Sensex closes above 30000 for first time ever; profit booking drags Midcap

3:30 pm Market Closing: Equity benchmarks continued to run up for third consecutive session Wednesday, with the Sensex closing above the 30000 mark for the first time ever, backed by banking & financials, auto and FMCG stocks.

The Nifty also ended at record closing high ahead of expiry of April futures & options contracts due Thursday, up 45.25 points at 9,351.85.

The Sensex rallied 190.11 points to 30,133.35 but the broader markets saw profit booking. About two shares declined for every share rising on the BSE.

3:26 pm Green nod: State-owned Indian Oil Corp (IOC) has received green nod for upgradation of its Bongaigaon refinery for production of BS-VI grade fuels in Assam at a cost of Rs 4,185 crore.

The company wants to upgrade its Bongaigaon Refinery (BGR) as the government aims to implement BS-VI fuel in the entire country from April 2020 to curb pollution. Oil firms will have to be prepared to retail BS VI-compliant fuel by then.

BGR, the eighth operating refinery of IOC, is situated at Dhaligaon in Chirang district, 200 km west of Guwahati.

3:10 pm Management Speak: PVR Cinemas has signed a deal with IMAX for five additional screens. Installing these five additional IMAX screens will cost the company close to about Rs 10-10.5 crore per screen. So the total cost will be about Rs 50-55 crore.

Out of the five, two screens are being planned to be fitted into cinemas, which are ready. So the revenue should start trickling-in in about four months' time, he said.

Remaining three screens are planned for new sites of the company in Chennai, Hyderabad and Delhi. He believes, the revenue for these three screens will be garnered by the year end.

2:55 pm Payment of dues: Even as the government continues to pursue aggressive modernisation and upgradation of IT infrastructure, sources say that the government owes the IT industry Rs 6,000 to 6,500 crore as payments for contracts across the board.

The payments are pending for several digital upgradation contracts across several departments.

IT companies have been facing delay in payments for projects at both central and state level. Nasscom had said that the industry has not received payment amounting to Rs 5,000 crore as of 2015.

2:35 pm Selling pressure: Benchmark indices have been erasing gains ahead of the closing bell now. The Sensex is now just over 30 points up, while the Nifty is almost flat. The midcap index fell over a percent during the final leg of the session.

Meanwhile, real estate stocks also witnessed intense selling, with major stocks taking a hit. Indiabulls Real Estate fell over 7 percent intraday on Thursday.

2:30 pm Mutual fund investments soar: Systematic investment plans, popularly known as SIPs, continued to remain the favourite investment option among retail investors for investing in mutual funds.

According to the data on Association of Mutual Funds in India, industry garnered Rs 43,921 crore through SIPs in FY17.

Mutual funds attributed the increased interest in SIPs to investor education and robust performance of equity schemes.

"Investors are becoming aware of SIPs and investing through them. Strong equity markets have also helped in boosting SIPs. Inflows in SIPs are also increasing," said A Balasubramanian, Chief Executive Officer, Birla Sun Life Mutual Fund.

2:12 pm Earnings Estimates: Private sector lender Axis Bank is expected to show dismal performance in January-March quarter as profit is seen falling sharply by 59.5 percent year-on-year to Rs 872.2 crore against Rs 2,154.3 crore.

According to average of estimates of analysts polled by CNBC-TV18, net interest income during the quarter may increase 0.5 percent to Rs 4,575 crore compared with Rs 4,552.6 crore in same period last year.

Slippages from watchlist will be closely watched. Slippages from watchlist in Q3 were at Rs 2,579 crore and total amount of loans under watchlist were Rs 12,691 crore (about 3.7 percent of the loan book).

Even focus may be on non-watchlist slippages as these have been increasing sharply in last 3 quarters (Rs 958 crore in Q1FY17, Rs 1,489 crore in Q2 and Rs 1,981 crore in Q3).

2:00 pm Market Check: Equity benchmarks maintained uptrend in afternoon trade, heading for a third consecutive session of gains amid continued positive momentum in global peers and backed by DIIs.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 194.73 points at 30,137.97 and the 50-share NSE Nifty rose 51.35 points to 9,357.95 while the broader markets underperformed benchmarks due to weak breadth.

