-January period of 2014-15. Most of the funds have been raised for expansion plans, to repay debt and for other general corporate purposes.

"During 2015-16, primary securities market seems to have come out of its lull. Both the total number of issues and the resources mobilised from the primary securities market have gone up. IPOs have contributed to this performance more than public debt issues and rights issues," capital markets regulator Sebi noted.

2:00 pm Market Check
Equity benchmarks continued to see selling pressure in afternoon trade, weighed down by banking & financials, technology and oil stocks.

The 30-share BSE Sensex declined 97.49 points to 25233 and the 50-share NSE Nifty slipped 27.15 points to 7687.75. The broader markets remained flat.

HDFC, HDFC Bank, Reliance Industries, Lupin and ONGC were biggest contributors to Sensex's fall while Bharti Airtel, Bajaj Auto, Hindalco and Tata Steel gained 2-5 percent.

European markets traded higher today following the terrorist attacks in Belgium claimed to have been carried out by the Islamic State, with major indices shrugging off the attacks. France's CAC, Germany's DAX and Britain's FTSE were down 0.3-0.7 percent.

In Belgium attacks, at least 30 people were killed and many more injured. Global terrorist organization ISIS claimed responsibility for the supposed suicide bombings that took place in the capital city's airport and a metro station.

1:45 pm Bond market: A rally in India's bond market this month could prove short-lived as investors brace for as much as USD 157 billion in sovereign debt sales over the next year, including from states financing a big bailout of electricity utilities, analysts warn.

The amount of supply expected will be well above the USD 130 billion raised this fiscal year ending on March 31, and could push yields higher as investors demand higher interest rates to finance the supply starting next month.

Although the government pledged in February to keep its fiscal deficit at 3.5 percent of gross domestic product for 2016/17, that does not include states' rising borrowing needs.

1:35 pm Interview: Kapil Mehan, MD & Group CEO of Zuari Agro Chemicals expects subsidy payment of minimum Rs 1000 crore from the government within next couple of months, which will help bring down overall borrowings by June.

In an interview to CNBC-TV18 after the company raised term loan of Rs 160 crore from RBL Bank, Mehan said, the loan will fund capacity expansion at its Goa plant and total borrowings on books will now be Rs 3000 crore.

The company is working towards paring debt and looking to raise Rs 200 crore via a rights issue as well, he said.

1:10 pm Cabinet decision: The cabinet has approved national capital goods policy and incentive scheme for rural housing. This is for the first time that a national policy has been framed for the sector.

The cabinet has given a nod for incentive scheme for rural housing and doubling Of two rail lines in Bihar and Jharkhand
The government plans to create 2.1 crore jobs via National Capital Goods Policy by 2021.

The market is still struggling as the Sensex is down 115.67 points or 0.5 percent at 25214.82. The Nifty is down 30.90 points or 0.4 percent at 7684. About 1080 shares have advanced, 1255 shares declined, and 155 shares are unchanged.

Hindalco, Bharti Airtel, Tata Steel, Coal India and Adani Ports are top gainers in the Sensex while Reliance, ONGC, HDFC, Cipla and GAIL are losers.

Meanwhile, a Citigroup report says the rupee is likely to "moderately depreciate" towards the 69 level in the next 9-12 months on the back of higher crude prices in the second half of next fiscal.

According to the global financial services major, the other factor that is expected to play a big role is the local currency's persistent inflation differential with trading partners.

"We expect INR-USD to moderately depreciate towards 69 over 9-12 months on the back of higher crude prices in the second half of FY17 and persistent inflation differential with trading partners," Citigroup said in a research report.

12:58 pm Market Update: The Sensex declined 108.55 points to 25221.94 and the Nifty slipped 33.35 points to 7681.55.

The market breadth remained weak as about 1252 shares declined against 1089 advancing shares on the BSE.

12:40 pm USL & Mallya deal under SEBI scanner: A property deal between United Spirits and Vijay Mallya has come under the Sebi scanner. Over and above the Rs 505-crore exit deal signed by Mallya with United Spirits, there was a property deal.

As a part of this, Mallya or a nominee of his choice would be allowed to purchase resident properties of United Spirits, which are the company's non-core properties at a significant discount. The initial discount was discussed and signed between the two players, according to which Mallya will get a 10 percent discount on three prime USL properties in Goa, Delhi and Mumbai.

As a result of the deal being scrutinised by Sebi, the market's regulator is also widened its ambit and is also looking at alleged violation of corporate governance and insider trading norms.

