Sensex ends mildly lower, Nifty manages to hold 10,200; Axis tanks 9%

3:30 pm Market Closing: Equity benchmarks ended mildly lower on last day of Samvat 2073, dragged by banks after disappointing numbers from Axis Bank.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was down 24.81 points at 32,584.35 and the 50-share NSE Nifty fell 23.60 points to 10,210.90.

The market breadth was also in favour of declines as about 1,386 shares declined against 1,282 advancing shares on the BSE.

3:20 pm Freight rates increase: Freight rates for the nine-tonne payload section for select destinations for Southern regions quoted higher by Rs 1000 at the local trucks transport market in the national capital today following increased cargo movements against tight availability of trucks.

Transporters said pick up in cargo movements in view of festive season against less availability of trucks mainly kept freight rates for select Southern regions higher.

Delhi to Bengaluru, Chennai and Mysore were up by Rs 1,000 each to Rs 64,000, Rs 66,000 and Rs 68,000 respectively.

3:10 pm MS on Bajaj Auto: Morgan Stanley has maintained its overweight rating on Bajaj Auto and increased price target to Rs 3,785 from Rs 3,251 per share after the company posted impressive Q2 margins.

The research house expects EBITDA growth to accelerate to more than 20 percent led by low base and export recovery.

Morgan Stanley is positive on the premium bike space in India and mass bikes and three-wheelers in Africa.

"EPS estimates hiked by 1.8 percent, 0.8 percent and 0.5 percent for FY18, FY19 and FY20 respectively," it said.

2:59 pm Market Check: Equity benchmarks recovered losses in last hour of trade, with the Sensex turning positive, backed by index heavyweights Reliance Industries (up 4.82 percent), HDFC Bank (up 1.1 percent) and ITC (up 1.03 percent).

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 19.38 points at 32,628.54 while the 50-share NSE Nifty trimmed losses, down 8.20 points at 10,226.30.

On Thursday, the market will open for one hour for Muhurat trade in the evening between 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm. On Friday, it will remain shut for Diwali holiday.

2:52 pm Gold sparkles on Diwali demand: Gold prices spurted by Rs 290 to 3-week high of Rs 31,000 per 10 grams on the eve of Diwali at the bullion market today on increased buying by local jewellers to meet festive demand.

A weak trend overseas however capped the gains.

Silver held steady at Rs 41,000 per kg in limited deals from industrial units and coin makers.

Bullion traders said increased buying by local jewellers, driven by Diwali festival demand in domestic spot markets, mainly led to rise in gold prices.

2:41 pm Maruti's sales target: Sources told CNBC-TV18 that Maruti reached out to vendors and gave bullish growth commentary for 2 years.

Maruti said it may reach 2 million sales target one year ahead of schedule.

The company feels it may hit 2 million sales target by FY19-end than FY20. It asked select vendors to be production ready and looks to expedite production from plant B in Gujarat.

Maruti's current capacity stood at 1.75 million units and in FY18 so far, sales increased 15.6 percent to 1.56 million units.

2:31 pm Godfrey Phillips exits tea business: Tea producer Goodricke Group said it has acquired eight tea brands of Godfrey Phillips India (GPI) for Rs 20 crore as part of its expansion of packaged tea business, reports PTI. The deal will mark GPI's exit from the packaged tea business. Goodricke Group, under the deal, will have rights on trademarks, titles and brands associated with the tea business.

The brands acquired are Tea City, SC Gold, Symphony, Samovar, SC Premium, Super Cup, Rangoli and Utsav. The producer of Darjeeling tea, Goodricke Group is a constituent of Camellia UK, a global conglomerate, which is into agriculture, engineering, financial services and food distribution.

2:15 pm RIL gains big: Shares of Reliance Industries crossed Rs 900-level for the first time Wednesday, up 3.7 percent intraday on value buying following Jio earnings and strong refining margins in quarter ended September 2017. Majority of analysts remained positive on the stock, and expect telecom business to show profits in December quarter after turning EBITDA positive in September quarter.

Analysts are also positive on its refining and petrochemical businesses, especially after company's recent capex that is expected to aid these segments.

The consistent rally in the stock that rose 68 percent in 2017 increased investors' wealth by Rs 2.4 lakh crore during the year. The stock touched a record high of Rs 915.55, up 4.7 percent intraday.

On last Friday, Reliance Industries reported net profit of Rs 8,097 crore for September quarter (up 12.8 percent YoY) on revenue of Rs 101,169 crore (up 24 percent YoY). Its gross refining margins came at USD 12 per barrel against street expectations of USD 12.5 a barrel, which outperformed benchmark Singapore Complex margins by USD 3.7 per barrel.

