Sensex ends over 251 points higher, Nifty just below 10,750; HDFC up 6%

3:30 pm Market at Close: The market ended the day on a good note, but off the day's high points. The Nifty closed below 10,750-mark.

The Sensex was up 251.12 points at 34843.51, while the Nifty was up 60.20 points at 10741.50. The market breadth was narrow as 1541 shares advanced, against a delcline of 1416 shares, while 300 shares were unchanged.

HDFC and ICICI Bank were the top gainers on both indices, while Hero MotoCorp, GAIL, Eicher Motors and Tata Motors DVR lost the most.

3:05 pm Management Speak: The Seshasayee Paper stock has been buzzing off late with a 40 percent gain in the last 3 months and is still going strong.

In an interview with CNBC-TV18, KS Kasi Viswanathan, MD of Seshasayee Paper spoke about the latest happenings in his company and sector.

The industry is buoyant today and the international price of paper is very steady, he said.

Pulp prices are going up, paper prices are going up, he added.

2:55 pm Aadhaar ID: To work around people facing difficulty authenticating their biometrics, the Unique Identification Authority of India said today that it will enable face authentication in conjunction with an existing mode of authentication on registered devices by 1st July 2018.

"This facility is going to help in inclusive authentication of those who are not able to biometrically authenticate due to their worn out fingerprints, old age or hard work conditions," UIDAI said in a statement.

The UIDAI lets registered citizens authenticate themselves through the Aadhaar database using two modes of biometric authentication-fingerprint authentication and iris authentication. It also allows verification of Aadhaar through a one time password on the mAadhaar app. Several cases have been reported of people being unable to use either authentication means as a result of worn out fingerprints and iris, especially because of old age or hard labour.

2:25 pm Inflation: India's wholesale inflation eased marginally to 3.58 percent in December after hitting an eight-month high of 3.93 percent in November.

Latest price data released by the commerce ministry today showed food prices, especially vegetables, onions, eggs and fruits continued to rise, pulling up the inflation level above three percent since August.

Wholesale inflation rate, measured by WPI, is a marker for price movements in bulk buys for traders and broadly mirrors trends in shop-end prices.

Food prices, especially wheat, pulses, potatoes, oilseeds continued to plummet. Prices of potatoes continued to fall during December, witnessing a dip of (-) 8.40 percent as farmers in some states have started dumping the tuberous crop on streets due to excess supply.

2:00 pm Market Check: The S&P BSE Sensex pared gains after rallying to record highs earlier in the session. The rally was led by gains in Yes Bank, HDFC, and Hero MotoCorp. Tracking the momentum, more than 300 stocks rose to fresh 52-weeks high on the BSE.

1:55 pm Order win: The largest software exporter TCS has expanded its relationship with British retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) to enable it become a digital-first business.

As part of the deal, whose total value is not disclosed, the company will become a principal technology partner for the retailer, TCS said in a statement today.

The retailer has a five-year plan to transform its business by making technology function deliver more commercial opportunities, it said, adding TCS will help drive agility, intelligence, innovation and efficiency to up the customer experience and also drive growth in business.

1:25 pm Management Speak: V2 Retail is up 250 percent in the last one year. The company has opened two more stores; one in Madhya Pradesh and other in Himachal Pradesh. In an interview with CNBC-TV18, Akash Agarwal, Director of V2 Retail spoke about new store opening and the latest happenings in the company.

We are on track to reach 100 stores by March 2019, said Agarwal.

He further said that in FY18 the inventory days are expected to be between 80 and 90. However, our target is to bring down inventory days to 75 in few years.

1:05 pm Market Check: Equities are now steadying after witnessing a strong rally through the morning. The Sensex is up over 290 points, while the Nifty is trading around 10,750-mark. About 1567 shares have advanced, 1179 shares declined, and 273 shares are unchanged.

Gains in HDFC twins have added to the momentum, while ICICI Bank's rally pushed up Bank Nifty. Auto index is seeing some correction, led by a fall in Eicher Motors and Hero MotoCorp of around 2 percent.

