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Global cues, oil prices drag Indian equity indices lower

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Broadly negative Asian stock exchanges along with a rise in global crude oil prices and domestic political uncertainty pulled the key indices of the Indian equity market lower during the morning trade session on Monday.
 
According to market observers, heavy selling was witnessed in all sector based indices of the BSE.
 
Around 10.05 a.m., the broader Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) traded at 10,512.30 points -- down by 181.40 points or 1.70 per cent -- from its previous close.
 
The barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex), which opened at 35,204.66 points, traded at 35,099.54 points -- lower by 573.71 points or 1.61 per cent -- from its previous session's close of 35,673.25 points.
 
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'Kedarnath' director urges Uttarakhand government to lift 'ban'

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"Kedarnath" director Abhishek Kapoor has urged the Uttarakhand government to lift a ban on the movie.
 
"I plead with the Uttarakhand government to please lift the ban on my film 'Kedarnath'. It is an attempt to bring peace, harmony and healing to the people of this country. Please don't deprive us of this opportunity," Kapoor tweeted.
 
While there has been no official ban on the film by the state government, it wrote to all district magistrates about the film and the controversies surrounding it. 
 
The decision followed a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat that reviewed a report submitted by a committee headed by Tourism Minister Satpal Maharaj.
 
The government asked the district administration to take a call on their own and left it to their discretion whether or not the film should be released in their respective jurisdictions.
 
Following which Dehradun, Haridwar, Pauri, Tehri, Nainital, Almora and Udhamsinghnagar banned the film. 
 
The Hindi film, with the 2013 flash floods in Kedarnath as the backdrop, was being opposed by the right-wing activists from the day its shooting began in the hill state and they alleged that it hurt Hindu sentiments and promoted the idea of "Love Jehad".
 
The film, starring Sushant Singh Rajput and debutante Sara Ali Khan, was shot extensively in Triyuginarayan, Gaurikund, Soneprayag, Rambada, Kedarnath and Chopta, and it had to face protests even then.
 
The Uttarakhand High Court on Thursday refused to ban the film and asked the petitioners to approach the District Magistrate with their complaints.
 
On its opening day, the movie garnered Rs 7.25 crore in India.
 
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India’s forex reserves rise by $ 932.8 million to $ 393.718 billion

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India’s foreign exchange reserves rose by $ 932.8 million to $ 393.718 billion during the week ended November 30, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The country’s forex reserves had dipped by $ 795 million to $ 392.785 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 up by $ 787.9 million to $ 368.487 billion 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 increased by $ 151.8 million to $ 21.150 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDR) went down by $ 2.5 million to $ 1.4547 billion.
 
India’s reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) fell by $ 4.4 million to $ 2.6257 billion, the bulletin added.
 
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Sensex ends 361 points up; Nifty settles short of 10,700

The key Indian equity indices surged around one per cent on Friday supported by a rise in banking stocks and easing crude oil prices, with the S&P BSE Sensex closing over 360 points higher.

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The key Indian equity indices surged around one per cent on Friday supported by a rise in banking stocks and easing crude oil prices, with the S&P BSE Sensex closing over 360 points higher.
 
Along with banking stocks, which rose 485.24 points, healthy buying was also witnessed in auto and capital goods stocks, which gained 171.72 points and 156.38 points, respectively. 
 
The Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) ended higher by 93 points or 0.87 per cent at 10,693.70 points.
 
The Sensex closed at 35,673.25 points, higher by 361.12 points or 1.02 per cent, against the previous close of 35,312.13 points.
 
According to analysts, a drop in crude oil prices supported investors' sentiments. On Friday, the Brent crude oil price fell below the $60-per-barrel mark and traded at around $59 per barrel.
 
Oil prices fell after the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) delayed the output-cut decision on Thursday as it awaited support from Russia, a non-OPEC major oil producing country. 
 
On the Sensex, the top gainers were Kotak Mahindra Bank, Adani Ports, Bajaj Auto, Infosys and Asian Paints, whereas the major losers were Sun Pharma, Coal India, Yes Bank, NTPC and Tata Steel.
 
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Equity indices gain as crude prices ease; banking stocks rise

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The key Indian equity indices traded on a positive note on Friday afternoon supported by a decline in crude oil prices and an appreciating rupee.
 
Healthy buying in banking, auto and consumer goods stocks also supported the domestic equity market, analysts said.
 
At 1.10 p.m., the Sensex traded at 35,448.20 points, higher by 136.07 points or 0.39 per cent from the previous close of 35,312.13.
 
However, the Sensex trimmed its gains after rising over 200 points. It had opened at 35,494.86 and so far it has touched an intra-day high of 35,553.46 and a low of 35,405.02 points.
 
The Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange was up 23 points or 0.22 per cent at 10,624.15, against the previous close of 10,601.15 points.
 
According to analysts, drop in crude oil prices was a major reason for the let-up in stock markets. On Friday, the Brent crude oil was priced at $59.40 per barrel, around 1.10 per cent lower from the previous close.
 
Oil prices fell as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) delayed the output-cut decision awaiting support from Russia, a non-OPEC major oil producing country. 
 
On the Sensex, the top gainers so far were Kotak Mahindra Bank, Asian Paints, Adani Ports, Infosys and Maruti Suzuki India, whereas the major losers were Yes Bank, Tata Steel, Wipro, Power Grid and IndusInd Bank.
 
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Equity indices open in green, Sensex up 150 points

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The Indian equity indices opened on a positive note on Friday tracking broadly positive Asian markets.
 
At 9.28 a.m, the S&P BSE Sensex which had opened at 35,494.86 points traded at 35,464.09, higher by 151.96 points or 0.43 per cent from the previous close of 35,312.13.
 
So far, it has touched an intra-day high of 35,540.49 and a low of 35,415.71 points.
 
The Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange traded at 10,627.20 points, higher by 26.05 points or 0.25 per cent from the previous close of 10,601.15.
 
