Benchmark indices at record close; Sensex gains 286 pts, Nifty above 27000

3:30 pm Market Closing: Benchmark indices ended at fresh record closing high, driven by liquidity.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 286.43 points or 0.81 percent at 35,798.01 and the 50-share NSE Nifty rallied 71.50 points to 10,966.20.

About 1,588 shares advanced against 1,332 declining shares on the BSE.

Reliance Industries and TCS are only two companies trading with more than Rs 6 lakh crore market capitalisation.

3:29 pm M&A deals: Merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in India is expected to remain positive this year driven by domestic consolidation, market share expansion and entry into new markets, says an EY report.

According to EY's 17th Global Capital Confidence Barometer (India), companies are embracing the ongoing digital evolution and adopting an inorganic route to growth amid supportive economy and easing credit availability.

"Despite dynamic global geopolitical conditions, Indian corporates are positive on the domestic deal market on the back of stable economy, positive deal market fundamentals and a promising deal pipeline," said Amit Khandelwal, Managing Partner, Transaction Advisory Services, EY.

According to EY, the year 2017 recorded 1,011 deals with a disclosed deal value of USD 40,961 million.

3:25 pm Market Check: Benchmark indices extended rally in last few minutes of trade, hitting fresh record highs while the Nifty Bank touched 27,000 level for the first time.

The 30-share BSE Sensex gained 295.65 points or 0.83 percent at 35,807.23, and the 50-share NSE Nifty rose 74.60 points or 0.68 percent to 10,969.30.

3:22 pm HSIL's new plant: Sanitary-ware maker HSIL said today it has ventured into the household plumbing pipes segment.

A manufacturing facility for plumbing pipes was inaugurated yesterday at Isnapur in Sangareddy district near here.

The company spent Rs 160 crore for setting up the facility and aims to add an income of Rs 800 crore from the plumbing pipes segment to the firm's over all turnover in the next five years, HSIL's vice chairman and managing director Sandip Somany told reporters.

3:12 pm Earnings: V-Guard Industries' Q3 net profit spiked 41.4 percent to Rs 35.8 crore and revenue increased 18.7 percent to Rs 523.5 crore YoY.

Operating profit shot up 36.9 percent to Rs 49.4 crore and margin expanded 120 basis points to 9.4 percent compared to year-ago. The stock gained 4 percent.

3:02 pm Market Update: Benchmark indices hit fresh record high in late trade, with the Sensex trading 271.75 points higher at 35,783.33, driven by BHEL, TCS, Reliance Industries, Axis Bank and ONGC.

The 50-share NSE Nifty surpassed 10,950 level as well, rising 65.40 points to 10,960.10 while the broader markets outperformed benchmarks, with the Nifty Midcap rising 0.8 percent.

About 1,533 shares advanced against 1,266 declining shares on the BSE.

2:56 pm Partnership: India's second largest IT services firm Infosys today announced it has been chosen as a technology partner by the A S Watson Group to provide services in the areas of data science and artificial intelligence.

The strategic partnership will accelerate the global health and beauty retailer's digital transformation initiatives, the company said in a statement.

2:46 pm NPAs to rise: India's banking sector will be saddled with gross non-performing assets (GNPAs) worth a staggering Rs 9.5 lakh crore by March-end, up from Rs 8 lakh crore in the year-ago period, a report said today.

The high level of stressed assets in the banking system however provide enormous opportunity for asset reconstruction companies (ARCs) which are important stakeholders in the NPA resolution process, said the Assocham-Crisil study.

At the same time, it said, the growth of ARCs is expected to come down significantly owing to capital constraints. "While growth (of ARCs) is expected to fall to around 12 percent by June 2019, the AUM (assets under management) are expected to reach Rs 1 lakh crore, and that is fairly sizable," said the report.

It said the GNPAs will increase to "Rs 9.5 lakh crore as on March 31, 2018 i.e. about 10.5 per cent of total advances, while stressed assets are expected to be at Rs 11.5 lakh crore".

