Sensex ends 131 points lower, Nifty below 9200; Infosys down 3%

3:30 PM Market at Close: Benchmark indices had a negative trading session through the day after opening on a positive note.

The 30-share Sensex was down 130.87 points at 29575.74, while the Nifty was down 16.85 points at 9181.45. The market breadth was in the positive zone, but was narrow as 1,764 shares advanced against a decline of 1,163 shares, while 128 shares were unchanged.

Axis Bank, Tata Motors, IOC and BPCL were top gainers, while Infosys, Wipro and Indiabulls Housing Finance were top losers.

Liquor stocks were under pressure after the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister said that liquor stocks will be closed in a phased manner.

Madhya Pradesh is headed towards total prohibition with Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announcing that all liquor shops would be closed across the state in a phased manner.

"Alcohol prohibition will be implemented in the entire state by closing all liquor shops in a phased manner," Chouhan announced yesterday while addressing a programme at village Neemkhera (Heerapur) of Narsinghpur district.

This programme was organised during the ongoing river conservation awareness campaign 'Namami Devi Narmade - Narmada Seva Yatra.'

3:20 pm Global sales: Tata Motors today reported about 9 percent rise in global sales in March at 1,29,951 units, including that of Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) vehicles.

The company had sold 1,18,750 units in March 2016, Tata Motors said in a statement. In the passenger vehicles category, global sales stood at 87,355 units last month as against 73,515 units during the same period in 2016, up 19 percent.

Sales of luxury brand Jaguar Land Rover grew 11 percent to 71,609 units in March compared to 64,579 units in the same month 2016.

However, sales of commercial vehicles declined by 6 percent to 42,596 units as against 45,235 units in the year-ago month.

3:10 pm: Outlook: Mahindra Electric expects its electric vehicle sales to jump three-fold this year as it focuses on offering mobility solutions, including partnering with rental firms and cab aggregators.

The company today announced a partnership with Zoomcar, a self-driven car-rental firm, to promote shared mobility of electric cars in India.

"Last year, our focus was to launch new products and this year our focus would be to create mobility solutions with these products, on fleet, retail and shared mobility platform," Mahindra Electric CEO Mahesh Babu told PTI.

2:55 pm Liquor stocks under pressure: United Spirits, Globus Spirits, Tilaknagar Industries, Pincon Spirits, GM Breweries, United Breweries, Radico Khaitan and Pioneer Distilleries were down 1-7 percent after Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister said all liquor shops in the state will be shut down in phases.

2:45 pm Power pact: Reliance Power today said it has signed agreements with Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDP) for phase I of 750 MW LNG power project at Meghnaghat near Dhaka entailing an investment of around USD 1 billion.

"Reliance Power today executed project agreements with Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) for phase I of 750 MW LNG power project at Meghnaghat, near Dhaka in Bangladesh," Reliance Power said in statement.

According to statement, these agreements include Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) and Implementation Agreement (IA) for the proposed integrated combined cycle power project.

2:25 pm Market cap: Shares of Avenue Supermarts has crossed Rs 800 mark due to buying interest. The marketcap of the company is near to Rs 50000 crore. The shares has gained 24.5 percent since the listing closing price.

1:50 pm Buzzing Stock: Shares of Marksans Pharma advanced 8.6 percent intraday Monday on USFDA approval for Dutasteride Soft Gelatin Capsules.

The United States Food & Drug Administration (USFDA) has granted final approval of the Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) for Dutasteride Soft Gelatin Capsules 0.5 mg.

1:34 pm Mutual fund view: Global triggers or geopolitical events are most important indicators for market in the short-term, especially when Indian equity market is trading at all-time highs and so is the US – any negative trigger from there could spook the markets into correcting, says Ajay Tyagi, EVP & Fund Manager, UTI Mutual Fund.

However, from a medium term perspective earnings would the trigger, at least for the Indian equity market. So, newsflow around monsoon too will be closely monitored.

