Nifty closes lower on F&O expiry day; Metal, Realty indices gain 2-3%

3:30 pm Market Closing: Benchmark indices closed lower on the day of expiry of December futures and options contracts.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was down 63.78 points at 33,848.03 and the 50-share NSE Nifty fell 12.90 points to 10,477.90.

About 1,474 shares advanced against 1,283 declining shares on the BSE.

3:20 pm Drug Approval: Jubilant Life Sciences said Jubilant Pharma, a material wholly owned subsidiary of the company, through one of its wholly owned subsidiaries, has received a supplemental new drug application (sNDA) approval from USFDA for DRAXIMAGE DTPA (kit for the  reparation
of Technetium Tc99m Pentetate Injection) powder for solution.

Technetium Tc99m pentetate is a radioactive diagnostic agent indicated for brain imaging in adults; renal visualization; and lung ventilation imaging and evaluation of pulmonary embolism.

3:10 pm Crude Shock: Rising commodity prices, especially that of crude oil that has hit a three-year peak last week, will double current account deficit (CAD) to USD 39 billion or 1.5 percent of GDP this fiscal year, warns a report.

In September, domestic rating agency Icra had pegged CAD which is the difference between inflows and outflows of foreign exchange based on sale of merchandise, services and remittances, to print at 1.3 percent of GDP.

The widening merchandise trade deficit will lead to a deterioration in CAD to USD 12-15 billion or 2-2.3 percent of GDP in the December quarter, it said.

However, seasonal factors will help CAD shrink sharply to under USD 5 billion for the March quarter, it said, adding settling the year at 1.5 percent of GDP at USD 39 billion. So far this fiscal, the country has recorded a CAD of 2.4 percent in the first quarter and 1.2 percent in Q2.

2:55 pm Gold Update: Gold prices rallied Rs 175 to Rs 30,250 per 10 grams today, largely on positive global cues, marking the rise for the fifth straight day.

Increased buying by local jewellers helped.

Silver followed suit and gained Rs 250 to Rs 39,500 per kg on the back of increased offtake by industrial units and coin makers.

2:45 pm Buzzing: Monnet Ispat shares jumped nearly 13 percent intraday after a media report indicated that Aion Capital and JSW Steel submitted a Rs 3,500-crore resolution plan.

Monnet Ispat, which has debt worth more than Rs 10,000 crore, is among the first 12 cases identified by the Reserve Bank of India under insolvency and bankruptcy code.

2:35 pm Market Check: Benchmark indices gained strength amid volatility in afternoon, ahead of last futures & options contracts expiry of the year.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 73.69 points at 33,985.50 and the 50-share NSE Nifty gained 29.90 points at 10,520.70.

The market breadth remained positive as about 1,455 shares advanced against 1,169 declining shares on the BSE.

Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group stocks - Reliance Communications (up 14.5 percent), Reliance Infrastructure (up 6 percent) and Reliance Capital (up 11.4 percent) - were active on the National Stock Exchange.

2:25 pm Record Date: Persistent Systems has informed exchanges that the company has fixed February 5, 2018 as the record date for the purpose of payment of interim dividend, if approved.

2:20 pm Stake Buy: Steel Strips Wheels said Kalink Company had acquired 13,015 equity shares of the company during the quarter ended December 31, 2017 through open market under foreign portfolio investment. The date of purchase of shares was November 30.

Kalink is also holding 2,09,525 equity shares in the company, which had been subscribed under foreign direct investment on June 10, 2016.

With this, Kalink is now holding 2,22,540 equity shares (representing 1.43 percent of total paid-up equity) till date.

2:05 pm Subsidiary incorporation: Fiora Hypermarket (FHL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Trent, has incorporated a subsidiary namely, Fiora Online Limited (FOL) on December 28, 2017.

FHL holds 99.99 percent of the equity share capital of FOL.

1:55 pm Goldman on Sun Pharma: Goldman Sachs has maintained its Buy call on Sun Pharmaceutical Industries with a target price of Rs 600 per share after the US health regulator accepted NDA filing for OTX-101.

The stock saw profit booking today after its nearly 7 percent rally in previous day.

