Sensex closes lower, Nifty ends at 8139; Bharti, ONGC fall 2-3%

3:30 pm Market closing: Benchmark indices ended the Friday's session lower with Sensex falling 29.51 points to 26489.56 and the Nifty down 14.15 points at 8139.45.

ITC, ICICI Bank, Bharti Airtel, Adani Ports, ONGC, Hero Motocorp and Tata Steel were down 1-3 percent while Infosys, Tata Motors, TCS and Cipla gained over a percent.

The market breadth weakened further in late trade as about 1492 shares declined against 1119 advancing shares on the BSE.

3:24 pm Buzzing: Anuh Pharma shares rallied 20 percent intraday after getting European Medicines good manufacturing practice certificate for 2 products.

"French Naional Agency for Medicines and Health Products Safety has considered the site at Tarapur in Maharashtra in compliance with principles of good manufacturing practice for active substances referred to in Article 47 of Directive 2001/83/EC and has granted EUGMP certificate for Erythromycin Ethyl Succinate and Pyrazinamide," the Mumbai-based pharma company said in its filing.

French Naional Agency had inspected the manufacturing site on September 16, 2016.

In addition, World Health Organisation (WHO) Geneva had also inspected this manufacturing site on September 16.

WHO considered the site in compliance to its good manufacturing practice for active pharmaceutical ingredients - Pyrazinamide and Sulfadoxine.

3:13 pm Cash shortage to end soon: Cash shortages following the demonetisation of high value currency notes will end by mid- January, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant today said.

Disruption in the economy was inevitable after this step, taken as India aspires to have become a USD 10 trillion economy, said a statement by industry body Ficci, quoting Kant.

He heads the high-level committee set up the government to identify all possible modes of digital payments across sectors as it pushes on with its drive towards a cashless economy.

"The committee is well on its way towards establishing and monitoring an implementation framework with strict timelines to ensure that nearly 80 per cent of the transactions in India move to the digital-only platform," Kant said.

3:01 pm Assets sale: FMCG major Hindustan Unilever (HUL) today said its subsidiary Pond's Exports Ltd will sell certain movable assets and inventory of its leather business to Hindustan Foods for an undisclosed sum.

"Pond's Exports (PEL), a subsidiary of Hindustan Unilever Ltd, engaged in the business of manufacturing of leather products, has entered into an agreement with Hindustan Foods Ltd for sale of certain movable assets and inventory with respect to the leather business of PEL," Hindustan Unilever Ltd said in a BSE filing.

Hindustan Foods said, "This marks the entry of Hindustan Foods Ltd in the leather shoes exports space with a global clientele".

2:45 pm Credit Suisse on Eicher: With maintaining underperform rating and target price of Rs 18,300 on Eicher Motors, Credit Suisse says Bajaj Auto's newly launched Dominar 400 provides the first direct competition for Eicher Motors.

The brokeage house feels enquiries as well as waiting periods have got impacted for Royal Enfield's Classic 350.

It says if the waiting period were to go, that could result in de-rating for stock and waiting period for Eicher's Classic 350 could get impacted if Dominar gains traction.

2:34 pm Order win: The state-owned BHEL today said that it has bagged a major order from Indian Railways for supply of IGBT-based traction converters.

"Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) has bagged a major order for supply of 118 sets of IGBT-based traction converters for 3 Phase 6,000 HP electric locomotives," the company said in a statement.

Valued at Rs 200 crore, the order has been placed on BHEL by Chittaranjan Locomotive Works (CLW), it said.

Significantly, BHEL has already supplied 225 such IGBT-based traction converters, which are in operation with Indian Railways.

2:16 pm Cyclone impact: Several vessels and facilities at L&T shipyard at Kattupalli in Tiruvallur district on outskirts of Chennai have been damaged due to cyclone Vardah, but the company asserts that there won't be any "significant" impact on its business.

Vardah, the most intense cyclone to have hit the Tamil Nadu capital in two decades, hit the shipyard hard, blowing away the roof of the workshop, while at least four vessels for which the company was looking for customers were damaged.

"We are inspecting and assessing the extent of damage to the vessels and will make a plan for repair after that. The assets are covered under insurance," said D Morada, V-P of L&T.

He admitted that there has been "some damage" to the shipyard but was not very severe.

"Since the facility was built by L&T, it will not take too long to repair the damage and restore normal operations," he said, adding that overall, "there will be no significant impact our business".

