Sensex ends flat; Nifty below 8650; Bajaj Auto,Tata Motors up 3%

3:30 pm Market closing: The market ended flat on first day of November Futures & Options (F&O) series. The Sensex ended  up 25.61 points at 27941.51 and the Nifty was up 22.75 points or 0.3 percent at 8638. About 1564 shares have advanced, 1093 shares declined, and 276 shares are unchanged.

Bajaj Auto, Tata Motors, Coal India, Tata Steel and Lupin were top gainers while ICICI Bank, Cipla, Bharti, Asian and Infosys were losers

2:59 pm Market Update: Benchmark indices remained marginally higher amid consolidation. The Sensex was up 46.87 points at 27962.77 and the Nifty gained 24.95 points at 8640.20.

About 1565 shares advanced against 1039 declining shares on the BSE.

2:50 pm Results: London Stock Exchange listed Vedanta Resources' associate company Vedanta said consolidated profit during July-September quarter grew by 11.9 percent year-on-year to Rs 1,252 crore. Bottomline was supported by operational performance but growth limited due to weak revenue.

Revenue in Q2 fell by 4.3 percent to Rs 16,777 crore on yearly basis, impacted by oil, zinc and copper segments.

Consolidated operating profit grew by 8.5 percent year-on-year to Rs 4,667 crore and margin expanded by 330 basis points to 27.8 percent in the quarter ended September 2016, aided by lower excise duty, employee expenses and input cost.

2:40 pm FDI relaxation: Government is considering further relaxing foreign direct investment (FDI) norms in several areas, including trading, with an eye on more inflows.

The commerce and industry ministry is already on the job in this direction, sources said. They said there are certain sticking points in single brand retail trading that need to be reviewed.

In this segment, a big retailer has made a plea to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) to look into the issue of putting the maximum retail price labels and re-labeling of goods.

The government may also consider easing certain norms in the information and broadcasting sector, among others, they added.

It had relaxed the FDI policy in November last year. In June this year, it lifted certain restrictions in over a dozen sectors, including civil aviation, food processing, defence and pharmaceuticals.

2:20 pm Earnings: Kansai Nerolac Paints today reported a 41.77 percent rise in standalone net profit to Rs 139.31 crore for the second quarter ended September 30.

The company had posted a net profit of Rs 98.26 crore for the same quarter last fiscal, Kansai Nerolac Paints said in a filing to BSE.

Standalone total income from operations also rose to Rs 1,133.75 crore during the quarter under review as against Rs 1,075.47 crore in the same period last fiscal.

Shares of Kansai Nerolac Paints were today trading at Rs 379 per scrip on BSE, up 1.13 percent from its previous close.

2:00 pm Market Check
Benchmark indices extended gains amid consolidation, with the Nifty reclaiming 8650 level while the broader markets continued to outperform, rising around a percent.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 69.07 points at 27984.97 and the 50-share NSE Nifty gained 33.55 points at 8648.80. About 1598 shares advanced against 947 declining shares on the BSE.

Bajaj Auto gained more than 2 percent after profit in Q2 beat analysts' expectations, rising nearly 7 percent on other income growth but revenue was flat on tepid volume growth.

Grasim Industries climbed over a percent after better-than-expected earnings. Profit in Q2 jumped 55 percent and margin expanded 490 basis points.

Eicher Motors fell over a percent after profit missed estimates.

1:45 pm Gold call: Although domestic demand for gold in the second half of calendar year 2017 would be on par with the same period in the year gone by, weak demand pre-monsoon will lead to an overall decline in demand for 2017 compared to previous year, says PR Somasundaram, Managing Director - India, World Gold Council. He says in 2016 while domestic gold demand was around 863 tonnes, current year's demand is going to be around 750 tonnes. He says better monsoon led to a release of pent up demand in the country, and has led to an increase in sale by roughly around 30-50 percent in sales for gold retailers.

1:30 pm Market outlook: Speaking to CNBC-TV18 Sanjeev Prasad of Kotak Institutional Equities said that corporate earnings have been a mixed bag this time around. Even within a sector such as cement, there have been companies like Dalmia Bharat which have done well, while others haven't disappointed with 10 percent declines in volumes. He likes Infosys from a valuation perspective. The Street expectations on the company have come down and everybody is building in low double-digit top line growth. There is some stability on the margins side, he said, even as valuations are trading at 14.5 times March 18 basis. 2016 saw good flows into EM equities but the last two weeks FIIs have been selling. He said what drove the flows into EMs post the Brexit were hopes that global central banks would undertake monetary policy accommodation which happened with Bank of England. Now, there are not much chances of rate cuts. Bank of Japan and ECB won't be cutting rates too much now, he said. The market is starting to factor that in, he said.

