Sensex falls 150 points, but midcaps outshine; IOC, Yes Bank top losers

3:30 pm Market Closing: Benchmark indices closed lower despite upside in European peers, with the Sensex falling 150.20 points to 33,685.54.

Banking & financials, oil & gas and FMCG stocks weighed.

The 50-share NSE Nifty was down 50.70 points at 10,360.20.

The broader markets outperformed frontliners, with the Nifty Midcap index rising 0.4 percent. About three shares advanced for every share falling on the BSE.

Allahabad Bank, Canara Bank, Central Bank of India, IDBI Bank, Future Retail, Future Enterprises, Madras Fertilizers, RCF, FACT, National Fertilizers, Mindtree, PTC India Financial, Prabhat Dairy, Jaiprakash Associates, Eveready Industries, NIIT Technologies, NIIT and Kalyani Steels rallied up to 17 percent.

Dish TV, Wockhardt, Tata Coffee and Hexaware fell up to 4 percent.

3:26 pm Macquarie on Strides: While maintaining Outperform call on Strides Shasun with a target price at Rs 996 per share, Macquarie said it expects Efavirenz to be a decent opportunity as co becomes second entrant post Mylan and expects Strides' earnings momentum to pick up in FY19.

The company received approval from USFDA for HIV drug Efavirenz tablets.

3:23 pm Exposure to PNB Fraud Case: Karur Vysya Bank has confirmed that it has no exposure to Gitanjali Gems Or Nirav Modi Group companies.

3:21 pm Management Interview: CLSA note says India's furniture market is undergoing a major shift with a move towards readymade furniture and a rising preference for medium density fibre (MDF) over plywood in line with the global trends.

In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Keshav Bhajanka, ED of Century Plyboards said the company expects Rs 125-130 crore revenue from MDF in FY18.

He further said that MDF market in India is estimated to be at Rs 2,000-2,200 crore as of FY18.

Therefore, he expects to have more than 5 percent market share in MDF industry.

According to him, the total MDF production in India is at 1 million cubic metre versus 40 million cubic metre in China.

3:15 pm Market Update: Benchmark indices continued to trade lower, with the Sensex falling 166.66 points to 33,669.08, dragged by Reliance Industries, ICICI Bank and ITC that extended losses in last hour of trade.

The 50-share NSE Nifty was down 56.90 points at 10,354.00.

About three shares advanced for every two shares declining on the BSE.

3:10 pm NBCC in focus: The government is considering handing the task of maintaining, managing and earning revenue from immovable properties attached in money laundering cases to the National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC), officials said.

The last meeting to discuss ways to better manage properties seized, frozen or confiscated under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), including those belonging to fugitive businessmen Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi, was held on March 13.

The proposal to mandate NBCC to do the job was at the behest of the ED and mooted by the finance ministry about six months ago. It was felt that lack of proper maintenance led to decay of the properties and the agency had to continuously spend on their upkeep, officials explained.

As of now, the ED manages the properties confiscated by it but does not have experience in how to do so and there is no provision under PMLA for rental to earn revenue, officials said.

3:05 pm ICICI Securities IPO: The subscription for IPO to be open from March 22 to March 26. The price band is set at Rs 519-520 per share.

2:50 pm SBI: Shareholders approved preferential issue of equity shares up to Rs 8,800 crore to government of India.

2:35 pm Advance Tax Numbers: Housing finance company HDFC is likely to have paid Rs 875 crore for the quarter ended March 2018 against Rs 730 crore paid in year-ago quarter, reports CNBC-TV18 quoting sources.

2:30 pm Europe Trade: European markets moved higher as investors monitored new earnings and economic data, amid continued concerns over global trade.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was 0.22 percent higher with most sectors moving into positive territory.

2:25 pm Bids for Jaypee Infratech: The final word on the resolution of the problems facing Jaypee Infratech isn't out yet but details emerging from Wednesday's meeting of committee of creditors seem to indicate that Adani Group could be entrusted with the task of completing the unfinished flats of the realty company besides ensuring that lenders face minimum haircut.

