Sensex, Nifty close lower on profit booking ahead of Fed meet outcome; IT drags

3:30 pm Market closing: Benchmark indices closed flat with a negative bias as investors awaited the outcome of Federal Reserve's two-day meeting tonight. Caution also maintained ahead of GST Council meet on Thursday.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was down 44.52 points at 29,398.11 and the 50-share NSE Nifty fell 2.20 points to 9,084.80.

However, the broader markets outperformed benchmarks smartly despite balanced market breadth. The Nifty Midcap and Smallcap indices gained 0.8 percent each. About 1408 shares advanced while 1409 shares declined on the BSE.

Technology stocks caught in bear grip after rupee gained strength against the US dollar, hitting 65.50. TCS and Infosys fell more than 2 percent.

3:24 pm NBCC in focus: NBCC says the Government of Maharashtra has allotted the balance works of construction of irrigation scheme in Vidarbha under the Gosikhurd National Project to NBCC (India) Ltd., for a total value of Rs 6,000 crore.

"An MoU for the first phase of the work valued at Rs 1,058 crore is planned to be signed between Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation, Nagpur and NBCC (India) on March 16, 2017 at Mumbai," it says.

3:15 pm Market Update: Benchmark indices remained listless in afternoon ahead of outcome of Federal Reserve's two-day meeting tonight.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was down 50.46 points at 29,392.17, and the 50-share NSE Nifty fell 1.80 points to 9,085.20.

The market breadth was balanced.

3:05 pm New scheme for infra: The government today launched a new scheme - TIES - for developing export linked infrastructure in states with a view to promote outbound shipments.

Launched by Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, the Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme (TIES) seeks to bridge the infrastructure gap and provide forward and backward linkages to units engaged in trade activities.

"It is going to be on participative basis and the focus is not just to create infrastructure and leave it, but make sure that it is professionally run and sustained," Sitharaman told reporters here.

2:54 pm VRS Scheme: State Bank of Hyderabad will be offering voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) before its merger with State Bank of India, sources have told news agency Cogencis. SBI's stock was up 2 percent.

2:35 pm Expert Speak: Indian market scaled news highs in this week but the rally may not be over yet which investors have already started to talk about. Nomura India which remains constructive on India market thinks that the rally could extend by another 10-11 percent by 2017 end.

"Our view fundamentally for the India market was around 20 percent return but after the rally, it looks like we could do another 10-11 percent return until the end of the year helped by liquidity," Prabhat Awasthi, Head of Equity & MD, India, Nomura said in an interview with CNBC-TV 18.

2:22 pm UCO bank, Future Generali tie up: Shares of UCO Bank surged over 2 percent intraday after it entered into a tie up with Future Generali India Insurance.

Through the tie-up, Future Generali will offer its health & personal accident, motor, travel, home and rural insurance products across 3050 branches of UCO Bank.

2:00 pm Market Check: Equity benchmarks remained directionless in afternoon as investors awaited interest rate decision from Federal Reserve due tonight and GST Council meet on Thursday.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was down 18.61 points at 29,424.02 and the 50-share NSE Nifty gained 1.80 points at 9,088.80. However, the broader markets continued to outperform benchmarks despite balanced market breadth.

The BSE Midcap index rallied 1 percent and Smallcap index gained 0.66 percent. About 1349 shares advanced while 1294 shares declined on the BSE.

Taher Badshah of Invesco Mutual Fund says the market remains constructive post the big BJP's win in UP and on the back of global recovery.

The momentum in the market is really strong and another rally of 8-10 percent is not really very difficult in the presence of such strong liquidity, he adds.

Idea Cellular retained its top position in the buying list of Sensex stocks, up 9.3 percent after sources told CNBC-TV18 that ATC is close to completing buyout of Idea's tower business.

TCS and Infosys were under pressure, falling over 2 percent on account of strength in rupee that gained past 65.50 against the US dollar.

1:55 pm SEBI nod: Reliance Communications today said it has received approvals from markets regulator SEBI and the stock exchanges for proposed demerger of its wireless business into Aircel Ltd.

"Reliance Communications has received approval of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), BSE and NSE for the proposed scheme of arrangement for demerger of the wireless division of the company into Aircel Ltd and Dishnet Wireless Ltd," the company said in a regulatory filing.

It further said: "Pursuant to the same, Reliance Communications has filed an application with National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), Mumbai Bench, for approval of the said Scheme. The proposed transaction is subject to other necessary approvals".

1:40 pm P-notes investments: Investments in domestic capital markets through participatory notes (P-notes) rose to Rs 1.75 lakh crore at the end of January, after hitting a 43-month low in the preceding month.

P-notes are issued by registered foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) to overseas ones who wish to participate in Indian markets without registering themselves directly. But they still need to go through a proper due diligence process.

According to Sebi data, total value of P-note investments in Indian markets -- equity, debt and derivatives -- climbed to Rs 1,75,088 crore at January-end, from Rs 1,57,306 crore at the end of December.