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Sensex tanks over 570 points fearing oil output cut, trade war

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Fears over a rise in global trade protectionist measures and a possible crude oil production cut by the OPEC pulled the barometer S&P BSE Sensex index lower by over 570 points on Thursday.
 
Market observers said the Indian stock indices fell in line with their global peers in Asia and Europe even as outflows of foreign funds, weak rupee and uncertainty over the outcome of Assembly elections also weighed on investor sentiments.
 
Selling pressure was seen across all sectors which was led by energy stocks, which shed 2.52 per cent, the most on the BSE, followed by realty and auto stocks.
 
Besides, crude oil prices remained volatile amid expectations of supply cuts by OPEC, the group of 15 of the world's top oil producers which is to meet on December 7. 
 
"Investors are closely watching the meeting between the OPEC and other top oil-producing countries. Investors also turned cautious in the run up to the results of five state elections," said Abhijeet Dey, Senior Fund Manager-Equities, BNP Paribas Mutual Fund. 
 
Brent crude oil price slipped to $60.46 per barrel when the markets closed. 
 
"The election result is likely to set the tone for the general elections," Dey said.
 
Centrum Broking's Senior VP and Head of Research (Wealth) Jagannadham Thunuguntla said: "Capital markets had a rough day as they are trying to navigate too many data points such as re-emergence of sharp weakness in Indian rupee, upcoming OPEC meeting outcome in terms of production cut and election results.
 
"The nervousness is quite evident as there is sharp sell-off across the industries, especially in those stocks where there are corporate governance concerns." 
 
Globally, all the Asian markets closed on a negative note while the European indices like FTSE 100, DAX and CAC 40 were trading deep in the red.
 
The Indian rupee closed at Rs 70.90 to a US dollar from its previous close of Rs 70.46. It had weakened to the 71-mark during the afternoon trade session.
 
The Sensex settled lower 1.59 per cent, or 572.28 points, at 35,312.13, from its previous close of 35,884.41. It touched an intra-day high of 35,707.23 and a low of 35,266.76.
 
The NSE Nifty50 lost 181.75 points or 1.69 per cent to close the session at 10,601.15.
 
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The market breadth was negative as a number of declining stocks was thrice the advancing ones. A total of 656 stocks advanced while 1,814 declined.
 
"Technically, with the Nifty correcting further, the underlying bias remains weak. Traders will need to watch if the index can now hold above the crucial immediate supports of 10,527; else a further correction is likely," said Deepak Jasani, Retail Research Head, HDFC Securities. 
 
Selling by foreign institutional investors (FIIs) and domestic institutional investors (DIIs) continued on Thursday. Provisional figures from the BSE showed that FIIs sold stocks worth Rs 357.82 crore and DII off-loaded shares worth Rs 791.59 crore.
 
Sun Pharma was the lone gainer on BSE which advanced 1.57 per cent to Rs 420.10 as investors bought its shares on lower price level as it had lost over 15 per cent in just the last three trade sessions since Monday. 
 
The pharmaceutical major is probed by SEBI on several charges of corporate disclosure and insider trading.
 
The laggards were led by Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors and Tata Motors (DVR) which lost over 4 per cent, while Yes Bank, Adani Ports and Reliance Industries lost in the range of 2-3 per cent.
 
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Sensex tanks 572 points over oil output cut fears, weak rupee

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Fears over possible crude oil production cut by the OPEC group as well as broadly negative Asians stock markets pulled the barometer S&P BSE Sensex index lower by over 570 points on Thursday.
 
In addition, outflows of foreign funds, weak rupee and uncertainty over the outcome of Assembly elections subdued investor sentiments.
 
All the sectors ended lower, led by energy sector, which shed 2.52 per cent, the most BSE, followed by realty and auto stocks.
 
The Sensex settled lower 1.59 per cent, or 572.28 points, at 35,312.13, from its previous close of 35,884.41. It touched an intra-day high of 35,707.23 and a low of 35,266.76.
 
The Nifty50 lost 181.75 points or 1.69 per cent to close the session at 10,601.15.
 
The market breadth was negative as a number of declining stocks was thrice the advancing ones. A total of 656 stocks advanced while 1,814 declined.
 
The crude oil prices remained volatile amid expectations of supply cuts by OPEC, the group of 15 of the world's top oil producers which is to meet on December 7. 
 
However, Brent crude oil price slipped to $60.46 per barrel after the US President Donald Trump said: "Hopefully OPEC will be keeping oil flows as is, not restricted. The world does not want to see, or need, higher oil prices!"
 
The rupee continued to depreciate and traded at Rs 70.88 to a US dollar from its close of Rs 70.46. It had slipped below the 71-mark during the afternoon session of the trade.
 
Selling by foreign institutional investors (FIIs) and domestic institutional investors (DII)on Wendnesday also weighed on investor sentiments as provisional figures from BSE showed that FII sold stocks worth Rs 357.82 crore and DII off-loaded Rs 791.59 crore of shares. 
 
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Key Indian equity indices open in red

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Taking a cue from muted global markets, the key Indian equity indices on Thursday opened lower.
 
The Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE, which had closed at 35,884.41 on Wednesday, opened lower at 35,694.25.
 
Minutes into trading, it was quoting at 35,701.99, down by 182.42 points, or 0.51 per cent.
 
At the National Stock Exchange (NSE), the broader 50-scrip Nifty, which had closed at 10,782.90 on Wednesday, was quoting at 10,708.55, down by 74.35 points or 0.69 per cent.
 
Broadly negative global cues as well as disappointment over the Reserve Bank's monetary policy announcement keeping its key lending rate for commercial banks unchanged at 6.5 per cent, dragged the key Indian equity indices to end in red on Wednesday.
 
The Sensex was down by 249.90 points or 0.69 percent at the Wednesday's closing. In the day's trade, the barometer 30-scrip sensitive index had touched a high of 36,048.65 and a low of 35,777.81. The Nifty too, was down by 86.60 points or 0.80 per cent.
 
On Thursday, Asian indices were showing a negative trend. Japan's Nikkei 225 was quoting in red, down by 2.11 per cent while Hang Seng was down by 2.59 per cent, South Korea's Kospi was also down by 1.32 per cent. China's Shanghai Composite index was trading in red, down by 1.30 per cent.
 
