Sensex loses 371points, Nifty ends at 7615; SBI, Sun Pharma down 4%

3:30 pm Market closing: The Sensex snapped four-day winning streak on Monday, falling 371.16 points or 1.46 percent to 24966.40 on profit booking. The Nifty tanked 101.40 points or 1.31 percent to 7615.10.

About 1930 shares declined against 752 advancing shares on Bombay Stock Exchange.

ICICI Bank, Sun Pharma, Tata Motors, SBI, Hindalco, Tata Steel and BHEL were down 3-9 percent while NTPC gained 1 percent.

3:10 pm Govt's target of electrifying: The Power Ministry today said it has achieved the target of electrifying 7,000 villages in the current fiscal.

"During 2015-16, 7,012 villages have been electrified till date. Out of remaining 11,440 villages, 7,843 villages are to be electrified through grid, 3,148 villages are to be electrified through off-grid where grid solutions are out of reach due to geographical barriers and 449 villages are to be electrified by state government own," the Power Ministry said in a press release.

It said that total 1,654 villages were electrified during April 2015 to August 2015 and 5,358 additional villages have been added in this list during August 15, 2015 to March 27, 2016.

2:59 pm Market Update: The Sensex crashed 399.45 points or 1.58 percent to 24938.11 and the Nifty tanked 114.80 points or 1.49 percent to 7601.70.

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

2:50 pm MFs outflow: Logging their first net outflow in 21 months, mutual funds have pulled out nearly Rs 5,200 crore from stock markets in March on profit booking, although for the entire fiscal ending March 31 they have invested more than Rs 70,000 crore.

This was the first outflow since May 2014, when MFs had pulled out Rs 1,078 crore. Prior to that, they had been continuously infusing money in stock markets.

Despite the huge outflow in March, MFs registered a big net inflow of Rs 71,000 crore in the financial year 2015-16, ending this month.

"The reason for the huge outflow by MFs in the stock market could be two-fold. Firstly, since it is the financial year end, a lot of banks and corporates would have pulled out their investments to balance their books and meet the cash flow requirements," Wealthforce.com Founder Siddhant Jain said.

2:40 pm Buzzing: Shares of Sadbhav Infrastructure Project gained nearly 8 percent intraday on getting two road projects from National Highway Authority of India (NHAI).

"Company has been declared L1 for two projects by NHAI. One is four laning of Rampur-Kathgodam section of NH-87 from km 0.000 to km 42.791 [Package-I] in Uttar Pradesh and second is on same section from km 42.791 to km 88 [Package-II] in Uttarakhand under NHDP-III on Hybrid Annuity Mode," says the subsidiary of Sadbhav Engineering.

Construction period for both projects is 730 days each and operational period is 15 years from date of commercial operation.

2:30 pm Market Update: Equity benchmarks extended losses with the Sensex falling 305.14 points or 1.20 percent to 25032.42 and the Nifty declining 87.40 points or 1.13 percent to 7629.10.

2:15 pm FM on interest rates: Justifying slashing of interest rate on small saving instruments like PPF, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said interest rates in India are "extraordinarily" high and the country risks becoming the most sluggish economy if lending rates continue to rule high.

The existing tax-free interest rate of up to 8.7 percent on small saving instruments translates into an effective interest of 12-13 percent on deposits. Correspondingly, the lending rate, which is always a notch above deposits rate, would be 14-15 percent, he told PTI in an interview here.

"On small savings, India's interest rates are extraordinarily high. And high interest rate prevents growth," he said.

Citing the example of 8.7 percent tax free interest on Public Provident Fund (PPF) investments, he said this translates into an interest rate of 12.5 percent or 13 percent including tax benefit.

2:00 pm Market Check
The market fell 1 percent in afternoon trade following crash in Europe. The 30-share BSE Sensex slipped 258.97 points to 25078.59 and the 50-share NSE Nifty tanked 73.15 points to 7643.35.

The market breadth remained weak as about three shares declined for every share advancing on the BSE. The BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices fell more than 1 percent.

Metals stocks crashed with the Nifty Metal index falling nearly 5 percent. Vedanta and Hindalco Industries tanked 8 percent each followed by Tata Steel with 5 percent loss.

Major lenders State Bank of India and ICICI Bank dropped 4 percent each followed by Axis Bank, Punjab National Bank and Bank of Baroda with 2-3 percent loss.

HDFC, L&T, Bharti Airtel and Maruti Suzuki were down 1.5-3 percent.

1:25 pm Panacea launch: Drug firm Panacea Biotec today launched Cabapan injection, an indigenously developed drug for treating prostate cancer. Used in the treatment of metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer, it has been developed by the company at its Mumbai-based R&D Centre in compliance with the global current good manufacturing practices (cGMP), Panacea Biotec said in a regulatory filing. The company is manufacturing the product at its Baddi, Himachal Pradesh-based manufacturing facility, it added.

