Sensex ends on a flat note, Nifty closes above 9600; Sun Pharma gains

3:30 pm Market at Close: Equity benchmark indices ended the session on a flat note, with the Nifty comfortably holding on to 9600-mark.

The Sensex closed up 7.10 points at 31290.74, while the Nifty ended down 3.60 points at 9630.00. The market breadth was negative as 1,115 shares advanced against a decline of 1,542 shares, while 161 shares were unchanged.

Sun Pharma, HDFC and Ambuja Cements gained the most on both indices, while ONGC, Lupin and Indian Oil Corporation were the top losers.

3:16 pm Centrum on Graphite: Graphite India shares rallied nearly 8 percent to hit a fresh 52-week high of Rs 160.20 Thursday after Centrum Broking has initiated coverage with a buy call and target price of Rs 165 on the stock, citing electrifying growth ahead. The rally was on top of 3.5 percent upside in previous session.

The research house expects strong earnings growth from current distressed levels led by solid volumes and improved spreads.

Healthy balance sheet with around Rs 4,000 crore net cash, strong adjusted free cash flow generation, high dividend payout and strong management pedigree are added positives, it feels.

Key risk according to the research firm is margin pressure due to forex losses & raw material volatility. Currently, the stock has no institutional sell side coverage, it said.

3:05 pm Market Update: Equity benchmarks erased gains in last hour of trade, with the Sensex rising only 12.09 points to 31,295.73. The Nifty was down 2.40 points at 9,631.20.

The market breadth was in favour of declines as about three shares slipped for every share rising on the BSE.

2:50 pm FII View: Mahesh Nandurkar of CLSA said as India is expected to usher in the largest-ever indirect tax reform, GST, from July 1, the current trend on inventory de-stocking makes it amply clear that the June quarter numbers for most businesses will be subdued.

He believes business financials will begin to normalise from the September quarter.

Structural benefits of better tax compliance leading to higher tax-to-GDP ratio, seamless trade across the country driving improved logistics and corporate efficiencies, and shift in business from unorganised to organised should be visible with a lag of 3-4 quarters, Nandurkar feels.

2:38 pm Market Check: Benchmark indices erased some gains in afternoon trade, especially after the BSE Sensex hit a record high of 31,522.87 intraday. Other reason was a further fall in European bourses.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 89.37 points at 31,373.01 and the 50-share NSE Nifty rose 19.80 points to 9,653.40.

Even the market breadth turned negative as about 1,330 shares declined against 1,260 advancing shares on the BSE.

HUL and Lupin extended losses to over 2 percent while ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank erased morning gains. HDFC, Reliance Industries, ITC, Kotak Mahindra Bank, SBI, Asian Paints and Sun Pharma gained 1-2 percent.

2:15 pm Buzzing: Design services provider Tata Elxsi has been roped in by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to design information and technology guidelines for all upcoming AAI airports. The stock gained 1.5 percent.

Tata Elxsi will help AAI set up a team and create a process to design and implement customer-centric information and wayfinding system, which will cover the entire passenger journey, right from parking to boarding the plane, the company said in a statement today.

Tata Elxsi Chief Designer, Service Design, Narendra Ghate said prior experience on redefining passenger experience for some leading airports in India gave Tata Elxsi an edge to bag the mandate.

1:50 pm Tata Power in action: Tata Power has offered to sell 51 percent stake in its 4,000 MW Mundra power project for Re 1 to states like Gujarat, which buy electricity from it, to tide over the financial crisis facing this business.

Coastal Gujarat Power (CGPL), the Tata Power unit which operates the Mundra project, wrote to Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam earlier this month offering to retain only 49 percent stake and operate the project as a contractor provided the procurers buy all the power at higher tariffs.

In the letter, copies of which were marked to Nripendra Misra, Principal Secretary to Prime Minister, and Union Power Secretary, CGPL CEO Krishna Kumar Sharma said Mundra has accumulated losses of Rs 6,457 crore against a paid up equity of Rs 6,083 crore.

