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Global sell-off hits Indian markets; Sensex plunges 500 pts

A global market sell-off on the back of US political developments coupled with fears of fresh banking sector non-performing assets (NPAs or bad loans) and profit booking led to a sharp decline in the Indian equity markets on Wednesday.
 
Both the key indices -- the S&P BSE Sensex and the NSE Nifty50 -- declined by over 1 per cent.
 
Moreover, selling in the Indian equity market intensified after the Asian Development Bank (ADB) slashed India's growth forecast for fiscal 2019-20 to 6.5 per cent from 7 per cent projected in July.
 
The S&P BSE Sensex closed at 38,593.52, lower by 503.62 points or 1.29 per cent from the previous close of 39,097.14 points. It had touched an intra-day high of 39,087.20 and a low of 38,510.97 points.
 
Similarly, the Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed flat. It ended the day's trade at 11,440.20, lower by 148 points, or 1.28 per cent, than its previous close.
 
On the broader market level, the BSE Mid and Small Cap Indexes underperformed as compared to the Sensex and Nifty. However, the market breadth was negative on both the key indices.
 
Sectorally, the top gainers were the BSE Power and IT indices, whereas the losers included the Auto, Realty, Metal and Capital Goods indices.
 
"The weakness came on the back of weak global cues as US political developments and tougher tones from the Washington and Beijing on a trade deal spoiled investor sentiments," said Deepak Jasani, Head Retail Research of HDFC Securities.
 
"Technically, while the Nifty has corrected, the underlying trend remains up. Further upsides are likely once the immediate resistance of 11,565 is taken out. Crucial support to watch for further weakness is at 11,416," he added.
 
According to Geojit Financial Services Head of Research Vinod Nair, "political uproar in US to impeach president Trump led to sell-off in the global market."
 
"Fresh NPA issues, weak September auto sales and monthly expiry prompted investors to book profit post the sharp upside since last Friday. Bond yields are inching higher anticipating fiscal tightness, while the government is planning higher divestment to ease the situation."
 
IANS
 

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Sharad Pawar to 'drop in' at ED office on Friday

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Back to his old fighting form, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) President Sharad Pawar -- who has been named by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a money laundering case -- said on Wednesday that he will suo motu 'present' himself at the agency's office on Friday afternoon.
 
"I came to know about the ED case only yesterday (Tuesday). I shall fully cooperate with the investigating agency. I am prepared for any kind of 'hospitality' offered by them," Sharad Pawar told media persons here.
 
Pointing out that it is the probe agency's right to investigate the matter, the veteran politician said that he would go to the ED office in south Mumbai at 2 p.m. on Friday afternoon.
 
"I believe in the country's Constitution drafted by Babasaheb Ambedkar... I was never a director in any of the banks. But I will fully cooperate with the ED and provide them with whatever information they require," the NCP chief said.
 
The development came a day after the ED lodged cases against Sharad Pawar, his nephew Ajit Pawar and other politicians and officials for their involvement in the alleged scam of Rs 25,000 crore in the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank (MSCB).
 
The ED move, coming ahead of the October 21 Maharashtra Assembly elections, has caused political tremors in the state. The development came a month after the Bombay High Court ordered the Mumbai Police to lodge an FIR in the MSCB matter.
 
Sharad Pawar added that this was only the second such case filed against him in his entire life and he would fully participate in the probe.
 
Hinting at putting up a spirited fight, he said that Maharashtra has a long tradition of following the ideals of Mahatma Jyotiba Phule and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, so "we shall never surrender before the Delhi 'takht' (throne)".
 
In a veiled attack on the BJP-led ruling front, Pawar added that the people of the state have responded tremendously to the NCP in the election campaign and the ED action was a conspiracy hatched against them.
 
"However, the people of the state are watching and understanding everything that is going on before the elections," he said.
 
Reacting to Sharad Pawar's statements, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that the government has no role to play in the matter and the allegations were totally baseless.
 
