Today's top business news: Stocks up, retail inflation eases marginally in September, China GDP growth accelerates to 4.9%, and more

A view of the Bombay Stock Exchange building in Mumbai. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

The Nifty and the Sensex have opened the day on a  positive note by quickly recovering opening losses.

While the rest of the world tries to beat a severe economic depression, China has surprised analysts by reporting strong third-quarter results.

Join us as we follow the top business news through the day.

4:30 PM

Outstanding junk debt top 2007 levels

 

4:00 PM

Sensex ends 113 points higher; HCL Tech spurts 4%

Stocks couldn't hold on to their morning gains although they ended the day positive.

PTI reports: "Domestic equity benchmark Sensex ended 113 points higher on Tuesday, tracking gains in HDFC Bank, HCL Tech and Infosys amid a rebound in the global markets.

The 30-share BSE index settled 112.77 points or 0.28 per cent higher at 40,544.37. The broader NSE Nifty rose 23.75 points or 0.20 per cent to 11,896.80.

HCL Tech was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, rallying over 4 per cent, followed by Tech Mahindra, Asian Paints, Bharti Airtel, HDFC Bank, L&T, TCS, M&M, Nestle India and Infosys.

On the other hand, ONGC, PowerGrid, NTPC, Reliance Industries, ICICI Bank, Tata Steel, HDFC and SBI were among the laggards.

According to traders, the domestic stock market was broadly driven by buying sentiment in index-heavyweights HDFC Bank, HCL Tech, Infosys and TCS.

Further, positive cues from global markets too buoyed investor mood here, they said.

Bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Seoul ended on a positive note, while Tokyo settled in the red.

Stock exchanges in Europe were largely trading with gains in early deals.

Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.33 per cent lower at USD 42.48 per barrel.

In the forex market, the rupee depreciated by 12 paise to close at 73.49 against the US dollar."

3:30 PM

Retail inflation eases marginally for farm, rural workers in September

Some downward push to inflation as the RBI stabilizes rates.

PTI reports: "The retail inflation for farm workers and rural labourers eased only marginally to 6.25 per cent and 6.1 per cent, respectively in September as food prices remained high. The retail inflation for farm workers and rural labourers is measured in terms of Consumer Price Index-Agricultural Labourers (CPI-AL) and Consumer Price Index-Rural Labourers (CPI-RL).

Point-to-point rate of inflation based on CPI-AL and CPI-RL decreased to 6.25 per cent and 6.10 per cent in September from 6.32 per cent and 6.28 per cent, respectively in August, a labour ministry statement said.

The rise in index varied from state to state. In case of agricultural labourers, it recorded an increase of 1-23 points in 20 states, it said.

Tamil Nadu with 1,234 points topped the index table whereas Himachal Pradesh with 816 points stood at the bottom.

In case of rural workers, it recorded an increase of 2-20 points in 20 states. Tamil Nadu with 1,218 points topped the index table whereas Himachal Pradesh with 863 points was at the bottom.

The maximum increase in CPI numbers for agricultural labourers was experienced by Himachal Pradesh (+23 points) and in case of rural labourers, it was Jammu & Kashmir (+20 points) mainly due to rise in prices of wheat-atta, pulses, mustard-oil, milk, onion, chillies-dry, garlic, ginger, barber charges, bus fare, vegetables and fruits etc.

The All-India CPI Numbers for Agricultural Labourers and Rural Labourers for September 2020 increased by 11 points and 10 points to stand at 1,037 and 1,043 point, respectively, the statement added.

The major contribution towards the rise in general index of farm workers and rural labourers came from food, with (+) 9.20 points and (+) 8.95 points, respectively mainly due to rise in prices of arhar dal, masur dal, ground nut oil, mustard oil, vegetables and fruits etc.

“The easing of inflation successively for eight months will definitely improve income of millions of workers in rural areas by putting lesser burden on their daily budgetary requirement,” the statement quoted Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar as saying."

3:00 PM

Rupee settles 12 paise lower at 73.49 against US dollar

The rupee has lost ground as stocks pare gains in the afternoon.