2:36 pm USFDA nod: SMS Pharma said its manufacturing facility, Unit-II, Bachupally, Hyderabad, has received establishment inspection report from the US Food and Drug Administration.

The facility was inspected by USFDA in November 2017 and there were no 'Form 483' observations during the inspection.

The stock rallied more than 7 percent.

2:25 pm Acquisition: HPCL may acquire Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) in a cash and share-swap deal to become India's third-largest oil refiner, a top official said.

Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), India's biggest oil and gas producer, last week announced acquisition of HPCL for Rs 36,915 crore. After this takeover, ONGC has two refining subsidiaries - HPCL and MRPL.

"If MRPL comes to HPCL, we can bring lot of synergy," HPCL Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Kumar Surana told PTI.

For one, HPCL (Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd) sells more petroleum product than it produces and bringing MRPL's 15 million tonne a year refinery under the fold would help bridge the shortfall.

2:12 pm USFDA Inspection: Shilpa Medicare informed exchange that the US FDA has completed inspection of company's API facilities Unit-I and Unit-II located at Raichur, Karnataka, between January 16 and 19, 2018.

The inspection has now been closed by the US FDA with three 483 observations, the company said.

It is is in the process of submission of corrective and preventive action (CAPA) plan to the regulator within the stipulated timelines in response to the form 483 issued at the end of inspection.

2:04 pm Earnings: Country's third largest private sector lender Axis Bank's third quarter earnings beat analyst expectations, with improvement in asset quality performance.

Profit during the quarter grew by 25.3 percent year-on-year to Rs 726.4 crore, driven by lower provisions and higher net interest income.

Net interest income, the difference between interest earned and interest expended, grew by 9.2 percent to Rs 4,731.52 crore compared to Rs 4,333.73 crore in year-ago.

1:55 pm NSE Chief on SGX's Move: Concerned over Singapore Stock Exchange's (SGX) plan to launch single future stocks of Nifty 50 companies, NSE chief Vikram Limaye today said the move will shift liquidity out of Indian markets.

The National Stock Exchange said it will consider all options to consolidate the liquidity. "There is a concern surrounding liquidity of Indian markets being fragmented and moving offshore," Limaye said.

He said NSE is focused on what is in the best interests of the Indian markets and in that context all options will be considered to consolidate liquidity in India.

The reaction comes after SGX announced its plan to launch trading in single-stock futures in 50 of the country's top companies that are part of the Nifty index from next month.

1:44 pm Earnings: GP Petroleums shares rallied 11 percent after company's Q3 profit grew by 85.2 percent to Rs 5.8 crore and revenue increased sharply 62 percent to Rs 174.1 crore compared to year-ago.

1:29 Economic growth: The Indian economy is seeing broad- based improvement across all sectors and should clock 7 per cent growth in the second half of the current fiscal, top banker Chanda Kochhar said today.

Here to participate in the World Economic Forum's (WEF) annual meeting, to be addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other world leaders, the ICICI Bank chief said the full fiscal GDP growth for 2017-18 should also be in excess of 6.5 per cent.

Asked about her message to the world at Davos, Kochhar told PTI in an interview that things are turning around very clearly and there are broad improvements across several sectors.

Brushing aside any concerns about slowing growth rate, she said the CSO has estimated 6.5 per cent GDP growth and 6.1 per cent gross value add (GVA) growth in the current financial year ending March 31.

1:10 pm Budget expectations: Ahead of the Budget, FMCG players have pitched for policies that focus on rural markets to reverse slide in wages, create more jobs and reduction in personal tax slabs to give more purchasing power to consumers.

Besides, the industry has sought incentives for setting up warehousing and cold chain facilities and efforts to increase Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the sector.

"Rural wages have been trending down and growth has been stymied due to insufficient job creation and tepid growth in disposable income," Godrej Consumer Products Managing Director and CEO Vivek Gambhir told PTI.

12:55 pm Market Update: The market remained steady in afternoon trade as the Sensex gained more than 100 points and Nifty managed to hold the 10,900 level.

