Sensex ends over 100 points higher, Nifty just below 10,400; IT shines

3:30 pm Market at Close: The Street has ended the session on a positive note, with the Sensex closing over 100 points higher, but the Nifty has ended just below 10,400-mark.

The Sensex closed higher by 141.27 points or 0.42% at 33844.86, while the Nifty was up 37.10 points or 0.36% at 10397.50. The market breadth was negative as 1122 shares advanced, against a decline of 1584 shares, while 212 shares are unchanged.

TCS, HCL Tech, Tech Mahindra and ITC were the top gainers, while Sun Pharma, IndusInd Bank, and Hindalco lost the most.

3:20 pm Management Commentary: Mahindra CIE Automotive reported a strong quarter with 22 percent revenue growth. They follow the calendar year process and therefore it's Q4 for them. Europe business aided performance.

In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Hemant Luthra, Chairman of Mahindra CIE discussed the Q4 performance of the company.

Luthra said that topline will continue to increase due to Mexican plant ramp-up.

He further said that European markets are looking strong.

Talking about numbers, he said return on capital employed (RoCe) is at 12 percent and we are looking to improve it.

2:55 pm Leadership view: N Chandrasekaran completes a year as Tata Sons' Chairman and keeps to his promise of stabilising the conglomerate by simplifying the structure. In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Vallabh Bhanshali, Chairman of Enam Securities shared his views on the same.

Bhanshali said that would rate Chandra's performance as 9 on 10 this year, as Tata Group Chairman.

He further said that Chandra provides an exemplary depiction of an uncluttered mind.

I see Chandra as a software man with niche in finance, he added.

2:25 pm NITI Aayog: Government think-tank NITI Aayog is preparing another list of sick PSUs that can be privatised, its CEO Amitabh Kant said today.

The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) had asked the think- tank to look into the viability of sick state-run companies. The Aayog has already recommended strategic divestment of 40 sick public sector units.

"NITI Aayog has already recommended 40 sick PSUs for strategic disinvestment. Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) is working on it and the process is on advanced stage.

1:55 pm Lupin gets final approval from USFDA: Lupin has received final approval for its Oseltamivir for oral suspension from the United States Food and Drug Administration to market the generic version of Hoffman-La Roche, Inc.'s Tamiflu for oral suspension, 6mg/mL.

1:50 pm Buzzing Stock: Shares of Biocon fell over 3 percent intraday on Wednesday as investors reacted to the news of six observations for its unit.

The biotechnology major said the US health regulator has made six observations after inspecting its Malaysia manufacturing facility.

"The USFDA has completed a pre-approval inspection of our manufacturing facility in Malaysia and issued a Form 483 with six observations," Biocon said in a regulatory filing.

1:28 pm SC directive: The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed embattled real estate firm Amrapali to furnish details of all projects nearing completion, the total amount collected from homebuyers till date and the amount spent on construction at the next date of hearing, scheduled to be held on Thursday.

To ensure that priority be given to projects that are nearing completion, the apex court has directed the developer to submit details of the status of construction of projects nearing completion. It has also asked the developer to furnish details of the amount pending from the buyers' side.

Lawyers present at the hearing said that depending on the project details submitted by the real estate company, homebuyers may be directed to deposit the amount due from them with the court registry and that money may be released to the builder once the builder completes the project and once the units are ready for possession.

1:15 pm Narayana Murthy speak: N Chandrasekaran completes a year as Tata Sons' Chairman and keeps to his promise of stabilising the conglomerate by simplifying the structure. In an interview to CNBC-TV18, NR Narayana Murthy, Founder of Catamaran Ventures shared his views and readings on the same.

Murthy said that whatever Chandra does, it would be for benefit of the shareholders.

He further said that Chandra will take decisions that are best for Tata Group.

12:55 pm Bitcoin value jumps: Bitcoin hit a three-week high on Tuesday and has surged nearly 100 percent from its lowest level this year, as its recovery continued after South Korea's financial regulator eased its stance on cryptocurrencies, weeks after it considered shutting down digital currency exchanges.

Analysts cited South Korean news agency Yonhap, which reported Choe Heung-sik, governor of the Financial Supervisory Service, as saying that the government will support cryptocurrency trading if ''normal transactions'' are made.

Reuters is unable to verify the Yonhap report.

''While the threat of heavy regulation, or even a total ban on exchange trading, has hovered over bitcoin in recent weeks, reports this morning that the South Korean government are softening their stance have given traders confidence to buy,'' said Dennis de Jong, managing director, at online brokerage in Limassol, Cyprus.

12:40 pm Adani investment: Adani Group said it will invest Rs 35,000 crore in Uttar Pradesh over the next five years in various sectors.

