Sensex falls for 3rd consecutive day; Nifty Bank index underperforms

3:30 pm Market Closing: Benchmark indices wiped out gains in last hour of trade after further correction in rupee that fell a percent intraday against the US dollar.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was down 71.07 points at 33,703.59 and the 50-share NSE Nifty declined 18 points to 10,360.40.

The market breadth was weak as about 1,464 shares declined against 1,261 advancing shares on the BSE.

Among midcaps, Tata Global, Biocon, Voltas, Radico Khaitan, Bhushan Steel and Just Dial were down 1-3 percent while Canara Bank, IDBI Bank, Indian Bank, Union Bank, Fortis Healthcare, Apollo Tyres, Titan Company and PC Jeweller gained 1-5 percent.

3:20 pm Acquisition: India Grid Trust (IndiGrid), the country's first infrastructure investment trust (InvIT), acquired three transmission assets from its sponsor Sterlite Power Grid Ventures for a consideration of Rs 1,410 crore.

The acquisitions include RAPP Transmission Company, Purulia, Kharagpur Transmission Company, and Maheshwaram Transmission, all from Sterlite Power Grid Ventures, a move which has helped increase its assets under management to Rs 5,300 crore.

IndiGrid is also looking to acquire more assets to increase its portfolio and internal rate of return.

3:10 pm Earnings: Ambuja Cements' December quarter earnings beat analyst expectations on Tuesday as standalone net profit growth of 88.8 percent year-on-year at Rs 338 crore was far ahead of CNBC-TV18 poll estimates of Rs 251 crore.

Profit in year-ago quarter stood at Rs 179 crore.

The cement maker said standalone revenue from operations increased 21.9 percent to Rs 2,712.6 crore in Q3, compared to Rs 2,224.5 crore in same quarter last year.

Cement sales volume showed a 17.4 percent growth at 5.87 million tonnes for quarter ended December 2017, increased from 5 million tonnes in year-ago.

3:01 pm Market Update: Benchmark indices wiped out gains in last hour of trade after the rupee extended losses to 64.85 against the US dollar, down 1 percent from previous settlement.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was down 51.15 points at 33,723.51 and the 50-share NSE Nifty fell 20 points to 10,358.40.

About 1,401 shares declined against 1,216 advancing shares on the BSE.

2:52 pm Cabinet nod to road project: The government approved a Rs 2,920-crore project for widening a section of national highway-275, connecting Bengaluru and Mysuru, in Karnataka.

"The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has given its approval for six-laning of Nidagatta - Mysuru Section of NH-275 from km 74.2to km 135.3 on Hybrid Annuity Mode in Karnataka," Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said in a statement.

The six-laning of about 61 km is estimated to cost approximately Rs 2,919.81 crore including the cost of land acquisition and pre-construction activities. The civil construction cost is about Rs 2,028.93 crore.

2:40 pm Market Update: The market continued to trade mildly higher amid volatility. All sectoral indices were trading in the green barring Realty.

The Sensex traded higher with more than 100 points gains while PSU Bank index extended gains to nearly 2 percent on short covering.

Mid and smallcap indices, too, were in the green.

The rupee extended losses in afternoon, falling 54 paise to trade 64.75 against the US dollar, the highest level in three months.

2:25 pm Base Metals Soften: Base metal prices fell by up to Rs 3 per kg at the non-ferrous metal market, tracking a weak trend overseas amid muted demand from consuming industries.

Traders said sentiment turned bearish in sync with a weak trend overseas where copper weakened as a firm dollar dictated direction in a thinly-traded market, with holidays in top metals user China attributed the slide in copper futures.

2:12 pm Crisil on sugar sector: Profitability of sugar mills is set to improve and farmers are expected to get timely payments after government increased import duty and restricted sugar sales, said a report.

Government had early this month increased import duty on raw and white sugar to 100 per cent to curb cheaper imports and ensure remunerative prices to growers. It also restricted sugar sale by imposing stockholding limits for February and March to contain falling prices.

"The twin government moves are expected to prop up falling sales realisations, support the profitability of sugar mills by enabling them to tide over the supply glut, and keep their credit profiles stable," rating agency Crisil said in a report today.

2:01 pm Rupee Trade: The Indian rupee extended losses in afternoon, falling 0.76 percent or 48 paise to 64.70 against the US dollar, the lowest level since November 24, 2017.
It closed at 64.21 a dollar in previous session.

1:50 pm Europe Trade: European stocks opened mixed, as investors monitored the release of the latest batch of corporate earnings.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was little changed from the previous session shortly after the opening bell with sectors and major bourses pointing in opposite directions.

