Sensex ends on a flat note, Nifty below 10,400; midcaps take a hit

3:30 pm Market at Close: After trading in the red for the greater part of the day, benchmark indices have ended the day on a flat note.

The Sensex is down 25.36 points or 0.07% at 33819.50, while the Nifty is down 14.75 points or 0.14% at 10382.70. The market breadth is negative as 1019 shares have advanced, 1694 shares declined, and 217 shares are unchanged.

Sun Pharma, Adani Ports, and Aurobindo Pharma were the top gainers, while Dr Reddy's Labs, ONGC and BPCL lost the most.

3:25 pm Management Outlook: Royal Orchid Hotels is in focus on the back of opening a new resort in Nashik. In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Amit Jaiswal, CFO of the company spoke at length about the same.

Jaiswal said that we expect revenue of Rs 35 lakh from Nashik hotel.

He further said that an average revenue per room is expected to be Rs 5,500-6,000 in the Nashik property.

3:10 pm Management Speak: In an interview to CNBC-TV18, TK Chand, CMD of NALCO spoke about aluminium prices and the latest happenings in the company.

Chand said that Q3 aluminium prices averaged around USD 2,100 per tonne.

He further said that we are seeing some increase in input prices that will support price of final product.

2:55 pm IT outlook: IT has been the lone warrior for the bulls off late. Recently we got the FY19 outlook from NASSCOM as well, which sees high single digit growth for IT exports. In an interview with CNBC-TV18, Abhishek Singh, Group CFO of Mastek shared his thoughts on the outlook. The company also posted Q3 numbers, which appear steady.

We can clearly see that the demand environment has improved and in the two key markets that we operate in UK as well as in US, we clearly see that there are enough and more inquiries and the demand generation is good, he said.

Brexit has thrown up a slew of opportunities for companies like Mastek because it has led to creation of possibly more than 30 departments within the UK government and a lot of them need IT support, he added.

At 2:40 Buyback: KPR Mill board in its meeting held this February 22 approved the proposal to buyback not exceeding 13,35,000 at a price of Rs 810.

2:30 pm Market Check: The benchmark indices slipped further in the afternoon trade as Nifty trading below 10,350.
The Sensex was down 148.55 points at 33696.31, and the Nifty was down 52.95 points at 10344.50. About 965 shares have advanced, 1578 shares declined, and 225 shares are unchanged.

2:20 pm Jain Irrigation bags order: Jain Irrigation Systems has bagged Rs 375 crore order from Pune Municipal Corporation.

The contract involves study, survey, investigation, assessment, design validation  and  revamping  of  entire  water supply system including water audit, non-revenue water reduction, SCADA, bill reading and generation, operation and maintenance of the system.

2:10 pm Stock view: Shares of Dish TV jumped 2.3 percent intraday on Thursday as research firm Citi maintained a buy on the stock. However, the house has cut target of the stock to Rs 90 from Rs 100. The firm is of the view that though current EBITDA is far worse than its peers, it expects better trends in FY19.

"The combined entity listing of Dish TV Videocon d2h should happen in March which will be key to stock performance," it said. The stock is attractively priced post the underperformance and could see decent returns with the merger, it added.

At 14:00 hrs Dish TV India was quoting at Rs 74.70, up Rs 2.05, or 2.82 percent. It has touched an intraday high of Rs 74.70 and an intraday low of Rs 72.15.

1:55 pm Buzzing Stock: Shares of Glenmark Pharma rose 1.3 percent in the early trade on Thursday as it has entered into an exclusive agreement with Sam Chun Dang Pharm.

The company has entered into an exclusive agreement with Sam Chun Dang Pharm. Co. (SCD), to develop, manufacture and market a portfolio of ophthalmic products in the US and Canada.

Under this agreement, these products will be developed and manufactured by SCD in South Korea.

1:45 pm IPO news: Two state-run companies -Bharat Dynamics and Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) - have received Sebi's go-ahead to float initial public offerings.

Bharat Dynamics and IREDA had received 'observations' from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) on February 15 and February 16, respectively, as per the latest update with the markets watchdog.

The observations are very important to any company for launching public issues like initial public offer (IPO), follow-on public offer (FPO) and rights issue.

1:35 pm Rupee update: The rupee pared its initial losses, but traded lower by 23 paise against the US dollar on sustained bouts of the American currency's demand from importers and banks amid higher dollar overseas.

The rupee opened lower at 65.06 as against yesterday's close of 64.76 at the inter-bank foreign exchange here.

The domestic unit hovered between 65.08 and 64.97 during morning deals, it was trading at 64.99 at 1035 hrs.

