Sensex, Nifty end flat; IT index gains 2%, ITC & Cipla fall 3%

3:30 pm Market closing: Spurt in late trade selling dragged market at closing. After a volatile day, the market ended in red. The Sensex ended down 5.94 points at 26298.69 and the Nifty was up 3.15 points at 8111.60. The 50-share index had briefly felll below 8100 in last minute of trade. About 1058 shares have advanced, 1545 shares declined, and 151 shares are unchanged.

Asian Paints, TCS, Maruti, HDFC and Bajaj Auto were gainers where ITC slipped 4 percent. Cipla, Sun Pharma, Dr Reddy's Labs and Lupin are losers in the Sensex.

3:00 pm Tobacco woes: The Union Cabinet is likely to soon consider a proposal to completely ban foreign direct investment (FDI) in the tobacco sector.

Government has been working on this proposal after tightening norms regarding pictorial warnings on cigarette packets.

The Commerce and Industry Ministry has forwarded the final cabinet note for the Cabinet's consideration, sources told PTI.

"Views of all the concerned ministries, including Health and Finance Ministry was included in the note," they said.

Currently, FDI is permitted in technology collaboration in any form, including licensing for franchise, trademark, brand name and management contracts in the tobacco sector. However, it is prohibited in manufacturing of cigars, cigarettes of tobacco and tobacco substitutes.

2:30 pm Black money: As debate on demonetisation rages on across the nation, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has changed his facebook cover photo which states that India can no longer live with black money.

Integrity and ethical conduct are pre-requisites for the country's development, he states.

"India cannot afford to live with black money any longer. Honesty, integrity and ethical conduct are requirements of India's development," said Jaitley's facebook cover photo.

With opposition ganging up over demonetisation of 500 and 1,000 rupee notes, the government has been maintaining that the move was needed to eliminate black money, counterfeit notes and terror financing.

The Sensex is up 101.76 points or 0.4 percent at 26406.39 and the Nifty is up 32.35 points or 0.4 percent at 8140.80. About 1190 shares have advanced, 1295 shares declined, and 147 shares are unchanged.

TCS, Asian Paints, Maruti, Bajaj Auto and Infosys are top gainers while Dr Reddy's Labs, Cipla, Lupin, ITC and ICICI Bank are losers in the Sensex.

European stocks opened higher as the US dollar paused for breath after a rally that has been driven by a rise in bond yields following Donald Trump's victory in the presidential election.

Traders continue to watch Trump's economic policies closely for clues on the outlook for interest rates. The Republican has said that he planned to spend on infrastructure and cut taxes to stimulate the economy. Increased fiscal stimulus could have an impact on the Federal Reserve's interest rate hiking path.

The rise in inflation expectations that followed Trump's win sparked a sell-off in bonds and pushed the dollar higher.

1:45 pm European Markets: European stocks opened higher on Wednesday as the US dollar paused for breath after a rally that has been driven by a rise in bond yields following Donald Trump's victory in the presidential election.

The pan-European STOXX 600 was up 0.58 percent.

Traders continue to watch Trump's economic policies closely for clues on the outlook for interest rates. The Republican has said that he planned to spend on infrastructure and cut taxes to stimulate the economy. Increased fiscal stimulus could have an impact on the Federal Reserve's interest rate hiking path.

1:30 pm Demonetisation: With opposition seeking to rake up the issue of demonetisation in Parliament, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the government is ready to discuss all issues and hoped parties will contribute in completing the legislative agenda in the Winter session.

Addressing the media outside Parliament House on day one of the month-long Winter session, he hoped a "very good" discussion will take place on all issues which are based on the political ideologies of parties, the hopes and aspirations of the common man, and the thinking of the government. "I feel a very good debate will take place in this session too. All parties will have the best of contribution. Best of efforts will be made to take all parties along in completing the government business," he said.

The market continues to maintain gains as the Sensex is up 173.32 points or 0.6 percent at 26477.95 and the Nifty is up 59.25 points or 0.7 percent at 8167.70. About 1366 shares have advanced, 1077 shares declined, and 136 shares are unchanged.

Asian Paints, TCS, Bajaj Auto, M&M and Hero MotoCorp are top gainers while Dr Reddy's Labs, ITC, Lupin, Cipla and GAIL are losers in the Sensex.

Reserve Bank is likely to go for a 25 bps rate cut this fiscal as it is all set to easily achieve the inflation target in view of the Centre's demonetisation move that may put additional downward pressure on prices, says a report.

According to global financial services major HSBC, inflation momentum remained comfortable for both consumer and wholesale prices and the October inflation print confirms that

RBI's upcoming inflation target will be easily met. "The government's newly announced demonetisation scheme is likely to put additional downward pressure on growth and inflation over the next year," HSBC said in a research note adding that it expects a 25 bps rate cut this fiscal.

12:30 pm Market outlook: The disruption caused due to the government's move to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes is a short-term disruption, according to UBS Securities. The disruption will be short lived and UBS Securities expects it to last not more than a month, said Gautam Chhaochharia.