It has outstanding loan of Rs 10,159 crore and lenders have stopped further disbursal due to non-viability of the project, he wrote.

1:33 pm Market Check: Equity benchmarks continued to see buying interest in afternoon trade, with the Nifty eyeing 9700 level despite weak European cues.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 177.71 points at 31,461.35 and the 50-share NSE Nifty gained 47.60 points at 9,681.20.

Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group stocks remained strong as Reliance Infrastructure, Reliance Defence, Reliance Capital and Reliance Communications gained 2-6 percent.

European bourses moved lower as investors reacted to depressed oil prices and ongoing weakness in commodities-related sectors. France's CAC, Germany's DAX and Britain's FTSE were down 0.3-0.4 percent.

1:10 pm Stocks at record highs: As the market moved to new milestone, 99 stocks touched 52-week highs and amongst them, 35 stocks traded at fresh record highs.

Balkrishna Industries, Can Fin Homes, Entertainment Network India, Kirloskar Oil Engines, L&T Finance Holdings, Larsen & Toubro Infotech, MEP Infrastructure Developers, Mahindra Holidays, Shankara Building Products, SpiceJet, VST Tillers Tractors etc touched new highs during the day.

Among stocks that hit new one-year highs are Kotak Mahindra Bank, HDFC Bank, Jaiprakash Associates, Interglobe Aviation, NBCC, Colgate Palmolive, DHFL, NHPC, SPML Infra, BEML, GMR Infrastructure, Goa Carbon, Thomas Cook (India) etc.

12:42 pm IT Guidance: Software services industry lobby NASSCOM said IT growth guidance for FY18 is optimistic currently.

It expects IT services export revenue growth at 7-8 percent and domestic IT services revenue growth at 10-11 percent for the current financial year 2017-18.

12.29 pm Market Check: Equity benchmarks continued to be strong in afternoon trade as the Nifty is marching towards 9,700 level.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 189.22 points at 31,472.86 and the 50-share NSE Nifty rose 53.20 points to 9,686.80. About 1450 shares advanced against 982 declining shares on the BSE.

All sectoral indices traded in green, with Nifty Bank at record high of 23,897.85. Yes Bank, SBI, Federal Bank and Bank of Baroda gained 1-2 percent.

Gold prices rose for a second straight day, supported by an easing dollar and weakness in US Treasury yields.

Gold is highly sensitive to rising rates and yields, which increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion while boosting the dollar, in which it is priced.

12:15 pm Buzzing: IDFC rose 3.4 percent intraday after the Reserve Bank of India allowed foreign investors to buy shares of the company.

The Reserve Bank of India has on Wednesday notified that the foreign shareholding by foreign institutional investors (FIIs)/ foreign portfolios investors (FPIs) in IDFC Limited have gone below the prescribed FII/FPI investment limit.

Hence, the restrictions placed on the purchase of shares by FII/FPI of the company, are withdrawn with immediate effect, it added.

FIIs, NRIs and PIOs now can invest in the infrastructure finance company through portfolio investment scheme.

11:55 am HSBC on RBI minutes: The minutes of the June MPC meeting revealed both commonalities and divergence in the opinion of the six monetary policy committee (MPC) members.

Dr Dholakia's view that there is space for 50bp or more in rate cuts stood out most sharply.

HSBC said, "Among the other five members, there were three things in common. One, all members acknowledged the sharp disinflation over the last two months. Some of the statements suggest that the members are more flexible than before, ready to be convinced by lower inflation prints. Two, all five voted for a 'wait-and-watch' approach, given that the strong disinflation is only two months old. Three, all five worried about the same risks on the horizon, namely, the impact of farm loan waivers, the seventh pay commission allowances, monsoon rains, GST and global risks."

Additionally, the RBI members also expressed concerns around stressed assets and monetary transmission.

"We have been highlighting the growing risks of moderate easing over the next few months. We now expect the RBI to deliver a 25bp rate cut in its August meeting, taking the repo rate to 6.0 percent (versus our previous expectation of a prolonged pause)," it said.

