Nifty ends Jan F&O series @ 8603, Sensex up 332 points; HDFC Bank up

3:30 pm Market closing: The market has ended January Futures & Options (F&O) higher. The 50-share closed up 126.95 points or 1.5 percent at 8602.75 and the Sensex was up 332.56 points or 1.2 percent at 27708.14. About 1467 shares advanced, 1256 shares declined, and 308 shares were unchanged.

HDFC, Adani Ports, Hero MotoCorp, Axis Bank and Coal India were gaibers while Wipro, Bharti Airtel, Infosys, Reliance and NTPC were losers in the Sensex.

3:00 pm Tata Steel: Steel major Tata Steel is betting big on services and solutions business and aiming around 20 percent of company's revenue from it in next few years.

"We are optimistic and aiming at 20 percent of revenue from services and solutions. Currently, we are at around Rs 700 crore. We are gradually expanding solution products targeting end-users," Tata Steel sources told PTI.

The company is already in several solution products based on steel including doors, windows, modular housing, toilets and water ATMs etc.

It is also foraying into furniture space and its products would have wood or wood-like finish but blend steel structure, they said.

2:50 pm FII view: With Budget round the corner, the market might take a breather now, says Nitin Jain, Principle Investment Manager at Kotak UK. However, he believes there will be continued support from domestic funds on market dips.

Foreign investors might also return after recently having pruned their exposure, Jain says, adding, funds only seem to be awaiting clarity on corporate earnings in the wake of demonetisation, Goods and Services Tax (GST) rollout, and taxation treaties. 

Some sectoral baskets like banking, consumer discretionary and to some extent cement have positively surprised on earnings this quarter and Jain feels this raises hope the earnings growth story, which had been belying analysts for some time, can come back.

2:40 pm Earnings: Textiles firm Arvind today reported a 16.40 percent decline in consolidated net profit at Rs 75.62 crore for the December quarter, on the account of higher expenses.

The company had posted a net profit of Rs 90.46 crore in the year-ago period.

Its total income from operations during the third quarter, however, went up by 14.83 percent to Rs 2,335.46 crore from Rs 2,033.78 crore a year ago, Arvind said in a BSE filing.

Arvind Ltd's overall expenses stood at Rs 2,172.87 crore, up 18.18 percent, as compared to Rs 1,838.58 crore reported a year ago.

2:20 pm Experts on Maruti's earnings: Both Pranoy Kurian of IDBI Capital Markets & Securities and Ashwin Patil, Research Analyst, LKP Securities are not worried about the slip in margins and expect the company to report higher margins going forward on back of new launches and commissioning of Gujarat plant.

Kurian said margins at 14.8 percent were higher than their estimate of 14.4 percent and that too in a tough quarter where there was pressure from higher commodity prices, lower utilisation and demonetisation.

Maruti's profits for the third quarter grew by  47.5 percent year-on-year to Rs 1,744.5 crore. It was largely driven by other income and partly by operational and revenue growth.

The EBITDA margins were a bit lower at 14.8 percent compared to CNBC-TV18 poll estimate of 15.5 percent.

2:00 pm Market Check:
Equity benchmarks extended rally in afternoon trade, with the Nifty reclaiming 8550 level ahead of expiry of January futures & options contracts.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 198.57 points at 27574.15 and the 50-share NSE Nifty rose 81.40 points or 0.96 percent to 8557.20.

The broader markets also traded in line with benchmarks. The BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices gained 1 percent each on positive market breadth. About 1420 shares advanced against 1161 declining shares on the BSE.

Kotak Mahindra Bank shares gained more than 7 percent on asset quality improvement and strong earnings. Profit on standalone basis shot up 38.6 percent year-on-year to Rs 880 crore and net interest income grew by 16 percent in Q3 year-on-year.

Housing finance company HDFC was the leading contributor to Sensex's gains, up 4 percent followed by ITC (ahead of earnings on Friday), L&T, Adani Ports and Axis Bank. Reliance Industries, Infosys, Bharti Airtel and Wipro (ahead of earnings later today) were under pressure.

Shares in Europe, too, were higher as investors took cues from overseas markets and digested fresh earnings reports.

1:49 pm Europe: Markets in Europe opened higher as the earnings season continued.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was 0.65 percent higher with all sectors trading positive.

1:35 pm Results: Kotak Mahindra Bank Q3 profit has beaten street estimates, by posting net profit at Rs 879 crore in October-December quarter, up 39 percent from Rs 634.72 crore in corresponding quarter last fiscal.

During the quarter, its net interest income (NII) or the difference between interest earned and interest expended was at Rs 2050 crore, up 16 percent on annual basis.

However, its standalone net NPA was at 1.07 percent versus 1.2 percent while gross NPA stood at 2.42 percent versus 2.5 percent.

1:20 pm Result: Maruti Suzuki 's third quarter profit increased 47.5 percent to Rs 1,744.5 crore and revenue rose 12.4 percent to Rs 16,623.6 crore compared with year-ago period. Operating profit was up 16 percent at Rs 2,489 crore and margin expanded by 50 basis points to 15 percent (but contracted by 230 basis points sequentially). Other income boosted bottomline, rising 144 percent to Rs 592 crore compared with Rs 242.5 crore in same quarter last year.