On speculation that RBI may pay a special dividend from the cash clean-up act, Chhaochharia said that RBI should not be looked at as a company but as a policy-making body. Hence, it should not be presumed that the central bank will pay a special dividend.

Chhaochharia said private banks are likely to benefit from CASA rising on account of demonetisation. He said that he expects NBFCs to see short-term impact on loan disbursements. He added that valuations in pharma sector look reasonable and is underweight on IT.

The market is very choppy with the Sensex up 217.31 points or 0.8 percent at 26521.94. The Nifty is up 48.80 points or 0.6 percent at 8157.25. About 1294 shares have advanced, 1040 shares declined, and 129 shares are unchanged.

Asain Paints, TCS, Hero MotoCorp, Infosys and Maruti are top gainers while Lupin, Dr Reddy's Labs, Cipla, GAIL and Tata Steel are losers in the Sensex.

Arresting the eight-month fall, gold imports more than doubled to USD 3.5 billion in October on account of high festival demand.

Gold imports had stood at USD 1.67 billion in October last year, official data released showed.

The imports of the precious metal were on a decline since February this year till September.

The increase in gold imports pushed the trade deficit to 10-month high of USD 10.16 billion in October from USD 9.69 billion during the same month last year. The imports mainly take care of demand of jewellery industry. The jump in gold imports will also impact the current account deficit (CAD).

11:45 am Inflation: CPI inflation could fall below 4 percent in November-December period before climbing back to 4.5 percent in March and accordingly there will be some space for further monetary policy easing, says a Citigroup report.

According to the global financial services major, there is close to 50 bps downside to RBI's March 2017 CPI target of 5 percent and consequently some space for further easing.

Monetary policy committee (MPC), which has three members nominated by the government and the rest (three) from the RBI, lowered repo rate to 6.25 percent from 6.50 percent at the end of two-day deliberations on October 4. The next meeting of the MPC is scheduled on December 6 and 7.

11:30 am Mistry ouster: Ousted chairman Cyrus Mistry today rebutted Tata Sons' contention of expenses having risen under his four-year rule, calling it a "brazen attempt to mislead" public and shareholders and said "significant" costs were incurred for corporate jets used by Ratan Tata. Among the explanations, Mistry says that Tata Sons was bearing entire office costs for Ratan Tata, the chairman emeritus, and a "significant amount" of this was for the use of corporate jets. Mistry said the replacement of controversial lobbyist Nira Radia's Vaishnavi Communications with Arun Nanda's Rediffussion Edelman just prior to his taking over also resulted in a jump in costs from Rs 40 crore to Rs 60 crore.

The market is very volatile as the Sensex is up 191.68 points or 0.73% at 26496.31. The Nifty is up 49.65 points or 0.6 percent at 8158.10. About 1222 shares have advanced, 992 shares declined, and 105 shares are unchanged.

Asian Paints, TCS, Infosys, Maruti and Tata Motors are gainers while Lupin, Dr Reddy's, GAIL, ITC and Tata Steel are losers in the Sensex.

Gold prices rose by 0.24 percent to Rs 29,390 per 10 gram in futures trade as participants created fresh positions, tracking a firm trend overseas.

Likewise, the yellow metal for delivery in far-month February next year moved up by Rs 50 or 0.17 percent to Rs 29,156 per 10 gram in five lots.

Analysts said fresh positions created by traders in line with a firm global trend after gold snapped its biggest three-day drop in more than a year amid signs that prices fell too far, too fast and as the dollar weakened for the first time since last week's US presidential election, influenced the precious metal prices at futures trade.

10:55 am Gold data: Arresting the eight-month fall, gold imports more than doubled to USD 3.5 billion in October on account of high festival demand. Gold imports had stood at USD 1.67 billion in October last year, official data released showed. The imports of the precious metal were on a decline since February this year till September. The increase in gold imports pushed the trade deficit to 10-month high of USD 10.16 billion in October from USD 9.69 billion during the same month last year. The imports mainly take care of demand of jewellery industry. The jump in gold imports will also impact the current account deficit (CAD).

10:45 am International markets: The strengthening in US bond yields and dollar after Donald Trump became United States' President-elect has led experts to speculate that the developed nations might outperform emerging markets. Refuting such predictions, Andrew Freris, CEO of Ecognosis Advisory opines that that small Asian markets are massively outperforming developed markets. In an interview with CNBC-TV18 he said that going forward the US Fed decision will hardly have any impact on the interest rates of Asian markets. With respect to emerging markets, Freris has a positive outlook on Brazil, Russia, Thailand, Indonesia and Taiwan.

10:30 am Market outlook: The disruption caused due to the government's move to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes is a short-term disruption, according to UBS Securities. The disruption will be short lived and UBS Securities expects it to last not more than a month, said Gautam Chhaochharia. On speculation that RBI may pay a special dividend from the cash clean-up act, Chhaochharia said that RBI should not be looked at as a company but as a policy-making body. Hence, it should not be presumed that the central bank will pay a special dividend. Chhaochharia said private banks are likely to benefit from CASA rising on account of demonetisation. He said that he expects NBFCs to see short-term impact on loan disbursements. He added that valuations in pharma sector look reasonable and is underweight on IT.

