Sensex off day's low post RBI policy, Nifty ends above 9250; ITC, SBI fall

3:30 pm Market at Close: Benchmark indices ended the day on a lower note, but not before staging a recovery from the day's low post the RBI's policy announcement. The Street had factored in the central bank's decision. A rally in real estate stocks could have helped in the recovery.

The Sensex was down 46.90 points at 29927.34, while the Nifty was down 13.30 points at 9251.85. The market breadth was marginally in the positive territory with 1,463 shares having advanced against a decline of 1,408 shares, while 137 shares were unchanged.

ITC, State Bank of India and Hindalco were among the top losers, while BHEL, Tata Steel and Zee Entertainment were the top gainers on both indices.

3:10 pm Rate-sensitive stocks react: Rate sensitive stocks such as banks, real estate stocks rallied after the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided to keep the policy rates and cash reserve ratio (CRR) unchanged.

The policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) unchanged at 6.25 percent. The reverse repo rate under the LAF is at 6.0 percent, and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate are at 6.50 percent.

At 02:50 p.m. the BSE Banking index was trading 0.28 percent lower, the BSE Realty index was trading 2 percent higher, BSE capital goods index was trading 0.4 per cent lower, and BSE auto index was down 0.21 percent.

The S&P BSE Banking index was trading 0.28 per cent lower, led by losses in Federal Bank (down 2.3 percent), followed by ICICI Bank (down 1.4 per cent), SBI down 1.1 percent), and Yes Bank (down 0.3 per cent).

The BSE Realty index was trading 2 per cent higher led by gains in DLF (up 3.8 per cent), Unitech (up 3.4 percent), and Prestige Estate (up 2.7 per cent).

The BSE Auto index was trading 0.2 per cent lower, led by losses in Eicher Motors (down 1 per cent), Maruti Suzuki (down 0.8 percent), and Ashok Leyland (down 0.8 per cent).

2:51 pm Buzzing: Shares of real estate companies witnessed a surge as investors cheered the central bank's decision on REITs.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday allowed banks to invest in real estate investment trusts (REITs) as well as infrastructure investment trusts (InvITs).

A REIT is a special form of corporation that invests primarily in real estate. REITs do not pay federal income taxes as long as they pay out 90% of their earnings to shareholders in the form of dividends.

As a result, DLF, Prestige Estates, Unitech, and Godrej Properties, among others surged between 1 and 6 percent intraday. A few of them even clocked their 52-week highs.

2:41 pm Six members voted in favour of the monetary policy decision. The minutes of the MPC's meeting will be published by April 20, 2017.

2:37 pm Economic growth: RBI says GVA growth is projected to strengthen to 7.4 percent in 2017-18 from 6.7 percent in 2016-17, with risks evenly balanced. Several favourable domestic factors are expected to drive this acceleration.

First, the pace of remonetisation will continue to trigger a rebound in discretionary consumer spending. Activity in cash-intensive retail trade, hotels and restaurants, transportation and unorganised segments has largely been restored.

Second, significant improvement in transmission of past policy rate reductions into banks' lending rates post demonetisation should help encourage both consumption and investment demand of healthy corporations.

Third, various proposals in the Union Budget should stimulate capital expenditure, rural demand, and social and physical infrastructure all of which would invigorate economic activity.

Fourth, the imminent materialisation of structural reforms in the form of the roll-out of the GST, the institution of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, and the abolition of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board will boost investor confidence and bring in efficiency gains.

Fifth, the upsurge in initial public offerings in the primary capital market augurs well for investment and growth.

2:30 pm RBI policy: The Reserve Bank of India left repo rate unchanged at 6.25 percent but hiked reverse repo rate to 6 percent.

2:26 pm Power Generation: Private player Tata Power said electricity generation from all its plants collectively crossed 51,000 Million Units (MUs) in 2016-17.

It also reported significant increase of 15.2 per cent in output, with its total power generation capacity at 10,577 MW from various fuel sources such as thermal, hydroelectric power, renewable energy (wind and solar PV) and waste heat recovery.

According to a statement by the company, it also has a significant presence in the clean energy space with a gross installed capacity of 3,141 MW.

2:15 pm Vehicle recall: Toyota Kirloskar Motor is recalling 23,157 units of its sedan Corolla Altis in India, as part of the ongoing recall of 2.9 million vehicles globally for defective air bags.