"The Mumbai Police have filed the FIR on the basis of the Bombay High Court orders... When any scam of Rs 100 crore takes place, the ED also take cognizance and probes the money-laundering angles," Fadnavis pointed out.
 
Dismissing the allegations that the state government was instrumental in targeting people ahead of the elections, the Chief Minister said that the ED has merely followed its procedures.
 
Earlier on Wednesday, hundreds of NCP and the party's youth wing workers staged a noisy demonstration outside the ED office, protesting the cases lodged against the NCP leaders and others in the alleged MSCB scam.
 
The police resorted to mild lathi-charge and rounded up many of the demonstrators to disperse the crowd.
 
Similar protests were held in other parts of the state, including the Pawars' home town Baramati, Pune and western Maharashtra.
 
IANS
 

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Equity indices open lower, Sensex down 330 points

The key Indian equity indices opened on a negative note on Wednesday with the BSE Sensex trading over 300 points lower.
 
The domestic markets declined in tandem with the Asian indices, which fell after US lawmakers called for an impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, raising concerns of political uncertainty in the US.
 
At 9.41 a.m., Sensex was trading at 38,765.12, lower by 332.02 points or 0.85 per cent from the previous close of 39,097.14.
 
It had opened at the intra-day high of 39,087.20 and has so far touched a low 38,762.91 points.
 
The Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange was trading at 11,495.15, lower by 93.05 points or 0.80 per cent from its previous close.
 
IANS
 

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ED books Sharad Pawar, Ajit Pawar in MSCB scam

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In a massive jolt to the Pawar family ahead of the Maharashtra Assembly elections, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday registered a money laundering case against Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, his nephew Ajit Pawar and 75 others in a case related to the Maharashtra State Co-operative Bank (MSCB) scam.
 
The ED's move against the political bigwigs from the NCP comes after the Bombay High Court in its last month's order asked the Economic Offences Wing of the Mumbai Police to file FIR against Sharad Pawar, Ajit Pawar and 75 others in the alleged scam.
 
The ED said it had filed its case based on the FIR of the Mumbai Police, which lodged a case in connection with the scam last month.
 
The Bombay High Court had ordered to register an FIR in the alleged scam as petitioner Surinder Arora had filed the case in the Bombay HC seeking an investigation into the Maharashtra State Co-operative Bank which was controlled largely by NCP leaders.
 
IANS
 

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Markets end flat; mild profit booking breaks stellar rally

The Indian equity markets' stellar rally on the back of the government's corporate tax break announcement was broken on Tuesday as the key indices ended flat on the back of a minor profit booking bout.
 
The S&P BSE Sensex closed at 39,097.14, higher by 7.11 points or 0.02 per cent from the previous close of 39,090.03 points. It had touched an intra-day high of 39,306.37 and a low of 38,913.06 points.
 
Similarly, the Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed flat. It ended the day's trade at 11,588.20, lower by 12 points or 0.10 per cent from its previous close.
 
On broader market level, the BSE Small Cap Index outperformed, the Sensex and Nifty. However, the market breadth was negative on both the key indices.
 
Sectorally, the top gainers were the BSE IT and Energy indices, whereas the losers included BSE Capital Goods, Metal, Bankex and Realty indices.
 
"Technically, while the Nifty has taken a breather, the underlying trend remains up," said Deepak Jasani, Head Retail Research of HDFC Securities.
 
"Further upsides are likely once the immediate resistance of 11,655 is taken out. Crucial support to watch for resumption of weakness is at 11,539."
 
According to Geojit Financial Services Head of Research Vinod Nair: "After a massive rally investors took some money out which led the indices to trade range bound. Sentiment factor is largely positive after the stimulus measures to attract allocation of more funds to mid and small caps."
 
"Bond yield inched higher despite FMs comment on retaining fiscal target of 3.3 per cent for FY20 and no reduction in spending. While governments' second half borrowing plan will be keenly watched to get a clearer view on direction."
 
On Monday, the Sensex gained 1,075 points, taking its two-day advance to nearly 3,000 points as investors continued to pump in money in hopes of improvement in corporate earnings after the government slashed corporate tax rates last week.
 
