Sensex ends marginally higher, Nifty fails to hold 8K; Cipla up

3:30 pm Market closing: Equity benchmarks gained for the first time in last eight sessions on Friday, aided by HDFC group, infra and pharma stocks.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 61.10 points at 26040.70 and the Nifty gained 6.65 points at 7985.75.

The market breadth was negative as about 1331 shares declined against 1215 advancing shares on the BSE.

3:06 pm Buzzing: Pharma company Cipla shares gained more than 4 percent intraday after its flagship product Sereflo has received final approval from the UK health regulator.

"Cipla has yielded a final approval for its lead MDI product Fluticasone + Salmeterol (Sereflo) from UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency for its partner in the UK," the Mumbai-based healthcare company said in its filing.

Sereflo, 25 mcg/125 mcg & 25 mcg/250 mcg are generic equivalent to GlaxoSmithKline's Seretide inhalers and are indicated for asthma treatment.

Seretide Inhaler had UK sales of approximately USD 278 million for the 12 month period ending June 2016, according to IMS Health.

Cipla said the drug would be launched in the UK through a partner in the coming weeks.

2:59 pm Market Update: Equity benchmarks remained volatile. The Sensex gained 46.51 points at 26026.11 and the Nifty rose 1.65 points to 7980.75.

About 1298 shares declined against 1188 advancing shares on the BSE.

2:45 pm New interest rate futures: The National Stock Exchange (NSE) will introduce new interest rate futures (IRF) contracts from December 30 on six-year government bonds maturing in 2022.

The IRF contract is based on 6.84 per cent central government security maturing on December 19, 2022, will be made available for trading from December 30, this year, NSE said in a circular.

An IRF contract is an agreement to buy or sell a debt instrument at a specified future date at a pre-determined price.

The cash-settled IRFs provide market participants an option to hedge risks arising from fluctuations in interest rates, which depend on various factors, including RBI policy, demand for liquidity and flow of overseas funds.

2:25 pm Buzzing: Shares of Divis Labs fell as much as 13 percent following reports of adverse observations from the USFDA made on its Vizag facility.

The observations pertain to data integrity, improper controls and violations of current good manufacturing practices (cGMP).

USFDA inspected the Unit-2 plant from November 29 to December 6 and issued a Form 483 with five observations.

According to brokerage firm Emkay, the USFDA observations included proper controls not being exercised over computer systems. Other observations include: facilities and equipment were not maintained to ensure purity quality strength, while R&D division guides quality, production activities were inconsistent with CGMP. Failure to conduct proper probe with respect to complaints and documentation and records were not maintained properly.

Divis in its statement to stock exchanges on December 8 said it was responding to the five observations within the time permitted.

2:00 pm Market Check
Equity benchmarks erased some gains in afternoon trade with the Nifty hovering around 8000 level due to lack of domestic as well as global cues ahead of Christmas holiday.

The 30-share BSE Sensex gained 90.98 points at 26070.58 and the 50-share NSE Nifty rose 18.25 points to 7997.35. The broader markets also came off day's high with the Midcap down 0.2 percent despite positive breadth.

About 1307 shares advanced against 1091 declining shares on the BSE.

Sun Pharma was the biggest gainer, up nearly 3 percent after it acquired 14.58 percent stake in US company scPharmaceuticals for USD 13 million. Short covering also pushed the stock higher as it lost nearly 11 percent in previous seven consecutive sessions.

Infosys, HDFC Bank, Reliance Industries, L&T, HDFC and Maruti gained 0.6-1.6 percent whereas ITC, Axis Bank, Tata Motors, ICICI Bank and TCS were losers in the afternoon trade.

1:30 pm Market Update: Benchmark indices rallied further with the Sensex rising 144.17 points to 26123.77 and the Nifty climbing 37.55 points to 8016.65.

About 1366 shares advanced against 975 declining shares on the BSE.

1:20 pm Kotak on battery makers: Kotak says slower revenue growth remains key concern for battery companies.

It expects revenue growth of battery companies to slow down over the next three years due to 7 percent volume CAGR in automotive replacement industry over FY2016-19 (12 percent CAGR over FY2011-16) and limited scope for market share gains in the four- wheeler replacement segment.

Lead prices have increased significantly, which will cap EBITDA margin and could even lead to some downside risks, it feels.

Valuations are still demanding and don't completely factor in weaker medium-term growth prospects; the brokerage house, therefore, has maintained sell rating on both Amara Raja Batteries with a target price of Rs 765 and Exide Industries with a target price of Rs 165.