1:20 pm Digital Finance Boost: The government's massive currency culling exercise in November has given "extra boost" towards the movement of digital finance, Dhiraj Nayyar Officer on Special Duty and Head of Economics, Finance and Commerce at NITI
Aayog said today.

"If you look at the RBI (Reserve Bank of India) data on use of digital payments, there is a sharp rise in the immediate aftermath of demonetisation. Now, the figure has moderated a little" Nayyar said at MoneyTech, 2017.

The government's massive currency culling exercise in November has given "extra boost" towards the movement of digital finance, Dhiraj Nayyar Officer on Special Duty and Head of Economics, Finance and Commerce at NITI Aayog said today.

"If you look at the RBI (Reserve Bank of India) data on use of digital payments, there is a sharp rise in the immediate aftermath of demonetisation. Now, the figure has moderated a little" Nayyar said at MoneyTech, 2017.

1:10 pm Market Check: Reversing its trend from the morning, equity benchmarks were trading in the red in the afternoon.

The Sensex was down 87.95 points at 29618.66, while the Nifty was down 14.95 points at 9183.35. The market breadth was narrowing as 1,659 shares advanced against a decline of 1,057 shares, while 117 shares were unchanged.

Axis Bank, Coal India, IOC and BPCL were top gainers, while Asian Paints, Reliance and Indiabulls Housing Finance were the top losers.

12:55 pm Flying high: Budget passenger airline IndiGo celebrated the milestone of flying 900 flights a day on April 8. The company's president and whole-time director Aditya Ghosh took to Twitter to announce the news.

This is the highest number of flights operated by an Indian airline on a single day. Ghosh, enthused by the news, is gunning for 1000 flights for the airline soon.

12:35 pm Mutual fund investments: Mutual fund managers' investment in equities declined by 27 per cent to over Rs 51,000 crore in 2016-17 due to volatility in stock markets.

However, fund houses are upbeat about the industry's performance in the new fiscal while expecting investment from new investors to fuel the growth of the sector.

As per data released by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), mutual fund managers invested a net sum of Rs 51,352 crore in stock markets during 2016-17, lower than Rs 70,130 crore invested in the preceding fiscal.

12:20 pm Rupee update: The rupee dropped a further 21 paise to 64.49 against the dollar today on growing safe haven appeal of the American currency after increased geo-political risks and higher chances of a tighter US monetary policy.

The rupee opened marginally lower at 64.30 against last Friday's level of 64.28 here today. It moved in a range of 64.50 to 64.30 during morning deals before quoting at 64.49 at 1025 hours. Meanwhile, the dollar index was trading steady at 101.23 against a basket of six currencies.

12:10 pm Market Check: After witnessing a gap up opening, benchmark indices were consolidating during the previous hour of trade.

The Sensex was down 7.22 points at 29699.39, while the Nifty was up 4.50 points at 9202.80. The market breadth was in the positive segment, but was narrowing as 1,697 shares advanced against a decline of 911 shares, while 104 shares were unchanged.

Adani Ports, Axis Bank, Bharti Infratel and BPCL were the top gainers on both indices, while Wipro, Asian Paints and Indiabulls Housing were the top losers.

Shares of Larsen and Toubro (L&T) gained 1.6 percent intraday on single largest order win by power transmission and distribution business in Qatar. The power transmission and distribution business of L&T Construction has won single largest order worth USD 817 million (Rs 5250 crore) in the middle east from their esteemed customer KAHRAMAA – Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation – for its ongoing Qatar Electricity Corporation network expansion plan-phase XIII.

Share price of Apollo Tyres advanced 2.2 percent intraday Monday as it has commenced the commercial production at manufacturing facility in Hungary. The company has inaugurated its sixth global tyre manufacturing unit and the second one in Europe. This is company's first greenfield facility outside India.

Shares of Ajanta Pharma soared over 5 percent intraday on Monday as investors cheered the fact that no observations were issued during a regulator's check at its unit. ''Our formulation facility at Dahej was inspected by US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from April 3 to April 7, 2017. At the end of the inspection, no Form 483 was issued to us,'' it said in a notification to the exchanges.