1:42 pm KUSUM Scheme: The Rs 48,000-crore KUSUM scheme to promote the use of solar power among farmers would be placed before the Cabinet by next month, New and Renewable Energy Minister R K Singh said.

KUSUM (Kisan Urja Suraksha Evam Utthaan Mahaabhiyan) aims to incentivise farmers to run solar farm water pumps and use barren land for generating solar power to have extra income.

The total cost of the capacities under this scheme would be Rs 1.4 lakh crore.

The Centre will provide Rs 48,000 crore financial assistance under the scheme.

"The scheme is ready...It should go to the Cabinet in the next 20 days," Singh told reporters on the sidelines of International R&D Conclave.

1:30 pm Market Update: Benchmark indices continued to be volatile, with the Nifty50 hovering around 10,400 levels.

Metals, technology and banking & financials stocks supported the market but Reliance Industries, ITC and ICICI Bank capped gains.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 87.88 points at 33,862.54 and the 50-share NSE Nifty gained 19.40 points at 10,397.80.

1:25 pm Rotomac bank fraud: After the CBI and the ED, the Income Tax Department has stepped up action against the Rotomac group and its promoters. attaching 11 bank accounts in connection with an alleged tax evasion probe against them, officials said.

The accounts in various bank branches in Uttar Pradesh were attached last night.

The provisional attachment action has been carried out to "recover outstanding tax demands", understood to be about Rs 85 crore, the officials said.

Three bank accounts of the group were attached in January last year by the department, they said.

The Kanpur-based group is being probed by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate in connection with an alleged bank loan fraud of Rs 3,695 crore, given by a consortium of seven banks.

1:10 pm Buzzing: Shares of Gitanjali Gems tumbled further by nearly 10 percent to hit its lowest trading permissible limit for the day after the company came under the scanner of various investigating agencies following the PNB's Rs 11,400-crore fraud detection.

The stock tanked 9.91 percent to Rs 30.45 -- its lowest trading permissible limit -- on BSE.

In five straight trading sessions, the stock has lost over 51 percent, wiping out Rs 383.81 crore from its market valuation.

1:01 pm IT Industry growth in FY19: For the second year in a row, software industry lobby Nasscom today projected a flat growth revenue scenario for the industry in FY19, clipping at 7-9 percent over FY18.

"We estimate a 7-9 percent growth in IT and IT- enabled services for FY19. The domestic revenue may grow at slightly higher pitch of 10-12 percent, while exports, the mainstay may lag in FY19," R Chandrashekhar, Nasscom president told reporters at its annual India Leadership Forum.

He said the industry may close the current fiscal year with a lower-than-projected 7.8 percent growth, and may touch USD 167 billion in revenue size during the year in terms of exports and 10 percent in domestic revenue.

According to Chandrashekhar, the industry may hire 1,00,000 new hands in FY19, which again 50 per cent lower than what it had projected for this year.

12:50 pm Market Update: Benchmark indices continued to be volatile, with the Sensex gaining strength in afternoon driven by technology, metals and select banking & financials stocks.
The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 159.10 points at 33,933.76 and the 50-share NSE Nifty gained 40 points at 10,418.40.

12:40 pm Rating Upgrade: Action Construction Equipment informed exchanges that CRISIL has upgraded its rating on the long term bank facilities of the company to 'A+/Stable' from 'A/Positive' and reaffirmed the rating on the short term bank facility and commercial paper programme at 'A1'.

12:25 pm Moody's on PNB: Following the biggest scam in the country's banking sector to the tune of Rs 11,340 crore at state-run Punjab National Bank (PNB), Moody's today placed the lender under review for downgrade.

The agency has a Baa3/P-3 rating on the Delhi-based lender now while it has a Baa3 rating on its foreign currency issuer rating. The bank overall has a Baa2 rating with a stable outlook now from Moody's.

The review for downgrade will focus on: (1) the timing and quantum of the financial impact of the fraudulent transactions, (2) any management actions taken to improve the capitalization profile of the bank, and (3) any punitive actions taken by the regulator on the bank, Moody's Investor Service said.

It has also placed the bank's baseline credit assessment (BCA) and adjusted BCA of Ba3 and the counterparty risk assessment (CRA) rating of Baa3(cr)/P-3(cr) under review for downgrade.

12:10 pm Oil markets mixed: Oil markets were split, with US crude pushed up by reduced flows from Canada while international Brent prices eased.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at USD 62.34 a barrel, up 66 cents, or 1.07 percent, from their last settlement.

Outside North America, Brent crude eased on the back of a dip in Asian stocks and a stronger dollar, which potentially curbs demand as it makes fuel more expensive for countries using other currencies domestically.

