Sensex ends above 31000 for first time ever, Nifty settles with almost 1% gain

3:30 pm Market at Close: The market witnessed a historic day as benchmark indices clocked fresh record highs, with the Sensex clocking 31,000 for the first time ever, along with the Nifty at 9600. The Nifty Bank also hit a record high during the Friday's trade.

The Sensex ended 278.18 points higher at 31028.21, while the Nifty closed up 85.35 points at 9595.10. The market breadth was healthy as 1,810 shares advanced against a decline of 854 shares, while 182 shares were unchanged.

Private sector banks fired on all cylinders along with midcaps, metals as well as auto stocks, the indices of which on the Nifty gained the most. Meanwhile, pharma stocks continued to bleed and sulk on the back of poor outlook for the sector in the US as well as bad results at home.

ITC and HPCL gained on the back of positive earnings momentum, while large caps such as Reliance Industries contributed heavily to the market's gain.

3:00 pm New record: Nifty hits 9600 for the first time, a sign of the bullishness on the market. A surge in ITC post its Q4 could have driven the index in the northern direction.

2:39 pm Buzzing Stock: Tata Steel jumps 6%, hits fresh 52-week high.

Shares of Tata Steel jumped six percent intraday Friday hitting a fresh 52-week high at Rs 514.80 on the back of news of merger between Thyssenkrupp AG and Tata Steel's European steel business which will yield savings of USD 448-673 million.

2:14 pm Market Check: Bullish momentum on the Street continued after the Sensex clocked the all-important 31,000-mark on Friday, with the Nifty looking to achieve 9600.

The Sensex was up 231.99 points at 30982.02, while the Nifty was up 68.05 points at 9577.80. The market breadth was healthy as 1,724 shares advanced, against a decline of 816 shares, while 162 shares were unchanged.

The metals rally boosted stocks such as Tata Steel, Hindalco and BHEL, while the top losers were Sun Pharma, Cipla, and Indian Oil Corporation.

Autos, metals and midcap were gainers on the Nifty index, while pharma continued to sulk.

2:00 pm Europe opens: The pan-European Stoxx 600 began the final day of the trading week lower, down 0.29 percent, with most sectors and major bourses in negative territory. The FTSE however was buoyed after sterling fell to a 10-day low following news of a diminishing lead for the U.K.'s Conservative Party ahead of June 8's general election.

1:55 pm Stake Sale: The government has selected Citigroup Global Markets India, Jefferries India, Yes Securities and Axis Capital to advise it on the proposed sale of its shares in NTPC. The government wants to sell shares equivalent to 10% of the state-owned generator's equity as part of its plan to divest its holding in public sector companies. The sale of shares is expected to be the year's largest and also rank among the top 5 divestments ever done by the government.

NTPC's equity comprises 8.24 billion shares. At today's market price of Rs. 156, sale of 10% of the company's equity will fetch it Rs. 12,863 crores. There will be no fresh issue of shares by the company. The government currently holds 69.74% stake in the company.

1:40 pm Fresh milestones: Benchmark indices were trading stronger than ever as the Sensex clocked a fresh record high milestone of 31,000, while the Nifty was nearing 9600.

At 13.39 hrs IST, the Sensex is up 275.18 points at 31025.21, while the Nifty was up 80.25 points at 9590.00. The market breadth was healthy as 1,731 shares advanced against a decline of 787 shares, while 158 shares are unchanged.

1:15 pm Market Check: Benchmark indices were trading strong continuously, with the Sensex just few points away from 31,000-mark.

The Sensex was up 238.18 points at 30988.21, while the Nifty was up 71.45 points at 9581.20. The market breadth was healthy as 1,727 shares advanced against a decline of 773 shares, while 156 shares were unchanged.

12:30 pm HCL Tech's recruitment plans: Now, to flaunt a job title of software engineer, you may not require an engineering degree. HCL Tech is offering to make software engineers out of students who have cleared their higher secondary exams (twelfth standard or junior college) with 85 percent marks.