1:00 pm Market Check
Benchmark indices gained further in afternoon trade with the Sensex climbing above 26000 level, driven by index heavyweights HDFC, HDFC Bank, L&T and Reliance Industries.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 46.03 points at 26025.63 and the 50-share NSE Nifty gained 6.85 points at 7985.95.

The BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices continued to outperform benchmarks, rising 0.56 percent and 0.35 percent, respectively. About 1256 shares advanced against 1029 declining shares on the BSE.

Oil prices slipped in thin Asian trade ahead of the Christmas and New Year holidays, eroding some of the gains in the previous session as traders took profits.

Brent futures for February delivery dropped 0.44 percent to USD 54.81 a barrel after ending the previous session up 1.1 percent. US West Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.64 percent, to USD 52.62 a barrel after settling up 0.9 percent in the previous session.

12:45 pm Buzzing: Alkem Laboratories shares gained 2 percent intraday after the company received establishment inspection report from the US health regulator for its Daman formulation facility.

With this report, the inspection has now been closed by the US Food & Drug Administration, the Mumbai-based pharma company said in its filing.

The USFDA had inspected Daman formulation facility from September 20-29 and had issued Form-483 with 13 observations.

Post this, the company had submitted a detailed corrective and preventive action (CAPA) plan to the regulator within the stipulated timelines.

Alkem Labs said the USFDA has reviewed the CAPA and has found them acceptable.

12:20 pm SBI Life IPO: State Bank of India (SBI) will get cracking on the process to list its insurance arm SBI Life in 2017-18.

 SBI Life was valued at Rs 46,000 crore during a recent stake sale in December when the State Bank of India (SBI) announced it would divest 3.9 percent stake in its insurance arm for Rs 1794 crore. This made the insurer the highest valued life insurer.

In an interview with Moneycontrol Arijit Basu, MD and CEO, SBI Life said that now that they have a benchmark, this will be actively considered in the next fiscal year.

SBI LIfe is a joint venture between State Bank of India (SBI) and BNP Cardif with the latter holding 26 percent stake. The foreign partner BNP Cardif will take a final decision to hike their stake by the end of the financial year. The new insurance laws allow foreign partners to hold up to 49 percent in an Indian insurance company.

12:00 pm Market Check
Benchmark indices gained strength amid consolidation in noon trade with the Nifty inching towards 8000 level, supported by banking & financials, infra and oil stocks. Trading volumes have been low ahead of Christmas holiday.

The 30-share BSE Sensex rose 50.83 points to 26030.43 and the 50-share NSE Nifty was up 9.90 points at 7989 while the broader markets outperformed benchmarks with the BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices rising 0.3 percent each.

About 1209 shares advanced against 979 declining shares on the exchange.

Sun Pharma retained its top position in the buying list, up more than 2 percent followed by HDFC Bank, L&T, HDFC, Asian Paints, Reliance Industries and Maruti Suzuki whereas ITC, Tata Motors, Axis Bank, Infosys, TCS, M&M and Wipro were under pressure.

In the midcap space, Bajaj Finance, L&T Finance, Piramal Enterprises, UPL and MRF gained 2-4 percent while Reliance Communications, Shriram City, Pidilite Industries, Amara Raja and Emami fell 1-2 percent.

11:25 am Expert: Many sectors have been engulfed in the aftermath of the demonetisation drive and the market too is bearing the brunt of the cash chaos.

Expressing disappointment due to the cash ban, Anish Damania of IDFC Securities says that the market may not see a recovery soon and there will be three quarters of dismay.

He said that the earnings growth will be impacted and earnings growth of non-financial sector can come down close to zero percent from 15 percent.

11:00 am Market Check
Equity benchmarks as well as broader markets remained lacklustre amid low volumes ahead of Christmas holiday. Technology stocks were under pressure while HDFC group stocks led the support.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was down 11.65 points at 25967.95 and the 50-share NSE Nifty declined 9.60 points to 7969.50. The market breadth was negative as about 1133 shares declined against 954 advancing shares on the BSE.

Asian shares were in the red with little Christmas cheer in thin holiday trade. China's Shanghai and Hong Kong's Hang Seng were down over half a percent.

Sun Pharma climbed more than 2 percent on short covering and acquisition of 14.58 percent in US-based scPharmaceuticals Inc. HDFC, HDFC Bank, HUL, Reliance Industries and Maruti Suzuki gained 0.3-1 percent. ITC, Tata Motors, Infosys, TCS, Axis Bank, M&M and Adani Ports fell 0.7-1.4 percent.

