Nifty rises for 6th straight day, Sensex up 161 points ahead of macro data

3:30 pm Market Closing: Benchmark indices ended higher for the sixth consecutive session, with the Sensex rising 160.69 points to 34,101.13 and the Nifty gaining 41.50 points at 10,458.70 ahead of macro data due later in the day and Infosys earnings tomorrow.

Metals, PSU banks, realty and pharma stocks were under pressure while IT stocks outperformed throughout the session.
Jaiprakash Associates, Balrampur Chini, Triveni Engineering, Dwarikesh Sugar, SAIL, IRB Infrastructure, OBC, Union Bank, Andhra Bank, Bank of India, Indraprastha Gas, Gujarat Gas, Bata India, Adani Enterprises, Rain Industries and Goa Carbon fell up to 6 percent.
Tata Sponge, Tata Metaliks, Dish TV, Hathway Cable, Future Consumer, Future Retail, Fortis Healthcare, Harrisons Malyalam, NIIT Tech, Hexaware and Tata Elxsi rallied up to 10 percent.
3:22 pm Oil off highs: Oil markets edged back from highs last reached in late 2014 as ample supplies weighed, but prices were underpinned by worries over military escalation in Syria and trade tensions between the United States and China.
Brent crude futures were at USD 72.02 a barrel, down 0.06 percent from their last close.
Both Brent and WTI on Wednesday hit their highest since late 2014 at USD 73.09 and USD 67.45 a barrel respectively after Saudi Arabia said it intercepted missiles over Riyadh and US President Donald Trump warned Russia of imminent military action in Syria, reports Reuters.
3:18 pm SAIL misses Target: Steel Authority of India (SAIL), the country's largest state-owned alloy producer, failed to meet its target to supply rails for Indian Railways during the fiscal year for 2017/18, underscoring the problems of modernising the country's rail network.
SAIL, which swung to profits in the October to December quarter after 10 straight quarterly losses, supplied 874,000 tonnes of steel in 2017/18, as against the revised target of 950,000 tonnes, according to a document the company prepared for Ministry of Steel that was reviewed by Reuters.
The 2017/18 target was lowered from 1.46 million tonnes, the initial aim for the last fiscal year. This is the third fiscal year in a row the company has missed its delivery target.
3:12 pm Market Update: Benchmark indices continued to trade higher. The Sensex was up 161.20 points at 34,101.64 and the Nifty gained 40.20 points at 10,457.40.
About three shares declined for every two shares rising on the BSE.
3:10 pm Order Win: MEP Infrastructure Developers said it has received letter of award from Indian Highways Management Company (An initiative of NHAI) for providing services of Hybrid ETC & Toll Management Systems at Eastern Peripheral Expressway (EPE).
The operation will commence from the date of the signing of the contract agreement including the time required for installation and commissioning of all services being provided under this agreement. Period of the contract is 2 years.
The contractual amount for the project is Rs 28.71 crore.
3:05 pm Capacity Expansion: Ultramarine & Pigments is setting up a plant for manufacture of surfactants / specialty chemicals at Nellore, Andhra Pradesh.
The company proposed capacity addition of 32,000 million tonnes and the proposed capacity will be added within 18 months from the date of possession of plot (5th March, 2018).
2:59 pm Joint Venture: Kalyani Rafael Advanced Systems (KRAS), a joint venture between Kalyani Strategic Systems and Rafael Advanced Defence Systems (Israel) is all set to expand its product profile.
"The JV will now venture into the space of Missile systems with the New Generation Precision Guided Munitions (NGPGM), Air Defense systems and capabilities for MRSAM, LLQRM and QRSAM programs," Bharat Forge said.
The expansion will also include the Drone Dome system (Radar and laser
beam system for detecting, jamming and destroying drones) and the Naval Remote control Weapon Station Systems Program, it added.
2:52 pm Market Update: The market is off its day's high ahead of macro data due later in the day and Infosys earnings tomorrow.
The Sensex is up over 100 points and the Nifty is hovering around 10,450 levels but the market breadth remained in favour of declines.
