Top business news of the day: Nokia lifts full-year outlook, ArcelorMittal sees highest quarterly earnings in 13 years, and more

A view of the BSE building in Mumbai. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

4:15 P.M.

Sensex jumps 209 pts; Nifty ends above 15,750

Equity benchmark Sensex rose 209 points on Thursday following gains in Tata Steel, SBI and Reliance Industries amid a positive trend in global markets.

The 30-share BSE index climbed 209.36 points or 0.40% to close at 52,653.07, while the broader NSE Nifty advanced 69.05 points or 0.44% to 15,778.45.

Tata Steel was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, rallying nearly 7%, followed by Bajaj Finserv, SBI, HCL Tech, Sun Pharma, Bajaj Finance and Reliance Industries, PTI reported.

Separately, the rupee gained 9 paise and settled for the day at 74.29 (provisional) against the U.S. dollar on Thursday, supported by a firm trend in domestic equities and weak American currency.

3:48 P.M.

China's Didi considers going private to pacify Chinese regulators: WSJ

China’s Didi Global has been considering going private to placate Chinese regulators and compensate investor losses since the company got listed on the New York Stock Exchange in June, according to The Wall Street Journal.

This includes talks with bankers, regulators and key investors to figure how to resolve the problems following its stock exchange listing.

The company has been in discussions about delisting itself as China continues its crackdown, and is said to have received support from cybersecurity authorities, WSJ added citing people familiar with the matter.

3:37 P.M.

SC reserves verdict on Amazon's pleas against FRL-Reliance deal

The Supreme Court on Thursday reserved verdict on e-commerce giant Amazon's pleas against the merger of Future Retail Ltd (FRL) with Reliance Retail and would rule whether Singapore's Emergency Arbitrator (EA) award, restraining the Rs 24,731 crore deal, was valid under Indian law and can be enforced.

Amazon.com NV Investment Holdings LLC and FRL are embroiled in a bitter legal fight over the deal and the US-based firm has sought in the apex court that the EA award was valid and enforceable, PTI reported.

3:33 P.M.

Tata Sons to acquire 43.3% stake in Tejas Network for ₹1,850 crore

Tata Sons subsidiary, Panatone Finvest Limited has signed a definitive agreement to pick 43.3% stake in Bengaluru-based telecom equipment firm, Tejas Networks, for ₹1,850 crore.

Tejas Networks designs develops and sells networking products to telecommunications service providers, internet service providers, utilities, defence and government entities.

The agreement between Panatone and Tejas Networks included a preferential allotment of 1.94 crore equity shares at a price per equity share of ₹258 per share aggregating to ₹500 crore. It also included a preferential allotment of 3.68 crore warrants, each carrying a right to subscribe to 1 equity share at an exercise price of ₹258 per equity share aggregating to ₹950 crore.

1:31 P.M.

Panasonic’s Q1 profit rises 27 times on high demand for appliances, batteries

Japanese appliance maker Panasonic’s net profit surged more than 27 times in the June-ended quarter, driven by high demand for appliances and automobile batteries.

The company’s net profit rose to 104.4 billion yen from 3.8 billion yen in the same period last year.

The company benefited from the increasing demand for home appliances like air conditioners and TVs as people stayed home during the pandemic, Reuters reported.

3:21 P.M.

Nokia raises full-year outlook as business turns around

Nokia on Thursday lifted its full-year outlook after reporting strong second-quarter earnings and benefiting from a sharp turnaround in business.

The company said it now expects full-year net sales of 21.7 billion euros to 22.7 billion euros, up from its previous estimate of 20.6 billion euros to 21.8 billion euros.

The Finland-based company also expects full-year operating profit margin of 10-12%, instead of the 7-10% expected previously, Reuters reported.

2:29 P.M.

Rupee rises to three-week high on Fed's dovish stance

The Indian rupee rose to its highest level in more than three weeks against the U.S. dollar on Thursday, driven by the U.S. Federal Reserve’s dovish stance on the economy and gains in domestic equities.

The partially convertible rupee was trading at 74.25/26 per dollar earlier today, compared with its close of 74.38.

The dollar slipped to multi-week lows in Asian trading on Thursday after new reassurance that the U.S. interest rate hikes are distant and as riskier currencies drew support from China’s efforts to soothe stock market jitters, Reuters had reported.

1:57 P.M.

India's gold demand rises nearly 20% in June-ended quarter

India's gold demand increased by 19.2% to 76.1 tonne during the April-June quarter this year, largely due to low base effect, owing to the nationwide lockdown that hit economic activity last year, the World Gold Council (WGC) said in a report.

