Sensex, Nifty end flat with positive bias ahead of Jan CPI data

3:30 pm Market closing: Benchmark indices closed flat with a positive bias, aided by private banking & financials, technology and metals stocks. Investors awaited CPI inflation for the month of January that will be announced later today.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 17.37 points at 28351.62 and the 50-share NSE Nifty gained 11.50 points at 8805.05.

M&M, Infosys, HUL, Wipro, NTPC, Eicher Motors, Yes Bank, Tata Power and Kotak Mahindra Bank gained 1-3.5 percent while SBI, BHEL, Maruti Suzuki, Hero Motocorp, Coal India, Idea Cellular and Aurobindo Pharma were down 1-3 percent.

Bank of Baroda shares crashed 10 percent on asset quality concerns.

2:59 pm Earnings: Bajaj Hindusthan Sugar today reported a net loss of Rs 36.63 crore for the quarter ended December on lower sales and high finance cost, against net loss of Rs 70.14 crore in the year-ago period

Income from operations fell to Rs 727.50 crore in the third quarter of this fiscal from Rs 766.81 crore in the corresponding period of the previous year.

Finance cost stood at Rs 200.88 crore during the October-December quarter of the 2016-17 fiscal as against Rs 207.19 crore in the year-ago period.

Bajaj Hindusthan has 14 sugar mills in Uttar Pradesh with cane crushing capacity of 1.36 lakh tonnes per day and alcohol distillation capacity of 800 kilo litres per day.

2:45 pm CPI estimates: Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the month of January will be released today after market hours. A CNBC-TV18 poll estimates CPI at 3.21 percent versus 3.41 percent month-on-month. Core inflation is expected to be sticky at around 5 percent versus 4.9 percent.

Food inflation is likely to see a decline on a month-on-month basis pulling down the headline figure. It is likely that a possible downtrend will be seen in vegetable, pulses and flour, which may decline by 1 percent. Food inflation could decline by even up to 60-70 basis points (MoM).

2:35 pm Interview: In an interview with CNBC-TV 18, Vivek Chaand Sehgal, Chairman, Motherson Sumi Group said, ''The company has reported highest ever quarterly revenue and best ever net profit in history. The company is coming up with 9 new plants globally; 6 plants outside India and 3 inside India.''

''The company expect to see positive effect of PKC acquisition in Q1FY18 and also looking at some inorganic acquisitions soon,'' he added.

02:00 pm Market Update: Benchmark indices recouped losses amid consolidation in afternoon trade as investors awaited retail inflation data for the month of January due later today.

The BSE Sensex was up 21.80 points at 28356.05, and the Nifty gained 10.20 points at 8803.75 while the broader markets were down 0.55 percent on weak breadth.

About two shares declined for every share rising on the BSE.

Infosys, Wipro, Tata Steel, NTPC, M&M, Eicher Motors, Yes Bank and Tata Power were top gainers, while Coal India, BHEL, SBI, ITC, Maruti Suzuki, Bank of Baroda, Idea Cellular and Aurobindo Pharma were top losers on the indices.

Aluminium major Hindalco shares gained 2 percent as the company turned profitable in the quarter ended December 2016, with net income on standalone basis at Rs 320.56 crore against loss of Rs 32.49 crore in year-ago quarter, aided by strong operational performance as well as low base.

Markets in Europe were higher, after another set of record closes on Wall Street and as investors eyed fresh data and digested new political developments.

1:46 pm Market update: Benchmark indices recovered some losses in afternoon trade. The Sensex was down 41.49 points at 28292.76 and the Nifty fell 13.65 points to 8779.90.

About 1806 shares declined against 951 advancing shares on the BSE.

1:40 pm Earnings: Auto component maker Motherson Sumi Systems (MSSL) today reported a 28.24 per cent increase in consolidated net profit at Rs 547.32 crore in the third quarter ended December.

The company had posted a consolidated net profit of Rs 426.77 crore in the same period of last fiscal.

Its total income from operations during the period under review stood at Rs 10,796.9 crore as against Rs 9,598.35 crore in the year-ago period, up 12.48 per cent.

MSSL Chairman Vivek Chaand Sehgal said: "The company has shown exemplary growth in all areas and has achieved highest ever revenues and margins in a quarter. This is the reflection of hard work put in by all our teams from around the world."

1:20 pm L&T deal: L&T is likely to announce today a joint venture with Europe's MBDA Missile Systems to cater to the defence needs of the Indian government, an official familiar with the development told Moneycontrol.

The engineering giant is holding a press conference today in the national capital where the same is likely to be announced.

MBDA is a three-way joint venture of European companies -- the Airbus Group, BAE Systems and Italy's Leonardo.

MBDA claims to be the only European company to be able to provide missile and missile systems for all the three branches of the armed forces.