Overnight, FTSE 100 was down by 1.46 per cent at the closing on Wednesday.
 
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Salman Khan to be first guest on Kapil Sharma's new show

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Comedian-actor-producer Kapil Sharma has started shooting for a new edition of "The Kapil Sharma Show" with Bollywood superstar Salman Khan as its first celebrity guest.
 
The episode, which will be aired on Sony Entertainment Television, will also feature Salman's brothers Sohail Khan and Arbaaz Khan as well as their father Salim Khan, read a statement.
 
Kapil will be joined by his original gang - Chandan, Kiku Sharda and Sumona Chakravarti.
 
The audience will also get to see comedians Bharti Singh and Krushna Abhishek along with Rochelle Rao. 
 
Meanwhile, Kapil will marry his fiance, Ginni, at her hometown in Jalandhar on December 12.
 
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RBI keeps repo rate unchanged at 6.5%, maintains stance of calibrated tightening

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The Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) today decided to keep its key policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) unchanged at 6.5 percent and maintain the stance of calibrated tightening.
 
Consequently, the reverse repo rate under the LAF remains at 6.25%, and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate at 6.75%.
 
"The decision of the MPC is consistent with the stance of calibrated tightening of monetary policy in consonance with the objective of achieving the medium-term target for consumer price index (CPI) inflation of 4 per cent within a band of +/- 2 per cent, while supporting growth," the RBI said in its Fifth Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement, 2018-19.
 
The statement noted that,in the fourth bi-monthly resolution of October 2018, CPI inflation was projected at 4.0 per cent in Q2:2018-19, 3.9-4.5 per cent in H2 and 4.8 per cent in Q1:2019-20, with risks somewhat to the upside. Excluding the HRA impact, CPI inflation was projected at 3.7 per cent in Q2:2018-19, 3.8-4.5 per cent in H2 and 4.8 per cent in Q1:2019-20. The actual inflation outcome in Q2 at 3.9 per cent was marginally lower than the projection of 4.0 per cent. However, the October inflation print at 3.3 per cent turned out to be unexpectedly low.
 
"There have been several important developments since the October policy which will have a bearing on the inflation outlook. First, despite a significant scaling down of inflation projections in the October policy primarily due to moderation in food inflation, subsequent readings have continued to surprise on the downside with the food group slipping into deflation. At a disaggregated level, deflation in pulses, vegetables and sugar widened, while cereals inflation moderated sequentially. The broad-based weakening of food prices imparts downward bias to the headline inflation trajectory, going forward. Secondly, in contrast to the food group, there has been a broad-based increase in inflation in non-food groups. Thirdly, international crude oil prices have declined sharply since the last policy; the price of Indian crude basket collapsed to below US$ 60 a barrel by end-November after touching US$ 85 a barrel in early October. However, selling prices, as reported by firms polled in the Reserve Bank’s latest IOS, are expected to edge up further in Q4 on the back of increased demand," it said.
 
"Fourthly, global financial markets have continued to be volatile with EME currencies showing a somewhat appreciating bias in the last one month. Finally, the effect of the 7th Central Pay Commission’s HRA increase has continued to wane along expected lines. Taking all these factors into consideration and assuming a normal monsoon in 2019, inflation is projected at 2.7-3.2 per cent in H2:2018-19 and 3.8-4.2 per cent in H1:2019-20, with risks tilted to the upside. The projected inflation path remains unchanged after adjusting for the HRA impact of central government employees as this impact dissipates completely from December 2018 onwards. Although recent food inflation prints have surprised on the downside and prices of petroleum products have softened considerably, it is important to monitor their evolution closely and allow heightened short-term uncertainties to be resolved by incoming data," it said.
 
Turning to growth projections, although Q2 growth was lower than that projected in the October policy, GDP growth in H1 has been broadly along the line in the April policy when for the year as a whole GDP growth was projected at 7.4 per cent. Going forward, lower rabi sowing may adversely affect agriculture and hence rural demand. Financial market volatility, slowing global demand and rising trade tensions pose negative risk to exports, the statement said.
 
"However, on the positive side, the decline in crude oil prices is expected to boost India’s growth prospects by improving corporate earnings and raising private consumption through higher disposable incomes. Increased capacity utilisation in the manufacturing sector also portends well for new capacity additions. There has been significant acceleration in investment activity and high frequency indicators suggest that it is likely to be sustained.
 
"Credit offtake from the banking sector has continued to strengthen even as global financial conditions have tightened. FDI flows could also increase with the improving prospects of the external sector. The demand outlook as reported by firms polled in the Reserve Bank’s IOS has improved in Q4. Based on an overall assessment, GDP growth for 2018-19 has been projected at 7.4 per cent (7.2-7.3 per cent in H2) as in the October policy, and for H1:2019-20 at 7.5 per cent, with risks somewhat to the downside," it said.
 
The statement noted that, even as inflation projections have been revised downwards significantly and some of the risks pointed out in the last resolution have been mitigated, especially of crude oil prices, several uncertainties still cloud the inflation outlook. 
 
"First, inflation projections incorporate benign food prices based on the realised outcomes of food inflation in recent months. The prices of several food items are at unusually low levels and there is a risk of sudden reversal, especially of volatile perishable items. Secondly, available data suggest that the effect of revision in minimum support prices (MSPs) announced in July on prices has been subdued so far. However, uncertainty continues about the exact impact of MSP on inflation, going forward. Thirdly, the medium-term outlook for crude oil prices is still uncertain due to global demand conditions, geo-political tensions and decision of OPEC which could impinge on supplies. 
 
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"Fourthly, global financial markets continue to be volatile. Fifthly, though households’ near-term inflation expectations have moderated in the latest round of the Reserve Bank’s survey, one-year ahead expectations remain elevated and unchanged. Sixthly, fiscal slippages, if any, at the centre/state levels, will influence the inflation outlook, heighten market volatility and crowd out private investment. Finally, the staggered impact of HRA revision by State Governments may push up headline inflation. While the MPC will look through the statistical impact of HRA revisions, it will be watchful of any second-round effects on inflation," it said.
 