Technology stocks continued to support the market, with the Nifty IT index rising more than 3 percent. TCS, Infosys and HCL Technologies are top gainers among Nifty 50 stocks, rising up to 4.5 percent.
HPCL, IOC and BPCL rebound after losing around 10 percent, rising up to 1.5 percent.
2:42 pm Air India Growth: Disinvestment-bound Air India registered around 11 percent growth in revenue, as the airline's fiscal and performance parameters were good in the last financial year, according to its chief Pradeep Singh Kharola.
The loss-making national carrier also recorded 80 percent passenger load factor in 2017-18 amid the government preparing for its strategic disinvestment.
Kharola said the performance parameters of the airline had been good in the last financial year. The load factor was around 80 percent and revenue growth was in the range of 11 per cent, he added.
"... the financials are being firmed up but fiscal parameters have been good (in 2017-18)," the Chairman and Managing Director said.
In 2016-17, the airline raked in total revenue of Rs 22,177.68 crore compared to Rs 20,610.33 crore in the same period a year ago, as per the annual report.
2:32 pm Market Update: Benchmark indices are off day's high in afternoon, with the Sensex trimming gains to 118.74 points from more than 200 points.
The Nifty gained 26.20 points at 10,443.40 but the market breadth remained in favour declines.
About three shares declined for two shares rising on the BSE.
2:28 pm OMCs in focus: Abhijeet Bora, Senior Research Analyst, Sharekhan said, "Marketing earnings of oil marketing companies (OMCs – IOCL, BPCL and HPCL) are likely to be adversely impacted if they absorb Re 1 per litre hike in the auto fuel price (petrol and diesel), as discussed in the media reports.
Moreover, with several state elections scheduled in 2018-2019 and national elections due in May-2019, the government is likely to partially manage the price of auto fuels (although petrol and diesel prices are de-regulated), which could make the marketing earnings volatile and result into poor earnings predictability for OMCs, he added.
2:15 pm M&A activity in consumer & retail sector: Merger and acquisition (M&A)activity in the consumer and retail sector took a breather in 2017 with deals worth USD 392 billion announced in 2017, down 16 percent from the year ago period, says a report.
According to A T Kearney's 2018 Consumer and Retail M&A Report, consumer and retail M&A deal volume declined in 2017, but is set to increase this year as strategic, cross-industry acquisitions were seen as a way to new markets.
"In India, we believe M&A will increasingly be a faster and viable means for consumer companies to gain access to brands, capabilities and customers than organically possible," said Debashish Mukherjee, Partner, Head, Consumer and Retail Industries.
The report further noted that with the completion of several political elections around the world, and both PE firms and consumer products companies reporting record amounts of cash reserves, a rise in global M&A deals is likely.
2:05 pm Europe Update: European markets were mixed, as investor sentiment was curbed by the threat of imminent US military action in Syria.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 was around 0.1 percent higher during early morning deals, with sectors and major bourses pointing in opposite directions.
1:52 pm Market Update: The market is trading at day's high, with the Sensex rising 200 points ahead of macro data due later in the week and Infosys Q4 earnings tomorrow.
The Nifty is trading firmly above the 10,450 levels. Technical analyst feels if the Nifty closes above 10,440, then further upside may take Nifty above 10,500 levels.
IT stocks led the rally as the Nifty IT index is up over 3 percent. Infosys, TCS and HCL Technologies are top gainers among Nifty50 stocks, rising 4 percent each.
1:42 pm Gold tops 32,000: Gold soared by Rs 300 to trade at Rs 32,150 per ten gram at the bullion market today on positive global cues amid continued buying by local jewellers.
Silver also reclaimed the Rs 40,000-level per kg by gaining Rs 240, backed by an increased offtake by industrial units and coin makers.
Marketmen said apart from a firm trend overseas, brisk buying by local jewellers to meet retailer demand in the domestic spot market pushed up gold prices.
1:32 pm GAIL in focus: State-owned gas utility GAIL India said it will bring to India only half of the LNG it has contracted from the US as it has either swapped or sold the remaining volumes.
