Nifty ends at 7606, Sensex slips 128 points; HDFC twins, Infosys up

3:30 pm Market closing: The Sensex ended down 127.97 points or 0.5 percent at 25101.73, and the Nifty slipped 40.45 points or 0.5 percent at 7706.55. About 785 shares have advanced, 1777 shares declined, and 119 shares are unchanged.

HDFC twins, NTPC, Infosys and Sun Pharma were top gainers while Adani Ports, Tata Motors, Tata Steel, Hindalco and BHEL were losers in the Sensex.

2:50 pm Interview: Pressure on cement prices as well as rise in coal prices weighed on margins in Star Ferro and Cement fourth quarter, CEO Sanjay Gupta CEO says.

The company's total income grew 11 percent to Rs 563 crore, but operating profit fell 18 percent to Rs 126.7 crore in the fourth quarter. Operating margin stood at 22.5 percent as against 30.5 percent in corresponding quarter a year-ago.

The Q4 volumes were 8.89 lakh units in comparison to 7.34 lakh units in corresponding quarter. The company worked at a 95 percent capacity in the quarter gone-by.

Fourth quarter saw pricing pressure on cement, which is expected to reduce in the first quarter of FY17, Gupta says. Cement prices in north east reduced by Rs 15 per bag in Q4.

2:30 pm Rates revised: Public sector Canara Bank today said it has revised the lending rates based on the marginal cost of funds (MCLR) for May to 8.80-9.35 per cent.

"All rupee loans sanctioned and credit limits renewed during the month of May, 2016 would be priced with reference to the tenor based MCLR", Canara Bank said in a regulatory filing.

Several banks including country's largest lender SBI have announced changes in their MCLR rates.

The MCLR regime came into play as per the Reserve Bank guidelines that came to effect from April 1.

The Sensex is down 87.99 points or 0.3 percent at 25141.71, and the Nifty down 27.55 points or 0.4 percent at 7719.45. About 813 shares have advanced, 1621 shares declined, and 119 shares are unchanged.

HDFC twins, NTPC, GAIL and Hero are top gainers while Adani Ports, Tata Motors, Hindalco, Tata Steel and BHEL are losers in the Sensex.

The outlook for major Asian currencies has stayed remarkably stable, according to a Reuters poll of strategists, despite the Japanese yen's explosive rally and with forecasts hinging on US central bank policy expectations.

China's yuan is forecast to weaken slightly against the dollar over the coming year, while the Indian rupee and South Korean won are expected to slip a bit as well, views that haven't changed much since the start of the year.

Pressure on the yuan has ebbed in the past few months on views the Fed may raise rates more gradually this year, which has held back the dollar, and as the People's Bank of China (PBoC) continues to clamp down on financial market speculation.

1:55 pm Amul: Dairy major GCMMF, which sells products under the Amul brand, is planning to invest about Rs 2,500 crore to raise its milk processing capacity to more than 38 million litres per day in the next four years. "There has been rise in milk demand across the country and therefore, we are planning to raise our milk processing capacity by another 10 million litres per day from current capacity of 28.1 million litres per day (mltpd)," Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) Managing Director R S Sodhi told PTI. The cooperative is looking to raise the capacity by 2020, which will require an investment of about Rs 2,500 crore, Sodhi added.
 
"As of now, we are looking to establish one plant each for milk processing in Kolkata and Mumbai and two more plants in Gujarat. Besides this, we have plans to raise the capacity in few existing plants, " he said. The cooperative has about 60 various processing plants, of which 40 are in Gujarat only.

The market is extremely flat with no positive triggers. The Sensex is down 6.19 points at 25223.51, and the Nifty is down 7.10 points at 7739.90. About 869 shares have advanced, 1428 shares declined, and 117 shares are unchanged.

HDFC twins, GAIL, NTPC and Hero are top gainers while Adani Ports, Tata Motors, Tata Steel, Hindalco and Bharti Airtel are losers in the Sensex.

European stocks traded flat as investors digested a raft of major earnings.

Meanwhile, he World Bank has warned that water scarcity, exacerbated by climate change, could impact growth, spur migration and spark conflict across the globe including in India where several regions are facing water deficit.

A World Bank report 'High and Dry: Climate Change, Water and the Economy' released yesterday said the combined effects of growing populations, rising incomes and expanding cities will see demand for water rising exponentially, while supply becomes more erratic and uncertain.

