Nifty ends at 8247, Sensex up 457 points; Tata group stocks lead

3:30 pm Market closing: The Sensex ended up 457.41 points or 1.7 percent at 26694.28 and the Nifty was up 144.80 points or 1.8 percent at 8246.85.  About 1791 shares advanced, 824 shares declined, and 192 shares were unchanged.

Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Adani Ports, Hero MotoCorp and Bajaj Auto were gainers.

3:10 pm Upcoming IPO: The initial public offer (IPO) of pharmaceutical firm Laurus Labs was fully subscribed in the afternoon on the final day of the bidding today.

The IPO received bids for 2,26,84,270 shares as against total issue size of 2,19,11,308 scrips, garnering a subscription of 1.04 times as per NSE data till 1300 hours.

Till yesterday, retail investor portion was subscribed 39 per cent, while the quota reserved for qualified institutional buyers (QIBs) and non-institutional investors got subscribed 1.02 times and 54 per cent respectively.

2:55 pm Interview: Tata Steel has reached an agreement with trade unions to work towards closure of the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS). Successful negotiations on contribution terms, employment pacts and investments terms could bypass the need for a ballot.

In conversation with CNBC-TV18, Bimlendra Jha, CEO of Tata Steel UK, said the company is trying to launch consultation process to close the pension scheme to future accrual and it will start next week.

He said consultation to close pension scheme will help de-risk business and he expects closure of BSPS by end of FY17.

Keeping the new scheme in mind, the target is to reach sustainable earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) of 200 million pounds in 2 years, said Jha.

2:45 pm RBI policy: The rate cut cycle may not be over, and the Reserve Bank may go for a 25-50 bps cut in calender year 2017, as the underlying disinflationary forces are expected to continue next year, says a report.

RBI surprised with a status quo on policy, premised on upside risk to January-March quarter inflation and limited transient growth drag owing to demonetisation.

According to Kotak Institutional Equities, "The tone was hawkish and we do not rule out another status quo in February, albeit contingent on the CSO advance estimate of FY2017 GVA".

If the CSO's advance estimates of GVA indicate a significant slippage in third quarter (October-December) of FY2016-17 growth compared to RBI's estimate, "RBI may favour a cut in February", the report said.

2:30 pm Exclusive: Adani Group is in advanced talks to buy Isolux's transmission project in Uttar Pradesh, sources say. CNBC-TV18 reports the Group is likely to buy the 1,600-kilometre under-construction Mainpuri-Bara transmission line project. The cost of the project is around Rs 7,000 crore. The Adani Group is likely to take over the project post its completion. The Group does not want to put burden on Adani Transmission with debt on the project, which is up for sale due to delay. PFC and REC are likely to be the lenders for Isolux's UP project. Adani Group and Isolux did not offer a comment on the above news.

The market is surging again as the Sensex is up 445.05 points or 1.7 percent at 26681.92 and the Nifty is up 141.55 points or 1.7 percent at 8243.60. About 1799 shares have advanced, 697 shares declined, and 162 shares are unchanged.

Tata Steel, Adani Ports, Tata Motors, ITC and Maruti are gainers while NTPC is down.

Markets in Europe opened higher as investors await an announcement from President Mario Draghi of the ECB (European Central Bank) on further monetary stimulus.

The Stoxx 600 was up by 0.26 percent with most sectors trading in the green.

Basic Resources were the best performing sector in early morning trade.

Investor expectations point to an extension of the ECB's quantitative easing program by another six months but along with some signals that this monetary policy would not last forever.

1:52 pm Market Update: Equity benchmarks extended rally in afternoon trade. The Sensex was up 454.01 points or 1.73 percent at 26690.88 and the Nifty gained 138.70 points or 1.71 percent at 8240.75.

About 1787 shares advanced against 697 declining shares on the BSE.

1:50 pm Buzzing: Crompton Greaves shares fell nearly 8 percent intraday after the company and Pauwels Spaco terminated share purchase agreement (SPA) for its international power business.

