Sensex up 193 points, Nifty ends above 8850; buyback lifts TCS 4%

3:30 pm Market Closing: Equity benchmarks maintained uptrend on the first day of week, with the Sensex rising 192.83 points to 28661.58.

The Nifty gained 57.50 points at 8879.20.

The broader markets climbed over a percent on positive breadth. About 1719 shares advanced against 1151 declining shares on the BSE.

TCS and Tata Steel were biggest gainers among Sensex stocks, up 4 percent each followed by GAIL, HDFC Bank, BPCL and Idea Cellular.

However, Axis Bank, ITC, HDFC, Dr Reddy's Labs, ICICI Bank, Yes Bank and Tech Mahindra were losers.

3:21 pm Buyback: IT major TCS has announced buyback of upto 5.6 crore equity shares for upto Rs 16,000 crore.

The buyback price has been price at Rs 2850 apiece.

The stock jumped 3.5 percent to Rs 2491.55 on the NSE.

3:10 pm Stake sale: A consortium of 29 lenders led by State Bank of Patiala will be meeting today to discuss a majority stake sale in the debt laden Monnet Ispat, said sources close to the development. State Bank of Patiala has an exposure of more than Rs 9,000 crore to the company.

The sole bidder for the stake, JSW Steel, will present an offer for the acquisition of Monnet Ispar to the lenders in today's meeting.

Synergy Capital and Blackstone had earlier expressed their interest but later backed out.

Earlier, the lenders had converted Rs 350 crore of debt in the company to equity. They hold a stake of 51 percent. Monnet has a total debt of over Rs 9,000 crore.

3:05 pm Demerger: GMR Infrastructure is likely to demerge airports subsidiary and list it separately, reports CNBC-TV18 quoting unnamed sources.

The company is looking at an equity valuation close to Rs 20,000 crore for its airports arm.

Sources say the infrastructure company has asked for lenders' permission for demerger of airports arm.

The demerger of airports arm is for the value unlocking & debt reduction.

2:55 pm Q3 GDP estimates: ICRA expects growth of Indian gross value added (GVA) at basic prices to ease to 6.2 percent in Q3 FY2017 from 6.9 percent in Q3 FY2016. Moreover, GDP growth is likely to decline to 6.5 percent in Q3 FY2017 from 7.2 percent in Q3 FY2016.

"ICRA expects the note ban to selectively affect some of the sub-sectors of industry and services, dampening the expansion of the GVA at basic prices to 6.2 percent in Q3 FY2017 from 6.9 percent in Q3 FY2016. In contrast, the robust kharif harvest is expected to contribute to a turnaround in the performance of agriculture, forestry and fishing to a growth of 5.0 percent in Q3 FY2017 from the 1.0 percent contraction in Q3 FY2016," Aditi Nayar of ICRA said.

2:47 pm New Tata Sons chief: Tata group will enter a new era tomorrow as N Chandrasekaran takes over as chief, hoping to put behind an acrimonious boardroom battle that saw the ouster of Cyrus Mistry as Tata Sons Chairman.

Popularly known as 'Chandra', the 54-year-old will be the first non-Parsi chairman of the 150-year old Tata Group.

A man known for making India's largest software exporter TCS what it is today, Chandrasekaran has his task cut out as the new Chairman of Tata Sons -- the promoter firm of many of the operating Tata group firms.

Last week, Chandrasekaran had described his new assignment as "a very big job" with a large canvas, where there were "challenges and opportunities" .

2:30 PM Buzzing stock: Shares of Punj Lloyd soared over 12 percent intraday on Monday after the company received orders worth Rs 348 crore.

The company received two orders in its vertical pipelines and tankages. The orders have been awarded by Mundra LPG Terminal for EPCC of refrigerated double wall storage tanks and mounded bullets for its LPG Terminal at Mundra for Rs 139 crore. The second order was from Mumbai Port Trust for installation of offshore/onshore pipeline and terminal work for fifth oil berth at Jawahar Dweep in Mumbai Harbour worth Rs 209 crore, the company informed in a notification to the exchanges.