GAIL has a deal to buy 3.5 million tonne a year of liquefied natural gas (LNG) for 20 years from Cheniere Energy of the US and has also booked capacity for another 2.3 million tonne (MT) at Dominion Energy's Cove Point liquefaction plant.
"Of the volumes contracted, we have already sold 0.5 MT. The remaining volumes translate into 80 cargoes (or shiploads) of LNG in a year. Of this, 50 per cent will come to India," GAIL Chairman and MD B C Tripathi told reporters.
The first US cargo arrived at the firm's Dabhol LNG import terminal in Maharashtra on March 30.
1:22 pm Market Update: Benchmark indices extended gains in afternoon, with the Sensex rising 159.15 points to 34,099.59 ahead of macro data due later in the day and Infosys earnings tomorrow.
The rally was driven by technology stocks. The Nifty IT Index jumped over 3 percent as TCS rallied 4.5 percent.
HCL Technologies was up 3.9 percent and Infosys gained 3.3 percent while Tech Mahindra, Mindtree and Wipro gained up to 2.6 percent.
Private banks also gained strength as ICICI Bank was up 1.5 percent while HDFC Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank and Axis Bank were up to 0.9 percent whereas ITC, IOC, HPCL, BPCL and SBI fell up to 2 percent.
The Nifty reclaimed 10,450 levels, rising 33.10 points from previous close but the broader markets continued to underperform frontliners.
About 1,300 shares declined against 1,142 advancing shares on the BSE.
1:15 pm Content Acquisition Deal: DQ Entertainment International, the global entertainment production and distribution company, has signed a significant number of content acquisition deal with leading broadcasters around the world for multiple properties produced by DQE for distribution.
Various TV distribution deals were concluded for DQE properties such as The Jungle Book TV series, The Jungle Book Christmas special, The Jungle Book Safari, Peter Pan TV series, Robin Hood TV series among others.
With the signing of many of these acquisition agreement, DQE will now be able to expand its footprint into the vast and growing kids entertainment market across the world .
1:05 pm Buzzing: Orissa Minerals Development Company share price rallied 5 percent after the company received six iron and manganese ore mines on lease from the Odisha government.
The company has received mines on lease from the office of Government of Odisha (Steel & Mines Department) in Keonjhar district, Bhubaneswar.
".....received Bhadrasahi iron and manganese ore mines with area over 998.70 hectares, Roida-Bhadrasahi iron ore mines over 103.600 hectares, Roida-Bhadrasahi iron ore mines over 103.600 hectares, Belkundi iron and manganese ore mines over 1,276.790 hectares, Kolha-Roida iron and/or manganese ore mines over 254.952 hectares, Thakurani iron and manganese ore mines over 1,546.55 hectares and Bagiaburu iron ore mines over 21.52 hectares," the company said in its filing.
12:57 pm Asia Closing Update: Asian stocks closed lower as investor confidence seen earlier in the week wavered overnight amid geopolitical tensions.
The Nikkei 225 eased 0.12 percent, or 26.82 points, to close at 21,660.28 while the broader Topix was lower by 0.39 percent.
Over in South Korea, the Kospi gave up gains late in the session, slipping 0.06 percent to close at 2,442.71.
12:53 pm Defence Partnership:  Bharat Electronics (BEL) and Mahindra Defence Systems committed to a long-term partnership through a MoU, to jointly address emerging opportunities in the domestic market under the policy initiatives of the Government of India, like 'Make in India' and the 'Export Promotion Policy' of the Ministry of Defence to target the export market.
12:45 pm Market Update: The market continued to trade mildly higher amid consolidation as investors await macro data due later in the day and Infosys earnings tomorrow.
TCS, Infosys, HCL Technologies are top gainers among Nifty50 stocks, rising up to 4 percent on falling rupee and ahead of Infosys earnings.
The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 76.53 points at 34,016.97 and the 50-share NSE Nifty rose 11.30 points to 10,428.50.
12:35 pm FII View: Morgan Stanley feels India's relative growth is likely to accelerate in the coming months.
