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Haryana, Odisha join Punjab and UP in U-21 men’s hockey semis

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Haryana and Odisha chalked up convincing wins to enter the men’s Under-21 hockey semi-finals of the Khelo India Youth Games 2019 from Pool B at the Mahindra Hockey Stadium here on Friday.
 
They join Punjab and Uttar Pradesh who had qualified for the last-four stage on Thursday.
 
In Sunday’s semi-finals, Punjab take on Haryana before Uttar Pradesh and Odisha clash in the day’s second game. Interestingly, the same four teams are also in the semis of the U-17 men’s competition as well.
 
Haryana devastated hosts Maharashtra with an emphatic 6-1 win to finish the pool stage with six points from three matches. Goals for the winning side came from skipper Mandeep Mor (3rd, 10th minute), Kuldeep (6th, 55th), Mohit (59th) and Deepak (60th) while Maharashtra's consolation strike was scored by Rohan Patil in the 36th minute.
 
In the other Pool B match, Odisha maintained their clean record with a 2-1 win over Jharkhand that helped them top the pool with nine points. 
 
A brace from Shilanand Lakra in the 9th and 35th minutes saw Odisha grab the initiative and even though Jharkhand sought to make it a contest with Ashim Tirkey’s 39th minute goal, Odisha were in no mood to relinquish their command over proceedings.
 
On Saturday, Punjab play Odisha in the first of the Under-17 men’s semi-finals, followed by the Uttar Pradesh versus Haryana clash.
 
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India’s forex reserves soar by $ 2.68 billion to $ 396.084 billion

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India’s foreign exchange reserves soared by $ 2.68 billion to $ 396.084 billion during the week ended January 4, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The country’s forex reserves had gone up by $ 116.4 million to $ 393.404 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 increased by $ 2.215 billion to $ 370.292 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 went up by $ 465.5 million to $ 21.69 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDRs) reduced by $ 0.1 million to $ 1.462 billion.
 
India’s reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) decreased by $ 0.1 million to $ 2.64 billion, the bulletin added.
 
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BCCI announces fixtures for home series against Australia

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The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Cricket Australia today  announced the schedule for the Paytm home series against Australia set to be played from February 24 to March 13.
 
The series will comprise two T20Is that will start at 7.00 PM IST and five ODIs, which will start from 1:30 PM IST.
 
The following are the fixtures:
 
1.  24th February     1st T20I       Bengaluru
2.  27th February     2nd T20I      Visakhapatnam
3.  2nd March           1st ODI        Hyderabad
4.  5th March            2nd ODI       Nagpur
5.  8th March            3rd ODI        Ranchi
6.  10th March          4th ODI        Mohali
7.  13th March          5th ODI        Delhi
 
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RBI sets ups committee headed by Nandan Nilekani on Deepening of Digital Payments

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The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has set up a High-Level Committee headed by former Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) Chairman Nandan Nilekani on Deepening of Digital Payments.
 
The decision is part of the central bank's efforts to encourage digitisation of payments and enhance financial inclusion through digitisation, a press release from RBI said.
 
The other members of the committee are: H.R. Khan, former Deputy Governor, RBI; Kishore Sansi, former Managing Director & CEO, Vijaya Bank; Aruna Sharma, former Secretary, Ministry of Information Technology; and Sanjay Jain, Chief Innovation Officer, Center for Innovation, Incubation & Entrepreneurship (CIIE), IIM Ahmedabad.
 
The terms of reference of the committee are:
 
--To review the existing status of digitisation of payments in the country, identify the current gaps in the ecosystem and suggest ways to bridge them;
 
--To assess the current levels of digital payments in financial inclusion;
 
--To undertake cross country analyses with a view to identify best practices that can be adopted in our country to accelerate digitisation of the economy and financial inclusion through greater use of digital payments;
 
--Suggest measures to strengthen the safety and security of digital payments;
 
--To provide a road map for increasing customer confidence and trust while accessing financial services through digital modes;
 
--To suggest a medium-term strategy for deepening of digital payments;
 
--Any other related item of importance.
 
The Committee shall submit its report within a period of 90 days from the date of its first meeting, the release added.
 
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Haryana trounce Jharkhand, Odisha chalk out second successive win in U-17 hockey

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Title contenders Haryana began their campaign on a fluent note as they thrashed Jharkhand 10-0 in the (U-21) hockey competition of the 2nd Khelo India Youth Games at the Mumbai Hockey Association Stadium on Tuesday.
 
In another Pool B (U-21) fixture, Odisha overpowered spirited Maharashtra 6-3 in a keenly contested encounter.
 
Haryana reduced the match against Jharkhand to a no-contest as they scored at will and led 4-0 at half time. The score line would have been much higher but for the winners' missed chances galore.
 
