Sensex, Nifty snap 2-day gain; banks, infra stocks outperform

3:30 pm Market Closing: Equity benchmarks snapped two-day winning streak on Friday, dragged by profit booking and weak global cues. The Sensex fell 72.22 points to 25269.64 and the Nifty declined 25.35 points to 7713.05.

However, the broader markets outperformed benchmarks. The BSE Midcap gained 0.2 percent and Smallcap rose 0.9 percent. About two shares advanced for every share declining on BSE.

Shares of TCS, Bharti Airtel, Reliance Industries, Infosys, Tata Motors and ONGC were down 1-4 percent while ITC, L&T, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank and BHEL gained 1-3 percent.

3:05 pm Coal production: Coal India said its production in FY16 increased by 8.6 percent to 536.5 million tonnes and offtake jumped 8.8 percent to 532.32 million tonne compared to previous year.

2:59 pm Market Update: The Sensex fell 66.80 points to 25275.06 and the Nifty declined 25 points to 7713.40. About 1615 shares advanced against 819 declining shares on BSE.

2:45 pm BHEL commissions plant: State-owned power equipment maker Bhel today said it has commissioned its 5th 500 MW unit at Chandrapur Super Thermal Power Project (STPP) in Maharashtra.

"With this, 9 coal-based sets aggregating to 3,340 MW, all supplied and commissioned by Bhel, are now operational at Chandrapur STPP of Maharashtra State Power Generation Co. Ltd (MAHAGENCO)," Bhel said in press release.

The commissioned unit is the second 500 MW unit of Stage-III (2x500 MW) of the project being executed by Bhel.

Bhel has been a major partner in the power development programme of the state of Maharashtra.

2:30 pm SRF in news: Diversified firm SRF today said its board has approved a proposal to set up a pilot plant to manufacture next generation refrigerant gas.

The initiative will make the company the first technology developer outside the US and Europe to manufacture this gas, which is expected to find increasing use in car air-conditioning systems globally in future, SRF said in a regulatory filing.

"The Board of Directors of SRF Ltd has approved an investment proposal for setting up of a pilot plant to manufacture next generation refrigerant gas (HFO 1234yf)," it said.

By venturing to develop its own process through in-house R&D (research and development) capabilities in refrigerant gases, it said adding the company has reinforced its expertise in this niche domain.

2:15 pm Interview: The year gone by was an average year for motown as a whole, but Maruti has been able to one-up the industry, thanks to its disruptive approach, said RS Kalsi, ED of sales and marketing at Maruti Suzuki .

Maruti's sales rose 16% in March to 129,345 units.

Kalsi told CNBC-TV18 that the industry grew 7 percent, whereas Maruti saw a growth of 11 percent for FY16.

The company plans to focus on network expansion going forward.

Brezza, the company's recent launch in the SUV category, has crossed 30,000 bookings, he said.

The waiting period for the car is now close to 3 months, Kalsi said.

2:00 pm Market Check
The market trimmed losses in afternoon trade due to rebound in select banks. The Sensex fell 97.64 points to 25244.22 and the Nifty declined 33.85 points to 7704.55.

The market breadth continued to be positive. About 1534 shares advanced against 820 declining shares on BSE.

March was strong for auto sales. Commercial vehicle companies like Ashok Leyland and Eicher Motors saw growth of 31 percent and 50 percent, respectively. Maruti registered 15.9 percent growth and Mahindra & Mahindra has 17 percent growth.

2:20 pm Buzzing: Shares of Alkem Laboratories today fell by 7 percent as the UK health regulator made eight observations after inspecting its manufacturing plant at Taloja, Maharashtra.

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulator Agency (UKMHRA) had conducted an inspection at the company's facility at Taloja earlier last month with respect to marketing authorisation applications made by the company to the EU countries.

"The company has received inspection report from the UKMHRA on March 30 where eight observations have been made by the regulator. The company is in the process of putting together responses to address observations made by the UKMHRA," Alkem Laboratories had said in a regulatory filing yesterday.

2:00 pm Market Check
The market extended losses in afternoon trade on weak European cues. The Sensex fell 170.56 points to 25171.30 and the Nifty declined 55.25 points to 7683.15, dragged by technology, private banks, oil and pharma stocks.

The market breadth continued to be positive as about 1417 shares advanced against 828 declining shares on BSE.

European markets traded sharply lower ahead of the closely-watched US jobs data which could reveal more about the state of health of the US economy. The pan-European STOXX 600 was down 1.1 percent. France's CAC and Germany's DAX lost 1.7 percent each.

