Nifty ends below 7900, Sensex down; Maruti, SBI gain 3%

3:30 pm Market closing: The market has ended in red on a day of consolidation. The Sensex was down 42.24 points or 0.2 percent at 25838.14, and the Nifty slipped 12.75 points or 0.2 percent at 7899.30. About 1242 shares advanced, 1313 shares declined, and 165 shares were unchanged.

Maruti, SBI, ONGC, NTPC and Axis Bank were gainers while HUL, HDFC, Sun Pharma, ITC and Infosys were losers in the Sensex.

3:10 pm Foodgrains: India Ratings has said the financial condition of Punjab has been steadily deteriorating over the past few years and is now "quite precarious", which is at the centre of a controversy over missing Rs 20,000-crore foodgrain stocks from its granaries.

"The financial situation of Punjab, particularly with respect to liquidity, has remained quite precarious over the past few years... The situation has deteriorated considerably now," the agency said in a note today.

According to the note, Punjab's liquidity has been "worrisome" since 2011-12, and in 2016-17, the state proposes to use Rs 19,500 crore through ways and means advances (WMAs), up from Rs 17,000 crore in 2015-16.

2:50 pm Divestment: Government today invited bids from merchant bankers interested in assisting it in the sale of 10 percent stake in blue-chip NMDC which could fetch about Rs 3,900 crore to the exchequer.

It will select four merchant bankers for managing the stake sale in India's largest iron ore producer NMDC. As per the Expression of Interest floated by Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM), the last date for submission of bids by merchant bankers is May 16.

At the current market price of Rs 100.20 a piece, sale of 39.64 crore shares through an offer for sale (OFS) would fetch about Rs 3,900 crore to the exchequer.

2:30 pm Monsoon: French financial services major BNP Paribas said normal monsoons could help push the economic growth to 8 percent in the current fiscal. "Monsoons could add up to 50 basis points (0.5 percent) to the gross domestic product while the economy could also reduce by the same quantum if the country faces another year of drought," BNP Paribas chief economist for emerging markets Richard Iley told reporters here. He also said the economy can achieve an eight percent growth if private capital expenditure increases, agriculture and exports recover.

The market is under pressure as the Sensex is down 64 points or 0.2 percent at 25816.38. The Nifty is down 21.65 points or 0.3 percent at 7890.40. About 1222 shares have advanced, 1208 shares declined, and 175 shares are unchanged.

Maruti Suzuki, SBI, NTPC, Tata Motors and M&M are top gainers while HUL, HDFC, Sun Pharma, BHEL and Bharti Airtel are losers in the Sensex.

Oil prices rose in Asian trade, setting crude futures on course for one of their biggest weekly gains this year, as sentiment has become more upbeat despite ongoing oversupply.

Traders said that sentiment in the entire commodity complex had turned more confident, with new cash being put into the market by investors, lifting prices.

1:30 pm Result: HDFC Bank has reported good January-March quarter results, with net interest income (NII) growth surprise on higher side. The private lender's net profit rose 20.2 percent at Rs 3374.2 crore in fourth quarter of FY16 compared to Rs 2806.9 crore in corresponding quarter last fiscal.

During the quarter, its NII or difference between interest earned and interest expended grew 24 percent at Rs 7453.3 crore from Rs 6013.2 crore in year-ago period.

According to a CNBC-TV18 poll, HDFC Bank was expected to show a 20.6 percent growth in January-March quarter profit at Rs 3385.4 crore and NII was seen increasing 19.3 percent to Rs 7,173.3 crore on annual basis.

The Sensex is down 0.48 points at 25879.90, and the Nifty is up 4.35 points at 7916.40. About 1268 shares have advanced, 1042 shares declined, and 160 shares are unchanged.

SBI, Maruti, M&M, ONGC and NTPC are gainers while HDFC, Sun Pharma, HUL, BHEL and ITC are losers in the Sensex.

European stocks posted losses, following weak trade in U.S. and Asian markets overnight. Oil markets advanced, however, following a drop overnight on renewed concerns of oversupply.

