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India’s forex reserves dip by $ 2.499 billion to $ 423.583 billion

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Reversing a four-week uptrend, India’s foreign exchange reserves dipped by  a whopping $ 2.499 billion to $ 423.583 billion during the week ended April 20, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The country’s forex reserves had soared by $ 1.217 bilion to a record $ 426.082 billion during the previous week.
 
In its weekly statistical supplement issued here today, the central bank said that foreign currency assets, which constitute a major chunk of the forex reserves, had gone down by $ 2.492 biillion during the week.
 
Foreign currency assets expressed in US dollar terms include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of non-US currencies such as the euro, pound and yen held in the reserves.
 
According to the bulletin, the country’s gold reserves remained unchanged at $ 21.484 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDRs) decreased by $ 3 million to $ 1.537 billion.
 
India’s reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) went down by $ 4 million to $ 2.075 billion, the bulletin added.
 
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Aishwarya, Sonam, Deepika to add Bollywood glamour to Cannes fest

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Come May and Bollywood actresses Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Sonam Kapoor and Deepika Padukone will be heading to Cannes to add glamour at the red carpet of the prestigious Cannes Film Festival.

The 71st Cannes Film Festival will be held from May 8-19. The actresses will be walking at the red carpet as L'oreal Paris brand ambassadors.

Deepika will be walking the red carpet for the second time on May 10 and May 11. Aishwarya will be completing 17 years at the red carpet and will be attending the festival on May 12 and May 13.

Sonam will be completing eight years at Cannes and will attend the festival on May 14 and May 15. Some of the other L'Oréal Paris spokespersons that will be seen on the red carpet include Julianne Moore, Helen Mirren and Doutzen Kroes.

The cosmetic brand is celebrating 21 years as the official make-up partner for the Festival de Cannes. The theme this year is #Summer Escape.

Inspired by the French Riviera, glitz, allure and colours of Cannes, the #SummerEscape collection includes a range of long wear and all-day comfort make-up.

Raagjeet Garg, General Manager, L'Oréal Paris, said: "We are excited to introduce our long-wear make-up range which has been designed to suit Indian skin tones in shades of summer. Our make-up experts have created signature looks that the ambassadors are going to wear on the red carpet, showcasing the perfect, glowing sun-kissed look."

IANS

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Reliance Jio posts Rs 510 crore profit in Q4

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Reliance Jio, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), posted standalone net profit of Rs 510 crore for the fourth quarter (January-March) 2017-18.
 
It had posted standalone net profit of Rs 504 crore for the third quarter (October-December) of 2017-18.
 
Standalone revenue from operations of the company stood at Rs 7,128 crore during the fourth quarter, according to results published on Friday.
 
Subscriber base of Jio as on March 31 was 186.6 million with an average revenue per user during the quarter at Rs 137.1 per month.
 
Total wireless data traffic during the quarter was 506 crore GB and total voice traffic 37,218 crore minutes.
 
"A full-blown social, mobile and digital revolution is underway across the world, and I am glad that India is not being left behind in any way with the advent of Jio. Everyone at Jio is today proud to have played a pivotal role in transforming the digital landscape of this country and empowering millions of Indians with all the leading digital tools and skills. Jio is offering the 'power of data' to each Indian to fulfil every dream and to collectively take India to Global Digital Leadership," said Mukesh D. Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, RIL.
 
"The strong financial results of Jio in a competitive market environment demonstrates the robustness of the Jio business model and ability to offer the most value to our customers and partners. Jio has demonstrated that it can scale and sustain its strong financial performance," he added.
 
IANS
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Indians prefer automation over human interactions with brands: Report

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As businesses strive to deliver better customer experiences, Indian consumers in the country are showing a preference for automation and non-human interactions with brands, a new report said on Friday.

The findings were part of software giant Adobe's "Experience Index 2018" research unveiled at the Adobe Symposium 2018 here.

"The 'Experience Index 2018' reinforces the role of data and analytics in helping brands to understand their customers and work towards delivering incredible experiences across every touchpoint," said Kulmeet Bawa, Managing Director, South Asia, Adobe.

The research outlined areas where businesses could improve to provide engaging customer experiences: Know Me and Respect Me, Delight Me At Every Turn, Make Technology Transparent and Speak in One Voice.

Consumer expectation scores in India barely cross 50%, which indicates significant room for brands to improve on customer experiences front.

"Bringing down the positive impact of 'experience makers', the overall score is adversely affecting the strong negative impact of 'experience breakers', as consumers in India are fast to penalise brands that fail to execute successfully," the findings said.

According to the research, interesting generational differences that are the biggest pain points for customers included customer service and lack of information from businesses.

However, millennials are more likely to vocalise negative experiences with a brand than older consumers who may have given up on expecting anything more.

In the 50-plus age group, 94% of respondents in this group were extremely positive about technology's role in improving the quality of life.

"While older Indian consumers are increasingly relying on digital technology to cut down on time wasted on daily tasks. No matter the age group, brands in India need to work harder at meeting the needs of consumers across generations," added Mickey Mericle, Vice President, Marketing and Customer Insights, Adobe.

Consumers in India are most impressed by new innovations that help them interact with a brand and are open to businesses implementing new ways to automate such interactions.

The findings also suggested that it is imperative for brands to provide a consistent message and experience, to cut through the clutter and present a united and consistent front to customers.