The rupee dropped a further 21 paise to 64.49 against the dollar today on growing safe haven appeal of the American currency after increased geo-political risks and higher chances of a tighter US monetary policy.

The rupee opened marginally lower at 64.30 against last Friday's level of 64.28 here today. It moved in a range of 64.50 to 64.30 during morning deals before quoting at 64.49 at 1025 hours. Meanwhile, the dollar index was trading steady at 101.23 against a basket of six currencies.

11:59 am Next rate cut: Bank of America Merrill Lynch continues to expect the RBI MPC to cut policy rates 25bp on August 3 on weak growth, benign inflation and the need to recoup forex reserves by attracting FPI equity flows by supporting growth.

It estimates that old series GDP growth, at 4.5-5 percent, well below its estimated around 7 percent potential/trend. Not surprisingly, core CPI inflation has slipped to 4.2 percent from 4.8 percent in October.

The RBI's own capacity utilisation indicator is stagnating at 70-75 percent. In tandem investment has collapsed to 28.7 percent of GDP from 32.7 percent in March 2014, says the firm.

11:40 am Fuel demand: India's fuel demand fell 0.6 percent in March compared with the same month last year.

Consumption of fuel, a proxy for oil demand, totalled 17.36 million tonnes, data from the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) of the oil ministry showed.

Sales of gasoline, or petrol, were 2.9 percent higher from a year earlier at 2.11 million tonnes.

Cooking gas or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) sales increased 1.9 percent to 1.89 million tonnes, while naphtha sales surged 1.8 percent to 1.15 million tonnes.

11:29 am Coking coal price jumps: Edelweiss Financial says in the past 1 week, sea-borne coking coal spot price has surged by 55 percent to USD 241 per tonne due to cyclone Debbie related disruptions in Australia and subsequent force majeure declaration by BHP Billiton, Jellinbah, Rio Tinto, Peabody Energy and Glencore.

However, the surge appears temporary and impact on Indian companies would only be apparent in Q2FY18, it feels.

The brokerage house believes the Indian steel companies, as in the past, should be able to maintain the spreads through price hikes. "Our channel checks indicate that pig iron producers in East India have already increased prices by Rs 1,000-1,500 per tonne in a week. We expect other Indian steel makers to follow suit," it says.

11.14 am Market Check: Benchmark indices remained firm in morning with the Sensex rising 54.42 points at 29,761.03, backed by Reliance Industries, ITC and private banks stocks.

The Nifty rose 20.30 points to 9,218.60. The market breadth remained positive as about four shares advanced for every share falling on the BSE.

10:59 pm Market Outlook: Pramod Gubbi of Ambit Capital highlighted that the market was seeing a revival in India as well as on the global front.

The research firm placed Sensex's target at 31,000 for March 2018.

Gubbi said that he saw 10 percent earnings per share (EPS) growth for Sensex in FY18. ''I don't think getting there is a challenge,'' he added. The consensus is on the larger side, he added.

10:48 pm Japan's CA surplus: Japan's current account surplus stood at 2.81 trillion yen (USD 25.26 billion) in February, finance ministry data showed on Monday, the biggest surplus since March 2016.

The result, the 32nd straight month of current account surpluses, compares with economists' median forecast for a surplus of 2.62 trillion yen in a Reuters poll. This February's current account surplus was the largest on record for February.

The surplus reflected the trade balance rising as exports picked up pace after a Lunar New Year slowdown. The trade balance stood at 1.08 trillion yen in February, rebounding from a deficit of 853.4 billion yen the previous month.

10:34 am Fed President speaks: The US Federal Reserve could begin winding down its massive balance sheet sometime later this year in a shift that would make it less necessary to raise the official funds rate, a central banker said on Monday.

Talking to reporters in Australia, St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard said opinions differed within the Fed on ending its balance sheet reinvestment policy and it would take some time to agree on, but he felt it could start later in the year.

Bullard, considered a policy dove by markets, said he favoured only one more interest rate hike this year. He noted the March payroll report last Friday was relatively weak and fitted in with his view that inflation would not stray far from 2 percent.