European markets finished in negative territory on Thursday, on the back of a slew of disappointing earnings and after the European Central Bank (ECB) held its key interest rates unchanged.

12:55 pm Banking: In a virtual confirmation of recent reports that the Reserve Bank of India had trimmed the list of companies that should be included in banks' asset quality review, Union Bank Chairman and Managing Director Arun Tiwari says the move should be looked at as a "correction" of stricter norms prescribed earlier. "We went to the regulator saying that some of these accounts are okay and the regulator agreed with us," he told CNBC-TV18 in an interview, adding that the relaxed AQR list would mean Union Bank would save about Rs 800 crore by way of provisioning not needed now. The AQR is an initiative that the RBI had taken ahead of the third quarter last year where it had sent out a list of indebted companies to banks, and had asked them to make partial provisioning for such accounts. The move led to a sharp increase in provisioning and fall in profits for banks during the third quarter.

12:30 pm IPL woes: The Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) has moved the Supreme Court challenging the High Court's order to move the Indian Premier League (IPL) matches out of the city due to drought in the state.

The matter will come up for hearing on April 25.

The Mumbai High Court had ordered moving all IPL matches from April 30 onward out of the Maharashtra, which affected the schedule of 13 matches in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur initially before the BCCI's request to hold the May 1 game in Pune as scheduled was agreed upon by the HC.

The market is consolidating as the Sensex is down 3.92 points at 25876.46. The Nifty is up 0.80 points at 7912.85. About 1269 shares have advanced, 969 shares declined, and 168 shares are unchanged.

Maruti Suzuki, SBI, M&M, NTPC and ONGC are top gainers in the Sensex while HDFC, HUL, Sun Pharma, BHEL and Bharti are losers in the Sensex.

Extreme pessimist environment that was seen in January and February has settled down owing to the coordinated actions taken by the global central bankers in March, says Vikas Khemani, President & CEO of Edelweiss Securities.

Khemani states that the main reason for India's underperformance in the last few quarters was the outflows from emerging market funds. He adds that as long as there is no major volatility in the global market, India is bound to do well.

Domestic economy is improving, which will start trickling in the corporate earnings in the the next few quarters, and that the overall market is on a good trajectory, maintains Khemani.

11:30 am Market outlook: The underlying strength in Indian consumption and demand continues to remain strong and the country's equity markets remains a favourite for investors globally, says Jaspal Bindra, Chairman, Centrum Group. In an interview with CNBC-TV18, Bindra said he saw tremendous opportunity in the infrastructure sector and pointed to the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) as a step that would boost the productivity. He was also positive on the financial services arena, saying it had prospects for high growth as the space is still under penetrated and has large room for technological advancement.

The market is absolutely  flat with positive triggers missing. Auto and metal stocks are still lending support to the market. The Sensex is up 6.55 points at 25886.93, and the Nifty down 2.35 points at 7909.70. About 1129 shares have advanced, 886 shares declined, and 127 shares are unchanged.

Bajaj Auto, Tata Steel, ONGC, Maruti and M&M are top gainers while BHEL, Sun Pharma, HUL, Infosys and HDFC are losers in the Sensex.

Oil prices climbed in Asia, heading for their third weekly gain after OPEC said it was open to fresh calls on freezing output despite the failure to reach a deal at the weekend.

A much-vaunted meeting Sunday in Doha collapsed after kingpin Saudi Arabia pulled out owing to bitter rival Iran's refusal to join in output limits. Tehran said it was still in the process of raising production after the removal of nuclear-linked Western sanctions in January.

10:55 am Divestment: The department of divestment has kick-started the process of stake sale in mining giant National Mineral Development Corporation ( NMDC ) by inviting investment banks to submit bids, reports CNBC-TV18 quoting sources. The 10 percent stake expected to be divested is valued at over Rs 4,000 crore at current market price. It should be noted that the Modi government has an ambitious divestment target of 40,000 crores for FY17 and NMDC is the first company to be put on the block. The government had failed to meet its divestment target last fiscal.