HCL is looking to hire 100 such students from Chennai under its Tech Bee Programme, which aims to provide employment to students from rural India. Under the programme, students will get classroom training for nine months and on-the-job training for three months. According to reports, students will get a stipend of Rs 10,000 per month in the first year.se to work in one of the many divisions at HCL Tech.

12:10 pm Market Check: Benchmark indices expanded their gains, with the Sensex nearing 31,000-mark, while the Nifty was placed above 9500-mark.

The Sensex is up 203.04 points at 30953.07, while the Nifty was up 55.00 points at 9564.75. The market breadth was healthy as 1,664 shares advanced against a decline of 715 shares, while 135 shares were unchanged.

11:29 am Maruti Suzuki at record high: Maruti Suzuki India which reported its results for the quarter ended March last month has been on an uptrend since them. The stock has rallied over 30 percent so far in the year 2017, but the rally is not over yet.

In an interview with CNBC-TV18, the management Maruti Suzuki expects a strong double digit volumes growth. It is possible for the company to sustain 15 percent annual growth in FY18'', says Kenichi Ayukawa, MD& CEO at Maruti Suzuki India Ltd

Global investment bank, CLSA in a report earlier this week raised 12-month target price to Rs8,100 on expectations of higher demand environment, and volume growth. It raised its 12-month target price to Rs8100 from Rs7600 earlier.

''Our channel checks and discussions with OEMs suggest that PV retail demand has improved sharply in the past two months. If this sustains, then FY18 will be the first double-digit growth year for Indian PV industry since FY11,'' said the report.

11:11 am Market Check: Benchmark indices were trading strong on the back of a bullish sentiment and a rally in frontline stocks.

The Sensex was up 164.95 points at 30914.98, while the Nifty was up 47.55 points at 9557.30. The market breadth was healthy as 1,664 shares advanced against a decline of 586 shares, while 97 shares were unchanged.

Tata Steel, Bharti Airtel and Hindalco were the top gainers, while Cipla, Sun Pharma and OMC stocks IOC and BPCL lost the most.

10:45 am HDFC among top financial services firm: Mortgage lender HDFC is the only Indian company to be named among the top 10 consumer financial services companies in the world, with American Express claiming the first position.

With profits of $1.6 billion and sales of $8.1 billion HDFC was ranked seventh on the Forbes Global List 2017 in the consumer financial services sector-same as last year.

The company has been featured in the coveted list for the third consecutive year.

10:30 am Remuneration: A performance bonus of Rs 2.20 crore spikes ICICI Bank chief Chanda Kochhar's total remuneration by 63.8 percent for the fiscal year ending March 2017 at Rs 7.85 crore. In other words, Kochhar now draws Rs 65 lakh a month, or Rs 2.1 lakh per day.

Apart from the basic salary, the remuneration includes allowances and perquisites and contribution to provident, superannuation and gratuity funds. This, however, excludes employee stock options which stood at Rs 13.75 lakh subject to Reserve Bank of India (RBI) approval.

In FY16, Kochhar was the third-highest paid banking chief after HDFC Bank's head Aditya Puri and Axis Bank's captain Shikha Sharma. Puri earned a remuneration of Rs 9.7 crore for FY16 while Sharma earned Rs 5.5 crore during the year. Kochhar's pay was significantly lower at Rs 4.79 crore in FY16, according to the bank's annual report.

10:15 am Market Check: Benchmark indices extended their gains from the opening tick, with the Nifty firmly placed above 9500.

The Sensex was up 131.00 points at 30881.03, while the Nifty rose 30.30 points at 9540.05. The market breadth was healthy as 1,496 shares have advanced against a decline of 506 shares, while 84 shares were unchanged.

Midcaps witnessed a surge post flat opening, with the Nifty midcap index gaining over a percent in the first hour of trade. Metals too saw a comeback post its corrective phase, rising over 2 percent.