Economists are forecasting that a healthy 205,000 jobs were created in March and that unemployment held steady at 4.9 percent. However, there is speculation that the jobs number could come in lower, given that the March data has tended to come in below consensus forecasts for a number of years.

Meanwhile in Asia, markets opened the new quarter on the back foot today, trading lower despite better-than-expected China manufacturing surveys, as a reading on Japan's economy disappointed investors.

12:40 pm HCL Tech in news: HCL Technologies ' board has approved the acquisition of a majority stake in Mumbai-based engineering solutions company Geometric , sources have told CNBC-TV18.

The deal, likely to be valued at a little over USD 200 million, has been speculated by the market for a long time and may be announced as soon as today.

Sources say HCL will buy 37 percent stake from Godrej Investments, Godrej & Boyce Manufacturing Company and founder and Chief Executive Officer Manu Parpia in the company. Parpia holds 6.7 percent stake in Geometric. The stake buy will trigger an open offer.

12:20 pm Market Expert: While low Q4 earnings are mostly priced in, the numbers when the come will hit the market sentiment, said Nischal Maheshwari, Head of Institutional Equities at Edelweiss Securities.

However, Maheshwari said that with the consumption-focused Budget, growth in the economy will be visible from the third or fourth quarter of FY17.

''Most of the building blocks seem to be falling in place for the economy,'' he said.

12:00 pm Market Check
Equity benchmarks continued to see profit booking but broader markets maintained outperformance. The BSE Midcap index gained 0.2 percent and Smallcap rose 0.8 percent as about two shares advanced for every share declining on exchange.

The 30-share BSE Sensex declined 94.19 points to 25247.67 and the 50-share NSE Nifty slipped 29.70 points to 7708.70.

Just ahead of the Union Budget, with the market trading close to 23,000 levels and a lot of pessimism building in, Manishi Raychaudhuri of BNP Paribas told CNBC-TV18 he expects the benchmark to reach 29,000 by December this year.

A month and a 2,300-point gain on, he is sticking to the call.

Reliance Industries, TCS, HDFC Bank, Bharti Airtel and Tata Motors were top five contributors' to Sensex fall.

Asian markets started the new quarter on the back foot today, trading lower despite better-than-expected China manufacturing surveys, as a reading on Japan's economy disappointed and traders awaited US nonfarm payrolls data later. China's Shanghai fell 3.5 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 1 percent.

11:50 am Maruti sales: Maruti Suzuki sales grew by 15.9 percent to 1.29 lakh units in March, aided by domestic sales growth of 14.6 percent and exports 33.4 percent.

11:40 am Interview: Speaking to CNBC-TV18, ML Mittal, MD of Bharat Wire Ropes, said the company plans to establish one of the largest plants in Asia which will have a capacity of 66,000 tonnes.        

He expects revenue of more than Rs 600 crore over 2 years and an EBITDA of 25-30 percent.

Mittal further targets a net profit of Rs 75-80 crore in FY18.

The issue size for its IPO was Rs 70 crore and was priced at Rs 45 per share.

The company is engaged in manufacturing wires and wire ropes to engineering, power transmission, infrastructure and other sectors.

11:30 am March sales: Ashok Leyland reported strong growth in March sales. Total sales increased by 31 percent to 16,702 vehicles during the month compared to year-ago period.

Medium and heavy commercial vehicle sales jumped 32 percent to  13,240.

11:15 am SME IPOs: To tap the upbeat investor sentiments, as many as 23 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have filed draft papers in the first quarter ending March 31, to raise over Rs 200 crore through their initial public offerings. The shares will be listed on the SME platforms of the BSE and National Stock Exchange (NSE). In the first quarter ending March 31 this year, 23 companies filed initial public offer (IPO) papers to mop up Rs 202.10 crore.

In comparison, 12 firms filed draft papers in the January-March period of 2015. Of these 23 companies, 17 firms have filed papers to launch IPOs on BSE's SME platform, while the remaining six plan to list on NSE Emerge. Proceeds of the issue will be used towards business expansion plans, working capital requirements and for other general corporate purposes.

11:00 am Market Check
The market continued to see marginal selling pressure with the Sensex falling 111.71 points to 25230.15, The Nifty slipped 35.75 points to 7702.65 but the broader markets remained firm.

The BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices gained 0.2 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively. About two shares advanced against 672 declining shares on BSE.

Bharti Airtel plunged 3 percent followed by TCS, Tata Motors, Lupin and ONGC with more than 1.6 percent loss. L&T, ITC and BHEL were top gainers on Sensex, up 2 percent, 1.7 percent and 4.5 percent, respectively.