11:27 am Buzzing: Shares prices of dairy products makers Prabhat Dairy, Parag Milk Foods and Vadilal Industries gained as much as 4-9 percent in morning trade after the ban on milk products from the world's second largest economy.

The Government of India today has banned milk, milk products and confectionary from China for one year, reports CNBC-TV18 quoting Cogencis.

11.08 am Market Check: Equity benchmarks extended rally in morning trade, with the Sensex and Bank Nifty hitting fresh record highs of 31,500 and 23,895.35, respectively.

The 30-share BSE Sensex gained 210.59 points at 31,494.23 and the 50-share NSE Nifty rose 52.60 points to 9,686.20.

Infosys, HDFC and Reliance Industries were top three contributors to Sensex' gains, up 1-2 percent but HUL, Lupin and ONGC remained under pressure, down 1.5 percent.

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

10:45 am Buzzing: Hindustan Unilever declined as much as 2 percent in morning trade Thursday as the share price adjusted for dividend.

The FMCG major, on May 17, has recommended a final dividend of Rs 10 for the financial year ended March 31, 2017 on equity shares of Re 1 each.

Hence, the register of members & share transfer books of the company will remain closed from June 24, 2017 to June 30, 2017 (both days inclusive) for the purpose of payment of final dividend & 84th annual general meeting (AGM) of the company to be held on June 30, 2017.

The final dividend will be paid to the shareholders on or after July 05, 2017.

10.24 am Market Check: Equity benchmarks as well as broader markets held early gains, with the Sensex rising more than 100 points, supported by index heavyweights Reliance Industries, Infosys and HDFC Group stocks.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 125.81 points at 31,409.45 and the 50-share NSE Nifty rose 32.65 points to 9,666.25.

The BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices gained around half a percent as about two shares advanced for every share falling on the BSE.

9:50 am Technical Outlook: Going forward, Dharmesh Shah
of ICICI Direct.com Research expects the Nifty to continue the consolidation between the broad range of 9500 and 9750 amid stock specific action while digesting the impact of GST in the short-term.

The key support base for the index is placed around 9500 region as it is the confluence of lower band of rising channel in place since February 2017 which also coincides with the 50 percent retracement of the last rising segment, he said.

9:35 am RBI on IDFC: The Reserve Bank of India has today notified that the foreign shareholding by foreign institutional investors (FIIs)/ foreign portfolios investors (FPIs) in IDFC have gone below the prescribed FII/FPI investment limit.

Hence, the restrictions placed on the purchase of shares by FII/FPI of the above company, are withdrawn with immediate effect, it added.

9:15 am Market Check: Equity benchmarks rebounded in opening trade Thursday, with the Nifty reclaiming 9650 level following positive Asian cues.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 109.69 points at 31,393.33 and the 50-share NSE Nifty gained 30.25 points at 9,663.85, backed by Reliance Industries.

Reliance Industries, Tata Motors, Tata Motors DVR, HDFC, Asian Paints, Ambuja Cements and Aurobindo Pharma gained 1-1.5 percent while HUL, ONGC, Wipro, Lupin, HDFC Bank, GAIL and Tata Power were under pressure.

Among midcaps, Amtek Auto, Metalyst Forging, Prism Cement, Jaiprakash Assoicates, IDFC, Jaypee Infra, Punj Lloyd, Bhushan Steel, Federal Bank, JM Financial, Geojit Financial and Fortis Healthcare gained 2-9 percent while Videocon Industries was locked at 5 percent lower circuit.

The Indian rupee opened flat at 64.53 per dollar against previous close of 64.52.

Mohan Shenoi of Kotak Mahindra Bank feels the next trigger for rupee appears to be the pace and quality of GST implementation.

He expects the USD-INR pair to trade in a range of 64.40-64.70/dollar for the day.

The minutes of the MPC June policy meeting has raised expectations of monetary easing in subsequent policy reviews.

Asian markets were cautiously higher as oil prices rose slightly after hitting a ten-month low overnight.