Skipper Mandeep Mor with three goals was the top scorer for Haryana. Abhishek, Mohit (two each), Jasbir Antil, Deepak and Pankaj (one each) were the other goal getters.
 
Odisha dominated the proceedings in the early stages of the game and led 3-1 at half but Maharashtra put up an improved display in the second session but it turned out to a case of too little and too late.
 
For Odisha, Abhisekh Lakra scored three goals while Amit Chirmako, Krishna Tirkey and Ashis Topono chipped in with a goal reach. Harish Shindgi, Malhari Chavan and Rohan Patil (one each) reduced the margin for the losers.
 
In Pool A, Punjab won their second consecutive match by defeating Uttar Pradesh 1-0. The all-important goal was scored by Harmanjit Singh who converted a penalty corner in the 57th minute.
 
In the U-17 section, riding on Sudeep Chirmako’s four goals, Odisha swamped Maharashtra 7-0 to record their second successive win in Pool A.
 
Odisha, who had beaten Uttar Pradesh 3-1 in their opener, outplayed the hosts in all departments of the game and dominated the proceedings throughout and led 3-0 at half time. Other goal getters for Odisha were Sunil Jojo, Sunit Lakra and Prasant Lakra (one each).
 
In the other Pool A match, Uttar Pradesh registered their first win defeating Delhi 6-0. Ajay Yadav (2), Pankaj Yadav, Suraj Singh ), skipper Saurabh Anand and Rajan Gupta (one each) were the goal scorers.
 
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Global rally; Q3 expectations push indices higher

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Broadly positive global bourses, coupled with stock-specific buying on the back of positive quarterly earning expectations pushed the Indian equity market higher on Tuesday.
 
Additionally, hopes of further liquidity infusion into the Non Banking Financial Companies (NBFC) sector buoyed investors sentiments and broke the market's range-bound movement. 
 
Consequently, the S&P BSE Sensex settled 130.77 points or 0.36 per cent higher at 35,980.93 points after it shuttled 280 points between a high of 36,037.35 and a low of 35,753.95.
 
The NSE Nifty50 closed 30.35 points, or 0.28 per cent up at 10,802.15 points.
 
Stock-wise, the top gainers on Sensex were Sun Pharma, State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, Tata Motors and Yes Bank.
 
In contrast, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Bajaj Finance, HDFC Bank, Mahindra & Mahindra and Hindustan Uniliver finished at the bottom.
 
IANS
 

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Trade war, Q3 earning keep Sensex, Nifty in a tight range

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Caution ahead of the outcome of ongoing US-China trade talks and Q3 corporate earning session kept the major indices in a short range on Tuesday. Sensex and Nifty logged marginal gains during the afternoon session.
 
The US-China trade talks assume special significance as analysts say both sides face a resumption of tariffs in March if they don't strike a deal. The two economic giants agreed on a 90-day trade truce in early December.
 
Also, Q3 corporate earning session starting this week kept the investors from taking position.
 
On the domestic front, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das will meet representatives of Non Banking Financial Companies (NBFC) on Tuesday pushing the banking stocks 0.82 per cent higher.
 
In contrast, consumer durable and power sectors traded lower but the finance stocks managed to stay in the green.
 
At 1.55 p.m., the Nifty50 traded at 10,787.40, higher by 15.60 points or 0.14 per cent from the previous close of 10,771.80.
 
The S&P BSE Sensex, which had opened at 35,964.62, traded at 35,914.38, higher by 64.22 points or 0.18 per cent from its previous close of 35,850.16.
 
So far, it has touched an intra-day high of 35,968.08 and a low of 35,753.95.
 
IANS
 

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Sensex, Nifty in green, financials drag

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The Sensex and Nifty traded in the green during the morning trade session on Tuesday after they opened lower.
 
Caution ahead of the Q3 corporate earning session starting this week and outcome of the ongoing US-China trade talks kept the indices in a short range.
 
The Asian markets also traded on a mixed note.
 
The key finance stocks traded 0.04 per cent lower while power, oil and gas, metal scrips also declined.
 
In contrast, the banking stocks gained.
 
The S&P BSE Sensex opened at 35,964.62 from its previous close of 35,850.16 on Monday.
 
At 10.45 a.m., the Sensex traded 70.20 points or 0.20 per cent higher at 35,920.36.
 
The Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) opened at 10,786.25 after closing at 10,771.80 on Monday.
 
The Nifty traded at 10,792.05 during the morning trade session, up 20.25 points and 0.19 per cent.
 