The market is flat with the Nifty still below 8650. The 50-share index is up 11.15 points or 0.1 percent at 8626.40. The Sensex is down 4.60 points at 27911.30, and the Nifty up 11.15 points or 0.1 percent at 8626.40. About 1546 shares have advanced, 917 shares declined, and 261 shares are unchanged.

Coal India, Tata Motors, Dr Reddy's Labs, Hero MotoCorp and Bajaj Auto are gainers while ICICI Bank, Cipla, GAIL, Bharti Airtel and Asian Paints are losers in the Sensex.

Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha will meet CEOs of telecom companies on November 1 to review the call drop issue and chalk out a road map for future.

He said that according to TRAI, there has been an improvement in the call drop situation. Earlier this year, telcos had submitted a 100 day action plan on strategy to address call drop issue. They had committed to set up 60,000 base stations as part of this action plan.

12:59 pm Market Update: Equity benchmarks erased gains in afternoon trade as selling extended in ICICI Bank, ITC, Infosys and HDFC.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 6.93 points at 27922.83 and the Nifty gained 16.10 points at 8631.35. About 1517 shares advanced against 892 declining shares on the BSE.

12:50 pm Earnings: Agrochemicals manufacturer UPL disappointed analysts on Friday with consolidated profit in second quarter falling 54 percent sequentially to Rs 166.2 crore, dented by forex loss and other income.

Revenue during the quarter was slightly above expectations, rising 0.4 percent quarter-on-quarter to Rs 3,657.6 crore.

According to average of estimates of analysts polled by CNBC-TV18, profit was estimated at Rs 327 crore on revenue of Rs 3,556.1 crore and operating profit at Rs 683 crore with margin at 19.1 percent for the quarter.

EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) dropped 10.6 percent to Rs 625 crore and margin contracted by 210 basis points to 17.1 percent on sequential basis.

12:40 pm Europe opens: European markets were lower as earnings season continues amid heightened expectations that the US Federal Reserve will raise rates in the near-term.

The pan-European STOXX 600 was down 0.88 percent.

12:35 pm Poll: Nestle India's third quarter profit is expected to be at Rs 249 crore against Rs 124 crore in year-ago period, according to analysts polled by CNBC-TV18.

Earnings on yearly basis will see sharp uptick due to low base in Q2FY16 that impacted due to Maggi controversy and so did not include Maggi numbers. Hence, focus needs to be on sequential improvement.

Analysts expect sequential sales growth of 2 percent. Lower than 2 percent may be considered negative by the street.

Revenue is likely to increase 33 percent year-on-year to Rs 2,314 crore while operating profit may grow 52 percent to Rs 437.3 crore and margin may expand 240 basis points to 18.9 percent in Q2.

12:20 pm Investments by AIFs jump: Investments made by AIFs have crossed the Rs 24,800-crore mark at the end of the second quarter of 2016-17, a jump of 20 per cent from the preceding three months.

Year-on-year, the AIF investment has more than doubled from Rs 11,254.71 crore at the end of September last year.

Alternative Investment Funds are a class of pooled-in vehicles for investing in real estate, private equity and hedge funds.

The investment by AIFs stood at Rs 24,862.19 crore as of September 30 compared to Rs 20,667.2 crore at the end of June 30, according to the latest data with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi).

The Category I AIFs poured in Rs 3,517 crore, Category II Rs 15,334 crore and Category III Rs 6,010 crore.

12:00 pm Market Check
Equity benchmarks remained marginally higher in noon trade with the Nifty inching towards 8650 level, supported by auto, pharma and select banks stocks. However, the selling in ICICI Bank, Infosys, ITC and HDFC limited upside.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 41.99 points at 27957.89 and the 50-share NSE Nifty gained 25.65 points at 8640.90 while the BSE Midcap and Small cap indices climbed 0.8 percent each on positive breadth. About two shares advanced for every shares declining on the exchange.

Asian markets were mixed as investors parsed a deluge of economic data and corporate earnings. Japan's Nikkei gained 0.6 percent while Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 1 percent.

Gold rose as the dollar held steady near a three-month high and with Asian stocks subdued, staying on track for a second straight weekly gain ahead of the US third-quarter GDP data expected later in the day.

11:55 am Consolidation? Tata Steel said it continues to pursue European consolidation strategy and is in talks with Thyssenkrupp AG for potential JV for European steel business, following purported disclosure from ousted chairman Cyrus Mistry that some group firms could face a potential writedown of USD 18 billion.