The company, which is part of Japan's Toyota Motor Corporation, is recalling 23,157 units of Corolla Altis manufactured between January 2010 to December 2012, a Toyota Kirloskar Motor spokesperson told PTI.

Corolla Altis is priced between Rs 15.87 lakh and Rs 19.91 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).

2:00 pm Market Check: Benchmark indices were seen trading cautiously and in the red as the Street got ready for the crucial outcome of the RBI's monetary policy meeting.

The Sensex was down 100.29 points at 29873.95, while the Nifty was down 31.15 points at 9234.00. The market breadth continued to be in the negative zone as 1,304 shares advanced against a decline of 1,420 shares, while 128 shares were unchanged.

ITC, L&T and Hindalco were the top losers, while BHEL, Bajaj Auto and Reliance gained the most on both indices.

1:48 pm Just Dial gets downgraded: HSBC has downgraded Just Dial, the local search engine in India, to reduce from hold and lowered target price to Rs 390 (from Rs 430 earlier) following cut in earnings estimates. The stock fell 3.5 percent intraday Thursday.

The brokerage house believes the share price run-up is not factoring in the execution risks and has run ahead of fundamentals. It has cut FY18 EBITDA estimates by 26 percent as it factored in the one-time increase in advertising spends.

Just Dial share price has been up 40 percent in past three months on hopes that the company could benefit from the shake-up in the Indian ecommerce industry and the launch of the much-awaited TV ad by the company.

1:30 pm One-year high: Bharat Forge share price touched fresh 52-week high on Thursday, up more than 3 percent intraday after sharp jump in North America truck orders during March.

North American heavy truck (class 8) orders in March increased a whopping 41 percent to 22,800 units compared with same month last year, according to CNBC-TV18 reports quoting FTR.

Truck orders saw growth for third consecutive month in March against 22,900 units in February (up 28 percent YoY) and 21,600 units in January (up 20 percent YoY).

1:05 PM Market Check: Equity benchmarks continued to be in the red zone, holding on to its losses though as the focus completely shifted towards the outcome of RBI's policy meet.

The Sensex was down 129.17 points at 29845.07, while the Nifty was down 39.30 points at 9225.85. About 1,233 shares advanced against a decline of 1,408 shares, while 133 shares were unchanged.

ICICI Bank, Coal India and Hindalco were among the top losers on both indices, while BHEL, Bajaj Auto and Reliance were the top gainers.

Shares of Jindal Steel & Power (JSPL) added 5 percent intraday Thursday as the company has recorded highest ever production and sales in FY17.

The company's FY 2016-17 production and sales was over 4.8 million tonne.

The Oman subsidiary, Jindal Shadeed Oman, clocked highest ever production and sales, by recording an over 20 percent rise in production and over 17 percent rise in sales.

Shares of Reliance Defence and Engineering added 3.4 percent intraday Thursday as the company is going to consider rights issue up to Rs 1200 crore.

The company's board meeting will be held on April 11, to consider and approve the standalone and consolidated audited financial results for the quarter and financial year ended March 31, 2017.

The board will also consider to revalidate and approve the rights issue of equity shares upto Rs 1200 crore, which was approved at the board meeting held on April 22, 2016.

12:40 pm Unilever in focus: Unilever said it will exit its shrinking spreads business, increase its margin targets, raise its dividend and review its dual-headed legal structure, as it aims to prove it can deliver near-term growth on its own, following its swift rejection in February of a takeover proposal by Kraft Heinz.

The pledges are the result of a business review at the Anglo Dutch consumer goods maker undertaken following the unsolicited USD 143 billion bid by the US rival, which Unilever bluntly rejected.

Unilever, one of Europe's biggest blue-chip stocks, called the episode a "trigger moment" to assess its business, as the global packaged goods industry faces slowing growth and greater competition.

12:20 pm Policy expectations: Mihir Vora of Max Life does not expect the RBI to move on interest rates but expects it to announce some tools to manage excess liquidity, which could have a short-term negative impact on bond market.

However, it won't be a major event because the effective rates as far as interbank money markets are concerned are still at low levels, says Vora.

