Sensex gains 194 points ahead of Gujarat exit polls; Midcap index flat

3:30 pm Market Check: Equity benchmarks closed volatile session on stronger note as the Sensex rallied 193.66 points to 33,246.70 ahead of Gujarat exit polls later today.

The 50-share NSE Nifty gained 59.10 points at 10,252.10.

3:28 pm Europe Trade: European stocks were slightly lower as investors reacted to the US Federal Reserve's decision to raise interest rates.

France's CAC, Germany's DAX and Britain's FTSE were down 0.2 percent each.

3:26 pm Market Update: Benchmark indices rallied further in late trade, with the Sensex rising 246.35 points to 33,299.39 and the Nifty gaining 77.30 points at 10,270.30.

About three shares declined for every two shares rising on the BSE.

3:22 pm Buzzing: Havells India gained more than a percent after IDFC Securities upgraded the stock to outperformer with a target price of Rs 590 per share.

Havells has emerged as one of the leading electrical player in India.

As growth accelerates led by deeper penetration and shift to organised segment, Havells is fortifying its competitive position (targeting ahead of industry growth) by focusing on technology, strengthening channel (2x retail network in 2 years, smaller towns) and addressing untapped markets (B2B, consumer durable, etc), while ensuring it retains its entrepreneurship culture (independent SBUs to sustain growth), the research house said.

Accordingly, IDFC expects earnings growth to accelerate to 20 percent CAGR over FY17-20 (versus 8 percent over FY14-17).

The stock is trading at 41x/32x FY19/20E earnings, which it believes will remain rich considering superior earnings growth and cash flow generation.

3:10 pm Economic Growth: India's economic growth has bottomed out and the GDP growth will recover further to 7 percent over the next few quarters but it is likely to take few years to return to 7.5 percent above levels, Standard Chartered said.

In a research report on Economic Outlook in 2018, it said the worst is over for India's GDP growth, while forecasting a growth rate of 6.5 percent for the current fiscal and 7.2 percent in the year thereafter.

"We expect growth to normalise gradually over the next four to six quarters as the disruptive impact of major policy changes fades," it said.

Economic growth has bottomed out after slowing to a 13-quarter low of 5.7 percent in April-June.

2:55 pm Acquisition: Torrent Pharmaceuticals today said it has completed acquisition of branded formulation business of Unichem Laboratories for India and Nepal, including its Sikkim manufacturing facility, on a going concern basis by way of slump sale, on December 14.

This transaction was in pursuance of the definitive binding agreement entered into between Torrent and Unichem on November 3.

The integration will aim to fuel and support strong growth of the acquired
Unichem brands, consolidating speciality reach with a relentless focus on enhancing productivity.

The acquisition will accelerate Torrent's presence in the chronic space especially in the high growth segments of Indian Pharma market like Cardiology, Diabetology and Gastroenterology.

2:40 pm Market Update: Equity benchmarks recouped losses in last hour of trading session, with the Sensex reclaiming 33,000 level.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 84.90 points at 33,137.94 and the 50-share NSE Nifty rose 31.40 points to 10,224.40.

About two shares declined for every share rising on the BSE.

2:16 pm Gold Update: Gold prices surged by Rs 230 to Rs 29,665 per 10 grams at the bullion market today largely in line with a firming trend overseas amid increased buying by local jewellers.

Silver followed suit and recaptured the Rs 38,000-mark by rising Rs 680 to Rs 38,280 per kg due to increased offtake by industrial units and coin makers.

Traders said sentiment bolstered after gold edged higher in global markets as the dollar was nearly unchanged after tumbling in the previous session following the US Federal Reserve's widely expected decision to raise interest rates.

Globally, gold rose 0.17 per cent to USD 1,257.50 an ounce in Singapore.

2:01 pm Drug Approval: Lupin has received final approval for its Tydemy (Drospirenone, Ethinyl Estradiol and Levomefolate Calcium tablets) from the US Food and Drug Administration to market a generic version of Safyral tablets of Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Tydemy is indicated for use by women to prevent pregnancy and to raise folate levels in women who choose to use an oral contraceptive for contraception.