1:00 pm Market Check
The market extended losses in afternoon trade, with the Sensex trading near day's low, dragged by ITC that wiped out morning gains. Banking & financials, infra and auto stocks were under pressure.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was down 100.90 points at 28233.35 and the 50-share NSE Nifty fell 31.60 points to 8761.95. The broader markets shed 0.9 percent each as about two shares declined for every share advancing on the BSE.

Bank of Baroda, Infosys, ICICI Bank, Yes Bank, SBI and TCS were most active shares on bourses.

Bank of Baroda tanked 9 percent on asset quality concerns. "Management continues to engage in the balance sheet clean-up exercise, with greater focus on recognising stress than growth; asset quality pressures stand imminent for upcoming quarters until it normalises by fiscal year end," says KR Choksey which has maintained accumulate rating on the stock.

Infosys extended gains, up 1.4 percent after co-founder NR Narayana Murthy clarified, saying concerns still need to be addressed. The board is comprised of good intentioned people of high integrity, he adds.

Gold slipped as the dollar strengthened against the yen, with the greenback buoyed by a smooth meeting between US President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that saw no mention of currency policy.

12:36 pm US Navy contract: Reliance Defence (formerly known as Pipavav Shipyard Limited & Pipavav Defence and Offshore Engineering Company Limited) has signed a landmark deal with the US Navy for undertaking service, repair and the maintenance work of the Seventh Fleet of US Navy.

Sources suggest that the fleet boasts of close to 100 ships and the contract is worth around Rs 15,000 crore which will be spread across next 3-5 years.

This deal is a significant achievement for India - as a country - and Reliance Defence, as it becomes the only Indian company which will service US Navy ships in an Indian port. Prior to this these ships were serviced at either Singapore or other Asian countries.

The ships which patrol waters of Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean regularly will arrive at Pipavav Port in Gujarat for maintenance work.

12:00 pm Market Check
Equity benchmarks remained under pressure amid volatility in noon trade as investors remained on sidelines ahead of last batch of corporate earnings this week and assembly elections of five states that will end by March 8.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was down 68.85 points at 28265.40 and the 50-share NSE Nifty fell 22.70 points to 8770.85.

The broader markets underperformed benchmarks, with the BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices falling 0.8 percent each on weak breadth. About two shares declined for every share rising on the exchange.

PSU stocks were under pressure today, with Nifty CPSE down 1.5 percent and PSU Bank down 3 percent.

Bank of Baroda tanked more than 8 percent on asset quality concerns despite management assured that slippages will be contained going forward.

Idea Cellular was down 3 percent post Q3 earning disappointment and added negative was lack of commentary on merger with Vodafone.

SRF lost 10.5 percent on the back of lacklustre earnings and Indo Count shed 7 percent owing to operational weakness in Q3.

Vedanta and Hindalco (ahead of Q3 earnings) gained 2-3 percent as base metals extended gains. Copper prices surged to 2-year high and iron ore futures were at two and a half year high. A CNBC-TV18 poll expects Hindalco to post strong earnings on a low base.

11:45 am Buzzing: Shares of Suzlon Energy touched 52-week high of Rs 19.10, rises 11 percent intraday as it has posted strong numbers in the quarter ended December 2016.

The company has registered 15.4 percent jump in its Q3FY17 consolidated net profit at Rs 274.3 crore against Rs 237.6 crore, reported in Q2FY17.

Total income of the company rose 20.3 percent at Rs 3311.4 crore versus Rs 2,752.1 crore. The company's operating profit (EBITDA) was up 15.8 percent at Rs 716.3 crore and operating margin was at 21.6 percent.

The company is looking to offload stake in 130 MW project which is likely to fetch Rs 110 crore.

11:25 am Market Expert: The strength of the US dollar will decide the fate of the emerging markets (EMs), said Sanjeev Prasad of Kotak Institutional Equities.

''What matters for the emerging markets is where the US dollar is going. Over the last one month, starting from end of December to early part of February, you had fairly sustained weakness in the US Dollar after it peaked at around 104, it came down to below 100 levels,'' he said.

He said dollar will strengthen even further from the current levels. Fed may hike rates at least twice this year if not thrice resulting in further strengthening of dollar and bond yields moving up.

According to Prasad this may expose the emerging markets and hence, advises EMs to depend more on fundamentals and be more careful about macro-related funds.

11:00 am Market Check
The market erased all its early gains amid consolidation, dragged by HDFC Group, PSU banks, infra and auto stocks. However, technology and FMCG stocks continued to support.

The 30-share BSE Sensex fell 18.33 points to 28315.92 and the 50-share NSE Nifty lost 1.95 points to 8791.60 despite positive Asian cues.

Anand Mour of ICICI Securities says investor sentiment seems to have improved, especially in the aftermath of global and domestic uncertainties, though some shadows linger on implementation of a few policies and panning of global events, particularly in the US.