IANS
 

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Actor-filmmaker Rakesh Roshan diagnosed with early stage cancer

Rakesh Roshan with Hrithik Roshan
Rakesh Roshan with Hrithik Roshan
Well-known actor-filmmaker Rakesh Roshan has been diagnosed with early stage squamous cell carcinoma, a type of cancer, his son Hrithik Roshan said on social media today.
 
The senior Roshan is slated to undergo surgery later today, Hrithik said.
 
"Asked my dad for a picture this morning. Knew he wouldnt miss gym on surgery day. He is probably the strongest man I know. Got diagnosed with early stage squamous cell carcinoma of the throat a few weeks ago, but he is in full spirits today as he proceeds to battle it. As a family we are fortunate and blessed to have a leader like him. Love you Dad," Hrithik said in a post on Instagram.
 
He also posted a picture of the two of them  together in the gym.
 
Rakesh Roshan, 69, son of late music director Roshan, started his career in films as an assistant director. He made his debut as an actor in Ghar Ghar Ki Kahani in 1970 and went on to appear in films such as Paraya Dhan, Khubsoorat, Aankhon Aankhon Mein, Aakraman, Khel Khel Mein, Dhanwan and Khatta Meetha.
 
In 1980 he set up his own production company Filmkraft which has produced movies such as Kaamchor. He has directed hits such as Khoon Bhari Maang, Kishen Kanhaiya, Karan Arjun and Koyla. He launched Hrithik's acting career with Kaho Naa...Pyar Hai (2000) and followed it up with  Koi...Mil Gaya and superhero film Krrish.
 
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Taking a break, Priya Dutt opts out of 2019 electoral race

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High-profile Mumbai Congress politician and former MP Priya Dutt on Monday announced that she will not contest the upcoming 2019 Lok Sabha elections, as "it was time to take a break from active politics".
 
Dutt, 52, said there was lot of speculation about her plans to stand for the 2019 polls, especially after she was recently dropped as an AICC Secretary, but she had discussed the issue with Congress President Rahul Gandhi a couple of months back on her plans to "step out for a while", as she had made it clear in 2005.
 
Priya -- daughter of the late actor couple Sunil Dutt and Nargis, and sister of Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt -- joined politics after her father's demise in May 2005 and was elected to the 14th and 15th Lok Sabha, before facing defeat in 2014.
 
"When I agreed to enter electoral politics in 2005, I was clear that I would contest three terms and step out for a while. There is more to life than politics and I also wanted the freedom to experience and explore other aspects of my life," Dutt said.
 
She said she never envisioned herself as being only a politician or "owning the permanent right to be the only INC contestant from the Mumbai North-Central parliamentary constituency".
 
"This constituency never belonged to my father, to me or for that matter any one person; it belongs to the people who make it. We come in and are chosen by the people as caretakers and must give opportunity for fresh and new ideas," said Dutt.
 
After remaining in electoral politics for nine years (2005-2014) and fighting three general elections, she said "it was time" and also working within the system all these years, it became clear that she could "either work within it or outside it" and there are other ways to serve the people.
 
"To all those in the party that I have had disagreements with, I hope they understand it was never personal," she added, urging the people of her constituency to vote discerningly.
 
However, although promising to work for the Congress and its candidate, she made it clear she would not support anyone her conscience does not permit.
 
Dutt expressed deep gratitude to her mentor Sonia Gandhi and described Rahul Gandhi as "extremely committed and sincere".
 
"The Congress is a party of great minds and young blood. Our country needs a good human being and a compassionate leader, which I truly believe he (Rahul) is," she concluded.
 
Her latest move, in the air since sometime, was reportedly provoked by severe factionalism in the Mumbai Congress, presently headed by Sanjay Nirupam, and other related issues.
 
Dutt lives in Bandra, Mumbai with her husband, Owen Roncon, and sons Sumair and Siddharth.
 
IANS
 

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Reliance launches Kumbh Jiophone ahead of Kumbh Mela 2019

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Telecom services provider Reliance Jio today said it had launched the Kumbh Jiophone for the benefit of visitors to Kumbh Mela 2019, the largest human congregation in the world in which more than 130 million pilgrims are expected to take a holy dip over 55 days.
 
"During this Kumbh, JioPhone is introducing a digital solution that will enrich the spiritual experience of millions of pilgrims during the divine holy dip," a press release from Jio said here today.
 
"JioPhone was launched with the objective of empowering every Indian with the power of digital services, especially those, who could not afford a smartphone. Standing true to its promise, JioPhone is back with yet another revolutionary innovation, the Kumbh JioPhone that will provide value that goes beyond the ordinary," it said.
 