The US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) 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, the pharma major said in its filing on Wednesday.

It is in-line with expectations, the research house said while expecting an NDA approval for OTX-101 over the next 12 months.

According to Goldman, OTX-101 may be commercially launched in FY20.

1:42 pm Expert Speak: Talking about the trends for 2018 with an eye on additional borrowing by government and its impact on overall macros, CNBC-TV18 spoke to Tushar Arora Senior Economist, HDFC Bank and Indranil Pan, Chief Economist, IDFC Bank.

The government will borrow additional Rs 50,000 crore during January-March, raising the gross market borrowing target of the government to Rs 6.3 lakh crore for the financial year 2017-18.

Pan said it is clear that the fiscal deficit of 3.2 percent will not be met in FY18 but it would around 3.6 percent and for the next year government would want to show 3.3 percent target in terms of consolidation path laid down by FRBM.

1:20 pm M&A deals: India Inc is looking at a huge M&A tally of over USD 60 billion (about Rs 4 lakh crore) for 2017, helped by some marquee domestic deals and rich valuations for various private equity investments.

The need to consolidate in the wake of financial stress, as also for cashing out from valuable businesses to meet debt obligations, will continue to give a further boost to the deal-making activities, experts feel.

Experts believe the new year also looks promising in terms of deals as political stability is in place, economic reforms are on a fast track and broader macro factors are also looking positive, though some pressure may come from stretched valuations and high capital market benchmarks.

1:04 pm Power Ministry target: By March 2019, all homes in the country will be provided uninterrupted 24-hour power supply throughout the year, Power Minister R K Singh said today.

Singh said by December 2018, 1,694 villages, which are yet to be electrified, will have electricity connection and works in this regard has been going on.

All homes will get 24-hour power by March 2019, he said during Question Hour in the Lok Sabha.

Singh also said a new law will be enacted to impose penalties on power discoms in case of failure to provide uninterrupted power after March 2019, except due to technical reasons.

12:51 pm Rally continues in RCom: Reliance Communications surged 16 percent now, taking total three consecutive days' gains to more than 105 percent.

The rally is after Anil Dhirubhai Ambani announced mega debt restructuring plan for the company that has debt of Rs 45,000 crore.

12:40 pm Buzzing: Motilal Oswal has initiated coverage with a Buy call on Mahindra CIE Automotive (MACA) and set a target price of Rs 297 per share, implying a 19 percent upside from Wednesday's closing price. The stock gained 4.5 percent intraday.

The research house said MACA is all primed for a growth phase, after three years of consolidation.

In the last three years since it acquired MACA, CIE embarked upon restructuring and consolidation of operations under MACA. With phase-1 of consolidation largely done, MACA is now focused on growth in phase-2.

The brokerage house believes all ingredients are in place for sustained growth: India business high dependence on fast growing segments; scope to add customers in Metalcastello and focus on value add at MFE; limited growth capex; supportive parent; and focused M&A strategy.

Mahindra CIE is a multi-technology automotive components supplier, with annual revenue of Rs 5,300 crore in CY16. It is one of the top manufacturers of forging parts in India (leader in crankshafts and stub axles) and the EU.

12:20 pm Coal sector 2018 outlook: The government is looking at 2018
with renewed optimism for the coal sector in the wake of demand upturn and expecting 6-7 per cent growth in supply of the dry fuel next year.

Also, the government is hopeful of a better show by state-owned Coal India (CIL), which is expected to achieve an output of 600 million tonnes (MT) in 2017-18.

In 2017, there has been a resumption in demand for coal and this has been the greatest difference from the last year, Coal Secretary Susheel Kumar told PTI in an interview.

Bottlenecks in coal supply to power plants turned out to be a big issue this year.

12:05 pm Management Interview: Harsh Mariwala, CMD, Marico said in an interview to CNBC-TV18 that the GST related issues are behind them and so are the issues related to demonetisation. One is seeing definite improvement in the overall business demand, he said.

The distribution channels were definitely impacted due to GST, but things are now settling down, he said.

Volumes for 2018 are definitely expected to be better than 2017, said Mariwala.