In value terms, India's gold demand witnessed 23% growth during April-June quarter at Rs 32,810 crore, compared to Rs 26,600 crore during the corresponding period of 2020.

However, demand plunged 46% quarter-on quarter as the second wave of COVID-19 hit the nation, PTI reported.

1:54 P.M.

ArcelorMittal sees highest quarterly earnings in 13 years

Steel firm ArcelorMittal on Thursday reported its highest quarterly earnings in 13 years, beating analysts' expectations, over strong demand for steel over the June-ended quarter, Reuters had reported.

The company's second-quarter EBITDA was $5.1 billion, almost seven times higher than $700 million a year earlier and above analysts' average forecast in a company poll of $4.7 billion.

The world's largest steelmaker also announced it will invest $10 billion towards reducing its carbon footprint by nearly 25% by the end of the decade.

The world’s largest steelmaker had earlier set itself a target of making its operations carbon neutral by 2050, and also planned to launch its first carbon-neutral facility in Spain by 2025.

1:41 P.M.

Volkswagen lowers car deliveries outlook over chip worries

German automaker Volkswagen on Thursday lowered its car deliveries forecast for this year as the semiconductor shortage worsens.

The carmaker posted a strong profit in the first six months of 2021, and also raised its profit margin target for the second time in less than three months.

Volkswagen also noted that it expects battery-powered cars to make up for half its sales by 2030 and “almost 100%” by 2040.

1:30 P.M.

Hyundai Motor, LG Energy to invest $1 billion in EV partnership

South Korean firms Hyundai Motor Group and LG Energy Solution said on Thursday that they would build an electric vehicles (EV) battery cell plant in Indonesia, investing $1.1 billion with each owning a 50% stake in the joint venture (JV).

The battery cell JV will help Hyundai and its sister company Kia to secure a stable supply of battery cells at a competitive price for their EVs.

The plant’s construction is scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2021 and will be completed by the first half of 2023. The facility is expected to produce a total of 10 GWh worth of NCMA lithium-ion battery cells every year, enough for over 1.5 lakh EVs.

1:08 P.M.

Pfizer raises 2021 forecast for COVID-19 vaccine sales

Drug maker Pfizer Inc on Wednesday raised its forecast for COVID-19 vaccine sales by 28.8% to $33.5 billion, based on signed deals for 2.1 billion doses this year. It developed the vaccine with Germany’s BioNTech.

The company’s previous forecast in May was $26 billion and was based on deals signed for 1.6 billion doses, Reuters had reported.

The two-shot vaccine accounted for more than 40% of the company’s sales in the quarter ended June, which helped boost revenue.

12:36 P.M.

SoftBank sells 45 million shares in Uber

SoftBank is selling about one-third of its stake or about 45 million shares in Uber, a Reuters report noted, citing an unnamed source. The shares will have a 30-day lockup period.

The report further added that the Japanese conglomerate just thought it was a good time to cash out partially on its Uber stake and take some profit, and its motive was unrelated to the performance of Didi Global and Alibaba, which was first reported by CNBC.

Uber shares were down nearly 4.6% at $44 in extended trading. SoftBank’s shares in Japan rose 4.08% to 7,020 yen.

11:45 A.M.

Samsung Q2 profit rises on strong memory chip demand

Samsung Electronics on Thursday reported its strongest quarterly result in over two years, with its revenue and profit rising, driven by strong demand for memory chips and high chip prices.

The company’s operating profit rose 34% to 12.57 trillion won, in the June ending quarter of 2021, compared to the previous year. Samsung posted consolidated revenue of 63.67 trillion won, up 20% year-over-year and a record for the second quarter.

“For the second half, market conditions are expected to be favourable for the component business,” Samsung said in a statement. “Memory demand will likely be buoyed by new smartphone model launches, with wider 5G availability driving growth.”

“However, risks of continued disruptions in component supply and uncertainties related to COVID-19 are likely to persist,” it further added.

11:10 A.M.

Rupee opens slightly higher, gains in early trade

Indian Rupee opened at 74.32 against U.S. dollar on Thursday, slightly higher than its Wednesday closing of 74.38.

In Thursday’s early trade, the rupee gained 13 paise over its previous close, touching 74.25 against the dollar.

The rupee’s gain was supported by a firm trend in domestic equities and weak American currency, a PTI report noted.

10:42 A.M.

Oil prices rise as inventory decreases

Oil prices rose on Thursday as crude stockpiles in the U.S. decreased to their lowest since January 2020.

Brent crude oil futures increased 0.5%, to $75.10 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures rose 0.5%, to $72.72 a barrel.

