Sensex ends 290 points higher, Nifty closes above 9200 for the first time; L&T up 5%

3:30 pm Market at Close: Trading in the green zone throughout the day, the market closed the day at record levels, driven by a rally in index heavyweights Reliance Industries, L&T, among others.

The Nifty closed above the 9200-mark for the first time ever, while the Sensex is now just 100 points away from 30,000-mark.

Indices witnessed a sharp surge in the last few hours of trade, pushing them at higher levels.

The Sensex was up 289.72 points at 29910.22, while the Nifty was up 64.10 points at 9237.85. The market breadth was healthy as 2,073 shares advanced against a decline of 819 shares, while 125 shares were unchanged.

L&T, Dr Reddy's Laboratories and Reliance were the top gainers on both indices, while Bharti Airtel, Wipro and BPCL were top losers.

3:13 pm Market Update: Equity benchmarks extended rally in last hour of trade, with the Sensex rising 288.26 points or 0.97 percent to 29,908.76 and the 50-share NSE Nifty up 62.25 points at 9,236.

About 2008 shares advanced against 830 declining shares on the BSE.

3:03 pm Moody's on Yes Bank: Yes Bank's recent fund-raise is credit positive and will help strengthen its capitalisation that will support credit growth, Moody's Investors Service has said.

Yes Bank last week had informed about raising Rs 4,906.65 crore (USD 750 million) in Qualified Institutions Placement (QIP) mode.

The fund will strengthen its capital buffer and also boost its loss-absorbing buffers, Moody's said.

"The capital increase is credit positive because it strengthens the bank's capitalisation and loss-absorbing buffers and supports the bank's credit growth," the global ratings firm said in a note.

2:42 pm Acquisition: Asian Paints today said its subsidiary Berger International has fully acquired Sri Lanka's Causeway Paints in an all cash deal of Rs 387 crore.

Berger International (BIPL) has today completed the transaction for a consideration of LKR (Lankan Rupee) 9,050 million (approximately Rs 386.75 crore) in cash, Asian Paint said in a BSE filing.

The company had in February entered into a share purchase agreement with the existing shareholders of Causeway Paints Lanka (CPLPL) for acquisition of 100 per cent stake.

2:32 pm New Listing: Shankara Building Products, which recently concluded its Rs 350-crore initial public offer, will list its shares on the stock exchanges on April 5.

The IPO, from March 22-24, was subscribed 41.60 times. The price band was fixed at Rs 440-460 per share.

The portion set aside for qualified institutional buyers (QIBs) was subscribed 51.62 times while that for the non- institutional investor segment was 90.68 times. The retail investor category witnessed a subscription of 15.35 times.

2:10 pm Market Check: Benchmark indices continued its steady performance and traded above the gap-up opening levels, driven by a rally in index heavyweights.

The Sensex was up 255.05 points at 29875.55, while the Nifty was up 55.70 points at 9229.45. The market breadth was healthy as 1,951 shares advanced against a decline of 773 shares, while 124 shares were unchanged.

L&T as well as Reliance continued to be the top gainers, while Bharti Airtel and Wipro were top losers.

1:50 pm Buzzing Stock: Shares of Adani Transmission touched 52-week high of Rs 70.25, rises more than 9 percent intraday Monday as it has received Letter of Intents (LoIs) for three transmission projects in Rajasthan.

The company has received the three LOIs from RVPN (Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Prasaran Nigam) to construct, own, operate and maintain three transmission projects in the state of Rajasthan.

The projects namely Hadoti Transmission Company (PPP-8), Barmer Transmission Company (PPP9), and Thar Transmission Company (PPP-10) collectively have approximately 350 Ckt kms of lines and 16 substations with transformation capacity of approximately 600 MVA at voltage level of 132/220 KV.

1:40 pm After US, Singapore asks Indian cos to hire locals: After the US, Indian information technology professionals are now finding it tough to find work in Singapore, with the country advising Indian companies there to hire more locals, the Times of India reported.

Work visas for Indian IT professionals have almost stopped and the push to hire more locals has led Indian companies to consider shifting their operations to other countries in the region.

1:21 pm Management Speak: Indoco Remedies on Monday said it has hired an external consultant and will be responding to US FDA in the next 15 days on its warning letter for its Goa facilities.

The company in conference call with analysts said the impact of the warning letter on the revenues is minimal, as the US FDA warning letter doesn't restrict the company from shipping products to the US, though new approvals may get impacted.

The US FDA had inspected Indoco's manufacturing facilities -- Plant II and Plant III -- located in Verna Industrial Estate Area, Goa, between August 31 and September 4, 2016 and issued six observations in Form 483.

1:10 pm Market Check: Benchmark indices continued to trade strong after having a gap up opening, driven by a rally in index heavyweights as well as better performance from global markets.

The 30-share Sensex was up 220.59 points at 29841.09, while the Nifty was up 46.90 points at 9220.65. The market breadth was healthy as 1,902 shares advanced against a decline of 751 shares, while 110 shares were unchanged.

Reliance and L&T were top gainers on both the indices, while Bharti Airtel and Wipro were the top losers.

