The News International Team
10:55am ITC up 2%: Sources told CNBC-TV18 that ITC is likely to hike cigarette prices by up to 20 percent. Fresh cigarette stock with price hike is yet to reach market.
10:45am Crude Update: Brent crude climbed towards USD 58 a barrel today for the second straight session as speculators covered their positions ahead of the April contract’s expiry, while a strengthening dollar and a build in US crude stocks capped prices.
Geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and North Africa were also supporting crude futures.
Brent for April delivery rose 24 cents to USD 57.78 at 0426 GMT after gaining USD 1.15, or 2 percent, in the previous session in a rebound from a one-month low.
West Texas Intermediate was flat at USD 48.17, after closing the previous session down 12 cents.
The April contracts for Brent and WTI expire next week.
10:20am CPI and IIP data: The February consumer price index (CPI) data and the January index of industrial production (IIP) numbers will be released today. The CPI is estimated to inch up to 5.26 percent compared to 5.11 percent in the previous month.
The rise is expected mainly due to food inflation. Food inflation in the previous month inched up to around 6.13 percent versus 4.78 percent month-on-month.
The IIP for January is expected to come in at a growth of around 0.5 percent versus 1.7 percent month-on-month. The range for IIP is anywhere with a decline of 1.7 percent to a growth of 2.3 percent this time around. This is because core sector growth wasn’t inspiring, in fact, it was the slowest in a year at 1.8 percent. Auto production for January eased to around 2 percent growth versus 6 percent in December 2014; as per Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) data.
10:00am Market Check
The market maintained early gains following upside in Asian equities. The Sensex climbed 189.22 points to 28848.39 and the Nifty jumped 56.30 points to 8756.25 led by banking & financials, capital goods and auto stocks.
The BSE Midcap and Smallcap outperformed benchmarks, up 1 percent each. Advancing shares outnumbered declining ones by a ratio of 1328 to 553 on the Bombay Stock Exchange.
The Insurance Bill will be tabled in the Parliament today, Ajay Bodke of Prabhudas Lilladher believes it will be a red-letter day if the bill could be passed. According to him, the passage of the Insurance Bill can bring nearly Rs 30,000-40,000 crore into the country.
Speaking to CNBC-TV18, Bodke said the market is eagerly waiting for the passage of other crucial bills like the Coal bill and the Mines and Minerals Bill. The three bills are expected to be cleared in the upper house by March 18.
State-run power company NTPC topped the buying list, up 5 percent followed by HDFC, Tata Motors, ICICI Bank, L&T, Maruti Suzuki, Sesa, Sterlite, Hero Motocorp and Tata Power with 1-1.5 percent upside.
However, Hindustan Unilever, Mahindra & Mahindra, Dr Reddy’s Labs, Wipro and Bajaj Auto declined 0.5-1 percent.