1:28 pm Amtek Auto's woes: Auto parts maker Amtek Auto is facing a tough challenge of reducing debts on its books. In hopes to solve this problem, company's Chairman and founder Arvind Dham is looking at the option of selling assets owned by him, reports Mint.

According to sources privy to the matter, Dham is looking at the option of selling Indraprasta Engine Parts Pvt. Ltd (IEPPL), an auto component manufacturing company which he owns in his personal capacity.

1:15 pm Market Check: The market continued to be trading within a range as investors sat on the fence ahead of US Fed meet's outcome. Experts largely feel that the central bank will raise interest rates, citing better economic data.

The 30-share Sensex was down 7.34 points at 29435.29, while the 50-share Nifty was up 7.90 points at 9094.90. Around 1,361 shares had advanced, 1,216 shares had declined, while 161 shares are unchanged.

IT stocks continued to fall on the back of a stronger rupee. The Indian currency clocked its 16-month high levels. Meanwhile, BHEL, Reliance and Idea Cellular were the top gainers on both the indices.

Announcements from the Karnataka Budget pushed up liquor stocks. The state abolished additional excise and lifted VAT on wine, beer and hard liquor. However, PVR fell over 6 percent as a cap of Rs 200 was announced on movie tickets.

12:59 pm Investors cheer Karnataka Budget announcements: Liquor stocks registered gains, following the Karnataka government's order to lift VAT on wine, beer and hard liquor along with abolition of additional excise on liquor.

United Spirits (3 percent), United Breweries (3 percent), Radico Khaitan (6 percent), GM Breweries (4.70 percent), Pincon Spirit (4 percent), Tilaknagar Industries (3 percent), and Globus Spirit (6 percent) gained following the announcement.

12:45 pm Karnataka Budget impact: Shares of PVR fell nearly 6 percent intraday as investors turned wary of Karnataka government's decision to cap multiplex rates.

The state government, in its Budget, has proposed to regulate multiplexes by making maximum entry fee at Rs 200.

12:27 pm Buzzing stock: Shares of Glenmark rose over 4 percent intraday on Wednesday after it received an inspection report from the US drug regulator.

The drug firm received establishment inspection report (EIR) from the US Food and Drug Administration on closure of inspection of its Ankleshwar plant in Gujarat, the company said.

"Glenmark would like to state that its Ankleshwar plant received the EIR (establishment inspection report) yesterday. The EIR is issued by the FDA only if it finds the facility to be deemed acceptable," it said in a BSE filing.

12:11 pm Market check: After starting the day on a tepid note, the market witnessed consolidation as investors awaited the outcome of US Federal Reserve's policy meeting. Indices held on to key levels, but turned red after posting a mega rally on Tuesday.

The 30-share Sensex was down 34.43 points at 29408.20, while the Nifty was down 4.05 points at 9082.95. The market breadth was narrow after 1,314 shares advanced, 1,127 shares declined, while 161 shares remained unchanged.

Infosys and TCS were top losers on the indices, while BHEL, Reliance, Idea Cellular and Bank of Baroda were among the top gainers.

11:42 am Rupee gains further: Driven by its 16-month peak achieved yesterday, the rupee today acquired more heft as it rose by another 38 paise to 65.44 on sustained offloading of the US dollar amid heavy foreign capital inflows.

Financial markets were enthused by the BJP's emphatic UP victory amid positive macro data while unabated foreign inflows added it up.

The rupee resumed higher at 65.76 as against yesterday's closing of 65.82 here today. It advanced further to 65.41 before trading at 65.44 at 1020 hours.

The domestic currency hovered in a range of 65.76 and 65.41 during morning deals.

11:25 am Interview: VIP has seen a 54 percent uptick so far this year despite demonetisation that was implemented in November last year.

Demonetisation did not have any adverse impact on the company. Rather, VIP benefited from the shift to organized sector, said the company's chairman Dilip G Piramal.

Most of the retail chains are now moving towards the organized sector.

VIP will further benefit from high growth in the travel industry. Growth is likely to be in range of 15 percent in the coming year, according to Piramal.

11:05 am Market Check: Equity benchmarks continued to be lacklustre in morning as investors awaited Federal Reserve rate decision due tonight, and digested BJP's landslide victory in Uttar Pradesh.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 9.67 points at 29,452.30 and the 50-share NSE Nifty rose 6.75 points to 9,093.75 while the broader markets outperformed benchmarks

The BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices gained 0.8 percent each as about 1349 shares advanced against 936 declining shares on the BSE.

Idea Cellular soared over 12 percent intraday after reports stated that US-based ATC was close to completing a buyout of the firm's tower business.

Infosys and TCS fell 1.7 percent after rupee hit 16-month high of 65.52 against the US dollar, up 29 paise from previous close.