The bidders had to submit revised bids by Wednesday and also make presentations to the committee of creditors.

Sources told Moneycontrol that going by the fresh bids and the interaction between the suitors and the lenders, the Ahmedabad-based group had nosed ahead of the other three contenders - a joint venture (JV) of Singapore's Cube Highways and Kotak Realty Fund, Sajjan Jindal's JSW Group and Lakshdeep Investments which is part of Sudhir Walia's Suraksha Asset Reconstruction Company.

The successful bidder will displace Jaiprakash Associates as the parent of Jaypee Infratech. As its promoter, the bidder would have to hand over completed properties to the buyers while settling dues with the banks on mutually agreed terms. It will also come to own the Yamuna Expressway and the Jaypee Hospital.

Adani Group is offering about Rs 2,500 crore-Rs 3,000 crore to the lenders and Rs 1,500 crore to finish the completion of the under-construction properties, an offer the creditors seem amenable to.

2:20 pm Allotment of Shares: L&T Finance Holdings said the committee of directors approved the allotment of 6,30,51,702 equity shares to the eligible qualified institutional buyers at the issue price of Rs 158.60 per share, aggregating to Rs 1,000 crore.

The QIP was opened during March 8-13, 2018.

2:10 pm Gas Pipeline License cancelled: Oil regulator PNGRB has terminated GAIL India Ltd's licence to build a Rs 10,000 crore natural gas pipeline from Surat in Gujarat to Paradip in Odisha, saying the state-owned firm hadn't started work on the project even after six years.

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) also ordered encashing the company's entire performance bank guarantee of Rs 20 crore, according to the regulator's March 13 order.

GAIL had in November 2011 bid an astonishingly low pipeline tariff of Rs 0.01 (one paisa) per million British thermal unit to bag the project. It was formally awarded the licence in April 2012.

It had beaten Gujarat government firm GSPC India Transco Ltd to bag the Surat-Paradip project. This was the country's first pipeline originating and terminating at a port.

The 2,112-km long pipeline was to have a capacity to carry 74.81 million standard cubic meters per day of gas.

2:05 pm Market Update: Benchmark indices extended losses amid volatility in afternoon, with the Sensex falling over 100 points weighed by banking & financials and oil & gas stocks.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was down 128.51 points at 33,707.23 and the 50-share NSE Nifty fell 43.70 points to 10,367.20.

Midcaps continued to outperform frontliners, with the Nifty Midcap index rising half a percent. About three shares advanced for every two shares falling on the BSE.

1:55 pm Order Win: HG Infraprojects has been declared, L-1 for new EPC project under MORT for upgradation to two lane with paved shoulder configuration from Kundal to Jhadol (Section Of NH-58E), Package-I, in Rajasthan.

1:40 pm SME IPO: Benara Bearings & Pistons will open its initial public offering for subscription on the SME Platform of BSE on March 22, 2018.

The company in consultation with merchant banker has fixed a price band at Rs 60-63 per share for the public issue which will close on March 22.

The issue consists of initial public issue of upto 53,16,000 equity shares, of which 2,72,000 shares will be reserved for subscription by the market maker to the issue and upto 76,000 shares employees.

The company aims to raise Rs 33.49 crore at higher end of price band through the issue.

The issue proceeds will be utilised for expansion by way of opening retail stores for automobile parts across the country; funding the working capital requirements of subsidiary company – Benara Solar Private Limited (BSPL), also funding the working capital requirements of the company and general corporate purposes.

1:27 pm Buzzing: NR Agarwal Industries informed exchange that the Bank of Baroda, the lead bank has reduced the interest rate on the term loan and cash credit granted to the company from 12.30 percent to 11.05 percent per annum.

1:20 pm Bill Passed in Lok Sabha: A bill proposing to grant a party the right to seek damages from the other side in case of a breach of a business contract and to reduce discretion of courts in such matters was passed by the Lok Sabha today amid din.

The House passed The Specific Relief (Amendment) Bill, 2018 by a voice vote even as several parties were protesting in the Well over different issues, including the PNB scam.

Several amendments moved by N K Premchandran (RSP) were negated by voice vote.