"The launch of Cabapan reflects the hard work of Panacea Biotec's scientists who worked tenaciously for the development of this drug," Panacea Biotec Joint Managing Director Rajesh Jain said. Prostate is the second leading site of cancer amongst males in India.

1:15 pm Buzzing: Steel Strips Wheels today said it has bagged orders worth over 15-million euros (over Rs 110 crore) to supply steel wheels to French automotive firm PSA Peugeot Citroen over a five-year period.

The supplies will be for PSA's upcoming new plant at Kenitra in Morocco and their existing plants in Poissy, France and Vigo in Spain, the company said in a BSE filing. "

Total project volume would be approximately 1.72 million wheels spread over five years generating cumulative revenue of about 15 million euros," it added.

1:00 pm Market Check
Equity benchmarks as well as broader markets fell further in afternoon trade, weighed down by metals, banking & financials, infra and select auto stocks.

The 30-share BSE Sensex declined 180.89 points to 25156.67 and the 50-share NSE Nifty fell 45.35 points to 7671.15. The BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices also slipped 0.7 percent each.

About two shares declined for every share advancing on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Vedanta, Hindalco Industries, Tata Steel, Sun Pharma, Punjab National Bank, SBI and ICICI Bank plunged 2-6.5 percent while Ambuja Cements, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Bosch, Power Grid Corporation and BPCL gained 1-2 percent.

12:40 pm Buzzing: GVK Power & Infrastructure shares gained more than 10 percent intraday on divestment of 33 percent shareholding in Bangalore International Airport.

"GVK will divest 33 percent stake in Bangalore International Airport (BIAL) to Fairfax India Holdings Corporation and Fairfax Financial Holdings, through their wholly-owned subsidiaries in Mauritius," says the Hyderabad-based company in its filing.

The company decided to sell its stake in the Bangalore airport for Rs 2,149 crore (approximately USD 321 million).

After completion of transaction, there would be a reduction of debt burden of around Rs 2,000 crore and saving of interest cost around Rs 300 crore per annum, says GVK. The stake sale is expected to complete by middle of 2016.

12:20 pm CLSA on crude: Christopher Wood of CLSA says the 'risk-on' trade continues to be supported by the recovery in oil price amid hopes of a production freeze being agreed at the forthcoming summit meeting between Saudi Arabia and Russia scheduled for April 17.

The result is that the oil price continues to trade in the USD 40-45/bbl range which is a lot better than USD 30 a barrel but is not high enough to encourage renewed shale production, he adds.

According to him, this would seem ideal for Saudi.

"Indeed the latest data suggests US oil production is finally starting to decline following the massive collapse in the rig count. US crude oil production has declined by 6 percent since peaking in June 2015 to 9.04 million barrels per day in the week ended 18 March, the lowest level since November 2014. While the US oil rig count peaked at 1609 in October 2014 and has since declined by 76 percent to 387," says Wood.

12:00 pm Market Check
Equity benchmarks remained under pressure with the Nifty struggling below 7700 level, tracking weakness in Asian peers.

The 30-share BSE Sensex declined 117.38 points to 25220.18 and the 50-share NSE Nifty slipped 27.75 points to 7688.75. The BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices were down half a percent each.

The market breadth was also weak as about 1446 shares declined against 842 advancing shares on BSE.

FMCG, metals, select banking & financials and oil stocks pulled the market down while Infosys and HDFC Bank outperformed.

11:55 am Market Update: Equity benchmarks continued to be under pressure as the Sensex down 140.02 points to 25197.54 and the Nifty falling 32.90 points to 7683.60.

11:40 am Buzzing: Monnet Ispat and Energy shares rallied more than 9 percent intraday after shareholders last week have approved the proposal to sell company's stake in a power subsidiary firm.

In a regulatory filing on March 26, Monnet Ispat said shareholders have approved special resolution for "sale/transfer of the stake of the company in its subsidiary Monnet Power Company (MPCL)." The approval was sought through postal ballot.

MPCL, in which MIEL has 87.5 percent stake, is setting up a thermal power plant of 1,050 MW capacity in Angul (Odisha). Its capacity is further being raised to 1,710 MW by adding additional 660 MW (super critical turbine) at the same site, as per the information on Monnet Ispat's website.

11:20 am Interview: The steps undertaken by the government have helped reduce imports, says Seshagiri Rao, Joint MD & Group CFO of JSW Steel . But it will be a while before imports are likely to fall further, he adds.

In the recent past, JSW shut down three units where its capacity had fallen and hence the December quarter won't be impressive, he says, adding this March quarter, would be better.

Rao says global steel prices have moved up to USD 100 per tonne. But the price increase may not be sustainable, he feels.

