Sensex closes over 145 points lower, Nifty manages to hold 9900; midcaps flat

3:30 pm Market at Close: Equity benchmark indices ended the session on a weak note, with the Nifty ending just above 9900-mark.

The Sensex was down 147.58 points at 31661.97, while the Nifty was down 36.00 points at 9916.20. The market breadth was narrow as 1328 shares advanced against a decline of 1242 shares, while 148 shares were unchanged.

Midcaps ended the session on a flat note, while all sectoral indices except metals and energy were in the red.

Kotak Bank, Reliance, Hindalco and Indiabulls Housing gained the most on both indices, while Sun Pharma, ITC and Bosch were the top losers.

3:16 pm Initiates coverage: Shankara Building Products shares hit fresh record high of Rs 1,444, rising nearly 10 percent intraday after Edelweiss has initiated coverage with a buy rating on the stock.

The research house has set a target price of Rs 1,575 for the stocks, implying potential upside of 20 percent.

"It is the best proxy to play the anticipated growth in building materials and retail in India," it said.

It expects return on capital employed to improve given strong SSG, minimal capex and efficient working capital.

Revenue and net profit is expected to grow at CAGR of 25 percent and 40 percent over FY17-19, respectively, Edelweiss said.

The research house expects debt to equity ratio to further reduce in the next 2 years.

3:08 pm Buzzing: Share price of Precision Wires India and Indo Tech Transformers gained 14-18 percent intraday on the back of robust Q1 numbers.

Precision Wires India's Q1 net profit increased 75.8 percent to Rs 9.3 crore against Rs 5.3 crore, in the same quarter last year.

Revenue of the company rose 23.4 percent to Rs 310.2 crore against Rs 251.4 crore. The company's operating profit (EBITDA) was up 50.3 percent at Rs 20.6 crore and EBITDA margin was up 140 bps at 7.7 percent.

Indo Tech Transformers has turned profitable in the quarter ended June 2017 (Q1FY18) as it has reported net profit at Rs 58 lakh against loss of Rs 4.5 crore.

Revenue was up 126 percent at Rs 66.4 crore and EBITDA was at Rs 1 crore.

2:59 pm IPO: Engineering firm Capacit'e Infraprojects' Rs 400 crore initial public offer (IPO) will be launched on September 13.

The issue, with a price band of Rs 245-Rs 250 per equity share, will close on September 15.

"We plan to utilise the proceeds of the issue for funding working capital requirements, purchasing of capital assets and general corporate purposes," company's director Rohit Katyal told reporters here today.

The company, which is focused on construction of residential, commercial and institutional buildings, had reported a turnover of Rs 1,157 crore in financial year 2017.

The company's order book as on May 31, 2017 stands at Rs 4,600 crore with projects across metros like the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, the NCR, Patna, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi and Vijaywada.

2:50 pm Paytm enters insurance space as corporate agent: One97 Communications, the parent of Paytm Payments Bank has entered the corporate agency business to sell policies of multiple insurance companies. As per data sourced from Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), the firm has applied for a composite license meaning they can sell products of both life and general insurers.

The licence, will be valid from August 2017 to August 2020 and Amit Gupta has been named as the principal officer for the business. In January 2017, Paytm received the final approval from Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to set up a payments bank. As per the data, they are yet to officially sign up any agreements with insurers.

According to IRDAI rules, a bank (including small finance banks and payments banks) can tie-up with three life, three non-life and three standalone health insurance companies. Apart from One97 Communications, AU Small Finance Bank has also received the composite corporate agency licence from IRDAI, which will be valid for a period of three years.

2:35 pm Report by corporate governance panel: Sebi chairman Ajay Tyagi today said the Uday Kotak committee on corporate governance is expected to submit its report by the month-end.

The markets watchdog Sebi had set up the 21-member panel on June 2 this year to advise it on issues relating to corporate governance. It includes representatives from companies, stock exchanges, professional bodies, investor groups, law firms, academicians,
research professionals and Sebi officials.

"We feel much needs to be done on corporate governance. We are very serious that issues that enhance participation of minority shareholders and protect their rights, independence of independent directors and their active participation are in place.