"The Kumbh JioPhone, a unique and differentiated offering, is being introduced to honour this revered tradition of India. The Kumbh JioPhone along with the power of Jio 4G data will ensure that the Kumbh pilgrims can make the most of their pilgrimage. Kumbh JioPhone offers a suite of benefits especially designed for the needs of the pilgrims," it said.
 
The release said the Kumbh Jiophone would provide end-to-end rich information services about Kumbh; information on Kumbh; real-time travel information (special trains, buses etc.); booking tickets & receiving updates; Yatri Ashray at stations; emergency helpline numbers; area routes and maps; pre-published bath and religious day schedules; Railway Camp Mela and so on.
 
It also has features and functionalities such as family locator; lost and found; devotional content; and telecast of special Kumbh events and programmes; alerts and announcements about Kumbh; entertainment; games; quiz; and so on.
 
"These additional features are over and above the JioPhone core offerings that have already transformed the digital landscape in the country. These include free voice calls within India, unlimited internet, applications such as JioTV, JioCinema, JioSaavn music, JioGames, Facebook, Whatsapp, YouTube, Google Maps, Google's Voice Assistant, and so on.
 
“JioPhone is at the centre of innovation and the Kumbh JioPhone initiative continues to demonstrate our focus on bringing disproportionate and true value for the JioPhone consumers. The JioPhone has become the largest selling phone in India simply because of the value it translates into and the features it offers. We are proud of the fact that everyone in India can now get access to a smartphone at as low as Rs 501 with features and functionalities that are Made in India, Made for India and Made by India," a spokesperson for Jio said.
 
Jio is working closely with the UP Police and KASH IT to ensure the delivery of the experience.
 
"The new Kumbh functionality will be available to both existing and new JioPhone users," the release added.
 
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Sensex ends 155 points up over positive global cues

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Expectations of robust Q3 corporate earning results beginning this week, coupled with positive global cues on easing US-China trade tensions along with a dovish US Fed comments, on Friday pushed Sensex and Nifty higher on Monday.
 
Talks between US and China are scheduled on Monday and Tuesday.
 
Mirroring global markets, Indian indices displayed strength following easing of Chinese monetary policy and dovish comments from US Fed, suggesting higher risk taking appetite, which pushed up the markets, said Essel Mutual Fund CIO Viral Berawala.
 
In addition, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das on Monday said that RBI was constantly monitoring the liquidity situation of Non Banking Financial Companies  (NBFC) and that he will meet the NBFCs on Tuesday. 
 
The S&P BSE Sensex settled 155.06 points or 0.43 per cent higher at 35,850.16 after touching an intra-day high of 36,076.95 and a low of 35,809.23.
 
The NSE Nifty50 closed at 49.25 points or 0.46 per cent up at 10,776.60.
 
While the oil and gas stocks inched up as the Brent Crude prices gained over 1 per cent. The realty sectors stocks gained on expectation that the GST council meeting scheduled on January 10 will end with a cut in the GST rates for the under-construction houses from 18 to 12 per cent.
 
In contrast, auto and healthcare sectors ended lower.
 
The Indian currency weakened by 14 paise around the closing bell to Rs 69.86 per dollar from its previous close of 69.72.
 
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Sensex up 240 points on signs of easing trade tension

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The Sensex advanced over 240 points on Monday afternoon following Asian markets on signs of an easing trade tension.
 
Talks between US and China are scheduled to be held on Monday and Tuesday.
 
Barring the healthcare sector, all the other sectorial stocks traded comfortably in the green on both the NSE and the BSE.
 
At 1.35 p.m., the Nifty50 traded at 10,805.55, higher by 78.20 points or 0.73 per cent from the previous close of 10,727.35.
 
The S&P BSE Sensex, which had opened at 35,971.18, traded at 35,937.14, higher by 242.04 points or 0.68 per cent from its previous close of 35,695.10
 
So far, it has touched an intra-day high of 36,076.95 and a low of 35,895.78.
 
The Indian currency, however, was trading flat at Rs 69.73 per US dollar from its previous close of 69.72.
 
Earlier, concerns of slowdown were fuelled by outcome of weak manufacturing data from major economies like the US, China and India. To add to this was the cut in the financial forecast by tech major Apple, citing the US-China trade tension among one of the reasons.
 
The trend was only reversed after news of trade talk between US-China came on Friday and has managed to keep the investor sentiments upbeat since then. 
 
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Sensex opens higher over easing trade tension

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The key Indian equity indices opened higher on Monday amid expectation of an ease in the US-China trade tension.
 
Talks between US and China is scheduled to be held on Monday and Tuesday.
 
All the sectors on BSE and NSE traded in the green.
 
The Sensex of the BSE opened at 35,971.18 from its previous close of 35,695.10 on Friday.
 
At 9.36 a.m., the Sensex traded 240.56 points or 0.67 per cent higher at 35,935.66.
 
The Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) opened at 10,804.85 after closing at 10,727.35 on Friday.
 
The Nifty traded at 10,814.75 during the morning trade session, up 87.40 points and 0.81 per cent.
 
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Mumbai Special Court declares Vijay Mallya 'fugitive'

Vijay Mallya
Vijay Mallya
In a significant victory for the investigating agencies, a Mumbai Special Court on Saturday declared absconder liquor baron Vijay Mallya a 'fugitive' under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018.
 
A Special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) Court in Mumbai gave its verdict in a case filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in June 2018.
 
In the first of its kind case under the FEOA, on June 22 last year, the ED moved the Special PMLA Court seeking to declare Mallya a 'fugitive economic offender' under the new act, to enable confiscation of all his properties, estimated at over Rs 12,000 crore.
 
However, through his lawyers, Mallya told the Special Court that he had not fled the country but left in the ordinary course to attend a meeting in Switzerland in March 2016 at the World Motor Sport Council and the arrest warrant against him was issued much later.
 
Special PMLA Court Judge M.S. Azmi will start hearing arguments on confiscation of Mallya's properties from February.
 
Under the FEOA, any person against whom an arrest warrant has been issued in respect of a scheduled offence and who has left India to avoid criminal prosecution or is abroad or refuses to return to India will face criminal prosecution.
 
After the person is declared a 'fugitive economic offender', the prosecuting agency is vested with the powers to confiscate all his assets and properties to recover the dues.
 
Mallya, 63, was summoned by the Special Court here to appear before it on August 27, but he failed to honour the court summons, besides other notices, summons and arrest warrants by the ED wanting to question him.
 
He flew out of the country around March 2016 even as a consortium of 13 banks -- led by the State Bank of India (SBI) -- was preparing to initiate loan recovery proceedings against him for over Rs 9,000 crore.
 
Late last year, Indian government had filed extradition proceedings against him which he has contested. Pending the final verdict in the case, he is currently on bail in London.
 
IANS
 

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Actor Maniesh Paul undergoes surgery

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Host-actor Maniesh Paul has suffered an injury on his thigh and undergone surgery. He says he is now fine.
 
Maniesh on Saturday took to Instagram, where he shared a photograph of himself from the hospital bed and captioned: "Injury in the thigh. Had to be operated upon. I am fine now.
 
The 37-year-old actor did not share details about his injury, but added that he is off to Punjab for a show.
 
"Off to to punjab for a show... Thanks for the wishes," he added. 
 
Maniesh was last seen on the "Baa Baaa Black Sheep" in 2018. 
 
IANS

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India’s forex reserves rise by $ 116.4 million to $ 393.404 billion

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India’s foreign exchange reserves rose by $ 116.4 million to $ 393.404 billion during the week ended December 28, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The country’s forex reserves had gone up by $ 167.2 million to $ 393.288 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 increased by $ 106.3 million to $ 368.077 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 remained unchanged at $ 21.224 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDR) went up by $ 3.6 million to $ 1.462 billion.
 
India’s reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) increased by $ 6.5 million to $ 2.64 billion, the bulletin added.
 
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Sensex ends 180 points up led by gains in financials

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Indian stocks ended higher on Friday despite negative global cues as financials stocks led the gains on major equity indices.
 
In addition, the sentiments were lifted as the Indian currency strengthened by over 30 paise on Friday to trade at 69.85 per dollar, against the previous close of 70.19 per dollar.
 
The gains by the domestic currency impacted export-oriented sectors as IT stocks declined by 1.15 per cent and the Teck sectors lost 0.58 per cent.
 
Index pivotals finance and banking stocks held firm.
 
"Asian stocks including India have sold off a bit in the last month and hence the incremental effect of fresh negative news is limited. Despite global peers falling, Indian markets have risen today as we are awaiting fresh local cues and FII fund flow behavior," Deepak Jasani of HDFC Securities said.
 
The S&P BSE Sensex settled 181.39 points or 0.51 per cent higher at 35,695.10 after touching an intra-day high of 35,744.20 and a low of 35,382.08. 
 
The NSE Nifty50 closed at 55.10 points or 0.52 per cent down at 10,727.35.
 
Earlier, Chinese factory data, along with India's, suggested a global growth slowdown, which was further magnified after a weak US factory data outcome on Thursday.
 
The latest addition to the worries was tech major Apple's announcement of cutting its financial forecast, partly blaming US trade tensions with China along with a slowdown in the Chinese economy.
 
Apple is one of the world's largest companies by market value and it was the first time years that it sharply cut its growth forecast.
 