He says supply-side adjustments have already kicked in. But any rebalancing in prices will take a while, he adds.

11:00 am Market Check
The market extended losses with the Nifty struggling below 7700, weighed down by oil, banking & financials, metals and select pharma stocks. The broader markets to caught in bear grip as the BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices declined 0.4 percent each.

The 30-share BSE Sensex slipped 126.41 points to 25211.15 and the 50-share NSE Nifty declined 27.80 points to 7688.70. The market breadth continued to be negative as about 1224 shares declined against 862 advancing shares on the BSE.

ICICI Bank, Sun Pharma and Hindalco fell more than 2 percent followed by Reliance Industries and HDFC with more than a percent loss.

Oil prices rose in Asian trading after a three-day break, but volumes were tiny as a number of markets remain on holiday for Easter. US crude's front-month contract was up 34 cents at 39.80 a barrel and Brent's front-month rose 31 cents to USD 40.75 a barrel.

10:58 am Market Update: The market extended losses with the Sensex falling 113.04 points to 25224.52 and the Nifty declining 27.20 points to 7689.30.

The market breadth remained weak as about 1206 shares declined against advancing 872 shares on BSE.

10:40 am FII View: The current rebound in the Indian market is due to the global market rally and a relief on the macro side, said Neelkanth Mishra, Head of Equity Strategy India at Credit Suisse in an interview to CNBC-TV18.

The Indian economy is doing much better than what consensus thinks, Mishra said.

Poor-performing agriculture and banking sectors could have dragged the markets down, but that didn't happen, he added.

He expects 2016 to be a volatile year.

Focus needs to be on companies catering to domestic needs, he said, adding that mortgage poroviders will be on Credit Suisse's radar.

10:20 am Jefferies on IT cos: Global IT services major Accenture's strong earnings for the February quarter was driven by growth across all verticals and key geographies, notes broking firm Jefferies.

''This should allay recent concerns on growth in Banking and Financial services and Europe; each contributes over 30 percent of revenues for the top 4 Indian IT players,'' says the Jefferies note.

Jefferies top three picks in the Indian IT space are TCS , Infosys and Tech Mahindra .

"While longer term concerns on the slowing growth, pricing pressures and cannibalization from automation for the Indian vendors remain, Accenture's results should allay more recent concerns on BFSI and Europe, overall deal flow and broad outlook for FY17," says the Jefferies note.

"However, this should not discount the fact that Accenture's success is a result of its strong execution in digital and consulting, also helped by the fact that they are better positioned for it from a delivery, sales and client profile perspective (revenue productivity at 1.7-1.8 times of Indian vendors)," the note says.

10:00 am Market Check
Equity benchmarks were marginally under pressure in morning trade with the Sensex falling 61.04 points to 25276.52. The Nifty declined 18.25 points to 7698.25, dragged by banking & financials, pharma, FMCG and capital goods stocks.

The broader markets too were down 0.4 percent on weak market breadth. About 934 shares declined against 800 advancing shares on Bombay Stock Exchange.

Shares of HDFC, Sun Pharma, ICICI Bank, Tata Motors, Axis Bank, Hindalco Industries and Tata Steel topped selling list on Sensex, down 1-3 percent while TCS and Adani Ports gained over a percent.

9:35 am Market Expert: There is no evidence to suggest that the good run in equities is getting over, but it is definitely time for investors to get catious says Udayan Mukherjee, Consulting Editor, CNBC-TV18.

Mukherjee says he will will closely watch global commodity prices and the dollar index.

He says the recent correction in crude prices and the sell off in Brazilian equities should give reason for investors to pause, because these assets were at the heart of the rally in the global markets.

Mukherjee says the upswing still has momentum and investos should not go short on the market at these levels.

9:15 am Market Check
After a long weekend, the market has started off the week on a flat note, tracking mixed Asian cues. The 30-share BSE Sensex rose 10.54 points to 25348.10 and the 50-share NSE Nifty advanced 1.30 points to 7717.80.

Technology stocks rallied after strong Accenture results and full year guidance. Infosys, TCS and Wipro gained 1-2 percent.

Adani Ports climbed over a percent after a media report suggested that Adani group has offered 49 percent stake in the Rs 5,000 crore Dhamra LNG project.

Banks and pharma stocks were under pressure. HDFC, Sun Pharma, ICICI Bank, Reliance Industries and Tata Motors were down 0.4-1.4 percent.

The Indian rupee slipped in the early trade today. It has opened lower by 26 paise at 66.90 per dollar versus 66.64 Wednesday.

Dollar gained against a basket of currencies after a chorus of US Federal Reserve officials signalled more interest rate increases than the market had been pricing in.

Asian markets were trading mixed with the Nikkei and Shanghai rising half a percent.