All eyes are on Asian Paints and Axis Bank earnings due later today. A CNBC-TV18 poll expects Asian Paints to report more than 16% growth in profit and revenue while Axis Bank is expected to report 22% growth in profit in Q3.

Index heavyweight Reliance Industries extended gains to over 5 percent as Jio reported first ever profit in Q3.

12:52 pm Market Outlook: This being the 4th budget before the upcoming 8 state elections and National Election, the budget is expected to have a rural focus with over-spending on rural-infra, agriculture and job schemes, Vinod Nair, Head Of Research at Geojit Financial Services, said in an exclusive interview with Moneycontrol.

He further said the current rally is a result of strength in global macros, the expectation of strong revival in earnings led by Q3 results and wishlist to Union Budget.

The start of the year 2018 has been solid as an extension of the global positivity. The continuity of this domestic trend will not only depend on the outcome of the budget but also the confidence in the global market and the fallout of Q3 results and its implication to the future earnings outlook, he added.

Market remains steady in afternoon trade as the Sensex gains more than 100 points and Nifty manages to hold the 10,900 level

All eyes on Asian Paints and Axis Bank earnings due later today. A CNBC-TV18 poll expects Asian Paints to report more than 16% growth in profit and revenue while Axis Bank is expected to report 22% growth in profit in Q3.

Index heavyweight Reliance Industries extends gains to over 5% as Jio reports first ever profit in Q3

12:40 pm Poll: Asian Paints, one of the largest paint manufacturers, is expected to report 16.5 percent year-on-year growth in consolidated profit at Rs 570 crore and 16.6 percent growth in revenue from operations (ex-excise) at Rs 4,589 crore compared to year-ago.

According to average of estimates of analysts polled by CNBC-TV18, operating profit is seen rising 14.6 percent year-on-year to Rs 889 crore but margin may contract 30 basis points to 19.4 percent in Q3.

The stock has underperformed Kansai over the last few months. In last one year, Asian Paints rallied 23 percent while Kansai Nerolac surged 68 percent.

Volume growth, which is expected to be around 11-12 percent for the quarter, is the most important to watch out. Also watch out for margins, commentary on demand and input costs.

12:30 pm Order Win: J Kumar Infraprojects shares gained 5 percent as it has received letter of acceptance from Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) for Line 2A Architectural Station on Dahisar (east) to DN Nagar Corridor of Mumani Metro Rail Project, which is worth Rs 57 crore.

12:25 pm Earnings Reaction: DCM Shriram shares gained nearly 7 percent as its consolidated net profit in Q3FY18 increased sharply 56 percent year-on-year to Rs 212.9 crore and revenue grew by 30.6 percent to Rs 1,783.7 crore while operating profit shot up 74.5 percent to Rs 329.1 crore and margin expanded by 465 basis points to 18.46 percent compared to year-ago.

12:16 pm Buzzing: Godawari Power & Ispat shares were locked at 5 percent upper circuit as it has posted consolidated profit at Rs 73.7 crore for December quarter against loss of Rs 9.6 crore in year-ago.

Revenue increased 58 percent year-on-year to Rs 672.1 crore and operating profit grew by 88 percent to Rs 169 crore with margin expansion of 409 basis points YoY. The board of directors has approved company's proposal to raise Rs 500 crore via equities, GDR, ADRs and FCCB.

12:05 pm Earnings Estimates: Country's third largest private sector lender Axis Bank is expected to report a 21.9 percent growth in profit at Rs 706.2 crore for quarter ended December 2017, compared to Rs 579.4 crore in year-ago.

Net interest income during the quarter is seen rising 3.8 percent to Rs 4,498.5 crore from Rs 4,333.7 crore in same quarter last year, according to average of estimates of analysts polled by CNBC-TV18.

The stock price rallied 10.8 percent during December quarter and surged more than 25 percent in 2017.

11:50 am Buzzing: ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company shares rallied more than 4 percent intraday as bullish brokerage houses raised target price of the stock after Q3 earnings.