Calling for need to enhance efficiency of water use in India, a top World Bank official said there is going to be mounting, increasing water deficits, or at least increasing demands for water across India.

12:55 pm World Bank: The World Bank has warned that water scarcity, exacerbated by climate change, could impact growth, spur migration and spark conflict across the globe including in India where several regions are facing water deficit.

A World Bank report 'High and Dry: Climate Change, Water and the Economy' released yesterday said the combined effects of growing populations, rising incomes and expanding cities will see demand for water rising exponentially, while supply becomes more erratic and uncertain.

Calling for need to enhance efficiency of water use in India, a top World Bank official said there is going to be mounting, increasing water deficits, or at least increasing demands for water across India.

12:30 pm View: The market has adopted a dovish stance with respect to how monetary policies will pan out and this has "taken the wind out of the US dollar", says Geoff Lewis of Manulife Asset Management.

In an interview with CNBC-TV18, Lewis said that he expects US Fed to hike rates twice this year and sees US dollar strengthening in the second half of the year.

Speaking on Indian markets, he said that India still has good macro story and he has a long term positive view on India.

The market is still in bears grip. The Sensex is down 73.18 points or 0.3 percent at 25156.52, and the Nifty down 26.60 points or 0.3 percent at 7720.40. About 812 shares have advanced, 1453 shares declined, and 99 shares are unchanged.

HDFC twins , NTPC, GAIL and Hero are top gainers while Adani Ports, Tata Motors, Tata Steel, Hindalco and ICICI Bank are losers in the Sensex.

The Supreme Court told the tobacco industry to adhere to rules requiring stringent health warnings on cigarette packs, but ordered a state high court to hear all pleas challenging the same.

The tobacco industry "should not violate any rule prevailing as of today," the two-judge bench said, and added that the Karnataka high court should hear all pleas challenging the new rules.

Last month, Indian tobacco companies, some backed by foreign "Big Tobacco", shut down production in protest against requirements that 85 percent of a cigarette pack's surface be covered in health warnings, up from 20 percent.

The tobacco industry has taken the government to court, saying the rules are impractical and will boost smuggling of imported cigarettes. The government backs the stringent rules to cut tobacco consumption.

11:55 am Pictorial warnings: The Supreme Court told the tobacco industry to adhere to rules requiring stringent health warnings on cigarette packs, but ordered a state high court to hear all pleas challenging the same.

The tobacco industry "should not violate any rule prevailing as of today," the two-judge bench said, and added that the Karnataka high court should hear all pleas challenging the new rules.

Last month, Indian tobacco companies, some backed by foreign "Big Tobacco", shut down production in protest against requirements that 85 percent of a cigarette pack's surface be covered in health warnings, up from 20 percent.

11:30 am Market outlook: Markets globally had been looking for a reason to correct -- which they got thanks to the Bank of Japan's move to stand pat on monetary policy -- but any fall only accentuates the appeal of Indian shares, says Nilesh Shah, Managing Director of Kotak Mahindra Asset Management Company. In an interview with CNBC-TV18, Shah said there were many positives going for the Indian economy that would lift stocks. He, however, a conceded that a bad monsoon, unlikely as it looks currently, would be an upset for markets. "The government has adopted fiscal prudence while the Reserve Bank has decided to ease liquidity conditions," he said. "This is a reversal of six years of policy."

The market is still reeling under pressure as the Nifty continues to struggle below 7750. The 50-share index is down 19.85 points or 0.3 percent at 7727.15. The Sensex is down 57.28 points or 0.2 percent at 25172.42.

HDFC twins, NTPC, Hero and ITC are gainers while Adani Ports, Tata Motors, Hindalco, Tata Steel and Coal India are losers in the Sensex.

Amid a weakening global trend and profit-booking by speculators, gold futures traded lower by Rs 136 at Rs 30,318 per 10 gram today.

Analysts said the fall in gold futures was mostly in tandem with a weak trend overseas where the precious metal fell for a third day as the dollar rebounded on prospects of the US interest-rate increase next month, dimming the metal's appeal as an alternative investment.

Meanwhile, prices have rallied 21 percent in 2016 after three years of losses, as investors returned to haven assets amid concerns that a deteriorating global economy may delay the end of low borrowing costs in the US.

10:55 am Boardroom: Tube Investments reported strong volume growth in bicycles segment on back of government orders, especially from West Bengal government, says the company's Managing Director, L Ramkumar.