"The recent RBI policy meeting has convinced the market that a rate hike is not around the corner. Therefore, we think that the relationship between India's short rate differential with the US and equity market performance relative to the world will likely be reestablished (falling relative rates = outperformance)," the global brokerage house explained.
It further explained that the third factor is the collapse in India's beta to a 13- year low. While fundamentally this means that India's prospective absolute returns have shrunk, if beta remains low and the world is in a low-return phase, India will likely outperform. Finally, FPI positioning, which has been falling for three years, is now at 2011 levels.
12:16 pm Defence Collaboration: Punj Lloyd, Rave Gears (USA) and Adani Group announced an intention to collaborate for the design, manufacture and assembly of high precision gears and transmission systems for rotary platforms at DefExpo 2018.
The collaboration intends to manufacture gears and gear assemblies mainly for rotary platforms, currently under production in India for HAL, and for future programs like the Naval Utility Helicopters and Naval Multi Role Helicopters.
The collaboration will use the manufacturing base in India for exports to global OEMs, both in the military and civil aerospace domain.
12:08 pm Allotment of Shares: Strides Shasun said Solara has informed the company that they have completed allotment of equity shares on April 11, 2018 as required under the Composite Scheme to the shareholders of the company who are holding shares of the company as at the record date i.e., April 9, 2018.
The share entitlement ratio for allotment of shares under the Composite Scheme is one equity share of Rs 10 each of Solara for every six equity shares of Rs 10 held by the shareholder in Strides.
The equity shares so allotted by Solara will be subsequently listed on the BSE Limited and National Stock Exchange of India Limited as provided in the Composite Scheme, Strides said.
12:01 pm Insolvency resolution process in Petron begins: Petron Engineering Construction has received an order from the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), Mumbai Bench regarding acceptance of Petition filed by operational creditors against the company and accordingly insolvency resolution process commences in terms of provisions of the Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code, 2016.
11:55 am Market Update: The market is mildly higher amid consolidation ahead of macro data due later in the day and Infosys earnings tomorrow
Infosys extended gains to 3 percent ahead of March quarter earnings, and after the fall in rupee. The Nifty IT index is up nearly 3 percent.
IOC, HPCL and BPCL continued to reel under selling pressure, falling up to 3 percent  after crude oil prices hit fresh four-year high.
11:32 am Drug Approval: Strides Shasun announced that its wholly owned subsidiary Strides Pharma Global Pte. Ltd. has received approval for Cyproheptadine Hydrochloride Tablets USP, 4 mg from the United States Food & Drug Administration (US FDA).
Cyproheptadine Hydrochloride Tablets is a generic version of Periactin Tablets of Merck & Co. Inc.
According to IQVIA data, the US market for Cyproheptadine Hydrochloride Tablets USP, 4 mg is approximately USD 20 million.
The product will be manufactured at the company’s Oral dosage facility at Bangalore and will be marketed by Strides Pharma Inc. in the US Market.
11:15 am Corporate Governance: The recent governance issues in India's banking sector involving ICICI Bank and Axis Bank reiterate the need to improve risk management and maintain strong governance practices, S&P Global Ratings said today.
"As a number of banks in India confront serious governance and risk issues, the 'tone at the top' is crucial. Leadership groups in Indian banks need to ensure that they enhance the risk culture, reputation, and financial strength
of banks," S&P Global Ratings credit analyst Michael Puli said.
The US-based rating agency assesses management's ability and expertise to grow the business sustainably while rating banks.
"We view governance and transparency in Indian banking as a negative factor," it said.
S&P has 'BBB-' rating with a stable outlook for both Axis Bank and ICICI Bank.
10:55 am Order Win: Capacit'e Infraprojects has received contracts worth Rs  162.67 crore, from Sea View Developers Private
Limited, a Brookfield Investee Company, for Civil and Structure work package for construction of Tower 11 and Multi Level Car park.
On securing the new order, Rahul Katyal, Managing Director said, "The repeat orders are important for us as they are from reputed existing client. We remain confident of delivering this project within the stipulated timelines."
