Nifty ends at 7850, Sensex flat; Bharti, SBI, Reliance fall 2%

3:30 pm Market closing: The market has ended flat after a lot of volatility. The Nifty ended at 7849.80, up 2.55 points and the Sensex is up 3.52 points at 25606.62. Lupin, Cipla, NTPC, HDFC Bank and Tata Steel are top gainers while Bharti Airtel, SBI, Reliance, HUL and ICICI Bank.

2:55 pm Market Update: The Sensex fell 64.79 points to 25538.31 and the Nifty declined 20.05 points to 7827.20. About 1414 shares declined against 1017 advancing shares on BSE.

Idea Cellular (-7 percent), HCL Tech (-6 percent), Bank of Baroda (-3 percent) and ICICI Bank (-3 percent) were the big losers in the Nifty. Other laggards in the index were Yes Bank (-1 percent), Hindalco (-1 percent), Eicher Motors (-1 percent) and Tata Motors (-1 percent).

Gainers included Lupin (2 percent), Zee Entertainment (2 percent), Kotak Mahindra (2 percent) and Cipla (1 percent).

 In sectoral performance as reflected by the respective indices, consumer durables (-1.2 percent), IT (-0.6 percent), auto (-0.4 percent) and capital goods (-0.4 percent) were under pressure, while healthcare (0.5 percent) and power (0.2 percent) gained.    

European shares were trading weak with France's CAC down 60 points or 1.3 percent at 4496, Germany's DAX down 97 points or 0.9 percent at 10224, and UK's FTSE down 40 points at 6282.

2:40 pm Earnings: Ajanta Pharma's fourth quarter consolidated net profit grew by 43.4 percent year-on-year to Rs 106.3 crore, aided by lower tax cost and low base in year-ago period.

Revenue increased 14.4 percent to Rs 426 crore in January-March quarter compared to Rs 372 crore in corresponding period of last fiscal.

Operating profit (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) rose 6 percent to Rs 141 crore but margin contracted by 270 basis points to 33.1 percent due to higher research & development expenses (R&D).

"We have significantly increased R&D spend during the year to capitalise on the identified opportunities. For Q4, R&D spend (excluding capex) was Rs 36 crore (Rs 28 crore YoY) and for the full year, it was Rs 106 crore (Rs 70 crore in FY15)," the Mumbai-based pharma company said in its filing.

2:20 pm FII View: India has seen a steady improvement in economic data, which will continue to be the case in future, too, is the word coming from Sandeep Bhatia, Head of Equity, India at Macquarie Securities.

Two main macro themes will play out in the coming 12-18 months. Firstly, the corporate capex cycle will continue to remain weak, but infrastructure will improve backed by government expenditure, he says.

Secondly, Bhatia said that global volatility will continue.

''It is a stock picker's market,'' he said, adding that the house has upped its Nifty earnings per share to 15 percent from the earlier 10 percent.

Among emerging markets, India will stand out in receiving foreign institutional investors (FIIs) inflows, he said.

2:00 pm Market Check
The market remained under pressure with the Sensex falling 104.69 points to 25498.41 and the Nifty declining 35.95 points to 7811.30. The market breadth, too, was weak as about two shares declined for every share advancing on Bombay Stock Exchange.

Metals, FMCG, infra and select banks stocks caught in bear grip while pharma stocks outperformed.

European stocks traded lower today after declines on Wall Street and the Bank of Japan's (BOJ) decision to stand pat on monetary policy rattled investor sentiment. France's CAC and Germany's DAX fell over a percent followed by Britain's FTSE with 0.7 percent loss.

1:55 pm India's growth: With India projected to grow at 7.8 percent in 2017-18, a UN expert said cautious macro economic policy, reduced inflation and some structural reforms have helped the country perform relatively well in an environment of global economic slowdown.

The United Nations Economic and Social Survey for Asia and the Pacific-2016 report, released yesterday, said that the Indian economy is projected to expand by 7.6 percent in 2016-17 and grow further to 7.8 percent in 2017-18, mainly on the back of domestic consumption demand aided by steady employment and a relatively low inflation.