Promising to stand with the leadership in transforming the state, Gautam Adani of the Adani Group committed an aggregate investment of Rs 35,000 crores in UP.

Speaking at the inaugural session of the Investors Summit- 2018 here, Adani said energy, logistics, solar power, roads and agriculture are among the core sectors in which his group is working and showed interest in investing in these fields.

12:20 pm NPPA hits out at pvt hospitals: Private hospitals in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) made up to 1737 percent in profits from drugs, diagnostics, and consumables, according to a report by National Pharma Pricing Authority (NPPA).

The NPPA report said that the hospitals are are exploiting both consumers and manufacturers in order to charge exorbitant prices.

The highest margin on procurement prices was 1737 percent on three way stop cock bi-valves. The hospitals purchase this for Rs 5.77, and the MRP is Rs 106.

The profit margin on consumables range between 344 percent and 1737 percent, according to a News18 report.

12:08 pm Bond outlook: In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Manish Wadhawan, MD & Head of Fixed Income at HSBC India shared his views and reading on rupee and bond yields.

Wadhawan said that the long rupee positions have got unwound a bit in the system.

Talking about bond yields, he said we are already on the higher ranges in terms of 10-year bond yields.

11:59 am Bank of Japan interest rates: The new Bank of Japan leadership won't be able to raise interest rates this year as the central bank missed the best opportunity to do so in 2017, former BOJ board member Sayuri Shirai said on Wednesday.

Stable markets, solid economic growth and a tightening job market would have allowed the BOJ to kick off the process of normalising its crisis-mode stimulus last year, Shirai said.

But the recent market sell-off has made it difficult for the central bank to seek an exit from ultra-easy policy, underscoring the challenges BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda faces heading into his second, five-year term, Shirai said.

11:45 am Management Speak: The cabinet has approved opening up coal mining to the private sector for commercial use. In an interview to CNBC-TV18, SK Acharya, Chairman of NLC India spoke at length about the same.

Acharya said that we welcome government's move to commercialise coal mining for private players.

He further said that market for commercial mining is expanding.

11:32 am Biocon gets observations: Biotechnology major Biocon said the US health regulator has made six observations after inspecting its Malaysia manufacturing facility.

"The USFDA has completed a pre-approval inspection of our manufacturing facility in Malaysia and issued a Form 483 with six observations," Biocon said in a regulatory filing.

"As per the normal expectations of the agency, we intend to respond with a corrective and preventive action plan in a timely manner," it added.

The company, however, did not share the details of the observations made by the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA).

11:25 am Private participation in coal mining: In a bold move which will end Coal India's monopoly. The cabinet has approved opening up coal mining to the private sector for commercial mining.

Coal minister Piyush Goyal announced that allocation will be done through auctions and that there would be no restrictions on end use or on prices.

In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Susheel Kumar, Coal Secretary, Government of India spoke at length about the announcement.

Kumar said that next month we are likely to announce the timeline as well as name and number of coal mines which are going to be offered.

11:05 am Market Outlook: IIFL's three day India conference begins today and about 180 corporate will be attending. It's an impressive list.

In an interview to CNBC-TV18, GV Giri, Head of Research at IIFL Institutional Equities spoke at length about the conference and shared his views on the market.

Giri said that investor mood is reasonably optimistic in spite of the fact that some might think that the market is a bit overvalued.

10:55 am Market Check: After giving up some gains, the market is currently trading mildly higher. The Nifty continues to be below 10,400-mark. Selling pressure is visible among all sectoral indices, barring IT index. Nifty IT is currently up around 2 percent as tech stocks rose due to weak rupee. Metal, pharma and PSU banks are currently the top losers. Among stocks, TCS, Dr Reddy's and Infosys are the top gainers, while Coal India has lost the most.

10:50 am Oil-backed cryptocurrency: Venezuela has formally launched its new oil-backed cryptocurrency in an unconventional bid to haul itself out of a deepening economic crisis.

The leftist Caracas government put 38.4 million units of the world's first state-backed digital currency, the Petro, on private pre-sale from the early hours.

During the first 20 hours of the pre-sale, which runs through March 19, Venezuela received "intent to buy" offers to the tune of USD 735 million, according to President Nicolas Maduro.

"The Petro reinforces our independence and economic sovereignty and will allow us to fight the greed of foreign powers that try to suffocate Venezuelan families to seize our oil," he said.

10:40 am Market Outlook: After a blockbuster rally in the year 2017, Indian markets are dancing on the tunes of global markets, a trend which is likely to continue in the near term, Pramod Gubbi, Ambit Capital said in an interview with CNBC-TV18.