2:19 pm Market Check: Equity benchmarks continued to trade lower amid geopolitical tensions, dragged by index heavyweight ITC, ICICI Bank and Infosys.

However, Reliance Industries continued to support the market, up over a percent as the stock will trade ex-bonus on September 7.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was down 110.39 points at 31,699.16 and the 50-share NSE Nifty fell 26.75 points to 9,925.45 whereas the BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices gained 0.3-0.5 percent.

About five shares advanced for every four shares falling on the BSE.

Apex Frozen Foods rallied for third consecutive session since listing on Monday. The stock was locked at 5 percent upper circuit again.

2:13 pm Drug launch: Dr Reddy's Laboratories today said it has launched Bupropion Hydrochloride extended-release tablets used in treating a major depressive disorder in the American market.

It has also launched Metaxalone tablets used to ease discomforts associated with acute, painful musculoskeletal conditions in the US market.

The company has launched Bupropion Hydrochloride extended-release tablets USP (XL) in the strengths of 150 mg and 300 mg, Dr Reddy's said in a filing to BSE.

The tablets are generic versions of GlaxoSmithKline LLC's Wellbutrin XL tablets, it added.

As per IMS Health, the Wellbutrin XL brand and generic had US sales of around USD 754 million MAT for the twelve months ended July, 2017, Dr Reddy's said.

The company has also launched Metaxalone tablets USP 800 mg in the American market, it added.

The tablets are generic versions of King Pharmaceuticals Research and Development Inc's Skelaxin tablets.

"The Skelaxin brand and generic had US sales of around USD 139 million MAT for the most recent twelve months ended July 2017, according to IMS Health," Dr Reddy's said.

2:08 pm Stake buy: The management of KCP Sugar has initiated discussions with the management of The Jeypore Sugar Company regarding a potential purchase of stake of its promoters.

The discussions are at a preliminary stage and no terms have been firmed up still, the company said.

Various structures are being explored by the legal and commercial teams, and utmost care is being taken to ensure that all the Indian regulatory requirements are fully complied with.

1:58 pm Management: In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Bhaskar Bhat, MD, Titan Company said expectations are high for the festival season.

Organised players will benefit from GST implementation, he added.

According to him, consumer awareness and policy compliance increased post demonetisation and GST.

He further said that cash transactions have come down significantly post demonetisation.

He is witnessing a revival in same-store-sales-growth in watches segment.

1:46 pm RIL to go ex-bonus: Reliance Industries shares gained more than one percent today, continuing uptrend for sixth consecutive session. The consistent buying may be due to appetite for bonus shares as it will go ex-bonus on Thursday.

The stock rallied nearly 8 percent in six consecutive sessions.

The stock will start trading ex-bonus from Thursday, September 7 onwards, which means it will adjust for bonus issue in the proportion of one bonus share for every one share held.

Consequently, the stock price will be halved.

Today is the last day for those who want bonus shares.

Reliance Industries has fixed September 9 as the record date for the purpose of determining members eligible for bonus equity shares of the company.

On July 21, the board of directors recommended issue of bonus shares to the members of the company by capitalisation of its reserves.

Disclosure: Reliance Industries Ltd. is the sole beneficiary of Independent Media Trust which controls Network18 Media & Investments Ltd.

1:34 pm Buzzing: Shares of Ruchi Soya Industries added 11.5 percent intraday on the back of board approval for internal corporate restructuring.

The company at its meeting held on Sept 6, has given consent to explore an internal corporate restructuring exercise which will allow the company to consider various option such as sub-sidiarisation or de-merger of its business units in to separate entities.

This initiative will result in independent businesses, which would operate in the areas of edible oil refining and brands, palm plantation, oil seed crushing and foods, and renewable energy.

1:25 pm Vikram Bakshi's plea on McDonald: The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) today denied any interim relief to Vikram Bakshi on his plea seeking a stay on termination of franchise agreement by McDonald's for 169 stores operated by CPRL.

With this, the fate of 169 stores in north and east India remains in limbo as Connaught Plaza Restaurant Ltd's (CPRL) licence to operate lapsed yesterday. CPRL is a 50:50 JV between McDonald's and its estranged partner Bakshi.