2:00 pm Market Check
Benchmark indices remained flat with a negative bias after factoring in all the recent events like demonetisation, Federal Reserve's rate hike etc. Even the winter session of Parliament was non-event for the market as opposition parties disrupted proceedings due to currency demonetisation.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was down 1.21 points at 26517.86 and the 50-share NSE Nifty declined 6.20 points to 8147.40. About 1309 shares declined against 1120 advancing shares on the BSE.

Now all eyes are on December quarter earnings, which will be important, especially after demonetisation.

European shares were mixed as investors continued to react to the Federal Reserve's rate hike and digested fresh data from the euro zone.

1:20 pm FII View: Demonetisation may hit growth for a few quarters but if it makes India's tax to GDP ratio grow by around 50 bps because of the deposits that have come in the formal economy, it will be a major long-term positive, says Sajjid Shenoy, Asia Economist at JP Morgan.

The fact that the government is confident of remonetising 60-70 percent of the currency by January is a positive, he said.

Bharat Iyer of JP Morgan said that he predicts global growth to be up by 25 bps for 2017. He said that the US rate cycle trajectory will be important for valuation in the coming year.

He further said that JP Morgan remains overweight on developed markets compared to emerging markets for the next year but he structurally remains positive on EMs as well.

1:00 pm Market Check
Benchmark indices continued to reel under marginal selling pressure amid volatility as activities at FIIs desk started slowing down ahead of Christmas holiday and vacation.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was down 28.50 points at 26490.57 and the 50-share NSE Nifty declined 14.90 points to 8138.70. The market breadth weakened further as about 1290 shares slipped against 1072 advancing shares on the BSE.

Nifty Bank, Metal, Healthcare and Realty indices were under pressure while IT and Auto gained.

Oil marketing companies IOC, HPCL and BPCL shares were down 1-1.5 percent after they have deferred a planned Rs 2.26 a litre hike in petrol and Rs 1.78 increase in diesel. These companies revise rates, particularly when a price cut is necessitated, on 1st and 16th of every month based on average international price in the previous fortnight.

In the broader space, Tree House was locked at 20 percent lower circuit as following playgroup downing the shutters on 113 branches across India, the company has come under a spotlight. It has claimed that it hasn't been able to pay staff salaries leading to the shutting of branches.

12:35 pm FDI inflow: Pinning hopes on a slew of FDI reforms unveiled by the government in 2016, the government expects that the momentum of high FDI inflows will continue in the new year.

FDI inflows in January-September jumped 21 percent to USD 32.18 billion.

"I am sure the momentum on FDI will continue. I think many of the areas where the ball is set rolling, you might see tangible results coming out in 2017," Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told PTI.

She said things are moving in key areas, including defence and medical devices.

"I suppose by middle of 2017, you will get to see some developments in those (sectors) also because after the policy got opened up, particularly in sectors like defence and railway, it takes a while because they are large investments and they come in with technology," she said.

12:20 pm Interview: Fuel price hike has been delayed and this is not good news for oil marketing companies as crude oil prices have fallen 15 percent since the OPEC deal. Speaking to CNBC-TV18 B Ashok, Chairman of IOC, said that they are keeping track of prices on a daily basis.

Without committing to a deadline for when the revision in prices will come about, he said the gross refining margins for the oil marketer were good in Q2. The margins for India were USD 4.5 for the quarter and the half yearly number for the same was a little over USD 7 dollars a barrel.

He believes there will be no major inventory effect on the current year.

He reiterated that price revisions need not be undertaken within a fixed timeframe. ''We might find ourselves doing a daily price change also in future,'' he said, adding that he doesn't anticipate any under-recovery on petrol and diesel in this current year.

12:00 pm Market Check
Equity benchmarks as well as broader markets remained rangebound in noon trade with the Sensex hovering around 26500 level. Technology stocks continued to support the market whereas selling pressure was seen in banks, FMCG, select metals and pharma stocks.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was down 24.86 points at 26494.21 and the 50-share NSE Nifty slipped 13.05 points to 8140.55. The market breadth was moderately negative as about 1201 shares declined against 1054 advancing shares on the BSE.

Drugmaker Aurobindo Pharma shares fell more than 3 percent to hit lowest in more than nine months after it was named in a lawsuit alleging it colluded with other drugmakers to fix prices of two commonly-used drugs in the United States.

Claris Lifesciences was one of the top five most active shares, up 6 percent after it signed a deal to sell injectable business to US company Baxter International for USD 625 million.

