Sensex zooms 290 points, Nifty closes above 9200; ACC, UltraTech rally

3:30 pm Market Closing: Equity benchmarks rallied sharply on first day of the week as the Sensex gained 290.54 points or 0.99 percent at 29655.84, supported by HDFC Bank, HDFC, Reliance Industries and L&T.

The Nifty closed above psychological 9,200-mark for the first time since April 12, up 98.55 points or 1.08 percent at 9,217.95.

3:15 pm Acquisition: India's fourth largest software services firm HCL Technologies today said it will acquire US- based Urban Fulfillment Services (UFS) for up to USD 30 million (over Rs 193 crore) in cash.

UFS is a provider of mortgage business process and fulfilment services. Founded in 2002, the company has over 350 highly skilled professionals. It has three centres in the US.

The total cash consideration for this transaction is up to USD 30 million, including contingent payments subject to certain financial milestones, HCL said in a regulatory filing.

The deal is expected to be completed by June this year, subject to certain closing conditions including transfer of licences and approval of the customers, it added.

3:05 pm Market Update: Benchmark indices gained further, tracking rally in European peers after the centrist Emmanuel Macron won the first round of the French election.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 303.12 points or 1.03 percent at 29,668.42 and the 50-share NSE Nifty gained 100.50 points or 1.10 percent at 9,219.90, backed by banking & financials, infra, oil and metal stocks.

ACC was the biggest gainer among Nifty stocks, up 7.5 percent followed by UltraTech Cement, Grasim, GAIL, Ambuja Cements, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, L&T and Maruti Suzuki with 3-5 percent upside whereas Lupin lost 3 percent.

2:40 pm Hike in import duty: Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan today said his ministry is in favour of increasing import duty on tur dal from 10 per cent to 25 per cent in the interest of farmers.

Paswan's comments follow a meeting with Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis who sought hike in customs duty on tur dal saying farmers are struggling to get even the minimum support price (MSP) because of record output.

The Centre had last month imposed import duty of 10 per cent on tur dal do protect domestic growers. "Maharashtra CM has demanded increase in tur dal import duty to 25 percent. I agree that there should be higher duty on tur dal. We will discuss and recommend it to the Finance Ministry," Paswan told reporters after the meeting.

2:15 pm Q4 results: Cement major UltraTech Cement reported 11.9 percent fall in its standalone net profit for the March quarter.

Net profit for the March quarter stood at Rs 688.3 crore against Rs 780.8 crore during the same period last year.

Meanwhile, the company's standalone total income was up 3 percent at Rs 7,499.4 crore against Rs 7,283.9 crore during March quarter of last fiscal.

The standalone earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) was at Rs 1,278.2 crore, a fall of 7.2 percent against Rs 1,377 crore reported last year. The EBITDA margin came at 17.04 percent against 18.9 percent last year.

1:46 pm Market extends rally: Benchmark indices gained further as the Sensex was up 273.25 points at 29,638.55 and the Nifty up 92.65 points at 9,212.05, tracking rally in Europe.

1:43 pm Europe Update: European markets were strong after the centrist Emmanuel Macron won the first round of the French election. France'

The French CAC 40 bourse jumped 4 percent while Germany's DAX and Britain's FTSE gained 2.6 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively.

1:35 pm Oil Output: India's crude oil production in March inched up 0.94 percent to 3.1 million tonnes from a year ago, while natural gas output rose 8.92 percent to 2.75 billion cubic metres, provisional government data released today showed.

Refinery production slipped 0.33 percent to 21.3 million tonnes.

1:25 pm Earnings: Midcap IT firm Hexaware Technologies' profit fell 7.4 percent sequentially to Rs 113.9 crore in the quarter ended March 2017, partly dented by weak operational performance.

Rupee revenue during the quarter grew by 2.1 percent to Rs 960.5 crore while dollar revenue may jumped 4.2 percent to USD 144.7 million compared with previous quarter. Constant currency revenue growth was 4 percent.

"We reiterate growth guidance for the year to be in double digits," stated R Srikrishna, CEO and Executive Director in a BSE filing. Company's CY17 guidance was in the range of 10-12 percent.

01:05 pm Cyient in action: Global fund house First State Investments has hiked its stake by 1.03 percent in IT firm Cyient, formerly known as Infotech Enterprises, by buying 11.60 lakh shares in the open market.

In a BSE filing, Cyient said Colonial First State Asset Management (Australia) Ltd, First State Investments International Ltd, First State Investments Management (UK) Ltd and First State Investments (Singapore) increased their stake in the company to 9.45 percent on April 20.

Based on the average weighted price of Cyient stock on April 20, the transaction value is estimated at Rs 58.38 crore.

First State Investments is part of the asset management division of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

12:49 pm Market Update: Equity benchmarks extended gains in afternoon, with the Sensex rising 240.08 points to 29,605.38 and the Nifty up 78.85 points at 9,198.25, driven by HDFC, HDFC Bank, L&T, Reliance Industries, and Axis Bank.

About 1626 shares advanced against 1070 declining shares on the BSE.

12:35 pm Earnings preview: UltraTech Cement's fourth quarter standalone profit is seen falling 10 percent to Rs 610 crore compared with Rs 681 crore in same quarter last fiscal, impacted by operational performance and lower topline. Bottomline may get support from other income and lower depreciation.

Revenue may decline 1.8 percent year-on-year to Rs 6,387 crore while operating profit is seen falling 15 percent to Rs 1,150 crore and margin may contract 280 basis points to 18 percent in the quarter gone by, according to average of estimates of analysts polled by CNBC-TV18.

Analysts feel volumes may degrow as grey cement volumes may fall 1.5 percent to 13 MT. In January-February volumes degrew while there was a recovery in March.