Reliance Defence, Maruti Suzuki, Kushal Trade, Sun Pharma, Bharat Financial, Axis Bank and SBI were most active shares.

10:40 am Fund raising: Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services (M&M Finance) said it proposes to raise Rs 5,000 crore through bonds.

The company has established Rs 5,000 crore medium term note programme, it said in a BSE filing.

M&M Finance is a non-banking financial company.

10:20 am FII View: Lewis Alexander of Nomura says as Asia sails into 2017, trying to stay on an even keel will be more challenging than in 2016.

There are too many large risks stacked to the downside, according to him.

He expects central banks of Australia, India, Korea, Malaysia and Thailand to all cut rates further in 2017, which would lead to a major decoupling of Asia monetary policy from that of the Federal Reserve.

Over time, once the storm passes, Alexander sees a growing divide in Asia in coming years, as its striving cubs like India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam unlock their full growth potential.

10:00 am Market Check
The market extended losses in morning trade with the Nifty breaking 7950 level, dragged by FMCG and technology stocks. However, buying in oil and select banking & financials stocks arrested the fall.

The 30-share BSE Sensex fell 79.56 points to 25900.04 and the 50-share NSE Nifty slipped 28.70 points to 7950.40. The broader markets also traded lower with the BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices falling 0.3-0.5 percent on weak breadth.

About 1036 shares declined against 707 advancing shares on the BSE.

Sun Pharma rebounded over a percent on short covering after falling nearly 11 percent in previous seven consecutive sessions on concerns over its Halol plant. The company has acquired 1.3 crore series B preffered stock of US-based company scPharmaceuticals Inc for USD 13 million. Meanwhile, Bank of America Merrill Lynch says the complete resolution of Halol might now be delayed by another 6-9 months.

9:45 am FII View: Willem H Buiter, Global Chief Economist, Citi is of the belief that the demonetisation process in India will only have a minor impact on growth and will not alter the underlying India growth story.

Demonetisation could be just a small currency pimple on growth, he said. It should have been an act of surprise but only when new cash was ready.

Sharing his view on global growth and US economy, he said although global growth could be a bit stronger in 2017, there are risks to the downside. Meanwhile, emerging markets would perform slightly better than advanced economies in 2017, said Buiter.

With regards to the US dollar, he said if fiscal stimulus as promised by Donald Trump goes through the Congress then it would push the dollar higher.

Moreover, he does not think US Federal Reserve will go through three hikes as proposed. More rates will be seen in 2018 than 2017, he said.

9:25 am BoAML on Sun Pharma: Bank of America Merrill Lynch has lowered its target price on the stock to Rs 750 & lower assigned P/E multiple of 20x against 21x following cut in earnings estimates.

It has reduced its forecasts by 6-5 percent for FY18-19 in-line with estimates indicated earlier as it feels complete response letter to its subsidiary SPARC (Sun Pharma Advanced Research) from USFDA for Xelpros indicates likely delay in resolution for Halol plant that has been under import alert.

According to the brokerage house, complete resolution of Halol might now be delayed by another 6-9 months.

It has reiterated buy rating on the stock due to cheaper valuations, but prefers Lupin.

9:15 am Market Check
Equity benchmarks started off Friday's trade on a negative note amid consolidation and low volumes, weighed by weak global cues ahead of Christmas holiday.

The 30-share BSE Sensex fell 30.86 points to 25948.74 and the 50-share NSE Nifty declined 8.35 points to 7970.75.

ITC, HDFC, Tata Motors, M&M, Adani Ports, L&T and Maruti Suzuki were under pressure while Asian Paints, Reliance Industries, Infosys, Sun Pharma and ICICI Bank gained.

The Indian rupee gained in the early trade today. It has opened higher by 6 paise at 67.93 per dollar versus 67.99 Thursday.

Bhaskar Panda of HDFC Bank says festive fervour is the theme right now across the world. The dollar Index has given up some of the recent gains and is trading below 103 levels. EM currencies are still under the cloud.

He expects the USD-INR to trade within the 67.80-68.10/dollar range.

According to Karvy currency report, weakness in the equity markets will continue to exert pressure on the Indian currency.

Asian shares were in the red today with little Christmas cheer expected in thin holiday trade after the Dow Jones index again fell short of the 20,000 mark.

US stocks fell on Thursday, weighed down by weakness in retailers, as investors stepped back from a recent rally fuelled by optimism that President-elect Donald Trump will invigorate economic growth.