Sensex closes below 34K, falls 99 points; banks drag, pharma shines

3:30 pm Market Closing: Equity benchmarks closed lower after hitting fresh record highs intraday, dragged by banks, auto and FMCG stocks.

The 30-share Sensex was down 98.80 points at 33,911.81 and the 50-share NSE Nifty fell 40.70 points to 10,490.80.

About 1,527 shares declined against 1,212 advancing shares on the BSE.

3:18 pm Gold Update: Gold prices retook the Rs 30,000-level with a jump of Rs 100 to trade at a three-week high of Rs 30,075 per 10 grams today, tracking a firm trend overseas amid persistent buying by local jewellers.

Silver also recaptured the Rs 39,000-mark by surging Rs 380 to Rs 39,250 per kg due to increased offtake by industrial units and coin makers.

Bullion traders said that sentiment remained firm on the back of a firm global trend where gold edged up to a more than three-week high on support from a weaker dollar.

3:10 pm Cross-shareholding cap in mutual funds: To avoid the potential conflict of interest, markets regulator Sebi is considering to put a 10
per cent cross-shareholding cap in mutual funds, senior officials said.

The new measure may have an impact on the shareholding pattern of UTI Asset Management Company (AMC).

State Bank of India (SBI), Punjab National Bank (PNB), Bank of Baroda (BoB) and Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) are having their own mutual funds and at the same time they hold 18.24 percent stake each in UTI AMC.

The issue would be taken up at the board meeting of Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) tomorrow, they added.

3:05 pm Buzzing: Sanghi Industries shares touched fresh record high of Rs 142, rising 11.6 percent intraday after Motilal Oswal has initiated coverage with 'Buy' rating on the stock.

The research house set a target price of Rs 157 per share, (implying a potential upside of 23 percent from Monday's closing price, valuing its present capacity of 4.1mt at USD 120 enterprise value per tonne; incremental capacity of 4.1mt likely to be added by FY20 at USD 78 per tonne at a 35 percent discount to replacement cost of USD 120 per tonne).

Sanghi Industries (SIL) is a Gujarat-based cement company, with capacity of 4.1mt. Around 90 percent of its volumes are sold in Gujarat. An integrated cement unit, SIL owns a 63MW captive power plant and a port.

2:55 pm Market Update: Benchmark indices extended losses in afternoon as the Sensex was down 130.57 points to 33,880.04 and the Nifty fell 52.80 points to 10,478.70.

The market breadth was negative as about three shares declined for every two shares rising on the BSE.

All sectoral indices traded in the red barring Nifty Pharma that gained 2 percent.

2:50 pm Acquisition: Vedanta's wholly owned subsidiary Cairn India Holdings invested USD 158 million in Japanese manufacturer for LCD glass substrate, AvanStrate Inc, currently majorly owned by the Carlyle Group.

2.40 pm market check: The benchmark indices erased all the gains in the afternoon trade.

There is sharp surge in India VIX as it was trading at 12.50, up 3.60 percent.

The Sensex was  down 34.58 points at 33976.03, and the Nifty was down 23.10 points at 10508.40.About 1238 shares have advanced, 1378 shares declined, and 167 shares are unchanged.

2:07 pm ICRA on Bharatmala: There are ample opportunities for investors in the government's ambitious Bharatmala project and its success critically hinges on timely land acquisition and adequate funding, rating agency Icra said today.

The Cabinet approved the Bharatmala Pariyojana Phase-I, along with other programmes in October 2017 involving around 83,000 km, including Bharatmala's 24,800 km of national highway development by 2021-22.

"The Bharatmala programme has the potential to change the entire landscape, if implemented as per the plan... The new approach is unlike the project-based approach adopted in the past (different stretches in different geographies), which led to inconsistent infrastructure development across corridors," Icra said in a statement.

1:55 pm  Rate cut likely?: The Reserve Bank of India is expected to go in for a policy rate cut of 25 bps in April next year to signal lower lending rates, which are key to the economic recovery, says a report.

According to global financial services major Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML), inflation risks are "overdone" and though CPI inflation is likely to be 5.2 percent in December 2017, it would cool down to around 4.5 percent in the first half of 2018.

Moreover, the Australian weather bureau is predicting La Nina -- which gives a boost to the South-West Monsoon -- next year, which in turn would contain inflationary pressures.