2:15 PM IOC-Chennai Petro merger: In Union Budget 2017, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had proposed the merger of oil companies to create an oil PSU (Public Sector Undertakings) behemoth and also more value for shareholders.

Speaking to CNBC-TV18, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) Chairman B Ashok said it is difficult for standalone companies to sustain, hinting at a possible merger of IOC with Chennai Petroleum Corporation Limited (CPCL). However, he did not mention the timeline for the merger and said these decisions have to be taken after considering all the stakeholders on board.

''Merger is one of the options we are looking to improve the strength of CPCL. There is opportunity for growth for the company as well,'' he added.

2:00 pm Market Check: The market continued its bullish run and was trading at a day's high. Telecom, banking and metal stocks pushed up the indices during the day's trade.

The Sensex was up 131.97 points or 0.46 percent at 28600.72, while the Nifty was higher by 37.20 points or 0.42 percent at 8858.90. About 1694 shares advanced, 1027 shares declined, and 170 shares were unchanged.

Tata Steel, GAIL and Maruti Suzuki were among the top gainers on the Sensex, while, Axis Bank, ITC and HDFC were among the top losers.

Banking stocks were one of the positive contributors on the 30-share index, with HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank contributing the most. Meanwhile, ITC and HDFC were a drag.

1:58 PM Buzzing stock: Shares of Marksans Pharma soared nearly 20 percent intraday Monday as investors bet on positive developments from a UK health regulator's inspection.

The company's plant located at L-82 and L-83, Verna Industrial Estate in Goa had an inspection by UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) from February 14-17, 2017, it firm informed the BSE.

The inspection was completed without any critical observations, the company informed. It is now awaiting further instruction from the agency in this regard.

1:45 PM Management Interview: Lloyd Electric's stock has plummeted nearly 20 percent intraday on Monday on the back of the deal announcement to sell its consumer durables business to Havells India.

The acquisition will help Havells expand its product profile and distribution, says Anil Rai Gupta, CMD of Havells India in a media interaction.

Over the weekend, Havells announced the acquisition of Lloyd's consumer durables business for Rs 1,600 crore.

Gupta said Havells may look at a debt of Rs 500-600 crore to fund the deal while the balance will be paid through internal accruals. While Lloyd's margins have been lower for some time due to investments in branding and promotion, Gupta believes the company is now at the cusp of growth and margins will start improving. LLoyd's EBITDA margin is around 6 percent, less than half of Havells' 13-14 percent.

1:30 PM Buzzing stock: Jindal Steel and Power hit a fresh 52-week high of Rs 102.20, up 10 percent intraday Monday.

Brokerage house Kotak upgraded Jindal Steel and Power to buy from sell and also revised target price upward to Rs 125 from Rs 60 earlier, citing likely financial turnaround.

Kotak says JSPL's steel operations can engineer a financial turnaround over next 1-2 years by commissioning of 3.2 million tonne per annum blast furnace at Angul operations.

Steady margins from improved steel markets can deliver strong earnings growth over FY2018-19, it feels. Kotak says improvement in power earnings is contingent on better demand. Cash flows and debt serviceability can improve materially starting second half of financial year 2017-18, according to the research firm.

1:15 PM Expert speak: HDFC Mutual Fund is quite optimistic on Indian market as macro economic indicators are favorable for making investments, said ace fund manager Prashant Jain, Executive Director & Chief Investment Officer at HDFC Mutual Fund.

"Indian interest rates are stable, inflation is low, capex is rising and NPA's are peaking out. These factors show that environment is favorable for investments," Jain said. Jain was speaking at a Cafemutual IFA event here on Monday.

In his view,interest rates will maintain a downward bias but the room for fall is clearly much less. Stable interest rates will drive company profits, he added.

The market continued its positive momentum and was trading at day's high. The bourses had seen a subdued opening, but reversed its losses in the first hour of trade.