He said the two trending products like health foods and male grooming will continue to see investments because they are categories of the future.

When asked if lower edible oil prices would benefit them he said no, because the company is not so much into edible oil but higher copra prices have impacted their margins to some extent.

He is also hopeful of increase in rural demand next year on back of government reforms and focus on infrastructure etc.

11:55 am Gold Update: Tracking firm overseas trend, gold prices advanced 0.32 percent to Rs 29,034 per 10 grams in futures trade today as speculators created fresh positions.

At the Multi Commodity Exchange, gold for delivery in February rose Rs 92, or 0.32 percent, to Rs 29,034 per 10 grams in business turnover of 429 lots.

On similar lines, the yellow metal for delivery in April contracts was trading Rs 81, or 0.28 percent, higher at Rs 29,035 per 10 grams in 16 lots.

11:40 am Market Update: Benchmark indices remained volatile in late morning deals ahead of last F&O expiry of the year.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was down 0.66 points at 33,911.15 and the 50-share NSE Nifty rose 4 points to 10,494.80.

About 1,389 shares advanced against 1,026 declining shares on the BSE.

Metals stocks like Hindalco and Vedanta gained 2-4 percent as copper prices are at highest level in 4 years and rallied 39 percent in 2017 so far.

11:15 am Banking reforms in 2018?: The government is likely to push ahead with banking sector reforms alongside infusion of fresh capital in state-owned lenders in the new year as it looks to lift banks out of NPA crisis and revive lending growth from a 25-year low.

The government in October announced infusion of an unprecedented Rs 2.11 lakh crore capital over two years in public sector banks that are reeling under high non-performing assets (NPAs). Their NPAs have increased more than two-and-a-half times to Rs 7.33 lakh crore as of June 2017, from Rs 2.75 lakh crore in March 2015.

Of the Rs 2.11 lakh crore package, Rs 1.35 lakh crore would be infused through recapitalisation bonds.

11:00 am Drug Approval: Dr Reddy's Laboratories shares gained nearly a percent intraday on receiving approval from the US health regulator for drug that reduces blood phenylalanine.

The pharma major has received tentative approval from US Food and Drug Administration for Sapropterin Dihydrochloride (100 mg) tablets.

These tablets are indicated to reduce blood phenylalanine concentrations in patients.

10:51 am Order Win: The power transmission and distribution business of L&T Construction has bagged orders worth Rs 1,600 crore.

The segment has received an order from the Saudi Electricity Company for construction of 380kV double circuit overhead transmission line.

In UAE, orders have been won for design, supply, installation, testing and commissioning of three 132 / 11kV substations and associated works, one each from Dubai Electricity & Water Authority, Shamal Development LLC and Meraas Development LLC.

In the domestic market, the business has secured a major order for EPC construction of 250MW solar plant in Rewa district of Madhya Pradesh.

10:42 am Buzzing: Shares of Axis Bank today tanked nearly 2 percent after market regulator Sebi ordered the lender to conduct a probe into the alleged data leak.

In its first order in the WhatsApp leak case, regulator Sebi last night ordered Axis Bank to strengthen its systems and conduct an internal probe to fix responsibility as the initial investigation showed that the leakage was due to
"inadequacy" of processes at the bank.

10:29 am Rupee Trade: The rupee fell 3 paise to 64.18 against the dollar today on concerns that the government's additional borrowing this fiscal may lead to a breach in the fiscal deficit target.

The American unit retained its appeal among importers and
banks.

The government yesterday said it has decided to make an additional borrowing of Rs 50,000 crore this fiscal through dated securities, a move that may put burden on the fiscal deficit target of 3.2 percent of GDP.

However, there will be no change in net borrowing as envisaged in the Budget for 2017-18, a finance ministry statement said.

10:15 am Buzzing: Shares of Kolte-Patil Developers added 5 percent in morning as the company is going to raise Rs 193 crore from global investment firm KKR.

"The company has announced that global investment firm KKR has committed Rs 193 crore in Kolte-Patil I-Ven Townships (Pune) (KPIT), a joint venture of Kolte-Patil and ICICI Venture Funds Management Company," company said in press release.