IANS
 

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Profit booking drags equity market lower after stellar rise

Profit booking dragged the Indian equities market lower during the afternoon trade session on Tuesday.
 
At 12.55 p.m., the S&P BSE Sensex was trading at 39,006.54, lower by 83.49 points or 0.21 per cent from the previous close of 39,090.03 points.
 
The Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) was trading at 11,565.15, lower by 35.05 points or 0.3 per cent from its previous close.
 
On Monday, the Sensex gained 1,075 points, taking its two-day advance to nearly 3,000 points as investors continued to pump in money in hopes of improvement in corporate earnings after the government slashed corporate tax rates last week.
 
IANS

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RBI bars PMC Bank from doing business for 6 months

RBI logo
RBI logo
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has barred the Punjab & Maharashtra Cooperative Bank Ltd (PMC), Mumbai from carrying out the majority of its routine business transactions for a period of six months, sparking panic among the depositors and sending shock-waves in the city banking and business circles on Tuesday.
 
The apex bank's Chief General Manager Yogesh Dayal said that as per the RBI directions, depositors cannot withdraw more than Rs 1,000 from their savings/current/other deposit accounts.
 
Described as a multi-state cooperative banking entity, the PMC Bank has branches in Maharashtra, Delhi, Karnataka, Goa, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
 
Founded in 1984 in a small room in Mumbai, it has now grown to a network of 137 branches in six states and ranks among the top 10 cooperative banks in the country.
 
The PMC Bank has been barred from granting, renewing any loans and advances, make any investments, incur any liability, including borrowal of funds, or accept fresh deposits, etc., without prior written approval from RBI.
 
The RBI has also restricted the bank from disbursing, agreeing to disburse any payment, whether in discharge of its liabilities and obligations or otherwise, enter into any compromise or arrangements and sell, transfer or otherwise dispose of any of its properties or assets except as notified in the RBI notification of Monday.
 
In a statement on Tuesday, the PMC Bank's Managing Director (MD) Joy Thomas said the bank had been put under regulatory restrictions by the RBI owing to irregularities disclosed to the apex bank.
 
"As the MD of the Bank, I take full responsibility and assure all the depositors that these irregularities will be rectified before the expiry of six months," Thomas told the banks' thousands of distressed customers.
 
He said that it was a difficult time for all, but urged the people to cooperate.
 
Thousands of anguished depositors rushed to the PMC Bank's head office in Bhandup, northeast Mumbai and its branches in different parts of the city to make withdrawals even as police were deployed around the branches to avert any untoward incidents.
 
IANS

Sensex gains 1,075 pts, mid-caps outperform, IT lags

The BSE Sensex gained 1,075 points on Tuesday, taking its two-day advance to nearly 3,000 points as investors continued to pump in money in the hopes of an improvement in corporate earnings after the government slashed corporate tax rates last week.
 
Strong buying was seen in the financial sector stocks. However, IT stocks slipped on the back of recovery in the rupee. Besides, S&P Mid-caps gained over 3 per cent, thereby outperforming the benchmark Sensex. Small-caps also jumped by 2.73 per cent.
 
"We believe that this rally has more legs to unfold," said Ruchit Jain, Equity Technical Analyst, Angel Broking. Another analyst from Angel Broking noted that the tax cuts would increase profitability for companies at the highest tax bracket by 14 per cent.
 
After flip-flopping between 39,441.12 and 38,674.04, the benchmark Sensex closed at 39,090.03, up by 2.83 per cent while the broader Nifty surged by 329.20 points or 2.92 per cent to 11,603.40.
 
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday announced lowering of the corporate tax rate on domestic companies to 22 per cent, subject to such entities not availing any exemptions and incentives.
 
Also, these companies will not be required to pay any Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT). Effective tax rate in this case would be 25.17 per cent, including cess and surcharge.
 
Further, the 'super-rich' tax will not apply on capital gains arising from the sale of any security, including derivatives, in the hands of Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPI).
 