Economic Affairs Officer in the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Sebastian Vergara told reporters at the launch of the report here that several demographic and structural factors are responsible for India performing in a "relatively very good way" as compared to economic growth in other countries.

1:30 pm Result: ICICI Bank 's fourth quarter earnings shocked the street on Friday with profit falling sharply by 76 percent to Rs 702 crore, impacted by exceptional provisioning of Rs 3,600 crore. Strong other income, operating profit and tax refund helped the company make profit during the quarter. Net interest income, the difference between interest earned and interest expended, grew by 6.4 percent to Rs 5,404.51 crore on yearly basis. The country's largest private sector lender missed analysts' expectations. According to analysts polled by CNBC-TV18, profit was estimated at Rs 3,115.1 crore (6.6 percent growth YoY) and net interest income at Rs 5,565.2 crore crore (9.6 percent growth YoY) for the quarter.

The market continues to fall dragged by banks, auto, capital goods and metals. The Sensex is down 156.71 points or 0.6 percent at 25446.39, and the Nifty is down 53.55 points or 0.7 percent at 7793.70. About 849 shares have advanced, 1453 shares declined, and 146 shares are unchanged.

Lupin, Cipla, Sun Pharma, HDFC bank and TCS are top gainers while Hindalco, ICICI Bank, Bharti Airtel, SBI and Tata Motors are losers in the Sensex.

Sandeep Bhatia, Head of Equity, India at Macquarie Securities feels India has seen a steady improvement in economic data, which will continue to be the case in future, too. Two main macro themes will play out in the coming 12-18 months. Firstly, the corporate capex cycle will continue to remain weak, but infrastructure will improve backed by government expenditure, he says.

11:55 am Interview: The pharmaceutical sector, which is reeling under US FDA pressures, has addressed crucial regulatory issues in its February meet with US and European regulators, said Satish Reddy, Chairman of Dr Reddy's Lab (DRL). Speaking to CNBC-TV18, Reddy said that the company will continue with tie-ups for biosimilar products. These will first be launched in India and then other markets, he added. DRL is looking for some tie-ups to launch biosimilar products in developed markets, he said.

11:30 am Market outlook: India has seen a steady improvement in economic data, which will continue to be the case in future, too, is the word coming from Sandeep Bhatia, Head of Equity, India at Macquarie Securities. Two main macro themes will play out in the coming 12-18 months. Firstly, the corporate capex cycle will continue to remain weak, but infrastructure will improve backed by government expenditure, he says. Secondly, Bhatia said that global volatility will continue. ''It is a stock picker's market,'' he said, adding that the house has upped its Nifty earnings per share to 15 percent from the earlier 10 percent.

The market is still holding firm as the Nifty is comfortably holding 7850 level. The 50-share index is up 16.60 points or 0.2 percent at 7863.85 and the Sensex is is up 65.12 points or 0.2 percent at 25668.22.

Lupin, Cipla, Axis Bank, ONGC and Tata Steel are top gainers while M&M, Bharti Airtel, Reliance, Adani Ports and Tata Motors are losers in the Sensex.

Oil prices eased slightly after hitting a series of new highs this week, bolstered by a weak dollar. The US Federal Reserve held interest rates unchanged after its policy meeting on Wednesday, signalling it was in no hurry to raise rates.

Gold held near its highest in a week and was poised for its biggest weekly rise in eight, as the dollar tumbled after the Bank of Japan and the US Federal Reserve stood pat on policy.

10:40 am Interview: HCC's fourth quarter margins improved on back of a strong orderbook, said the company's Managing Director Ajit Gulabchand.

Infrastructure major Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) on Thursday reported in-line fourth quarter numbers with a 4.6 percent rise in total income at Rs 1,171 crore and a 12 percent rise in operational efficiency (EBITDA) to Rs 218 crore.

The company received Rs 7,000 crore worth orders in FY16, which takes the orderbook to a total of Rs 20,000 crore, its highest in last five years, Gulabchand said.

Arbitration claims stood at Rs 11,000 crore, of which Rs 3,041 crore is yet to be received by the company.