IANS

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Reliance Industries' Q4 net profit up 17.3% at Rs 9,435 crore

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Industrialist Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Limited's (RIL) consolidated net profit for the fourth quarter (January-March) of 2017-18 stood at Rs 9,435 crore, up by 17.3 per cent on year-on-year basis, a company statement said here on Friday.
 
The company had posted net profit of Rs 8,046 crore for the corresponding quarter in 2016-17.
 
The company's consolidated revenue stood at Rs 129,120 crore, up 39 per cent during Q4 FY 18, compared to Rs 92,889 crore posted in the corresponding quarter a year ago.
 
"FY 2017-18 was a landmark year for Reliance where we established several records on both operating and financial parameters. Reliance has become the first Indian company to record PBDIT (Profit Before Depreciation Interest and Taxes) of over $10 billion with each of our key businesses - Refining, Petrochemicals, Retail and Digital Services achieving record earnings performance," said Mukesh D. Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director of RIL.
 
He said substantial synergies, productivity gains and production growth in the energy and materials business has allowed the company to perform at very competitive levels despite the uptrend in oil prices through the year. 
 
"We have established strong foundations in retailing and digital services business with world-class supply chain management and network infrastructure which will serve our customers well. It is very heartening to see the traction our service offerings are gaining, with discerning Indian consumers. The growing Indian market provides exciting opportunities to scale-up these businesses and maximize long-term shareholder value in the coming years," he added.
 
IANS
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I'm proud of my exotic brown colour: Diana Hayden

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A day after Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb questioned the "beauty" of Diana Hayden, the former Miss World has slammed the thought that 'light skin is better', and said she is proud of her exotic brown skin colour.

Deb reportedly said in Agartala on Thursday that international beauty contests were a farce as the results were all predetermined. He also said he failed to understand the "process of judgement" of the crowning of the Miss World contest in 1997, in which Diana was crowned.

"We see women as goddess Laxmi, Saraswati. Aishwarya Rai represents the Indian women. She became the Miss World and that's all right. But I do not understand the beauty of Diana Hayden," Deb said.

Diana is hurt.

"That's some strong disapproval of me winning the Miss World title," Diana said in a statement.

"With regards to me winning the Miss World, it's a pity and shame, that when you win the biggest and most respected beauty pageant in the world, you get criticised and put down as opposed to being appreciated and respected for bringing more accolades back home and further appreciation of our Indian brown exotic beauty.

"It's also hurtful," she added.

Pointing out at the bigger issue, Diana said: "Being brown-skinned, I've had to fight the 'light skin is better' issue we have in India. I felt so strongly about it that I turned down a fairness cream ad because it went against my belief. We are Indians and predominantly our skin colour is brown and we should be really proud of it and learn to appreciate it like it's appreciated around the world.

"It's obvious that our skin colour difference is on his mind as he is comparing me to Ash (Aishwarya) and not Priyanka (Priyanka Chopra) or Manushi (Manushi Chhillar) who currently holds the Miss World title, and very deservedly so.

"Shame on him as our beautiful, exotic brown colouring is to be proud of. I sure am!"

Celebrities from the film industry took a dig at Deb's comment.

"Is Lara Dutta (Miss Universe 2000) an Indian beauty? (Just trying to confuse him)," tweeted film editor-director Shirish Kunder.

Filmmaker Ashoke Pandit tweeted: "I condemn the irresponsible statements issued by Biplab Deb, the CM of Tripura on Diana Hayden. He should realise that it takes lots of hard work to be Miss World. He has not insulted Diana Hayden, but the entire women fraternity."

IANS

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Firm global cues, banking stocks lift equity indices

Firm global cues along with robust buying in banking stocks on the back of healthy quarterly earnings lifted the key Indian equity indices on Friday.
 
At 3.30 p.m., the wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) provisionally closed at 10,695.30 points, up 77.50 points or 0.73 per cent from the previous close.
 
The barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 34,747.04 points, closed at 34,969.70 points (3.30 p.m.) -- up 256.10 points or 0.74 per cent from the previous session's close.
 
The Sensex touched a high of 35,065.37 and a low of 34,744.73 points during the intra-day trade.
 
The BSE market breadth was bullish with 1,410 advances and 1,227 declines.
 
The major gainers on the BSE were Axis Bank, State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, Sun Pharma and Larsen and Toubro, while Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Wipro, Maruti Suzuki, Coal India and Hero MotoCorp were among the major losers.
 
On Thursday too, the benchmark indices closed with gains as broadly positive global markets along with healthy quarterly results and value buying boosted investors' sentiments.
 
The Nifty50 closed higher by 47.25 points or 0.45 per cent at 10,617.80 points while the Sensex closed at 34,713.60 points up 212.33 points or 0.62 per cent.
 
IANS
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IPL: Mumbai face Chennai in must-win encounter

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In a bid to keep their play-off hopes alive, Mumbai Indians will be eyeing victory in their Indian Premier League (IPL) match against a confident Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium here on Saturday.
 
The Rohit Sharma-led side are lying at the seventh place in the eight-team points table after managing a single win from six games so far while CSK tops the chart with five wins from six matches.
 
When the two sides met earlier in this year's league at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai, CSK had pipped Mumbai Indians by one wicket and with a ball to spare. 
 