Stock-wise, Bharti Airtel and Yes Bank gained over 3 per cent, the most on the Sensex. Other top gainers were Vedanta, Tata Motors, Tata Motors (DVR) and inched up in the range fo 2 to 3 per cent.
 
In contrast, HCL lost the most, 1.55 per cent, followed by TCS declining 1.19 per cent while Infosys lost over 1 per cent. IndusInd Bank and Hero MotoCorp shed up to 1 per cent.
 
 
IANS

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Sensex up over 200 points, rupee gains 30 paise

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Defying the global markets, the benchmark Sensex gained over 200 points during the afternoon trade session on Friday as financial stocks gained.
 
In addition, the sentiments were lifted as the Indian currency strengthened by over 30 paise on Friday to trade at 69.88 per dollar, against the previous close of 70.19 per dollar.
 
The gains in the domestic currency impacted the export oriented sectors as IT stocks declined by 1.15 per cent and the Teck sectors lost 0.67 per cent.
 
Index pivotals finance and banking stocks held firm.
 
At 1.35 p.m., the Nifty50 traded at 10,727.40, higher by 55.15 points or 0.52 per cent from the previous close of 10,672.25.
 
The S&P BSE Sensex, which had opened at 35,590.79, traded at 35,725.60, higher by 211.89 points or 0.60 per cent from its previous close of 35,513.71.180.04
 
So far, it has touched an intra-day high of 35,744.20 and a low of 35,382.08.
 
Earlier, Chinese factory data along with that of India's suggested a global growth slowdown, which was further magnified after a weak US factory data outcome.
 
The latest addition to the worries was tech major Apple's announcement of cutting its financial forecast, partly blaming US trade tensions with China along with a slowdown in the Chinese economy.
 
Apple is one of the world's largest companies by market value and it was the first time years that it sharply cut its growth forecast.
 
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Sensex, Nifty open in green

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Sensex on Friday opened higher in a sharp contrast to the global markets which suffered heavy losses as slowdown concerns magnified after a weak US factory data outcome.
 
Earlier Chinese factory data along with that of India's suggested a global growth slowdown.
 
The latest addition to the worries was tech major Apple's announcement of cutting its financial forecast, partly blaming US trade tensions with China along with a slowdown in the Chinese economy.
 
Apple is one of the world's largest companies by market value and it was the first time in years that it sharply cut it's growth forecast.
 
Despite the underlining negativity, all the sectors on the BSE inched up, led by auto telecom stocks. However, the banking stocks traded on a flat note, up just 0.06 per cent.
 
The S&P BSE Sensex opened at 35,590.79 from its previous close of 35,513.71 on Thursday.
 
At 9.23 a.m., the Sensex traded 184.01 points or 0.52 per cent higher at 35,697.72.
 
The NSE Nifty50 opened at 10,699.70 after closing at 10,672.25 on Thursday.
 
The Nifty50 traded at 10,725.15 during the morning trade session, up 52.90 points and 0.50 per cent.
 
IANS

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Circular Design Challenge: 8 fashion entrepreneurs shortlisted for Sustainability Award

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The ‘Circular Design Challenge’ -- a collaboration of Reliance Industries Ltd.’s (RIL) R | Elan ‘Fashion for Earth’ initiative, Lakmé Fashion Week (LFW) and the United Nations (UN) in India -- has announced a shortlist of eight designers. 
 
"These designers were chosen based on innovative collections made by them using materials from diverse sources of waste including plastics. The aim of this initiative is to bring to the forefront environmental champions of tomorrow in the Indian fashion and textiles industry," a press release from RIL said.
 
Circular fashion is a concept aimed at reducing the waste that goes into landfills today and increase the lifespan, reusability and recyclability of the products created. 
 
The finalists -- Pozruh by Aiman Sabri, Bareek by Aman Singh, IRO IRO by Bhaavya Goenka, I Was A Sari by Poornima Pande & Stefano Funari, Lifaffa by Kanika Ahuja, Saltpetre by Pooja Monga, Miesu by Seerat Virdi and Doodlage by Kriti Tula -- were chosen after a rigorous selection process by an eminent jury. 
 
The challenge saw over 900 registrations from over 30 cities across the country, the release said.
 
The designers were required to incorporate circular components across the textile value chain in their design through the application of circular-design principles and demonstrate a positive impact on the environment and on society. They were evaluated and scored on usage of waste in their collection, fashion & aesthetic quotient, business viability and scalability, value chain and collaborations.
 
These chosen applicants will be mentored across personality, pitch and presentation development. There will be a final round where an esteemed panel will choose the winner on January 31, which will be celebrated as Sustainable Fashion Day at LFW Summer Resort 2019.
 