10:40 am Open Offer: Promoter group entities of Dish TV have made an offer to buy an additional 26 per cent equity stake from public shareholders of the direct-to-home (DTH) player for Rs 3,701 crore.
In a public announcement made to the shareholders, Dish TV promoter entities World Crest Advisors LLP, together with Veena Investments Pvt Ltd and Direct Media Distribution Venture Pvt Ltd, announced an offer to acquire shares of Dish TV at a price of Rs 74 per share.
The offer is being made to all the shareholders of Dish TV to acquire up to 50.01 crore (50,01,87,979) shares of the company that form 26 per cent of the emerging share capital, payable in cash.
The open offer price is about 3 percent lower than the current price of Dish TV at Rs 76 on the BSE.
Last month, after over a year of snag, the merger of DTH operators Dish TV India and Videocon d2h was concluded.
10:32 am Market Update: The market continued to consolidate, with the Sensex hovering around 34,000 levels ahead of macro data due later in the day and Infosys Q4 earnings due tomorrow.
Sectoral indices were mixed in trade as the Nifty IT index extends gains up to 3 percent while metals, PSU banks and pharma are under pressure.
HPCL, IOC and BPCL fell up to 3 percent as Brent crude traded above USD 72 a barrel.
10:22 am Market Outlook: Since the peak of end January 2018, Indian equity markets underwent a steep correction due to (a) elevated concerns around increasing bond yields; (b) fluid political and fiscal policy environment;(c) fear of a trade war between US and China; (d) rising crude oil prices; and (e) scams and stringent RBI guidelines for NPA recognition in the banking sector.
"We expect the concerns/issues cited above to persist and weigh on the equity markets. Additional concerns are: (a) weak Q4FY18 earnings outlook largely due to high NPA provisions in banking sector; and (b) drop in equity flows into MF schemes, particularly SIP flows," Elara Capital said.
In view of this, it expects the equity market to remain range bound and the stocks with fundamental traits mentioned in (a) are likely to outperform.
10:10 am Aster to build new hospital in Chennai: Aster DM Healthcare has entered into an agreement with Subramanya Constructions & Development Company, a real estate developer, to construct a new hospital in Chennai.
This 500 bedded, state of the art, multi-specialty hospital is expected to be commissioned in 2020, it said.
The hospital, which would be situated at a prime location in Chennai, will provide advanced healthcare services to the residents of Tamil Nadu and customers from other states in India as well as overseas.
Aster DM Healthcare, which was recently listed at NSE and BSE already operates 11 hospitals in South India with 4037 installed beds.
9:59 am Gold Off 11-week High: Gold eased off multi-week highs as minutes from the Federal Reserve's last policy meeting raised expectations of a faster pace of US rate hikes, but concerns about possible US military action against Syria limited losses.
US gold futures fell 0.4 percent to USD 1,354 an ounce.
All of the Federal Reserve's policymakers felt that the US economy would firm further and that inflation would rise in the coming months, minutes of the central bank's last policy meeting on March 20-21 released on Wednesday showed.
Higher interest rates discourage the buying of non-interest-paying bullion, which is priced in dollars.
Gold on Wednesday rose 1 percent and hit a high of USD 1,365.23 an ounce, its highest since January 25, CNBC reported.
9:50 am Market Update: The market continued to consolidate amid sharp spike crude oil prices, as investors look for corporate earnings that will being tomorrow and macro data due later in the day.
The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 54.97 points at 33,995.41 and the 50-sahre NSE Nifty rose 2.90 points to 10,420.10.
Brent crude oil hit 2014 highs of USD 73.09 a barrel in previous session, but cooled off a bit from that level to trade around USD 72.35 a barrel today.
Oil retailers BPCL, HPCL and IOC are down over a percent while IT stocks gain up to 3 percent on fall in rupee against the US dollar.
9:40 am Buzzing: Oil retailers extended previous day's losses, falling up to 3 percent after further spike in crude oil prices yesterday on tensions in Middle East.
Hindustan Petroleum Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation and Indian Oil Corporation were down between 1-3 percent while state-run oil explorer ONGC gained a percent.