1:45 pm Acquisition complete: Torrent Pharmaceuticals has completed acquisition of branded formulations business of Unichem Laboratories for India and Nepal, including its Sikkim manufacturing facility, on a going concern basis by way of slump sale, on December 14, 2017.

1:30 pm Market Check: Benchmark indices were off the low points and trimmed some of the losses.

At 13:17 hrs IST, the Sensex is down 25.54 points or 0.08% at 33027.50, and the Nifty down 9.80 points or 0.10% at 10183.20. The market breadth was negative as 750 shares advanced, 1677 shares declined, while 127 shares were unchanged.

Dr Reddy's Labs, M&M and Tech Mahindra were the top gainers, while TCS, Wipro and UPL lost the most.

1:10 pm Axis Bank gains: Axis Bank gained nearly one percent after Prabhudas Lilladher upgraded the stock to buy from reduce and raised target price to Rs 654.

The hike in price target is from the level of Rs 454, which implies a massive upside of 44 percent.

The brokerage said that the rerating on stock was warranted in valuations.

Further, the issue of high slippages and credit costs overshadowed all the positives.

It also sees ROAs improving from 0.8% in FY18 to over 1.6% in FY20.

12:50 pm Buzzing: Building products and solutions provider Everest Industries shares rallied 10.6 percent intraday after brokerage house Ventura has initiated coverage on the stock with buy rating.

It has set a target price for the stock at Rs 712, implying a potential upside of 35.56 percent over Wednesday's closing price.

The research house said the government policies to promote housing sector is positive factor for the company.

Boards and panels segment will lead to better profitability while new product launches in roofing segment will maintain growth momentum, it added.

Ventura said the change in product mix will boost profitability of the company and will reduce dependence on roofing. Margin expansion and debt repayment to boost return ratios, it added.

12:40 pm Market Check: Equity benchmarks extended losses in afternoon, with the Sensex trading below 33,000 level as investors maintained cautious stance ahead of Gujarat assembly exit polls later today.

The 30-share BSE index was down 143.50 points at 32,909.54 and the 50-share NSE Nifty fell 42.90 points to 10,150.10.

About three shares declined for every share rising on the BSE.

TCS, Wipro, Tata Steel, Adani Ports, SBI, Bajaj Finance and GAIL were top losers, falling 1-3 percent whereas Dr Reddy's Labs, HCL Technologies, Tech Mahindra and HPCL gained 1-2 percent.

12:29 pm Buzzing: Oberoi Realty shares gained 6.4 percent intraday after research house Motilal Oswal has initiated coverage with a Buy rating on the stock with a price target of Rs 580, implying a potential upside of 28.3 percent over Wednesday's closing price.

"We believe Oberoi can trade at a premium to its FY19 NAV due to its strong balance sheet (net-debt-to-equity of 0.1x), with ample room for leveraging to buy new land; and strong brand equity, which helps it to command premium pricing and enter into JD/JV contracts. Our optimism is also supported by the superior IRR (internal rate of return) of its land acquisitions," the research house said.

Oberoi Realty is a Mumbai-focused premium real estate developer, with presence in the residential, commercial and hospitality segments. The sharp focus on delivery of quality products has helped the company create a strong brand over the past 20 years.

Its trusted brand enables its projects to enjoy premium, resulting in superior EBITDA margins of more than 50 percent, Motilal Oswal said.

12:19 pm MDR Rate Discussion: The government will hold consultations with the Reserve Bank to work out a mechanism to bring down merchant discount rates (MDR) that have gone up to 0.90 percent recently from 0.25 percent of transaction value, a finance ministry official said.

According to a senior finance ministry official, the hike in charges would impact Digital India movement and there is a need to look into the issue.

"Most merchants will be discouraged to use POS machines, especially small merchants who do not get input tax credit in GST. This will discourage them from using POS machines," the official said.