12:55 pm Muthoot Capital gains: Muthoot Capital Services posted a strong set of numbers on a year-on-year basis due to a base effect, but even sequentially the earnings were very strong. In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Madhu Alexiouse, COO of Muthoot Capital spoke about the results and his outlook for the company.

Alexiouse said that nine-month FY18 disbursements have grown by 57 percent.

He further said that two-wheeler business will see 60-65 percent growth in FY18. We will look to improve market share in two-wheeler financing, he added.

12:40 pm Appointment: Property consultant JLL India today announced the appointment of Juggy Marwaha as Executive Managing Director.

The appointment is effective from January 22, JLL India said in a statement.

"This is Juggy's second stint with JLL, after a short entrepreneurial hiatus, when he was with global co-working behemoth WeWork as its India Lead," it added.

12:20 pm Management View: KEI Industries stock has had a dream run, up nearly 200 percent in the last one year. Motilal Oswal has also turned positive on the stock, betting big on their retail business.

In an interview with CNBC-TV18, Anil Gupta, CMD of KEI Industries spoke about the latest happenings in his company and sector.

Retail business will be growing around 30 percent this year and is likely to exceed Rs 1,100 crore in the whole financial year, he said.

12:10 pm Market Check: The market is trading steady around its high points. The Sensex is up over 300 points, while the Nifty is above 10,750-mark.

The Sensex is up 329.87 points or 0.95% at 34922.26, and the Nifty up 80.50 points or 0.75% at 10761.80. The market breadth is positive as 1605 shares advanced, against a decline of 1070 shares, while 288 shares were unchanged.

HDFC and ICICI Bank continue to be top gainers, while Eicher Motors, Hero MotoCorp, ONGC and Tata Motors DVR lost the most.

11:55 am Buzzing Stock: Share price of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company rose nearly 3 percent intraday Monday as brokerage house Geojit initiated buy call with price target of Rs 450

According to the broking firm, the outlook on Indian life insurance sector remains bright and Indian life insurance industry is at the cusp of enormous growth.

ICICI Life is well-positioned to capture the strong growth and it is a best play on life insurance sector, it added.

11:40 am Expert Speak: In an interview with CNBC-TV18, Udayan Mukherjee spoke about his reading of the market and his outlook.

The momentum still remains with the bulls, there are enough flags of caution but that will not stop the market from going higher if this current global rally continues, he said.

We have expectations from the Budget also floating around, he added.

11:20 am Incident at Indonesia Stock Exchange: Multiple reports have come in regarding a floor collapse at the stock exchange at Jakarta, Indonesia. ABC's Adam Harvey is tweeting these images of the damage at the bourse.

11:07 am Market Check: The market has extended its gains from the morning session, with the Sensex trading over 300 points higher, while the Nifty is almost 100 points up.

The Sensex is up 333.78 points or 0.96 percent at 34,926.17, while the Nifty is up 91.30 points or 0.85 percent at 10772.60. The market breadth is positive as 1,790 shares have advanced, against a decline of 766 shares, while 278 shares were unchanged.

HDFC and ICICI Bank are the top gainers on both indices, while IndusInd Bank, ONGC, Eicher Motors and HCL Tech lost the most.

10:50 am GST crackdown: FMCG and IT firms will mostly file petitions in Delhi's and Mumbai's High Courts to seek more clarity in Goods and Services Tax (GST) anti-profiteering clause, according to a Business Standard report.

The move comes after firms - Lifestyle, Hardcastle Restaurants - south and western India's McDonald's franchisee and Hindustan Unilever - received a notice from the government that they were not complying with the anti-profiteering clause, which Moneycontrol reported last month.

The Business Standard report also mentions that Pyramid Infratech and Honda Motor Vehicles had also received a similar notice. The firms are required to provide their balance sheet, trial balance and profit and loss account for last one year.

10:30 am QIP deferred: State-owned Bank of India (BoI) has deferred the Rs 3,000-crore capital raising plan through private placement of equity shares after the government's move to infuse Rs 2,257 crore capital into it, a top official said.