PTI reports: "The rupee depreciated by 12 paise and settled for the day at 73.49 (provisional) against the US dollar on Tuesday.

However, capital inflows and strong domestic equities limited the local currency’s fall to some extent.

The Indian currency opened at 73.36 at the interbank forex market and, after witnessing a volatile trading session, closed at 73.49 against the American currency, down 12 paise over its previous closing price of 73.37.

During the session, it touched an intra-day high of 73.29 and a low of 73.53 against the greenback.

Meanwhile, the dollar index, which gauges the greenback’s strength against a basket of six currencies, fell 0.05 per cent to 93.37.

On the domestic equity market front, the BSE benchmark Sensex was trading 183.13 points higher at 40,614.73, and the broader NSE Nifty rose 39.10 points to 11,912.15.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers in the capital market as they purchased shares worth Rs 1,656.78 crore on a net basis on Monday, according to provisional exchange data.

Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, fell 0.42 per cent to USD 42.44 per barrel."

2:30 PM

Verizon signs up Microsoft, Nokia to help clients build private 5G networks

Verizon said on Monday it has struck deals with Microsoft and Nokia to improve the telecoms giant's ability to target business customers by offering clients the ability to automate factory floors, lower costs and speed up data traffic through private 5G networks.

Private 5G networks remove the need for businesses to jostle for speed with others on a public network and help enable data-intensive applications that use computer vision, augmented reality and machine learning to increase productivity.

Azure, Microsoft's cloud computing business, will run on top of Verizon's 5G network to processes the data generated by machines at the local facility and use artificial intelligence to automate operations. Microsoft launched the new service late last month directed at telecom operators.

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1:30 PM

Paytm to issue co-branded credit cards

Digital financial services platform Paytm on Monday said it would be partnering with various card issuers to introduce co-branded credit cards, with an aim to issue two million such cards in the next 12-18 months.

In a statement, the company said it had designed digital experience on its app that would allow users to manage their overall spends and have full control over the card usage. These credit cards will be issued based on the traditional credit score as well as the user’s purchase patterns on Paytm.

“Our aim is to provide credit cards that benefit India’s aspiring youth and evolved professionals,” said Bhavesh Gupta, CEO, Paytm Lending.

“The cards are designed to help them lead a healthier financial life,”he added. through managing and analysing the spends to make well-informed decisions. This can transform the credit market by bringing ‘new-to-credit’ users into the formal economy.”

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1:00 PM

Gold holds tight range on caution over U.S. aid

Could a big move be brewing in gold?

Reuters reports: "Gold traded on Tuesday in a narrow range above $1,900 an ounce as caution spread ahead of a deadline for agreement on a new U.S. coronavirus stimulus package and next month's presidential election. Spot gold fell 0.2% to $1,901.10 per ounce by 0601 GMT. U.S. gold futures were down 0.4% to $1,904.50.

“Sentiment surrounding bullion remains tentative, keeping spot gold around the $1,900-mark, as some...continue to hold out hope that Democrats and the White House can arrive at a deal over the immediate term,” said FXTM market analyst Han Tan.

“Bullion may continue moderating as such hopes wane, when realisation sinks in that a fresh round of U.S. fiscal stimulus is likelier to be a post-election event.” U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin “continued to narrow their differences” about the package, her spokesman Drew Hammill said.

Pelosi hopes that by the end of Tuesday there will be ”clarity” on whether a stimulus bill can be passed before the Nov. 3 election, he wrote on Twitter. Gold is considered a hedge against inflation and currency debasement amid the unprecedented levels of global stimulus to ease the economic blow from the pandemic.

“A lot of investors are on the sidelines and also in particular because the (U.S.) elections are coming up,” said Brian Lan, managing director at GoldSilver Central, adding that a stimulus would make bullion prices test the higher end of the $1,882-$1,932 range. Investors are now waiting for the final debate between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden on Thursday.

The dollar index was flat versus rivals, while Asian stocks slipped as investors adjusted risk exposure heading into the election. Elsewhere, silver fell 0.2% to $24.46 per ounce and platinum dipped 0.4% to $852.72, while palladium rose 0.1% to $2,345.43."