"If all papers are in order then it would be listed tomorrow," said the single-member bench of NCLAT.

Yesterday, the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) had dismissed Bakshi's petition against cancellation of franchise licence agreement to CPRL, following which Bakshi moved an appeal before NCLAT.

McDonald's on August 21 terminated the franchise agreement for the 169 outlets operated by CPRL.

As part of the termination, CPRL has ceased to use McDonalds's name, system, trademark, designs and its associated intellectual property, among others from September 5.

1:22 pm Economic growth: Economic activity in the country lost some pace amid GST related disruptions but underlying growth momentum remains strong and the country may clock 6.7 percent growth this fiscal, says a Morgan Stanley report.

India's economic growth slipped to a three-year low of 5.7 percent in April-June, underscoring the disruptions caused by uncertainty related to the GST rollout amid slowdown in manufacturing activities. Commenting on the GDP numbers, Morgan Stanley said, "We are inclined not to read this as a sign of general slowdown in aggregate demand".

"Indeed, we remain skeptical that the GDP statistics are fully reflecting the underlying growth trends in the economy," Morgan Stanley said in a research note. It further said that a number of high frequency growth indicators are indicating that end demand is holding up well and is running counter to the slowdown exhibited in the national accounts.

However, on account of the weak GDP print in June 2017 quarter, Morgan Stanley has made some mark-to-market adjustments to its full year GDP growth estimates.

1:10 pm Market Check: Equity benchmarks recouped nearly half of morning losses as investors digested renewed North Korea fears.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was down 121.49 points at 31,688.06 and the 50-share NSE Nifty fell 29.50 points to 9,922.70.

The broader markets extended gains as the BSE Midcap index gained over 0.3 percent and Smallcap was up 0.5 percent as market breadth improved further.

About five shares advanced for every four shares declining on the BSE.

Reliance Industries gained strength, up 1 percent as the stock will trade ex-bonus from Thursday onwards. The company will issue one bonus shares for every one share held.

Disclosure: Reliance Industries Ltd. is the sole beneficiary of Independent Media Trust which controls Network18 Media & Investments Ltd.

1:03 pm City gas distribution contract: Indraprastha Gas has won bid for city gas distribution in Karnal district.

The bid for city gas distribution in Karnal district was invited by Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board.

The petroleum regulator informed the company that IGL has quoted the highest additional bid bond for Karnal district.

12:57 pm Downgrade: Cigarettes-to-biscuits maker ITC clocked three straight session of falls, losing as much as 2.4 percent.

Brokerage Jefferies downgraded the stock to ''hold'' and also cut the target price, citing regulatory uncertainties leading to pressure on volumes and earnings growth.

12:56 pm Stocks at record highs: Despite weak market sentiment, 86 stocks touched 52-week high today, of which 34 stocks hit fresh record highs.

Among the well known stocks, Avenue Supermarts, L&T Finance Holdings, Shankars Building Products, Indiabulls Housing Finance, Zuari etc hit all-time highs.

JSW Steel, Bajaj Finance, DHFL, M&M Financial, Titan Company, Bharat Financial, Bombay Dyeing, Tata Global, Emkay, Container Corporation, Ambuja Cements, Tinplate etc continued to hit fresh 52-week highs.

12:49 pm Industrial orders: German industrial orders fell unexpectedly in July on feeble domestic demand while bookings from abroad remained flat. In a rare sign of weakness in Europe's largest economy, data showed that factories registered a 0.7 percent drop in orders after contracts for goods 'Made in Germany' rose by 0.9 percent in June.

12:45 pm Dr Reddy's in focus: According to CNBC-TV18 report quoting sources, Dr Reddy's Labs is looking to sell oral penicillin manufacturing site in Bristol, US and brands such as Augmentin, Amoxil & Other Penicillin ANDAs.

The company believes that its penicillin business lacks synergies with company's US strategy.

Dr Reddy's has acquired Bristol Plant and other associated penicillin brands from GSK in 2010 for undisclosed sum.