The bill aims to tweak a 54-year-old law that deals with specific fulfilment of a contract, as part of the government's ease of doing business policy. The Union Cabinet had in December last approved amendments to the Specific Relief Act, 1963.

1:05 pm IPO: HDFC AMC, a subsidiary of Housing Development Finance Corporation, has filed a draft red herring prospectus for initial public offering with the capital market regulator Securities & Exchange Board of India on Thursday.

"The public offer is of up to 2,54,57,555 equity shares of HDFC Asset Management Company, which consists of an offer for sale of 85,92,970 equity shares by parent company HDFC and 1,68,64,585 shares by other promoter Standard Life Investments Limited," the country's largest housing finance company said in its filing.

12:50 pm SEBI on congestion charge: Markets regulator Sebi is considering a proposal to disincentivise algorithmic trading by traders with a 'congestion charge' for high volumes along with other restrictions.

The proposal which was made at a recent meeting of an expert panel is aimed at addressing concerns that high-frequency or algo traders have unfair access to the trading system of exchange.

Algorithmic trading or 'algo' in market parlance refers to orders generated at a super-fast speed by use of advanced mathematical models that involve automated execution of trade.

The issue is likely to be discussed at the board meeting of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) this month, senior officials said.

Under the proposed norms, the regulator plans to impose a higher fee on traders who unnecessarily clog the trading systems with high number of orders, the officials said.

12:37 pm Letter of Award: IRB Infrastructure informed exchanges that the company has now received letter of award from National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) for two Hybrid Annuity Projects under NHDP Phase IV in the state of Tamil Nadu.

12:25 pm Dividend: Sundaram Clayton informed exchanges that the board of directors declared an interim dividend, for the financial year ending March 31, 2018, at the rate of Rs 15 per share (300 percent) on 2,02,32,085 equity shares of Rs 5 each fully paid up, absorbing a sum of Rs 30.35 crore.

The interim dividend declared will be paid on or after March 27, 2018.

12:15 pm Buzzing: Fertiliser stocks rallied up to 10 percent after the government approved a proposal to extend urea subsidy till 2020.

Nagarjuna Fertilizers, Madras Fertilizers, National Fertilizers, RCF, Zuari Agro, FACT and Coromandel International gained 3-10 percent.

The government on Wednesday also approved implementation of direct benefit transfer (DBT) for disbursement of fertiliser subsidy.

Urea is made available to farmers at a statutorily controlled price of Rs 5,360 per tonne. The difference between the delivered cost of the fertiliser at farm gate and MRP is given as subsidy to manufacturers.

Urea subsidy is projected to be Rs 45,000 crore for the 2018-19 fiscal, as against Rs 42,748 crore for this year.

"The continuation of the urea subsidy scheme will ensure adequate quantity of urea is made available to the farmers at statutory controlled price," an official release said after the meeting of Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA).

12:05 pm IPO Subscription: The initial public offer of defence company Bharat Dynamics was subscribed 54 percent on the third day of bidding today.

The IPO to raise Rs 960 crore received bids for 1,20,23,830 shares against the total issue size of 2,24,51,953 shares, as per data available with the NSE.

The IPO is of up to 22,451,953 equity shares and the price band for the offer has been fixed at Rs 413-428 per share.

11:55 am Market Update: The market continued to trade mildly lower amid volatility, with the Nifty struggling below 10,400 levels, weighed by index heavyweights ICICI Bank, Reliance Industries and HDFC.

But midcaps maintained outperformance against frontliners as the Nifty Midcap was up half a percent.

MMTC shares were up 19 percent as the board will consider bonus share issue next week.

11:40 am Buzzing: MMTC shares rallied nearly 19 percent intraday ahead of board meeting to consider bonus share issue next week

The state-owned trading company informed exchanges that the board of directors will consider and approve the proposal for issue of bonus shares subject to consent of the President of India, in its meeting to be held on March 19, 2018.

The company said the competent authority has approved for closure of the trading window for the above purpose with immediate effect i.e. from March 14 to March 21, 2018 (both days inclusive).