To provide relief to listed companies which have already made a public announcement of buyback before July 5, 2019, the government announced that tax on buyback of shares in case of such companies shall not be charged.
 
IANS
 

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No Monday Blues: Sensex up over 1,200 points

The bull run in the domestic stock markets continued for the second straight day as the BSE Sensex rose over 1,200 points on Monday.
 
The corporate tax cut rate announced on Friday, that was dubbed as mother of all measures to combat the economic slowdown, continued to boost investor sentiments.
 
At 12.37 p.m., the Sensex was trading at 39,271.39, higher by 1,256.77 points or 3.31 per cent from the previous close of 38,014.62 points.
 
It has so far touched an intra-day high of 39,346.01 and a low of 38,674.04 points.
 
The Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) was trading at 11,659.40, higher by 385.20 points or3.42 per cent from its previous close.
 
Sitharaman on Friday announced lowering of the corporate tax rate on domestic companies to 22 per cent, subject to such entities not availing any exemptions and incentives.
 
Also, these companies will not be required to pay any Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT). Effective tax rate in this case would be 25.17 per cent, including cess and surcharge.
 
Further, the 'super-rich' tax will not apply on capital gains arising from the sale of any security, including derivatives, in the hands of Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPI).
 
To provide relief to listed companies which have already made a public announcement of buyback before July 5, 2019, the government announced that tax on buyback of shares in case of such companies shall not be charged.
 
These measures also boosted the investor sentiments in the market.
 
On Friday, post the announcement, the Sensex advanced by a massive 1921.15 points to 38,014.62 and the broader Nifty jumped to 11,275.45 after gaining 570.65 points, or 5.33 per cent.
 
IANS
 

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Historic trade session ends with 1,921 pts gain for Sensex

The BSE Sensex closed Friday's session with an unprecedented 5.32 per cent advance as Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman made yet another big ticket announcement to kickstart the economy.
 
The benchmark indices logged the biggest ever gains in the history of trading in India as the government slashed the effective corporate tax rate to about 25 per cent from 30 per cent.
 
The Sensex advanced by a massive 1921.15 points to 38,014.62 while the broader Nifty jumped to 11,275.45 after gaining 570.65 points or 5.33 per cent.
 
The biggest beneficiaries among the 30 Sensex stocks were Hero Moto Corp, Maruti Suzuki, IndusInd Bank, Bajaj Finance, State Bank of India and Bajaj Finance, which gained in the range of 9 to 12 per cent.
 
The badly beaten down auto stocks gained the most. Nifty auto jumped over 9.90 per cent while the Nifty banks index gained over 8 per cent.
 
"The announcements made by the Finance Minister is very positive for the economy, corporates and stock market. The effective tax after surcharges and cess will come down from 33 per cent to 25.17 per cent," said Rusmik Oza of Kotak Securities.
 
IANS
 

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Horror film director Shyam Ramsay no more

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Filmmaker Shyam Ramsay, who made Bollywood horror a cult affair, died here on Wednesday. He was 67.
 
According to reports, he was suffering from pneumonia.
 
Shyam, as part of the Ramsay brothers, made films like "Veerana", "Purani Haveli" and "Andhera".
 
Ramsay brothers also consisted of Tulsi, Kumar, Keshu, Arjun, Gangu and Karan.
 
Apart from films, Shyam and Tulsi also gave TV audiences the "Zee Horror Show".
 
IANS
 
 
 
 

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Indian equity markets open in green

The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) on Wednesday opened on a positive note.
 
The Sensex of the BSE opened at 36,621.38 and touched a high of 36,701.61 and a low of 36,620.41 after closing at 36,481.09 on Tuesday.
 
It is trading at 36,678.21, up by 197.12 points or 0.54 per cent.
 
On the other hand, the broader 50-scrip Nifty at the National Stock Exchange (NSE) opened at 10,872.80 after closing at 10,817.60.
 
The Nifty is trading at 10,879.25 in the morning.
 