The company denied sale of its US penicillin assets as market speculation.

12:37 pm Europe trade: European markets opened lower, tracking Wall Street's slide overnight amid a backdrop of lingering geopolitical tension.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was down by around 0.51 percent shortly after the opening bell, with all sectors and major bourses in negative territory.

12:32 pm Stock Rating: Citi has maintained its buy rating on Bharat Electronics and Gujarat State Petronet.

The brokerage sees 1-3 percent higher sales in BEL with better margins. It has increased its FY18-20 EPS estimates by 0-2% as it believes BEL can deliver 14% EPS CAGR. It has left unchanged its target price at Rs 220 per share.

GSPL on the contrary has received a target upgrade to Rs 232 per share from Rs 210 per share as it sees a regulatory tariff hike imminent.

12:25 pm Rupee volatile: The rupee continued its volatility quoting down by 8 paise to 64.20 per dollar in afternoon on sustained bouts of dollar demand from importers and banks amid lower domestic equities coupled with foreign fund outflows.

The rupee resumed lower at 64.18 per dollar at the interbank foreign exchange (Forex) against yesterday's closing level of Rs 64.12 per dollar.

Sustained capital outflows pressuring the rupee, despite a weak dollar overseas, a dealer said.

12:15 pm Shell companies: Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) & Income Tax Department will continue crackdown on shell companies, reports CNBC-TV18 quoting sources.

Only 6 lakh of 16 lakh companies fulfill regulatory requirements, hence the remaining 10 lakh companies are under radar.

Enforcement agencies are also asked to work in tandem to clean up the system.

The idea is to identify real companies and wipe out dormant and shell companies, sources said. Removal of shell companies will help expand tax base & curb money-laundering.

12:08 pm Market Check: Equity benchmarks continued to trade lower amid lingering geopolitical tension surrouding around North Korea.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was down 160.88 points at 31,648.67 and the 50-share NSE Nifty fell 42.25 points to 9,909.95 but the broader markets rebounded on positive breadth.

The BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices gained 0.3 percent each as about 1,190 shares advanced against 1,066 declining shares.

Tensions in the Korean Peninsula showed little sign of abating following Pyongyang's largest-ever nuclear test on Sunday. Despite international condemnation in the wake of the isolated regime's latest test, a top North Korean diplomat threatened the US with "more gift packages" on Tuesday.

12:03 Stocks in News: Stocks that are buzzing at this hour; Just Dial, HCL Tech, Gavita, Merck.

11:58 am North Korea nuclear test: Japan today again upgraded its estimated size of North Korea's latest nuclear test to a yield of around 160 kilotons -- more than ten times the size of the Hiroshima bomb.

This marked Tokyo's second revision higher after previously giving estimates of 70 and 120 kilotons.

Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera told reporters that his ministry's upward revision to 160 kilotons was based on a revised magnitude by the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO).

"This is far more powerful than their nuclear tests in the past," Onodera told reporters.

The US bomb that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945 carried a yield of 15 kilotons.

Japan's latest estimate far exceeded the yield of between 50 and 100 kilotons indicated by UN political affairs chief Jeffrey Feltman at the UN Security Council.

11:45 am Buzzing Stock: Shares of Gravita India advanced 5 percent intraday Wednesday as it increased Chittoor plant capacity to 28000 mtpa. The company raised capacity at the unit in Andhra Pradesh to 28000 mtpa from 12000 mtpa, making it the flagship plant of the Jaipur-based company.

The company at present is utilizing more than 65 percent of its existing capacity at the Chittoor plant.

11:42 am McDonald's operator in focus: Shares of Westlife Development on Wednesday surged around 3 percent intraday as investors may have sensed an opportunity for the firm after the NCLT ruled against Vikram Bakshi-led Connaught Plaza Pvt Ltd.

The company operates a chain of McDonald's restaurants in west and south India through its subsidiary Hardcastle Restaurants Pvt. Ltd. (HRPL).

The suspension of operations as a result of this fallout between Connaught Plaza and McDonald's could have been cheered by investors in Westlife as it could mean better prospects for the company.

