Sensex, Nifty end flat; banks surge, infra & IT stocks down

3:30 pm Market closing: After a stellar rally, the market ended flat before turning into red. The Sensex closed up 36.20 points or 0.1 percent at 25880.38, and the Nifty slipped 2.70 points at 7912.05. About 1080 shares advanced, 1496 shares declined, and 151 shares were unchanged.

ICICI Bank, SBI, Coal India, Axis Bank and ONGC were top gainers while Wipro, BHEL, Hero MotoCorp, ITC and Infosys were losers in the Sensex.

3:00 pm Market check: IndusInd Bank's net profit rose 25 percent to Rs 620 crore in the January-March quarter from Rs 495.3 crore in year-ago period. During the period, its net interest income (NII) increased 37 percent to Rs 1268.2 crore from Rs 925.1 crore on annual basis.

According to a CNBC-TV18 poll, the private sector lender was expected to report profit up 27 percent year-on-year at Rs 629.2 crore. Net interest income is seen going up 33 percent to Rs 1,230.6 crore in Q4.

Its asset quality fell in Q4, with gross non-performing assets at 0.87 percent versus 0.82 percent and net NPA at 0.36 percent versus 0.33 percent (QoQ). Its provisions, in Q4, was at Rs 213.6 crore against Rs 177 crore (QoQ).

2:55 pm Market in red: The market has slipped into red. The Sensex is down 44.59 points or 0.2 percent at 25799.59, and the Nifty down 19.40 points or 0.2 percent at 7895.35. About 1041 shares have advanced, 1451 shares declined, and 149 shares are unchanged. Wipro, BHEL, Infosys, ITC and Hero are losers in the Sensex.

2:30 pm Pharma update: Glenmark Pharmaceuticals said it has received three observations from the US health regulator for its Pithampur, Indore plant. However, the company said it has responded to the observations issued by the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA). "The Indore plant was inspected by USFDA in February 2016 and we received three observations from them which were responded to in March 2016," Glenmark Pharmaceuticals said in a regulatory filing.

The market is still holding gains. The Sensex is up 98.14 points or 0.4 percent at 25942.32, and the Nifty is up 18.45 points or 0.2 percent at 7933.20. About 1135 shares have advanced, 1290 shares declined, and 148 shares are unchanged.

ICICI Bank, SBI, Axis Bank, Coal India and Tata Motors are top gainers while Wipro, BHEL, ITC, Bajaj Auto and Infosys are among losers in the Sensex.

The ECB is due to meet today but the central bank is widely expected to hold interest rates steady following its decision last month to cut its main interest rates, expand its bond-buying program to 80 billion euros (USD 90.3 billion) a month and add corporate bonds into the mix.

European equities were mixed in early Thursday's trade, as a disappointing set of earnings weighed on the market ahead of a closely watched monetary policy decision from ECB.

1:55 pm Pharma update: Glenmark Pharmaceuticals said it has received three observations from the US health regulator for its Pithampur, Indore plant. However, the company said it has responded to the observations issued by the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA). "The Indore plant was inspected by USFDA in February 2016 and we received three observations from them which were responded to in March 2016," Glenmark Pharmaceuticals said in a regulatory filing.

Glenmark Pharmaceuticals today said it has received three observations from the US health regulator for its Pithampur, Indore plant. However, the company said it has responded to the observations issued by the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA). "The Indore plant was inspected by USFDA in February 2016 and we received three observations from them which were responded to in March 2016," Glenmark Pharmaceuticals said in a regulatory filing.

Glenmark Pharmaceuticals today said it has received three observations from the US health regulator for its Pithampur, Indore plant. However, the company said it has responded to the observations issued by the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA). "The Indore plant was inspected by USFDA in February 2016 and we received three observations from them which were responded to in March 2016," Glenmark Pharmaceuticals said in a regulatory filing.

1:30 pm Market outlook: Returns on banking stocks is likely to mirror the improvement in corporate health, especially if balance sheet repair, correction in the policy framework for addressing bad loans in the corporate sector plays out and government policy and the macros are constructive, Dipen Sheth, Head Institutional research, HDFC Securities tells CNBC-TV18.

"As recently as yesterday, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has eased the pressure on the corporate facing banks telling them that here are 20 companies for which your exposures need not necessarily attract incremental provisioning. And I believe Jaiprakash figures there somewhere in that list. So, the ICICI Banks of the world are rocking, so to say. I think this is the first step in a long series of steps required for healing. Are all the answers available right now? No. Is the direction right? Most certainly," he adds.