Gold edged up but remained near its weakest level in 10-1/2 months, pressured as the US dollar surged to multi-year peaks after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates and projected further hikes in 2017.

Oil prices also climbed higher after market sources said Kuwait had told customers it was cutting supplies by more than initially expected from January as part of a coordinated effort by oil producers to drain a global glut.

11:39 am Buzzing: Drugmaker Aurobindo Pharma shares hit lowest in more than nine months after it was named in a lawsuit alleging it colluded with other drugmakers to fix prices of two commonly-used drugs in the United States.

About 44 percent of Aurobindo's sales come from its US business.

The lawsuit, filed in the US District Court for the District of Connecticut by 20 US states, also named Heritage Pharmaceuticals Inc, a company owned by India's Emcure Pharma Ltd, as a "ring leader" of the price manipulation.

The suit pertained to commonly-used antibiotic doxycycline hyclate, and glyburide, an older drug used to treat diabetes.

Others named in the suit include the world's largest generic drugs maker Teva Pharmaceuticals, Mylan NV, Citron Pharma LLC, and Australia's Mayne Pharma.

11:20 am Listing: Hyderabad-based healthcare company Laurus Labs is set to debut on bourses December 19. The company has fixed issue price of Rs 428, the higher end of price band.

The pharma company has raised Rs 1,332-crore through initial public offering that was opened during December 6-8, 2016.

The issue was oversubscribed 4.57 times on the huge support from qualified institutional buyers (QIBs).

The reserved portion of QIBs was subscribed over 10.5 times, while high networth individuals and retail investors' quota received 3.58 times and 1.67 times subscription, respectively.

The firm intends to utilise fresh issue proceeds for pre-payment of loans and general corporate purposes.

11:00 am Market Check
The market continued to consolidate with the Nifty gyrating in a range of 8130-8150 in morning. ITC and ICICI Bank were the leading contributors while Infosys and HDFC continued to support the market.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was down 25.22 points at 26493.85 and the 50-share NSE Nifty declined 12.10 points to 8141.50.

Gold edged up but remained near its weakest level in 10-1/2 months, pressured as the US dollar surged to multi-year peaks after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates and projected further hikes in 2017.

Oil prices edged up after market sources said Kuwait had told customers it was cutting supplies by more than initially expected from January as part of a coordinated effort by oil producers to drain a global glut.

International Brent crude oil futures were trading at USD 54.29 per barrel, up 0.5 percent from their last settlement. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 0.31 percent, at USD 51.21 per barrel.

10:57 am Buzzing: Claris Lifesciences shares hit a record high of Rs 430.10, up 20 percent intraday after the company sold its injectable business to US healthcare company.

"....has entered into definitive agreements with Baxter International Inc for the sale of its global generic injectables business for a total gross consideration of USD 625 million," the Ahmedabad-based pharma company said in its filing to the exchange.

It has a total of 11 approved products in the US, around 25 ANDAs under review with the FDA and markets its products in more than 75 countries.

Claris Life is expected to complete this sale within 12 months and intends to repatriate a significant majority of the net cash proceeds to the shareholders.

10:42 am Gold imports rise: Gold imports grew for the second consecutive month in November by 23.24 percent to USD 4.36 billion on account of fall in prices.

Gold imports were worth USD 3.54 billion in November last year, the official data released showed.

Imports of the precious metal were on a decline since February this year till September. It recorded positive growth in October.

The increase in gold imports, however, pushed the trade deficit to about two-year high of USD 13 billion in November from USD 10.33 billion during the same month last year.

The imports mainly take care of demand of jewellery industry. The increase in gold imports will also impact the current account deficit (CAD).

10:30 am Loan restructuring: J&K Bank announced restructuring of loan payments, including funding the interest, for its customers in the state who are hit by five-month unrest in the valley.

The Jammu and Kashmir Bank shall fund the interest due from the borrowers while deferring the principal repayments in the loan accounts up to a maximum period of 18 months, till December 2017, chairman of the bank Parvaiz Ahmad said.

He said the bank has also substantially reduced the rate of interest to be charged during the 'repayment holiday' on interest funding to 9.5 percent per annum.

"Additional finance will be sanctioned to the affected borrowers up to a maximum of 20 percent of their existing limits at concessional rate of interest.

The farmers who have suffered losses to their crops to the extent of 33 percent or more are also covered in the package," the chairman added.