1:55 pm Earnings: Cement major UltraTech Cement reported 28 percent fall at Rs 431.2 crore against Rs 601 crore posted during the same period last year.

The company's revenues rose 6 percent at Rs 6,571 crore against Rs 6,196 crore in the September quarter in 2016.

On the operating front, its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 17 percent at Rs 1,351 crore against Rs 1,155 crore year on year. Meanwhile, the operating margin came in at 20.6 percent against 18.6 percent year on year.

1:40 pm Power Grid up 4%: Power Grid Corporation of India has been declared as the successful bidder under tariff based competitive bidding to establish 'Eastern Region Strengthening Scheme - XXI' on build, own, operate and maintain basis.

The letter of intent has been received on October 17.

The transmission system traverses in Bihar and includes establishment of three new 400kV substations and associated 400kV transmission lines, the company said.

1:25 pm Resolution process at Educomp: Education services firm Educomp Solutions has invited bids from potential resolution applicants for Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP) under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC).

CIRP under IBC commenced against the company post an order on May 30, 2017 at the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT). NCLT had appointed Sanjiv Agarwal as the Interim Resolution Professional (''IRP'') of Educomp. He was later replaced by Mahender Khandelwal.

As per the advertisement of the company in an economic daily, the applicants have to provide relevant qualifications on or before November 10.

1:16 pm Investment: Lighthouse, a middle market private equity firm focused on growth investments in India's consumer sector, announced that funds affiliated with the firm have made an investment of Rs 760 million in V2 Retail.

The investment will be used to accelerate V2 Retail's store expansion plans.

V2 Retail provides a one-stop apparel shopping solution for the complete family, offering a wide, diverse range of apparel at everyday affordable prices.

1:01 pm Market Check: Equity benchmarks came off day's low in afternoon, backed by Reliance Industries (up 3.5 percent), HDFC Bank (0.9 percent) and ITC (up 0.3 percent).

The 30-share BSE Sensex was down 40.25 points at 32,568.91 and the 50-share NSE Nifty fell 24.20 points to 10,210.30, dragged by banks.

Axis Bank retained its top position in selling list among Nifty 50 stocks, down 8 percent. ICICI Bank, SBI and Yes Bank were down 2.5-3.5 percent.

12:51 pm Drug patent: Suven Life Sciences today said that it has been granted a patent by Singapore corresponding to the New Chemical Entities (NCEs) for the treatment of disorders associated with neurodegenerative diseases.

The patents are valid till 2033, the company said in a BSE filing.

"We are very pleased by the grant of these patents to Suven for our pipeline of molecules in the CNS arena, which are being developed for cognitive disorders with high unmet medical need with a huge market potential globally," Suven Life CEO Venkat Jasti said.

12:41 pm Europe trade: European markets opened higher, as investors monitored the latest batch of earnings and economic data releases.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 edged up higher shortly after the opening bell, with almost all sectors and major bourses in positive territory.

Corporate earnings are expected to keep investors on their toes today, as a whole host of firms are poised to release their latest financial figures.

12:35 pm Edelweiss downgrades Axis: Edelweiss Financial cut its FY18/FY19 earnings estimates by 30/14 percent and book value by 3/4 percent for Axis Bank.

Consequently, it downgraded the stock to 'HOLD' from 'BUY' with target price of Rs 545 (from Rs 638 earlier).

The research house also excluded the stock from its ''BRAVEHEART SERIES'' as asset quality shocks are over-riding a strengthening retail franchise.

Dismal asset quality (multi-fold rise in slippages) took the sheen off of an otherwise operationally stable Q2FY18 - more than 16 percent loan growth and sustained momentum in retail franchise.

Critically, slippage was not from up-fronting of stress from the watch-list, but due to divergence (pertaining to RBI's annual inspection) and higher non watch-list slippages.

Continued disappointment from outside watch-list slippages has rattled investors' confidence, as sanctity of watch-list claims stands challenged, Edelweiss said.

12:25 pm Buzzing: Shares of Wipro today rose by over 3 percent after the company reported a 5.8 percent rise in net profit for three months to September

India's third largest software firm, yesterday reported a 5.8 percent rise in net profit for three months to September but gave a muted guidance for the third quarter earnings.

Its consolidated net profit (attributable to equity shareholders) in July-September at Rs 2,191.8 crore, or Rs 4.52 per share, was higher than Rs 2,070.4 crore, or Rs 4.28 a share, in the same period a year before, the company said in a statement.

On a sequential basis, the profit was up 5.5 percent, according to Indian Accounting Standards. Its total income fell by about 1.9 per cent to Rs
14,134.8 crore and the company said the healthcare segment "continues to be volatile".

IT services revenue in dollar terms grew by 2.1 percent quarter-on-quarter to USD 2.013 billion in July-September, while constant currency sequential growth was 0.3 percent.

