Today's Business News | Sensex surges 1,016 pts; RBI keeps rates unchanged, and more

Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), in Mumbai. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

4:39 P.M.

Gold rises by ₹177, silver crashes ₹1,112

Gold prices rose ₹177 to ₹47,267 per 10 grams in the national capital on Wednesday in line with gains in the metal in global markets and a fall in the rupee, according to HDFC Securities.

In the previous trade, the metal had settled at ₹47,090 per 10 grams.

Silver prices dropped ₹1,112 to ₹60,533 per kg from ₹61,645 per kg in the previous trade.

In the international market, gold was trading higher at $1,789 per ounce and silver dipped marginally to $22.45 per ounce.

4:24 P.M.

Rupee recovered from lows to end nearly flat against US dollar

The rupee recovered from intra-day lows to close with a marginal 2 paise loss at 75.46 against the US dollar on Wednesday after the Reserve Bank left the key policy rate unchanged and retained its accommodative policy stance to support economic growth.

The local unit closed at 75.44 in its previous trading session.

4:17 P.M.

Sensex surges 1,016 pts

Sensex skyrocketed 1,016 points on Wednesday, boosted by RBI's accommodative stance and easing concerns over the Omicron variant.

The 30-share BSE Sensex climbed 1.76% to close at 58,649.68. NSE Nifty rallied 293.05 points or 1.71% to 17,469.75.

Bajaj Finance was the top gainer in the Sensex pack,followed by Maruti, SBI, Bajaj Finserv, Sun Pharma and Asian Paints. On the other hand, Kotak Bank and PowerGrid were the laggards.

4:05 P.M.

Cyber security, frauds main concerns with digital currency: RBI

As the RBI moves ahead for the launch of the central bank digital currency (CBDC), Governor Shaktikanta Das on Wednesday highlighted that cyber security and digital frauds are the main challenges in the new system.

The RBI had earlier this year announced that it has started work on the CBDC, in line with other major central banks of the world which are looking at a fiat digital currency. The RBI is looking to start with pilot exercises on the same front by early next year.

4:01 P.M.

Byju's acquires Austria's GeoGebra

Continuing its aggressive acquisition spree, Byju's on Wednesday said it has acquired Austria-headquartered GeoGebra.

The acquisition will help the edtech company integrate GeoGebra’s capabilities to enable the creation of new product offerings and learning formats to its existing mathematics portfolio, Byju's said.

3:53 P.M.

Retail inflation expected to ease to 5% next fiscal: RBI

Retail inflation is likely to ease to around 5% next fiscal on the back of government measures to ease supplies, reduction in fuel prices as well as prospects of good crops, the Reserve Bank of India said on Wednesday.

Retail inflation is expected to be around 5.3%, for the current fiscal year ending on March 31, 2022, the RBI said.

2:32 P.M.

Tesla sold 52,859 China-made vehicles in November

U.S. electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc sold 52,859 China-made vehicles in November, the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA) said on Wednesday.

Tesla, which is making Model 3 sedans and Model Y sport-utility vehicles in Shanghai, sold 54,391 China-made vehicles in October.

Passenger car sales in China in November this year totalled 1.85 million, down 12.5% from a year earlier, CPCA estimated.

2:24 P.M.

Low interest rate regime on home loans to continue, say realtors on RBI policy

The Reserve Bank's decision to keep key policy rates unchanged will lead to continuation of low interest rates on home loans and support ongoing recovery of housing demand, according to property developers and consultants.

Niranjan Hiranandani, Vice Chairman of NAREDCO, and MD Hiranandani Group, said the real estate sector will benefit from the low home loan interest rates which continue as a result of RBI 's decision.

Amit Goyal, CEO, India Sotheby's International Realty, said the home loan interest rate will remain at the current level of below 7% per annum.

1:58 P.M.

RBI to soon discuss reasonableness of charges on digital transactions

the Reserve Bank of India will soon come out with a discussion paper on the reasonableness of charges on digital transactions aiming to make the transaction mode more affordable.

Observing that concerted efforts by all stakeholders have led to a significant increase in digital payments in recent years, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das raised his concerns on the reasonableness of various charges incurred by customers for digital payments through credit cards, debit cards, prepaid payment instruments (cards and wallets), Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and the like.

Entities providing digital payment services incur costs, which are recovered from the merchant or customer or is borne by one or more of the particants. However, they should be reasonable and should not become a deterrent in the adoption of digital payments, Das said.

1:48 P.M.

USO fund can be used to subsidise smartphones: Ambani

Billionaire Mukesh Ambani on Wednesday urged to use the USO Fund to subsidise smartphones for select groups to help penetrate the digital revolution.

As much as 5% of the licence fee paid by telecom operators goes to the Universal Service Obligation (USO) Fund, which was set up in April 2002 for achieving universal service objectives by providing access to telephone services in rural and remote areas and creation of infrastructure for mobile services and broadband in these areas.

1:43 P.M.

Fitch cuts India GDP forecast to 8.4% for FY22

Fitch Ratings on Wednesday cut India's economic growth forecast to 8.4% for the current fiscal year ending March 31, 2022, saying the rebound after the second wave of COVID infections has been subdued than expected.

Fitch had previously forecast a GDP growth of 8.7% in 2021-22. However, it raised the growth projection for the next financial year (FY23) to 10.3% from the previous forecast of 10%.