"We continue to expect the RBI MPC (Monetary Policy Committee) to cut policy rates by 25 bps in April to signal a lending rate cut in the 'slack' industrial season," BofAML said in a research note.

1:35 pm Europe Trade: European markets opened mixed today, amid light trade across markets worldwide due to the holiday period.

The pan-European STOXX 600 was hovering around the flatline with major bourses pointing in different directions.

1:15 pm Buzzing: Shares of Reliance Communications today extended their previous session's rally, soaring over 30 percent, as investor sentiment remained buoyant following a revival plan announcement.

The stock had gained nearly 32 per cent in the previous session also.

Anil Ambani yesterday claimed that his beleaguered Reliance Communications has negotiated a new deal with the lenders under which nearly Rs 40,000 crore will be raised through asset sales, averting an imminent takeover by the 35 local and foreign banks.

The revival plan, which also has the backing of the Chinese lender which had dragged it to the National Company Law Tribunal for defaulting on USD 1.8 billion loan, involves sale of RCom's residual spectrum, towers and realty assets, including the 125-acre DAKC - the operational headquarters of the group - and also a possible minority stake sale to a strategic investor, Ambani told reporters in Mumbai.

1:01 pm USFDA Approval: Aurobindo Pharma today said it has received final approval from the US health regulator to manufacture and market its generic version of Fondaparinux Sodium injection used to prevent deep vein thrombosis.

The approval by US Food & Drug Administration (USFDA) is for multiple strengths of Fondaparinux Sodium injection of 2.5  mg/0.5 mL, 5 mg/0.4 mL, 7.5 mg/0.6 mL, and 10 mg/0.8 mL single-dose prefilled syringes, the company said in a statement.

"The product will be launched in January 2018," it added.

12:49 pm Buzzing: Edelweiss Financial Services shares rallied 2 percent after the company informed exchanges that Insurance Regulatory & Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has granted its approval and has registered "Edelweiss General Insurance Company Limited", a wholly owned subsidiary, to commence its business in general and health insurance in India.

12:35 pm Market Update: Benchmark indices continued to consolidate in afternoon after hitting life-time highs.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 36.33 points at 34,046.94 and the 50-share NSE Nifty rose 1.30 points to 10,532.80.

About 1,422 shares advanced against 1,094 declining shares on the BSE.

12:15 pm Canara Bank in focus: Canara Bank has announced a qualified institutional placement (QIP) worth Rs 3,500 crore. In an interview to CNBC-TV18, PV Bharathi, ED of Canara Bank said the bank is looking to raise funds from domestic and overseas market via QIP.

She further said that the total capital plan is of Rs 6,300 crore and QIP will be of Rs 3,500 crore.

We are projecting tier-1 ratio to reach 9.25 percent by end of FY18, said Bharathi.

Government holding in bank will decline to 57.61 percent post fund raising via QIP, she added.

Talking about numbers, she said Q3 of FY18 loan growth is seen at 8-9 percent.

11:59 am Oil Update: Oil prices slipped away from two-and-a-half year highs hit the previous session as the gradual resumption of flows through a major North Sea pipeline made up for supply disruption in Libya.

But the two outages in quick succession have highlighted how much tighter global oil markets have become a year into supply cuts led by OPEC and Russia.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at USD 59.70 a barrel, down 0.45 percent from their last settlement. WTI broke through USD 60 a barrel for the first time since June 2015 in the previous session.

Brent crude futures were at USD 66.67 a barrel, down 0.52 percent. Brent broke through USD 67 for the first time since May 2015 the previous day.

11:40 am Market Outlook: With the market returning 27-28 percent for calendar year 2017 the focus shifts on whether the Street will be able to repeat the show next year.

''This will be a challenge. Valuations are a concern in mid and smallcaps. Fiscal situation, current account deficit and inflation are a problem,'' Manish Sonthalia, Head Equities- PMS, Motilal Oswal AMC told CNBC-TV18 in an interview.

Talk of reintroduction of long-term capital gains tax in Budget 2018 could weigh on the market, he said, adding, this could in fact hit the market in a very negative way.

But, if this taxation is not introduced in the Budget, he expected a steady show from the Street, with the Nifty hitting 12,000 by March 2019. ''Crude also could be a problem for the market. All hell will break loose if it touches USD 70 (per barrel),'' he added.

11:10 am Order Win: The construction arm of L&T has won orders worth Rs 1,125 crore across various business segments.