He said the package shall be applicable till February 2017 in accordance with the RBI approval and the borrowers can avail the benefits of the relief package during the applicable period from their respective branches.

10:15 am FII View: Economic cycle is unlikely to pick up in the visible future until capex cycle improves, Sanjay Mookim, Director, India Equity Strategy at Bank of America Merrill Lynch said.

Demonetisation has put the brakes on the capex cycle for now. It is not only deflationary, but also 'poor for earnings', he said.

Speaking to CNBC-TV18, Mookim said that FY19 will see banks delivering reasonable growth. About 40 percent of earnings will come from banks and hence, is recommended by the investment bank.

Equity benchmarks continued to consolidate with the Nifty hovering around 8150 level due to lack of domestic and global cues. FIIs activity is expected to be limited for next 2-weeks due to Christmas holiday and vacation.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was down 28.30 points at 26490.77 and the 50-share NSE Nifty fell 14.70 points to 8138.90. The market breadth was marginally positive as about 1014 shares advanced against 902 declining shares on the BSE.

Sun Pharma lost another 2 percent on top of 4 percent fall in previous session, followed by ITC, ICICI Bank, Adani Ports, ONGC, Lupin and Axis Bank.

Buying in index heavyweights Infosys (up 1.07 percent), HDFC (up 0.83 percent) and Reliance Industries (up 0.2 percent) capped the downside.

9:52 am Market update: Equity benchmarks were volatile due to lack of domestic and global cues.

The Sensex was up 6.31 points at 26525.38 and the Nifty declined 3.70 points to 8149.90. About 1011 shares advanced against 615 declining shares on the BSE.

9:45 am Interview: The board of Brigade Enterprises has approved the restructuring of its business by hiving off the hotel business into a separate subsidiary.

In an interview with CNBC-TV18, Suresh Kris, CFO of Brigade Enterprises said that the company took this decision as its hospitality business had grown with a substantial number of rooms.

The company currently has 1,000 keys and three operational hotels and plans to add two more hotels going ahead.

9:39 am Nomura on Axis Bank: Nomura has upgraded Axis Bank to buy from neutral with increased target price at Rs 550 (from Rs 540 earlier) as asset quality risks priced in.

The brokerage house says the bank is now catching up on stress recognition with peers. It feels revised slippages/credit cost guidance factored in the stress adequately.

Nomura expects normalised return on equities of 16.5-17 percent beyond this credit cycle and sees little scope for negative surprise on asset quality.

9:31 am FII View: "Of the 36 monthly economic indicators that we track, data for November is available for 22. The data is far better than what was initially feared," Mahesh Nandurkar of CLSA says.

The possible reason is that December will likely capture the full impact of demonetisation, as some upfronting of payments with old notes happened in November, according to him.

However, corporate commentary has gradually improved and the most-bullish commentary was issued by Maruti Suzuki, Eicher Motors and Titan, that activities have normalised, Nandurkar says.

9:15 am Market Check
Indian equities rebounded in early trade Friday after correction in previous session. The broader markets also opened higher with moderate gains.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 65.17 points at 26584.24 and the 50-share NSE Nifty rose 24.60 points to 8178.20. The BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices gained 0.3 percent each.

Infosys, HDFC, Tata Motors, TCS, Maruti Suzuki and L&T advanced 0.2-1 percent.

Axis Bank gained further, up 0.5 percent after the bank has suspended 24 employees due to irregularities in exchanges and deposits of money.

Sun Pharma extended losses a bit, falling half a percent after losing over 4 percent in previous session.

The Indian rupee has opened higher at 67.82 to the dollar compared with 67.83 in previous session.

Yesterday, it ended at lowest closing level against dollar since December 6, especially after the US Federal Reserve on Wednesday hiked interest rate by 25 basis points to 0.5 percent from 0.75 percent and announced hawkish outlook of three rate hikes in 2017 against two hikes expected in Fed's September policy.

Bhaskar Panda of HDFC Bank says US Federal Reserve delivered as per market expectations. Hawkish undertone has pushed Dollar index to 14-year high.

This will impact USD-INR pair as well, he feels. He expects a range of 67.90-68.30 against the US dollar.

Asian shares were higher as currency swings captured attention with the Chinese yuan at its lowest point against the dollar since May 2008 and Japan stocks up slightly on recent yen weakness.

US stocks rose on Thursday, led by gains in bank shares, a day after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the second time in nearly a decade.