11:28 am Appointment: Praj Industries said it has appointed Shishir Joshipura as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of the company for a period of five years with effect from April 2, 2018, subject to approval of shareholders of the company at forthcoming General Meeting.

11:20 am Market Update: Benchmark indices traded lower amid tepid global cues, with the Nifty struggling below the 10,400 levels.

IOC, Reliance Industries, ICICI Bank, Yes Bank, HDFC, ITC, TCS and SBI were leading contributors to the Nifty fall whereas HDFC Bank continued to support the market.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was down 83.61 points at 33,752.13 and the 50-share NSE Nifty fell 30.60 points to 10,380.30 while the Nifty Midcap index gained half a percent.

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

11:10 am Buzzing: Shares of Steel Strips Wheels (SSWL) rose 3.5 percent on the back of bagging export order.

The company bagged yet another big exports order for supply of steel wheels for EU Caravan market.

The order includes approximately 1,00,000 steel wheels to be shipped from company's Chennai plant from May 2018 onwards until period of 5 months.

The company is on the verge of receiving similar export orders with another European customers in next future.

10:55 am Market Outlook: While the equity market had a dream run in 2017, trends on D-Street so far this year may not make investors happy. Benchmark indices have given flat to negative returns and experts believe there could be more in store.

''Risk factors such as more assertive US on trade barriers along with rising interest rates are couple of risk factors. So, the overall situation could be volatile,'' Mihir Vora, Director & CIO, Max Life Insurance told CNBC-TV18 in an interview.

Stressing on the low base effect of demonetisation and GST rollout, Vora said it needs to be seen whether earnings will sustain post October-November period. A fresh call on the same could be taken after that period, he added.

10:40 am India's Growth Forecast: Fitch projected India's economic growth to rise to 7.3 per cent next fiscal and further to 7.5 percent in 2019-20.

In its Global Economic Outlook report, the US-based agency forecast Indian economy to clock a growth rate of 6.5 percent this fiscal, a tad lower than official estimates by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) of 6.6 percent. The economy grew 7.1 percent in 2016-17.

According to Fitch, the pick up in growth is likely as "the influence of one-off policy-related factor which was dragging growth has now waned."

It said the money supply recovered to its pre-demonetisation level in mid-2017 and is now increasing steadily, similar to the previous trend.

Also, disruptions related to rollout of the goods and services tax (GST) in July 2017 have gradually diminished.

Showing signs of recovery, the Indian economy hit a five-quarter high of 7.2 percent in the October-December period on good show in key sectors like agriculture, construction and manufacturing.

10:24 am Fertiliser stocks rally:

10:20 am Market Update: Benchmark indices recovered opening losses, with the Nifty trading above 10,400 levels, supported by HDFC Bank, Tata Motors and ITC.

Midcaps extended gains, continuing to outperform frontliners. The Nifty Midcap index was up 0.8 percent on positive market breadth.

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

10:15 am Goa Mining Crisis: The five-decade-old mining industry in Goa is staring at another bout of uncertainty as the Supreme Court order on closure of iron ore extraction activity in the state comes into effect tonight.

Goa agriculture minister Vijai Sardesai had yesterday said that the state would face the "biggest" crisis from tomorrow, when the mining ban comes into force.

The mining and tourism industries are the key revenue earners for the coastal state.

A cabinet committee had yesterday decided to urge Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, currently in the US for medical treatment, to file a review petition in the apex court as a last-ditch effort to save the industry and its stakeholders.

The state government fears that the sudden stoppage of extraction of fresh ore would result in two lakh people, working at mining sites on different assignments, losing their jobs.

10:10 am IPO Opens: Kolkata-based Bandhan Bank has opened its initial public offer for subscription.

The initial public offer of up to 11,92,80,494 equity shares will open for subscription on March 15. The price band is fixed at Rs 370-375 per share.

The offer consists of fresh issue of up to 9,76,63,910 shares, an offer for sale of up to 1,40,50,780 equity shares by IFC and up to 75,65,804 equity shares by IFC FIG.

The private sector lender is expected to raise Rs 4,413.4 crore - Rs 4,473 crore at lower and upper end of price band, respectively.