10:21 am Buzzing stock: Shares of Ajanta Pharma soared over 5 percent intraday on Monday as investors cheered the fact that no observations were issued during a regulator's check at its unit.

''Our formulation facility at Dahej was inspected by US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from April 3 to April, 2017. At the end of the inspection, no Form 483 was issued to us,'' it said in a notification to the exchanges.

The stock recently witnessed a gain as well after Motilal Oswal initiated coverage on the stock, citing strong growth in the US. The brokerage house expected the company to be on a high-growth path in the US market, led by a healthy product pipeline and annual filings of around 12-15 ANDAs (abbreviated new drug application) over next 2-3 years, subject to subsequent approvals.

10:00 am Market Check: Equity benchmarks continued to consolidate with a positive bias amid geopolitical tensions and ahead of fourth quarter earnings season that will be kicked off by Infosys on April 13.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 35.13 points at 29,741.74 and the 50-share NSE Nifty gained 10.70 points at 9,209 while the broader markets outperformed, rising half a percent on positive breadth.

More than two shares advanced for every share falling on the BSE.

Reliance Industries, Axis Bank, TCS, Tata Motors and Infosys were leading contributors to Sensex' gains whereas HDFC fell a percent that capped market gains.

Divis Labs was the top midcap gainer, up nearly 4 percent after the US health regulator has exempted some more products manufactured at company's unit-II, Visakhapatnam from import alert.

9:55 am Oil Update: Oil prices were firm on Monday, supported by strong demand and political uncertainty in Syria, although another rise in US drilling activity kept a lid on gains.

Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil, were at USD 55.35 per barrel, up 0.2 percent from their last close.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 0.33 percent at USD 52.40 a barrel.

Traders said prices were being supported by strong demand, and also political uncertainty following the US missile air strikes on Syria late last week.

9:41 am EMs in focus: The tide has finally turned in favour of emerging markets (EMs) as investors are now diversifying their money from developed market such as US to EMs, market guru Mark Mobius said in an interview with CNBC-TV18.

Looking at the bigger picture for emerging markets, we are encouraged to see performance improving, and emerging markets generally outperformed developed markets in 2016, Mobius said in his latest blog. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index was up 11.2 percent, while the MSCI World Index was up 7.5 percent.

9:33 am FII View: Sanjay Mookim of Bank of America Merrill Lynch says the need to cut deficits and a lack of revenue buoyancy have pushed the central government to rely more on disinvestments and dividends from public sector undertakings which have increased from 4.3 percent of the government's net revenues in FY13 to 8.3 percent in FY17.

This is a tough bill to fill, but it may become even more critical if the GST impacts core tax collections near term, he says.

According to him, the government may be forced to consider more radical means of extracting cash from its companies. Top down, this would be a basket best avoided over the next 12 months, Mookim says.

9:15 am Market Check: Equity benchmarks started off the week on a positive note as the Nifty opened above 9200 level, backed by capital goods and oil marketing companies, despite geopolitical tensions.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 81.96 points at 29,788.57 and the 50-share NSE Nifty rose 25.80 points to 9,224.10.

Coal India, Reliance Industries, L&T, BHEL, Cipla, TCS, BPCL, IOC and Bharti Infratel were early gainers while HDFC, GAIL, Lupin, Asian Paints, Eicher Motors and Asian Paints were losers.

The Indian rupee opened marginally lower at 64.30 per dollar against Friday's close of 64.28.

Pramit Brahmbhatt of Veracity says next technical hurdle for rupee is 64.20/dollar. Trading range for the spot USD-INR pair will be 64.20-64 70/dollar, he feels.

The dollar started the week at three-week highs against a currency basket after a key US Federal Reserve official reinforced the Central Bank's commitment to interest rate hikes.

Asian equities were mixed on the back of heightened geopolitical tensions after a missile strike on a Syrian airfield last Friday and a move by the US military to send an aircraft carrier group near the Korean Peninsula in response to recent provocations by North Korea.