Global fund reallocation is positive for the Indian geography amongst the emerging markets, and new fund flows are likely, he feels.

Most participating corporates, especially with higher exposure to domestic businesses, reflected a similar sentiment of cautious optimism and are looking beyond the short-term impact of demonetisation, Mour says.

Reliance Defence shares rallied 4 percent after the Reliance Infrastructure controlled company selected to undertake repair and maintenance works for US Navy at, Pipavav, Gujarat.

Asian markets remained in positive territory, taking a cue from the US last week after markets climbed to new high on improved risk appetite as investors shook off geopolitical concerns over North Korea's weekend ballistic missile test.

Economic data in the region has also been relatively buoyant, with Japan's economy expanding for the fourth straight quarter at an annualized rate of 1.0 percent in October to December period, supported by solid exports and capital expenditure.

10:30 am CLSA on SBI: CLSA says the bank's performance has been improving but cut earnings estimates due to subsidiaries' performance. Asset-quality pressure moderated with delinquency ratio at 3 percent and 35 percent CASA deposit growth due to demonetisation was a key positive, it says..

The brokerage house feels loan growth can improve from 5 percent YoY as bank gained from lending-rate cuts.

 CLSA has retained buy call on the stock with target price at Rs 330. According to the research firm, slower-than-expected uptick in India's economy growth is a key downside risk for the bank and credit risk in the corporate segment is another risk to estimates.

10:00 am Market Check
Benchmark indices as well as broader markets were moderately higher amid consolidation in morning, with the Nifty holding 8800 level supported by private banks, metals and technology stocks. HDFC Group, PSU banks and infra stocks were under pressure.

The 30-share BSE Sensex gained 45.65 points at 28379.90 and the 50-share NSE Nifty rose 16.15 points to 8809.70. The market breadth was marginally positive as about 1167 shares advanced against 1075 declining shares on the BSE.

"Open interest data suggests put writing at 8700, call unwinding at 8900 and an increase in call writing at 9000. Looking at this behaviour we can see that Nifty is still bullish and is more than likely to trade between 8900 and 9000 this week. However, if Nifty does not breach 8870 intraday level, then we can expect Nifty to drift back to 8700," Raghu Kumar of Upstox says.

Infosys gained 0.6 percent after agencies are saying co-founder Narayana Murthy has resumed talking to the board and says company Chairman R Seshasayee enjoys the "highest integrity".

Mahindra & Mahindra, Tata Steel, Wipro, Hindalco, Yes Bank and GAIL gained a percent each while HDFC, HDFC Bank, SBI, Sun Pharma and Tata Motors were under pressure.

Bank of Baroda tanked 6.5 percent and Idea Cellular lost 3 percent post earnings.

Coal India lost 2 percent after weak earnings. CLSA has sell call on the stock, with a target price at Rs 285 and cut FY17 EPS by 2 percent but maintained FY18-19 estimates. The brokerage house sees risk of a partial rollback in coking coal price hike. It feels improvement in volume growth may continue and blended realisations should also improve in Q4.

9:40 am Market update: Benchmark indices erased some opening gains on profit booking.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 41.01 points at 28375.26 and the Nifty gained 11.20 points at 8804.75.

About 1008 shares advanced against 891 declining shares on the BSE.

9:25 am Kotak on Bank of Baroda: Kotak has also maintained reduce rating as growth concerns are yet to be addressed.

Loan growth would be a disappointment as compared to investors' expectations and return on equity visibility Beyond 12-14 percent by FY2019 still poses as a challenge, it feels.

The brokerage house has increaed target price to Rs 170 from Rs 160.

9:15 am Market Check
Equity benchmarks started off the week on a positive note, tracking positive Asian cues and after consolidation in previous week.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 115.88 points at 28450.13 and the 50-share NSE Nifty gained 24.35 points at 8817.90.

Hindalco Industries gained 1.8 percent ahead of quarterly earnings. Bharti Infratel, GAIL, Tata Power, Adani Ports, Tata Steel, Infosys and ICICI Bank were early gainers.

Idea Cellular tanked 4.84 percent, Bank of Baroda was down 4.15 percent and Coal India fell 2.68 percent after third quarter earnings. Bharti Airtel and BHEL were other losers.

The Indian rupee opened marginally higher at 66.90 per dollar today against Friday's closing value of 66.88.

Pramit Brahmbhatt of Veracity says the rupee will trade flat with positive bias. Positive cues from equity market will help rupee.

He feels a level of 66.80 is crucial resistance. Trading range for the spot USD/INR will be 66.80 to 67/USD, he says.

The dollar rose against the yen on relief that US President Donald Trump set aside tough campaign rhetoric over security and jobs in a smooth meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, with no mention of currency policy.

Asian markets were in positive territory except for South Korea which wavered after North Korea said that the test of a new missile type at the weekend was successful and is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.