The National Company Law Tribunal on Tuesday dismissed a plea by Vikram Bakshi challenging termination of franchise agreement by McDonald's, while at the same time issued a show-cause notice to McDonald's Corporation over contempt petition by its estranged partner.

NCLT, which on Monday reserved its orders over two contempt pleas filed by Bakshi in his ongoing fight against McDonald's, asked his counsel to seek relief from the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) where matter is already pending.

11:25 am What's driving gold prices up? Despite many claims to the contrary, North Korea tensions aren't actually what's driving the rally in gold, Goldman Sachs said in a Tuesday note.

Instead, the bank said, uncertainty inspired by President Donald Trump has boosted the yellow metal - but that's set to fade.

Spot gold has certainly rallied of late, climbing from levels under $1,212 an ounce in July to as high as $1,342.90 this week, touching its highest levels in around a year, according to Reuters data.

Gold, which traditionally acts as a safe-haven play when investors turn nervous, was at $1,338.50 an ounce at 9:41 a.m. HK/SIN on Wednesday. You can read the full report here.

11:05 am Market Check: Dragged by weak global cues on the back of geopolitical tensions, benchmark indices in India too fell around half a percent in the past hour, with the Nifty looking to breach 9900-mark.

The Sensex was down 171.72 points at 31637.83, while the Nifty was down 47.85 points at 9904.35. The market breadth was negative as 986 shares advanced against a decline of 1106 shares, while 104 shares were unchanged.

Kotak Mahindra Bank, Reliance Industries, GAIL and Ambuja Cements were the top gainers, while Sun Pharma and ITC lost the most.

10:58 am Market Outlook: Consolidation gripped the Indian market after a stellar, one-way rally since February. Between August and now, geopolitical tensions, lower than expected earnings growth pushed returns from frontline indices to a negative of 2 percent.

Should an investor be worried in such a scenario or treat this as a routing protocol on the market?

''On a year-to-date basis, we are up about 20 percent and India is one of the best performers. Certain phases of consolidation are quite natural in such a scenario,'' Ratnesh Kumar, MD & CEO, BOBCAPS told CNBC-TV18. Further, he added that the gross domestic product (GDP) numbers and Q1 earnings growth were weaker as well.

Having said that, Kumar reiterated that there is nothing to worry about on a broader and structural basis. ''On a 12-month basis, we could look at upside of 12-15 percent in broader market from these levels,'' he said.

Kumar also said that earnings may see some recovery now. ''As restocking comes back, you could have earnings growth in early teens in this fiscal that will drive the overall market performance,'' he told the channel.

10:50 am Kotak Mahindra Bank rebounds: JP Morgan upgraded Kotak Mahindra Bank to overweight as it feels the private sector lender is well positioned for strong growth in coming quarters.

Subsidiaries provide diversified exposure to high growth segments, the research house believes.

The brokerage firm also increased target price of the stock to Rs 1,100 from Rs 875.

10:42 am Aviation sector in focus: Jet Airways shares gained around a percent in morning after a media report indicated that InterGlobe Aviation-run IndiGo is considering investing in company to attain a marked international footprint if it fails to acquire a stake in the debt-laden Air India.

As of now, IndiGo flies to 7 foreign destinations - Bangkok, Doha, Singapore, Kathmandu, Muscat, Dubai and Sharjah. Jet Airways and Air India, on the other hand, have flights which cross the Asian continent.

10:35 am Buzzing: Bharat Financial Inclusion recouped early losses and gained more than 1 percent to hit fresh 52-week high of Rs 935.45.

The stock fell 2.5 percent in opening after RBI notified on Tuesday that foreign shareholding through FIIs/FPIs in Bharat Financial Inclusion has reached the trigger limit.

Hence, further purchases of equity shares of this company would be allowed only after obtaining prior approval of RBI, RBI said.

10:28 am Most active shares: Reliance Industries, Just Dial, Bharat Financial, Reliance Capital and Infosys were most active shares on the NSE.

10:24 am Market Check: Equity benchmarks remained under pressure, following negative lead from Asia and Wall Street, as investors remained cautious about North Korea tensions.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was down 174.98 points at 31,634.57 and the 50-share NSE Nifty fell 49.10 points to 9,903.10.