The market continues to climb with the Nifty eyeing 8550. The 50-share index is up 60.90 points or 0.7 percent at 8536.70 and the Sensex is up 175.67 points or 0.6 percent at 27551.25. About 1449 shares have advanced, 1016 shares declined, and 305 shares are unchanged.

HDFC, Axis Bank, L&T, Hero MotoCorp and Tata Steel are top gainers while Bharti Airtel, Wipro, Reliance, Infosys and NTPC are losers in the Sensex.

With Budget round the corner, the market might take a breather now, says Nitin Jain, Principle Investment Manager at Kotak UK.  He believes there will be continued support from domestic funds on dips.

Foreign investors might also return after recently having pruned their exposure, Jain says, adding, funds only seem to be awaiting clarity on corporate earnings in the wake of demonetisation, Goods and Services Tax (GST) rollout, and taxation treaties.

Some sectoral baskets like banking, consumer discretionary and to some extent cement have positively surprised on earnings this quarter and Jain feels this raises hope the earnings growth story, which had been belying analysts for some time, can come back.

11:30 am Result poll: Maruti has been fairly resilient to demonetisation as it posted 4 percent annual volume growth in December quarter. According to CNBC-TV18 poll, its net profit may rise 74 percent to Rs 1776 crore in October-December from Rs 1019 crore in corresponding quarter last fiscal. During the period, revenue is likely to grow 10.3 percent at Rs 16638 crore against Rs 15081 crore year-on-year. In Q3 EBITDA is seen gaining 18.8 percent at Rs 2578 crore against Rs 2169.1 crore while operating profit margin may stand at 15.5 percent versus 14.3 percent YoY. Total volumes increased 4 percent to 3.87 lakh versus 3.74 lakh units (YoY). However volume growth moderated to 4 percent against 18 percen in Q2 due to mini and compact segment getting hit due to demonetisation. Realisations are expected to rise 6.3 percent at 4.28 lakh Rs/unit, increase led by higher exports and success of high priced models Brezza and Baleno.

The market is still holding firm with the Nifty above 8500. The 50-share is up 46.45 points or 0.5 percent at 8522.25 and the Sensex is up 134.81 points or 0.5 percent at 27510.39. About 1401 shares have advanced, 902 shares declined, and 278 shares are unchanged.

HDFC, Axis Bank, Tata Steel, L&T and Hero MotoCorp are top gainers while Bharti, Reliance, M&M, Wipro and Dr Reddy's Labs are losers in the Sensex.

Gold prices drifted lower by 0.50 percent to Rs 28,580 per 10 ten grams in futures trade as speculators indulged in profit-booking at prevailing levels amid a weak trend overseas.

Analysts attributed the fall in gold futures to profit-booking by participants at existing levels and a weak trend overseas as higher dollar reduced the precious metal's appeal as a safe-haven.

10:59 am Market Update: Equity benchmarks maintained early gains, with the Sensex rising 131.44 points to 27507.02 and the Nifty up 42.85 points at 8518.65.

About 1335 shares advanced against 864 declining shares on the BSE.

10:45 am Tata Motors target: Tata Motors, which launched its lifestyle SUV Hexa here, said it expects to improve market share this year to become the third largest carmaker in the country after Maruti and Hyundai.

The Hexa is coming at an introductory price of Rs 12.20 lakh, ex-showroom Hyderabad for the manual transmission and Rs 15.11 lakh for the automatic variant.

"With 5.1 percent market share we are already the number 4 player. Our mission is to become number 3 in market by March 2019 and we expect these new launches will help us achieve that number. In fact, in Andhra and Telangana we are already at No 3 but our ambition is to become No 3 nationally by the March 2019," Vivek Srivatsa, marketing head, passenger vehicles business unit at Tata Motors said here.

10:31 am Earnings estimates: Textile company Arvind's profit on consolidated basis is expected to fall 20 percent year-on-year to Rs 84 crore as its brand and retail business is likely to be hit by demonetisation.

Revenue may grow 8 percent year-on-year to Rs 2,334 crore and brand & retail business growth may be around 9-10 percent, according to average of estimates of analysts polled by CNBC-TV18.

EBIDTA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) is seen falling 14 percent to Rs 242 crore and margin may contract 300 basis points to 10 percent compared with year-ago period, impacted by higher cotton prices.

10:20 am FII View: Shane Oliver, Head Investment Strategy & Chief Economist, AMP Capital Investors believes Donald Trump's invitation to Indian Prime Minister to visit US is a good sign.

"Maybe he wants to show that he is not only focused on China and is looking at other countries from that region," he told CNBC-TV18 in an interview.

Talking about where India is placed among emerging markets (EM), Oliver says Indian stocks will do better this year after a year of underperformance.

The demonetisation impact did hit economic growth but it is the strongest growing market, stronger than China. Narendra Modi's policies too are on the right path and demonetisation over the longer-term will yield positive results.