Saturday's game will be a must-win encounter for Mumbai if they want to survive in the tournament. 
 
So far, the Mumbai batters have struggled, except for Suryakumar Yadav. Both the skipper and Kieron Pollard have failed to fire in five of the six games.
 
Barring the match-winning knock of 94 runs against Royal Challengers Banglore (RCB), Rohit has failed to get past 20 runs in five innings.
 
Not just the batters, but the Mumbai bowlers have also let the team down. Twenty-year-old leggie Mayank Markande has been the find for Mumbai but lacked support from the others.
 
While Markande has scalped 10 wickets from six games, pacer Jasprit Bumrah has eight wickets in his kitty.
 
However, Bumrah, known as a ‘death overs' specialist, and Bangladesh pacer Muztifizur Rahman have not lived up to the expectations after leaking plenty of runs in the late stages.
 
Mumbai bowlers will need to perform as a unit to stop a in-form CSK batters.
 
On the other hand, Chennai have once again shown why they are considered as the most successful IPL team and will be looking to continue their dream run in the league.
 
Most of CSK batters -- Shane Watson, Ambati Rayadu, Dwayne Bravo and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni -- are in form. Only Suresh Raina has failed to click and will be desperate to find his touch.
 
While Rayudu has amassed 283 runs from six games, averaging 47.16, Dhoni and Watson have accumulated 209 and 191 runs respectively.
 
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Chennai batsmen have fired on more than one occassion, guiding CSK home. The yellow brigade has the ability to put a massive total on board or chase any challenging target.
 
In the bowling department, Shardul Thakur and Deepak Chahar have been impressive, leading Chennai's pace attack.
 
While Thakur has eight wickets from five games, Chahar has six wickets from as many games.
 
Also, all-rounder Watson has six wickets to his name with an economy of around eight.
 
Leg-spinner Imran Tahir, medium-pacer Dwayne Bravo and leggie Karn Sharma have also came with breakthroughs for CSK at crucial times.
 
Keeping in view their fine form, Chennai will once again be the favourites in Saturday's game against Mumbai.
 
Teams:
 
Chennai Super Kings: MS Dhoni(captain/wicketkeeper), Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Faf du Plessis, Harbhajan Singh, Dwayne Bravo, Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, Deepak Chahar, KM Asif, Kanishk Seth, Lungi Ngidi, Dhruv Shorey, Murali Vijay, Sam Billings, Mark Wood, Kshitiz Sharma, Monu Kumar, Chaitanya Bishnoi, Imran Tahir, Karn Sharma, Shardul Thakur, N Jagadeesan, David Willey
 
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (captain), Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Mustafizur Rahman, Suryakumar Yadav, Krunal Pandya, Ishan Kishan (wicketkeeper), Rahul Chahar, Evin Lewis, Saurabh Tiwary, Ben Cutting, Pradeep Sangwan, Jean-Paul Duminy, Tajinder Singh, Sharad Lumba, Siddhesh Lad, Aditya Tare, Mayank Markande, Akila Dananjaya, Anukul Roy, Mohsin Khan, MD Nidheesh, Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne
 
IANS
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Key Indian equity indices rise on global cues, supportive banking stocks

The key Indian equity indices on Friday traded in positive territory due to firm global cues and robust buying in banking and capital goods stocks.
 
According to market observers, healthy earnings reported in the banking sector for the January-Marchquarter boosted investor sentiments.
 
So far, the S&P banking index rose 444.51 points, followed by the capital goods index, up 221.60 points.
 
At 1.17 p.m., the wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) traded at 10,699.65 points, up 81.85 points or 0.77 per cent from the previous close of 10,617.80 points.
 
Similarly, the barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 34,747.04 points, traded at 35,003.31 points (1.17 p.m.) -- up 289.71 points or 0.83 per cent -- from its previous session's close of 34,713.60 points.
 
The Sensex has so far touched a high of 35,030.87 and a low of 34,744.73 points.
 
The BSE market breadth was bullish with 1,448 advances and 958 declines.
 
"Positive global cues helped Indian equities to trade higher," said Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer, Tradebulls. 
 
"The US stocks rose sharply on Thursday, helped by strong quarterly results from some of the biggest US companies. Asian markets, following cues (from the US) opened in solid green," he added.
 
On Friday, the major gainers on the BSE were Axis Bank, State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, Asian Paints and Reliance Industries while Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Wipro, Coal India, NTPC and Hindustan Unilever were among the major losers.
 
On NSE, the top gainers were Axis Bank, State Bank of India and ICICI Bank. The major losers were HCL, Tech Mahindra and Coal India.
 
IANS
 
 
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Markets open in green on global cues

The key Indian equity indices opened on a positive note on Friday tracking strong cues in the benchmark Asian markets.
 
At 9.19 a.m., the wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) traded at 10,661.80 points, up 44.00 points or 0.41 per cent from the previous close of 10,617.80 points.
 
Similarly, the barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 34,747.04 points, traded at 34,864.58 points (9.19 a.m.) -- up 150.98 points or 0.43 per cent -- from its previous session's close of 34,713.60 points.
 
The Sensex has so far touched a high of 34,893.20 and a low of 34,744.73 points.
 
The BSE market breadth so far was bullish with 306 advances and 168 declines.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
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Jet Airways introduces bidding for upgrades to Premiere, First Class

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Jet Airways has decided to allow its Economy and Premiere passengers to bid for upgrades to Premiere and First Class on its flights.
 