KPIT is developing Life Republic, a 383-acre township located in Pune's IT hub, Hinjewadi.

10:05 am FII View: Indranil Sen Gupta of Bank of America Merrill Lynch said the government's decision to borrow another Rs 50,000 crore was an avoidable negative surprise in an already nervous G-Sec market.

The sell off in G-Secs is delaying lending rate cuts, notwithstanding bank recapitalisation and pushing back recovery, he added.

While the Finance Ministry has pointed out that this will get funded by maturity of T-Bills, TB maturity typically releases liquidity in the 'busy' industrial season in the March quarter, he said.

According to Gupta, it would have been better for the Center to have drawn down its surplus balances with the RBI.

10:00 am Market Update: Benchmark indices continued to be rangebound in morning ahead of last expiry of futures & options contracts of the year.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 24.71 points at 33,936.52 and the 50-share NSE Nifty gained 12.60 points at 10,503.40.

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

9:50 am Market Outlook: Devam Modi, Director – Equirus Securities said in an interview to Moneycontrol that the Nifty is currently trading at TTM P/E & P/B multiple of 26.8 & 3.54 respectively. The average TTM P/E & P/B multiple of Nifty since January 2000 is 19.1 & 3.6, respectively. The markets have risen in the past few months on the back of strong liquidity and expectations of earnings recovery in second half of FY18.

"We are cautious on the broader markets since there are various risks related to USD depreciation, crude run up, higher inflation expectations, firming up of bond yields and relatively high TTM valuations. However, we have a bottom up approach in stock selection and any correction in these stocks because of dampening in general markets shall remain a ''buy on dip''," he said.

9:38 am Fiscal deficit: Samiran Chakraborty of Citi said the last time government resorted to extra borrowing of roughly Rs 90,000 crore was in FY12 when the fiscal deficit was revised from the budgeted level of 4.6 percent of GDP to 5.9 percent of GDP.

After around 5 years of fiscal marksmanship, the spectre of extra borrowing and fiscal slippage has returned, he added.

The research house estimated a 30 bps slippage in FY18 fiscal deficit target (from 3.2 percent of GDP to 3.5 percent of GDP) after taking into account the shortfall in RBI dividend, revenue foregone from excise duty cut and supplementary grants, he said. "The extra borrowing announcement, therefore, vindicates our view of fiscal slippage."

9:29 am Subsidy Claim: Cement maker Star Cement said it has received Rs 158.82 crore towards capital investment subsidy claim from the government.

The company will use these funds to repay loans, it said.

Star Cement along with its subsidiary, Star Cement Meghalaya has received Rs 158.82 crore "towards capital investment subsidy claim from the central government and this amount will be utilised towards repayment of loans," the company said in a regulatory filing.

9:21 am SEBI on Axis Bank: The Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has directed Axis Bank to conduct an internal inquiry in the WhatsApp leak case. The inquiry needs to be conducted within a period of 3 months from the date of order and the bank will need to file a report on it within 7 days from the completion of the inquiry.

Moneycontrol had earlier reported that the market regulator had initiated an examination into leakage of price-sensitive information through WhatsApp groups.

SEBI, in a release on Wednesday, said that before its earnings on July 25, 2017, "financial results circulated on the groups were either matching in totality or were close to the actual announcements". The only exception, it said, was the slippage figure as can be seen in the following table:

9:15 am Market Check: Equity benchmarks rebounded with mild gains amid volatility on Thursday morning, ahead of expiry of December futures and options contracts.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 51.96 points at 33,963.77 and the 50-share NSE Nifty gained 21 points at 10,511.80.

Hindalco Industries, Vedanta, Aurobindo Pharma, BPCL, Lupin, HUL, Tata Steel, Coal India and Dr Reddy's Labs were early gainers.

The Nifty Midcap was up 0.24 percent.

Star Cement, Monnet Ispat, Reliance Communications, Kolte-Patil Developers and Hindustan Copper rallied 4-12 percent.

The Indian rupee has slipped to its lowest level since December 18, trading at around 64.26 against the US dollar while 10-year bond yield rose to 7.33 percent, the highest level since July 13, 2016.