The life insurance company reported profit at Rs 452.1 crore for the quarter ended December 2017, against Rs 450.04 crore in year-ago while net premium income grew by 19.26 percent during the quarter to Rs 6,795.13 crore from Rs 5,697.51 crore in the same period last fiscal.

The company is a joint venture between ICICI Bank and Prudential Corporation Holdings, which is a part of an international financial services group headquartered in the UK.

Brokerage houses maintained Buy call on the stock and expect the stock to give up to 26 percent return in 12 months:

11:40 am Market Update: Benchmark indices continued to trade mildly higher amid volatility, aided by Reliance Industries, HDFC Bank and ONGC. However, the selling in HDFC, ICICI Bank, ITC, metals and oil retailers capped gains.

ONGC was the top gainer on the Nifty, rising nearly 4 percent. HPCL fell nearly 4 percent as ONGC will buy government's stake in the company at lower price than market estimates.

Reliance Industries continued to gain over 2 percent as Jio reported its first ever profit at Rs 504 crore in Q3.

Jubilant Foodworks rallied nearly 6 percent as brokerages raised target price post Q3 earnings.

11:21 am Oil Price Update: Oil prices climbed today, pushed up by a drop in US drilling activity and by fighting in Syria between Turkish forces and Kurdish fighters.

Brent crude futures were at USD 68.76, up 0.22 percent, from their last close. Brent on January 15 hit its highest since December, 2014, at USD 70.37 a barrel.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at USD 63.51 a barrel, up 0.22 percent, from their last settlement. WTI marked a December-2014 peak of USD 64.89 a barrel on January 16.

11:10 am Market Check: Equities are trading higher in the morning session, with the Sensex gaining over 100 points, while the Nifty is trading around 10,900.

The Sensex is up 100.35 points or 0.28% at 35611.93, and the Nifty up 9.30 points or 0.09% at 10904.00. The market breadth is positive as 1402 shares have advanced, against a decline of 1114 shares, while 236 shares are unchanged.

ONGC and Reliance are the top gainers on both indices, while ICICI Bank, Wipro and, HPCL and GAIL lost the most.

10:55 am Buzzing Stocks: Shareholders of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL) reacted to the developments around the deal involving two companies' merger.

ONGC gained over 6 percent intraday, while HPCL lost around 4 percent intraday on Monday. Investors have raised concerns over the valuation that HPCL has received in the deal.

Over the weekend, ONGC announced that it will pay Rs 36,915 crore for a 51.11 percent stake in HPCL. ONGC will pay Rs 473.97 per share and will complete the acquisition of government's stake in HPCL by January end.

10:37 am Buzzing: ONGC gained over 6 percent intraday, while HPCL lost around 4 percent intraday. Investors have raised concerns over the valuation that HPCL has received in the deal.

Over the weekend, ONGC announced that it will pay Rs 36,915 crore for a 51.11 percent stake in HPCL. ONGC will pay Rs 473.97 per share and will complete the acquisition of government's stake in HPCL by January end.

A purchase by ONGC provides the government an opportunity to offload its stake in HPCL without a huge dilution in control, as the government holds a majority stake in ONGC too.

10:27 am Market Update: Benchmark indices were off opening highs in morning as profit booking was seen in banks but HDFC Bank continued to support the market with 1.5 percent gains. Oil marketing, technology and metals stocks are also under pressure.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 58.18 points at 35,569.76 and the 50-share NSE Nifty fell 6.30 points to 10,888.40.

About 1,367 shares advanced against 1,038 declining shares on the BSE.

10:15 am Rupee Trade: The rupee weakened by 10 paise to 63.95 against the US dollar in morning at the interbank foreign exchange on increased demand for the American currency from importers and banks.

Forex dealers said the dollar's gains against major world currencies overseas weighed on the rupee sentiment.

However, a record opening in the domestic equity market capped the rupee's losses, they said.