The initiative, called JetUpgrade, said to be an industry first, will allow passengers with confirmed Economy or Premiere bookings of the airline to bid for an upgrade to Premiere or First Class, respectively.
 
To avail an upgrade, interested passengers can place a bid on the Jet Airways’ website under the “Manage My Booking” section, stating the amount they’re willing to bid for the upgrade. 
 
"Bidding opens at least 7 days prior to the flight’s departure date and closes 24 hours before the scheduled departure time. In the interim, guests can modify, or even cancel their bids. However, they will not be able to withdraw their bid, once the bid is accepted as per the defined timelines," a press release from the airline said.
 
While all bidders have to submit their credit card details during the bidding process, only the card of the winning bidder will be charged. A revised e-ticket will be sent to the winning bidder. The original booking of all other guests will remain unaffected. The airline will notify the guests about the bids and their status via email communication well in advance of the flight’s departure, the release said.
 
Raj Sivakumar, Sr. Vice President, Network Planning and Revenue Management, Jet Airways, said, “JetUpgrade illustrates yet another first in the airline’s history of undertaking continuous innovations for over two decades, in order to offer guests an exceptional flying experience. Being dynamic in nature, JetUpgrade raises the industry benchmark of customer experience, offering more value to those guests who appreciate our superior in-flight services.”
 
Launched in collaboration with PlusGrade, which works with leading global airlines, ‘JetUpgrade’ has been made available across the airline’s entire network of 65 domestic and international destinations, and on all flights operated by it.
 
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Tarang Gianchandani appointed as CEO of Sir H N Reliance Foundation Hospital

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Reliance Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), today announced the appointment of Dr Tarang Gianchandani as the Chief Executive Officer of Sir H. N. Reliance Foundation Hospital at Girgaum, Mumbai. 
 
Dr Gianchandani is currently with Jaslok Hospital & Research Centre, Mumbai, as Chief Executive Officer since 2012.
 
Mr. Jalaj Dani, representative of the Trust said, “It gives me immense pleasure in welcoming Dr Tarang Gianchandani as the new CEO of Sir H N Reliance Foundation Hospital. With her vast administrative and clinical experience, both in India and abroad, and organisational skills she will steer the hospital in its quest to rank among the very best in India, delivering quality care.”
 
Dr Gianchandani said, “I am happy and honoured to have been asked to shoulder the responsibility of this truly world-class hospital in the heart of Mumbai. I am looking forward to take Sir H N Reliance Foundation Hospital further as a centre of excellence in areas of speciality treatment and patient care.”
 
Dr Gianchandani did her Masters of Business Administration in 2007 from Singapore, with specialisation in Healthcare Management from the National University of Singapore, Business School. She has also worked with the Ministry of Health, Hospital Services in Singapore, where she managed strategic development and promotion of integrated and holistic healthcare. She has also worked at Alexandra Hospital, Singapore, as a Fellow in the Department of Orthopaedics, and was also the head of Clinical Quality, Changi General Hospital, Singapore.
 
A recipient of Rashtra Vibhushan and Rashtriya Rattan Awards, Dr Gianchandani has worked as a member of a task force set up by the Maharashtra government on Organ Transplant and turn the state into a hub for medical tourism.
 
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Equities trade in green; IT, FMCG stocks gain

Key Indian equity indices on Thursday traded with moderate gains during the mid-afternoon session with healthy buying observed in IT, FMCG and consumer durables stocks.
 
Index heavyweights like Tata Consultancy Services, IndusInd Bank, Tata Motors, Reliance Industries and ITC were the top gainers on the BSE.
 
According to market observers, mixed trend in the global markets, along with caution on the day of derivatives expiry and selling pressure in oil and gas, capital goods and telecom stocks, trimmed gains of the indices.
 
Around 1.10 p.m., the wider Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) traded higher by 13.05 points or 0.12 per cent at 10,583.60 points.
 
The barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 34,532.95 points, traded at 34,573.27 points -- up 72 points or 0.21 per cent from its previous session's close.
 
The Sensex has so far touched a high of 34,603.27 points and a low of 34,505.62 points during the intra-day trade.
 
However, the BSE market breadth was bearish with 1,379 declines and 1,044 advances.
 
On Wednesday, weak global cues, coupled with profit booking, pulled the equity indices lower.
 
The NSE Nifty50 closed at 10,570.55 points -- down 43.80 points or 0.41 per cent -- while the Sensex closed at 34,501.27 points, down 115.37 points or 0.33 per cent.
 
IANS
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Markets open in green ahead of derivatives expiry

The key Indian equity market indices on Thursday opened higher ahead of derivatives expiry.
 
The Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE, which had closed at 34,501.27 points on Wednesday, opened higher at 34,532.95 points.
 
Minutes into trading, it was quoting at 34,549.07 points, up by 47.80 points, or 0.14 per cent.
 
At the National Stock Exchange (NSE), the broader 51-scrip Nifty, which had closed at 10,570.55 points on Wednesday, was quoting at 10,575.90 points, up by 5.35 points or 0.05 per cent.
 
Weak global cues coupled with profit booking and caution ahead of the April derivatives expiry had pulled the key Indian equity indices lower on Wednesday.
 