Oil markets remained tense on concerns of a military escalation in Syria, but prices were some way off Wednesday's 2014 highs as bulging American supplies weighed.
Brent crude futures were at USD 72.42 per barrel, up 0.50 percent from their last close, at the time of writing this article.
US WTI crude futures were at USD 67.20 a barrel, up 0.57 percent from previous close.
Both Brent and WTI crude hit 2014 highs of USD 73.09 and USD 67.45 per barrel on Wednesday, respectively, after Saudi Arabia said it intercepted missiles over Riyadh and US President Donald Trump warned Russia of imminent military action in Syria.
Higher crude oil price is always a concern for country like India which imports more than 80 percent of oil requirement. It is always good for oil exploration companies but bad for oil retailers as experts feel the chance of lowering excise duties on oil seems unlikely.
"With monthly GST collections still falling short of government's target (though the roll-out of e-way bill is expected to help check evasion to some extent), worries about not letting fiscal deficit widen any further than the budgeted estimate for FY18-19 and tough ask in achieving FY18-19's disinvestment target; the wiggle room that the government has in terms of lowering excise duties appear to be extremely slim," Ajay Bodke, CEO & Chief Portfolio Manager PMS, Prabhudas Lilladher said.
9:27 am Tech Stocks: Technology stocks outperformed benchmark indices, taking advantage of falling rupee. The Nifty IT index jumped 1.6 percent.
9:22 am Bond Yield: The 10-year government bond yield fell after sharp rally in previous session, declining 5 basis points to 7.48 percent in morning.
In previous session, the bond yield jumped 15 basis points to close at 7.53 percent.
9:18 am Rupee Trade: The rupee extended losses, falling 0.2 percent to 65.44 against the US dollar after opening flat.
It closed at 65.31 against the US dollar in previous session.
9:15 am Market Update: Benchmark indices opened flat amid weak global cues and spike in crude oil prices, as investors await corporate earnings and macro data.
The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 47.56 points at 33,988 while the 50-share NSE Nifty fell 17.40 points to 10,399.80.
HCL Technologies, TCS, Tech Mahindra, ONGC, Tata Motors, Bajaj Auto and Bharti Infratel were early gainers.
HPCL, BPCL and IOC fell up to 3 percent. Dr Reddy's Labs, Sun Pharma, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank and Alkem Labs were under pressure.
Nifty Bank was down 0.35 percent.
Aban Offshore, Harrisons, Jayshree Tea, Mcleod Russel, HOEC, Dolphin Offshore, Selan Exploration, TVS Electronics and Biocon gained up to 8 percent.
MRPL, InterGlobe Aviation, IDBI Bank, Jaiprakash Associates, Jet Airways and TVS Electronics were under pressure.
9:06 am Technical Recommendations: We spoke to ICICIdirect and here’s what they have to recommend:
Bajaj Finserv: BUY CMP – 5420.00 Target – 6095.00 Stop Loss – 5190.00 Upside – 12% Time Frame 6 months
EIH Limited: BUY CMP – 165.00 Target – 194.00 Stop Loss – 145.00 Upside – 17% Time Frame 6 months
PNC Infratech: BUY CMP – 181.00 Target – 205.00 Stop Loss – 166.00 Upside – 13% Time Frame 1 month
9:03 am Stocks in news: Jet Airways: It has appointed Ashok Chawla as non-executive independent director of the Board.
GMR Infra: The group will set up aerospace & defence manufacturing hub in Tamil Nadu
Oil companies: Major agreement has been signed between Saudi Aramco & Hindustan Oil, Indian Oil & Bharat Oil.
Bhushan Steel: NCLT reserves orders on resolution plan approval
Biocon: Mylan and Biocon have sought to accelerate introduction of Adalimumab Biosimilar In EU.
Tata Motors: Global wholesales at 1.53 lakh units in March.
Larsen & Toubro: It has signed an MoU With BEL To Develop Defence Products
Tata Sons: The company will form Tata Aerospace & Defence
IDBI Bank: RBI Imposes Rs 3 crore penalty for non-compliance with IRAC Norms.