The winner will be felicitated with a cash prize of Rs 20 lakh, to build their sustainable fashion brand, and will also avail an exclusive opportunity to showcase at the next season which is LFW Winter/Festive 2019.
 
Mr. Vipul Shah, COO – Petrochemicals, Reliance Industries Ltd. said, “As an industry leader in petrochemicals, RIL has embraced circularity and sustainability in our core values and operations, aiming to make the world a better place for the generations to come.”
 
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“We are confident that the Circular Design Challenge will provide enormous opportunities for budding concept creators, fashion designers and the entire textile value chain to exhibit their innovative ideas, designs with a focus on circularity and sustainability. The initiative will help the entire Indian textile value chain to become a global leader in ingraining circularity in their business strategy and operations,” Mr Shah added. 
 
Yuri Afanasiev, UN Resident Coordinator in India, said: “The Circular Design Challenge is an opportunity for innovative young designers to combine sustainable design practices with new circular business models, rethinking how we design our products for their next use -- not for ‘end of life,’ but rather ‘end of use’.
 
Atul Bagai, UN Environment, Country Head, India said, “Total greenhouse gas emissions from textiles production, at 1.2 billion tonnes annually, are more than those of all international flights and maritime shipping combined. Creative approaches such as The Circular Design Challenge are a perfect opportunity to promote sustainable textile production and consumption and accelerate sustainable development in general.
 
Jaspreet Chandok, Vice President and Head of Fashion at IMG Reliance said, “We are committed to bringing new design talent and innovators to the fore season-on-season. Our partnership with the UN in India and R | Elan’s Fashion for Earth initiative for the Circular Design Challenge is a step towards identifying and supporting champions in the field of sustainability.”
 
Lakmé Fashion Week is jointly organized by cosmetics and beauty services major Lakmé and IMG Reliance Pvt. Ltd., leaders in sports, fashion and entertainment marketing and management. Lakmé Fashion Week is organized twice every year. 
 
IMG Reliance Pvt Ltd. is an equal joint venture between RIL, India's largest private sector company, and IMG Worldwide (IMG), global leaders in sports, events, media and fashion.  
 
R|Elan is a fast-growing brand of innovative fabrics that are borne out of a future-ready balance of performance, aesthetics, and sustainability and committed to the cause of creating a circular economy in the textile and fashion industry. It is one of the world’s largest recycler of PET bottles, converting them into superior, wearable fabric using practices that help reduce waste and pollution. 
 
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Sensex declines over fund outflows, fears of global slowdown

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Fears over a slowdown in global economic growth, coupled with sustained selling by foreign funds and a weak rupee, pulled the benchmark Sensex down by 378 points on Thursday.
 
Analyts said that fears of a global slowdown strengthened after Apple, one of the world's largest companies by market value, sharply cut its financial forecasts partly blaming US trade tensions with the China along with a slowdown in the Chinese economy. 
 
Additionally, weak factory output data from China and India released on Wednesday continued to dent investors sentiments. 
 
"European and Asian markets traded under pressure while trading in the US index futures indicated that the Dow Jones Industrial Average could slide 306 points at the opening bell today, 3 January 2019," said Abhijeet Dey, Senior Fund Manager-Equities, BNP Paribas Mutual Fund.
 
Consequently, the S&P BSE Sensex settled 377.81 points or 1.05 per cent lower at 35,513.71 points after touching an intra-day high of 35,999.66 and a low of 35,475.57. 
 
The NSE Nifty50 closed at 120.25 points or 1.11 per cent down at 10,672.25 points. 
 
"The market continued to trade on a negative bias on account of added worries over a slowing world economy and rising domestic fiscal deficit," Geojit Financial Services Head of Research Vinod Nair said.
 
"A volatile equity market extended loss in Asia and in oil prices. Going ahead, the investors are likely to shift their focus to the corporate earnings beginning next week."
 
Further, the US dollar rose as weak economic data from some major economies caused concerns over global growth, sparking demands for safe havens.
 
The Indian currency weakened by 2 paise on Thursday to end at 70.19 per dollar, against the previous close of 70.17 per dollar. The currency was one of the worst performers in Asia during 2018, losing over 9 per cent.
 
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Counters like energy, oil and gas and capital goods came under heavy selling pressure while realty stocks -- considered defensive investment as they are known to produce stable yields despite uncertainity -- reversed early gains.
 
Lately, realty stocks have outperformed the benchmark indices for the past few sessions on the expectation that the GST Council at its January 10 meeting will bring down the tax rate on under-construction housing to 5 from 12 per cent. 
 
Other indices like FMCG and telecom were the only gainers on the BSE. 
 
"Technically, with the Nifty correcting sharply after the recent rise, the near term view on the index remains weak," said Deepak Jasani, Head - HDFC Securities Retail Research.
 