"After review of the situation, the parties to the sale have decided not to further pursue the completion and the SPA consequently stands terminated," the Avantha Group company said in its filing.

While explaining the reason for termination of agreement, Crompton said certain conditions precedents to the SPA continued to remain unfulfilled and the fulfilment of the same was beyond the reasonable control of the parties in the multi-geography / product line international power business.

The stock has been under pressure, especially after the company extended the completion date for this transaction for twice in the past.

1:42 pm Europe opens: Markets in Europe opened higher as investors await an announcement from President Mario Draghi of the ECB (European Central Bank) on further monetary stimulus.

The Stoxx 600 was up by 0.26 percent with most sectors trading in the green.

1:32 pm Acquisition: Adani Group is in advanced talks to buy Isolux's transmission project in Uttar Pradesh, sources say.

CNBC-TV18 reports the Group is likely to buy the 1,600-kilometre under-construction Mainpuri-Bara transmission line project. The cost of the project is around Rs 7,000 crore.

The Adani Group is likely to take over the project post its completion. The Group does not want to put burden on Adani Transmission with debt on the project, which is up for sale due to delay.

PFC and REC are likely to be the lenders for Isolux's UP project.

Adani Group and Isolux did not offer a comment on the above news.

1:20 pm HDFC Life-Max Life merger: HDFC Life and Max Life are working on the issues raised by insurance regulator last month with respect to their merger, Irdai Chairman T S Vijayan said today.

"There are some issues, the companies are working on it.

That is a complex issue. I won't be able to explain it," Irdai Chairman T S Vijayan told reporters on the sidelines of the FICCI Annual Health Insurance Conference when asked about hurdles to the merger.

"Time taken for approval depends on the companies. Some discussions are going on." Last month, Irdai had expressed reservations about the current form of amalgamation of Max Life and HDFC Life into a single entity.

The scheme proposes merging of insurance business in an agreement among Max Financial Services (MFSL), the subsidiary Max Life Insurance Company (Max Life), HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company (HDFC Life) and Max India.

HDFC Life and Max Life had filed an application seeking in-principle approval of Irdai for the proposed amalgamation scheme on September 21, 2016.

1:00 pm Market Check
Equity benchmarks as well as broader markets retained morning rally due to broadbased buying after FIIs started taking exposure to quality stocks that saw heavy selling pressure last month. Positive global cues also supported the market.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 387.83 points or 1.48 percent at 26624.70 and the 50-share NSE Nifty rose 121.90 points or 1.50 percent to 8223.95 while the BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices gained 1.17 percent each.

About 1757 shares advanced against 662 declining shares on the BSE.

Cigarette major ITC extended rally to 2.7 percent in afternoon trade followed by HDFC Bank, Infosys, Reliance Industries, HDFC, TCS and L&T.

Tata Motors surged nearly 4 percent after solid growth in JLR November sales in China & North America while Tata Steel topped the buying list, up 4.4 percent after its UK subsidiary has reached agreement with trade unions w.r.t closure of pension scheme.

However, NTPC and Dr Reddy's Labs were only losers among Sensex 30 stocks.

12:45 pm Europe likely to open higher: Markets in Europe are set to open higher today as investors await an announcement from President Mario Draghi of the ECB (European Central Bank) on further monetary stimulus.

The FTSE 100 should open 16 points up at 6,918, the DAX is set to begin trading 50 points higher at 11,036 and the CAC is seen 22 points higher at 4,716.

Investor expectations point to an extension of the ECB's quantitative easing program by another six months but along with some signals that this monetary policy would not last forever.

12:32 pm Import duty: India has scrapped the 10 percent import duty on wheat to facilitate buying by private traders, a government source said today, amid fears of a shortage of the staple after droughts in 2014 and 2015 depleted stocks.

Private importers have purchased about 500,000 tonnes of wheat, largely from Australia, in the past month.

