Nifty hits 9000, closes at record

Indian markets touched an all-time high of 9000 after fresh buying was seen in various sectors. BSE-Sensex and NSE-Nifty opened the trading session in the red as growth in the core sector slowed down. However, oil and gas and Information Technology sector buoyed the Indian Markets in the green. BSE Sensex ended today's trading session with a gain of 135 points while NSE Nifty ended today's session just tad of 9000 mark. Nifty managed to touch the 9000 level but couldn't sustain for long above that level. S&P BSE Midcap and S&P BSE Smallcap indices outperformed the market with gains of 1.1% and 1.5%, respectively.

The Indian rupee is trading at 61.91 levels, up 0.1% against the U.S. Dollar. Gold prices rebounded from early losses and is trading at Rs 26,510 levels, while Silver prices is trading lower by 0.40% at Rs 36,500 levels. Crude oil prices continue to trade at lower levels at Rs 3,138 per barrel. European markets continue to trade with modest gains. DAX and FTSE are trading with gains of 0.25% and 0.20% respectively.

In the second half of the trading session buying was witnessed in all the counters which predominantly included banks, infrastructure and metals. IL&FS transportation networks won an award from the Government of Gujarat to build 8 rail over bridges. The project is valued at Rs 2.5 billion and has to be built in a time frame from of 17.5 years. For this project, the company will be receiving half-yearly payments of Rs 22 crores. Post this development, stock price of IL&FS transportation increased 4%.

Information technology had buoyed the Indian markets when it was in the red in the early part of the day. Led by TCS, many IT companies announced key developments. Nucleus Software entered into a collaboration with Red Hat. Following this development stock price of the company zoomed nearly 10%.

Oil & Gas, IT Lift Indian Markets
03:30 pm

Indian markets hit 9,000 level mark after providing a weak opening. BSE Sensex is trading with a gain of 0.50% or 150 points while NSE-Nifty is trading with a gain of 0.44% or 40 points. BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap gained 1.2% and 1.4%, respectively at the time of writing. Silver prices fell nearly Rs 122 or 0.33% to Rs 36,524 per kilogram while gold prices fell by Rs 15 or 0.06% to Rs 26,495 per 10 grams. The value of Indian Rupee is almost unchanged at Rs 61.86. Crude oil price fell about 0.64% and is trading near Rs 3,129 per barrel.

Investor confidence in European markets cemented after its largest economy, Germany provided better than expected retail sales data. German DAX is trading 0.40% higher while FTSE is trading 0.26% higher.

Information Technology sector has the gained in today's trading session. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has led the gains from the front among the Nifty 50 stocks. Stock price of the company gained nearly 3% after TCS was adjudged as UK's top employer by Top Employers Institute. Moreover, this accreditation has been received by the company for the fifth consecutive year.

Another sector which gained during today's session form the front is the Oil & Gas sector. Stock price of Reliance Industries Limited increased more than 4.5% after the Finance Ministry slashed the excise duty hikes. Additionally, these cuts will be refurbished by levying road cess. On one hand, the excise duty on diesel has been cut in the range of Rs 3.5 - Rs.4 while on the other the road cess has increased from Rs 2 to Rs 6.

Indian markets pare early losses
01:30 pm

Indian markets opened weak but gained momentum with BSE-Sensex gaining over 100 points and NSE-Nifty gaining over 20 points. S&P BSE Midcap and S&P BSE Smallcap have clearly outperformed the market. The midcap and smallcap stocks have gained 0.8% and 1%, respectively. Price of precious metals have shown movement, but just. Price of Gold is trading at Rs 26,465 per 10 grams, down 0.2% while the price of Silver slipped 0.15%; at Rs 36,600 per kilogram. Price of crude oil has fallen over 1% and is trading at Rs. 3,114 per barrel. The Indian rupee has fallen marginally by 0.06 at 61.81 against the US Dollar.

Asian equity markets closed in the red as Hang Seng lost 0.7% while Shanghai lost 2.2%. Nikkei closed marginally in the red with a loss of 0.06%. However, Kospi and Taiwan Weighted gained 0.2% and 0.05%, respectively.

The automobile sector's movement is flattish in this trading session. Disappointing numbers from Mahindra and Mahindra evaporated investors' positive sentiment towards the sector. M&M reported its sale figures fell by 10% YoY for the month of February. The company sold 38,033 units compared to 42,166 units same period last year. Domestic sales fell 11% YoY with sales coming at 34,918 units compared to 39,338 recorded last year. On the positive side, export figures increased by 10% YoY to 3,115 from previous year's figure of 2,828. Stock price of the company fell nearly 3%.