12:10 pm Market Check: Benchmark indices continued to trade lower in noon, weighed by banks, auto and telecom stocks but Reliance Industries (up 2.6 percent) and HDFC Bank capped losses.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was down 118.70 points at 32,490.46 and the 50-share NSE Nifty fell 47.50 points to 10,187.

The market breadth was negative as about 1,246 shares declined against 1,121 advancing shares on the BSE.

Nifty Bank fell 350 points, dragged majorly by Axis Bank that crashed 8 percent after dismal performance in Q2.

12:02 pm Management interview: "We have around 5 lakh customers and have served over 20 lakh customers till date, Kamlesh Gandhi, Founder & CMD of MAS Financial Services said in an interview to CNBC-TV18.

The company has been able to contain gross non-performing asset (NPA) due to successful cash flow assessment, he added.

On business front, he expects return ratios to go beyond 20 percent in next two-three years.

Will continue to maintain loan growth rate at 25-30 percent per annum, mentioned Gandhi.

MAS has maintained gross NPA in the range of 1.1-1.25 percent, he said.

11:50 am Drug approval: AstraZeneca Pharma share price rallied 4.5 percent intraday after receiving permission from the Indian drug controller to market diabetes drug.

The drug firm has received marketing authorisation from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for Xigduo XR tablets used in the treatment of adults with type 2 diabetes in India.

The drug is indicated as an adjunct therapy to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes, AstraZeneca said in its filing.

Xigduo XR is a product of the AstraZeneca Group, has been approved in 61 countries, including the US, EU and Japan, and continues to demonstrate an overall favourable benefit risk profile for the treatment of patients with type 2 diabetes, it added.

11:40 am Buzzing: Bank stocks were under pressure today, following disappointing numbers from private sector lender Axis Bank.

Nifty Bank fell 357 points to 24,288, pushing equity benchmarks lower.

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11:33 am Reliance at record high: Oil-to-telecom major Reliance Industries share price touched a fresh record high of Rs 897.05 today, up more than 2.5 percent intraday, following consolidation seen in previous session.

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

11:20 am Market Outlook: The last one year has been good for equity investors with Sensex recording a gain of 17 percent, while Nifty rallied 18 percent in the same period but there are 4 key risks which investors have to face in the next 12 months.

India could be a USD 4-trillion economy in 7-8 years and the growth will also have its rub-off effect on equity markets, but in the near term, there are few risks which investors should not ignore. The risks include - implementation of reforms, high valuations, and smallcap companies.

''The rally that we have seen in the last of 16-18 percent is on the back of global liquidity and there's another factor which investors should not forget - that is the rise is despite all the challenges this economy has faced,'' Sunil Singhania, global head of equities at Reliance Capital said in an interview with CNBC-TV18.

''I think the market as a whole is pretty stable, and we are seeing a clear move towards financial savings. I see savings in financial assets at around Rs 5 trillion in next 5 years,'' he said.

11:10 am Oil Prices rise: Oil prices rose today, lifted by a fall in US crude inventories and concerns that tensions in the Middle East could disrupt supplies.

Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at USD 58.22, up 0.59 percent from their last close - and a third above mid-year levels.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at USD 52.06 per barrel, up 0.35 percent, and almost a quarter above mid-June levels.

10:59 am Rupee trade: The rupee pared its initial gains to trade lower by 1 paise at 65.03 against the US currency in late morning deals on bouts of dollar buying by banks and exporters.

The rupee opened higher by 7 paise at 64.95 as against yesterday's level of 65.02 at the interbank forex market (Forex) market.

The Indian rupee had recovered by 9 paise to 64.93 on initial selling of dollars by banks.

The rupee had fallen 28 paise yesterday.

10:47 am IPO: Kerala-based Muthoot Microfin, a subsidiary of the gold loan player Muthoot Fincorp, is planning an IPO in 2019.

The company said the IPO will to support expansion of our microfinance business we are preparing ourselves for an IPO. As of Tuesday the company is the fourth largest MFI.

As part of the IPO, the MFI is also planning to divest some equity to a PE player and plans to raise USD50 million, the company said, adding last December it had raised USD20 million from the Chicago-based PE firm Creation Investment.

10:31 am MFs AUM: Mutual funds' assets under management (AUM) grew at a healthy 29.13 percent at Rs 20.40 trillion in September, up from Rs 15.8 trillion a year ago.

On a monthly basis, however, the AUM declined to Rs 20.40 trillion from Rs 20.59 trillion a month ago, which the industry body Amfi attributed to the quarter-end phenomenon.

According to the Amfi data collated by Icra, during the past 19 quarter-end months, AUM has declined on 17 instances.