1:20 pm Market Check: The Sensex is down 109.75 points or 0.32% at 33735.11, and the Nifty down 37.65 points or 0.36% at 10359.80. The market breadth is negative as 973 shares have advanced, 1485 shares declined, and 222 shares are unchanged.

1:10 pm Profit margins: India state refiners expect their profit margins to hold their strength this year as demand growth accelerates for fuel products amid a record $93 billion spent on infrastructure and stable crude oil prices, company executives and analysts said.

India's sales of cars and especially motorbikes are forecast to rise rapidly, even as the development of a Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor drives consumption of the country's primary fuel products, diesel and gasoline.

The infrastructure programme for fiscal 2018/19 calls for more than 80,000 km (50,000 miles) in new highways to better connect rural areas with urban hubs. Roads and other construction require oil-based products such as tar and plastic piping, and fuel to move materials by truck and rail.

"They (these projects) will have a cascading effect on fuel demand," said R. Ramachandran, director of refineries at Bharat Petroleum, adding that this would be reflected directly in strong refining margins.

12:45 pm Buzzing Stock: Shares of Escorts gained around 2 percent intraday after Credit Suisse maintained its outperform rating on the stock with a target of Rs 1,040.

Credit Suisse is positive on FY19 tractor demand & margin expansion across multiple segments. It expects earnings CAGR of 25 percent over FY18-20. Further, it expects earnings CAGR of 25 percent over FY18-20.

Offtake has been strong even in January, usually a lean month, it said, adding that dealers are expecting the momentum to continue for the next few months.

12:30 pm NSE Management outlook: National Stock Exchange (NSE) and Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) have moved to reassure stakeholders of an orderly transition of data. This comes after the indices said they would stop licensing their indexes and securities data to foreign exchanges.

In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Vikram Limaye, MD & CEO of NSE gave further clarifications and spoke about the latest happenings.

Limaya said that we do not believe move by Indian exchanges is anti-competitive.

12:15 pm Brokerage View: Global research firm HSBC has maintained a buy on 3 and 4-wheeler auto manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) and has raised the target to Rs 840 from Rs 795 per scrip. The house is of the view that the delay in new launches is discomforting, but doesn't impact the stock price. However, it feels that the tractor business is likely to surprise positively in FY19 as well.

The house expects strong growth of 10-12 percent in FY19 as well with the near-term outlook for the auto and tractor businesses appearing positive. Strong rural demand and good CV growth and upside from new launches are the positive for the auto company.

11:45 am Bhushan Seel bid: Reacting sharply to the rejection of its bid for Bhushan Steel & Power on Wednesday, Liberty House said it will approach the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) so that its proposal is considered.

"Our bid was submitted before (other) bids were opened, so nothing unfair has happened," a spokesperson for Liberty House told Moneycontrol.

The last date for submission for bids for the troubled steelmaker was February 8. Tata Steel and JSW Steel had submitted their bids, and the Tata company is said to be the front-runner.

11:32 am Market Outlook: IT has been the lone warrior for the bulls off late. Could things for the sector gets better from hereon. In an interview to CNBC-TV18, CP Gurnani, MD & CEO of Tech Mahindra, Farid Kazani, MD of Majesco and Apurva Prasad, Research Analyst-IT at HDFC Securities spoke at length about the sector.

Gurnani said that the commentary from NASSCOM suggested that FY19 would be better.

I feel lot more confident about the IT sector now, said Gurnani.

He further said that we are seeing revival in communication space given 5G.

11:25 am MF news: Mirae Asset Mutual Fund will rename Mirae Asset India Opportunities Fund with effect from March 1, the fund house said in a newspaper notice.

The equity-oriented scheme will be renamed Mirae Asset India Equity Fund.The scheme has been renamed as per the new guidelines set by the Securities and Exchange Board of India on October 6.

11:10 am Electrification plans: Bibek Debroy, economist and chairman of the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council, has said he had not urged the government to rethink its plans for electrification of the railway network and replacement of its diesel fleet.

A media report had last week said Debroy had sent a note to the PMO and Rail Bhawan asking the government to rethink the railways' 100 per cent electrification mission.

At the launch of his books, "Bharat vapas patri par" and "Bharatiya rail, desh ki jeevam rekha" yesterday, Debroy said his interaction with the Railway Ministry and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal was a continuous one.

10:56 am Agreement: Glenmark Pharmaceuticals has entered into an exclusive agreement with South Korea's Sam Chun Dang Pharm. Co. Ltd. (SCD) to develop, manufacture and market a portfolio of ophthalmic products in the US and Canada.

"Under this agreement, these products will be developed and manufactured by SCD in South Korea. Glenmark will seek all market authorisations and commercialise the products in North America," the company said in a BSE filing.