MEP Infrastructure Developers touched 52-week high of Rs 55.25, gains 4.8 percent intraday Monday as it has achieved financial closure of the project in the state of Gujarat.

The company's subsidiary MEP SANJOSE Mahuva Kagavadar Road has achieved financial closure as per the concession agreement executed with NHAI for the project of four laning of Mahuva to Kagavadar section in the state of Gujarat on Hybrid Annuity Mode under NHDP Phase IV," as per company release.

Shares of Nila Infrastructures added 7.2 percent intraday Monday as it has secured construction contract worth Rs 131.67 crore.

The company entered into an agreement for construction and implementation of project with Vivyan Infraprojects for an amount of Rs 131.67 crore.

12:44 pm SBI bets big: State Bank of India, the nation's top lender by assets, expects to save costs and gain scale after merging its five subsidiary banks with itself, senior executives said on Monday, adding that there will be no big surprises in terms of bad loans after the merger.

State Bank of India merged its five Associate Banks '' State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Travancore, along with Bharatiya Mahila Bank with itself effective April 1, 2017.

12:20 pm Interview: Speaking about business outlook and demand scenario going forward Baba Kalyani, CMD of Bharat Forge said that North American heavy truck market is beginning to show signs of some robustness.

North American Class 8 truck orders reported double-digit growth for two months. The order average for last 3 months at 21,900 vs 15,200 between August and November. Year on year orders in February were up 28 percent at 22,900 units in 2017.

Markets including Western Europe, North America and even to some extent Latin America are better positioned than what they were last year, said Kalyani in an interview to CNBC-TV18.

12:00 pm Market Check: Equity benchmarks and broader markets gained further in noon, backed by index heavyweights Reliance Industries, L&T, HDFC and ICICI Bank.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 197.50 points at 29,818 and the 50-share NSE Nifty gained 38 points at 9,211.75 while the Nifty Midcap climbed 0.7 percent and Smallcap was up 0.9 percent.

About 1847 shares advanced against 704 declining shares on the BSE.

Bharti Airtel lost nearly 4 percent while Reliance Industries jumped 4 percent on strong response to its Reliance Jio prime membership. (Disclosure: Reliance Industries, the parent company of Reliance Jio, owns Network 18 Media and Moneycontrol.com).

11:58 am Motilal Oswal on Maruti: Motilal Oswal has advised buying Maruti Suzuki, with a target price of Rs 7,443 (implying 25 percent upside), citing growth through capacity addition in Gujarat.

The brokerage house says Gujarat plant would add around 13 percent to total Maruti Suzuki capacity in FY18 and contribute around 23 percent by FY20. The Gujarat plant is expected to ease capacity constraints and help to drastically reduce waiting periods for products like Baleno, Brezza and Ignis, it adds.

The research firm feels Gujarat plant would have superior profitability on full ramp-up as the plant offers several advantages including land at concessional price, sales tax benefit, centrally located, stable industrial environment, good power connectivity, excellent infrastructure, lower wage cost, better efficiency (higher automation than average at Maruti plant, but similar to line-3 added at Manesar in FY14) etc.

11:40 am SBI opens as one bank: Post-merger of five associate banks, the State Bank of India opened as one bank with 500 million customers and started normal operations from Monday, SBI Chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya announced.

The associate banks which merged with the SBI are State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank Of Hyderabad, State Bank of Mysore and State Bank of Travancore.

"The SBI opened as 'one bank' today (Monday) and will continue to operate in the same manner as before post-merger," Bhattacharya told the media.

The treasuries of the SBI and associates have also been completely integrated and have now started work as a single entity, she added.

11:20 am Interview: Bajaj Auto fourth quarter total sales were down 11 percent at 2.7 versus 3.05 lakh units for the same quarter earlier fiscal.

Rajiv Bajaj, MD, Bajaj Auto said the impact on retail sales of two-wheelers was due to demonetisation and heavy discounts, and the dip in demand is likely to continue for the month of April too due to preponement of buying in March but things should normalize post that.

The retails sales in the second half of the current fiscal was worse than the first half this fiscal, he said in an interview to CNBC-TV18. However, exports saw some improvement, he said.

Massive discounts had surfaced in the two-wheeler space from January but that is unlikely to impact margins for the fourth quarter, said Bajaj.

11:00 am Market Check: Equity benchmarks as well as broader markets gained more strength after last week's consolidation phase, aided by infra, oil, FMCG and select banking & financials stocks. However, technology and telecom stocks were under pressure.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 172.41 points at 29,792.91 and the 50-share NSE Nifty gained 31.55 points at 9,205.30. The Nifty Midcap and Smallcap indices climbed over 0.6 percent.

About three shares gained for every share falling on the BSE.

Cement stocks gained strength after CNBC-Awaaz reported that cement companies hiked cement rates in Maharashtra by Rs 50-60/bag w.e.f April 1.

Reliance Industries and Larsen & Toubro were top gainers among Sensex stocks, up 3-4 percent.