The MPC said that the benign outlook for headline inflation is driven mainly by the unexpected softening of food inflation and collapse in oil prices in a relatively short period of time. Excluding food items, inflation has remained sticky and elevated, and the output gap remains virtually closed. The MPC also noted that even as escalating trade tensions, tightening of global financial conditions and slowing down of global demand pose some downside risks to the domestic economy, the decline in oil prices in recent weeks, if sustained, will provide tailwinds. The acceleration in investment activity also bodes well for the medium-term growth potential of the economy. 
 
"The time is apposite to further strengthen domestic macroeconomic fundamentals. In this context, fiscal discipline is critical to create space for and crowd in private investment activity," it said.
 
"Against this backdrop, the MPC decided to keep the policy repo rate on hold and maintain the stance of calibrated tightening. While the decision on keeping the policy rate unchanged was unanimous, Dr. Ravindra H. Dholakia voted to change the stance to neutral. 
 
"The MPC reiterates its commitment to achieving the medium-term target for headline inflation of 4 per cent on a durable basis. The minutes of the MPC’s meeting will be published by December 19, 2018," it said.
 
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Markets open in red on Wednesday

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The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) on Wednesday opened on a negative note during the morning session of the trade.
 
The Sensex of the BSE opened at 36,035.65, then touched a high of 36,048.65 and a low of 35,916.55 points.
 
It was trading at 35,968.13 down by 166.18 points or 0.49 per cent from its Tuesday's close at 36,134.31.
 
On the other hand, the broader 50-scrip Nifty at the National Stock Exchange (NSE) opened at 10,820.45 after closing at 10,869.50 points.
 
The Nifty was trading at 10,818.15 in the morning.
 
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Sensex, Nifty snap 6-day gaining streak, all eyes on monetary policy

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The Indian equity market snapped its six-day gaining streak on Tuesday amid caution ahead of the RBI's monetary policy announcement.
 
Investors were also cautious due to the ongoing state Assembly elections and expectations of a reduction in oil supply by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) at its meeting due on December 6.
 
The market closed with the S&P BSE Sensex shedding 107 points, after trading in a short range during most of the day's trade. 
 
"Investors remained cautious ahead of the outcome of the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) monetary policy meeting. The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) will conclude its two-day meeting on Wednesday," said Abhijeet Dey, Senior Fund Manager-Equities, BNP Paribas Mutual Fund. 
 
"We understand that this time no change in rates is widely expected as the central bank would like to patiently watch," said Mustafa Nadeem, CEO, Epic Research.
 
Finance and banking stocks on the BSE traded over 0.50 per cent lower, while selling pressure was witnessed in telecom, auto and FMCG stocks.
 
In contrast, buying was seen on the S&P BSE IT index, which gained over 1 per cent. Oil and gas stocks also ended higher.
 
The Sensex settled lower 0.29 per cent, or 106.69 points, at 36,134.31, from its previous close of 36,241. It touched an intra-day high of 36,295.84 and a low of 36,036.39.
 
The Nifty50 lost 14.25 points or 0.13 per cent to close the session at 10,869.50.
 
However, in the broader markets, the BSE small-cap index closed in the green gaining 0.14 per cent, while BSE mid-cap traded lower by 0.07 per cent.
 
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The crude oil prices surged on Tuesday on expectations of supply cuts by OPEC, the group of 15 of the world's top oil producers, which could further drive the prices up. The benchmark Brent crude was trading higher at $63.19 a barrel when the markets closed.
 
The rupee closed at Rs 70.49 to a US dollar from its previous close of 70.45.
 
"Technically, the Nifty is consolidating in a tight range after the rally seen last week. Further upsides are likely once the immediate resistances of 10,903-10,941 are taken out. 
 
"Crucial supports to watch for any weakness are at 10,845-10,833," said Deepak Jasani, head of HDFC Securities.
 
Provisional data with the exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors sold stocks worth Rs 55.89 crore on Tuesday while domestic institutional investors sold Rs 521.38 crore of shares.
 
Top gainers on the Sensex were ONGC, up 2.52 per cent at Rs 146.20; Infosys, up 2.18 per cent at Rs 684.45; Wipro, up 1.92 per cent at Rs 334.50; Vedanta, up 1.53 per cent at Rs 206.15; and Power Grid, up 1.38 per cent at Rs 187 per share.
 
The laggards were led by Sun Pharma, which lost 2.75 per cent, reflecting the concerns among the investors over the probe by the market regulator SEBI on charges of insider trading. It lost over 7 per cent on Monday.
 
It was followed by Mahindra and Mahindra, down 2.36 per cent at Rs 742.30; HDFC, down 1.92 per cent at Rs 1,939.20; and State Bank of India, down 1.64 per cent at Rs 282.30, and NTPC, down 1.41 per cent at Rs 143.05 per share.
 
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Sensex ends 6-day gaining streak, sheds 107 points

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The benchmark S&P BSE Sensex snapped its six-day-long gaining streak, closing 107 points lower on Tuesday as investors turned cautious ahead of major events.
 
"The markets are on a back foot due to major events like the OPEC meeting this week, RBI monetary policy review meeting commencing on Wednesday and the ongoing poll processes in five states.
 
"Investors are waiting on the sidelines of these potential market drivers and will take positions after these major events," Rusmik Oza, Head-Fundamental Research, Kotak Securities, told IANS.
 
Finance and banking stocks traded over 0.50 per cent lower, while selling pressure was witnessed in telecom, auto and FMCG stocks.
 
In contrast, buying was seen in IT, which gained over 1 per cent. Oil and gas also ended higher.
 
The Sensex settled lower 0.29 per cent, or 106.69 points, at 36,134.31, from its previous close of 36,241. It touched an intra-day high of 36,295.84 and a low of 36,036.39.
 