The Sensex was up 98.09 points or 0.34 percent at 28566.84, while the Nifty touched the 8850-mark before trading 28.20 points higher at 8849.90. About 1650 shares had advanced, 982 shares had declined, while 173 shares remained unchanged.

Tata Steel, GAIL and TCS were the top gainers on the BSE, while ITC, Axis Bank and Dr Reddy's were the top losers.

HDFC Bank continued its upward momentum and rose over 1 percent intraday. Frenzied buying by FIIs in the HDFC Bank stock on Friday led to the statutory foreign investment limit being crossed. The stock exchanges told the custodians of the FIIs that purchases made after 1:40 pm that day-when the RBI notification about the breach of the limit was flashed on stock exchange terminals-will not be settled. This is learned to have been done at the instruction of the RBI, said sources.

12:40 pm Buzzing: Marksans Pharma shares rallied 20 percent after completion of UK MHRA inspection of Goa plant.

"Plant located at L-82 & L-83, Verna Industrial Estate, Verna, Goa has had an inspection by UK MHRA from February 14 to 17, 2017," the company says.

The plant inspection has been completed without any critical observations, it says.

The company is awaiting further instruction from the agency in this regard.

12:20 pm Market Expert: Vinod Nair of Geojit Financial Services says currently, market is under lack of fresh triggers which can impact the performance in the near-term.

Most of the upside factors like weakness in dollar, reduction in lending rate, increase in international metal prices, good budget and good set of numbers in Q3 results has played its role during the last 2 months.

Given the decent rally during year-to-date, he says market is looking fairly priced at 17.3x one year forward P/E.

Additionally, increasing talks regarding hike in US interest rate, risk like increase in Oil & Metal prices may impact market sentiments. Though inflows are currently positive; rising yield, high valuation, volatility during state elections and favour in developed economies than to domestic market can impact performance in the short-term, Nair says.

12:00 pm Market Check
Equity benchmarks as well as broader markets extended gains in noon, aided by telecom, metals, select auto and healthcare stocks. Asian cues also continued to support the market.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 78.23 points at 28546.98 and the 50-share NSE Nifty gained 23.45 points at 8845.15. The Nifty Midcap and Smallcap indices climbed nearly a percent on positive breadth.

Laurence Balanco of CLSA says as suspected, the Nifty is hesitating below resistance provided by the March 2015 and September 2016 highs at the 8,989-9,191 area following the initial breakout form the November-December 2016 double-bottom pattern.

Nevertheless, as long as price action remains above the rising 50-DMA, currently at 8,396 the benefit of doubt should be given to the newly formed uptrend and the ultimate break above 8,989-9,191 resistance, he says, adding above the all-time highs the next upside target is at 10,350-10,370.

Metals stocks gained momentum today. Tata Steel, Jindal Steel, Bhushan Steel, NMDC, SAIL, Vedanta and JSW Steel climbed 2-8 percent.

Telecom stocks rallied after media reports indicated that Vodafone-Idea merger may be announced by end of current month. Idea Cellular, Reliance Communications, Bharti Airtel and Tata Teleservices were up 2-8 percent.

11:48 am Midcap at record high: The Nifty Midcap 100 hit a record high of 16316.30. Jindal Steel, Torrent Pharma, SPARC, SAIL, Reliance Communications, Pidilite Industries, NMDC, Karur Vysya Bank, Just Dial, Crompton Greaves, Emami, DCB Bank, and Adani Ports rallied 2-8 percent.

In fact, the broader markets continued to outperform benchmarks, rising a percent.

11:30 am Earnings estimates: Ambuja Cements' fourth quarter profit is seen rising sharply by 50.1 percent year-on-year to Rs 165 crore but revenue may fall 7.1 percent to Rs 2,210 crore, according to average of estimates of analysts polled by CNBC-TV18.

Likely increase in profit may be due to lower other income and higher tax in base year.

Ambuja Cements has high exposure to West and North India. Sales volumes may fall 7 percent to 5.1 million tonnes from 5.5 million tonnes due to weakness in cement demand (on cash crisis) through the quarter.

