Global cues push Sensex, Nifty higher; midcaps outperform

3:30 pm Market Closing: Benchmark indices closed higher despite crude oil prices, backed by metals, technology and FMCG stocks.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 95.61 points at 34,427.29 and the 50-share NSE Nifty gained 39.10 points at 10,565.30 following positive global cues.
Hindalco, Nalco, Tata Steel, Vedanta, Hindustan Copper, JSW Steel, SAIL, Nalco and Jindal Steel & Power rallied up to 12 percent on higher commodity prices.
However, HPCL, BPCL and IOC were down 4-7 percent on higher crude oil prices.
Among others, Titan Company and HDFC  were down up to 2.5 percent while Yes Bank, UltraTech Cement, ONGC, L&T and ITC gained up to 3 percent.
Nifty Midcap index was up 133 points.
Chambal Fertilizers, GNFC, GSFC, Shipping Corporation of India, Bombay Burmah, Phoenix Mills, Lemon Tree Hotels, Parag Milk Foods and Rain Industries gained up to 12 percent.
HEG, Graphite, Balrampur Chini Mills, Dhampur Sugar, Indian Hotels and Godrej Consumer Products were down up to 9 percent.
3:25 pm Earnings: RS Software has narrowed its Q4 loss to Rs 5.9 crore from Rs 7.6 crore in previous quarter.
3:15 pm BPCL plans to start oil trading office in Singapore: Bharat Petroleum Corporation plans to start a trading office in Singapore in the near future to procure crude for its refineries and trade oil products, its head of refineries, R. Ramachandran, said late on Wednesday.
"We will open office in the near future," he said, without specifying a timeline.</p><p>However, a company source, who declined to be named, said the office may start operations by September.
BPCL could become the second Indian state refiner after Indian Oil Corp to open a Singapore trading outpost as Indian buyers hunt for competitively priced spot cargoes from the Asian oil-trading hub, reports Reuters.
3:10 pm Coffee Exports: Coffee exports from India, Asia's third-largest producer and exporter, reached an all-time high at 3.95 lakh tonnes in the 2017-18 fiscal on strong demand for instant coffee, according to state-run Coffee Board.
The country had exported 3.55 lakh tonnes of coffee in the previous year.
The top three export destinations are Italy, Germany and the Russian Federation.
3:02 pm  Crude Oil prices in Action: Talk that Saudi Arabia has its sights on USD 80-100 a barrel oil again ignited a fierce rally in commodities and resource stocks, though the potential boost to inflation globally put some pressure on fixed-income assets.
It was set to be the strongest day for the commodity complex in eight months as Brent crude futures climbed past USD 74 a barrel after a near 3 percent jump overnight.
The surge came on a Reuters report that OPEC's new price hawk Saudi Arabia would be happy for crude to rise to USD 80 or even USD 100, a sign Riyadh will seek no changes to a supply-cutting deal even though the agreement's original target is now within sight, reports Reuters.
2:55 pm Facility expansion: Honeywell announced the expansion of its Fulgaon manufacturing facility in Pune to meet the growing demand for
automation solutions and factory instrumentation more effectively.
"The state-of-the-art facility enables Honeywell to provide enhanced expertise and training capabilities to customers and expand its production range," the company said.
2:48 pm Bharat Bijlee commissions facility: The company has commissioned a state-of-the art facility for its Magnet Technology Machines in Navi Mumbai, at an approximate cost of Rs 8 crore.
This new facility will help the company increase its production and service capacity and look forward to a good business opportunity in this segment over the years to come.
2:42 pm NACL Industries in focus: The company has entered into, a strategic alliance agreement with BioWorks Inc., one of the leading player in USA in Agricultural Bio-Products space.
Bio-Works focuses on developing green, environment friendly solutions for pest management and nutritional requirements of various crops in agriculture, horticulture, turf & ornamentals and home gardens.
BioWorks is marketing a range of Bio-Products mainly in USA, Canada.
"BioWorks has entered into a long term strategic alliance with the company inter-alia providing rights to NACL to exclusively market various BioWorks products in India and other countries in South Asia," it said.