The Nifty50 lost 14.25 points or 0.13 per cent to close the session at 10,869.50.
 
However, in broader markets, smallcaps closed in the green, as it gained 0.14 per cent, while midcap traded lower by 0.07 per cent.
 
Ahead of the OPEC meeting, the crude oil prices surged on Tuesday on expectations of supply cuts by the oil cartel which could drive the prices up. The benchmark Brent crude was trading higher at $63.19 a barrel when the markets closed.
 
The rupee, after losing 88 paise on Monday, traded at Rs 70.60 to a US dollar. It had closed at Rs 70.45.
 
Top gainers on Sensex were dominated by IT stocks as Wipro and Infosys gained over 2 per cent, while TCS advanced by 1.37 per cent. Other major gainers were ONGC and Vedanta.
 
The laggards were led by SunPharma which lost 2.75 per cent, reflecting the concerns among the investors over the probe by the market regulator SEBI on charges of insider trading. It had lost over 7 per cent on Monday.
 
Other top losers included Mahindra and Mahindra, HDFC and State Bank of India.
 
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JioMusic, Saavn integrated to create South Asia’s largest platform for music

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Saavn Media Private Limited, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), today launched JioSaavn, South Asia’s largest streaming, entertainment and artiste platform. 
 
JioSaavn represents the official integration of JioMusic, India’s most popular music app, and Saavn, India’s leading global over-the-top platform, a press release from Reliance said.
 
The new integrated JioSaavn app will be available across all App Stores including the Jio app store, on JioPhone, as well as, here.
www.jio.com/jiosaavn.
 
The release said that, as announced in March 2018 at the time of acquisition of Saavn by RIL, the implied valuation of the combined entity at over $1 billion makes it the most valuable music streaming platform in South Asia, and among the most popular in the world.
 
"JioSaavn combines the streaming media expertise of Saavn with Jio’s digital services ecosystem. Jio is India’s largest digital services network with over 252 million subscribers. The integrated app has a massive addressable market opportunity both in India as well as for the Indian diaspora," the release said.
 
"With the integrated JioSaavn app, users can expect a suite of new in-app products and music experiences, including an interactive lyrics feature, localized vernacular display, custom integrations with concerts and live events, as well as exclusive video content to roll out over the next few months.
 
"The service will be offered on a freemium model in India with all users having access to the ad-supported product. Jio subscribers would enjoy seamless access to the integrated app. Additionally, as part of this launch, Jio users will also get a 90-day extended free trial of JioSaavn Pro, the streaming service’s premium product," the release said.
 
Akash Ambani, Director, Reliance Jio, said, “JioSaavn represents a turning point for the music streaming industry in India, as the country continues to experience accelerated tech innovation, rapid adoption of digital services, and a digital music industry at par with global leaders. Powered by Jio’s advanced digital services infrastructure and complemented by its widespread user base, JioSaavn will be the largest streaming platform in India.”
 
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Supported by the resources and connectivity of India’s most powerful digital services network, JioSaavn will continue to build on Saavn’s groundbreaking Original Programming and artist development platform, Artist Originals (AO). Saavn’s Original Programming, which has redefined the development, marketing and distribution of original audio entertainment, produces and exclusively distributes some of India’s most popular audio podcasts, like ‘#NoFilterNeha‘, ‘Thank You For Sharing’, ‘Take 2 with Anupama and Rajeev’, ‘Talking Music’ and ‘Kahaani Express with Neelesh Misra’.
 
The Saavn co-founders – Rishi Malhotra, Paramdeep Singh and Vinodh Bhat – continue in their leadership roles to drive the growth of the company. JioSaavn’s team of more than 200 employees also continues to operate out of its five global offices at Mountain View and New York in the United States and Bengaluru, Gurugram, and Mumbai in India.
 
Rishi Malhotra, co-founder and CEO, JioSaavn, stated, “Since announcing our merger in March 2018, the Jio and Saavn teams have been working to integrate and reimagine a combined platform in JioSaavn. Today, we have one of the most personalized and capable media platforms in the world, an unmatched content catalog, regionalized editorial and original programming and music that’s redefining how artists and creators connect directly with audiences worldwide.”
 
Paramdeep Singh, co-founder and Executive Vice-Chairman, JioSaavn added, “The launch of JioSaavn marks a new era for music streaming in India and, the global music industry at large. Combining the scale and quality of the Jio network with our highly engaged product experience, JioSaavn is positioned for a steep growth trajectory that will benefit the entire ecosystem of label partners, brand advertisers, and independent artists to bring content, commerce and culture together.”
 
JioSaavn is currently accessed across the globe and offers 40 million tracks in 15 languages. The company has 900+ label partnerships and growing, including Universal, Sony, T-Series, Tips, YRF, Saregama, Eros and Warner Music.
 
In March 2018, Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) acquired a majority stake in JioSaavn, whose investors include Tiger Global Management, Liberty Media, Bertelsmann, Steadview Capital, Ward Ferry Management, Senvest Management, Tree Line Investment Management, Quilvest, Mousse Partners, Wellington Capital Management, William Morris Endeavor and a number of strategic individuals, including former Vodafone CEO, Arun Sarin, and, Guy Oseary, Chairman of Maverick and manager of global artistes including Madonna and U2.
 
In 2016, JioSaavn expanded its content offering into Original Programming, a slate of original, non-music audio programs that range from Bollywood to comedy and storytelling to cricket. In early 2017, JioSaavn introduced Artist Originals (AO), an original music program releasing and marketing tracks and albums by South Asian artistes, songwriters and producers from around the world.
 
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IL&FS Group appoints N. Sivaraman as COO

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Beleaguered Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Limited (IL&FS), one of India's leading infrastructure development and finance companies, has appointed Mr. N. Sivaraman as the chief operating officer (COO) of the IL&FS Group.
 
Mr. Sivaraman will be responsible for day-to-day operations and provide hands-on leadership and oversight to the Group’s asset monetisation efforts, a press release from the company said.
 
He will be a part of the Core Operating Committee and report to Mr. Vineet Nayyar, Vice-Chairman and Managing Director, IL&FS Group, it said.
 