About 1,624 shares declined against 1152 advancing shares on the BSE.

1:45 pm Gold falls: Gold fell to a two-week low on Wednesday as investor appetite for riskier assets surged on renewed optimism over the US economy and as political uncertainty in France receded, softening demand for safe-haven assets.

Spot gold was mostly unchanged at USD 1,263.55 at 0322 GMT. Prices touched a low of 1,260.90 earlier in the session, the lowest since April 11.

Bullion fell 0.9 percent on Tuesday, the biggest one-day decline since March 2.

1:30 pm Expert Speak: Indian market scaled fresh peak on Wednesday but that doesn't bother top foreign institutional investors (FIIs) such as Jeff Chowdhry who is a senior portfolio manager at LGM Investments said we remain incremental buyers in Indian markets.

Commenting on specific stocks, Chowdhry said we like consumer stocks like ITC, Emami. In the private sector banks, we like HDFC Bank as well as Yes Bank which continue to be our long term favourites despite sharp run-up in the markets.

Higher valuation for Indian market does not particularly trouble him. ''If we look around the world as to what is available in emerging markets or developed markets, you would be happy to put incremental money into India,'' he said.

1:15 pm Market Check: Benchmark indices traded positive in the afternoon session, with the Nifty hovering around crucial 9350-mark.

The Sensex was up 140.28 points at 30083.52, while the Nifty was up 37.20 points at 9343.80. The market breadth was narrow as 1,186 shares advanced against a decline of 1,541 shares, while 150 shares were unchanged.

Mahindra & Mahindra, ITC and Hindalco were top gainers on both indices, while Infosys, Cipla, Tech Mahindra and Bharti Infratel lost the most.

European bourses opened slightly lower on Wednesday as investors focused on earnings, monetary policy and a tax announcement in the US.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was 0.14 percent lower with most sectors trading in negative territory.

Investors' main focus should be on earnings with many corporates reporting.

12:55 pm Boardroom: IDFC Bank, which set up its banking operations in 2015, is aggressively betting on the "Bharat" banking segment for the next 2-3 years.

Listing out the bank's medium-term goals, Rajiv Lall, MD and CEO of IDFC Bank said they plan "to systematically build a mass retail bank in the next 24-36 months".

For this, the bank is open to acquiring "anything under the sun" including a bank or microfinance company to boost its retail share, which has grown to 25 percent at Rs 17,000 crore from almost nothing.

In July last year, the bank bought Tamil Nadu-based Grama Vidiyal microfinance firm and has now named it IDFC Bharat which is operating as the bank's wholly-owned subsidiary.

12:35 pm Interview: Persistent Systems missed dollar revenue guidance even as margins beat analysts estimates.

In an interview with CNBC-TV18, Anand Deshpande, Founder, MD & CEO of Persistent Systems spoke about the fourth quarter earnings and his outlook for the company. He said that revenue dragged lower due to seasonality in IBM Alliance. The revenues were at USD 47-48 million in FY17, he added.

However, the company saw good growth on the digital side of business, he said, adding that digital business is high margin business compared to traditional business margin. So, he is upbeat of a double-digit revenue growth in FY18.

12:15 pm Buzzing: Shares of Kolte-Patil Developers touched 52-week high of Rs 204, rising 7 percent intraday as the company has signed largest redevelopment project.

"The company has strengthened its Mumbai presence by signing its largest private society redevelopment project till date, Dahisar Shree Avadhoot co-operative Housing Society, having a plot area of 15,035 square meters," as per company release.

"Our focus in Mumbai is on generating strong ROCE's and reducing our working capital cycle," Gopal Sarda, CEO, Kolte-Patil Developers said.

12:00 pm Market Check: Equity benchmarks extended gains in noon trade, with the Sensex rising more than 200 points intraday, driven by banks, FMCG, metals and auto stocks.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 175.04 points at 30,118.28 and the 50-share NSE Nifty rose 46 points to 9,352.60 but the market breadth turned in favour of declines.

About 1350 shares declined against 1276 advancing shares on the BSE.