2:35 pm Global Steel Demand: Global steel demand is expected to reach 1,616.1 million tonne (MT) in 2018, according to World Steel Association (worldsteel), reports PTI.
In India, the demand is expected to accelerate gradually, mainly driven by public investment, worldsteel said in a report.
"worldsteel forecasts global steel demand will reach 1,616.1 MT in 2018, an increase of 1.8 per cent over 2017. In 2019, it is forecast that global steel demand will grow 0.7 per cent to reach 1,626.7 MT," it said.
2:25 pm Maruti Alto retains best selling PV model tag in FY18: Maruti Suzuki India's (MSI) entry level hatchback Alto retained its status as the best selling passenger vehicle in India in 2017-18, leading the company's dominance with seven of its models featuring in the top ten list.
According to data by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), Hyundai Motor India Ltd's (HMIL) three models made it to the list.
The top ten list clearly showed the dominance of the two companies in the Indian passenger vehicle (PV) market.
The Alto retained its number one position by selling 2,58,539 units in 2017-18 as against 2,41,635 units in the previous financial year, up 6.99 per cent.
MSI's new version of compact sedan Dzire moved to the second spot selling 1,96,990 units in the year. The older version of the sedan, Dzire Tour, had occupied the third spot in 2016-17 with 1,67,266 units, reports PTI.
2.15 pm Buzzing: Welspun Corp share price rallied 6 percent after it has received a contract for supply of 114 K MTs of large diameter pipes for a water project in the MENA region.
With this addition, the company's current order book stands at an all-time high of 1,605 KMTs valued at Rs 10,240 crore.
1:52 pm Market Update: The market continued to trade mildly higher, with support from metals, technology and FMCG stocks. It shrugged off higher crude oil prices.
The correction in oil marketing companies and select banking & financials capped gains.
Metals stocks extended rally, with the Nifty Metal index rising more than 4 percent on global commodity prices.
Oil retailers IOC, HPCL and BPCL were down 4-6 percent as Brent crude oil futures started trading above USD 74 a barrel, the highest level since late 2014.
1:40 pm Reliance in focus: BP and Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) announced the sanctioning of the ‘Satellite cluster’ project in Block KG D6.
The companies are moving forward to develop the Block’s discovered deep-water gas fields in an integrated series of projects, bringing new gas production for India, the company said in its filing to exchanges.
The 'Satellite cluster' is the second of three projects in the Block KG D6 integrated development. The first of the projects, development of the 'R-Series' deep-water gas fields, was sanctioned in June 2017.
"Together the three projects will develop a total of about 3 trillion cubic feet of discovered gas resources with a total investment of Rs 40,000 crore (USD 6 billion). They are expected to bring a total around 30-35 million cubic metres (1 billion cubic feet) of gas a day new domestic gas production onstream, phased over 2020-2022," RIL said.
Disclosure: Reliance Industries Ltd. is the sole beneficiary of Independent Media Trust which controls Network18 Media & Investments Ltd.
1:32 pm NPA and Provisions: IndusInd Bank said it has reported provisions for the March quarter at Rs 335.55 crore, an increase of 42 percent over Rs 236.16 crore in December quarter.
On the year-on-year basis, provisions fell 22 percent compared to Rs 430.13 crore in March quarter 2017.
Gross non-performing assets (NPA) as a percentage of gross advances for Q4FY18 were higher at 1.17 percent compared to 1.16 percent in previous quarter while net NPA were at 0.51 percent, up from 0.46 percent QoQ.
1:25 pm Earnings: Private sector lender IndusInd Bank has reported profit at Rs 953.09 crore for the quarter ended March 2018, a growth of 26.8 percent compared with year-ago period.
Net profit for January-March quarter 2017 was at Rs 751.61 crore.
Net interest income, the difference between interest earned and interest expended, grew by 20.4 percent to Rs 2,007.59 crore from Rs 1,667.45 crore on year-on-year basis.
Operating profit increased 12.5 percent year-on-year to Rs 1,769.39 crore while other income fell 0.23 percent to Rs 1,208.51 crore in Q4.