IANS
 
 
 

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Dalal Street nervous over oil, Sensex tanks 600 pts

The BSE Sensex fell nearly 600 points shortly before close on Tuesday following sharp rise in oil prices globally which continued to send shock waves across financial market.
 
At 2.42 p.m., the bencmark Sensex was trading with a loss of 587.76 point or 1.5 8 per cent at 36,535.55, while the broader index, the Nifty50 fell over 167 points to 10,836.20.
 
The global oil benchmark, Brent, was trading at $68 a barrel from its Friday's close of $60 prior to the attack on Saudi oil facilities during the weekend.
 
Automobile companies on the NSE lost the most, being the sectors to be most affected by the rising cost.
 
The Nifty auto index slipped over 3 per cent in the afternoon.
 
Brent, on Monday surged as much as 20 per cent to above $71 a barrel as markets reopened after a major attack on Saudi Arabia's oil infrastructure.
 
"These attacks resulted in production suspension of 5.7 million barrels of crude oil per day," Saudi Aramco said in a statement.
 
Oil prices, experts said, could spike in the next several days as a result of the attack on Saudi's state-run oil company, Saudi Aramco -- the second-largest oil producer in the world.
 
The Drone attacks claimed by Yemen's Houthi rebels set alight two major oil facilities run by the state-owned company Aramco in Saudi Arabia on Saturday, the Kingdom's Interior Ministry said.
 
The Saudi Press Agency, citing a statement by the Ministry, said that the drones caused the fire at the refinery in the city of Abqaiq, as well as the blaze at the Khurais oil field, around 150 km from Riyadh.
 
IANS
 

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Bulls back in action, Sensex ends 280 pts higher

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Bulls were back in action on Friday to end the week on a strong note. While the Sensex gained 280 points, the Nifty closed above the 11,000-mark over renewed hopes of a rate cut by the Reserve Bank of India.
 
Besides, global markets were trading higher after the European Central Bank (ECB) decided to cut its main deposit rate by 10 basis points on Thursday to revive the struggling European economy.
 
The Sensex closed 280.71 points or 0.76 per cent higher at 37,384.99. It opened at 37,175.86 after ending the session on Thursday at 37,104.28. The broader Nifty finished at 11,075.90, higher at 93.10 points or 0.85 per cent.
 
"Subdued inflation kept hopes alive for rate cut and positive vibes to support the auto sector lifted the markets. Broad-based recovery in rate sensitive stocks aided the domestic market while additional policy measures from European Central Bank powered global peers," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.
 
The August CPI came at 3.21 per cent as against 3.15 per cent in July. The marginal increase in CPI was mainly due to increase in food inflation, experts said.
 
IANS
 

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Sensex opens 70 points higher, Nifty above 11,000

The BSE Sensex and the NSE Nifty opened marginally higher on Friday.
 
At 9.40 a.m., the Sensex was up 69.95 points higher at 37,174.23. It opened at 37,175.86, from its previous close of 37,104.28.
 
The Nifty was up 18.70 points higher at 11,001.50.
 
 
Industrial production growth slipped to 4.3 per cent in July from 6.5 in the same month of last year.
 
The August Consumer Price Index came at 3.21 per cent as against, 3.15 per cent in July. The marginal increase in CPI was mainly due to an increase in food inflation, experts said.
 
The European Central Bank decided to cut its main deposit rate by 10 basis points to -0.5 on Thursday to revive the struggling European economy.
 
IANS

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First-ever NBA game in India in October

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National Basketball Association (NBA) India on Thursday announced that the first-ever NBA game in the country will be held in October in Mumbai.
 
The NBA India Games 2019 will feature the Sacramento Kings and Indiana Pacers who will play two pre-season games on October 4 and 5 at the Dome, NSCI, SVP Stadium in Mumbai. This will mark the first games that teams from a North American sports league will play in India.
 
As part of Reliance Foundation's Education and Sports for All (ESA) initiative, the NBA will invite 3,000 boys and girls from more than 70 participating Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA schools in Mumbai to attend 'The NBA India Games for Reliance Foundation ESA' on October 4.
 