12:00 pm Market check: The market continued to be sluggish in noon as investors remained cautious ahead RBI commentary due later today. Global peers were also under pressure after hawkish commentary by Federal Reserve in its March Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) minutes.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was down 102.23 points at 29,872.01 and the 50-share NSE Nifty fell 31.75 points to 9,233.40.

Bajaj Auto share price gained nearly 2 percent after Morgan Stanley has upgraded the stock to overweight from underweight and also raised target price to Rs 3,251 (from Rs 2,502 earlier), implying 17 percent upside.

Reliance Industries continued to trade at 9-year high, up 1 percent and Infosys gained strength, rising nearly a percent.

Axis Bank and HDFC Bank were gainers while SBI and ICICI Bank were losers ahead of RBI policy meet outcome.

11:58 am Buzzing Stock: Shares of Sadbhav Infrastructure fell nearly 7 percent intraday on Thursday as investors turned cautious on buzz of taxman's actions.

According to a report on CNBC-Awaaz, the premises of the firm were searched by the Income Tax Department.

At 11:58 hrs, Sadbhav Infrastructure Projects was quoting at Rs 96.00, down Rs 3.75, or 3.76 percent.

11:49 am Brokerage view: Bajaj Auto share price rallied nearly 2 percent after Morgan Stanley has upgraded the stock to overweight from underweight and also raised target price to Rs 3,251 (from Rs 2,502 earlier), implying 17 percent upside.

"The stock has underperformed BSE Sensex by 10 percent over past year, consensus is negative and we now take a contrarian view and upgrade Bajaj Auto to overweight," it reasons.

The brokerage house says it now applies an 18x FY19 P/E multiple against 15x earlier, to reflect sector rerating, trough earnings and potential for higher dividend yield, as cash to market capitalisation is expected to rise to 21 percent by FY19. It would use any weakness in the stock post Q4FY17 earnings to build positions.

11:38 am Buzzing Stock: IndusInd Bank shares gained more than 1 percent intraday Thursday as the company planned to raise funds via issue of bonds.

The company proposed to raise funds by issue and allotment of rated, listed, non-convertible, perpetual, subordinated and unsecured Basel III compliant bonds in the nature of debentures towards non-equity regulatory additional tier I capital on private placement basis.

11:20 am Working a way around the ban? The Maharashtra government has approved proposals from three municipal corporations seeking to change the status of the highways passing through their respective areas to city roads, in a bid to get around the Supreme Court order on liquor ban.

State PWD Minister Chandrakant Patil today told reporters here that the government had received proposals from Jalgaon, Latur and Yavatmal municipal corporations seeking de-notification of the highways.

The government has approved these proposals in the last two to three days, Patil said.

11:05 am Market Check: Benchmark indices were in the red as investors may have booked profits from the previous rally and looked to remain cautious ahead of RBI's policy meet outcome.

Polls indicate that the central bank will hold key rates, but the focus would be on the RBI's commentary and stance.

The Sensex was down 111.47 points at 29862.77, while the Nifty was down 35.80 points at 9229.35. The market breadth was negative with 1,100 shares having advanced against a decline of 1,269 shares, while 130 shares were unchanged.

BHEL, Bajaj Auto and Indian Oil were top gainers, while Adani Ports, HUL and Hindalco lost the most.

India's services industry in March continued to recover from November's shock big currency-note ban, with business activity expanding for a second month and at a faster pace, a private business survey showed on Thursday.

The Nikkei/IHS Markit Services Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 51.5 in March, its highest level since October, from February's 50.3. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.

Meanwhile, shares of Reliance Defence and Engineering added 3.4 percent intraday Thursday as the company is going to consider rights issue up to Rs 1,200 crore.

The company's board meeting will be held on April 11, to consider and approve the standalone and consolidated audited financial results for the quarter and financial year ended March 31, 2017.

10:35 am Market Outlook: Kotak Institutional Equities cautions about what is moving the liquidty. ''Events unfolding in the US are driving it,'' Sanjeev Prasad, its Senior Executive Director & Co-Head told CNBC-TV18 in an interview. Moreover, the risk reward balance is not very comfortable currently, he added.

Prasad saw reasonable valuation in corporate-facing banks and hoped that the government will come up with a plan to approve the resolution proposed by banks. ''Something will take place over the next few days,'' he told the channel.