10:50 am Manufacturing PMI: The health of India's manufacturing sector improved for the third straight month in March, and to the greatest extent since October 2016, says Nikkei IHS Markit in its release. Incoming new orders expanded at a stronger pace, thereby leading to quicker increases in production and input purchasing.

Rising to a five-month high of 52.5 in March, from 50.7 in February, the seasonally adjusted Nikkei India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index indicated that operating conditions in the sector improved to a greater extent. As for the January-to-March quarter, the PMI average (51.2) was the lowest seen since Q1 FY 2016/17 (51.0).

10:44 am Mutual Fund Ratings: To safeguard investors' interest, the capital market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India has asked credit rating agencies (CRAs) to give a 30-day prior notice to investors before withdrawing ratings of any open-ended mutual fund scheme.

''Open-ended mutual fund schemes being perpetual in nature and having no specified maturity, withdrawal of rating of such schemes is permitted,'' SEBI said in a circular.

''However, as units of such schemes are held by many investors, such ratings shall be placed on notice of withdrawal for at least 30 days, which shall be publicly available on the CRA's website.''

10:32 am Negative on United Spirits: Most brokerages maintain their rating for United Spirits but expect sales to get impacted in the next few quarters after the Supreme Court banned liquor outlets within 500 meters of state and national highways effective April 1, 2017.

This ruling was originally announced in Dec-16. The court as also clarified that this will be applicable on retail liquor outlets, bars, pubs and restaurants located on highways and will be effective April 2017.

The SC ruling will impact will be negative for all liquor companies as 35-40 percent of liquor outlets are located along NHs or state highways, and will have to shut shop and relocate from April 1.

10:21 am Buzzing Stock: Elecon Engineering Company's shares rose 4.7 percent intraday Monday on the back of order received worth Rs 130 crore in its material handling business.

The company bagged order worth Rs 130 crore from Ramagundam Fertilizers and Chemicals for installing urea bagging and conveying systems at their complex at Ramagundam, Telangana.

The company also recently received orders worth of Rs 45 crore in cement, power, port and coal sectors.

10:00 am Market Check: Equity benchmarks maintained early gains, with the Nifty holding 9200 level, backed by banking & financials, oil and auto stocks.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 143.56 points at 29,764.06 and the 50-share NSE Nifty gained 30.15 points at 9,203.90.

The broader markets outperformed benchmarks, with the Nifty Midcap and Smallcap indices rising half a percent on strong breadth. About three shares advanced for every share falling on the exchange.

Reliance Industries stock price soared 4.6 percent intraday, riding high on the positive response to Jio Prime membership as well as an extension in the deadline to subscribe to it. It was the biggest contributor to Sensex' gains.

HDFC, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank and SBI also gained ahead of RBI policy meet on Thursday. Tata Motors, Maruti Suzuki, M&M and Hero Motocorp were moderately higher post auto sales data.

9:45 am FII View: Timothy Moe of Goldman Sachs says recent earnings upgrades are the strongest since 2011, and have supported a 13 percente rally in the MSCI Asia-Pac Ex-Japan index in Q1.

"Our models project more positive revisions in the region, but their momentum may have peaked. This is driven by a similar path in the nominal GDP growth, the dominant macro driver for aggregate earnings revisions," he says.

While China may be more resilient, earnings in India may recover, according to him.

By sectors, he expects earnings revisions in consumer discretionary and industrials to turn positive, upgrades in materials to moderate but remain strong, and the downgrade cycle of banks to be close to an end.

9:30 am GST Update: Education, healthcare and pilgrimages will continue to be out of service tax net even under the GST regime as the Centre is against giving any shock in the first year of the rollout by bringing in new services.

Besides making a strong case to the GST Council for not touching services that are out of tax net currently, the Centre will also pitch for keeping concessional rate for services like transport at the current level, Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia told PTI in an interview.

9:15 am Market Check: Equity benchmarks started off the week on a strong note, with the Nifty hitting a record high of 9,220.65 on positive Asian cues and ahead of RBI policy meet.

After a consolidation in last week, the market gathered strength. The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 123.92 points at 29,744.42 and the 50-share NSE Nifty gained 29.90 points at 9,203.65.

Reliance Industries was the leading contributor to Sensex' gains, up more than 2 percent as Reliance Jio on Friday extended Jio Prime service till April 15 enthused by the response the premium service recieved in the past few weeks. Over 72 million Jio customers have signed up for Jio Prime membership, the company said in a statement.

Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra, Hero Motocorp, SBI, Ambuja Cements, ACC and UltraTech Cement were other early gainers while Bharti Airtel was biggest loser, down more than 2 percent.

About 991 shares advanced against 284 declining shares on the BSE.

The Indian rupee opened marginally higher at 64.80 per dollar against Friday's closing value of 64.85.

Pramit Brahmbhatt of Veracity said, "Considering the US data, a technical bounce in the dollar from hereon cannot be ruled out. Thus rupee may depreciate for the day and the trading range for spot USD-INR pair is seen between 64.80-65.20/dollar."

Asian shares were mostly higher, the first trading day of the new quarter, as investors digested economic data out of Japan and Australia.