Sensex ends over 300 points higher, Nifty just below 10,500

3:30 pm Market at Close: Equities have ended the day on a strong note, with the Sensex gaining over 300 points, while the Nifty ended just below 10,500.

The Sensex is up 322.65 points or 0.95% at 34142.15, and the Nifty is up 108.30 points or 1.04% at 10491.00. The market breadth is positive as 1894 shares advanced, against a decline of 829 shares, while 208 shares are unchanged.

Sun Pharma, Tata Steel, Yes Bank and UPL gained the most on both indices, while Asian Paints, Infosys, and GAIL were the top losers.

3:15 pm NBCC signs MoU with Ministry of Finance: NBCC has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Government of India for construction of housing project for India Economic Services (IES) officers at Deen Dayal Upadhaya Marg, New Delhi, wherein NBCC will work as project management consultant at 7 percent fees.

3:05 pm Market extends gain: The benchmark indices extended the gains in the afternoon trade with a 1 percent gain on each indices.

The Sensex was up 329.65 points at 34149.15, and the Nifty was up 109.70 points at 10492.40. About 1839 shares have advanced, 762 shares declined, and 213 shares are unchanged.

2:55 pm SREI Infra signs MoU: SREI Infrastructure and Uttar Pradesh government has signed MoU for development of Agra.

2:45 pm Sun Pharma gets 3 observations: Shares of Sun Pharmaceutical Industries added 5.3 percent intraday Friday as the company received 3 observations from USFDA.

United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) has issues Form 483 with 3 observations to the company's Halol unit.

The USFDA had conducted a Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) inspection at Halol facility, Gujarat, India from February 12-23, 2018.

2:33 pm D-Mart gains: Shares of Avenue Supermarts, the operator of D-Mart, gained around 5 percent intraday after Goldman Sachs raised the target price on the stock.

The global research firm has maintained its buy call on the stock and raised target to Rs 1,672 from Rs 1,611. This implicates an upside of 4 percent.

Goldman expects the company to open 24/28/30 stores in FY19/20/21 against 18 earlier.

It observed that there was steady progress on Premia and DMart Ready.

2:20 pm Market Check: The Sensex is up 289.42 points or 0.86% at 34108.92, and the Nifty up 98.80 points or 0.95% at 10481.50. The market breadth is positive as 1800 shares advanced, against a decline of 775 shares, while 197 shares were unchanged.

2:10 pm Expert view: Trump's administration has made H1B visa approval a tad bit tougher. This is likely to have some kind of impact on IT stocks. In an interview with CNBC-TV18, Sandip Agarwal of Edelweiss Financial Services and Apurva Prasad of HDFC Securities discussed what is going on in the IT index and will it materially impact IT companies.

I think there is no impact because about 2-3 percent people in my view goes through this, this is just another rhetoric, Agarwal said.

Firstly, I think it will be a relatively small number. Secondly, the dependence on H1B is also reducing, I don't think it is something which should be a concern, said Prasad.

1:58 pm PNB fraud update: The Enforcement Directorate, CBI and I-T department have started a probe in a string of LLP firms created by billionaire diamond merchant Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi in the Rs 11,400 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case.

The agencies are investigating whether or not the web of these Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) firms that Modi and Choksi used to run over the last two decades were used to funnel black money.

Moneycontrol accessed the list of these companies and found that in many of these companies both Modi and Choksi have exited as directors/partners over the last few years. In a few cases, they have exited as late as 2016, in one case in November 2017.

1:44 pm Market Check: The Street is now picking up momentum as gains are visible across sectoral indices. Nifty Auto, Nifty Bank and Nifty Energy are all up around 1 percent along with metals and pharma, which are up over 2 percent.

Midcaps, too, have extended their gains. Tata Steel and Sun Pharma are the top gainers, while Asian Paints, Coal India, and GAIL have lost the most.

HDFC Bank and Reliance Industries are up over 1 percent and are pushing both the indices higher. Shares of IT companies have recovered after witnessing a dip on the back of visa policy concerns in the US. The Nifty IT index is currently up around 1 percent.

1:30 pm IT stocks recover: Information technology (IT) stocks pared some losses after witnessing some pressure on the back of cautiousness on the US' visa policy.

The Nifty IT index had fallen over half a percent before witnessing a recovery. TCS as well as Infosys had also made it to the Sensex top losers' chart, before cutting these losses.

1:15 pm Gold update: Gold prices slipped on Friday and were headed for their sharpest weekly drop in 2.5 months as the dollar strengthened during the week.

Spot gold was down 0.2 percent at USD 1,328.90 an ounce as of 0338 GMT, heading for a fifth session of fall in six. It has shed 1.4 percent so far this week, its biggest since the week ended December 8, 2017.