The broader markets outperformed benchmarks as the BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices were flat with negative bias. About 1,054 shares declined against 875 advancing shares on the BSE.

Asian markets declined. Japan's Nikkei 225 declined 0.3 percent as the dollar remained soft. Across the Korean Strait, the Kospi slipped 0.36 percent.

Down Under, the S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.0.4 percent. Greater China markets were also pressured. The Hang Seng Index was down 1.03 percent. On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite shed 0.28 percent.

10:18 am Rajan on NPAs: Former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan said the biggest challenge is cleaning up the balance sheets of public sector banks.

"RBI (during his tenure) issued lot of things to increase competition in the banking sector which include giving 23 bank licenses. There were new banks, payment banks, small finance banks," he said at an event here to launch his book 'I do What I do'.

Noting that work is still in progress to reform state- owned banks, he said, "I think at this point, the single biggest challenge is cleaning up the balance sheets of public sector banks."

Before bringing more change in the public sector banking system, "it is extremely important that the banks get back into the business of lending. That is clearly holding up the economy at this point."

10:10 am Infosys postpones results announcement date: Infosys will announce its quarter and half-year ended September 30, 2017 financial results on October 24, the company informed exchanges.

This will be a departure from the tradition where the IT bellwether is among the first companies to announce results in the second week of the month.

No reason was given for the delay.

The board of directors will meet on October 23-24, 2017 and will also consider payment of an interim dividend. The software exporter will hold investor/analyst calls on October 24 to discuss the results and business outlook.

These results will be the first after Nandan Nilekani's return to the company as the non-executive chairman. Nilekani took charge last month after Vishal Sikka resigned as CEO of the company following an extended spat with founder NR Narayan Murthy.

10:07 am Oil prices fall: Oil prices dipped as crude demand remained subdued on the back of refinery closures following Hurricane Harvey which hit the US Gulf coast 10 days ago.

Market focus was also being drawn to Hurricane Irma, a record Category 5 storm, which is barrelling towards important shipping lanes in the Caribbean.

Although many refineries and pipelines which were knocked out by Harvey are now in the process of restarting, analysts say it will take some time before the US petroleum industry is back to full crude processing capacity.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at USD 48.55 barrel, 0.23 percent below their last settlement.

10:05 am IPO money: Consumer electronics manufacturer Dixon Technologies on Tuesday raised nearly Rs 180 crore from anchor investors, including Kuwait Investment Authority Fund and Goldman Sachs India. The issue opened for subscription today.

The shares would be allocated at the upper end of the Rs 1,760-1,766 IPO price band.

The company has finalised allocation of more than 10.18 equity shares at a price of Rs 1,766 apiece to the anchor investors, according to a filing submitted to the BSE.

At this price, the total amount is Rs 179.78 crore.

Apart from Kuwait Investment Authority Fund and Goldman Sachs India Fund, other anchor investors include DSP BlackRock Micro Cap Fund, Steadview Capital Mauritius, HDFC Small Cap Fund and HSBC Indian Equity Mother Fund.

Kotak Midcap, ICICI Prudential Growth Fund, SBI Life Insurance Company and Birla Sun Life Insurance Company are among the other anchor investors.

Dixon Technologies aims to raise up to Rs 600 crore from the IPO. The offer comprises fresh issue aggregating up to Rs 60 crore besides an offer for sale of up to 30,53,675 shares by certain existing shareholders.

10:02 am ITC under pressure: Macquarie has downgraded cigarette major ITC to neutral and preferred to switch to Hindustan Unilever, citing fall in cigarette volumes.

"Channel checks suggest that ITC cigarette volume has declined significantly in July-August," the research house said.

The company increased cigarette prices by around 14 percent in the last 9 months.

The research house also slashed target price to Rs 304 from Rs 340, following cut in FY18/19 earnings by 2-5 percent on lower volume assumptions.

9:59 am Buzzing: Shares of Merck gained more than 5 percent in the early trade as the holding company is looking to sale its consumer health business.