According to market observers, a weak rupee, along with recent surge in crude oil prices and heavy selling in banking, consumer durables and capital goods stocks weighed heavy on the key indices.
 
The Sensex was down by 115.37 points or 0.33 per cent at the Wednesday's closing. In the day's trade, the barometer 30-scrip sensitive index had touched a high of 34,631.27 points and a low of 34,400.56 points. The Nifty too was down by 43.80 points or 0.41 per cent.
 
On Thursday, Asian indices were showing a mixed trend. Japan's Nikkei 225 was quoting in green, up by 0.50 per cent, while Hang Seng was down by 0.64 per cent and South Korea's Kospi was up by 1.35 per cent. China's Shanghai Composite index was trading in red, down by 0.83 per cent.
 
Nasdaq closed in red, down by 0.05 per cent while FTSE 100 was also down by 0.62 per cent at the closing on Wednesday.
 
IANS
 
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Global cues, caution ahead of F&O expiry depress equity markets

Weak global cues coupled with profit booking and caution ahead of the April derivatives expiry pulled the key Indian equity indices lower on Wednesday.
 
According to market observers, a weak rupee, along with recent surge in crude oil prices and heavy selling in banking, consumer durables and capital goods stocks weighed heavy on the key indices.
 
Index-wise, the wider Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange closed at 10,570.55 points, down 43.80 points or 0.41 per cent from the previous close.
 
Similarly, the barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE closed in the red. It opened at 34,593.17 points, closed at 34,501.27 points, down 115.37 points or 0.33 per cent.
 
The Sensex touched a high of 34,631.27 points and a low of 34,400.56 points during the day. The BSE market breadth was bearish with 1,794 declines and 867 advances. Market breadth on the NSE too was bearish on Wednesday.
 
In the broader market segment, the S&P BSE mid-cap index closed lower by 0.52 per cent and the small-cap index by 0.72 per cent.
 
"Markets ended lower on Wednesday as selling was seen through the day. The recent rise in crude oil prices and cautiousness ahead of April derivatives expiry due on Thursday, 26 April, 2018 seemed to have affected investors," Deepak Jasani, Head, Retail Research, HDFC Securities, told IANS.
 
Abhijeet Dey, Senior Fund Manager, Equities, BNP Paribas Mutual Fund said: "Recent firmness in crude prices, rising bond yields in the US and the expiry of derivatives contracts this week, all contributed to the volatility in the markets." 
 
"Asian stocks tumbled across the board while US stocks witnessed selling pressure after the 10-year US Treasury yield briefly touched the psychologically important three per cent level for the first time in four years," he said.
 
Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls said: "Markets traded lower as global markets were in negative territory and investors booked profits amid weakened global sentiment."
 
Sector specific trade, saw IT stocks' rise due to a weak rupee which fell by 53 paise to 66.91 against the US dollar on Wednesday from its previous close at 66.38. 
 
In terms of investments, provisional data with the exchanges showed that FIIs sold scrip worth Rs 304.79 crore, while the domestic institutional investors purchased stocks worth Rs 435.98 crore.
 
Sector-wise, the S&P BSE IT index rose by 163.05 points, followed by Teck (technology, media and entertainment) index by 71.36 points and telecom stocks which inched up by 9.26 points.
 
On the other hand, the S&P BSE banking index declined by 301.59 points, cosumer durables index by 270.76 points and capital goods index by 231.99 points.
 
The major gainers on Sensex were: Bharti Airtel, up 3.37 per cent at Rs 419.80; Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), up 2.43 per cent at Rs 3,467.90; Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), up 1.88 per cent at Rs 854.25; Infosys, up 0.61 per cent at Rs 1,160.90; and Power Grid, up 0.58 per cent at Rs 207.20 per share.
 
The top losers were: Tata Steel, down 2.01 per cent at Rs 586.20; ICICI Bank, down 1.86 per cent at Rs 278.90; ONGC, down 1.67 per cent at Rs 179.55; Tata Motors (DVR), down 1.65 per cent at Rs 185.15; and Dr. Reddy's Lab, down 1.46 per cent at Rs 2,124.75 per share.
 
IANS
 
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Kangana Ranaut to debut at Cannes red carpet

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Actress Kangana Ranaut will be making her debut on the red carpet of the prestigious Cannes Film Festival this year.

The "Queen" star will attend the fest in association with liquor brand Grey Goose as part of its global celebration of cinematic craft -- Vive Le Cinema.

"It is overwhelming to witness the recognition and appreciation for Indian cinema at international platforms like Cannes," Kangana said in a statement to IANS.

"Grey Goose has created a unique platform of celebration to toast the game-changing films at Cannes this year and I'm thrilled to partner with this global icon of luxury in the country of its origin," she added.

Anshuman Goenka, Marketing Head of Bacardi India, feels Kangana "embodies the cinematic expression of Grey Goose through her passion for the field and ability to fly beyond the realm of commercial cinema".

The 71st Cannes Film Festival will be held from May 8-19.

This year, acclaimed Indian actress-filmmaker Nandita Das' directorial "Manto", a biographical on controversial Urdu writer Saadat Hasan Manto, has made its way to the Un Certain Regard segment of the fest. "Nakkash", featuring Inaamulhaq, will also be part of the film gala.

Tillotama Shome-starrer "Sir" will be screened at sidebar Cannes Critics' Week.