Brent crude futures were at USD 65.49 per barrel, down 18 cents, or 0.27 percent, from their last close.

11:58 am Order Win: CMI said the wholly owned subsidiary CMI Energy India Private Limited has bagged an initial order for supply of high voltage power cables by Engineers India Limited.

11:45 am Under review: Moody's places PNB's rating under review for downgrade, reports CNBC-TV18. The impact of the fraudulent transactions is likely to be the key driver for the downgrade rating review.

11:29 am Management Speak: Gold prices have softened over the last few months. After a recent meet with the MCX management, a Motilal Oswal Securities note highlights that demonetisation, goods and services tax (GST) etc. have cut bullion volumes to nearly half in the span of a year though encouraging trends are seen in base metals.

In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Mrugank M Paranjape, MD & CEO of Multi Commodity Exchange of India (MCX) spoke about the latest happenings and gave his outlook for the future.

Paranjape said that we have seen positive increase in volume in the 45-50 days of Q4.

He further said that volumes up 16 percent so far and Q4 average volume is close to pre-demonetisation levels.

11:15 am Nirav Modi case: The Supreme Court will hear on Friday a PIL, which has sought direction to the central government to ensure Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam accused Nirav Modi is brought back to India within two months, apart from the issuance of fresh guidelines on grant of big loans.

Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra agreed to list the PIL by Vineet Dhanda after it was mentioned for urgent hearing. Advocate JP Dhanda mentioned the matter before the CJI.

Juxtaposing poor farmers' inability to repay agricultural loans with the recent Rs 11,300 crore PNB fraud, the PIL has sought intervention of the Supreme Court to protect the people's rights.

11:05 am Fitch on PNB: Fitch placed Punjab National Bank on 'Rating Watch Negative' (RWN), reflecting a possibility of downgrade following the USD 1.77 billion fraud.

The fraud-- the biggest ever in the banking history-- has raised questions on both internal and external risk controls as well as the quality of management supervision considering that the fraud went undetected for several years, it said.

"Fitch Ratings has placed Punjab National Bank's (PNB) Viability Rating of 'bb' on Rating Watch Negative (RWN), following the large fraud reported by PNB," the US-based agency said in a statement.

The Viability Rating measures credit worthiness of a financial institution and reflects the likelihood of the entity to fail, as per Fitch.

10:59 am IndusInd Bank clarifies on exposure PNB fraud case: Private sector lender IndusInd Bank said it has no direct or indirect credit exposures to Nirav Modi with regards to the LoUs issued by the scam-hit Punjab National Bank.

The bank, however, added that it has a "small, two-digit exposure" to Gitanjali Gems not linked to any LoUs", without disclosing the exact amount.

Shares of the bank were trading 1 per cent higher at Rs 1,648.35 on BSE in morning.

"IndusInd Bank has no direct credit exposures to Nirav Modi nor any indirect credit exposures basis the LoUs issued by PNB. As regards Gitanjali Gems, the Bank has a small, two digit exposure, not linked to any LOUs," the bank said in a regulatory filing.

10:47 am Market Update: Benchmark indices continued to trade higher, with the Sensex rising more than 100 points supported by private banks, technology, metals stocks.

Tata Steel was among top Sensex gainers after CLSA bet big on the Indian steel industry, saying tightening demand-supply will aid stock performance. Macquarie too maintained outperform rating on the stock, saying the recent correction has made the risk-reward attractive.

PNB fell for fifth consecutive session, falling another 3 percent after 3 new arrests were made in the fraud case. Gitanjali Gems was locked at another 10 percent lower circuit, taking total loss to more than 56 percent in February so far.

10:37 am Buzzing: JSW Energy shares gained as much as 2.5 percent in morning on signing pact with Maharashtra government for setting up manufacturing unit for electric vehicles (EV) and energy storage systems in the state.

"The company has now entered into another MoU with the Government of Maharashtra for setting up facilities for the manufacturing of EV and Energy Storage Systems in the state of Maharashtra, subject to receipt of internal corporate approvals," Sajjan Jindal-led company said in a BSE filing.

This agreement was in addition to the earlier MoU with the Government of Gujarat with respect to EV manufacturing and associated businesses.

10:32 am Drug Patent: Suven Life Sciences announced that the grant of one product patent from India and one product patent from South Korea corresponding to the new chemical entities (NCEs) for the treatment of disorders associated with Neurodegenerative diseases.

These patents are valid through 2029 and 2033, respectively.

10:22 am Top Gainers:

10:12 am Market Update: Benchmark indices extended gains with the BSE Sensex rising over 157 points and the Nifty recapturing the 10,400-level on buying by investors in metal, capital goods and IT stocks amid a mixed trend at other Asian markets.