12:20 pm Market Check: Benchmark indices traded in the green zone, driven by a rally in index heavyweights. The Nifty was eyeing 9200-mark.

The 30-share Sensex was up 171 points at 29536.43, while the Nifty was up 61.15 points at 9180.55. However, the market breadth was narrow as 1,568 shares advanced against a decline of 1,061 shares, while 130 shares were unchanged.

HDFC Bank, Larsen & Toubro, ACC and Grasim were top gainers, while Lupin and Cipla were the top losers.

11:27 am Buzzing Stock: Shares of Highway developer Dilip Buildcon surged over six percent intraday on Monday after the company said it had has bagged Rs 125 crore project for construction of parallel taxi track at Goa airport.

"...The Airports Authority of India has declared Dilip Buildcon Ltd, Bhopal, as lowest-1 (L-1) bidder for construction of parallel taxi track and associated civil and electrical works at Dabolim Airport, Goa," Dilip Buildcon said in a BSE filing.

The company said the bid price for the project was Rs 125.01 crore and the construction period is 24 months.

11:15 am Market Check: Benchmark indices were trading steady in the morning session, with the Nifty holding 9150-mark.

The 30-share Sensex was up 138.43 points at 29503.73, while the Nifty was up 45.50 points at 9164.90. The market breadth was positive with 1,546 shares having advanced against a fall of 901 shares, while 118 shares were unchanged.

HDFC Bank, Adani Ports, ACC and Grasim were the top gainers, while Lupin and Cipla were top losers.

10:55 am Delisting: Leading bourse NSE has decided to delist as many as 19 firms including Deccan Chronicle Holdings Ltd and Koutons Retail India Ltd from its platform from next month.

This is in addition to 70 companies that were delisted by NSE in August and March.

The National Stock Exchange said it has now "decided to delist (withdraw the admission to dealings in) equity shares of the following companies with effect from May 12, 2017 as per Chapter V of Sebi (Delisting of Equity Shares) Regulations, 2009".

10:20 am Economic growth: The goods and services tax (GST) can boost India's GDP growth by up to 4.2 percent -- double the previous estimate -- as lower taxes on manufactured goods will bump up output and make products cheaper, a US Federal Reserve paper said.

GST, it said, could reduce inefficiencies in the production process while eliminating the current compounding effect of different central and state levies.

Dubbed as the biggest tax reform since Independence, GST will unify at least 10 indirect taxes into one to be collected at state and central levels.

10:00 am Market Check: Equity benchmarks extended gains, with the Nifty reclaiming 9150 level, backed by HDFC Bank, Reliance Industries, L&T and HDFC.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 113.09 points at 29,478.39 and the 50-share NSE Nifty rose 34.30 points to 9,153.70 while the broader markets gained more than half a percent on positive breadth.

About two shares advanced for every share falling on the BSE.

HDFC Bank gained further, up nearly 2 percent ahead of stable earnings while Infosys fell nearly a percent.

9:55 am Macquarie on ACC: With maintaining neutral rating on ACC with a target price at Rs 1,400, Macquarie believes the company is fairly valued with limited scope for positive earnings.

Strong 16 percent YoY growth in the premium segment supported overall volumes and recent price hikes supported well for topline growth, says the brokerage house.

It expects company's volumes to pick up further with government's affordable housing & infra push and expects gradual improvement in cost structure.

Further improvement in volume & realisation is key while cost reduction & accrual of synergy benefits are key catalysts for the stock, it feels.

9:38 am Steel policy: The Central government will announce a new steel policy after getting the Cabinet approval, Union Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh said.

"The steel ministry has received several suggestions on the draft of the Steel Policy which was in the public domain. After incorporating important suggestions, the policy will be placed before Cabinet for approval," Singh told a press conference at Rastriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL), the corporate office of the Visakhapatnam steel plant.

He said the steel industry in the country has been under the stress for the last three years due to trends in the international markets and imports.

9:30 am Gainers: HDFC Bank gained more than 1 percent on top of 2 percent rally in previous trading session due to stable earnings in Q4.

Reliance Industries also gained over a percent ahead of earnings due later today. Outlook on Reliance Jio will be closely watched.

Benchmarks extended gains as the Sensex was up 103.64 points at 29468.94 and the Nifty rose 29.25 points to 9148.65.

The market breadth was strong as about three shares advanced for every share falling on the BSE.

9:15 am Market Check: Equity benchmarks opened the week moderately higher on Monday as the Nifty is inching towards 9150 level, backed by HDFC Bank, Reliance Industries and L&T.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 48.41 points at 29,413.71 and the 50-share NSE Nifty gained 18.25 points at 9,137.65. About 872 shares advanced against 283 declining shares on the BSE.

The Indian rupee opened marginally higher at 64.55 per dollar today against Friday's closing value of 64.61.

Pramit Brahmbhatt of Veracity says the rupee is stuck in a tight range of 64.50-64.80/dollar and would trade in that range for the day.

He expects the rupee to continue to depreciate on the back of negative cues from global equity market and constant FII outflow.

Asian markets were mixed following the widely-expected results of the first round of presidential elections in France, with Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen headed for a run-off on May 7.

Jonathan Stubbs of Citi says Emmanuel Macron won the first-round election with near 24 percent of the votes with Marine Le Pen in second place with nearly 22 percent of the votes. They will contest the second round.

Citi expects that Macron is more likely to win on May 7 and become the next President of France. This is in-line with polling data and this outcome is likely to drive 'risk-on' in financial markets with European equities higher, he says.

Citi rate strategists expect a sharp fall in French-German bond spreads in the coming days. The Euro is likely to be strong too as fears of a 'risk-off' outcome are also priced out, according to the brokerage house.