ITC, HDFC, HDFC Bank, Tata Motors and ICICI Bank continued to be leading contributors to Sensex' gains, up 0.6-2 percent whereas Infosys (down 1.5 percent) and Reliance Industries (down 0.6 percent) limited upside.

11:56 pm Earnings Estimates: Software firm KPIT Technologies' fourth quarter profit is seen falling 26.6 percent sequentially to Rs 53.9 crore due to high base in previous quarter.

Bottomline in Q3FY17 was boosted by an exceptional gain of Rs 26 crore on account of sale of KPIT Medini Tech AG.

According to average of estimates of analysts polled by CNBC-TV18, revenue is likely to increase 0.5 percent quarter-on-quarter to Rs 834.3 crore and dollar revenue may grow 0.9 percent to USD 124 million in the quarter gone by.

Operating profit is likely to increase 7.2 percent to Rs 90.6 crore and margin may rise 60 basis points to 10.8 percent compared with previous quarter.

11:45 am Analysts' view on Wipro: Driven by a better-than-expected earnings performance, investors on Wednesday bet positively on Wipro as it rallied over 2 percent intraday. However, during the course of the day, it was off the day's high points.

The software major reported its results for the quarter ended March 31 which was ahead of analysts' estimates with respect to IT services segment rupee revenue and margins, but revenue guidance for Q1FY17 missed expectations.

Analysts remained cautious on the stock on the back of weak guidance, rupee strength, and pressure on margins, among others.

11:30 am Management Speak: Persistent Systems missed dollar revenue guidance even as margins beat analyst estimates. Profit after tax was dragged lower by the exceptional loss.

In an interview with CNBC-TV18, Anand Deshpande, Founder, MD & CEO of Persistent Systems spoke about the fourth quarter earnings and his outlook for the company. He said that revenue dragged lower due to seasonality in IBM Alliance. The revenues were at USD 47-48 million in FY17, he added.

However, the company saw good growth on the digital side of business, he said, adding that digital business is high margin business compared to traditional business margin. So, he is upbeat of a double-digit revenue growth in FY18.

11:10 am Market Check: Benchmark indices were trading high, holding on to gains from the morning, with Sensex and Nifty above key milestones.

The Sensex was up 138.52 points at 30081.76, while the Nifty was up 41.40 points at 9348.00. The market breadth was narrow as 1,306 shares advanced against a decline of 1,144 shares, while 124 shares were unchanged.

The Nifty briefly touched 9350-mark, before falling below it as well. The Bank Nifty too gained over half a percent.

ITC, Asian Paints and Hindalco were top gainers on both the indices, while Cipla, Infosys, Bharti Infratel and Power Grid lost the most.

The rupee appreciated 0.45 percent in early trade on Wednesday, tracking rallies in global equity markets. It hit a 20-month high of 63.93, thereby breaching the 64 mark against the US dollar.

The Indian currency opened at 64.16, up from the 64.27 level it closed at on Tuesday. At 10:35 IST, it was trading at 63.98 against the dollar, up 0.45 percent from its previous close.

10:58 am Management Speak: Even as Wipro gave out a weaker-than-anticipated dollar revenue guidance for the first quarter of FY18, CEO Abidali Neemuchwala sounded confident there are no structural issues on the growth front in the medium term.

Project cancellations in the healthcare space, and slower ramp-up of few deals in the telecommunication sector are prime reasons for a muted guidance following a strong fourth quarter show, Neemuchwala said in a post-result interview with CNBC-TV18.

Wipro was the market leader in the Obamacare business, which was repealed by the Trump administration, and that has led to project cancellations and expected losses in the first quarter.

10:45 am Buzzing Stock: Share price of Nucleus Software Exports touched 52-week high of Rs 329.50, gains 16 percent intraday Wednesday on strong numbers declared by the company for the quarter ended March 2017.

The company's consolidated Q4 (Jan-March) net profit increased by 40.3 percent at Rs 22.3 crore versus Rs 15.9 crore, reported in December 2016.

Total income of the company was up at Rs 93.7 crore versus Rs 93.1 crore.

10:29 am Market Outlook: At a time where the market has been soaring, with the Sensex and Nifty crossing 30,000 and 9,300, respectively, Kotak Institutional Equities is worried about the rally.

