Sensex and Nifty ended lower for the second day, dragged down by banking stocks. The Sensex fell 33 points to 38,690 while Nifty settled at 11,676, down 15 points. Gains in metal, pharma and FMCG stocks were offset by losses by banking stocks. The Nifty banking index fell nearly 0.45%. The rupee hit a fresh low of 70.86 against the US dollar today, before closing at 70.74 a dollar. The rupee had closed at 70.59 against the US dollar on Wednesday. Month-end dollar demand from importers and a slide in other Asian currencies weighed on the rupee. So far this year, the rupee has weakened 9.7% against the US dollar, weighed down by outflows from debt markets. Foreign investors have sold $256.45 million and $7.96 billion in equity and debt markets, respectively.

3:40 pm: Among the BSE Sensex stocks, RIL, Maruti Suzuki and IndusInd Bank fell over 1.5% HDFC, Kotak Mahindra Bank, HDFC, Axis Bank, Yes Bank and Asian Paints were among other major losers. Among the gainers, Sun Pharma surged 3%, Tata Steel 2.4%, ITC 2% and Bharti Airtel 2%.

2:50 pm: Midcap and smallcap stocks outperform

The BSE midcap and smallcap indices traded higher in late trade, outperforming their largecap peers. The BSE midcap index was up 0.18% while the smallcap index rose 0.27%.

2:30 pm: Reliance Infra shares surge nearly 5%

Reliance Infrastructure on Wednesday completed the sale of its Mumbai city power distribution business to fellow industrialist Gautam Adani for 18,800 crore. It will help bolster the company’s financials by repaying debt of 13,800 crore from an accumulated debt of 22,000 crore.

12.30 pm: Nifty, Sensex slip on profit-taking; banks drag

Gains in consumer and materials stocks were offset by losses in financials, and Asian stocks surrendered earlier gains as Chinese markets fixed on risks from the Sino-U.S. trade war.

“There is obviously some profit-booking, plus the F&O (futures and options) expiry today, all those things might have led to some pause in the overall momentum," said Siddhartha Khemka, Head of Retail Research, Motilal Oswal Securities.

10:50 am: Vedanta Limited gets buy rating at Goldman

Goldman Sachs begins coverage on copper and aluminium producer Vedanta Ltd with a buy rating and a price target of 280. “Driven by capacity additions and ramp up, we expect volume growth across businesses. We expect volume growth to contribute most to EBITDA growth over the next four years," Goldman Sachs said. Vedanta Ltd shares were trading 1% higher at 230 on BSE.

10:08 am:Aditya Birla Capital and Greaves Cotton Ltd shares surge

Aditya Birla Capital Ltd gained as much as 4.77% to 143.8 per share after ABCL announced a joint venture with US-based alternative assets manager Varde Partners to invest in distressed assets in India.

Greaves Cotton Ltd gained as much as 9.04% to 159.90 per share as it bought 67% stake in EV company Ampere Vehicles for 77 crore.

Laurus Labs Ltd gained as much as 5.85% to 464.95 per share after it received US FDA approval for metformin hydrochloride tablets.

Hindustan Copper gained as much as 9.66% to 67 per share as it seeks shareholder nod to raise up to 1,400 crore via QIP.

ITI gained as much as 15.94% to 108 per share after it bagged 2,658 crore MahaNet order for implementation of BharatNet Phase II.

Airline stocks in the red: IndiGo lost 4.7% to 969.55, SpiceJet lost 2.77% to 79.05 and Jet Airways 3.48% to 281.55 per share as brent crude rises to $77 a dollar, its highest in a month.

9:10 am: The rupee was trading at 70.70 a dollar, down 0.16% from its previous close of 70.59. The currency opened at 70.69 a dollar, touching a high 70.60 and a low 70.69.

8:55 am: Sensex and Nifty are set for a positive start today, with Singapore-traded SGX Nifty trading 17 points higher at 11,721. The rupee will also be in focus today after the currency plumbed past 70.50 mark on Wednesday. Today, the dollar index against a basket of six major currencies struggled near a four-week low of 94.434. The global cues are positive with most Asian markets trading in the green. Overnight, the Wall Street hit record highs in the hope that the current North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations will lead to a further easing of global trade tensions.

On Wednesday, the Sensex and Nifty50 indices halted their record run, dragged by profit-taking in energy giants such as Reliance Industries and Coal India.

The benchmark BSE Sensex on Wednesday closed down 0.45% at 38,722. The broader NSE Nifty ended 0.40% lower at 11,691. Reliance Industries fell from record highs earlier in the session to close 2%. RIL shares had gained for the last seven sessions. Coal India ended 2.1% lower after three sessions of gains. The rupee also on Wednesday touched a record low of 70.64 to the dollar, tracking weakness in Asian peers along with strong month-end dollar demand back home. Today, the dollar index against a basket of six major currencies struggled near a four-week low of 94.434.

8:50 am | Opening bell: Cues to look out for before trading today

Aluminium prices decline after Trump move: London aluminium prices fell for the first time in six sessions in early Asian trade on Thursday, after U.S. President Donald Trump allowed relief on aluminium import quotas from Argentina. Trump, who put in place tariffs on steel and aluminium imports in March, signed proclamations allowing relief from the quotas on steel from South Korea, Brazil and Argentina and on aluminium from Argentina, the U.S. Commerce Department said in a statement on Wednesday.

A rally in tech stocks led the Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500 to record highs, with Amazon, Alphabet and Apple leading the gains. Investor sentiment was also boosted by the resumption of US-Canada trade talks.

Asia markets were in positive territory on Thursday morning as Wall Street extended its record high streak once again and Canada rejoined negotiations for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Aditya Birla Capital Ltd (ABCL), the financial services arm of Aditya Birla Group has announced a joint venture with US-based alternative assets manager Värde Partners to investment in distressed assets in India.


Reliance Infra Infra sells Mumbai power utility to Adani: Reliance Infrastructure Ltd’s chairman Anil Ambani completed the sale of its Mumbai city power distribution business to fellow industrialist Gautam Adani for 18,800 crore.

IL&FS plans to divest assets, cut debt by up to 30,000 crore: Debt-saddled infra lender IL&FS said its board has approved the 4,500-crore rights issue and it plans to reduce its loan burden by up to 30,000 crore by divesting assets in the next 18 months.

LIC Board to meet on 4 September to decide modalities for raising stake to 51% in IDBI Bank: The LIC board will meet on 4 September to decide on the modalities for increasing stake in debt-ridden IDBI Bank to 51%, a move that will provide insurance behemoth entry into the banking space.

Government asks RBI to identify government banks for merger: The government has asked the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to prepare a list of candidates for merger among 21 government banks as it seeks to strengthen a banking system laden with bad debt, people familiar with the matter said.

Mahindra says Fiat Chrysler files patent complaint in US: Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd said in a regulatory filing that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US LLC has filed a patent violation complaint with the US International Trade Commission against the company.

India likely to miss fiscal deficit target in 2018-19: Moody’s | The government is likely to miss its fiscal deficit target in its final year in office due to higher than budgeted oil prices and rising interest rate scenario, Moody’s Investor Service said.

((Harsha Jethmalani/Mint)

With Agency Inputs