10:00 am Market Check
Benchmark indices as well as broader markets continued to gain in morning, with the Nifty holding 8500 level ahead of expiry of January derivative contracts later today.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 112.85 points at 27488.43 and the 50-share BSE Nifty rose 34.40 points to 8510.20. The broader markets gained half a percent as about two shares advanced for every share falling on the BSE.

HDFC, HDFC Bank, ITC and Axis Bank were leading contributors to Sensex's gains, up 1-1.8 percent. Tata Steel was the biggest gainer, up over 2 percent whereas Bharti Airtel lost 2.6 percent after dismal performance in Q3.

Infosys, Reliance Industries, Mahindra & Mahindra, Bajaj Auto, Dr Reddy's Labs and Wipro were also under pressure.

Asia markets were trading mostly higher (after better than expected Japanese exports data and South Korean GDP figures), taking a positive lead from Wall Street after S&P 500 hit an all-time high over President Donald Trump's executive orders to make it easier for TransCanada to build the Keystone XL pipeline and for Energy Transfer Partners to build the final potion of the Dakota Access pipeline.

Oil edged lower, snapping four sessions of gains as an increase in US inventories weighed on the market, offsetting bullish momentum from production cuts announced by OPEC and other producers.

9:55 am Result: Biotechnology major Biocon reported a 64.55 percent rise in its consolidated net profit to Rs 171.3 crore for the third quarter ended December 31, led by robust growth of biologics business.

The company had posted a net profit after taxes, minority interest and share of profit from associates of Rs 104.1 crore for the corresponding period of the previous fiscal, Biocon said in a filing to BSE.

Consolidated total income from operations also rose to Rs 1,044.4 crore for the quarter under consideration as against Rs 807.1 crore for the same period year ago.

9:45 am Results poll: Maruti has been fairly resilient to demonetisation as it posted 4 percent annual volume growth in December quarter. According to CNBC-TV18 poll, its net profit may rise 74 percent to Rs 1776 crore in October-December from Rs 1019 crore in corresponding quarter last fiscal. During the period, revenue is likely to grow 10.3 percent at Rs 16638 crore against Rs 15081 crore year-on-year.

In Q3 EBITDA is seen gaining 18.8 percent at Rs 2578 crore against Rs 2169.1 crore while operating profit margin may stand at 15.5 percent versus 14.3 percent YoY.

Total volumes increased 4 percent to 3.87 lakh versus 3.74 lakh units (YoY). However volume growth moderated to 4 percent against 18 percen in Q2 due to mini and compact segment getting hit due to demonetisation.

9:30 am Market outlook: Prashant Mittal of Ambit Capital says with the Nifty breaking out of the resistance near the 8,300 level, a reversal of the downtrend of the last few months has been put in place.

That said, the index is likely to witness some moderation in the near term due to a gap resistance in the zone of 8,460-8,530, he feels.

Mittal says, however, any downmove is likely to find support near the levels of 8,260 - denoting intermediate tops made between the double bottom formation.

On stocks, he advises initiating fresh shorts on Titan Company, while he continues with his long position on ACC. He advises booking profits on ITC longs.

The market has opened firm on January Futures and Options expiry. The Sensex is up 82.93 points or 0.3 percent at 27458.51 and the Nifty is up 25.85 points or 0.3 percent at 8501.65. About 590 shares have advanced, 167 shares declined, and 128 shares are unchanged.

Bank stocks lead. Axis Bank, Adani Ports, Tata Steel, HDFC Bank and BHEL are top gainers while Bharti Airtel, Wipro, HUL and Wipro are losers in the Sensex.

The Indian rupee opened marginally lower at 68.17 per dollar against previous close 68.15.

Tirthankar Patnaik of Mizuho Bank said, "The USD-INR pair is expected to remain slightly under pressure given the strength in the dollar index over the last 2 weeks. We see muted sentiment before the Budget."

The US dollar held firm against the yen and euro, after several days of losses in the wake of President Donald Trump's inaugural speech promising more trade protectionism, with the US economic outlook still seen better than that of Europe or Japan.

Asian markets are in the green in early trade, after better-than-expected Japanese exports data and South Korean GDP figures. The markets also took a positive lead from Wall Street. Nikkei is up over one and a half percent, with a broad-based rally across all sectors. Japan's annual exports grew in December for the first time in 15 months. Korean market are trading flat with a positive bias as the fourth-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) rose 0.4 percent from the previous quarter

In the US, equities ended higher, with materials spiking more than 2.5 percent on the back of more executive orders from President Donald Trump. The S&P 500 rose about 0.66 percent, touching record intra-day highs as well as on the closing front. The IHS Markit manufacturing PMI for January rose to 55.1, from 54.3 in December, lifted by a surge in new orders. Existing home sales fell 2.8 percent in December for the US.

Crude prices remained soft ahead of weekly US inventory data. Increased drilling in the United States also weighs on prices.

Among metals, gold prices held steady, but recovery in the dollar from recent lows kept a lid on the gains in the commodity.