Brent topped $75 a barrel for the first time in over two years in June, but receded sharply earlier in the month on fears about the rapid spread of the Delta variant and a compromise deal by leading OPEC producers to increase supply, a Reuters report noted.

10:26 A.M.

Tyagi laments lack of disclosures by listed firms

Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Chairman Ajay Tyagi stressed that companies must ensure disclosure of material events as per regulations ‘not just in letter but also in spirit.’

“Listed companies must have two sets of disclosures: firstly, periodic disclosures where formats have been prescribed and secondly, disclosures of material events, where certain events have been deemed as material and must be disclosed and the others to be disclosed if considered by the company and its board to be material,” he said, speaking at a FICCI event.

10:15 A.M.

Earnings announcements expected today

Several companies are expected to release their earnings report on Thursday, for the June ending quarter, including Ajanta Pharma, Colgate-Palmolive (India), Future Retail, GHCL, Indus Towers, JK Lakshmi Cement, Jindal Stainless (Hisar), Jyothy Labs, Laurus Labs, LIC Housing Finance, Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India, Motilal Oswal Financial Services, Oberoi Realty, Punjab & Sind Bank, PVR, Raymond, Shoppers Stop, Shriram City Union Finance, Tech Mahindra, TVS Motor Company, Union Bank of India, and Welspun Corp.

On Thursday, firms such as Central Bank, Maruti Suzuki, and Nestle India announced their first quarter earnings.

9:50 A.M.

Robinhood raises $2.1 billion in IPO

Robinhood Markets Inc, raised $2.1 billion in its initial public offering (IPO) on Wednesday, valuing the company at $31.8 billion.

The firm said it sold 55 million shares in the IPO at a price of $38.00 per share, the low end of its $38 to $42 price range, making Robinhood one of the most valuable U.S. firms to have gone public year-to-date.

The shares are expected to begin trading on the Nasdaq on Thursday, under the ticker symbol “HOOD”.

9:20 A.M.

Benchmark Indian indices open higher

Indian indices opened higher on Thursday. BSE Sensex opened at 52,693.53, up 249.82 points, while Nifty opened at 15,762.70, up 53.30 points.

9:14 A.M.

Major Asian stock indices open in green

Major Asian stock indices opened in green on Thursday, after the U.S. Federal Reserve kept its benchmark interest rate near zero. Japan’s Nikkei opened at 27,722.61, up 140.95 points, and Topix at 1,928.19, up 8.54 points, while South Korea’s Kospi opened at 3,248.49, up 11.63 points.  

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng, opened at 26,221.36, up 747.48 points after closing at 25,473.88 on Tuesday. The stock index continued on the recovery path after it plunged over 8% early this week as Chinese technology and education shares had dived amid regulatory fears.

Investors in the Hong Kong market would keep an eye on cues of a further recover.

On Wednesday, the 30-share BSE index ended 135.05 points or 0.26% lower at 52,443.71, while the broader NSE Nifty slipped 37.05 points or 0.24% to 15,709.40.

9:10 A.M.

Dow and S&P 500 dip, while Nasdaq rises  

Two of the three major U.S. indices closed in red on Wednesday, while the Nasdaq rose, as the U.S. Federal Reserve said the country’s economic recovery remains on track and kept its benchmark interest rate near zero.

The S&P 500 closed at 4,400.64, down 0.82 points or 0.02%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 127.59 points or 0.36% to close at 34,930.93, and the Nasdaq Composite closed at 14,762.58, up 102.01 or 0.70%.

Also, Apple’s shares declined after it forecast slowing revenue growth, while Google parent Alphabet’s shares touched an all-time high after it posted record quarterly results.

9:00 A.M

U.S. Fed says economic recovery remains on track despite COVID-19 surge

The U.S. Federal Reserve said on Wednesday that the country’s economic recovery is still on track in spite of a surge in COVID-19 infections.

The central bank said it’s keeping benchmark interest rates in a target range between 0 and 0.25%. The Fed is also continuing to increase its holdings of Treasury bonds by at least $80 billion per month and of agency mortgage‑backed bonds by at least $40 billion per month until substantial further progress has been made toward its maximum employment and price stability goals, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, said in a news conference.

The Fed also said that the path of the economy continues to depend on the course of the coronavirus. “Progress on vaccinations will likely continue to reduce the effects of the public health crisis on the economy, but risks to the economic outlook remain.”

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Printable version | Sep 17, 2021 5:06:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/business-news-live-us-fed-says-economic-recovery-remains-on-track-despite-covid-19-surge/article35598933.ece

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