The Indian hotels sector is trading positively especially after the Budget 2015; which brought good news for Indian tourism. Hotel Leela is leading from the front in terms of gains among the hotel stocks today. Stock price of Hotel Leela rose as much as 12% after the company announced that it will sell two hotels to curb its rising debt. The two hotels which are for sale are namely The Leela Goa and The Leela Palace Chennai. Last fiscal, the hotel is reported to have a debt of Rs 45 bn. To reduce debt, Hotel had sold Leela Kovalam, located at Kerala, about 4 years back for Rs 5 bn. Indian markets pare early losses

Indian stock markets open weak.
09:30 am

The major Asian equity markets have opened the day on mixed note with China market (down 0.9%) and Japan market (down 0.2%), leading the losses. However, stock markets in Singapore (up 0.7%) and Hong Kong (up 0.03%) have opened on a positive note. With the Crude oil prices increased nearly 2.8% and are trading at Rs 3,150 per barrel. Precious metals, gold and silver have witnessed marginal movements. While gold prices have increased marginally by 0.1% at Rs 26,600 per 10 grams, silver is prices has declined marginally by 0.2% and is trading at 36,650 per kilogram.

Indian stock markets have opened today's trading session on a negative note. BSE Sensex and NSE-Nifty have lost 0.05% each in the early morning trade. BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap continue to outperform the market with gains of 0.6%, each. Among the sectoral indices, the auto and metal stocks are witnessing maximum selling pressures. The Indian Rupee is trading at 61.89.

Today's market is weighed by poor economic numbers that reveals slowdown in sector growth for the month of January. As per the financial daily, the core sector growth declined nearly 1.8% for the month of January. The eight core sectors that contribute about 40% to the Indian economy include coal, crude oil, fertiliser, refinery products, natural gas, steel, electricity and cement. Two sectors that led to fall in core sector growth were crude oil production and natural gas production. Each of the sector growth fell 2.3% and 6%, respectively.

Indian Pharmaceutical sector has gained amidst negative sentiment. Natco pharma and Ipca labs are among the leading gainers in the pack. Sun pharmaceuticals has announced about acquisition of Opiates owned by GSK in Australia. The business comprises of materials used in analgesics. The business transaction is expected to complete in August 2015. Sun pharma is trading up by 2%

Will the budget be able to deliver?

The Union Budget 2015 was eagerly awaited for path-breaking reforms. On the positive side, the budget has addressed all the critical issues ranging from rural income, social security, skill development, black money, monetization of gold to infrastructure development, green energy initiatives, provision of funds for small business, ease in winding up business and stronger recovery powers for financial institutions. The government has set target to achieve fiscal deficit of 3% of the GDP over the next three years. Therefore clearly the government is in no hurry to achieve fiscal consolidation and is keen to step up public investments to spur growth.

However, a number of headwinds can threaten to derail the government's capital spending to boost economy. Foremost among them is the possibility of crude prices bouncing back. The steep slide in crude prices since the latter half of 2014 put India in a sweet spot. Although the government took steps such as removal of diesel-price controls and hike in tariffs on natural gas, it has fallen short of implementing bold reforms for winding up of subsidies on fertilizer, kerosene and cooking gas. Secondly, there has been an unprecedented increase in the devolution of funds to the States. With States accounting for 62% share of the total tax receipts in FY16, the government will be left be with lower finances. Even the government's disinvestment program seems to be optimistic to say the least. The government has targeted to achieve a disinvestment target of Rs 695 bn in FY16. This appears substantially higher than funds of Rs 242.5 bn raised through stake sales in FY15. Moreover, the forecasts of 8.5% growth in GDP in FY16 are based on a revised method and a new base of 2011-12. Even the growth acceleration is likely to happen only when important legislations for FDI in insurance, land acquisition and commercial coal mining are put in place. But with the Modi government not enjoying majority in the Upper houses of the parliament, getting legislative approval may not be an easy task.

While the Union Budget 2015 has not been exactly ground breaking ,it has initiated the process of kick-starting the economy. However, it remains to be seen whether the government will be able to stick to its capital expenditure plans along with the onerous task of achieving fiscal deficit targets.