Glenmark Pharmaceuticals President, North America & Global API, Robert Matsuk said, the agreement for these ophthalmic products is aligned with the company's strategy to strengthen its focus on complex generic formulations.

10:45 am MF View: After an explosive rally seen in 2017, the year 2018 will be a volatile one, according to Nilesh Shah, MD, Kotak Mahindra AMC. In an interview with CNBC-TV18 Shah said new highs will be possible in this year only if corporate earnings growth starts to inch up, and once clarity emerges on the 2019 election verdict.

''New highs on the index will require uptrend in corporate results and some clarity on the 2019 election verdict. Barring PSU banks, most of the companies reported earnings in-line with expectations or little ahead of expectations,'' he said.

On sectoral trends, a depreciating rupee and large orders could continue to support IT companies. One big reason which could lead to outperformance is low valuation as well as under ownership.

10:25 am Mutual Fund news: DSP BlackRock Mutual Fund has added two additional payment dates under its systematic investment facility applicable for all open-ended schemes, the fund house said in a newspaper notice.

The unit holders will be able to pay their installments on 5th and 20th of every month, in addition to the existing dates.

10:10 am Buzzing Stock: Shares of Bajaj Finserv, Grasim Industries and Titan Company rose more than 1 percent intraday Thursday as they were included in Nifty 50 index.

Meanwhile, shares of Ambuja Cements, Aurobindo Pharma and Bosch slipped 1-2.5 percent as they were excluded from the Nifty 50 index

The changes were announced by India Index Services and Products, an arm of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) as part of its periodic review.

9:47 am Market Outlook: In an interview to CNBC-TV18, from the sideline of the IIFL Enterprising India Conference, Ashutosh Datar, Equity Strategist at IIFL Institutional Equities shared his views and readings on the market.

Datar said that focus should be on companies where earnings momentum is strong.

He further said that there are opportunities to buy and be underweight in financial sector.

9:39 am Allahabad Bank declines: Shares of Allahabad Bank lost over 3 percent intraday on Thursday as investors reacted to its announcement of exposure to Rotomac Group.

In a filing to exchanges, the public sector bank declared that it has exposure of over Rs 500 crore to the group. Further, it clarified that the said amount has been declared as a non-performing asset (NPA) and the required provision has been made.

It also informed that some accounts have been filed under National Company Law Tribunal as well.

9:29 am Expert view: In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Richard Harris, Chief Executive at Port Shelter Investment Management shared his views and readings on the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) minutes and emerging markets.

Harries said that the FOMC minutes does not tell anything new.

Talking about dollar, he said dollar and US treasury yields rising in tandem is a temporary feature.

9:15 am Market Opens: Benchmark indices began the day on a negative note, with the Sensex cracking over 100 points. The Nifty was trading below 10,350-mark.

The Sensex is currently down 117.85 points or 0.35% at 33727.01, and the Nifty is down 52.95 points or 0.51% at 10344.50. The market breadth favours the decline as 192 shares advanced, against a decline of 329 shares , while 91 shares are unchanged.

All sectoral indices are trading in the red, while midcaps are also trading weak. Nifty PSU bank index is down over 1 percent.

Wipro, Bajaj Auto and Kotak Mahindra Bank are the top gainers, while ONGC, BPCL, Aurobindo Pharma and SBI have lost the most.

The Indian rupee declined in the early trade on Thursday. It has opened lower by 29 paise at 65.05 per dollar versus 64.76 Wednesday.

Mohan Shenoi of Kotak Mahindra Bank said, "US FOMC minutes caused market volatility with US treasury yields touching a new high, US stock markets reversing early gains and dollar strengthening further."

"Recent negative developments in Indian banking sector has put pressure on the rupee. The USD-INR is expected to trade in a range of 64.75-65.05 for the day."

Among global markets, Asian shares slipped as the risk of faster hikes in U.S interest rates lifted short-term Treasury yields to the highest in almost a decade and boosted the dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan eased 0.35 percent in early trade, while E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 lost 0.2 percent.

Japan's Nikkei shed 1 percent even as the yen gave back some of its recent gains on the dollar.

US stocks closed lower on Wednesday in a rocky session after the release of the minutes from the Federal Reserve's January meeting pushed yields on the benchmark 10-year U. Treasury note to a four-year high.

After the Fed left interest rates unchanged in January, minutes showed the US central bank's rate-setting committee grew more confident in the need to keep raising rates, with most believing inflation would perk up amid an improving economic landscape.

Stocks initially reacted positively, with each of the major Wall Street indexes touching session highs. Stocks began to pare gains, however, as bond yields climbed to a four-year high of 2.957 percent on the likelihood of further rate increases this year.