10:50 am USFDA nod: Zydus Cadila has received final approval from the US Food and Drug Administration to market Carboplatin injection.

The group now has more than 100 approvals and has so far filed over 280 ANDAs, since commencement of filing process in FY04.

10:40 am Bharat Wire listing: Bharat Wire Ropes saw strong debut on Friday, opening 5 percent higher at Rs 47.25 on National Stock Exchange but could not sustain gains for long.

The stock fell marginally below issue price of Rs 45, trading at Rs 44.90 (at 10:38 hours IST).

Bharat Wire Ropes raised Rs 70 crore through public issue that was open for subscription during March 18-22.

The Maharashtra-based specialty wire ropes manufacturer will use issue proceeds for setting up a manufacturing plant at Chalisgaon in Maharashtra and for other general corporate purposes.

10:20 am FII View: Just ahead of the Union Budget, with the market trading close to 23,000 levels and a lot of pessimism building in, Manishi Raychaudhuri of BNP Paribas told CNBC-TV18 he expects the benchmark to reach 29,000 by December this year.

A month and a 2,300-point gain on, he is sticking to the call.

"We have covered ground since our last call. We think the rest of the gains will come through largely earnings growth and some through market re-rating," he said.

Analysts have on average forecast earnings to grow about 15-17 percent in fiscal year 2017 (despite corporate earnings being about flat for two years now).

Raychaudhuri said he was more modest in his earnings expectations, at about 12-14 percent, and said that a marginal rise in the PE ratio would take the Sensex to the brokerage's 29,000 target.

10:00 am Market Check
Equity benchmarks continued to consolidate with a negative bias with the Sensex falling 7.17 points to 25334.69 and the Nifty declining 5.20 points to 7733.20.

However, the broader markets outperformed benchmarks. The BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices gained 0.5 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively on strong market breadth. More than two shares advanced for every share declining on BSE.

Reliance Industries, Bharti Airtel, Tata Motors, Lupin, M&M and Adani Ports were down 1-3 percent while ITC, L&T and Wipro gained over a percent.

BHEL topped buying list on Sensex, up over 6 percent.

9:45 am Geometric board meet: Mumbai-based engineering solutions company Geometric will hold a board meeting today evening to discuss its restructuring options.

Among the plans would be a likely stake sale by Godrej Investments and Godrej & Boyce Manufacturing Company and founder and Chief Executive Officer Manu Parpia in the company. Parpia holds 6.7 percent stake in  Geometric .

The word in the media is HCL Technologies could be a likely buyer. It would be looking to acquire 37 percent in Geometric.

It would be a share-swap deal which would see 1 share of HCL being offered for every four shares of Geometric, reports CNBC-TV18. Anything higher would benefit Geometric.

9:35 am Buzzing: Shares of MEP Infrastructure Developers rose 3 percent intraday as the company has declared as the successful bidder by National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).

The company in joint venture with Sanjose India Infrastructure & Construction has been declared as the successful bidder by NHAI for four laning stand alone
ring road/ bypass for the Nagpur city package I in the state of Maharashtra on hybrid annuity mode.

The construction period for the said project is 30 months from the appointment date and concession period is 15 years above the construction period.

The net present value of bid project cost and O&M bid is of Rs 493.89 crore.

9:15 am Market Check
The market has started off April series and financial year 2016-17 on a negative note, tracking weak Asian cues. The Sensex fell 79.75 points to 25262.11 and the Nifty declined 30.05 points to 7708.35 on profit booking.

Bharti Airtel, GAIL, Hindalco, Tata Steel, M&M, Aurobindo Pharma and BPCL were losers in early trade while BHEL, Wipro, Coal India, ITC, Cipla, Asian Paints, HCL Tech and Wipro gained.

Jaiprakash Associates rallied 4.7 percent and UltraTech Cement gained nearly 1 percent after both companies signed a cement assets deal. UltraTech decided to buy cement assets of JP Associates for Rs 15,900 crore, excluding Karnataka plant and coal mines.

Foreign institutional investors bought more than Rs 4,000 crore worth of equity shares in previous session (as per provisional data on exchange), totalling to more than Rs 24,000 crore in March. However, in FY16, they sold more than Rs 17,000 crore worth of shares.

In Asia, Tokyo was trading over 2 percent down while Shanghai and Hong Kong were off with minor losses.

In asset classes, the US Dollar Index hit a five-month low, crude slipped marginally while gold held steady.