11:00 am Idea gains 12%: Idea Cellular soared over 12 percent intraday after reports stated that ATC was close to completing a buyout of the firm's tower business.

ATC's global management is in the country currently to finalise the transaction details, sources informed CNBC-TV18. ATC and Idea are keen on closing the deal before the merger with Vodafone is finalized.

As part of the deal structure, ATC may merge Idea's tower business with its India portfolio as well as the acquired business of Viom. Sources also told the channel that Idea may take the role of an anchor tenant after ATC's deal closure.

10:45 am Buzzing stocks: Shares of pharmaceutical majors Biocon and Alkem Labs surged over 3 percent intraday on Wednesday on approvals by the US drug regulator.

Biocon surged after Mylan received a nod from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Exemestane tablets, which are used to treat breast cancer.

Meanwhile, Alkem Labs received the nod from the regulator for Lidocaine ointment, which is to treat ventricular tachycardia.

10:29 am CIL arms' valuations slashed: Three subsidiaries of the government-run Coal India have slashed their valuation by nearly 75 percent over values declared earlier this month. According to a news report in the Economic Times, valuations declared earlier did not reflect the true numbers of the subsidiaries.

A Coal India executive said that earlier valuations were based on a calculation employed for valuing international companies and therefore weren't valid for India peers.

The three subsidiaries include Northern Coalfield, Mahanadi Coalfields and South Eastern Coalfields.

10:11 am Rupee extends gains: The Indian rupee extended its gains against the US dollar at 65.43. The currency is up 1.9 percent this month and has gained 3.7 percent this year.

10:08 am Market Check: Equity benchmarks remained strong, but traded in a rangebound manner ahead of the US Federal Reserve's policy meeting outcome. Investors are largely factoring in a rate hike in the US on the back of strong economic data. The Nifty touched 9100 in intraday trade on Wednesday.

The 30-share Sensex was up 39.66 points at 29482.29, while the Nifty was up 9.95 points at 9096.95. The market breadth was slightly narrow with 1,197 shares having advanced, 749 shares having declined, while 96 shares were unchanged.

IT stocks TCS and Infosys were the top losers on both the indices, while Adani Ports, Reliance, Idea Cellular and Bank of Baroda were the top gainers on both the indices.

9:57 am Market Update: Benchmark indices were moderately positive amid consolidation ahead of Federal Reserve decision tonight.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 32.94 points at 29,475.57 and the 50-share NSE Nifty gained 9.20 points at 9,096.20.

9:50 am Asia update: Asian equities were a sea of red, following losses in US stocks as traders awaited a rates decision from the US Federal Reserve.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 was down 0.2 percent, as the yen strengthened against the dollar. A stronger yen is generally seen as a negative for Japanese stocks.

9:39 am BoAML on Sun Pharma: Bank of America Merrill Lynch also says Mohali resolution is sentimentally positive and this resolution is in-line with earlier expectations.

Better synergy benefits now are likely on account of Ranbaxy merger and it may be used for site transfers for important products, it adds.

The brokerage house has maintained buy rating on the stock with a target price at Rs 750.

9:29 am FII View: While a rate hike by the US Federal Reserve is already factored in, markets will keenly watch the Fed's commentary in its ongoing meeting. The Fed had indicated for three hikes this year in last December.

Speaking to CNBC-TV18, Richard Harris, Chief Executive at Port Shelter Management said that markets are discounting 2-3 hikes already. The Fed is expecting more stimulus for the economy.

With US growth coming back, 2017 is expected to be great for other economies also, said James Glassman, Senior Economist at JP Morgan. "India and China are likely to grow at 6.5-7 percent this year," he said.

9:15 am Market Check: Equity benchmarks started off day on a flat note after rally in previous session and ahead of outcome of two-day Federal Reserve policy meeting tonight.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was down 3.76 points at 29,438.87 and the 50-share NSE Nifty fell 3.75 points to 9,083.25. About two shares advanced for every share falling on the BSE.

Reliance Industries, Cipla, Sun Pharma, Tata Motors, Wipro, Hindalco and Aurobindo Pharma were early gainers while Bharti Airtel, Larsen & Toubro, TCS, ICICI Bank, Asian Paints, HCL Technologies, Asian Paints and Bosch were early losers.

The Indian rupee opened marginally higher at 65.76 per dollar against previous day's closing of 65.82.

Yesterday the rupee closed at 16-month high at 66.82, which was last seen in November, 2015.

Pramit Brahmbhatt of Veracity said, "The rupee has strong resistance at 65.80 levels and may trade sideways for the day. We expect the USD-INR pair to trade in a range of 65.80-66.30/dollar today."

The dollar was on tenterhooks in early trade as investors waited anxiously to see what clues the US Federal Reserve would soon reveal on its monetary policy outlook.

Meanwhile, sterling nursed its losses after tumbling to an eight-week low in the previous session, amid worries about a prolonged and painful process of the UK's exit from the European Union.