The company's revenue improved 14 percent to Rs 1,710 crore and profit after tax (PAT) rose to Rs 725 crore against Rs 111.5 crore quarter-on-quarter.

Profits were boosted by exceptional gain of Rs 725 crore on account of profit on sale of its Choldmandalam general insurance joint venture to Mitsui Sumitomo.

In FY17, Ramkumar expects a 15-20 percent growth in general insurance business and 8-10 percent volumes growth in cycles and engineering business.

10:30 am Macro: Growth in India's services industry slowed in April in line with a more modest rise in new business, a private survey showed on Wednesday.

The Nikkei/Markit Services Purchasing Managers' Index eased to 53.7 in April from 54.3, but chalked up its 10 straight month above the 50-level that separates growth from contraction.

"A softer expansion in activity, combined with unchanged employment and a dip in business expectations among service providers suggest that companies are not fully convinced about the recovery," said Pollyanna De Lima, economist at Markit.

Selling pressure continues on Dalal Street as the Sensex is down 93.83 points or 0.4 percent at 25135.87. The Nifty is down 27.70 points or 0.4 percent at 7719.30. About 616 shares have advanced, 1062 shares declined, and 84 shares are unchanged.

HDFC twins, NTPC and Hero MotoCorp are top gainers while Adani Ports, Hindalco, Tata Motors, Tata Steel and ICICI Bank are losers in the Sensex.

Oil prices stabilised after falling for two straight days on concerns that slowing demand and rising Middle East production would extend a global supply overhang.

The slight price increases followed a more than 6 percent fall since the end of April that was triggered by rising output from the Middle East and renewed signs of economic slowdown in Asia.

9:55 am Government policy: Union Cabinet is likely to consider a proposal to ease norms for utilisation of domestic coal so that cost of power generation can be reduced.

"The Union Cabinet is likely to consider and approve a proposal to provide flexibility in utilisation of domestic coal for reducing the cost of power generation, in its meeting scheduled for today," a source said.

Earlier, the government has allowed swapping of coal mines by users so that transportation cost of coal can be reduced for generation of power.

According to a senior coal ministry official, government has allowed coal swapping in 19 blocks which actually reduced the cost of power generation as the users were able to source the dry fuel from miner located nearer to them.

9:45 am Fund raising: The government raised Rs 8,152 crore in 2015-16 by selling bonus debentures of NTPC to EPFO, Parliament was informed.

Disinvestment in central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) is undertaken as per the extant disinvestment policy of the government, Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.

He said the government raised as much as Rs 23,997.29 crore in 2015-16 by diluting its stake in various CPSEs.

9:30 am Deal: Billionaire Sajjan Jindal's JSW Energy has agreed to buy a 1,000 megawatt power plant from his brother's heavily indebted Jindal Steel and Power Ltd in a deal valued at up to USD 976 million, the companies said on Wednesday. Jindal Steel said the deal, to be completed by mid-2018, would help it meet its liabilities while JSW gained a foothold in coal-rich eastern India through the acquisition of the power plant in Chhattisgarh state. The New Delhi-based steel firm majority-owned by Sajjan's younger brother Naveen will get more than 65 billion rupees (USD 976.29 million) from Mumbai's JSW if some conditions on coal supply and power purchase agreements are met, JSW said.

The market has opened lower Wednesday. The Sensex is down 30.28 points or 0.1 percent at 25199.42, and the Nifty down 22.85 points or 0.3 percent at 7724.15. About 208 shares have advanced, 229 shares declined, and 36 shares are unchanged.

NTPC, HDFC Bank, Infosys, Bajaj Auto and ITC are gainers while Adani Ports, Hindalco, ICICI Bank, Tata Motors and Tata Steel are losers in the Sensex.

The Indian rupee slipped in the early trade. It has opened lower by 21 paise at 66.63 per dollar versus 66.42 Tuesday. The dollar rebounded, with Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta chief Dennis Lockhart bringing the prospect of a June rate hike back into play. Yen holds around 106.

Asian markets traded on the back foot, after US stocks fell overnight amid renewed global growth concerns and as oil prices lost ground.

Oil prices retreated overnight, with US crude futures settling down 2.5 percent at USD 43.65 a barrel, while Brent futures settled down 1.9 percent at USD 44.97.

Major US indexes closed mixed, with the Dow Jones industrial average down 0.78 percent, the S&P 500 finishing 0.87 percent lower and the Nasdaq composite down 1.13 percent, its lowest close since March 14.