12:30 PM

IRDAI mulls standard Cyber Liability insurance cover

After conceptualising Standard Health and Life insurance covers, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) is keen on evolving a basic Standard Cyber Liability Insurance product.

As a step towards such a product, a Working Group has been constituted by the regulator. The nine-member group, with Consultant-Liability Insurance P. Umesh as chairman, has been tasked to explore possibility of developing standard coverages, exclusions and optional extensions for various categories.

In doing so, the Group has been advised to study various statutory provisions on information and cyber security; evaluate critical issues involving legal aspects of transactions in cyber space; and to examine various types of incidents involving cyber security in recent past and possible insurance coverage strategies for them.

The terms of reference of the working group, which is required to submit its report within two months, include examining the cyber liability insurance covers available in the country and abroad and recommend scope of such covers for the present context and the medium term too.

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12:00 PM

Indian shares rise on slowing virus cases, HDFC Bank boost

An update on the stock indices.

Reuters reports: "Indian shares rose on Tuesday as a slowdown in daily coronavirus cases raised hopes that the government will further ease restrictions, with HDFC Bank supporting the gains after an upbeat forecast from a ratings agency.

The NSE Nifty 50 index rose 0.25% to 1,903.30 by 0501 GMT, while the S&P BSE Sensex was up 0.3% at 40,561.38.

COVID-19 cases in India are decreasing after a peak in mid-September, with the world's second-worst affected country reporting a near three-month low of 46,790 new infections in the last 24 hours.

“Declines in daily COVID-19 cases and deaths has given some comfort that there could be further relaxations to the economy,” said Siddharth Purohit, an analyst at SMC Instituional Equities.

Shares of HDFC Bank rose as much as 1.4% after ratings agency S&P said the lender's asset quality over the next two years would remain superior to the industry despite likely deterioration from the pandemic.

The Nifty IT index was up 1.7%, as heavyweights Wipro, Infosys, and Tata Consultancy Services gained between 1.1% to 1.3%.

The Nifty Bank index was on track to snap two straight sessions of gains, dipping 0.4% on losses in Bank of Baroda and Bandhan Bank.

Shares of Britannia Industries slipped as much as 5.2% to their lowest in almost a month after it reported quarterly revenue that missed estimates.

Meanwhile, Asian stocks dipped as investors adjusted their risk exposure ahead of the Tuesday stimulus bill deadline set by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Global events will play a bigger role going ahead and poses a risk to domestic markets, Purohit said."

11:30 AM

Trading of Hexaware shares on NSE to be suspended from Nov. 2

Hexaware on Monday said trading of its shares on the National Stock Exchange will be suspended from November 2 on account of voluntary delisting by the IT company.

“Members of the Exchange are hereby informed that the trading in the equity shares of Hexaware Technologies Ltd shall be suspended with effect from November 2, 2020 (ie w.e.f. closing hours of trading on October 30, 2020 (Friday)) on account of voluntary delisting pursuant to the SEBI (Delisting of Equity Shares) Regulations, 2009,” a regulatory filing on the NSE said.

The admission to dealings in securities of the said company shall be withdrawn (delisted) w.e.f. November 9, 2020, it added.

The voluntary delisting of Hexaware Technologies from the BSE and the NSE was undertaken last month. The delisting offer with a floor price of ₹264.97 per share had opened on September 9 and closed on September 16.

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11:00 AM

US dollar at its weakest against the Chinese yuan since 2018

 

10:40 AM

Rupee opens on flat note, up 2 paise at 73.35 against US dollar

The rupee's opening has mirrored that of the stock indices.

PTI reports: "The rupee opened on a flat note and inched 2 paise higher to 73.35 against the US dollar in early trade on Tuesday, even as the domestic equity market was trading with gains.

At the interbank forex market, the domestic currency was trading in a narrow range. It opened at 73.36 against the greenback, gained some ground and touched 73.35, up 2 paise from its previous close.

On Monday, the rupee settled at 73.37 against the US dollar.

“Rising COVID-19 cases, impasse over the US stimulus spending and uncertainty surrounding the US elections are keeping investors away,” Reliance Securities said in a research note.