HCC's consolidated debt stands at Rs 11,000 crore and standalone debt is at Rs 4,900 crore. Gulabchand said that while the company has tried reducing debt by selling road assets, some assets cannot be sold off due to commercial operation date (COD) issues.

10:20 am Buzzing: Lupin shares gained nearly 2 percent. The drug firm has strengthened its brand portfolio in the US market with the introduction of its Methergine oral tablets used for the prevention and management of excess blood loss after delivery, in the US.

The company had acquired oral methylergonovine maleate (Methergine) earlier this year, Lupin said in a statement.

"The re-introduction of Methergine is a proud moment for Lupin, but also an important moment for expectant mothers across the country to feel confident in care options," Lupin Pharmaceuticals Inc President Paul McGarty said.

The tablets are used "for the prevention and management of postpartum hemorrhage (PPH)", Lupin said.

"The United States is Lupin's largest market and contributed 45 percent to the company's revenue during financial year 2014-15," a company spokesperson told PTI.

Methergine is a registered trademark of Novartis AG, the company said.

10:00 am Market Check: The market gained strength in morning trade with the Sensex rising more than 100 points led by banking & financials, healthcare, IT and FMCG stocks.

The 30-share BSE Sensex rose 124.15 points to 25727.25 and the 50-share NSE Nifty advanced 31.95 points to 7879.20. The broader markets gained 0.4 percent on positive market breadth.

More than two shares advanced for every share declining on Bombay Stock Exchange.

ICICI Bank declined 1 percent ahead of fourth quarter earnings due later today. A CNBC-TV18 poll expects net profit to rise 6.6 percent YoY to Rs 3115.1 crore and net interest income to grow 9.6 percent to Rs 5565.2 crore in Q4.

9:45 am Market check: The market is seeing sudden spurt in buying aided by heavyweights. The Sensex is up 83.21 points or 0.3 percebt at 25686.31, and the Nifty is up 21.30 points or 0.3 percent at 7868.55. About 920 shares have advanced, 519 shares declined, and 77 shares are unchanged.

Lupin, Cipla, Tata Steel, Maruti and Axis Bank are top gainers while ICICI Bank, Bharti, M&M, HUL and Reliance are losers in the Sensex.

9:30 am Macro outlook: The country's current account deficit is likely to widen modestly to USD 25 billion in the current fiscal from USD 20 billion last year on rising demand for gold and sluggishness in exports, a report said.

"A favourable monsoon after a gap of two years would have a mixed impact on trade in various sectors, boosting agricultural exports and limiting imports of crude oil and coal while enhancing the demand for gold," domestic ratings agency Icra said.

It expects current account deficit (CAD) to widen modestly to USD 25 billion this fiscal, from an estimated USD 20 billion in 2015-16, but be comfortably covered by capital inflows.

The market is dragged by selling pressure at opening on Friday. The Nifty has started the May Future & Cues options on a weak note. The 50-share indices slips 4.85 points at 7842.40. The Sensex is down 28.37 points or 0.1 percent at 25574.73. About 244 shares have advanced, 143 shares declined, and 36 shares are unchanged.

ONGC, Tata Steel, Hindalco, Infosys and Cipla are top gainers while ICICI Bank, M&M, TCS, Axis Bank and Bajaj Auto are losers in the Sensex.

The Indian rupee has opened marginally higher at 66.48 a dollar on Friday compared to 66.52 per dollar in previous session.

Pramit Brahmbhatt, Veracity says he feels the rupee is expected to remain rangebound with 66.80 level as a resistance for the dollar.

The Japanese yen held on to broad gains, having posted its biggest one-day rally in over five years against the greenback and euro after the Bank of Japan skipped a chance to ease policy.

US stocks closed down as the Bank of Japan's shocking call to cap monetary stimulus continued to rattle investors while a late day decline in Apple shares on remarks by billionaire investor Carl Icahn added to selling pressure.

Asia markets opened lower on the final trading day of the week, following a nearly 1 percent or more decline in US equities overnight. Japanese markets are closed on Friday for a public holiday. The Japanese benchmark index tumbled 3.61 percent in the previous session, after the Bank of Japan (BOJ) stood pat on monetary policy, disappointing a substantial section of the market betting on further stimulus.