Operating profit may fall 14.5 percent year-on-year to Rs 280 crore and margin may contract 110 basis points to 12.7 percent due to low utilisations, realisation pressure and cost surge. Higher petcoke usage could also hurt operating performance.

11:15 am FII View: Laurence Balanco of CLSA says as suspected, the Nifty is hesitating below resistance provided by the March 2015 and September 2016 highs at the 8,989-9,191 area following the initial breakout form the November-December 2016 double-bottom pattern.

Nevertheless, as long as price action remains above the rising 50-DMA, currently at 8,396 the benefit of doubt should be given to the newly formed uptrend and the ultimate break above 8,989-9,191 resistance, he says, adding above the all-time highs the next upside target is at 10,350-10,370.

Balanco says as far as support levels go, initial support is seen at the 8,538-8,555 area followed by the 50-DMA, 200-DMA and upper boundary of the November/December 2016 basing pattern at 8,252-8,396.

11:00 am Market Check
The market gained some strength in morning, with the Nifty inching towards 8850 level amid consolidation while the broader markets outperformed benchmarks.

The 30-share BSE Sensex gained 48.10 points at 28516.85 and the 50-share NSE Nifty rose 15.15 points to 8836.85.

The BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices climbed 0.7 percent each on strong breadth. More than two shares advanced for every share falling on bourses.

Idea Cellular shares rallied 3.6 percent as media reports suggested that Vodafone-Idea merger may be announced by end of the month. The rally also spilled over to other telecom stocks - Reliance Communications gained 6 percent and Bharti Airtel rose 2.5 percent.

Jindal Steel was the biggest gainer among midcap stocks and also the most active stock on bourses, up nearly 8 percent.

TCS gained 1.5 percent ahead of board meeting for announcement of share buyback.

10:55 AM Market update: The market continued its positive momentum after having opened lower.

The Sensex was up 48.70 points or 0.17% at 28517.45, while the Nifty was up 14.30 points or 0.16% at 8836.00. About 1567 shares advanced, 752 shares declined, and 136 shares were unchanged.

Bharti Airtel and Tata Steel were the top gainers on Sensex, while ITC and HDFC were a drag. Meanwhile, Idea Cellular and Bharti were the top gainers on the broader index Nifty.

10:45 AM Expert View: The country's telecom sector seems to be undergoing a lot of churn with the entry of a new player and merger talks between two incumbents. Even though the sector has been a rank underperformer in the past, Indian telecom stocks are very attractive from a three-year perspective, according to S Naren, Executive Director at Chief Investment Officer at ICICI Prudential.

Naren said the valuations of telecom stocks look well placed from a three-year horizon, which makes the outlook for the sector very good. Indian financial and telecom circles are abuzz with news of a possible merger between Vodafone India and Idea Cellular.

Meanwhile, Tata Teleservices and Reliance Communications   -Aircel-MTS combine are reportedly considering joining forces to counter the tough competition from Reliance Jio Infocomm.

10:30 AM Buzzing stock: Share price of Millitoons Entertainment gained more than 13 percent intraday Monday on board approval to issue bonus shares to the shareholders of the company.

The company at its meeting held on February 18, approved the issue of bonus shares in the ratio of 1 share for every 1 share held by the shareholders of the company.

The firm will make an application with NSE for listing of shares of the company on their platform. It has allotted 15,00,000 equity shares of Re 1 each to Viniato Advisors (non-promoter category) pursuant to conversion of equity share warrants.

10:15 AM Expectations from TCS Board meet: Tata Consultancy Services' Board will be meeting today to consider a buyback. The company's networth stands at USD 12.4 billion. According to buyback rules, if TCS wants to avoid a shareholder nod, it can opt for a 10 percent buyback of shares which would be around USD 1.24 billion.

With a shareholder approval, the company can go up to a 25 percent share buyback which will be USD 3.1 billion.

A 25 percent buyback would not be difficult for the company, whose cash on books currently is at Rs 43,169 crore (USD 6.4 billion).