IANS

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Mansoor Khan shot two climaxes for 'Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak'

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Filmmaker Mansoor Khan says the film "Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak" was supposed to initially have a happy ending but looking at the drift of the film, he gave it a sad climax.

Directed by Mansoor, written and produced by his father Nasir Hussain, the film released in 1988. It was a blockbuster which catapulted Aamir Khan and Juhi Chawla to stardom. The plot was a modern-day take on classic tragic romance stories such as Laila and Majnu, Heer Ranjha and Romeo and Juliet.

"Although my father had initially planned to end the movie on a sad note, he seemed sceptical about the climax and asked us to shoot another ending. However, the flow of the movie gave a feeling that there might be some tragedy soon. Hence, I opted to close the movie the way Romeo and Juliet ended," Mansoor said in a statement.

The film will be aired on Zee Classic to commemorate its 30th year of release on Sunday.

IANS

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Amjad Ali Khan, Anupam Kher get Master Deenanath Mangeshkar Award

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Sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan, veteran playback singer Asha Bhosle and veteran actor Anupam Kher were among the prominent personalities who were conferred the 'Master Deenanath Mangeshkar Smruti Pratishthan Awards' on the occasion of his 76th death anniversary here.

Bhosle was conferred the award for life achievements, while Anupam was acknowledged by a Special Award honouring his contributions to cinema and theatre, at a glittering function presided over by Union Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari in the Shanmukhananda Hall late on Tuesday.

Besides, Dhananjay Datar was awarded for social entrepreneurship, the Vagvilasini Award went to poet Yogesh Gaur for literature, Shriram Gogate Award to Rajiv Khandekar for journalism, Mohan Wagh Award to 'Ananya' as the Best Drama of the Year, the Asha Bhosle Award for social work to Mery Behlihimji of the Central Society of Education for the Deaf.

"I feel blessed and humbled receiving this award. For musicians of India, especially for me, this is the greatest and most prestigious honour of my life. The legendary Master Deenanath Mangeshkar gave the revered Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle (Mangeshkar), Usha Mangeshkar and Meena Khadilkar (Mangeshkar) and Pandit Hridayanath Mangeshkar to the music world," Khan said on the occasion.

Bhosle said: "This award is really special for me as it is in my father's name. But more than that, I feel honoured as it has been conferred upon many stalwarts over the years. I feel blessed."

The pre-eminent Mangeshkar family has been celebrating Master Deenanath Mangeshkar's death anniversary since the past 75 years, and it became public in 1988 with the awards ceremonies.

"In memory of our father, whose monumental contributions as a singer, musician and stage artiste have inspired people of Maharashtra and India, the Mangeshkar family organises the annual awards ceremony to honour legends from different fields," said Hridayanath Mangeshkar.

The awards night, organised jointly with Hridayesh Arts, included a classical programme with a Kathak performance by exponent Birju Maharaj and Saswati Sen, thumris rendered by Ajoy Chakraborty and Anindo Chatterjee on the tabla, in the presence of a large number of celebrities from the entertainment world and the extended members of the Mangeshkar family.

IANS

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Actress Swaroop Sampat to make digital debut

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Actress Swaroop Sampat, last seen on-screen in the Bollywood film "Ki & Ka", will make her digital debut with ALTBalajis "The Great Indian Dysfunctional Family".

She says she was drawn to the character of a fun-loving, wise and easy going mother in the show.

Sampat will be seen as Premlata Ranaut, on-screen mother to actors Kay Kay Menon and Barun Sobti.

"I said yes to ‘The Great Indian Dysfunctional Family' because I liked the story and my character is quite interesting. I'm sure it will stand out. The kind of content that ALTBalaji is creating is applaudable and I am very happy to be a part of its next offering.

"I have just started shooting for the show and the team is a lot of fun on sets. I am looking forward to the show," she said in a statement.

"The Great Indian Dysfunctional Family" is a story that revolves around two brothers and how the long-simmering tension between the two leads to a family dispute. The show will focus on the highs and lows of their relationship, leading to a deadly dysfunctional drama.

IANS

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'Kesari' set gutted 10 days before film's completion

 
Fire breaks out on sets of Akshay Kumar-starrer 'Kesari'
A fire broke out on the sets of Akshay Kumar's film "Kesari", destroying the whole set just ten days before the film was expected to wrap up. However, no one was injured.
 
A source in the know of developments told IANS that Akshay had already left for the day when the incident took place at the set in Wai, over 200 km away from here by road. 
 
"They were shooting a crucial war scene when everyone heard a blast sound, which triggered the fire. The mishap occurred just 10 days before the team was about to wrap the film's schedule after shooting the climax. 
 
"The explosion was a massive one, but not a single person from the crew was injured," the source said.
 
It is not known yet what the makers will do now that the set has been destroyed. While the cause of the fire remains unknown, the quantum of loss they have incurred has also not yet been revealed.
 
Akshay has teamed up with filmmaker Karan Johar's Dharma Productions for the movie, being directed by Anurag Singh. The film is said to be based on the Battle of Saragarhi of 1897. 
 
"Kesari", which is slated for a 2019 Holi release, also features Parineeti Chopra. 
 
IANS
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Markets open in red on Wednesday

The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) on Wednesday opened on a negative note during the morning trade session.
 