"We are proud to provide young Indian boys and girls under the Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA program with the opportunity to experience the first-ever NBA game in India," said NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum.
 
"We share Reliance Foundation's belief in the transformative power of sport and its ability to capture a child's imagination, and these historic events will inspire youth across the country for years to come," he added.
 
In addition to the games, the league and its partners will host interactive fan activities, Jr. NBA events, an NBA Academy India development camp for women, and NBA Cares community outreach efforts benefiting fans of all ages across Mumbai.
 
The Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA program is a comprehensive youth development initiative that aims to develop the game at the grassroots level and apply the core values of basketball - teamwork, respect, determination and community - to positively impact the lives of boys and girls in India.
 
Since its launch in 2013, the program has reached more than 10 million youth from 10,000 schools across 34 cities and has trained more than 10,000 physical education instructors nationwide.
 
IANS
 

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Auto stocks resume slide, Sensex ends 167 pts lower

Indian equity markets fell on Thursday ahead of the key macro data such as IIP (Index of Industrial Production) numbers for July and retail inflation (CPI) print for August due later in the day.
 
The Nifty auto index declined by 1.81 per cent, led by selling in Tata Motors, TVS Motors and Maruti Suzuki scrips.
 
The Sensex closed 166.54 points or 0.45 per cent lower at 37,104.28 while the Nifty fell by 54.65 or 0.50 per cent at 10,981.05. The benchmark opened higher at 37,330.47, from its previous close of 37,270.82.
 
"Market had done well in the last one week and bounced back from the oversold region which was heavily impacted last month by poor economic data," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.
 
Nair also added that markets are waiting for the next set of updated data to understand whether the worst for the economy is over or if this slowdown will continue in the short-term.
 
The outlook on these upcoming data is weak which is likely to be supported by more rate cut by the Reserve Bank of India in the next month's policy meet, analysts noted.
 
IANS
 

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Sensex up 97 points, Nifty above 11,000

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The BSE Sensex was up nearly 100 points during the early trade on Thursday led by buying in banking and financial sector stocks.
 
The benchmark Sensex at 10.38 a.m., was trading at 37,367.18, higher by 96.36 points from its previous close.
 
Sensex opened higher at 37,330.47, from its previous close of 37,270.82.
 
The broader Nifty traded at 11,059.50, higher by 23.80 points or 0.22 per cent.
 
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Tata Motors Group reports 32% decline in August's global wholesales

Manufacturing at a Tata Motors facility (Photo: Tata Motors/Instagram/IANS)
Manufacturing at a Tata Motors facility (Photo: Tata Motors/Instagram/IANS)
The Tata Motors Group has reported that its global wholesales in August 2019 were at 72,464 numbers, lower by 32 per cent, from August 2018.
 
Global wholesales of all Tata Motors’ commercial vehicles and Tata Daewoo range in August 2019 were at 25,366 numbers, lower by 45%, over August 2018, a press release from the company said.
 
Global wholesales of all passenger vehicles in August 2019 were at 47,098 nos., lower by 22%, compared to August 2018, it said.
 
Global wholesales for Jaguar Land Rover were 39,615 vehicles (JLR number for August 2019 includes CJLR volumes of 4,680 units). 
 
Jaguar wholesales for the month were 10,097 vehicles, while Land Rover wholesales for the month were 29,518 vehicles.
 
CJLR is a JV between JLR and Chery Automobiles and is an unconsolidated subsidiary for JLR.
 
NNN
 

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FPIs turn buyers for the first time in September

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Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) on Wednesday turned buyers for the first time in September. FPIs had been on a sell mode despite the roll-back of the tax surcharge on them as macro-economic concerns took the centre stage.
 
On Wednesday, FPIs bought Rs 266.89 crore worth of stocks while Domestic Institutional Investors bought Rs 1,132.42 crore worth. However, the outflow had steadily declined from Rs 2,016.20 crore at the start of the month, down to Rs 188.08 crore on September 9.
 