The market has gone flat as the 50-share index is below 7950. The Nifty is up 14.10 points or 0.1 percent at 7928.85 and the Sensex is up 75.29 points or 0.29% at 25919.47. About 1104 shares have advanced, 1230 shares declined, and 148 shares are unchanged.

ICICI Bank, SBI, Axis Bank, Coal India and ONGC are top gainers while Wipro, BHEL, ITC, M&M and Bajaj Auto are losers in the Sensex. FMCG and IT indices are under pressure.

Crude prices rose, reversing earlier declines, as the International Energy Agency (IEA) said that 2016 would see the biggest fall in non-OPEC production in a generation, helping rebalance a market that has been dogged by oversupply.

Weighing on markets were earlier statements by Russia and Iran. Russia's energy minister said it might push oil production to historic highs of over 12 million barrels per day (bpd) just days after a global deal to freeze output levels collapsed and Saudi Arabia threatened to flood markets with more crude.

12:55 pm New tie-up:  Shemaroo Entertainment has tied up with Dish TV to launch a new premium service called Miniplex. This is a movie service which will premiere latest movies every Friday for subscription fee of Rs 60 per month.

This service, which is still in its build up phase, will boost company's profits in FY18, Shemaroo's Wholetime Director & CFO Hiren Gada, told CNBC-TV18.

The company is looking to tie up with other non-DTH platform as well, he added.

12:30 pm Upcoming IPO: Diagnostics company Thyrocare Technologies fixed the price band between Rs 420 to Rs 446 crore for its initial public offering (IPO) to raise approximately Rs 480 crore. "We have fixed the price band from Rs 420 to Rs 446 per equity share to raise funds through IPO of 100 per cent offer for sale. At upper price band, we will raise around Rs 480 crore," Thyrocare Chairman A Velumani told reporters here. The company's IPO will hit the capital markets on April 27 and is scheduled to close on April 29.

The market continues upmove as the Sensex is up 125.74 points or 0.5 percent at 25969.92. The Nifty is up 25.45 points or 0.3 percent at 7940.20. About 1092 shares have advanced, 1046 shares declined, and 112 shares are unchanged.

ICICI Bank, SBI, Axis Bank, ONGC and Tata Motors are top gainers while Wipro, BHEL, ITC, Bharti and M&M are down.

Crude oil rose 0.69 percent to Rs 2,939 per barrel in futures market today as speculators indulged in creating speculative positions, taking positive cues from Asian markets. Analysts said speculative positions created by traders after oil prices today built on recent gains after data showed US production fell to 18-month lows and Iraq pushed for a fresh meeting of crude majors on limiting output, influenced crude futures.

The advances come just days after the collapse of weekend talks aimed at negotiating an output freeze, which had fuelled worries a global supply glut would continue.

11:50 am Outlook on new listing: Chennai-based microfinance institution (MFI) Equitas Holdings  today had a stellar listing on the bourses, with shares rising over 30 percent.

But Digant Haria, AVP - Equity Research, Antique Stock Broking, believes the easy money has been made in the stock following the gains and that going forward, only long-term investors should get into it.

"The company will make for a fine small finance bank. It has exposure to secured lending, has technology [but it may be in the price]," he said.

11:30 am Interview: Orders for power generation equipments have seen a sudden surge due to a strong performance in the power distribution and transmission segment, including NTPC , says Jitendra Mamtora, Chairman of Transformers and Rectifiers (India).

Roll out of tenders by Power Grid, NTPC and various utilities have also gone up, adds Mamtora.

Mamtora says that 70 percent of the company's capacity is booked for FY17.

The orderbook for the company in third quarter was Rs 250 crore and on April 1, the orderbook jumped to Rs 1,000 crore, which is only 70 percent of the total capacity of the company.

After an initial gush, the market has cooled off a bit. The Sensex is up 106.72 points or 0.4 percent at 25950.90, and the Nifty is up 20.95 points or 0.2 percent at 7935.70. About 1066 shares have advanced, 992 shares declined, and 114 shares are unchanged.

ICICI Bank, SBI, Axis Bank, Tata Motors and ONGC are top gainers while Wipro, BHEL, ITC, Hero MotoCorp and Bharti Airtel are losers in the Sensex.

Oil prices today built on recent gains after data showed US production fell to 18-month lows and Iraq pushed for a fresh meeting of crude majors on limiting output.

Upbeat economic readings from China, the world's biggest energy user, expectations the Federal Reserve will not hike interest rates before June, and a series of easing measures by central banks have fuelled optimism in world markets recently. Prices surged four percent to near five-month highs Wednesday after the US energy department revealed the dip production last week to levels not seen since October 2014.