1:15 pm Stake Sale: German pharmaceutical and chemicals group Merck said it had agreed to sell its consumer health business to American giant Procter & Gamble and would use the proceeds mostly to pay off debt.
As part of the 3.4-billion euro (USD 4.2 billion) cash deal, some 3,300 staff will move from Merck to Procter & Gamble, it said in a statement.
Merck had announced in September that it was looking at options for the consumer health business, including a possible sale.
1:05 pm EIH Associated corrects: EIH Associated Hotels share price has seen correction of 5 percent intraday after rising 26 percent in previous three straight sessions.
In fact, not only EIH but also other hotels stocks had also been rallied in previous sessions on hopes of good earnings for the quarter ended March 2018 as October-March period is always good for hotel companies.
Meanwhile, the board of directors have decided upon the partial closure of Trident Udaipur for renovation of some ofthe rooms, from May 1 to October 31, 2018.
12:55 pm Buzzing: Allied Digital was locked at 10 percent upper circuit after one-time settlement of its dues to State Bank of India for Rs 60.34 crore.
12:53 pm Market Update: The market continued trade higher with marginal gains on the back consistent rally in metals, technology and FMCG stocks.
The market shrugged off the rally in crude oil prices that pulled oil retailers down. IOC, HPCL and BPCL were down up to 6 percent.
The Nifty Metal index was up nearly 4 percent on rising global commodity prices while IT stocks like TCS, HCL Technologies, Tech Mahindra were up around 2 percent on depreciation in the rupee.
12:42 pm  Drug Approval: Zydus Cadila has received the final approval from the USFDA to market Diclofenac Sodium Topical Solution.
It is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) indicated for the treatment of signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knee(s).
It will be manufactured at the group's Topical manufacturing facility at Ahmedabad.
The group now has more than 185 approvals and has so far filed over 320 ANDAs since the commencement of the filing process in FY 2003-04.
12:38 pm Buzzing: VA Tech Wabag, a leading pure play water technology Indian Multinational, has received an order for Rs 253 crore by Bihar
Urban Infrastructure Development Corporation (BUIDCO), under the prestigious Namami Gange scheme (National Mission for Clean Ganga NMCG). The stock gained nearly 2 percent.
12:30 pm Order Win: Vascon Engineers has received work order from Adhiraj Constructions Private Limited for the work of civil and structural works (residential township) in Navi Mumbai amounting to Rs 119 crore.
The work has to be completed within 21 months from the date of receipt of work order, the company said.
With this order, Vascon Engineers has been awarded a total of over Rs 600 crore of new third party EPC Orders in the last 9 months.
12:25 pm TCS Q4 Expectations: Analysts expect TCS to report between 1.1 percent and 2.0 percent revenue growth in constant currency, sequentially, helped by some of its recent large deal wins including Marks & Spencer, and life insurance provider Transamerica. Growth will be aided by ramp-up of some of these deals.
According to a Reuters poll, analysts on average expect TCS to post fourth-quarter net profit of Rs 6,811.8 crore and revenue of Rs 31,669.2 crore.
Commentary on operating margins will be keenly watched.
TCS had said last year that it expects margins to be between 26 percent and 28 percent. Given the ongoing cost pressures, including reduced H-1B visas and increased local hiring in the US, margins have been pressured. In the quarter ended December 31, TCS reported operating margin of 25.2 percent.
12:22 pm Rupee Trade: The rupee depreciated 11 paise to 65.77 against the US dollar at the interbank forex market on increased demand for the greenback from importers and banks amid soaring crude oil prices overseas.
Foreign capital outflows too weighed on the domestic unit.
12:14 pm Nestle Outlook: Food group Nestle confirmed its full-year guidance after organic sales growth accelerated to 2.8 percent in the first quarter of 2018, helped by improving volumes.
Nestle is among packaged food companies taking action after seeing sales slow as many consumers prefer fresh foods, reacting by cutting costs, divesting underperforming businesses and increasing efforts to innovate with new products.
The maker of KitKat chocolate bars and Maggi soups confirmed on Thursday its target to grow organic sales by 2-4 percent this year and improve its trading operating margin. It also said it was on track to return to mid-single-digit organic sales growth by 2020, reports Reuters.