10:30 am Public sector banks in the country are likely to have been granted some relief in recognition of non-performing loans (NPLs), as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) may have exempted them from providing for bad loans in case of certain stressed companies, sources say. Some corporates, likely to have been identified by banks as the ones to have made earnest effort to repay their debt, are expected to be part of this exemption list. Despite the likelihood of such an exemption and diligent efforts by banks to reduce NPLs, experts continue to maintain either negative or stable outlook on the sector, especially PSUs.

The market is in a consolidation mode with the Nifty hovering around 7900. The 50-share index is down 8 points or 0.1 percent at 7904.05. The Sensex is down 16.68 points at 25863.70.

Bajaj Auto, Tata Steel, Adani Ports, Maruti and Tata Motors are gainers while BHEL, Sun Pharma, Infosys, Bharti and HDFc are losers in the Sensex.

The rupee depreciated by 15 paise to quote at 66.55 against the dollar on increased demand for the American currency from importers and banks. Dealers said a firm dollar against some global currencies overseas and a lower opening of the domestic equity market weighed.

The rupee had dropped by 18 paise to end at 66.40 in yesterday's trade on fresh demand for the US dollar from banks and importers despite weakness in the greenback overseas.

9:55 am FII view: Chris Wood of CLSA said, "There were expectations of a production freeze going into the OPEC-Russia summit last weekend in Doha. It is, therefore, a surprise to GREED and fear that the oil price has not sold off since since the meeting was seemingly a complete failure."

"There is no doubt that an adjustment process has begun. Remain highly skeptical of this sanguine view on oil with the base case here that oil will re-visit the USD 20 level, sooner or later in the absence of an effective OPEC instigated production freeze," he added.

9:45 am Result poll: HDFC Bank, the country's second largest private sector lender, is likely to show a 20.6 percent growth in January-March quarter profit at Rs 3,385.4 crore compared to Rs 2,806.9 crore in year-ago period, according to average of estimates of analysts polled by CNBC-TV18. The bank will announce its earnings on April 22.

Net interest income, the difference between interest earned and interest expended, may grow 19.3 percent to Rs 7,173.3 crore during the quarter against Rs 6,013.2 crore in corresponding quarter of last fiscal.

9:30 am Good news for Tata Steel: The UK government announced it is willing to acquire 25 percent stake in Tata Steel 's UK operations to help potential buyers eyeing ownership of the Indian steel giant's loss-making plants. The money "worth hundreds of millions of pounds" is being put up jointly by the UK and Welsh governments and will be made available to potential buyers as part of a support package for the crisis-hit steel industry, according to the business department here. Business Secretary Sajid Javid had earlier said any money would be offered on commercial terms, quashing talks of nationalising the industry.

The market has fallen in early trade as Bank Nifty also slipped into red. The Sensex is down 64.44 points or 0.2 percent at 25815.94, and the Nifty is down 22.85 points or 0.3 percent at 7889.20. About 334 shares have advanced, 267 shares declined, and 50 shares are unchanged.

Tata Steel, Hindalco, ITC, ONGC and M&M are top gainers while Bharti, BHEL, Lupin, SBI and Hero Moto are laggards in the Sensex.

The Indian rupee opened lower by 11 paise at 66.50 per dollar against previous close of 66.39.The euro held steady against the dollar after slipping yesterday as traders looked past a European Central Bank meeting and weighed the potential for a more hawkish Federal Reserve next week.

Pramit Brahmbhatt of Veracity said, "Weak dollar index will help rupee to appreciate. 66.20/dollar will continue to act as strong resistance. Trading range for the day will be 66-66.50/dollar."

Asia markets opened lower on the final trading day of the week, following losses in US stocks overnight as telecoms led declines amid the latest batch of earnings.Analysts reckoned there might be some profit-taking at play in the markets today.

Wall Street suffered its first loss in four sessions on Thursday after a mixed bag of quarterly reports and a warning by Verizon Communications that a strike by workers would likely impact its bottom line.

The benchmark S&P 500 index in recent days had rallied to within 1 percent of its May record high, buoyed by a softer dollar and recovering crude prices. But investors had little patience for quarterly scorecards failing to meet already toned-down expectations.