Indian market is under pressure largely on account of both domestic as well as global factors. But, in the near term, it will be global cues which will give direction to the Indian market.

Investors should also keep a close eye on the dollar which is moving in its normal direction. We might have seen a bottom of the dollar which might not auger well for emerging markets like India.

Commenting on the earnings front, Gubbi said that the December quarter results demonstrated some sort of pick up. The last 3 years have not been that great for Indian markets and India Inc.

10:25 am PNB case update: The CBI has arrested a General Manager-rank officer of the Punjab National Bank posted at the bank's head office here in connection with the alleged Rs 11,400-crore fraud involving billionaire jewellers Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi, officials said.

Rajesh Jindal, who was the head of the Brady House, Mumbai, branch of the bank during 2009-11, was taken into custody last night, they said.

It is alleged that the issuance of Letters of Undertaking (LOUs) to Nirav Modi group firms without sanctioned limits started during his tenure.

Jindal is presently posted as GM, Credit, PNB Head Office, New Delhi.

10:15 am Buzzing Stock: Shares of Coal India lost around 2 percent intraday after the government on Tuesday allowed private sector to mine coal and sell it for commercial use.

The move ended state-owned CIL's monopoly in a bid to cut imports by raising domestic output.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved the auctioning of coal mines to any firm bidding the highest per tonne price, Minister for Coal and Railways Piyush Goyal said briefing the media.

10:02 am Market Check: The market erased some of its gains from the gap-up opening seen.

The Sensex is up 74.55 points or 0.22% at 33778.14, and the Nifty up 8.00 points or 0.08% at 10368.40. The market breadth is narrow as 995 shares advanced, against a decline of 938 shares, while 157 shares were unchanged.

Dr Reddy's, ITC, Tech Mahindra and HCL Tech are the top gainers, while Coal India, Sun Pharma, Hindalco and Bajaj Finance lost the most.

9:45 am Currency outlook:

9:35 am Buzzing Stock: Shares of Ambuja Cements were up over 2 percent intraday on Wednesday as investors reacted to the December quarter performance of the company.

The company's Q4CY17 beat analyst expectations 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 Q4, compared to Rs 2,224.5 crore in same quarter last year.

9:25 am Crude update: Oil prices witnessed a decline, weighed down by the rebound of the US dollar further away from three-year lows hit last week.

An expected rise in US oil production also weighed on prices, traders said.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $61.32 a barrel at 0307 GMT, down 47 cents, or 0.8 percent, from their last settlement.

9:15 am Market Opens: The equity market has begun the day on a positive note, with the Sensex gaining over 100 points, while the Nifty reclaimed 10,400.

The Sensex is up 168.98 points or 0.50% at 33872.57, while the Nifty is up 46.60 points or 0.45% at 10407.00. The market breadth is positive as 358 shares advanced, against a decline of 138 shares, while 81 shares are unchanged.

Almost all sectoral indices are trading in the green, with IT and PSU banks being top gainers. Meanwhile, midcaps are also trading positive.

In case of stocks, IT stocks are reacting positively to the rupee's depreciation. TCS and Infosys are among Sensex gainers. Coal India, Sun Pharma and ONGC are the top losers.

In the currency market, rupee opened lower by 11 paise at 64.90 per dollar on Wednesday versus previous close 64.79.

Pramit Brahmbhatt of Veracity said, "Rupee will trade with a negative bias on back of stronger dollar as well as weakness in the domestic equity market. 64.80 is the immediate support for the rupee and more weakness can be seen beyond the support."

"The trading range for the spot USD-INR is expected to be 64.50-65," he added.

The US dollar rose to a six-year high as it extends the rebound from a three-year low helped by rising treasury yields and profit-booking by forex traders.

Among global markets, stock markets dipped after a long winning run on Wall Street ended overnight, while the dollar gained momentum on Wednesday as yields on US Treasury debt headed for highs not seen in four years.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan lost 0.15 percent. Japan's Nikkei shed 0.2 percent. Australian stocks were down 0.05 percent and South Korea's KOSPI fell 0.4 percent.

Meanwhile, the Dow and S&P 500 fell on Tuesday to snap a six-session winning streak as a sharp decline in Walmart weighed heavily, but gains in Amazon and chip stocks helped the Nasdaq hold near the unchanged mark.

Walmart, the world's biggest brick-and-mortar retailer, reported a lower-than-expected profit and posted a sharp drop in online sales growth during the holiday period. Its shares slumped 10.2 percent, and suffered their biggest percentage fall since January 1988.

Markets have been choppy in recent weeks, falling more than 10 percent from their January 26 high only to rebound last week with their best weekly gain in five years. Tuesday's declines once again pushed the S&P 500 below the 50-day moving average, a technical support level.