On Friday, the rupee had gained two paise to end at 63.84 against the dollar in highly volatile trade despite the outlook for the US currency remaining lacklustre.

10:00 am Buzzing: Shares of Wipro today slipped more than 3 percent in morning trade on BSE after the third largest IT services firm posted 8.4 percent fall in consolidated net profit for the December quarter.

Wipro opened on a weak note at Rs 319.50 and fell further 3.27 per cent to an early low of Rs 317.70 on BSE.

The stock was the second highest loser in percentage terms among Sensex scrips.

For the December quarter the company's consolidated net profit fell 8.4 percent to Rs 1,931.3 crore. The company's net profit (attributable to shareholders) stood at Rs 2,109.6 crore in the year-ago period, as per Indian accounting norms (Ind AS). Its revenue from operations was nearly flat at Rs 13,669 crore in the quarter under review.

9:55 am Market Check: Benchmark indices extended gains in morning, with the Sensex rising more than 100 points, driven by ONGC, Reliance Industries and HDFC Group stocks.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 147.64 points at 35,659.22 and the 50-share NSE Nifty gained 24.50 points at 10,919.20.

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

9:50 am Pre-Opening Trade: Apollo Micro Systems has settled at Rs 478 in pre-opening trade, a whopping 73.82 percent premium over issue price of Rs 275 per share on the BSE.

9:43 am Earnings: Morepen Lab's Q3 profit more than doubled to Rs 9.7 crore from Rs 4.7 crore and revenue grew by 1.8 percent to Rs 141.6 crore from Rs 139 crore YoY.

Operating profit jumped 10.4 percent year-on-year to Rs 17 crore and margin expanded 90 basis points  to 12 percent in Q3.

The stock rallied more than 4 percent after earnings.

9:33 am Buzzing: Reliance Industries gained 2 percent as the company on consolidated basis reported a 16 percent profit growth quarter-on-quarter, driven by petrochemical business and Jio that reported its first ever profit at Rs 504 crore in Q3 against loss of Rs 271 crore in previous quarter.

Gross refining margin was on expected lines at USD 11.6 a barrel QoQ in Q3.

9:26 am Listing: Apollo Micro Systems, which caters primarily to the defence and aerospace sectors, will debut on the bourses today. The issue price for its initial public offer was Rs 275 per share.

The company's Rs 156-crore IPO saw huge oversubscription of 248.51 times between January 10 and January 12.

Considering the market's strong momentum and that the issue was met with a phenomenal response from investors, the listing price premium could be around Rs 200 per share over the IPO price, experts suggested.

The company will use the proceeds of the issue to meet any additional working capital requirements and for general corporate purposes.

9:21 am Japan's Manufacturing Data: Confidence among Japanese manufacturers jumped in January to an 11-year high, the Reuters Tankan poll showed today, highlighting corporate optimism driven by nearly two years of uninterrupted economic expansion and a buoyant stock market.

The monthly poll, which tracks the Bank of Japan's (BOJ) closely-watched tankan quarterly survey, followed a key gauge of capital spending out last week showing Japan Inc's readiness to spend some of their huge cash pile, potentially spurring a virtuous cycle of investment, consumption and growth.

The positive data should bolster the confidence of the central bank, which is set to issue a rosy view of the economy at its two-day policy-setting meeting ending on Tuesday.

9:15 am Market Check: Benchmark indices opened the truncated week at fresh record high, with the Nifty climbing above 10,900 level. Reliance Industries (up 1.5 percent), ONGC (5 percent) and HDFC (1 percent) were leading gainers.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 98.33 points at 35,609.91 and the 50-share NSE Nifty rose 16.90 points to 10,911.60. About 821 shares advanced against 499 declining shares on the BSE.

Wipro, ICICI Bank and SBI were mildly in the red.

Jubilant Foodworks gained 4 percent. Jaiprakash Associates was up 8 percent and Omax Auto gained 20 percent.

Gruh Finance slipped 4 percent on profit booking post earnings. HDFC Standard Life and GNA Axles gained over a percent.