The company has already garnered Rs 1,341.9 crore through anchor investors' portion on Wednesday.

10:05 am Buzzing: Indian Oil Corporation shares fell nearly 5 percent intraday after the stock adjusted for bonus share issue.

The state-owned oil marketing company, on January 30, recommended issue of bonus shares in the ratio of 1:1 i.e. one new equity bonus share of Rs 10 each for every one existing equity share of Rs 10 each fully paid up.

The record date for the purpose of ascertaining the eligibility of shareholders for issuance of bonus shares has been fixed as March 17, 2018.

9:55 am Rupee Trade: The rupee depreciated 9 paise to 64.92 against the US dollar on fresh demand for the greenback from importers and banks.

Also, foreign capital outflows amid a lower opening in the equity market weighed on the domestic units.

However, weakness in the US dollar against select currencies on lingering worries of a global trade war limited the fall in rupee, dealers said.

Yesterday, it had ended higher by 6 paise at 64.83 against the dollar as the American unit weakened against major currencies following US inflation data and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's exit.

9:45 am Market Update: The market continued to trade mildly lower amid global weakness, with the Nifty hovering around 10,400 levels.

Midcaps outperformed frontliners, with the Nifty Midcap index rising 0.3 percent.

9:37 am Buzzing: Share price of Havells India rose 1.5 percent as the company signed an agreement with South Korean firm.

The company signed an agreement with South Korean major Hyundai Electric & Energy Systems Co. for manufacturing of magnetic contactor.

Under the agreement, Hyundai Electric will provide technology know-how and grant a license to manufacture and market magnetic contactors under Havells brand.

Ameet Gupta, Whole Time Director, Havells India said, ''This strategic alliance is in sync with the government Make in India initiative as it will not only fortify Havells position as a strong manufacturing base for global procurement but will also reinforce the company's commitment to manufacture quality acclaimed products.''

The share gained 23 percent in last 1 year.

9:28 am Banking Fraud widens: Country's second largest public sector lender Punjab National Bank has detected another case of Letter of Undertakings (LoU) fraud in its Brady House branch in Mumbai, according to CNBC-TV18 quoting sources.

The state-owned bank has field complaint with Central Bureau of Investigation for a fraud of Rs 9 crore against Chandri Papers and Allied Products.

Both PNB employees named in Nirav Modi scam are part of the complaint, which are Gokulnath Shetty & Hemant Kharat.

Two LoUs in April 2017 were issued by PNB to Chandri Papers worth Rs 9 crore, sources said.

The fraud was much lower compared to Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi scam worth Rs 13,600 crore.

9:21 am Commissioning of project: Suzlon Group, India's largest renewable energy solutions provider, announced that it has completed the commissioning of 340 MW solar power turnkey projects across sites in the state of Telangana (210 MW), Rajasthan (60MW) and Maharashtra (70MW).

The projects have been executed over a period of time, concluding in Q4 FY18.

With the commissioning of the 340 MW Suzlon has completed delivery of its entire solar order book.

The projects have been executed by combination of joint ventures or formation of Special Purpose vehicles (SPVs) with various partners.

9:15 am Market Check: Benchmark indices opened mildly lower, with the Nifty hovering around 10,400 levels, following negative lead from global peers.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was down 54.89 points at 33,780.85 and the 50-share NSE Nifty fell 11.60 points to 10,399.30.

HCL Technologies, Wipro, Tech Mahindra, TCS, Dr Reddy's Labs, Vedanta, Aurobindo Pharma and M&M were gainers in opening.

Nagarjuna Fertilizers, RCF, FACT, Zuari Agro, GSFC, Himadri Chemicals, Oberoi Realty and Venky's rallied up to 4 percent.

HDIL, Jaiprakash Associates, Ashok Leyland and GMR Infrastructure were under pressure.

Asian markets edged lower, with regional stock indexes recording slight losses after Wall Street declined amid concerns over heightened trade tensions.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell as Boeing shares pulled back on worries the US could engage China in a trade war. The 30-stock index lost 248.91 points at 24,758.12.