10:16 am Buzzing stock: Shares of Jindal Steel & Power (JSPL) added 5 percent intraday Thursday as the company has recorded highest ever production and sales in FY17.

The company's FY 2016-17 production and sales was over 4.8 million tonne.

The Oman subsidiary, Jindal Shadeed Oman, clocked highest ever production and sales, by recording an over 20 percent rise in production and over 17 percent rise in sales.

10:00 am Market Check: Benchmark indices were moderately lower amid consolidation as investors awaited the outcome of two-day RBI Monetary Policy Committee meeting later today, dragged by banking & financials, FMCG and select auto stocks.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was down 74.42 points at 29,899.82 and the 50-share NSE Nifty fell 27.70 points to 9,237.45.

CARE Ratings believes that there will be no rate cut in today's RBI policy view but a rate cut is expected in third quarter of FY18, if the monsoon conditions in the economy remain normal.

The stance will continue to be neutral and not accommodative. A call on change in GDP growth forecast for FY17; indications of growth for GDP in FY18; currency infused in system post demonetisation, old notes returned to the system and other particulars; and some direction on the resolution of NPAs is expected, says CARE.

The broader markets outperformed benchmarks, trading flat. About 1115 shares advanced against 925 declining shares on the BSE.

ITC, HDFC, ICICI Bank, HUL, Adani Ports, Bharti Airtel and Maruti were down 0.5-2 percent whereas Reliance Industries rebounded after early losses, up over a percent. Axis Bank and BHEL were top gainers, rising 1.5 percent.

Tata Motors gained nearly a percent on solid growth in JLR's UK sales in March. Infosys bounced back after yesterday's losses amid H1-B visa concerns, up 0.66 percent.

Bharat Forge hit fresh 52-week high, up nearly 3 percent after sharp jump in North America truck orders.

9:54 am Auto sales: Tata Motors stock price gained 1 percent intraday following solid sales performance by Jaguar Land Rover UK in March.

Luxury car maker JLR has registered a whopping 34.4 percent increase in March sales at 32,105 units against 23,893 units sold in year-ago month, driven by both segments.

Jaguar sold 9,571 units in the month gone by, which was 69.1 percent higher over 5,659 units sold in same month last year.

Land Rover sales in UK grew by 23.6 percent to 22,534 from 18,234 units on year-on-year basis.

9:36 am Buzzing: Shares of Brahmaputra Infrastructure rose 20 percent intraday as it has received order from Government of Assam.

The company has received a letter of award of work for execution of the construction of residential complex at Rehabari, Guwahati – 08 package No CW/residential complex for the contract price of Rs 44.80 crore from government of Assam.

9:28 am FII View: Derek Higa of William O'Neil says the brokerage house continued to be bullish on Asia Pacific markets with no change in the MSCI Asia Index trend from last week.

Despite flat action, the advance/decline line continues to trend higher which is a positive sign, according to the research firm.

Volume since March has been net bullish. He says the house still views the 50-DMA as a key support level should markets pull back.

According to the research house, the strongest major markets continue to be India, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Its actionable ideas in India include Maruti Suzuki, Dalmia Bharat and JSW Steel, Derek says.

Also read - Buy, sell, hold: 12 stocks & 2 sectors on analysts' radar as market at record high

9:15 am Market Check: Equity benchmarks opened lower on Thursday, with the Sensex falling more than 100 points on profit booking as investors maintained cautious stance ahead of outcome of RBI Monetary Policy Committee meet later today. Weak global cues also weighed.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was down 117.91 points at 29,856.33 and the 50-share NSE Nifty fell 36.60 points to 9,228.55.

HDFC, Reliance Industries, ICICI Bank and L&T dragged the market while Tata Motors and Bajaj Auto were gainers.

The Indian rupee declined in early trade. It has opened lower by 18 paise at 65.05 per dollar versus 64.87 Wednesday.

Mohan Shenoi of Kotak Mahindra Bank said, "The dollar has been in a tight range against majors in the absence of any significant triggers. The FOMC minutes released yesterday were in-line with market expectation of a spaced out rate hikes during the year."

"Rupee has rallied strongly on the back of custodial selling. We expect the USD-INR pair to trade in a range of 64.85-65.15/dollar for the day," he added.

Asian markets fell, tracking losses on Wall Street after the Federal Reserve released its March Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) minutes which was viewed as hawkish.