MDR is the rate charged to a merchant by a bank for providing debit and credit card services.

There are nearly 27-28 crore transactions per month on Point of Sale (POS) machines with an average size of Rs 1,500.

12:05 pm Market Outlook: Ambit Capital believes it is good to see some level of skepticism in the market as there is more than one reason to be worried.

''I would tend to take a defensive position. Having said that, fundamentally, we are turning a corner in terms of economic and earnings growth,'' Pramod Gubbi, Head of Equity at Ambit Capital, told CNBC-TV18 in an interview.

He expects December quarter earnings to see a pick up on the back of a recovery in environment and a weak base from the last quarter. ''In terms of sectors, consumer discretionary and IT could show improvement in terms of growth,'' he told the channel. Overall, he expects around 15 percent growth in earning for FY19.

12:00 pm WPI Inflation: November WPI inflation increased to 3.93 percent against 3.59 percent in previous month.

But it was tad below a CNBC-TV18 estimates of 4 percent.

11:40 am Glenmark in focus: Glenmark Pharmaceuticals today said it has completed phase 3 study of its investigational fixed-dose combination nasal spray and plans to submit a new drug application with the US health regulator.

In a BSE filing, Glenmark said it met its primary clinical endpoint in a phase 3 study evaluating the safety of Ryaltris, an investigational fixed-dose combination nasal spray, used to treat seasonal allergic rhinitis.

Glenmark plans to "submit the company's first new drug application (NDA) to the USFDA for Ryaltris for the treatment of patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis (SAR) in the first quarter of calender year 2018," it added.

The company said Ryaltris has been conditionally accepted as the brand name for GSP 301 Nasal Spray by the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA).

11:25 am Market Update: Equity benchmarks extended losses in late morning deals as the Sensex was down 92.85 points at 32,960.19 amid caution ahead of exit polls of Gujarat assembly later today.

The 50-share NSE Nifty was down 29.90 points at 10,163.10.

About two shares declined for every share rising on the BSE.

11:10 am Buzzing: S Chand and Company shares rallied nearly 5 percent intraday after global brokerage house Credit Suisse has initiated coverage on the stock with outperform rating.

The research firm has set a target price at Rs 625 per share, implying 29 percent potential upside from Wednesday's closing price.

S Chand is the largest player in attractive Indian education content market with a strong track record and is also a leading player in K-12 education content market.

Credit Suisse expects compounded growth rate of 14 percent, 13 percent and 25 percent for revenue, operating income and earnings per share over FY17-20, respectively.

10:55 am Listing on Friday: Shalby, the Ahmedabad-based multispecialty hospital chain, will debut on bourses on Friday after the good IPO subscription. The issue price is fixed at Rs 248 per share.

The Rs 504-crore initial public offer was oversubscribed 2.82 times during November 5-7, 2017.

The reserved category of qualified institutional buyers was oversubscribed 4.34 times and retail investors 2.98 times while non-institutional investors saw subscription of 42 percent.

10:40 am China Growth: China's industrial output and retail sales grew at a steady pace last month, while fixed asset investment cooled slightly, reinforcing signs of a modest slowdown in the world's second-biggest economy amid a government crackdown on financial risks.

Tighter rules on polluting factories have also crimped production, while higher borrowing costs have weighed on overall economic activity.

Thursday's data showed industrial output rose 6.1 percent in November from a year earlier, just above analysts' estimates for an increase of 6.0 percent, and below the 6.2 percent gain in October.

10:25 am Crude Oil Update: Oil markets rose, lifted by a fourth straight weekly fall in US crude inventories, though climbing output capped prices well below the 2015 highs reached earlier this week.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at USD 56.68 a barrel, up 0.14 percent, from their last settlement.

Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at USD 62.77 a barrel, up 0.53 percent from their last close.

US crude oil stockpiles fell by 5.1 million barrels in the week to December 8, the fourth consecutive week of declines, to 442.99 million barrels, the lowest since October, 2015.