12:01 pm Buzzing: Reliance Infrastructure share price gained nearly a percent as the company has received the letter of award (LOA) from Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL) for its maiden railway project worth Rs
774 crore for the construction of third rail line between Jimidipeta and Gotlam on East Coast Railway on engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) basis.
11:49 am Market Update: The market continued to trade higher amid volatility, backed by positive global cues. Today's rebound after correction in previous session indicated that the market is not so much worried due to rising crude oil prices.
The Nifty was trading above 10,550 levels while the broader markets also traded in line with frontlines, with the Nifty Midcap index rising 0.4 percent.
The Nifty Metal index extended gains, rising 4 percent on rising in global metal prices while the Nifty IT index continued to trade 1 percent higher on depreciation in rupee.
Oil retailers IOC, HPCL and BPCL were down up to 5 percent after Brent crude hit USD 74 a barrel, the highest level since late 2014.
11:35 am Unilever Q1 Sales: Unilever, the Anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant, reported first-quarter sales that met expectations, helped by volume gains, and maintained its full-year outlook.
The maker of Dove soap and Ben & Jerry's ice cream, which is in the process of overhauling its corporate structure, said that underlying sales rose 3.4 percent, meeting an  analysts' consensus supplied by the company.
Reported turnover fell 5.2 percent to 12.6 billion euros,  hurt by currency exchange rates, reports Reuters.
11:19 am Improved Bid for Fortis Healthcare: Fortis Healthcare said it has received an improved binding offer from Hero Enterprise Investment Office and Burman Family Office to invest Rs 1,500 crore directly in the company, ahead of its scheduled board meet today.
"The company has received an improved binding offer from Hero/Munjals and Burmans to invest directly into the company," Fortis Healthcare said in a regulatory filing.
Spelling out the details of their offer, the Munjals and Burmans in a joint letter said, the offer is "faster to implement and without any due diligence. We are proposing to invest Rs 1,500 crore directly in the company", reports PTI.
10:45 am Market Update: The market continued to trade higher, with the Sensex rising around 100 points despite Brent crude futures hit USD 74 a barrel, the highest level since late 2014. Positive global trend boosted sentiment.
Metals stocks extended rally, with the Nifty Metal index rising 3.5 percent on positive global commodities prices. Hindustan Copper, Nalco, Vedanta, Hindalco, SAIL, Jindal Steel and Tata Steel gained up to 10 percent.
IT stocks also gained strength as the Nifty IT index was up 1 percent following further 10 paise depreciation in the rupee.
9:59 am Buzzing: Mindtree share price gained 3 percent after the company reported a 28.8 percent sequential growth in profit at Rs 182.2 crore and6.3 percent in revenue at Rs 1,464 crore for the quarter ended March 2018.
9:50 am Market Update: The market traded higher despite the sharp upmove in crude oil prices, following positive lead from global peers. Investors closely monitor March quarter earnings to get further market direction.
The Sensex was up around 100 points and the Nifty was gradually inching towards 10,600 levels.
All sectoral indices were in the green, with the Nifty Metal index rising more than 2 percent while Media index continued its upmove, up another 1 percent.
Brent crude oil futures hit USD 74 a barrel after a decline in US crude inventories and top exporter Saudi Arabia is expected to keep withholding supply to prop up the market.
9:42 am Proposal to acquire Company: Fortis Healthcare informed exchanges that the company today has received a supplemental proposal from IHH.
On April 16 also, the board of Fortis received an unsolicited non-binding expression of interest from IHH Healthcare Berhad (IHH) for possible due diligence and participation with the company.
The board of directors of Fortis is scheduled to meet on April 19, 2018 to consider all options.
9:32 am Open Offer: Procter & Gamble Overseas India BV has submitted to exchanges a open offer for acquisition of up to 43,15,840 fully paid up equity shares of Merck from the public shareholders.
9:25 am Acquisition: Parag Milk Foods expanded its footprint in North India with the Acquisition of the manufacturing facility of Danone Foods and Beverages India Private Limited, a French dairy based MNC.