"Merck KGaA, Germany, the ultimate holding company of the company has announced that it is preparing for strategic options for its consumer health business globally including a potential full or partial sale of the business as well as strategic partnerships," as per company release.

"This strategic initiative would involve the company's consumer health business in India as well, the implementation of potential measures and their specific design are subject to further analysis and decision making by competent bodies," it added.

9:55 am Earnings recovery: The mood is upbeat about the macros in ndia. Government policy outcome over the last few months is phenomenal, Susmit Patodiya, Associate Director, Head-Institutional Sales at MOSL said in an interview to CNBC-TV18.

He continues to believe that earnings will start picking up by second half of FY18.

He further added that growth in the Indian market is polarised currently.

On global front, he thinks geopolitical risks with regards to North Korea are huge.

9:52 am Caution on Fed rate hikes?: The Federal Reserve is getting more dovish in the face of weak inflation data, reducing the likelihood of a third rate hike this year, which traders already see as very unlikely.

Three Fed policymakers on Tuesday expressed doubts about further rate hikes, with one influential policymaker calling for a delay in raising US interest rates until the Fed is confident inflation will rebound.

A second Fed policymaker blamed the Fed's rate hikes to date not only for weak inflation, but also for undermining the recovery in the labor market that many policymakers including Fed Chair Janet Yellen have cited as they have justified raising rates. Late Tuesday a third policymaker advocated patience on rate hikes, given slow growth and inflation.

Taken together, the comments from one third of the Fed's current policy-setting panel suggest that months of falling or flat inflation readings could scuttle plans to raise rates once more this year and three times next year. Fed policymakers next meet September 19-20 and are due to release fresh economic forecasts that may envision a flatter path for rate hikes ahead.

9:48 am IPO: Bharat Road Network, the road and highways BOT company, opened its initial public offering for subscription today.

The public issue of up to 2.93 crore equity shares will constitute 34.90 percent of the post issue paid-up equity share capital.

The company is expected to raise Rs 571.35 crore at Rs 195 per share (the lower end of price band) and Rs 600.65 crore at Rs 205 per share, the higher end of price band.

The issue will close on September 8.

Incorporated in 2006, Bharat Road Network is a road BOT (build-operate-transfer) company, focused on development, operation and maintenance of roads & highways projects.

9:41 am Acquisition: Shares of HCL Technologies added 1.5 percent intraday as the company is going to acquire a UK based company.

The company has agreed to buy ETL Factory, a UK based company, which is doing business as Datawave.

ETL has created an innovative data automation platform which enables enterprise customers execute large scale, complex data-migration project at a leaner, faster and smarter way.

9:33 am Gainers & Losers: HDFC Bank, ITC, HDFC, IOC, ICICI Bank, TCS and Infosys were leading contributors to Sensex' losses. However, Indiabulls Housing, HCL Technologies, HUL, UltraTech Cement and Asian Paints bucked trend.

9:29 am Buzzing: NDTV rallied 8 percent in early trade, taking total weekly gains to 57 percent.

The stock has been rallying on sentiment, especially may be after Star India bagged global media rights for IPL at more than Rs 16,000 crore for five years.

9:27 am FII View: Neelkanth Mishra of Credit Suisse said domestic growth may stay muted for a while.

Post Q1 GDP release, FY18 GDP growth estimates were cut sharply but not FY19, like for earnings after Q1 results, he added.

He feels global growth projections on the other hand are stabilising.

9:15 am Market Check: Equity benchmarks opened sharply lower on Wednesday and erased all its previous day's gains, tracking weakness in global peers.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was down 201.91 points at 31,607.64 and the 50-share NSE Nifty fell 56.75 points to 9,895.45.

Nifty Midcap lost 0.7 percent as about three shares declined for every share rising.

Bharat Financial Inclusion, Divis Labs, Adani Enterprises, JP Associates, Adani Power, HCC, Indiabulls Real, DLF, Idea Cellular, Escorts, Ujjivan Financial, M&M Financial, InterGlobe Aviation were down up to 3 percent. However, Just Dial rallied 5 percent as HDFC MF picked up stake in company.