Promoters of the company, who hold around 73.3 percent stake, are likely to participate in the buyback. If they don't, their total holding will cross the 75 percent mark, which is against Sebi rules.

Analysts also believe the buyback is likely to be marginally EPS accretive, as it enjoys a 6-7 percent earnings yield, which is a little more than the yield it enjoys on cash. If the buyback is going to be in lieu of the company's dividends, then investors may be left dissapointed. TCS' dividend payout in the previous fiscal was at Rs 43.50 per share.

After beginning the week on a lower note, the market has reversed its losses and is trading almost flat with a positive bias.

The Sensex was up 29.82 points at 28498.57 and the Nifty gained 10 points at 8831.70. The market breadth was strong as about two shares advanced for every share falling on the BSE.

Bharti Airtel, GAIL and TCS were the top gainers on the BSE, while HDFC, ITC and Maruti Suzuki were the top losers. Meanwhile, telecom stocks such as Idea Cellular and Bharti Airtel ruled the Nifty's top gainers list, while Hindalco, HDFC and Yes Bank were top losers.

9:54 am Market Update: Equity benchmarks remained flat as investors await further details from US President Donald Trump on his economic policies, including tax reforms.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 24.70 points at 28493.45 and the 50-share NSE Nifty rose 9.20 points to 8830.90.

9:52 am Buzzing: Shares of Moschip Semiconductor has locked at 5 percent upper circuit as it has bagged an order worth USD 1 million.

"The company's US subsidiary has entered into an agreement with one of its valuable partners in the US to produce and support a custom silicon solution for its digital cinema product," as per company release.

The said order is to be executed in next two quarters and it enables the company to establish a footprint for continued engagement in delivering digital cinema silicon and systems solutions.

The company has also signed a binding MoU for establishment and maintenance of smart center with centralised command and monitoring system in the state of Andhra Pradesh on sub-contracting basis.

9:39 am CLSA on L&T: CLSA has a buy call on L&T as it believes the stock is a good proxy for domestic capex.

First order is around the corner, but new bids are key, it says, adding, the needs to win 1 of the 2 large navy orders to utilise its defence yard.

The brokerage house believes company will be a significant beneficiary of defence capex. Its's tie-up with Navantia, Spain, may endow with certain competitive advantages, it feels.

L&T has emerged as the No 1 player in prequalification for USD 8 billion FICV project.
9:28 am FII View: Surendra Goyal of Citi says the research firm introduced India Sentiment indicator, which uses weighted average of multiple data points to conclude how investors are disposed towards equities.

The indicator is almost at 0 which falls in the 'neutral zone', he says.

However, domestic flows continue to be robust and the Q3 earnings season was better than feared. That continues to support the market, he feels.

Goyal maintains September 2017 Sensex Target of 30,000.

9:15 am Market Check
Equity benchmarks started off the week moderately lower amid consolidation ahead of expiry of February derivative contracts on Thursday.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was down 26.59 points at 28442.16 and the 50-share NSE Nifty fell 6.75 points to 8814.95.

TCS, HUL, GAIL, Wipro, Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular, Kotak Mahindra Bank and HCL Technologies were early gainers while Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors, HDFC Bank, ITC, Cipla, Tata Motors (DVR) and Eicher Motors were losers.

The Indian rupee opened lower by 5 paise at 67.06 per dollar today against Friday's close of 67.01.

Pramit Brahmbhatt of Veracity says despite positive cues from equity market, the rupee is expected to trade with a negative bias.

 The trading range for the spot USD-INR pair is seen between 66.80-67.20/dollar, according to him.

The euro struggled for traction against the dollar and yen after suffering significant losses at the end of last week on renewed concerns about the upcoming French elections.

The dollar was held in check by the relative strength of the yen. Hopes of developments in fiscal stimulus plans under US President Donald Trump have also not materialized yet, adding to the drag on the dollar.

Asian markets were mostly higher, as investors await further details from President Donald Trump on his economic policies, including tax reforms.