India Ratings and Research earlier in the month said it expects headwinds to foreign portfolio investment flows into India to continue over the near-to-medium term despite the accommodative global monetary policy stance.
 
"A gamut of factors, such as slower-than-expected demand growth in major economies, geopolitical and trade tensions and a gradual weakening of the economic growth prospects in India, have contributed to a build-up of risk aversion, which has impeded the demand for emerging market (EM) debt instruments," the rating agency said.
 
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After Urmila Matondkar, Maharashtra ex-Minister quits Congress

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In a second consecutive blow to the Mumbai Congress on Tuesday, former minister and senior leader Kripa Shankar Singh announced he had quit the party.
 
Singh met Congress General Secretary Mallikarjun Kharge on Tuesday and tendered his resignation from the Congress.
 
He is likely to join the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) soon, though he is reported to be in touch with the Shiv Sena as well, aides indicated.
 
Fuelling the speculation to this was the fact that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray had visited Singh's Bandra residence to celebrate Ganeshotsav recently.
 
Earlier this afternoon, Bollywood actress Urmila Matondkar sent shock-waves in the Congress by quitting after accusing its Mumbai leadership of "betrayal". However, she has not revealed her future course of political action so far though speculation is rife that she may consider joining another party.
 
Singh -- once billed as the Congress' benign north-Indian face in Mumbai -- has also expressed his differences with the Congress' official stance opposing the recent striking down of the Constitution's Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir.
 
Among other posts, Singh was the Mumbai Congress President for a term and served as Minister of State for Home and held other portfolios in the former Congress-Nationalist Congress Party coalition government.
 
In 2011, Singh and some of his close family members had come under the scanner of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) in certain corruption-related cases after which he had to quit his ministerial post in mid-2012.
 
Meanwhile, several prominent faces from the Congress and NCP are likely to join the ruling BJP-Shiv Sena this week as the countdown for the announcement of Maharashtra assembly elections starts.
 
Earlier in the day, actress Matondar, caught in a web of intra-party politicking, abruptly quit the Congress, alleging 'betrayal' by the party.
 
"I hereby resign from the Indian National Congress (INC) as a member and from any post held in the INC. I thank you for giving me the opportunity to work for INC," said Matondkar in a terse letter to interim Congress President Sonia Gandhi dated September 7.
 
She said the first thoughts of resigning from the party came when -- despite her repeated efforts -- no action was taken in pursuance of her explosive letter dated May 16 to the former Mumbai Congress President Milind Deora, which was 'leaked' in early July.
 
"Thereafter, to my utter dismay, the said letter containing privileged and confidential communication was conveniently leaked to the media, which according to me was an act of blatant betrayal," Matondkar said.
 
She claimed that nobody from the party was apologetic for the leak of the nine-page letter, nor was anybody concerned for her despite her repeated protests over the issue.
 
In the letter, Matondkar had named certain key persons in the party's local units at the block and ward levels and other infighting which reportedly resulted in her defeat in her maiden electoral contest in the Lok Sabha polls earlier this year.
 
On the contrary, she pointed out that the persons she had specifically mentioned in the letter to Deora for their "shoddy performance" in Mumbai Congress were rewarded with newer positions, instead of being held accountable for their acts and omissions.
 
"It is obvious that the key functioneries of Mumbai Congress are either unable or not committed to bring about a change and transformation in the organisation for the betterment of the party," a peeved Matondkar pointed out.
 
She said her "political and social sensibilities" refused to allow vested interests in the party to use her as a means "to fight petty in-house politics", instead of working on a bigger goal for the Mumbai Congress.
 
"I stand by all my thoughts and ideologies and will continue to work for the people to the best of my capacity with honesty and dignity. I thank all the people who helped and supported me through my journey," she signed off.
 
The popular actress had joined the Congress on March 27 this year and later unsuccessfully contested the Lok Sabha elections from Mumbai North against sitting Bharatiya Janata Party MP Gopal Shetty, who won by a staggering margin of 4,65,000 votes.
 