"Mr. Sivaraman is a seasoned business leader with a 34-year track record with the L&T Group. He was, till most recently, the President and Whole Time Director with L&T Finance Holdings (LTFH).
 
"Mr. Sivaraman’s range of experience and accomplishments include mergers and acquisitions, as well as building an admirable financial services institution. His major achievement is the transformation and growth of LTFH from 2006 to 2016 and the L&T -Grasim cement demerger.
 
"Mr Sivaraman would augment the competencies required for the Board of IL&FS to achieving stability in operations in the IL&FS Group as well as execute its ongoing divestment and resolution exercise," the release added.
 
The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) had on October 1 allowed the government's petition for the supersession of the Board of Directors of IL&FS and its substitution by a new Board.
 
The move came as a series of defaults by IL&FS Group companies in August and September, 2018 on term-deposits, short-term deposits, inter-corporate deposits, commercial paper and non-convertible debentures and the rating downgrades in some and default on some other financial instruments. These had resulted in a massive effect in the financial markets, causing redemption pressure on the mutual funds, which held such financial instruments and had also adversely impacted sentiments on the stock markets, money markets and debt markets. 
 
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Sensex, Nifty end flat over weak rupee, macro data

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The key equity indices managed to register their sixth straight session of gain on Monday as the S&P BSE Sensex and Nifty50 closed marginally up.
 
After opening over 200 points higher over signs of easing US-China trade tensions, rise in global crude oil prices and domestic factors including disappointing macro-economic data and uncertainty over state election outcome weighed investor sentiments.
 
Also, ahead of the OPEC meeting this week, the crude oil prices surged on expectations of supply cuts by the oil cartel. The benchmark Brent Crude traded higher at $62.05 a barrel when the domestic markets closed. 
 
The domestic currency weakened over 50 paise against the US dollar, trading at Rs 70.16 from its previous close of 69.59.
 
Utilities, metal and realty gained over 2 per cent on the BSE while healthcare, energy and auto where the only stocks ending in red.
 
The Sensex settled 46.70 points up or 0.13 per cent at 36,241, from its previous close of 36,194.30. It touched an intra-day high of 36,446.16 and a low of 36,099.68.
 
The Nifty50 gained 7 points or 0.06 per cent to finish the trade session at 10,883.75.
 
Top gainers on the Sensex were Yes Bank, which rose close to 5 per cent closely followed by Hindustan Uniliver. Vedanta, NTPC and Bharti Airtel gained in the range of 2 to 3.5 per cent.
 
Sun Pharma lost 7.52 per cent -- the most on the Sensex -- followed by Mahindra and Mahindra. Other major losers were ITC, Relinace Industries and Hero MotoCorp.
 
The markets had opened on a positive note in line with global markets on signs of easing US-China trade tension who agreed to halt additional tariffs in the G20 meeting in Buenos Aires.
 
IANS
 

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Sohrabuddin case: Final hearing begins

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The final arguments in the politically-sensitive case of the twin encounter deaths of Sohrabuddin Anwar Shaikh and Tulsiram Prajapati, and the brutal rape-cum-murder of Kausar Bi, started on Monday in a Special CBI Court here.
 
Special Judge S. J. Sharma had fixed the December 3 date after completing the recording of statements of accused under Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) Section 313, and their lawyers failed to produce any defence witnesses in the case.
 
The verdict in the high-profile case, which involved 22 other accused is expected by December-end.
 
The alleged "fake encounters" of gangsters Sohrabuddin and Prajapati, and the disappearance of the former's wife, Kausar Bi, took place in 2005-2006, creating a major political storm in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled Gujarat.
 
The prosecution's case was that Sohrabuddin was linked with the terror outfit Lashkar-e-Tayiba and was allegedly conspiring to assassinate "an important political leader", presumably the then state Chief Minister, and now Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.
 
A total of 37 people were accused in the case, of which 16 were discharged in 2014, including 15 by the Special CBI Court Mumbai, and one by Bombay High Court.
 
Among those discharged were the then Gujarat Home Minister and now BJP President Amit Shah, the then Rajasthan Home Minister G. C. Kataria, the 'encounter specialist' and former Deputy Inspector-General of Police from Gujarat D. G. Vanzara, who at the relevant time headed the Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) in that state, and then IPS officer N. K. Amin and 12 other police officials.
 
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Following a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) plea, the Supreme Court ordered the case to be shifted out of Gujarat to Mumbai in September 2012, and it also clubbed the Sohrabuddin and Prajapati cases.
 
During the trial in the past decade and more, a total of 210 prosecution witnesses were examined, of which 92 turned hostile.
 
"Dreaded criminal" Sohrabuddin, who possessed 40 AK-47 assault rifles, was eliminated in an alleged "staged killing" on November 26, 2005 by the Gujarat ATS near state capital Gandhinagar. 
 
His wife had disappeared and she presumably met the same fate, the investigators later said.
 
The case shot to prominence for the alleged involvement of several high-profile politicians and IPS officers, making it one of the most politically-sensitive cases.
 
Later, Sohrabuddin's associate, Prajapati -- who was the prime witness to the alleged "fake encounters" -- was arrested and then gunned down in an encounter in December 2006 near Udaipur in Rajasthan, after the police claimed he attempted to escape from their custody.
 
Among other things, the two were said to be allegedly linked in various other major crimes, including the killing of former Gujarat Home Minister Haren Pandya in March 2003.
 
IANS
 

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BSE Sensex opens 200 points up

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The S&P BSE Sensex opened 200 points higher on Monday, in line with global markets on signs of easing US-China trade tension.
 
According to reports, China and the US agreed to halt additional tariffs in the G20 meeting in Buenos Aires over the weekend, pushing global stock markets higher.
 
Buying was witnessed in metal, IT and FMCG counters while healthcare scrips came under selling pressure. Stocks of key sectors; finance and banking traded higher.
 
The Sensex of the BSE opened at 36,396.69 from its previous close at 36,194.30 on Friday. At 9.26 a.m., the Sensex traded at 36,337.41 higher by 143.11 points or 0.40 per cent.
 
The Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) opened at 10,930.70 after closing at 10,876.75 on Friday.
 
The Nifty traded at 10,909.05 during the morning trade session, up 32.30 points and 0.30 per cent.
 
IANS
 

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Sonali Bendre beams with joy as she returns to 'motherland'

 
Husband Goldie Behl feels happy for Sonali’s recovery
Actress Sonali Bendre Behl beamed with joy, flashed smiles, gave a thumbs up and joined her hands in reverence for all the love as she arrived here on Monday months after she left for New York to seek treatment of a high grade cancer.
 
Sonali, known for films like "Sarfarosh", "Hum Saath-Saath Hain" and "Duplicate", has been putting up a brave fight against metastatic cancer for months.
 
She arrived here in an all-black look and flaunted her shaved head with as much confidence and bravado as she has been showcasing to her fans via social media. She was joined by her film producer husband Goldie Behl.
 
The paparazzi went clickety-click as Sonali made her way to the car and she obliged with a heartwarming smile and gratitude.
 
Before she left from New York, Sonali had shared a social media update, flaunting a casual white tracksuit. She had teamed them with shoes -- one of which read "mother" and the other read "land".
 
Clearly, Sonali was excited to be back in Mumbai -- where her heart is -- for a "happy interval".
 
Her Instagram post read: "I'm on my way back to where my heart is. It's a feeling I can't describe in words but I'm going to try - it's the joy to see my family and friends again, the excitement to do what I love and mainly the gratitude for the journey I've had up until this moment.
 
"The fight is not yet over... but I'm happy and looking forward to this happy interval."
 
For Sonali, who has spent the tumultuous time with a smile on her face, "it's time to learn that there is a new normal out there and I can't wait to embrace it and switch on the sunshine".
 
Sonali announced earlier this year that she was diagnosed with a high grade metastatic cancer. A mother of one, she said her family and close friends have provided her the best support system.
 
IANS
 

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Anushka worked with occupational therapist, audiologist for 'Zero'

Anushka Sharma
Anushka Sharma
Actress Anushka Sharma says she worked with two professional trainers to immerse herself into her role as Aafia, a scientist with cerebral palsy, in Aanand L. Rai's "Zero".
 
The actress put herself through a rigorous three-month preparation process.
 
"I understood the challenge that I was going to face as an actor while playing this role. That is what excited me towards the role," Anushka said in a statement.
 
"If I were able to pull it off, I would have accomplished something. So I wanted to do it the right way and represent this correctly. Aanand sir and Himanshu (writer Himanshu Sharma) had already researched a lot with doctors (about this condition) when they came to me with the film and had sketched out my character accordingly. I understood their brief and went with their vision and met with the doctors," she added.
 
She said she worked with an occupational therapist and audiologist who helped her understand "what physical limitation my character would have and how my condition would impact my speech". 
 
"The difficult part in this was that I had to voluntarily create an involuntary movement that happens to my character because of my condition. While I had to focus on the dialogues, I also had focus on the emotion of the scene, which was difficult. So, in the beginning I would ask for some extra takes so that I could get it right because I wanted to make sure that I was doing it correctly," added Anushka, who shares screen space with Shah Rukh Khan in the movie.
 
Anushka also spent time on a wheelchair.
 
"With time I started to understand it better - staying on the wheelchair the whole time I was on set and for three months before as I worked with the occupational therapist and audiologist. I did all these to understand the confinements one feels when one has to spend a lifetime on a wheelchair.
 
"I think all this practice helped in understanding the condition of the character well and the vision that Aanand L. Rai had for the role. I have tried to do it to the T," she added.
 
IANS
 

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Bollywood dazzles at Ranveer-Deepika's wedding reception

 
Bollywood stars shine at Deepika-Ranveer wedding reception
Well known personalities from Bollywood, sports and political background attended Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone's wedding reception, a black-tie industry party night at The Grand Hyatt on Saturday in Mumbai.
 
Actors including Sara Ali Khan, Ishaan Khatter, Disha Patani, Tiger Shroff, Aditi Rao Hydari, Radhika Apte, Jim Sarbh, Lara Dutta along with husband Mahesh Bhupathi, Vidya Balan with Siddharth Roy Kapoor, Hema Malini with son-in-law Bharat Takhtani attended the wedding reception.
 
Kapil Dev and Sachin Tendulkar also attended the function, along with their respective wives.
 
For their third wedding reception, the couple arrived looking nothing short of regal as Ranveer wore a classic black piece suit with a bow tie designed by Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna. Deepika was a treat to sore eyes in a jam coloured embellished gown designed by Zuhair Murad.
 
The list of attendees also included producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra and his wife Anupama Chopra, Vicky Kaushal, Rekha, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra with his wife, Kalki Koechlin, Nimrat Kaur, R Madhavan and his wife Sarita Birje.
 
Ranveer and Deepika tied the knot on November 14 in Italy in a traditional Konkani ceremony, which was followed by a Sindhi wedding on November 15. 
 
Both the functions were fiercely intimate with just about 40 guests in attendance and a ban on prying mobile phones and paparazzi. The security at the wedding venues was reportedly at par with that provided for a meeting of world leaders.
 
On their return, the two hosted a reception for Deepika's relatives in Bengaluru, followed by a DJ bash organised by Ranveer's sister Ritika Bhavnani for the couple.
 
The couple then hosted their second wedding reception for Ranveer's relatives and friends in Mumbai on November 28.
 
On the work front, they were last seen together in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's "Padmaavat". 
 
Ranveer will next be seen in "Simmba", while Deepika will be seen portraying the role of acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal.
 
IANS
 

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Security threats stopping me from returning: Nirav Modi to ED, CBI

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Fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi, who is wanted by several investigation agencies in India in connection with a Rs 13,500 crore PNB fraud case, said that he will not return to India as he "fears for his life".
 
