Sensex ends 300 points higher, Nifty around 10,600; auto gains big

3:30 pm Market at Close: The market ended the day on a strong note, marking a continuity in its upward trend for March series, but the Nifty ended below 10,600.

The Sensex is up 303.60 points or 0.89% at 34445.75, while the Nifty is up 91.60 points or 0.87% at 10582.60. The market breadth is narrow as 1606 shares advanced, against a decline of 1159 shares, while 222 shares are unchanged.

Tata Motors, Larsen & Toubro, Axis Bank and UPL gained the most on both indices, while Sun Pharma, Infosys, and Tech Mahindra lost the most.

At 3:20 pm Berger Paints has considered setting up an integrated paint plant in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh

At 3:05 pm Lupin launches Testosterone topical solution: Lupin announced the launch of its Testosterone Topical Solution, 30 mg per actuation having received an approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) earlier.

At 3:00 pm Reliance Infra wins arbitration award: Shares of Reliance Infrastructure rose 4 percent intraday Monday as the company won arbitration award against Goa government.

The company has won an arbitration award of Rs 292 crore against Government of Goa.

The Arbitration Tribunal, in its award on February 16, 2018, has ordered Government of Goa to pay Rs 292 crore to Reliance Infrastructure by April 15, 2018.

The Tribunal has also ordered payment of interest at 15 percent p.a. on the total award amount if Government of Goa fails to pay the entire award amount by the deadline.

2:50 pm PFC inks MoUs: State-run Power Finance Corporation (PFC) today said that it has inked memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with Uttar Pradesh power utilities for providing financial assistance of Rs 50,200 crore.

The PFC has executed MoUs with Uttar Pradesh state sector power utilities - UPRVUNL, UPPTCL and UPPCL - for providing required financial assistance of Rs 50,200 crore, a PFC statement said.

According to statement, these funds would be used for upcoming greenfield and extension of thermal power generation projects at Jawaharpur, Panki, Harduagunj, Anpara and Obra; development of coal mines; Integrated Power Development Scheme, Saubhagya, DDUGJY (rural electrification); and for strengthening of transmission and distribution network in the state.

 2:35 pm Management Speak: In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Harshil Mehta, Joint MD & CEO of Dewan Housing Finance Corporation (DHFL) spoke about the latest happenings in his company and sector.

As far as the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) property is concerned the management stand is absolutely very clear that either we would like to put it out on lease or once the lease transaction is done sell it to an investor, said Mehta.

Talking about disbursements, he said it's on higher side and is predominantly driven from our retails strategy which is in the tier 2, tier 3 markets driven by organic growth coming in from those markets in the affordable housing segment.

2:15 pm ONGC deadline: Oil producer ONGC has said it may miss the June 2019 target for starting production from its Krishna Godavari basin block due to new policies like GST and local purchase preference rules, including the one that mandates state-owned firms to source domestic iron and steel for infrastructure project.

Clarifying on its last week's filing to stock exchanges, Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) said the new policies it had cited for a possible delay pertained to local purchase preference policy, steel policy and GST policy.

"The new policies concerning oil and mining sector, as referred in the reply of ONGC to NSE and BSE, though not amply clarified in the reply, were pertaining to policies like purchase preference policy, steel policy, GST policy etc. and not regulatory policy," ONGC said in a statement.

1:55 pm Sun Pharma observations: Shares of Sun Pharma fell around 3 percent intraday as investors turned wary of observations issued to its Halol plant by the US drug regulator.

US FDA issued three Form 483 observations for its Halol site in Gujarat.

The company didn't disclose the nature of these observations.

A Form 483 is issued by the US FDA inspectors at the end of the inspection outlining any deviations from GMP.

The US FDA conducted Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) inspection of Sun Pharma's Halol facility from February 12 - 23.

1:31 pm Jhunjhunwala speaks: After a euphoric rise seen in the calendar year 2017, the Indian market is not ready to go down that is the word coming from the big bull, Rakesh Jhunjhunwala on the sidelines of Trust India Debt Capital Market Summit which was held in Mumbai on Friday.

After the recent fall that was seen in India equity markets, Jhunjhunwala said that he is in a dilemma in which technically the market is not prepared to go down and you have the highest PE's in the history at the lowest level of profits-to-GDP.

The question Jhunjhunwala put across to the panelist is 'has the market priced itself for the increase in profit growth'? This is something which all of us has to mull.

1:21 pm Brokerage view: Global research and broking firm HSBC has initaited a coverage on ICICI Lombard with a 'Reduce' rating. According to the firm, the stock looks expensive on multiple counts and has a target of Rs 610 per share.

ICICI Lombard has been able to generate an average investment yield of 10 percent in last three years, it said. The research firm feels that non-life insurance industries' gross written premium can rise at CAGR of 19 percent in five years.

The company last month on January 16, 2018 reported a 5.2 percent increase in profit after tax (PAT) at Rs 231.76 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2017. Total income rose to Rs 2,019.77 crore from Rs 1,842.93 crore in the year-ago period, ICICI Lombard said in a BSE filing.