Nevertheless, she led a high-profile election campaign attracting huge crowds in all her public meetings, rallies and door-to-door canvassing with different sections of people in her constituency.
 
IANS
 

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'Chhichhore' inches towards Rs 50 crore mark

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Filmmaker Nitesh Tiwari's "Chhichhore" is all set to touch the Rs 50-crore mark. The film has raked in over Rs 44 crore since its release on September 6.
 
According to trade analyst Taran Adarsh, the film which opened to low collections on Friday, witnessed a good performance at the box-office on Monday.
 
"'Chhichhore' is rocking... Day 4 (Monday) is 10.66 per cent higher than Day 1 (Friday), despite lower ticket rates on weekdays... A rarity in today's times...Business at major centres/multiplexes is fantastic...Friday Rs 7.32 cr, Saturday Rs 12.25 cr, Sunday Rs 16.41 cr, Monday Rs 8.10 cr. Total: Rs 44.08 cr. India business," Taran tweeted on Tuesday.
 
"Chhichhore", which stars Sushant Singh Rajput and Shraddha Kapoor, revolves around a group of college friends who go through the good and the bad times of college and life after it.
 
IANS
 

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Rishi Kapoor returns to India after treatment

Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh on their arrival from New York, at the Mumbai airport on September 10, 2019. (Photo: Twitter)
Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh on their arrival from New York, at the Mumbai airport on September 10, 2019. (Photo: Twitter)
Veteran actor Rishi Kapoor, who was undergoing medical treatment in New York, returned to India on Tuesday.
 
Expressing his happiness on his arrival in the country, Rishi took to Twitter and wrote: "Back home... after 11 months 11 days. Thank you all."
 
Rishi and his wife Neetu were spotted at the Mumbai airport in the early hours of Tuesday.
 
Several pictures were doing rounds on the Internet in which the couple was seen happily posing for the paparazzi.
 
Donning a denim shirt and jeans, Rishi looked in the pink of health.
 
The "Chandni" actor was in the Big Apple to undergo medical treatment for cancer.
 
A slew of family, friends, and celebrities from across the world, including Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Priyanka Chopra, and Karan Johar, have visited Rishi over the past months.
 
IANS
 

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Sensex ends 163 pts higher, Nifty reclaims 11,000-mark

The Sensex and Nifty closed higher on Monday in line with global markets, which gained on the back of stimulus measures taken last week by China aimed at easing pressures on its economy owing to the trade war with the US.
 
The markets also gained as Indian investors picked up bank, auto and financial service stocks over expectation of further measures by the government to revive private investment.
 
"Buying activity in major indices like Nifty Infra, Nifty PSU banks and Nifty Auto hint at more liquidity measures by the government in the near future," said Shrikant S. Chouhan, Senior Vice-President, Equity Technical Research.
 
The S&P BSE Sensex closed 163.68 points, or 0.44 per cent, higher at 37,145.45. It opened on a weak note at 36,969.48, against its Friday close of 36,981.77.
 
The broader Nifty closed higher on Monday by 56.85 points at 11,003.05.
 
"Confidence of domestic investors or mutual funds have helped the markets to close higher. Total net equity inflows increased 12.30 per cent in August 2019 which has triggered buying in the broader market," Chouhan added.
 
In a bid to push investment and growth, the Chinese central bank on Friday cut lenders' reserve requirement ratios.
 
IANS
 

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Sensex down 175 points after opening flat

The Sensex on Monday fell by 175 points during the early trade after it opened marginally lower.
 
The decline was led by automobile companies. However, FMCG and pharma stocks gained.
 
At 9.19 a.m., the Sensex traded 175.19 points lower at 36,806.58, from its Friday's close of 36,981.77.
 
The broader Nifty traded 41.80 points lower at 10,904.40.
 
The government is expected to announce some more growth-inducing measures, especially for the real estate sector, in the coming days.
 
Investors were also cautious ahead of Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Index of industrial production (IIP) data scheduled to be released on Thursday, which could further reveal the depth of the slowdown.
 
IANS
 

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