1:38 P.M.

Meta to skill 1 crore small businesses, 2,50,000 creators in India

Meta (formerly Facebook) on Wednesday said it aims to skill 1 crore small businesses and 2,50,000 creators over the next three years in the country through its Centre for Fuelling India's New Economy (CFINE) in Delhi-NCR.

The new Centre will be dedicated to training and skilling India’s small business owners, creators, entrepreneurs and local communities to enable them leverage the digital transformation underway in the country.

CFINE is housed in one of Meta's largest offices in Asia that has been set up in the city. The new office will house various teams from Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp and will be the company's first standalone facility in Asia.

12:30 P.M.

RBI to allow banks to infuse capital in overseas branches without prior permission

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said banks will be allowed to infuse capital in their overseas branches as well as repatriate profits without seeking its prior approval.

"With a view to providing operational flexibility to banks, it has been decided that banks need not seek prior approval of the RBI if they meet the regulatory capital requirements," RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said while announcing the bi-monthly monetary policy.

At present, banks incorporated in India can infuse capital in their overseas branches and subsidiaries, retain profits in these centres and repatriate/ transfer the profits with prior approval of the RBI.

12:05 P.M.

Investor wealth jumps over ₹3 lakh cr in morning trade

Investors' wealth surged by more than ₹3 lakh crore in morning trade due to bullish market sentiments and the Reserve Bank deciding to leave key interest rate unchanged for the ninth consecutive time.

The market capitalisation of BSE-listed companies climbed to little over ₹2.63 lakh crore, taking the notional wealth of investors rising by over ₹3 lakh crore compared to the closing level on Tuesday.

With reports that the new COVID variant Omicron is unlikely to be more severe than the Delta variant, the 30-share Sensex rose more than 767 points to 58,401.12 points at around 11 am while the broader Nifty index gained more than 220 points to 17,401.20 points.

11:45 A.M.

Mukesh Ambani says 5G rollout should be national priority

The chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries Ltd Mukesh Ambani pitched for India making the rollout of 5G or the fifth-generation technology standard for broadband cellular networks as a national priority to support the digital revolution.

Speaking at the India Mobile Congress, he said India must complete the migration from 2G to 4G and 5G at the earliest.

11:20 A.M.

Automobile retail sales fall in November

Automobile retail sales in the country fell almost 3% in November as chip shortage and heavy rains in South India impacted sales across various segments.

According to automobile dealers' body FADA, the total registrations last month stood at 18,17,600 units, down 2.7% from 18,68,068 units in November 2020.

Passenger vehicle sales last month stood at 2,40,234 units, a 19.44% drop from 2,98,213 units in the same period last year. Similarly, two-wheeler sales last month dropped to 14,33,855 units as compared to 14,44,762 units in the year-ago period.

10:50 A.M.

Rupee slips 5 paise against US dollar

The rupee fell 5 paise to 75.49 against the US dollar in opening trade as persistent foreign fund outflows kept the pressure on the local unit.

At the interbank foreign exchange, the rupee opened strong at 75.38 but slipped 5 paise to 75.49 against the American dollar in early deals.

The dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies fell 0.22% to 96.16.

10:15 A.M.

RBI keeps Repo rate unchanged at 4%

The Reserve Bank of India kept the repo rate unchanged at 4% for the ninth consecutive time. Besides, the central bank is keeping the reverse repo rate and Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) unchanged as well. 

The reverse repo rate is at 3.35% while the MSF rate is 4.25%. RBI will also maintain its accommodative stance.

The Reserve Bank of India retained the GDP projection for FY22 at 9.5% while Consumer Price Index (CPI) is projected at 5.3% for the financial year.

9:30 A.M.

Markets update | Sensex surges over 600 points ahead of RBI policy decision

Indian benchmark equity indices opened on a strong note ahead of the RBI policy decision. At 9:25 IST, the Sensex was up 738. 54  points or 1.28% to 58,372.19 and the Nifty rose 203.50 points or 1.18% to 17,380.20. 

Asian shares extended gains after positive news in early reports about the potential impact of the Omicron variant.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.3% and Japan's Nikkei gained 1%. U.S. S&P 500 futures also edged up 0.25%.

British drugmaker GSK said its antibody-based COVID-19 therapy with U.S. partner Vir Biotechnology is effective against all mutations of the new Omicron coronavirus variant.

Besides, a South African study suggested that booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine could help to fend off infection from Omicron, even though the new strain can partially evade the protection from two vaccine doses.

9:15 A.M.

Oil falls as investors try to assess Omicron's full impact

Oil prices fell as investors tried to assess the full impact of the Omicron coronavirus variant on global fuel demand and the effectiveness of existing vaccines. 

Brent crude futures dropped 0.3%, to $75.19 a barrel and U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude also fell 0.3% to $71.86 a barrel. 

Oil prices rebounded earlier this week on rising optimism that the new Omicron variant will not hurt global fuel damage.

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Shriram Properties IPO opens for subscription today while RateGain Travel Technologies IPO subscription continues. RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das will brief the media after the release of the monetary policy statement.

 

----  Edited by John Xavier

 

(With inputs from Reuters, PTI and other news agencies.)

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2022 7:55:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/business-news-live-oil-falls-as-investors-try-to-assess-omicrons-full-impact/article37892216.ece

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