10:15 am China Rate Hike: China's central bank nudged money market interest rates upward today just hours after the Federal Reserve raised the US benchmark, as Beijing seeks to prevent destabilising capital outflows without hurting economic growth.

The PBOC increased rates on reverse repurchase agreements, or reverse repos, used for open market operations by 5 basis points for the 7-day and 28-day tenors.

It also said in a statement it increased rates on its one-year medium-term lending facility (MLF) also by 5 basis points.

10:05 am Market Check: Equity benchmarks continued to be choppy in trade today as investors eagarly awaited exit polls results later today after the end of second phase of Gujarat Assembly elections. The rate hike by Federal Reserve, which was on expected lines, was largely priced in by market.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 13.08 points at 33,066.12 and the 50-share NSE Nifty rose 9.60 points to 10,202.60.

The gap between advances and declines narrowed. About 1,006 shares advanced against 918 declining shares on the BSE, against 5:1 in early trade.

Oberoi Realty was up 5 percent. Motilal Oswal has initiated coverage with a buy rating on the stock as it expects company to be a key beneficiary of the likely consolidation post RERA.

9:56 am Rupee Trade: The rupee looked strong today with a gain of 13 paise at 64.31 against the dollar even as the Federal Reserve raised interest rates by a quarter percentage point.

In her final act as the Fed chair, Janet Yellen moved to hike rates to a range of 1.25 percent to 1.5 percent, citing solid US job growth and household spending. The central bank kept its policy outlook on additional increases for 2018 and 2019 unchanged.

Yesterday, the rupee had lost 4 paise at 64.44 against the American currency ahead of the US Fed's rate call.

9:42 am FII investment limit hike: Shares of Manpasand Beverages added 8.5 percent in morning as RBI allowed the FII to raise stake in the company.

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has increased the FII investment limit in the company to 49 percent from earlier 24 percent.

The share touched its 52-week high Rs 511.83 and 52-week low Rs 265.53 on 15 September, 2017 and 26 December, 2016, respectively.

9:31 am Buzzing: Shares of Prataap Snacks and Shemaroo Entertainment rose 10 percent and 4 percent respectively in early trade on the back of strong numbers declared by the companies in the quarter ended September 2017 (Q2FY18).

Prataap Snacks has reported 143 percent jump in its Q2 net profit at Rs 12.9 crore against Rs 5.3 crore in the same quarter last fiscal.

Revenue was up 10 percent at Rs 263 crore, EBITDA was up 146 percent at Rs 26.1 crore and margins were up 550 bps at 9.9 percent.

Shemaroo Entertainment has registered 26 percent rise in Q2 net profit at Rs 18.8 crore and revenue increased 18 percent at Rs 134.3 crore.

The operating profit (EBITDA) was up 15 percent at Rs 36.1 crore, while margins were down 90 bps at 26.9 percent.

9:21 am Board Meet: Tata Steel said its board will meet next week to consider raising of funds by issuing securities.

A meeting of the company's board will be held on December 18-19 to consider a proposal to raise funds by issue shares or securities, Tata Steel said in a regulatory filing.

The board will consider raising of funds via qualified institutions placement, rights issue, preferential issue or through any other permissible mode, it added.

"The proposal for the issue will be considered by the board on December 19," it said.

9:15 am Market Check: Equity benchmarks rebounded with mild gains in opening on Thursday after Federal Reserve expectedly hiked interest rate by 25 bps. Investors remained cautious ahead of exit polls after the second phase of Gujarat elections today.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 46.73 points at 33,099.77 and the 50-share NSE Nifty rose 18 points to 10,211.

Vedanta, ONGC, GAIL, HPCL, Tech Mahindra, Dr Reddy's Labs, Aurobindo Pharma, Infosys, Hero MotoCorp and Ambuja Cements were early gainers while TCS, IndusInd Bank and Maruti Suzuki were losers.

The Nifty Midcap index was up 0.5 percent as about five shares advanced for every share falling on the NSE.

Oberoi Realty, S Chand, Prataap Snacks and Prabhat Dairy rallied 2-6 percent.