"The company has acquired the Danone Foods and Beverages India Pvt Ltd’s manufacturing facility of Curd, Yogurt and other related products at Rai, Sonipat, Haryana near Delhi. This acquisition would help expand the company’s footprints in North India and strengthen company’s fresh category distribution of Milk, Flavoured Milk, Buttermilk, Curd, Fresh Paneer and Yogurt in this region," the company said.
9:18 am Crude Update: Oil prices remained close to highs touched the previous day that were last seen in late 2014, buoyed as US crude inventories declined and as top exporter Saudi Arabia is expected to keep withholding supply to prop up the market.
Brent crude oil futures were at USD 73.92 per barrel, up 0.6 percent, from their last close.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 0.58 percent, at USD 68.87 a barrel.
Brent on Wednesday marked its highest level since November, 2014 at USD 73.93 per barrel. WTI hit its strongest since December, 2014 at USD 68.91 a barrel, reported CNBC.
9:15 am Market Update: Equity benchmarks rebounded on Thursday after the correction in previous session, following positive lead from global stocks.
The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 111.58 points at 34,443.26 and the 50-share NSE Nifty rose 41.20 points to 10,567.40.
Nifty Metal was up 1.6 percent as Hindalco, Vedanta, Nalco and Tata Steel rallied up to 5 percent on positive global metal prices.
Nifty Midcap was up 75 points.
Fortis Healthcare, Mishra Dhatu, Mindtree, HDFC Standard Life, Phoenix Mills, Aban Offshore, Godrej Industries, Godrej Consumer Products, Dabur and Kaya gained up to 7 percent.
9:10 am Pre-opening settlement price: Benchmark indices closed mildly higher, with the Sensex rising 71.99 points to 34,403.67 and the Nifty gaining 37.50 points at 10,563.70.
9:05 am Technical Recommendations: Moneycontrol spoke to ICICIdirect and here’s what they have to recommend:
Bajaj Finserv: BUY CMP – 5372.00 Target – 6095.00 Stop Loss – 5190.00 Upside – 13% Time Frame 6 months
Munjal Showa: BUY CMP – 229.00 Target – 269.00 Stop Loss – 208.00 Upside – 17% Time Frame 6 months
PNC Infratech: BUY CMP – 175.00 Target – 205.00 Stop Loss – 166.00 Upside – 17% Time Frame 1 month
9:03 am Stocks in news: Mindtree: The firm’s Q4 net is up over 87% at Rs 182.2 crore.
DLF: The company has sought to allay concerns about the slow pace of monetization of land assets, Bloomberg reported.
Mark Builders: SEBI has banned the firm and its directors from market
ABG Shipyard: Fresh bids are invited for the company under insolvency law.
Ashok Leyland: The company has drawn up Rs 1,000 crore plan for 2018-19.
Magma Fincorp: The company has raised Rs 500 crore in QIP, promoters pare 2.5 percent stake.
Container Corp: Company to consider stock split on April 30
Jain Irrigation: Board approves a plan to raise Rs 260 crore loan from World Bank arm
9:01 am Market Check: Benchmark indices opened marginally higher, following positive lead from global stocks.
The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 95.24 points at 34,426.92 and the 50-share NSE Nifty gained 21.80 points at 10,548.
Hindalco, Nalco, Aban Offshore, ACC, HDFC Standard Life, Mindtree, Phoenix Mills and Mishra Dhatu gained up to 8 percent while BPCL, HPCL, Adani Enterprises and Jet Airways were under pressure.
Trends on SGX Nifty also indicated a positive opening for the broader index in India, rising 33.5 points to around 10,588-level on the Singapore Exchange.
The S&P 500 eked out a small gain while the Dow declined after a volatile trading session on Wednesday, with weakness in sectors such as consumer staples and financials offsetting strong gains in the energy and industrial indexes, Reuters reported.
Resource stocks were on a roll in Asia on Thursday as oil prices hit heights not seen since late 2014, though the potential boost to inflation globally also pressured fixed-income assets.
Oil prices trading close to highs touched in the previous day that were last seen in late 2014, buoyed as US crude inventories declined and as top exporter, Saudi Arabia is expected to keep withholding supply to prop up the market, Reuters reported.