India, the world's second-biggest wheat producer, lowered its import tax on the grain to 10 percent from 25 percent in September.

12:20 pm Service tax waived off: Government will waive service tax on debit and credit card transactions of up to Rs 2,000 in a bid to promote digital transactions amid cash crunch following withdrawal of old Rs 500 and 1,000 banknotes.

The government has decided to "exempt services by an acquiring bank to any person in relation to settlement of an amount up to Rs 2,000 in a single transaction transacted trough credit, debit card or other payment card service", sources said.

A notification to this effect will be tabled by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Parliament.

Following demonetisation of old high value notes, there has been a cash crunch in the country as people have been making a beeline for banks and ATMs to withdraw new currency.

The government has been taking steps to promote cashless or digital transactions to take India towards a less-cash economy.

12:00 pm Market check
Bulls have taken a complete control over Dalal Street as the Sensex surged nearly 400 points after pricing in RBI's unexpected rate status quo and due to renewed buying interest from FIIs.

The 30-share BSE Sensex surged 387.77 points or 1.48 percent to 26624.64 and the 50-share NSE Nifty gained 119.15 points or 1.47 percent at 8221.20.

The market breadth remained strong but the gap between advance and decline narrowed. About three shares advanced for every share falling against 5:1 ratio in early trade on the BSE.

With overweight rating on India, Mixo Das of Nomura says while he sees some upside in equities in the very near term as the Donald Trump trade unwinds somewhat, he anticipates a difficult H12017.

Earnings momentum slows and valuations come under pressure, he reasons. He says he will look to position accordingly in early Q1.

Tata Steel, Tata Motors and Adani Ports were the biggest gainers, up 3-4 percent followed by ITC, Maruti Suzuki, Hero Motocorp and Coal India with 2-2.5 percent upside.

11:50 am Polaris OFS: Global IT services major - Virtusa Corporation which had a majority interest in Polaris, will sell 18.86 lakh shares or 1.86 percent in the company via an offer for sale (OFS) at a 40-percent discount to the acquisition price within 1 year. The issue has opened today and will close on December 9.

The stock price of Polaris tumbled close to 5 percent on the news

The OFS floor price has been fixed at Rs 130 per share or 19 percent discount to Wednesday's closing price. It also has an upsize option of another 18.86 lakh shares.

11:40 am Earnings: GMR Infrastructure today reported that its standalone net loss for the September quarter widened to Rs 700.34 crore due to provision for diminution in value of investments and advances in subsidiaries.

The company had reported a net loss of Rs 7.41 crore in the year-ago period.

Its total income from operations rose to Rs 331.22 crore as against over Rs 292.6 crore a year ago, it said.

During the quarter under review, the company reported provision for diminution in value of investments and advances in subsidiaries of Rs 752.65 crore.

11:30 am FII View: Once the western market rally is over, emerging markets are likely to outperform, believes Richard Harris, Chief Executive of Port Shelter Investment Management.

Western market rallies, he said, are usually short-lived. The market has already discounted a probable rate hike by the US Federal Reserve.

Policies of President elect Donald Trump will be positive for the US economy, which is why US is seen moving ahead now. Global tensions like Brexit and geopolitical issues are seeing some relief now.

Among emerging markets, India is becoming less volatile, Harris added.

11:20 am Nov auto sales: Domestic passenger vehicle sales rose 1.82 percent to 2,40,979 units in November, from 2,36,664 in the same month last year.

Domestic car sales ticked up to 1,73,606 units as against 1,73,111 in November last year, according to data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).

Motorcycle sales last month declined 10.21 percent to 7,78,178 units, from 8,66,696 a year earlier. Total two-wheeler sales in November fell 5.85 percent to 12,43,251 units compared with 13,20,552 units in the year-ago month.

Sales of commercial vehicles were down 11.58 percent at 45,773 units in November, SIAM said.

Vehicle sales across categories registered a decline of 5.48 percent at 15,63,665 units, from 16,54,407 in November 2015, it added.