Erasing early gains, the market has become completely flat. The Nifty is holding 8100 and the Sensex is up 50.31 points or 0.2 percent at 26354.94. About 832 shares have advanced, 1115 shares declined, and 88 shares are unchanged.

TCS, Asian Paints, Maruti, ICICI Bank and ONGC are top gainers while Tata Steel, Lupin, Axis Bank, ITC and GAIL are losers in the Sensex.

Reversing its two-day fall, the rupee recovered by 19 paise to 67.55 against the US dollar in early trade today on fresh selling of the American currency by banks and exporters.

Forex dealers said weakness of dollar against other currencies overseas and a higher opening in the domestic equity market also boosted the trading sentiment. Besides, the retail inflation declining to 14-month low of 4.2 percent in October also helped in lifting the mood.

Yesterday, the rupee tumbled by 49 paise to end at near five-month low of 67.74 following frantic demand for the American currency amid heavy capital outflows.

9:55 am Early Union Budget: In a departure from the norm, the government has decided to present the Union Budget for FY18 on February 1, 2017. In the past, Budget has been presented on the last working day of February.

The move is aimed at expediting implementation of various schemes beginning March 1, 2017, the newspaper report stated, quoting two persons familiar with the development.

9:45 am Deal: JM Financial subsidiary JM Financial Products has acquired over 19 lakh shares in India Home Loan (IHL), translating into over 17 percent in the firm.

"JM Financial Products Ltd, a subsidiary of the company, today acquired 19,93,380 shares of India Home Loan representing 17.53 percent of the total paid-up equity share capital of IHL through second purchase route," JM Financial said in a regulatory filing.

Earlier on October 20, the company had disclosed its plan of about buying the stake in Mumbai-based IHL by acquiring full holding of one of the promoters and another's non locked-in shares.

The valuation of the deal was not provided.

9:30 am Downgrades: Credit Suisse has downgraded cement stocks like UltraTech Cement, Ambuja Cements and discretionary stocks like Asian Paints, Eicher Motors to underperform and Kajaria Ceramics to neutral. It has We reverted to an overweight on IT and pharma.

Neelkanth Mishra of Credit Suisse said, "While there would be significant but short-term growth disruption from demonetisation for most sectors, for some, impact could last longer. It may take years for currency in the black market to replenish, hurting real estate volumes and prices. NBFCs, construction, cement and discretionary demand to be hurt."

The market has seen a super strong opening after losing 1200 points in last two consecutive sessions. The Nifty is up 95.45 points or 1.2 percent at 8203.90 and the Sensex is up 257.01 points or 0.9 percent at 26561.64. About 781 shares have advanced, 134 shares declined, and 25 shares are unchanged.

Asian Paints, ICICI Bank, Adani Ports, Tata Motors and SBI are top gainers while Axis Bank is down.

The Indian rupee opened marginally higher at 67.68 per dollar versus previous close 67.74.

NS Venkatesh of Lakshmi Vilas Bank said, "The rupee fell to a 4-month low on expectations that Trump's policies may boost inflation in the US and lead to higher interest rates. It is expected to take cues from the equity market and also take support from balance of trade published yesterday which was favourable."

The dollar held near an 11-month high against a basket of currencies as some stability returned to the US bond market following a vicious sell-off, helped by unexpectedly strong data on US October retail sales.

Global markets are higher as the Trump rally continues and oil rebounds.

Asian shares won the reprieve from a rally in Wall Street shares as the sell-off in global bonds and sharp gains in the dollar paused for now.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.2 percent in early trade on Wednesday, bouncing back from a four-month low touched the previous day. Japan's Nikkei rose 1.0 percent to nine-month high thanks to the fall in the yen against the dollar.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.29 percent to a record high while the S&P 500 gained 0.75 percent.

Since Donald Trump's unexpected victory in the US Presidential election last week, US shares have rallied while US bond prices tumbled, pushing up their yields sharply, as investors expect higher inflation under his presidency.

Voltas, SCI and Ramco Industries will announce September quarter results today. Oil market companies will be in focus as petrol price was  cut by Rs 1.46 a litre and diesel by Rs 1.53 per litre, reversing the rising trend of the past few weeks.

In the currency space, the dollar held near an 11-month high against a basket of currencies as some stability returned to the US bond market following a vicious sell-off, helped by unexpectedly strong data on US October retail sales.
 
In the world of commodities, crude oil prices jumped nearly 6 percent on Tuesday. Bouncing back from multi-month lows on expectations that OPEC will agree later this month to cut production to reduce a supply glut.

Saudi energy minister is expected to travel to Doha, this week for meetings with oil-producing countries on the sidelines of an energy forum.

Gold edged higher, snapping a three-session losing streak, on uncertainty over the economic policies of US President-elect Donald Trump. Trump has vowed to boost domestic spending, which has the potential to stoke inflation and dent demand for non-yielding bullion, but the market is seeking more detail on his policies