Conveying this to a special court here, advocate Vijay Agarwal appearing for the absconding jeweller, said the Enforcement Directorate is "guilty of committing a fraud on the court" by concealing Nirav Modi's communications with the agency. 
 
In one such mail, Nirav Modi told the ED that his "effigy was being burnt and feared mob lynching" if he stepped on Indian soil.
 
Agarwal backing his client's concerns said all the information sought by the ED pertains to "finance" and Nirav Modi being a jewellery designer would not have them. 
 
He said his client was not in a position to give such information as the ED sealed his offices, took his employees into custody and computer servers were confiscated. 
 
Agarwal told the court that despite all this, Nirav Modi had continued communicating with the ED as such his client cannot be declared a Fugitive Economic Offender.
 
In a mail to the ED on February 25, accessed by IANS, Nirav Modi said: "In my last communication, I had pointed out that in view of the extensive media coverage, there are some personal security issues which I am facing, ... which have increased manifold. 
 
"I am being harassed to the extent possible, with multiple agencies hounding me and everything that is important to me, my safety, my reputation, my properties etc. are being put in jeopardy."
 
"My security threats are genuine and considering the situation in India, wherein, me, without a full drawn trial have been conveniently named as a 'criminal', and being treated as if I am already convicted of the alleged offences", Nirav Modi told the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on March 7 in a mail. 
 
"There have been reports that in Mumbai, a 50-feet effigy of mine was burnt on Holika Dahan, which threatens me to the core. I am scared," he said.
 
In his mail to CBI he said that he cannot return to India as his former employees who have not been paid salaries, landlords who have not been paid rents, customers whose jewellery has been confiscated by the CBI and other agencies and several other people have threatened him.
 

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He further said that in fact a lady executive of his organisation was arrested by the CBI illegally in complete disregard to and in violation of Section 46 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), 1973.
 
"When the liberty of a female is not" being taken into account by the investigating agencies, Nirav Modi said how could "my concern for my safety" be guaranteed. He added that he failed to see "the fairness in the process" and his fears were "not misplaced".
 
The jeweller also pointed out that all his properties had been attached without any compliance to the law.
 
In his mail to the CBI, Nirav Modi said that the "lightning speed" with which the Passport Authority acted by revoking his passport, "suggests that the action itself was pre-determined and my fate was already decided as there was no time to consider my reply and there was no apparent regard to the law".
 
Earlier in July, his uncle and Gitanjali Group chief Mehul Choksi, who is a co accused in the punjab National Bank fraud case, had cited the "mob lynching" trend in India as one of the main reasons for not returning.
 
Nirav Modi and Choksi are under probe by both the CBI and the ED. The ED launched the money laundering investigation against Nirav Modi and others on February 15 on the basis of an FIR registered by the CBI. Non-bailable warrants have been issued against them.
 
The Interpol had issued a Red Corner Notice (RCN) against Nirav Modi, his brother Neeshal and sister Purvi -- both Belgian citizens -- as well as Mihir Bhansali and Aditya Nanvati, his close associates.
 
However, an RCN request against Choksi, who acquired Antiguan citizenship earlier in 2018, is pending with the Interpol.
 
IANS
 

Profit booking dents equity indices, Sensex closes flat

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The key equity indices on Friday closed trade on a flat-to-positive note, as caution ahead of the macro-economic data release as well as profit booking subdued investors' sentiments.
 
In the intra-day trade, the two key indices -- S&P BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty50 -- reversed their initial gains to slip into the red as investors shifted focus to the macro-economic data announcement.
 
Sector-wise, banking, oil and gas and telecom stocks witnessed selling pressure on the BSE. In contrast, IT, realty and healthcare stocks outperformed the benchmark index, gaining 1-2 per cent.
 
"Stocks in India oscillated between the positive and negative zones on mixed news flows and profit booking after the recent leg-up kept the emergence of a strong trend at bay," said Abhijeet Dey, Senior Fund Manager-Equities, BNP Paribas Mutual Fund. 
 
Index-wise, the S&P BSE Sensex settled 23.89 points up or 0.07 per cent higher at 36,194.30 points, from its previous close of 36,170.41 points. It touched an intra-day high of 36,389.22 and a low of 36,082.97.
 
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The NSE Nifty50 gained 22.05 points or 0.20 per cent to finish the session at 10,880.75 points.
 
In terms of crude oil, prices remained subdued at $58.81 per barrel, while the Indian rupee strengthened by 25 paise to Rs 69.59 per US dollar from its previous close of 69.84. 
 
"Market ended on a positive note after witnessing a roller coaster movement ahead of G20 meet and expectation of oil production cut in the upcoming OPEC meet," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.
 
Investment-wise, the provisional data with the exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors sold stocks worth Rs 332.62 crore on Friday, while the domestic institutional investors bought shares worth Rs 1,489.65 crore.
 
Top gainers on the Sensex were Yes Bank, up 5.73 per cent at Rs 169.65; Wipro, up 3.14 per cent at Rs 324.85; Mahindra and Mahindra, up 2.21 per cent at Rs 790.20; Sun Pharma, up 1.84 per cent at Rs 492.30; and Kotak Mahindra Bank, up 1.83 per cent at Rs 1,232.35 per share.
 
Top laggards were Tata Motors, down 3.02 per cent at Rs 171.95; Tata Motors (DVR), down 2.24 per cent at Rs 93.95; ICICI Bank, down 2 per cent at Rs 355; IndusInd Bank, down 1.70 per cent at Rs 1,631.55; and Vedanta, down 1.66 per cent at Rs 195.80 per share.
 
IANS
 

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India’s forex reserves dip by $ 795 million to $ 392.785 billion

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India’s foreign exchange reserves dipped by $ 795 million to $ 392.785 billion during the week ended November 23, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The country’s forex reserves had increased by $ 568.9 million to $ 393.58 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 declined by $ 841.3 million to $ 367.7 billion 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 increased by $ 36.6 million to $ 20.998 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDR) went up by $ 3.5 million to $ 1.457 billion.
 
India’s reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) rose by $ 6.2million to $ 2.63 billion, the bulletin added.
 
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