11:00 am Market Check
Relief rally continued in morning trade after renewed buying by FIIs seen for the second consecutive session yesterday. They net bought Rs 400 crore worth of equity shares after selling nearly Rs 17,000 crore worth of equities in previous 18 consecutive sessions due to likely Fed rate hike in December and US elections.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 353.79 points or 1.35 percent at 26590.66 and the 50-share NSE Nifty gained 110.40 points or 1.36 percent at 8212.45. The broader markets also participated in the rally, up 1.3 percent on strong breadth.

About four shares advanced for every share falling on the BSE.

Heavyweights ITC (up 2 percent), Infosys (up 1.6 percent), HDFC Bank (up 1.2 percent), Reliance Industries (up 1.4 percent) and HDFC (up 1.15 percent) continued to support the market.

Tata Motors surged over 3 percent after solid JLR sales growth in China (up 42 percent) and North America (up 20 percent) in the month of November, though the fall in UK (down 13 percent) and Europe (down 6 percent) sales restricted overall retail sales growth to 2 percent on yearly basis.

10:45 am Royal Enfield in Australia: Niche bike maker Royal Enfield has opened its first exclusive brand store in Melbourne as part of its growth strategy in Australia.

The company, which aims to be a leading player globally in mid-sized motorcycle segment (250-750cc), currently has 25 dealerships across the country.

The exclusive brand store at Melbourne showcases the company's complete range of motorcycles, apparel and accessories under one roof.

"Australia represents one of the most important matured markets for Royal Enfield and we are already witnessing an upward growth in the market, a testimony to which is the 63 percent growth we have received in the first three quarters of 2016, compared to same period last year," Royal Enfield President Rudratej Singh today said in a statement.

10:35 am Buzzing: Hyderabad-based healthcare company Divis Laboratories shares rallied more than 6 percent intraday after Visakhapatnam unit received form 483 from the US health regulator.

"The US Food and Drug Administration has issued a form 483 with 5 observations to company's unit-II at Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh," the company said in its filing.

The company will respond to the USFDA letter within the time permitted, it said.

The US health regulator had an inspection of the plant during November 29 to December 6, 2016.

10:20 am Oil Update: Oil prices edged up in thin trading after steep falls in the previous session, supported by a weaker dollar, positive economic data and a drawdown in US crude stocks.

International Brent crude futures were trading up 4 cents at USD 53.04 a barrel after closing the previous session down 93 cents.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices gained 13 cents to USD 49.90 a barrel.

Crude oil inventories in the United States dropped 2.4 million barrels in the week that ended on December 2, compared with analyst expectations for a draw of 1 million barrels.

But stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub for US crude futures, increased by a hefty 3.8 million barrels last week, the most since 2009, according to data from the US Energy Information Administration on Wednesday.

10:00 am Market Check
Equity benchmarks as well as broader markets climbed over a percent in morning trade, driven by positive global cues. Even the withdrawal of incremental CRR hike boosted the sentiment further.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 361.48 points or 1.38 percent at 26598.35 and the 50-share NSE Nifty gained 113.40 points or 1.40 percent at 8215.45.

The market breadth was strong as about five shares advanced for every share falling on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Tata Motors was the biggest gainer, up 3.7 percent as analysts feel the valuations are attractive after fall in November.

ITC, HDFC, Reliance Industries, HDFC Bank, Infosys, L&T and Maruti Suzuki were other leading contributors to Sensex's gains, up 1-2.5 percent whereas Dr Reddy's Labs was the only loser.

Asian markets were mostly exuberant, after major US indexes had a banner session, hitting record highs overnight, and as forecast-beating China trade data buoyed sentiment. Japan's Nikkei, Hong Kong's Hang Seng, Australia's ASX 200 and South Korea's Kospi were up 0.6-1.2 percent.

9:55 am New listing: Sleepwell mattress maker Sheela Foam is set to debut on bourses on December 9. It has fixed issue price at higher end of price band of Rs 680-730 per share.