Tata Steel and Asian Paints were the top gainers on both indices, while Cipla, TCS and IOC lost the most.

9:55 am Upper Circuit: Swelect Energy Systems was locked in upper circuit for brief period on Friday morning, following good results for the March quarter. The stock soared 20 percent intraday. It resumed trading after a few minutes, only to be locked in the upper circuit again at 9:50 am.

The heavy electrical equipment maker's net profit for the March quarter came in at Rs 13.1 crore against a loss of Rs 1.05 crore a year ago. For the quarter, the total income more than doubled to Rs 97.15 crore, against Rs 46.89 crore during the same period last year.

9:45 am Buzzing Stock: Videocon Industries continued to nosedive for the third consecutive session as investors continued to dump the stock. The scrip hit its lower circuit again in the opening minutes.

Bearishness in the stock has continued following banks' declaring the company's debt as a non-performing asset. Dena Bank and Central Bank of India have declared the company as an NPA on their books.

The stock hit 10 percent lower circuit on Thursday after Central Bank of India declared the company as a non-performing asset in the first quarter of FY18.

9:29 am Record high: Nifty hits record high as it surpassed its earlier level of 9532.6, while the Sensex was trading over 0.25 percent higher.

9:20 am CLSA downgrades Cipla: Cipla Q4 net loss narrowed to Rs61.79 crore but muted EBITDA margins led to a downgrade by CLSA to underperform from outperform earlier. The Asia-focussed broker lowered its 12-month target price to Rs 525 from Rs660 earlier

''The key disappointment in Cipla's 4QFY17 results was its Ebitda margins, which came 4 percent below our estimates. This reverses the margin improvement trend displayed in 9MFY17,'' said the CLSA note.

''We believe cost-led margin expansion has played out and next leg of margin improvement must be led by double-digit revenue growth,'' it said.

9:15 am Market Opens: A day after the record high closing on the Street, equity benchmarks on Friday opened flat, with the Nifty holding on to 9500-mark.t

The Sensex was up 15.98 points at 30766.01, while the Nifty was down 6.85 points at 9502.90. The market breadth was healthy as 513 shares advanced against a decline of 262 shares, while 36 shares were unchanged.

Asian Paints and Dr Reddy's Laboratories were the top gainers on both indices, while Cipla, Sun Pharma and Indian Oil Corporation lost the most.

Midcaps were trading flat after a bullish run on Thursday, while the banking stocks were a drag.

The Indian rupee opened with marginal gain of 5 paise at 64.56 per dollar on Friday versus previous close 64.61.

Ashutosh Raina of HDFC Bank said, ''The USD-INR currency pair has been trading in the 64.50-65 range, with the cross-border tensions limiting the gains. Expect the pair to trade in the 64.40-64.90 range today.''

He further added, ''The bonds are stuck in a very narrow range with 10-year bonds trading in the 6.75-6.80 percent range after their recent rally from tops. Expect the trend to continue.''

The dollar index fell against a basket of major currencies following Wednesday's Fed minutes dialled down some expectations of the central bank hiking interest rates soon.

Stocks in Asia were mixed at the open on Friday, after major oil producers agreed to extend output cuts for an additional nine months at an OPEC meeting in Vienna yesterday.

The production cuts of 1.8 million barrels a day, first agreed on in November last year, will now extend to March 2018. The OPEC-led output cuts are targeted at rebalancing the global overhang in the oil markets which saw oil prices fall by more than half in recent years.

Oil prices fell by almost 5 percent in the last session following the news as some investors had been hoping for deeper production cuts. US crude had traded above the USD 50 mark for most of the week in anticipation of the OPEC meeting.

US stocks rose on Thursday, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite hitting new highs, helped by gains in the consumer discretionary sector after strong reports from Best Buy and other retailers.

The discretionary index was up 1.2 percent, while the S&P 500 retail index was up 1.9 percent, on track for its best day since November 7.