1:10 pm Asian markets: Asian markets rose, tracking gains seen on Wall Street as U.S. bond yields receded from recent four-year highs. Meanwhile, the dollar slipped against a basket of currencies and investors await a testimony from the new Federal Reserve chair.

Japan's Nikkei 225 advanced 244.11 points, or 1.12 percent, after recording gains of more than 300 points earlier in the day. Technology stocks, financials and automakers traded higher on the day. Among index heavyweights, SoftBank Group jumped 1.57 percent and Fast Retailing rose 1.38 percent.

12:55 pm SBI bad loans: In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Rajnish Kumar, Chairman of State Bank of India (SBI), from the sidelines of the conference, spoke about the latest happenings in SBI and also shared his views on the fraud at Punjab National Bank (PNB).

Kumar said that we have clearly communicated our claim to PNB with regards to Nirav Modi fraud.

He further said that PNB fraud seems to be confined to a specific branch.

We can confirm there is no such case in relation to SBI, he added.

12:35 pm Management Outlook: Commenting on the National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS), Biocon Managing Director Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw said that the scheme has not been given full thought.

"If the government wants to start from scratch and build it up ground up, it's going to take a lot of time because I feel that it's not been thought through fully", the Biocon chief told Mint in an interview.
The Biocon CMD said partnering with companies is a faster way of rolling out the scheme instead of the government building it from scratch.

Mazumdar-Shaw welcomed the healthcare plan but said it is not viable unless it is integrated with primary healthcare.

12:15 pm Economic Growth prospects: India's economy grew at its fastest pace in a year in the October-December quarter as consumers, businesses and the government stepped up spending, a Reuters poll predicted.

This suggests that disruptions from a shock ban on high-value currency notes in November 2016 and the chaotic launch of a goods and services tax (GST) in July are fading.

Gross domestic product grew 6.9 percent in the October-December quarter from a year earlier, according to the poll of more than 35 economists, taken over the past week.

12:00 pm Market Expert: The market is likely to consolidate in a narrow range of 10,350-10,600 but there is one sector which is likely to remain in limelight which is the 'metal' sector, Gautam Shah, Associate Director & Technical Analyst at JM Financial said in an interview with CNBC-TV18.

''In the last 1-1/2 years, the metal index has exceeding well. It is trading around 15,300-15,400 on the BSE and our near-term target for the index is close to 17,000 but for 2018 our target is about 21,000 which translates into an upside of 20-25 percent over the next 9-12 months,'' he said.

The way metal stocks have handled themselves in the last 2-weeks that is quite commendable. It is a place in which investors should allocate 20-30 percent of your portfolio, added Shah.

11:45 am Expert Speak: I think the market is trying to consolidate right now. We have had a fairly significant fall, the biggest of the last 12-14 months on the way down from 11,200 to about 10,300 levels, Udayan Mukherjee said in an interview to CNBC-TV18.

We could try and work within a range of maybe 10,300 as the base, 10,700-10,800 as the top end of the range and see if we can consolidate for a few weeks after the first big draw-down because markets never fall in a single line, they will give you bounce back and consolidation phases, he added.

I am not terribly comfortable or confident that 10,300 is the final bottom for the year. We may see darker periods coming but that depends also on how the global story plays out, said Mukherjee.

11:32 am Kalyan Jewellers IPO: Kalyan Jewellers is looking to file papers for an Initial Public Offering (IPO) next month, according to a Mint report citing sources.

The Kerala-based company is considering raising around Rs 2,500 crore from the issue, a source told Mint.

"The IPO is a mix of primary fundraise that the company will use to fund expansion of its domestic and new overseas markets and a secondary share sale, primarily by private equity investor Warburg Pincus, which will be selling part of its stake in the company", the source added.

11:15 am Market Check: Shares are trading strong on Monday, with the Nifty eyeing 10,600-mark.

The Sensex is up 271.23 points or 0.79% at 34413.38, while the Nifty is up 81.50 points or 0.78% at 10572.50. The market breadth is negative as 1572 shares have advanced, against a decline of 740 shares declined, while 197 shares are unchanged.

IndusInd Bank and Tata Motors are the top gainers, while Dr Reddy's and Sun Pharma were the top losers.

11:00 am Market Outlook: In an interview with CNBC-TV18, Sanjeev Prasad, Managing Director and Co-Head of Kotak Institutional Equities shard his views and outlook on the market. He was speaking from the sidelines of the Kotak Institutional Equities - Chasing Growth Conference.

It looks like earnings growth is coming back fairly strongly, he said.

We are looking at about 25 percent growth for the Nifty-50 index, about 28 percent for entire coverage universe which is slightly above 200 stocks. So looks like there is earnings recovery, he added.

We are also seeing turnaround in infrastructure sector, said Prasad.

10:45 am Buzzing Stock: Shares of A2Z Infra Engineering gained 4.3 percent intraday Monday as the company has entered in to one time settlement with Standard Chartered Bank.

The company approved one time settlement (OTS) with Standard Chartered Bank towards debt settlement of Rs 344.93 crore, for a total consideration of Rs 120 crore.

It has also approved the allotment of shares to Standard Chartered Bank.