"In response to the recent media reports, Tata Steel would like to clarify that it continues to pursue its European consolidation strategy and the talks with thyssenkrupp AG (as announced on July 8, 2016) for a potential joint venture of its European steel business are currently ongoing and progressing," Tata Steel said in a BSE filing.

"However, there can be no guarantee that these talks will result in a definitive agreement between the parties," it added.

11:45 am Tata Group: Tata group stocks lost ground for the third day amid concerns about purported disclosure made by ousted group chairman Cyrus Mistry about huge write- down risks at some firms, taking the total market value erosion to over Rs 26,000 crore this week.

Barring TCS, rest of the other major group companies saw continued decline in stock price. TCS ended 0.68 percent higher on BSE.

Tata Motors scrip fell by 1.44 percent, Tata Power slipped 1.36 percent and Tata Steel went down by 0.44 percent.

11:30 am Boardroom: Ramdev-led Patanjali is helping create more demand and is contributing to the growth of the market, says NH Bhansali, Chief Executive Officer, Emami Group. It is giving healthy competition to the industry and is a huge positive for the ayurvedic sector.

Bhansali expects 16-17 percent revenue growth in the current fiscal. He is also confident that Emami will be able to sustain its operating margins at the current levels of 30 percent.

The company is on the look-out for acquisitions. They are primarily looking for acquisitions in personal care and health care sectors.

The market is marginally in green with the Sensex up 27.90 points or 0.1 percent at 27943.80. The Nifty is up 22.55 points or 0.3 percent at 8637.80. About 1536 shares have advanced, 657 shares declined, and 190 shares are unchanged.

Coal India, Tata Motors, Dr Reddy's, Axis Bank and Tata Steel are top gainers while ICICI Bank, Bharti Airtel, Ciipla, GAIL and ITC are losers in the Sensex.

Gems and jewellery stocks are shinning spurted by festive buying on Dhanteras. Dhanteras is an Indian festival when gold buying is considered auspicious. Stocks like Titan, Gitanjali Gems and PC Jewellers are gainers.

10:59 am Market Update: Equity benchmarks gained strength as the Sensex was up 43.90 points at 27959.80 and the Nifty up 25.05 points at 8640.30.

About 1499 shares advanced against 665 declining shares on the BSE.

10:47 am Interview: GMR Group said it has won an international arbitration against the Maldives government and has been awarded USD 270 million as compensation from the island nation after its contract to build an international airport in Male was arbitrary cancelled.

GMR Infrastructure, which owned GMR Male International Airport (GMIAL), said the arbitration award was given by a three-member international arbitral tribunal.

Speaking to CNBC-TV18 Sidharath Kapur, President  Finance & Business Development of GMR Airports said that the award of money has come after a lot of struggle from the company's side.

The original claim was for about USD 500 million and against that the award has come at USD 270 million, he said, adding that he is happy with the outcome.

10:37 am Poll: FMCG major Marico's second quarter profit is seen rising 18 percent year-on-year to Rs 177.2 crore and revenue may increase 2.3 percent to Rs 1,519 crore, according to analysts polled by CNBC-TV18.

Operating profit is likely to increase 12 percent to Rs 257 crore and margin may expand 140 basis points to 16.9 percent on yearly basis, led by lower copra prices. Gross margin is expected to expand by 200-300 bps.

Copra prices declined 24 percent YoY but increased 16 percent QoQ.

Analysts expect domestic volume growth at around 6-8 percent for the quarter.

Marico has initiated a weighted average price hike of 5 percent from July, 2016.

Analysts expect international business (20 percent of revenue) to grow 10 percent YoY.

10:20 am Loss of market cap: Tata group stocks lost ground for the third day on Thursday amid concerns about purported disclosure made by ousted group chairman Cyrus Mistry about huge write- down risks at some firms, taking the total market value erosion to over Rs 26,000 crore this week.

Barring TCS, rest of the other major group companies saw continued decline in stock price. TCS ended 0.68 percent higher on BSE.

Tata Motors scrip fell by 1.44 percent, Tata Power slipped 1.36 percent and Tata Steel went down by 0.44 percent.

Besides, Tata Teleservices plummeted 9.72 percent, Indian Hotels tumbled 5.81 percent, Tata Investment Corporation (5.43 percent), Tata Global Beverages (5.12 percent)), Tata Metaliks (4.74 percent)), Tinplate Company of India (3.98 percent)), Tata Coffee (3.33 percent)), Tayo Rolls (2.91 percent)), Tata Motors Ltd DVR (2.08 percent)) and Rallis India (2 percent)).

