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Alibaba’ Singles Day fest fetches $12bn in two hours

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Shanghai, Nov 11: Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba on Saturday announced the sale of about $12 billion worth goods within two hours of launch of its 11.11 Global Shopping Festival.

“Nearly $11.9 billion worth of total Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) (sales in dollar value of goods sold over a certain period) was generated within the first two hours of the shopping festival,” Alibaba Group Holdings Limited said in a statement here.

The ninth edition of the much-anticipated 24-hour annual shopping festival began at midnight here on a gala note. Held on China’s Singles’ Day, the event is one of the largest online shopping festivals in the world.

Nearly 325,000 orders were processed per second by Alibaba Cloud (the cloud computing arm of Alibaba) within the first hour of the shopping extravaganza, the company said.

“Nearly 256,000 payment transactions per second were processed by Alipay (Alibaba’s online payment platform) within the first hour,” it added.

More than 60 leading international brands like Apple, Nike, Samsung, Zara, Gap among others sold over $15 million worth goods each within the first hour of the fest.

The festival will have promotions and offers from over 140,000 brands and 15 million product listings this year.

Started in 2009, the festival grossed about $18 billion during the 24-hour period in 2016, making the festival about 2.5 times bigger than Black Friday and Cyber Monday (two of the biggest shopping festivals in the US) put together.

The event aims to raise awareness on the value of online shopping among merchants and consumers.

For this year’s festival, Alibaba has deployed a “new retail” strategy to bring together the online and offline shopping experiences.

The company has converted about 100,000 retail stores to “smart stores”, which will allow consumers to receive customised shopping experience with the use of facial recognition, “cloud shelf” and location-based store and discount recommendations.

Alibaba has also introduced Hema Stores, wherein consumers can walk in to the offline store and scan each of the products present in the store through their mobile phones to know more information about it.

Logistics network Cainiao is expected to employ over three million logistics personnel to deliver over one billion packages brought during the shopping fest.

Alibaba’s logistics partners would also launch chartered flight delivery services from over 10 countries in North America, Europe and Asia to expand the company’s global reach.

IANS

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Weak rupee, credit crisis worries drag equity market down 3% over week

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SENSEX NIFTY MARKET

Mumbai, Sep 22 : Persistent depreciation in the Indian rupee and high crude oil prices coupled with concerns over credit crisis dragged the key equity indices three per cent lower on a weekly basis during September 17-21.

The week started on a negative note, both in the domestic and global markets, primarily owing to the US announcement of fresh tariffs on Chinese imports.

This was the third consecutive week that saw fall in the Indian equity market.

The stock exchanges were, however, closed on September 20 on account of Muharram.

A major slump hit the market on Friday afternoon, with the S&P BSE Sensex losing over 1,100 points, only to partially recover from the lows minutes later. Analysts described it as a panic sell-off across the board, specifically in the banking and finance space, as there were concerns over credit risk.

“Firesale of financial units by IL&FS for repaying its CPs (commercial papers) added fuel to fire,” said Mustafa Nadeem, CEO, Epic Research.

Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS), which defaulted on its commercial paper obligation earlier this year, missed payments again on Friday. This increased concerns of a credit crisis among the investors.

On a weekly basis, the Sensex closed at 36,841.60 points, lower 1,249.04 points or 3.28 per cent from its previous close.

Similarly, the wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange on Friday closed at 11,143.10 points, down 372.1 points or 3.23 per cent from the previous week’s close.

“Indian markets remained in bear grip right from the beginning of the week, largely weighed down by a weakening rupee, escalation in trade war and rise in crude oil prices,” said Prateek Jain, Director of Hem Securities.

He added that investor’s sentiments were further weakened by the announcement of merger of three public sector banks — Bank of Baroda, Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank.

“On Friday, towards the fag-end of the week, traders and investors witnessed a highly catastrophic market driven by a sharpfall in the NBFC sector,” Jain said.

In terms of investments, provisional figures from the stock exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors sold scrips worth Rs 2,674.12 crore, while the domestic institutional investors bought Rs 1,782.63-crore stocks in the truncated week.