US gold futures were down 0.1 percent at USD 1,331.2 per ounce.

"We remain somewhat cautious on gold over the short-term given that we think the dollar rally is still not over, especially in the light of US Treasury yields remaining elevated," said INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir.

12:55 pm Buzzing Stock: Shares of Siemens declined more than 3 percent intraday Friday as global broking houses maintained sell rating on the stock.

The company's board in its meeting held on February 21 has approved to sell its mobility division and rail traction drives business Siemens AG or its subsidiary.

The mobility division accounts for 10.46 percent of the turnover and 2.82 percent of the capital employed of the company for the year ended September 30, 2017.

12:40 pm Management Speak: Federal Bank has bought 26 percent stake in Equirus Capital, in a bid to broaden their product offerings to corporate & small and medium enterprise (SME) clients. In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Ajay Garg, MD of Equirus Capital spoke about the latest happenings in the company.

Garg said that we will help Federal Bank bring in equity products to its customer base.

He further said that we will benefit from the geographical presence of Federal Bank.

12:15 pm IPO update: Sembcorp Energy India, an independent power producer, today filed draft papers with capital markets regulator Sebi to float an initial public offering (IPO). The company, which has thermal and renewable power assets in India, is promoted by the Singapore Exchange-listed Sembcorp Industries.

The IPO comprises fresh issue of shares worth up to Rs 4,095 crore and an offer for sale (OFS) of up to 146,774,194 equity scrips by the existing shareholders, draft papers filed with Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) showed. This includes sale of 128,941,129 shares by Sembcorp Utilities and up to 17,833,065 equity scrips Gayatri Energy Ventures.

Proceeds from the issue will be utilised towards repayment of certain indebtedness, and for other general corporate purposes, the company said.

11:55 am Seizure: Patanjali Ayurved has moved the Delhi High Court against the seizure of a consignment of red sandalwood by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), which was being exported to China, reports The Economic Times.

The Customs Department and DRI seized more than 50 tonnes of red sandalwood logs along with documents and a passport belonging to a Patanjali representative, sources told the paper.

Although the firm said it had the permission to export Grade C sandalwood, the consignment was seized on suspicion that it may contain better-quality grade A or grade B red sanders wood.

11:35 am Jubilant Life falls: Shares of Jubilant Life fell around over 10 percent intraday on Friday after the stock witnessed a block deal.

Around 59.8 lakh shares of the company were traded in six blocks on the NSE at the price of Rs 914-940.05 per share.

This makes up around 3.8 percent of the equity and the deal value is seen at Rs 554.3 crore.

11:25 am IPO plans: Vectus Industries, a Noida-based manufacturer of water storage products, is exploring a Rs 500-crore initial public offering and is currently in talks with merchant banks to help it list on the exchanges, officials from two different investment banks told Moneycontrol. Private equity firm Creador has around 20 percent stake in the company and is expected to at least partially monetise it, one of the officials said.

''The company is eyeing a valuation of around Rs 2500 crore. The merchant banker is yet to be selected. Most of the issue will comprise fresh shares with the PE encashing some of its stake,'' the second official said.

According to the information available on the company's website, the more than two-decade-old company has 15 manufacturing plants in India and a manufacturing facility in Kenya. It makes water storage tanks like loft and moulded tanks as well as underground tanks. It also makes plumbing, column pipes, water piping systems and garbage bins for public use.

11:05 am Market Check: Strength in the market continued through the morning, with the Sensex and Nifty holding on to the gains.

The Sensex is up 137.80 points or 0.41% at 33957.30, and the Nifty up 48.10 points or 0.46% at 10430.80. The market breadth is positive as 1699 shares advanced, against a decline of 584 shares, while 166 shares are unchanged.

Tata Steel and Yes Bank are the top gainers on both indices, while TCS, Infosys, and GAIL have lost the most.

10:55 am Metals chart: Metals are one of the top gainers among all sectoral indices. Here's a look at the heatmap of that index.

10:45 am Buzzing Stocks: Shares of Merck, KSB Pumps and ITD Cementation India added 3-5 percent intraday Friday on the back of strong third quarter numbers. Merck has posted 42 percent increase in its Q3FY18 net profit at Rs 27 crore and revenue was up 22 percent at Rs 304 crore.

10:30 am Market Outlook: The year 2018 is unlikely to see a repeat performance of 2017 when benchmark indices rose by about 29 percent and mid & smallcap stocks outperformed by a wide margin, Sandeepa Arora, President, IIFL Institutional Equities said in an interview with CNBC-TV18. ''The trajectory looks a lot more volatile this year. Unlike 2017 which had a clear up run, that's not going to be the case in the year 2018. Considering we are sitting in a pre-election year, things are likely to remain volatile amid challenging macro environment,'' she said.