12:20 pm CAD to shrink further?: The current account deficit narrowed in the October-December quarter of 2015 and is likely to shrink further in the March quarter of this year, an HSBC report says.

According to the global financial services firm, weak exports - both goods and services - lower remittances and higher income outflows took the sheen off the improvement in the CAD figure for the December quarter.

India's current account deficit (CAD) narrowed to 1.3 percent of GDP in October-December as against 1.5 percent in the same period last year, mainly on account of a lower trade deficit.

"On the bright side, the monthly run rate for the trade deficit is tracking well under USD 10 billion in 2016, which should shrink CAD further in the March quarter," HSBC said in a research note.

12:00 pm Market Check: Equity benchmarks remained under pressure in noon trade. The 30-share BSE Sensex declined 104.35 points to 25226.14 and the 50-share NSE Nifty fell 25.70 points to 7689.20.

FMCG, oil and banking & financials stocks continued to see profit booking while metals, telecom, infra and select auto stocks gained.

Crude oil prices fell after figures from an industry group showed US crude stockpiles rose last week more than expected, reinforcing concerns that supply continues to exceed demand. US crude futures and Brent crude declined 1 percent each.

11:55 am Market outlook: Investors are gravitating towards value picks in the economy-facing sectors as they are running out of options, Ajay Srivastava, CEO, Dimensions Consulting tells CNBC-TV18.

Pharma and FMCG stocks now look risky--the latter because of rising competition--and IT stocks have been underperforming for a while. At the same time, sectors closely linked to the economy are available at attractive valuations, and can give good returns over the next couple of years, Srivastava says.

11:30 am Interview: Prestige Estates might see over 50 percent quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) jump in fourth quarter sales, as response to all the 3 new project launches in the third quarter has been good, said Irfan Razack, chairman and managing director of the company. Strong sales from the new launches had been factored into our FY16 revenue guidance of Rs 3500 crore given out in February, but it is likely to exceed that, Razack said. Prestige has completed 17 million square feet of space and deliveries have started, he said.

The market is struggling ahead as banks, FMCG and oil & gas were under pressure. The Sensex is down 146.47 points or 0.6 percent at 25184.02, and the Nifty is down 34.40 points or 0.4 percent at 7680.50. About 1007 shares have advanced, 1042 shares declined, and 134 shares are unchanged.

Hindalco, Bharti Airtel, Hero MotoCorp, Tata Steel and Adani Ports are top gainers while Reliance, ONGC, HDFC, NTPC and GAIL are losers in the Sensex.

Oil prices eased today as traders reacted calmly to the Brussels attacks and kept their eye on global oversupply ahead of a crucial producers' meeting in Qatar next month. WTI rose last week above USD 40 for the first time since December, boosted by a sharp drop in the dollar which generally makes crude less expensive. Renewed optimism that producers would strike a deal to freeze output also buoyed prices.

10:58 am Market Update: Benchmark indices extended losses with the Sensex falling 151.73 points to 25178.76 and the Nifty down 38.55 points to 7676.35.

In sectoral performance as reflected by the respective indices, oil & gas (-0.8 percent), FMCG (-0.6 percent), consumer durables (-0.6 percent) and IT (-0.2 percent) were under pressure, while metals (1.0 percent), capital goods (0.6 percent) and auto (0.3 percent) gained.    

Key Asian markets were trading weak. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was the biggest lower, down 117 points at 20549. Taiwan's Taiwan Index was down 43 points at 8742, Japan's Nikkei 225 was down 68 points at 16979, Korea's KOSPI was down 6 points at 1990, and China's Shanghai was down 9 points at 2990. Singapore was the only exception to the downtrend with the Straits Times up 2 points at 2882.

10:35 am Oil imports to drop: India will cut oil imports by 10 percent in next six years by raising domestic output, conserving fuel and shifting to alternate sources like natural gas, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said.

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set us a target of reducing oil import dependence by 10 percent by 2022. We are confident of achieving that in six years," he said at an event here.

Modi had set the target of reducing import dependence in March last year. He had sought the dependence to be cut to 66 percent from 77 percent dependence in 2013-14.

Import dependence has, however, risen since then to 78.5 percent in 2014-15 when India imported 189.4 million tonnes of crude oil for USD 112.7 billion. In February this had risen to 83.1 percent.