According to National Securities Depository (NSDL) figures, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) divested Rs 2,231.37 crore, or $306.04 million, in the equities segment during the week ended September 21.

On the currency front, the Indian rupee closed at 72.20 a US dollar on Friday recovering 35 paise from the previous week’s close of 71.85.

On Tuesday, it touched an all-time low of 72.91 per greenback.

The top sectoral gainer was oil and gas, while the major losers were realty, infrastructure and finance counters, said Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research at HDFC Securities.

The top weekly Sensex gainers were ONGC (up 6.88 per cent at Rs 180.10); Power Grid (up 3.62 per cent at Rs 200.20); Tata Steel (up 3.15 per cent at Rs 624.55); Tata Consultancy Services (up 2.94 per cent at Rs 2,103.80); and Vedanta (up 2.66 per cent at Rs 229.70 per share).

The major losers were Yes Bank (down 27.79 per cent at Rs 227.05); Tata Motors (DVR) (down 7.44 per cent at Rs 131.85); Axis Bank (down 5.69 per cent at Rs 599.40); Maruti Suzuki (down 5.44 per cent at Rs 8,039.55); and State Bank of India (down 5.39 per cent at Rs 270.05 per share).

(Ravi Dutta Mishra can be contacted at [email protected])

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Petrol costs Rs 82.44/litre in Delhi, Rs 89.80 in Mumbai

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Petrol Price

Sep 22 : Fuel prices climbed to fresh highs across the metros cities on Saturday as in Mumbai, where the fuel cost is highest due to the highest VAT, petrol prices inched up to the psychological Rs 90 a litre-mark and sold at Rs 89.80 per litre.

In the national capital, petrol was sold at Rs 82.44 per litre, up from Rs 82.32 per litre on Friday, data on the Indian Oil Corp’s website showed.

As per rates released daily by state-run Indian Oil Corp, the depreciating rupee and expensive crude oil further pushed petrol and diesel to new record highs on Monday.

Fuel prices in the country have been rising almost daily since August 1. They fell only once on August 13 and have been on record levels for over two weeks now.

Sector experts say a weak rupee and high excise duty are major factors for the rise in fuel prices.

Inflationary risks along with broadly negative global cues depressed the Indian rupee to a new low of 72.91 against the US dollar.

Also, high global crude oil cost has become a major concern for the country, which imports over 80 per cent of its oil requirements. The UK Brent crude oil price hovers around $78 per barrel.

Since the start of the calendar year, the petrol price in Delhi has gone up by over 15 per cent from Rs 69.97 on January 1, 2018. The hike in diesel price has been even more steep. It has gone up by more than 22 per cent since January 1 when it cost Rs 59.70.

Last week, the West Bengal government reduced the excise on petrol and diesel by Re 1 per litre each.

The Karnataka government announced on Monday that petrol and diesel will be cheaper by Rs 2 per litre each across the state from Tuesday following the reduction in cess on these fuels.

As per the country’s pricing mechanism, the domestic fuel prices depend upon the international fuel prices on a 15-day average and the value of the rupee.

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Sensex swings 1,500 points, closes 280 points lower

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Sensex equity Nifty

Mumbai, Sep 21: High volatility, following a likely credit crisis in the infrastructure lending and development sector, dragged the market in the red, with the S&P BSE Sensex swinging in around 1,500-point range on Friday.

A plunge of over 1,100 points was witnessed on the BSE Sensex around 1 p.m, only to recover from the day’s low within few minutes. Similarly, the NSE Nifty50 also recovered after dropping below the 11,000-mark.

The sudden sell-off took place across the board with banking and financial stocks losing the most.

At 3.30 p.m, the wider NSE Nifty50 provisionally closed at 11,143.10 points, lower 91.25 points or 0.81 per cent from the previous close of 11,234.35 points.

The BSE Sensex, which had opened at 37,278.89 points, provisionally closed at 36,841.60 points, lower 279.62 points or 0.75 per cent from the previous close of 37,121.22 points.

The Sensex touched an intra-day high of 37,489.24 points and a low of 35,993.64 points.

The fourth consecutive session’s slide was triggered also by other factors, including lower possibility of the Reserve Bank of India cutting its key lending rates, analysts said.

IANS

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