"Near term supports to watch are at 10,634-10,594. Upside resistances are at 10,738."
 
According to the provisional figures from the stock exchanges, FIIs sold shares worth Rs 972.81 crore, while DIIs bought Rs 34.52 crore stocks.
 
Stocks-wise, only five among the 30 scrips on Sensex inched up led by Bajaj Auto with a 0.41 per cent gain, followed by Asian Paints, HCL Technology, Hindustan Uniliver and Bharti Airtel.
 
In sharp contrast, Mahindra and Mahindra lost 3.04 per cent, followed by ONGC, Vedanta Tata Steel and Larsen and Tubro declining in the range of 2 to 3 per cent.
 
IANS

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Sensex ends 378 points down over weak rupee, global cues

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Weak factory data from China and India fuelling concerns of a slowdown in global growth and a sustained weakness in the Indian currency pulled the benchmark Sensex down by 378 points on Thursday.
 
Energy, oil and gas and metal stocks came under heavy selling pressure while realty also succumbed to the negative trend, reversing early gains.
 
Realty stocks have outperformed the benchmark indices for the past few sessions on the expectation that the GST Council at its January 10 meeting will bring down the tax rate on under-construction housing to 5 per cent from 12 per cent. 
 
FMCG and telecom stocks were the only stocks on BSE which managed to end with gains. 
 
The S&P BSE Sensex settled 377.81 points or 1.05 per cent lower at 35,513.71 after touching an intra-day high of 35,999.66 and a low of 35,475.57. 
 
The NSE Nifty50 closed at 120.25 points or 1.11 per cent down at 10,672.25. 
 
The Indian rupee weakened by 7 paise on Thursday to trade at 70.24 per dollar, against the previous close of 70.17 per dollar.
 
The benchmark Brent crude traded at $54.75 per barrel around the closing bell.
 
IANS
 

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Sensex down 317 points over weak global cues

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Amid weak factory data from China and India earlier in the week fueling concerns of a slowdown in global growth and a sustained weakness in the domestic currency pulled the benchmark Sensex down 170 points during the afternoon session on Thursday.
 
Energy, oil and gas and capital goods came under heavy selling pressure while realty traded in the green on the expectation that the GST Council at its January 10 meeting will bring down the tax rate on under-construction housing to 5 per cent from 12 per cent 
 
FMCG also stocks managed to advance. 
 
At 1.55 p.m., the Nifty50 traded at 10,685.40, lower by 107.10 points or 0.99 per cent from the previous close of 10,792.50.
 
The S&P BSE Sensex, which had opened at 35,934.50, traded at 35,574.43, lower by 317.09 points or 0.88 per cent from the previous close of 35,891.52.
 
So far, it has touched an intra-day high of 35,999.66 and a low of 35,546.33.
 
The Indian currency weakened by 12 paise on Thursday to trade at 70.29 per dollar, against the previous close of 70.17 per dollar.
 
IANS
 

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RBI constitutes Expert Committee on Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises

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The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has constituted an Expert Committee, chaired by former Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI Chairman U K Sinha, on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
 
The move is in pursuance of an announcement made by the central bank in its Fifth Bi-Monthly Monetary Policy Statement for 2018-19 on December 5, 2018.
 
"Considering the importance of the MSMEs in the Indian economy, it is essential to understand the structural bottlenecks and factors affecting the performance of the MSMEs. It has, therefore, been considered necessary that a comprehensive review is undertaken to identify causes and propose long term solutions, for the economic and financial sustainability of the MSME sector," a press release from the RBI said.
 
The other membersof the committee are: Ram Mohan Mishra, Additional Secretary, Development Commissioner, MSME; Pankaj Jain, Joint Secretary, Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance; P. K. Gupta,  Managing Director, State Bank of India; Anup Bagchi,  Executive Director, ICICI Bank;  Abhiman Das, Professor, IIM Ahmedabad; Sharad Sharma, co-founder, iSPIRT Foundation; and Bindu Ananth, Chair, Dvara Trust Member.
 
The terms of reference of the committee are:
 
--To review the current institutional framework in place to support the MSME sector;
--To study the impact of the recent economic reforms on the sector and identify the structural problems affecting its growth;
--To examine the factors affecting the timely and adequate availability of finance to the sector;
--To study the global best practices with respect to MSMEs and recommend its adoption in India, wherever appropriate;
--To review the existing MSME focused policies and its impact on the sector;
--To propose measures for leveraging technology in accelerating growth of the sector;
--To suggest long-term solutions for the economic and financial sustainability of the MSME sector;
 
The Expert Committee will submit its report by the end of June, 2019, the release added.
 
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