Further, most of the Asian currencies have started marginally weak against the US dollar this morning and could weigh on sentiments, it added.

Meanwhile, the dollar index, which gauges the greenback’s strength against a basket of six currencies, fell 0.03 per cent to 93.39.

On the domestic equity market front, the 30-share BSE benchmark Sensex was trading 116.04 points higher at 40,547.64, and the broader NSE Nifty rose 35.15 points to 11,908.20.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers in the capital market as they purchased shares worth Rs 1,656.78 crore on a net basis on Monday, according to exchange data.

Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, fell 0.84 per cent to USD 42.26 per barrel."

10:20 AM

Assessing hit on economy, will share GDP estimate in time: FM

The government has just begun its own assessment of India’s growth prospects for this year that would be shared in due course of time, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Monday evening.

The Minister also said that the government’s new policy for public sector enterprises, which will notify strategic sectors where at least one public unit needs to operate, is being finalised and will be put up for the Union Cabinet’s approval soon.

“We have only now started doing some kind of an assessment,” the Minister said. “We waited for the commencement of the second half of the year, which has just started. We have got a lot of inputs that are fairly different from what we had got in July, as ideally it should be,” she said, adding that a statement would be made in public or in Parliament once the exercise is complete.

She was responding to a query on whether India will come up with its own official estimates as part of a mid-year review, following estimates from the RBI and the International Monetary Fund that expect the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to contract by 9.5% and 10.4% in 2020-21, respectively.

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10:00 AM

Sensex rises over 150 points in early trade; Nifty tops 11,900

A small rally in Indian stocks despite the fall in overseas shares.

PTI reports: "Equity benchmark Sensex advanced over 150 points in opening trade on Tuesday tracking gains in index majors Infosys, HDFC Bank and TCS, despite weak cues from global markets.

The 30-share BSE index was trading 182.55 points or 0.45 per cent higher at 40,614.15, and the broader NSE Nifty rose 47.30 points or 0.40 per cent to 11,920.35.

HCL Tech was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, surging around 3 per cent, followed by L&T, M&M, Tech Mahindra, Maruti, TCS, Asian Paints, Infosys and HDFC Bank.

On the other hand, ONGC, Nestle India, SBI, ICICI Bank and IndusInd Bank were among the laggards.

In the previous session, Sensex ended 448.62 points or 1.12 per cent higher at 40,431.60. The broader NSE Nifty surged 110.60 points or 0.94 per cent to finish at 11,873.05.

Exchange data showed that foreign institutional investors bought equities worth Rs 1,656.78 crore on a net basis on Monday.

Buying in specific index-heavyweight stocks lifted benchmark indices despite negative cues from global markets, traders said.

According to Arjun Yash Mahajan, Head Institutional Business at Reliance Securities, major financial services and insurance (BFSI) stocks may see some amount of consolidation at these levels before making any further direction.

“US equities witnessed selling pressure as increasing possibility of no agreement on fiscal stimulus program before election and rise in COVID-19 cases weighed on investors’ sentiments, he said.

Following suit, bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul were trading on a negative note in mid-session deals.

Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.82 per cent lower at USD 42.27 per barrel."

 

9:30 AM

China GDP growth accelerates to 4.9%

China’s economic growth continued to gain momentum in the third quarter, with the GDP expanding 4.9% from a year earlier in the July-September period, according to official Chinese data released on Monday.

The pace of expansion was faster than the preceding quarter’s 3.2% and underlined the rebound in the world’s second-largest economy at a time when other major economies are struggling to recover from contractions triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdowns to combat it. Growth was, however, slower than the 5.2% pace forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll.

The IMF has forecast China’s economy will expand by 1.9% in 2020, making it the only major economy to register growth in a pandemic-hit year.

The economic rebound follows China’s broad return to normalcy this summer, following sweeping COVID-19 curbs including stringent lockdowns, extensive contact tracing, and restrictions on international travel through the first half of the year, which allowed the authorities to almost entirely stop transmission of the virus within China, with the exception of a few clusters that were contained locally.

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2020 1:38:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/businesslive-20-october-2020/article32897978.ece

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