The 30-share Sensex was up by 157.24 points, or 0.46 percent, to 33,931.90. The index had lost 522.81 points in the previous two sessions.

Overseas, Asian stocks were trading mixed as Treasury yields climbed back toward recent four-year highs. Chinese markets will reopen on Thursday, 22 February. US markets remained closed yesterday, in observance of Presidents Day.

9:59 am Buzzing: Kaya shares rallied as much as 5.5 percent intraday after Porinju's Equity Intelligence picked up minor stake in the company.

Portfolio Management clients of Equity Intelligence India Private Limited and EQ India Fund, which are owned by ace investor Porinju Veliyath, acquired 13,350 shares (representing 0.1 percent of total paid up equity) of the company, as per disclosure available on the exchange.

Shares were bought through open market transactions.

Kaya is a provider of skincare, haircare and beauty solutions in India and overseas markets.

9:52 am Market Update: Benchmark indices recouped early losses, with the Sensex rising more than 100 points led by private banks, technology and metals stocks.

Nifty50 traded above 10,400 levels while all sectoral indices were trading in the green.

Nifty Metal was the biggest gainer among sectoral indices, rising 1.5 percent.

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

9:45 am Rupee Trade: The rupee depreciated 21 paise to 64.42 against the US dollar at the interbank forex market today on increased demand for the greenback from importers and banks.

A strong dollar in overseas markets weighed on the Indian rupee, a currency dealer said.

On Friday, the rupee had ended 30 paise lower at 64.21 against the US dollar on rising global crude prices and worsening trade deficit.

On a net basis, foreign investors withdrew Rs 895.79 crore from stocks yesterday, according to provisional FPI data.

The dollar recovered from a 15-month low against the yen to trade at 106.75, up 0.15 percent for the day.

9:40 am Nirav Modi to PNB: Throwing up his hands, beleaguered businessman Nirav Modi, the alleged kingpin of the largest banking scam in the country's history, has said PNB's ''overzealousness'' shut the doors on his ability to clear the dues.

He also said the dues were much less than what the bank has claimed, and that his relatives booked in the cases filed by the central agencies had nothing to do with the operations of the firms under their scanner.

In a letter Modi wrote on February 15/16 to the Punjab National Bank management, a copy of which PTI has seen, he pegged the money his companies owe to the bank under Rs 5,000 crore.

"The erroneously cited liability resulted in a media frenzy which led to immediate search and seizure of operations, and which in turn resulted in Firestar International and Firestar Diamond International effectively ceasing to be going-concerns.

"This thereby jeopardised our ability to discharge the dues of the group to the banks," Modi, who left the country along with his family in the first week of January, before the alleged scam became public, wrote in the letter.

"In the anxiety to recover your dues immediately, despite my offer (on February 13, a day before the public announcement, and on 15) your actions have destroyed my brand and the business and have now restricted your ability to recover all the dues leaving a trail of unpaid debts,"he said.

9:29 am Q3 Earnings Analysis: Ridham Desai of Morgan Stanley said in Q3FY18, earnings growth weakness was led by public sector banks and PSU oil companies. Improving revenue and earnings breadth was a key positive.

Morgan Stanley coverage revenue growth rose to a 3-quarter high at 15 percent YoY and beat MS analysts' expectations by 4 percent, he added.

He said the strongest growth came from energy and materials. EBITDA growth at 15 percent YoY was 3 percent behind MS analysts' estimates.

Healthcare sector saw the most decline in EBITDA growth combined with margin compression of 430 bps, he added.

9:21 am Buzzing: Fortis Healthcare shares rallied 3.7 percent after ace investor Radhakishan Damani's firm Derive Investments picked up half a percent equity stake in the company.

Derive Investments has bought 26.5 lakh equity shares of the company at Rs 144.5 per share through block deals on Monday, as per bulk deal data on the National Stock Exchange.

Meanwhile, promoters holding in the company reduced to 8.85 percent from 34.33 percent earlier after lenders revoked 25.58 percent equity of promoter group.

9:15 am Market Check: Benchmark indices opened mildly higher with the Sensex rising over 100 points but immediately trimmed gains to trade flat as volatility continued ahead of expiry of February futures & options contracts later this week.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 19.27 points at 33,793.93 and the 50-share NSE Nifty fell 3 points to 10,375.40.

Nifty Midcap index fell 73 points.

PNB, Allahabad Bank, Union Bank, Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, GMR Infrastructure, Adani Power, JSPL, Nalco and Jaiprakash Associates were down 1-4 percent.

Fortis Healthcare, Bhushan Steel, Amtek Auto, Kaya and JSW Energy gained 1-5 percent.