10:30 am Market Outlook: The market is likely to consolidate in a narrow range of 10,350-10,600 but there is one sector which is likely to remain in limelight which is the 'metal' sector, Gautam Shah, Associate Director & Technical Analyst at JM Financial said in an interview with CNBC-TV18.

''In the last 1-1/2 years, the metal index has exceeding well. It is trading around 15,300-15,400 on the BSE and our near-term target for the index is close to 17,000 but for 2018 our target is about 21,000 which translates into an upside of 20-25 percent over the next 9-12 months,'' he said.

The way metal stocks have handled themselves in the last 2-weeks that is quite commendable. It is a place in which investors should allocate 20-30 percent of your portfolio, added Shah.

Commenting on the global markets, Shah is of the view that US markets have made a multi-month top for the US market. If that is the case, Indian markets will be impacted.

10:15 am Pharma stock in focus: Pharmaceutical names have witnessed a weak 2018 so far, with sectoral index down around 5 percent so far. On Monday too, led by cuts in heavyweight names such as Dr Reddy's and Sun Pharmaceuticals, pharma indices were trading lower. Here is a list of other such scrips in focus.
Pharma stocks in focus

10:10 am New Listing: Market debutant Aster DM Healthcare listed at a discount of around 4 percent on the exchanges on Monday.

The stock listed at Rs 183 on the National Stock Exchange against the upper band of its issue price of Rs 190.

The healthcare services provider's issue was oversubscribed 1.3 times on the last day, as per data available on the NSE website.

10:05 am Market Check: The market has extended its gains from opening tick and is witnessing an upmove of over half a percent.

The Sensex is up 185.56 points or 0.54% at 34327.71, while the Nifty is up 56.00 points or 0.53% at 10547.00. The market breadth is positive as 1432 shares have advanced, against a decline of 537 shares, while 158 shares are unchanged.

Dr Reddy's Labs and Sun Pharma are the top losers on both indices, while gains are seen in auto stocks such as Bajaj Auto and Tata Motors.

9:57 am Sterlite Tech gains: Share price of Sterlite Technologies added more than 10 percent in the early trade on Monday on the back of order win worth Rs 3500 crore.

The company has been awarded Rs 3500 crore advance purchase order to design, build and manage the Indian Navy's communications network.

This will give the Indian Navy digital defence supremacy at par with the best naval forces globally.

9:42 am Simbhaoli Sugars, OBC plunger 9-20%: Shares of Oriental Bank of Commerce and Simbhaoli Sugars lost 9-20 percent intraday on Monday as investors turned cautious post developments of a likely fraud involving the sugar firm.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said on Sunday it had filed a fraud case against executives of Simbhaoli Sugar for causing alleged losses of Rs 1.09 billion to state-run Oriental Bank of Commerce, reports Reuters. The bank alleged that the sugar refiner ''dishonestly and fraudulently diverted'' a Rs 1.48-billion-loan sanctioned in 2011 for financing cane farmers for private use, a statement issued by CBI said.

This is the second case in three days registered by the CBI upon complaints from the Oriental Bank of Commerce. The police has registered a case against several top officials of Simbhaoli Sugar, including its chairman and managing director, chief executive and chief financial officer, some unknown bank officials, and other private persons

9:30 am Buzzing Stock: Shares of Dr Reddy's Laboratories slipped 4 percent in early trade on Monday after the USFDA maintained OAI status for the company's Srikakulam plant.

The company received the establishment inspection report (EIR) from the US Food and Drug Administration for its API manufacturing plant in Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh.

"FDA has asked us for more details. We are providing those details and continuing to engage with FDA for resolution of pending issues," company said in press release.

9:15 am Market Opens: Equity benchmarks began the week on a positive note, tracking positive global cues.

The Sensex is up 109.15 points or 0.32% at 34251.30, while the Nifty is up 33.30 points or 0.32% at 10524.30. The market breadth is positive as 510 shares advanced, against a decline of 123 shares, while 102 shares are unchanged.

Nifty Pharma is likely to be witnessing some profit booking after days of upmove last week. All other sectoral indices are trading in the green, with financials and auto leading the pack.

Dr Reddy's and Sun Pharma are the top losers on both indices, while Tata Steel, Adani Ports and Vedanta have gained the most.

The Indian rupee opened higher by 8 paise at 64.65 per dollar on Monday versus 64.73 Friday.

Pramit Brahmbhatt of Veracity said, "The rupee will see marginal positive impact in today's session on back of positive cues from the domestic equity market."

"We expect the USD-INR pair to trade in a range of 64.50-65," he added.

Asian markets rose early on Monday, tracking gains seen on Wall Street as US bond yields receded from recent four-year highs in the last session.

Japan's Nikkei 225 soared 292.69 points, or 1.34 percent, with technology stocks, financials and automakers higher on the day. Among index heavyweights, SoftBank Group jumped 1.79 percent and Fast Retailing rose 1.34 percent.

Elsewhere, South Korea's benchmark Kospi added 0.42 percent while the junior Kosdaq saw more significant gains, climbing 1.05 percent in early trade.