10:20 am Buzzing: Navin Fluorine International shares are locked at 20 percent upper circuit at Rs 1,697.25 on Wednesday after partnership with US company for refrigerant production technology. There were pending buy orders of 1,726 shares, with no sellers available on the BSE, at 10:13 hours IST.

Honeywell has entered into a supply agreement and technology license with India's speciality fluorochemicals manufacturer to produce Honeywell Solstice yf, an automobile (car) refrigerant with a global warming potential of lower than 1.

Honeywell will license its proprietary process technologies to produce the refrigerant to Navin Fluorine, which will manufacture Solstice yf in India exclusively for Honeywell. Small-scale production is expected to begin by end of 2016.

10:00 am Market Check
The market continued to be under pressure with the Sensex falling 66.91 points to 25263.58. The Nifty declined 14 points to 7700.90 while the BSE Midcap remained flat.

The market breadth was positive as about 1009 BSE shares advanced against 705 declining shares.

Hindalco Industries topped buying list on Sensex, up more than 3 percent followed by Bharti Airtel and Hero Motocorp with more than a percent gain while Reliance Industries, HDFC, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and Lupin declined 0.6-1 percent.

Oil prices fell after figures from an industry group showed US crude stockpiles rose last week more than expected, reinforcing concerns that supply continues to exceed demand. The front-month contract in US crude futures was down 46 cents at USD 40.99 a barrel. The contract has rebounded 58 percent since hitting its lowest level since 2003 in February.

Brent crude was 38 cents lower at USD 41.41, reversing gains in the previous session when it finished at USD 41.79. Brent has surged 53 percent since hitting a multi-year low in January of USD 27.10 a barrel.

9:55 am FII view: The Brussels attacks have disturbed the markets, says Ian Hui, Global Market Strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management in an interview to CNBC-TV18. However, he is hopeful of markets recovering soon.

The Belgium index ended in the green despite the attacks. This, he feels, owes a great deal to some good news over the last few days. Supportive measures from central banks, dovish reaction from the Fed meet and weakening USD have calmed worries in emerging markets (EM), he says, adding, there could be profit-booking in the aftermath of the attacks.

9:45 am Oil imports: India will cut oil imports by 10 percent in next six years by raising domestic output, conserving fuel and shifting to alternate sources like natural gas, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said.

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set us a target of reducing oil import dependence by 10 percent by 2022. We are confident of achieving that in six years," he said at an event here.

Modi had set the target of reducing import dependence in March last year. He had sought the dependence to be cut to 66 percent from 77 percent dependence in 2013-14.

9:30 am Buzzing: Shares of Kilburn Engineering gained 9 percent intraday as it has approved a proposal to merge McNally Bharat Engineering with itself.

The company at its meeting held of March 22, 2016 has approved in principle a proposal to merge McNally Bharat Engineering and McNally Sayaji Engineering and EMC with the company.

It will form a committee with a representative from each of the companies to oversee the preparation of a draft scheme of amalgamation.

The market has opened weak on Wednesday. The Sensex is down 68.30 points or 0.3 percent at 25262.19 and the Nifty is down 11.30 points or 0.1 percent at 7703.60. About 375 shares have advanced, 264 shares declined, and 25 shares are unchanged.

Hindalco, Tata Steel, Hero MotoCorp, Bharti and Coal India are top gainers while SBI, ICICI Bank, Reliance, Axis Bank Bank and HDFC are losers in the Sensex.

The Indian rupee has opened lower by 5 paise at 66.75 per dollar against previous close of 66.71 a dollar.

Mohan Shenoi of Kotak Mahindra Bank said, "With the end of the financial year approaching and a long holiday weekend in India, activity in currency markets is expected to be muted."

"The USD-INR pair is expected to trade in a range of 66.60-66.90/dollar today," he added.

The dollar rose as the euro and sterling weakened following attacks in Brussels weighing on investor risk sentiment and bolstering the view that Britain was more likely to vote to exit the european union.

Asian shares consolidated their gains, shaking off earlier losses following attacks on the airport and a rush-hour metro train in Brussels as investors look to a brightening global economic picture.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan slipped 0.2 percent but clung near 3 1/2-month high hit earlier this week while Japan's Nikkei inched up 0.1 percent.

Wall Street shares were mixed on Tuesday. The S&P 500 lost 0.09 percent while the Nasdaq Composite added 0.27 percent. But emerging markets fared better, with MSCI's emerging market index rising 0.2 percent to four-month high, having gained more than 20 percent from its seven-year trough high in January.