The Rs 510-crore initial public offer was oversubscribed 5.09 times on December 1, the last day for subscription. The issue was opened on November 29.

Out of total issue size, Sheela Foam, on November 28, had raised around Rs 153 crore by allotting shares to anchor investors like Fidelity, Goldman Sachs, East Spring, HDFC MF, SBI MF, ICICI Prudential AMC, Premji Investment, IDFC MF and Sundaram MF.

9:45 am Buzzing: Shares of beleaguered Tata Steel rose over 3 percent intraday on Thursday as it has firmed up plans for a strong hold position in UK plant. Tata Steel has pledged to stay in Britain with a 10-year commitment to a one-billion-pound investment plan as part of crucial talks with steelworkers unions to save thousands of jobs in the UK. The move is also seen as favourable for Tata Steel inching close to merge its European assets with Germany's Thyssenkrupp.

Credit Suisse says delinking pension fund should pave way for Thyssenkrupp JV, which could take 6-12 months to materialise. The brokerage firm maintains outperform rating with target unchanged at Rs 515 per share.

The Indian steel giant offered a number of guarantees to its staff at Port Talbot steelworks in south Wales, the UKs largest steel plant, including a minimum five-year guarantee to keep both furnaces operational at the site.

9:30 am Market surges: The Sensex is up 316.55 points or 1.2 percent at 26553.42, and the Nifty up 98.00 points or 1.2 percent at 8200.05. About 1177 shares have advanced, 219 shares declined, and 59 shares are unchanged.

Tata Motors, Tata Steel, Adani Ports, Maruti and Infosys are top gainers while Dr Reddy's Labs is down.

9:25 am FII view: Mixo Das of Nomura says while he sees some upside in equities in the very near term as the Donald Trump trade unwinds somewhat, he anticipates a difficult H12017, as earnings momentum slows and valuations come under pressure, and will look to position accordingly in early Q1.

He expects the MSCI Asia ex-Japan to end 2017 slightly below current levels. Top overweight is India, Das says.

The market has opened higher following global trends. The Sensex is up 235.23 points or 0.9 percent at 26472.10 and the Nifty up 74.10 points or 0.9 percent at 8176.15. About 810 shares have advanced, 139 shares declined, and 23 shares are unchanged.

Tata Steel, Maruti, Tata Motors, Adani Ports and SBI are top gainers while Dr Reddy's and Sun Pharma are losers in the Sensex. The Indian rupee opened higher by 10 paise at 67.53 per dollar versus previous close 67.63.

Mohan Shenoi of Kotak Mahindra Bank said, "US Fed rate hike this month is certain. Market focus is now on pace of future hikes. RBI did not cut policy rates as expected resulting in strengthening of the rupee."

The euro gained slightly on the dollar as investors focused on today's European Central Bank meeting. The dollar index weakened but is holding above the 100 mark.

Asian shares hopped higher after Wall Street strode to new records and bonds rallied on wagers the European Central Bank would extend its asset buying campaign at a policy meeting later in the session.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.8 percent to a one-month top, while Australia jumped 1.3 percent helped by rising resource prices. Japan's Nikkei put on 1 percent, brushing off a disappointing downward revision to economic growth for the third quarter.

Sentiment also seemed little troubled after Moody's changed its outlook on Italy to negative, warning it may downgrade the credit rating if the country's deteriorating economic and debt outlook was not reversed.

Wall Street surged, with the Dow industrials and S&P 500 hitting fresh records, as equities continued their march upward after the election of Donald Trump as US president, and a new high for transportation stocks added to the bullish tone.
All three major indexes finished more than 1 percent higher.The gains came even as Trump's comments on prescription drug pricing wounded the healthcare sector.

European central bank's interest rate decision is due later today. The central bank is largely expected to extend its quantitative easing program beyond March 2017, particularly after a Sunday referendum in Italy left the country's banks in a vulnerable spot.