10:55 am Interview: The National Highway Authority in India (NHAI), on Wednesday, raised its road construction target for FY17, which seems achievable with the amount of Budget allocated to the sector this year, said K Ramchand, MD of IL&FS Transportation Networks.

While the construction target has been set at 15,000 km for the new fiscal year, about 25,000 km has been pegged as a target for awarding national highways projects.

Speaking to CNBC-TV18, Ramchand said the target of 6,000 km was a huge improvement last year. The constructions sector, particularly the road players, will be in a position to participate in the big boom going forward, he said.

10:30 am Political parties income: Total income of five national parties, including BJP and BSP, touched Rs 1,275.79 crore in 2014-15 period, with most of the amount coming from grants and donations, says a report. Out of the total donations, around 55 percent or Rs 582.72 crore came from "donors whose details are not available in the public domain," as per the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR). The figures have been compiled from the annual audited accounts submitted by five political parties -- BJP, BSP, NCP, CPM and CPI. "The five national parties (BJP, BSP, NCP, CPM and CPI) have declared a total income of Rs 1,275.79 crore, collected from all over India," it said in a release.

The market continues to rally supported by banks and oil stocks. The Sensex is up 210 points or 0.8 percent at 26054.18, and the Nifty is up 55.65 points or 0.7 percent at 7970.40. About 1223 shares have advanced, 589 shares declined, and 79 shares are unchanged.

ICICI Bank, SBI, Tata Motors, Axis Bank and GAIL are top gainers while wipro is still down 6 percent. Other losers in the Sensex are ITC, Bharti Airtel, Tata Steel and Infosys.

Equitas Holdings debuted at the exchanges at Rs 146.53 per share, up 33 percent from issue price of Rs 110. The IPO was opened from April 5-7, at a price band of Rs 109-110 per share.

CNBC-TV18 Consulting Editor Udayan Mukherjee, who has been circumspect for a while now, says he is surprised by the momentum.

"There are two reasons for the global bounceback. Till a few months ago, investors were starting to price in a doomsday scenario [which hasn't played out]. Further, central bank actions seem to have unleashed carry trades," he told CNBC-TV18.

On the domestic front, he said there have indeed been green shoots that point to improvement in the economy going forward: auto and cement sales, macro data, monetary policy moves and prospects of an above-average monsoon. But he said investors should not attribute the Indian market rally to these factors as virtually all markets have rallied globally.

9:55 am Highway: Government is considering a USD 2-3 billion project for installing safety features like construction of underpasses and pedestrian crossings at national highways, a top official said today. "A proposal worth USD 2-3 billion has been sent to the Highways Ministry and is getting approval," National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) Chairman Raghav Chandra said at an event on road safety here. He said the country accounts for a high number of road accidents every year in which around 1.5 lakh people lose lives. Many of these accidents occur due to lack of safety features on highways, he added.

9:30 am Result analysis: Wipro has shown a lacklustre topline growth and is on a long journey to return to industry-like growth, said Moshe Katri, MD of CRT Sterne Agee. In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Katri said it is going to take some time before the company regains a higher topline growth. Discussing other largecap tech stocks, he said Infosys and TCS have been faring well in the IT space. He is of the view that Infosys has so far done an incredible job in reclaiming the lost market share and it must articulate on ways of transition of its legacy business into digital. The stock, Katri adds, can see upside if the company shows better than 13 percent growth rate, going forward.

The market has opened strong riding high on global markets. The Sensex is up 121.41 points or 0.5 percent at 25965.59, and the Nifty is up 41.60 points or 0.5 percent at 7956.35. The 50-share index is at 2016 high, crossing January 1 high 7972. About 401 shares have advanced, 77 shares declined, and 22 shares are unchanged.

ICICI Bank is up 6 percent while SBI, Tata Steel, Axis Bank and GAIL are top gainers. Wipro falls 5 percent.

The Indian rupee opened lower by 10 paise at 66.32 per dollar against previous close of 66.22. Dollar edged up against a basket of major currencies. Euro flat ahead of the ECB meet today.

The central bank is not expected to make any policy change at its rate-setting meeting.

Mohan Shenoi of Kotak Mahindra Bank said, "Sharp rise in oil prices has failed to trigger significant currency movements. Ahead of next week's FOMC rate setting meeting, currency markets are expected to be subdued."

Asia markets advanced in early trade, following overnight gains in US equities.

Wall Street ended less than 2 percent short of a record-high close on Wednesday as a rebound in oil prices added to optimism sparked by a raft of earnings reports.

Driven 15 percent higher since mid-February by a recovery in weak oil prices and helped by a softer dollar, the S&P 500 stood less than 30 points below last May's all-time peak.