"The metallurgical and material handling business has bagged orders worth Rs 710 crore in metallurgical sector, in the area of product business and add-on jobs," the infrastructure and engineering major said in its filing.

Other businesses of L&T construction have received orders worth Rs 415 crore.

10:20 am Fundraising: Canara Bank said it will raise up to Rs 3,500 crore capital through a qualified institutions placement (QIP) route.

The decision in this respect was taken at the bank's board meeting held today.

"The board of bank at its meeting held on December 26, 2017 has decided to raise additional equity share capital amounting up to Rs 90 crore through qualified institutional placement (QIP) route, by issuing up to 9 crore equity shares of a face value of Rs 10 each with a premium to be decided as per the applicable guidelines/regulations for an aggregate amount not exceeding Rs 3,500 crore inclusive of such premium," it said in a regulatory filing.

10:01 am Market Check: Equity benchmarks extended gains in morning as the Sensex hit fresh record high. All sectoral indices traded in the green.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 94.58 points at 34,105.19 and the 50-share NSE Nifty rose 10 points to 10,541.50.

The Nifty Midcap index was up 0.5 percent. About two shares advanced for every share falling on the BSE.

9:50 am Buzzing: Shares of Prestige Estates Projects added more than 5 percent in the early trade as it is going to acquire stake in the group company.

''. through a wholly owned special purpose vehicle (SPV) is in the process of acquisition of 66.66 percent equity stake in Prestige Projects from the investors and land owners for a consideration of approximately Rs 324 crore,'' as per company release.

The said acquisition is expected to be completed before January 31, 2018.

Currently, Prestige Estates Projects is holding 33.34 percent in the Prestige Projects, while investors and land owners are holding 33.33 percent each.

9:38 am Market Outlook: "We are seeing short covering by call writers on every dip as Nifty and American markets are trading near all-time highs. Short sellers are on back foot as of now and we may further witness additional short covering in the expiry week," Shitij Gandhi of SMC Global Securities said.

The Nifty is smartly moving up along with the addition in open interest (OI) which indicates strength in the current trend. We have seen option put writers active in the current series as we have seen put writing in 10,400 and 10,500 puts along with unwinding in calls.

The Put Call Ratio (PCR) of option Open interest is continuously moving up along with fall in implied volatility. This indicates positive move to continue.

On the technical front, 10450-10480 spot levels is a strong support zone for the Nifty with current trend likely to continue towards 10,580-10,600, he feels.

9:27 am USFDA Approval: Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Inc., USA has received final approval from the United States Food & Drug Administration for Norethindrone Acetate and Ethinyl Estradiol tablets USP and Ferrous Fumarate tablets, 1 mg/20 mcg, the generic version of Minastrin 1 24 Fe tablets, of Allergan Pharmaceuticals International.

According to IQVIATM sales data for the 12 month period ending October 2017, the Minastrin 124 Fe Tablets market2 achieved annual sales of approximately USD 337.0 million.

Glenmark's current portfolio consists of 130 products authorized for distribution in the US marketplace and 58 ANDA's pending approval with the USFDA.

9:20 am Sun Pharma in focus: Sun Pharmaceutical Industries said that the US FDA has accepted a new drug application (NDA), filed by its wholly owned subsidiary, for OTX-101 (cyclosporine A, ophthalmic solution) 0.09%, a novel nanomicellar formulation of cyclosporine A 0.09% in a clear, preservative-free aqueous solution.

OTX-101 is now under review for approval by the US FDA, marking an important developmental milestone for Sun Pharma's dry eye candidate, it added. The stock gained 2 percent.

9:15 am Market Check: Equity benchmarks started off trade on a flat note on Wednesday due to lack of global and domestic cues.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 34.98 points at 34,045.59 and the 50-share NSE Nifty fell 4.60 points to 10,526.90. About 907 shares advanced against 334 declining shares on the BSE.

Vedanta, GAIL, Yes Bank, Cipla, Dr Reddy's Labs, Tata Steel, Hero Motocorp, UPL and Maruti Suzuki were early gainers.

BPCL, UltraTech Cement, Indiabulls Housing, ICICI Bank, Coal India, IOC and HPCL were under pressure.

Reliance Communications surged 20 percent on mega debt restructuring plan.

Sanghi Industries, Prestige Estates, Aban Offshore, Prataap Snacks, ITD Cementation, Glenmark Pharma, Jaiprakash Associates, Jindal Steel and Lanco Infratech rallied 1-8 percent.