Sanjeev Prasad of Kotak Institutional Equities believes that while the current optimistic rally is fuelled by liquidity, the economy is not turning around very quickly. The investment cycle will also take time to recover, he said.

"I don't see a lot of jobs being created and GST could be fairly disruptive going forward…you could see earnings downgrade as we move forward," Prasad told CNBC-TV18 in an interview. The problem is that stock prices are factoring in a huge recovery, whereas the economy isn't growing at that pace. It is that disconnect which is worrying, he said.

10.05 am Market Check: Benchmark indices as well as broader markets continued upside for third consecutive session, with the Nifty inching towards 9350 ahead of expiry of April futures & options contracts due tomorrow.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 126.08 points at 30,069.32 and the 50-share NSE Nifty gained 37.35 points at 9,343.95 while the Nifty Midcap and Smallcap indices rose half a percent each.

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

ITC, HDFC, HDFC Bank, Asian Paints, Tata Motors and ICICI Bank were leading contributors to Sensex' gains, up 0.6-1.5 percent.

Wipro retained its top position in the buying list, up over 2 percent following better-than-expected earnings despite Q1 revenue guidance missed estimates.

9:59 am Block deal: Investment firm Blackstone sold 3.8 crore shares (or 14 percent equity) of Allcargo Logistics via block deal today.

The stock surged nearly 11 percent.

9:54 am Buzzing: Shares of Zensar Technologies touched 52-week low of Rs 814.25, plunged more than 11 percent intraday on the back of poor Q4 numbers.

The company Q4 (Jan-March) consolidated net profit declined 86.6 percent at Rs 10.7 crore versus Rs 80.1 crore, reported in December 2016.

The rupee revenue was down 5.5 percent at Rs 743.8 crore and dollar revenue was down 4.9 percent at USD 111.8 million.

Its operating profit (EBITDA) was down 46 percent at Rs 59 crore and EBITDA margin slipped 600 bps at 7.9 percent.

9:45 am Interview: Private life insurer ICICI Prudential Life Insurance is looking to further grow its protection and savings business. The insurer saw a 87.1 percent growth in FY17 in protection business to Rs 260 crore in terms of annualised premium equivalent (APE).

Sandeep Batra, Executive Director, ICICI Prudential Life in his post earnings call with analysts said that retail protection accounted for Rs 209 crore of the business in FY17, seeing a big jump from Rs 94 crore in FY16.

"India has one of the highest protection gaps among other countries. This gives us an opportunity to grow this business," he added.

9:30 am FII View: Surendra Goyal of Citi says decent domestic trends, stable US dollar and Federal Reserve commentary have resulted in a nice upmove for Indian equities in 2017 so far.

He remains constructive on the market in the medium term, acknowledging that earnings acceleration is key for upside to play out.

"December 2017 Sensex target is 31,500, implying a 7 percent upside," Goyal says.

9:15 am Market Check: Equity benchmarks started off day at fresh record high on Wednesday, with the Sensex surpassing psychological 30,000-mark on continued positive momentum and global cues.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 83.64 points at 30,026.88 and the 50-share NSE Nifty rose 32.35 points to 9,338.95, backed by banking & financials, FMCG and technology stocks.

HDFC, ITC, TCS, ICICI Bank, M&M, SBI and Reliance Industries were early gainers.

Axis Bank added more than 1 percent ahead of earnings later today while Wipro surged 2 percent on better-than-expected numbers in Q4 and hopes of strong FY18 earnings.

Cipla, Maruti Suzuki, Hero Motocorp, L&T, Bajaj Auto and Dr Reddy's Labs were early losers.

Indian rupee extended gains in early trade and breached the 64 mark against the US dollar in early trade.

It was trading at 63.99, the highest level since August 10, 2015 after opening higher by 7 paise at 64.19 per dollar.

Pramit Brahmbhatt of Veracity says the rupee can breach the stiff resistance of 64.20/dollar and may head higher. He expects the spot USD-INR pair to trade in a range of 64-64.40/dollar today.

Asian indexes traded higher, following the rise in US indexes on the back of strong earnings announcements and on expectations for US President Donald Trump's impending tax reforms.