Total net outflow in September stood at Rs 16,604 crore with the maximum outflow of Rs 50,090 crore witnessed in the income category. Equity (including equity linked savings schemes or ELSS), balanced and liquid/money funds saw inflows to the tune of Rs 18,936 crore, Rs 8,141 crore and Rs 4,833 crore, respectively.

Monthly net inflow in equity funds (including ELSS) grew 406 percent at Rs 18,936 crore.

10:17 am Market Check: Equity benchmarks remained lower in morning, with the Nifty breaching 10,200 level, weighed by banks.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was down 106.08 points at 32,503.08 and the 50-share NSE Nifty was down 39.50 points at 10,195.00.

The broader markets outperformed benchmarks, trading flat on positive breadth. About 1,029 shares advanced against 926 declining shares on the BSE.

10:12 am Market Outlook: SMC Global expects another round of short covering in the expiry week. As per current derivative data, Nifty can move towards 10,300.

The market undertone remained bullish with the support of consistent FIIs buying and short covering. The derivative data indicates bullish scenario to continue.

The Nifty has multiple strong supports at lower levels. Various supports are placed at 10,050 and 10,100, 10,150, and 10,200 spot levels. We are likely to see short covering on every dip.

On the technical front, 10,150-10,190 spot levels are in a strong support zone and the current trend is likely to continue towards 10,300-10,350 in the expiry week.

10:00 am Listing: MAS Financial Services share price started off trade with a whopping premium of 44 percent on the National Stock Exchange.

The stock has opened at Rs 660 against its issue price of Rs 459.

9:55 am Earnings Estimates: UltraTech Cement, which has Pan India presence, is expected to show a 38 percent decline year-on-year in standalone profit at Rs 370 crore but revenue from operations may grow 4 percent to Rs 6,380 crore.

According to average of estimates of analysts polled by CNBC-TV18, operating profit during the quarter is seen falling 2 percent to Rs 1,135 crore and margin may shrink around 100 basis points to 17.8 percent compared with same quarter last fiscal.

UltraTech numbers are not totally comparable due to acquisition of Jaiprakash Group's cement assets.

Analysts expect sales volumes growth of 11 percent at 12.4 million tonnes due to inorganic expansion, but Ultratech volumes are likely to be flattish.

9:50 am Pre-opening trade: MAS Financial Services share price settled at Rs 660 in pre-opening trade on the National Stock Exchange, higher by 43.8 percent over its issue price of Rs 459.

9:35 am Expansion: Textile major Arvind signed a MoU with the Gujarat government to set up a mega apparel park with an investment of Rs 300-crore in Dahegam in Ahmedabad district.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed days after the state government announced its garments and apparel policy, 2017, the company said in a release here.

The "mega apparel facility" will be a "first-of-its-kind" which will employ more than 10,000 people, it said.

The park is expected to commence commercial production in the fourth quarter of 2018-19 financial year and will produce over 24 million garments once it is fully operational, the company said.

9:25 am Buzzing: Claris Lifesciences share price gained a percent today as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has allowed foreign investors to raise their stake in Claris Lifesciences to 49 percent under the portfolio investment scheme (PIS).

"Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs)/Foreign Portfolios Investors (FPIs) investment limit under Portfolio Investment Scheme in Claris Lifesciences Ltd has increased from 24 percent to 49 percent of its paid up capital," the RBI said in a notification.

Further, the RBI said the investment limit by NRIs has gone up to 24 percent from the existing 10 percent.

9:20 am Listing: Non-banking finance company MAS Financial Services is set to debut on exchanges today. The issue price is fixed at higher end of price band of Rs 456-459 per share.

Analysts expect the stock to list with a premium of Rs 150-200, given the strong subscription to the issue and strong financials of the company.

The Rs 460-crore initial share sale offer had received overwhelming response from investors as it was oversubscribed 128.39 times on last Tuesday.

9:15 am Market Check: Equity benchmarks opened lower on profit booking Wednesday, with the Sensex falling nearly 100 points, dragged by banks after disappointing numbers from Axis Bank.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was down 98.31 points to 32,510.85 and the 50-share NSE Nifty fell 28.10 points to 10,206.40.

The market breadth was balanced as about 497 shares advanced against 490 declining shares on the BSE.

Axis Bank was biggest loser after sharp rise in slippages in Q2. The stock was down 6.5 percent.

ICICI Bank, SBI, Cipla, Yes Bank and Zee Entertainment were early losers while Wipro, Kotak Mahindra Bank, TCS, ITC, Reliance Industries, Power Grid Corp and HCL Tech were early gainers.

The Indian rupee gained 9 paise against the US dollar in early trade. It has opened at 64.93 against the previous day's closing value of 65.02 per dollar.