The Sensex of the BSE after opening at 34,593.17 points touched a high of 34,611.73 and low of 34,536.70 points.
 
The Sensex is trading at 34,609.32 points, down by 7.32 points or 0.02 per cent from its Tuesday close at 34,616.64 points.
 
On the other hand, the broader 51-scrip Nifty at the National Stock Exchange (NSE) opened at 10,612.40 points after closing at 10,614.35 points.
 
The Nifty is trading at 10,606.25 points in the morning.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
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IPL-2018: Disciplined Mumbai restrict Hyderabad to 118

 
Mumbai Indians rode on a disciplined effort on the field to restrict Sunrisers Hyderabad to a paltry 118 in an Indian Premier League (IPL) match at the Wankhede Stadium here on Tuesday.
 
Confusions in the middle marred the tourists even as Mumbai kept their dominance throughout and did not allow the Sunrisers to bounce back at any stage of the innings. This was interestingly the lowest total in this IPL.
 
Put in to bat, the Sunrisers failed to recover from the dreadful start, of being reduced to 46/4 inside the powerplay, with Shikhar Dhawan (5), Wriddhiman Saha (0), Manish Pandey (16) and Shakib Al Hasan (2) all back in the hut inside the first six overs.
 
Skipper Kane Williamson raged a lone battle with a fighting 21-ball 29, laced with five hits to the fence before veteran Baroda batsman Yusuf Pathan (29 off 33 balls; 4x2, 6x1) took on the mantle, despite losing his partners at regular intervals.
 
Dhawan, who returned to the playing XI after missing the previous game against Chennai Super Kings (CSK), looked uncomfortable after being hit on his thigh and was bowled by Mitchell McClenaghan the very next ball.
 
One ball later, Saha perished for nought after being caught behind by Ishan Kishan off McClenaghan.
 
With the team struggling at 20/2, Manish joined Williamson for a brief 24-run third wicket stand before Hardik ended Manish's stay with a wide delivery, comfortably caught by skipper Rohit Sharma at cover.
 
Mumbai could not have asked for a better start, with Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib falling prey to a confusion, and Suryakumar Yadav's direct throw at the stumps was enough to reduce the visitors to 46/4.
 
Pathan then joined Williamson, who looked fluent with his strokes but lost concentration on the very first ball after the strategic time-out to be caught behind by Kishan off Hardik Pandya.
 
With Williamson back in the dug-out, Mohammed Nabi (14) joined Pathan for a brief 23-run sixth-wicket stand before leg-spinner Mayank Markande's googly clipped the top of middle and leg of the Afghanistan all-rounder.
 
Pacer Jasprit Bumrah then came back to jolt the visitors with the wicket of the other Afghan Rashid Khan (6) caught behind before Markande knocked off the off-stump of Basil Thampi (3) to reduce the Sunrisers to 106/8.
 
Sunrisers fell prey to yet another confusion in the middle, this time losing the wicket of tailender Siddharth Kaul (2), comfortably run out by Hardik.
 
With Sandeep Sharma (0 not out) in company, Pathan's ploy of playing the waiting game only resulted in a monstrous six off Mustafizur Rahman, but the Bangladeshi came back in style to pack back the right-hander the next ball, and restrict Sunrisers for a meagre 118.
 
Brief Scores: Sunrisers Hyderabad 118 (Kane Williamson 29, Yusuf Pathan 29; Mayank Markande 2/15, Hardik Pandya 2/20) vs Mumbai Indians.
 
IANS
 
 
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IPL-2018: Unchanged Mumbai opt to field vs Hyderabad

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Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma won the toss and opted to field first against Sunrisers Hyderabad in an Indian Premier League (IPL) tie at the Wankhede Stadium here on Tuesday.
 
Mumbai have decided to go with an unchanged playing XI, while Sunrisers have made three changes by bringing in Shikhar Dhawan, Mohammad Nabi and Basil Thampi in place of Ricky Bhui, Deepak Hooda and Billy Stanlake.
 
Teams:
 
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Wriddhiman Saha (WK), Shikhar Dhawan, Kane Williamson (Captain), Manish Pandey, Shakib Al Hasan, Yusuf Pathan, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Basil Thampi, Sandeep Sharma, Siddarth Kaul.
 
Mumbai Indians: Suryakumar Yadav, Evin Lewis, Ishan Kishan (WK), Rohit Sharma (Captain), Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Mitchell McClenaghan, Mayank Markande, Jasprit Bumrah, Mustafizur Rahman.
 
IANS
 
 
 
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Saroj Khan sparks fresh row on casting couch, apologises

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Veteran choreographer Saroj Khan's brazen comment that the casting couch "provides livelihood at least" in showbiz received a divided response. For some, it's the bitter truth and some found her comment derogatory. She later retracted and apologised.

Congress leader Renuka Chowdhary supported Khan's view and said the Parliament too, is not immune to the casting couch.

At an event in Sangli, Khan said: "Can I tell you one thing? This has been happening since the beginning of time. It hasn't started now. Someone or the other tries to take advantage of every other girl. The government's people do it too. Then why are you after the film industry?

"It provides livelihood at least. Does not rape and leave you. It depends on the girl, what she wants to do. If you don't want to fall into the wrong hands, you won't. If you have art, why would you sell yourself? Don't take the film industry's name."