10:15 am PNB Investigation: Punjab National Bank (PNB), which is reeling under a major financial fraud, has appointed auditor PwC to conduct an investigation into the alleged Rs 11,300-crore fraud involving luxury jewellers Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi and their companies. A report in The Economic Times stated quoting sources that the auditing company has been asked to gather evidence against Nirav Modi and his associates so that it can be presented in court.

10:00 am Market Check: Shares have extended their gains from the opening bell, with the Sensex trading around 150 points higher, while the Nifty is comfortably trading above 10,400.

The Sensex is up 147.45 points or 0.44% at 33966.95, and the Nifty up 40.70 points or 0.39% at 10423.40. The market breadth is positive as 1412 shares have advanced, 483 shares declined, and 140 shares are unchanged.

Sun Pharma and Tata Steel are the top gainers on both indices, while Asian Paints, M&M, GAIL and Eicher Motors lost the most.

9:55 am Management Speak: Ministry of Commerce has recommended anti-dumping duty on import of dimethylacetamide. This is a product that Balaji Amines manufactures.

In an interview to CNBC-TV18, D Ram Reddy, JMD of Balaji Amines said that we are seeing support for dimethylacetamide post anti-dumping duty imposition.

He further said that anti-dumping duty on dimethylacetamide won't add to revenue but will improve bottomline.

9:40 am Federal Bank gains: Shares of Federal Bank gained 4.5 percent in the early trade on Friday as the company is going to acquire stake in Equirus Capital.

The board of directors of the bank has approved acquisition of significant minority stake of up to 26 percent of the paid-up share capital of Equirus Capital, a financial services company.

The said acquisition is subject to statutory and regulatory approvals and satisfactory completion of the financial and legal due diligence.

9:25 am Rupee Update: The Indian rupee opened higher by 9 paise at 64.95 per dollar on Friday versus previous close 65.04.

Bhaskar Panda of HDFC Bank said, "Worries of US rate hike, consequent rally in US yields, coupled with uncertainties due to the PNB episode has brought back pressure on the INR."

"The USD-INR pair has broken through crucial 64.80 levels and traded above 65 yesterday. Today, I expect the pair to consolidate in a range of 64.85-65.15 given the dollar fall overnight."

"The 10-year benchmark bond yield has been rallying higher after the latest MPC minutes. I expect the trend to sustain while today's range would be 7.72-7.78 percent," he added.

The dollar sagged broadly after its recovery this week faded as US treasury yields declined from their recent peaks.

The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies was little changed after bouncing from a three-year trough of 88.253 late last week.

9:15 am Market Opens: Equities have begun the day on a positive note, with the Nifty clocking 10,400 in the first few minutes of the trade.

The Sensex is up 98.71 points or 0.29% at 33918.21, and the Nifty is up 36.40 points or 0.35% at 10419.10. The market breadth is positive as 554 shares have advanced, 216 shares declined, while 94 shares are unchanged.

All sectoral indices have commenced trade in the green, while, in the broader market, midcaps are up around half a percent.

Sun Pharma has continued its gain from the previous sessions and is the top gainer on the Sensex. Along with it, Tata Steel and Aurobindo Pharma were the other gainers. Meanwhile, Hero MotoCorp, Coal India and Asian Paints were the top losers.

Among global markets, Asian shares rebounded as comments from a Federal Reserve official eased worries that the central bank might raise rates more aggressively this year, while the safe-haven yen held on to its gains amid heightened volatility across markets.

Financial markets have fluctuated wildly this month as investors fretted about how fast the Fed might raise rates in the wake of data showing a pick up in US inflation. That in turn has stoked anxiety that many central banks will start to tighten policy in a hit to earnings, which have boomed thanks to a synchronized uptick in global growth.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan climbed 0.4 percent, but was still on track to end the week barely changed.

US stocks advanced, putting major indexes on track to snap a recent spate of declines, buoyed by gains in industrial and energy shares as US Treasury yields eased.

The Dow and S&P dropped for a second consecutive session and the Nasdaq fell for a third straight on Wednesday after minutes from the US Federal Reserve's January meeting showed the central bank's rate-setting committee grew more confident in the need to keep raising rates.

Concerns about a faster pace of rate hikes from the central bank were eased by comments on Thursday from St. Louis Fed President James Bullard that expressed concerns a "bunch of hikes" could turn Fed policy restrictive, and benchmark 10-year US Treasury yields retreated from the more than four-year highs hit on Wednesday.