10:00 am Market Check
Equity benchmarks recovered early losses with the Nifty rising over 8600 level on first day of November series. Select Tata Group stocks like Tata Motors (up 2.6 percent) and Tata Steel (up 1.7 percent) rebounded sharply on short covering after sharp sell-off in previous three consecutive sessions due to Tata-Mistry issue.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was down 17.84 points at 27898.06 and the 50-share NSE Nifty gained 7.65 points at 8622.90 while the broader markets outperformed benchmarks.

The BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices gained nearly 1 percent each on strong breadth. About two shares advanced for every shares declining on the exchange.

Tech Mahindra maintained its rally of 6 percent after strong dollar revenue growth of 5 percent QoQ in constanct currency.

Dr Reddy's Labs and Coal India climbed over 1.5 percent whereas ICICI Bank, HDFC, Infosys, ITC, TCS and Bharti Airtel were down 0.5-1.5 percent.

9:55 am PSU sale: The Union Cabinet today gave in-principle approval to NITI Aayog's proposal for strategic sale of state-owned firms and entrusted DIPAM with the task of finalising the PSUs in which management control can be transferred to private players.

The Cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, decided that the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) would work out the broad methodology and valuation, thereafter fixing the base price for each of the PSU being put up for strategic sale.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the names of PSUs that are up for strategic stake sale would be made public on a case-to-case basis once the Cabinet decide to put them up for the auction.

9:45 am FII view: Tina M Fordham of Citi says probability of Hillary Clinton win increases to 75 percent, though he is more cautious than consensus opinion polls and electoral college projections show a pronounced lead for Clinton.

The likelihood that Donald Trump can broaden his base and overtake Clinton at this stage is low. A Democratic 'clean sweep' in Congress is however unlikely, according to him.

He continues to flag the risk of black swan events amid concerns about electoral manipulation, risk Trump delays conceding defeat if he loses and high levels of Republican concern over fairness of the election.

Fordham says broader emerging market assets remain contained within their bullish medium-term trends.

9:30 am Tatas: The Tata family trusts have reached out to sovereign wealth funds and other long-term investors to buy out the stake in Tata Sons held by Shapoorji Pallonji, the family of ousted Chairman Cyrus Mistry, Bloomberg News reported.

The Tata entities are gauging the interest levels of sovereign wealth funds to purchase the 18 percent stake held by the Shapoorji Pallonji group, if they agree to sell, said the news agency quoting people with knowledge of the matter. Mistry's family currently has no plans to sell their stake in Tata Sons, the holding company for the Tata group.

The Tata trusts are working on another plan on how to raise funds if they had to make an offer to purchase Shapoorji Pallonji's stake themselves. The plan could involve the trusts decreasing their holdings in various operating companies to fund the buyout.

The market has opened lower as the Sensex is down 82.48 points or 0.3 percent at 27833.42. The Nifty is down 18.60 points or 0.2 percent at 8596.65. About 557 shares have advanced, 268 shares declined, and 48 shares are unchanged.

ONGC, Tata Motors, Maruti, Hero and Axis Bank are top gainers while HDFC, ICICI Bank, GAIL, Asian Paints and Bharti Airtel are losers in the Sensex.

The Indian rupee opened marginally lower at 66.89 per dollar on Friday against previous close 66.86.

Ashutosh Raina of HDFC Bank said, "The USD-INR pair, despite global dollar strength, continues to trade around the 67/dollar level, with aggressive intervention from Central Bank keeping it in a tight range."

The US dollar hit its highest in more than seven and a half years amid increased confidence that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates this year. Traders last saw a more than 78 percent chance that the Fed would hike rates in December.

Asian markets turned mixed after opening positive, as oil prices begin to slip after an initial bounce in the US on OPEC comments.

The ASX 200 fell 0.24 percent, weighed by declines in its financials subindex, which was down 0.51 percent. Losses were offset by strength in the energy subindex, which gained 0.48 percent, and the materials sector, up 0.68 percent.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 was up 0.53 percent, despite the weaker economic data released. A weaker yen likely drove the market's gains.

The dollar/yen pair broke past 105 levels around the time of London Stock Exchange's close, on the back of a stronger dollar.

Crude oil prices rose in the US session after Gulf members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) reaffirmed commitments to Russia that the cartel was willing to cut output by 4 percent, Reuters reported. OPEC members will meet on Friday and Saturday with energy officials from non-member countries.