"We have postponed the QIP (Qualified Institutional Placement) as the government decided to infuse Rs 2,257 crore capital support into the bank obviating the need for the capital immediately," BoI Managing Director Dinabandhu Mohapatra told PTI.

So, there is now no need for QIP this fiscal as more capital would also flow-in through recap bonds, he said.

10:15 am HDFC gains: Shares of HDFC gained around 2 percent intraday on Monday as investors cheered the NBFC's fundraising plan.

Over the weekend, it announced that the Board had approved fund raising worth Rs 11,301 crore by issuing 6.43 crore shares at Rs 1,726.05 per share to investors, including global private equity biggie GIC Singapore, KKR and Premji Invest.

Housing Development Finance Corporation or HDFC's committee of directors in a meeting held on Saturday approved to the "issuance of 6,43,29,882 equity shares if Rs 2 each of the Corporation on a preferential basis", HDFC said in a release to the stock exchanges on Saturday.

10:00 am Market Check: Shares have extended their gains from the opening tick, with the Sensex gaining over 200 points, while the Nifty is eyeing 10,750-mark.

The Sensex is up 240.43 points or 0.70% at 34832.82, while the Nifty is up 65.00 points or 0.61% at 10746.30. The market breadth is positive as 1,715 shares advanced, against a decline of 574 shares, while 256 shares were unchanged.

ICICI Bank and Tata Steel are the top gainers on both indices, while IndusInd Bank, ONGC and Eicher Motors lost the most.

9:50 am Uday Kotak interview: The country's richest banker and vice-chairman of Kotak Mahindra Bank, Uday Kotak, has expressed concerns over the surging stock market and India's financial savings going into selective stocks only.

"Money is coming to a broad funnel and it's going into a narrow pipe where massive amount of Indian savers' money is now going into few hundred stocks. And you come back to the question of how good is the governance of these companies.

The amount of money that's going into small and mid-cap stocks is something on which we have to ask tough questions. You're pushing all this (money) into a narrow funnel which inevitably runs the risk of a bubble," said Uday Kotak in an interview to Indian Express.

9:30 am Buzzing stock: Capital First rose nearly 7 percent in early trade on Monday to hit a fresh 52-week high of Rs 895 after IDFC Bank announced its merger with the non-banking financial company (NBFC) over the weekend.

The share swap ratio has been fixed at 139:10, which means 139 shares of IDFC Bank will be allotted for every 10 equity shares of Capital First.

Capital First is 35.97 percent owned by private equity firm Warburg Pincus, 13.91 percent owned by GIC, while V Vaidyanathan, also the Founder and Executive Chairman, holds the third largest stake at 10.5 percent.

9:15 am Market Opens: Equities on Monday began the week on a strong note, opening at record highs, while the Nifty began above 10,700 for the first time.

The Sensex is up 176.23 points or 0.51% at 34768.62, while the Nifty is up 46.30 points or 0.43% at 10727.60. The market breadth is positive as 840 shares advanced, against a decline of 160 shares, while 243 shares are unchanged.

HDFC, ICICI Bank and Tata Motors gained the most on both indices, while Infosys, M&M and Bharti Infratel were the top losers.

Capital First was up over 5 percent as investors cheered the merger announcement with IDFC Bank. The latter was trading around 3 percent lower.

The Indian rupee gained in the early trade on Monday. It has opened higher by 12 paise at 63.49 per dollar versus 63.61 Friday.

Pramit Brahmbhatt of Veracity said, "Rupee will remain under pressure. A technical pullback started from 63.30, may get extended till 63.80."

"Trading range for the spot USD-INR pair will be 63.50-63.80," he added.

Major indexes in Asia notched gains on Monday after Wall Street closed out last week at records and the dollar remained on the back foot.

The Nikkei 225 rose 0.54 percent as technology and financial names rose early in the session. Automakers proved to be a mixed picture.

Shares of SoftBank Group jumped 4.26 percent following news from Nikkei Asian Review that the company aimed to list SoftBank Corp., its mobile arm, both in Tokyo and abroad this year. The listing could raise around 2 trillion yen ($18 billion) for the company, Nikkei added.