A video of the comment was doing the rounds on social media on Tuesday.

Her comment left Twitterati in shock as many took it as a clean chit to the prevalence of the casting couch in the Indian film industry, which has largely remained mum in naming and shaming offenders despite speaking up in favour of the global #MeToo movement.

Khan, however, apologised for making the remark.

"Whatever the question, you don't know... You just know my answer. So it is sounding wrong. But anyhow, I am sorry. I apologise," Khan told IANS. When probed as to what was the question, Khan disconnected the call.

The comment comes in the wake of a debate which got intensified after southern actress Sri Reddy caused a stir by sitting semi-naked on a road in Hyderabad to protest against the casting couch menace in the film world.

Chowdhury supported Khan, saying: "Yes, it is the bitter truth. The whole film industry may get up in arms against me. It's just not in the film industry also, this happens everywhere in workspaces with women. It happens everywhere. So, don't imagine that the Parliament is immune or some other workspace is immune. It's not.

"This happens with women everywhere. If you look at the western world today, established top actresses have taken this long to come out and say 'Me too'. It's time India stood up and say 'Me too'."

From the film fraternity, Bollywood star Ranbir Kapoor said he has never faced the casting couch, but it is "worse" if it exists. And Richa Chadha felt the media was blowing Khan's statement out of proportion as what she meant was why was Bollywood being singled out when it happens everywhere.

Filmmaker Ashoke Pandit slammed Khan.

"I didn't expect such derogatory and uncalled for statements from a veteran like Saroj Khan and totally condemn it. Our entertainment industry, like all other industries, respects women. Exploitation of women is a crime and should be fought in all spheres of life," Pandit tweeted.

Actress Shruti Seth wrote: "The right intent but very, very wrong words. Again, women are made incumbent to stop injustice against themselves and men have been absolved of their participation. Stop the practice of sexual exploitation. In whichever industry it exists, it's wrong.

Sophie Choudry commented: "So much respect for Sarojji as a choreographer but this is how she uses her position to protect girls? If I didn't come from a financially sound background, I would have returned to London within a month of being in Mumbai because of industry folk who think like that."

IANS

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Global cues, index heavyweights lift equities; metals slump

Key Indian equity indices on Tuesday closed with humble gains riding on broadly positive global markets, coupled with expectations of healthy quarterly corporate earnings and healthy buying in oil and gas, banking and capital goods stocks.
 
Index heavyweights like Reliance Industries (RIL), Yes Bank, Adani Ports, Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M), and ICICI Bank were the top gainers on the BSE.
 
However, heavy selling pressure in metals, IT and consumer durables stocks, along with outflow of foreign funds and higher crude oil prices, trimmed some gains of the benchmark indices, market observers said.
 
On closing basis, the wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) edged higher by 29.65 points or 0.28 per cent from the last closing to 10,614.35 points.
 
The barometer 30-scrip Sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE closed at 34,616.64 points -- up 165.87 points or 0.48 per cent from its previous session's close.
 
In contrast, the BSE market breadth remained bearish with 1,497 declines and 1,180 advances.
 
The broader markets underperformed the benchmark index, with the S&P BSE mid-cap index closing lower by 0.02 per cent and the small-cap index by 0.13 per cent. 
 
"Markets ended with moderate gains on Tuesday after (the Nifty50) finding support at the 10,569 levels," Deepak Jasani, Head - Retail Research, HDFC Securities, told IANS.
 
"Major Asian markets have closed on a mixed note. European indices like FTSE 100 and DAX traded in the green," added Jasani.
 
On the currency front, the Indian rupee strengthened by 10 paise at 66.38 against the US dollar from its previous close at 66.48.
 
Anand James, Chief Market Strategist, Geojit Financial Services, said: "Earnings positivity and buoyancy in the Asian and European peers led the market further higher, despite negative closing in the US towed by higher bond yields and fall in technology stocks."
 
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"Brent testing the $75 mark and FIIs' (foreign institutional investors) continuous selling in the equities ensured that upsides were capped. All eyes would now be on whether the government will cut excise duty to provide relief to common man or stick to fiscal prudence," he said.
 
In terms of investments, provisional data with the exchanges showed that FIIs sold scrip worth Rs 680.99 crore, while the domestic institutional investors purchased stocks worth Rs 508.55 crore.
 
Sector-wise, the S&P BSE oil and gas index rose by 215.36 points, followed by capital goods index by 123.98 points and banking stocks by 110.66 points.
 
On the other hand, the S&P BSE metal index declined by 265.55 points, IT index by 227.26 points and Teck (technology, media and entertainment) index by 104.52 points.
 
The major Sensex gainers on Tuesday were: RIL, up 3.70 per cent at Rs 969.75; Yes Bank, up 3.31 per cent at Rs 323.40; M&M, up 1.94 per cent at Rs 838.45; Adani Ports, up 1.74 per cent at Rs 391.95; and ICICI Bank, up 1.66 per cent at Rs 284.20.
 
The top losers were: Wipro, down 3.30 per cent at Rs 287.05; Infosys, down 2.49 per cent at Rs 1,153.90; Tata Steel, down 1.23 per cent at Rs 598.25; State Bank of India, down 0.87 per cent at Rs 240.60; and Tata Consultancy Services, down 0.87 per cent at Rs 3,385.65.
 
IANS
 
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