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Equity indices shed gains on widened trade deficit, crude prices

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Mumbai, Jan 16: Breaking a three-day streak of record closing highs, the two key Indian equity indices on Tuesday ended the day in the negative zone with heavy selling pressure in almost all the sectors, except the IT and Teck (technology, media and entertainment) indices.

According to market observers, the key indices retreated from their record high levels as sentiments were dampened by higher crude oil prices, as well as the country’s widening trade deficit.

On a closing basis, the wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) fell by 41.10 points, or 0.38 per cent, but managed to sustain the 10,700-mark at 10,700.45 points.

On the BSE, the barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex), which opened at a fresh high of 34,877.71 points, closed at 34,771.05 points — down 72.46 points or 0.21 per cent — from its previous session’s close.

The BSE market breadth was bearish with 2,259 stocks being declined as compared to 721 advances.

In the broader markets, the S&P BSE mid-cap index closed lower by 1.74 per cent and the small-cap index by 2.21 per cent.

“Markets snapped a three-day winning streak as it corrected on Tuesday. Selling was seen throughout the day. IT large-caps cushioned the fall,” Deepak Jasani, Head – Retail Research, HDFC Securities, told IANS.

“Major Asian markets have closed on a positive note. European indices like FTSE 100, DAX and CAC 40 traded in the green,” he added.

Tokyo stocks closed higher on Tuesday, with the benchmark Nikkei stock index finishing at its highest level in more than 26 years as the yen’s softer tone against the US dollar lifted exporters’ issues and raised hopes for earnings results at the end of the month.

“Tuesday’s session was range-bound as Indian markets took the volatile path. India’s December trade deficit widened to its highest in more than three years as higher import bills for gold and crude oil weighed on rising exports,” Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, told IANS.

“Oil refiners fell as global oil prices rose to near three-year highs due to production curbs in OPEC nations and Russia and robust demand from healthy global economic growth,” added Desai.

On the currency front, the Indian rupee weakened by 54 paise to close at 64.03 against the US dollar from its previous close at 63.49.

Provisional data with the exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors purchased scrips worth Rs 693.17 crore, while domestic institutional investors divested stocks worth Rs 246.38 crore.

Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services, said: “Widened fiscal deficit and increasing fuel price on account of volatility in crude prices dampened the market sentiment.”

Official data released on Monday evening showed that India’s merchandise trade deficit widened to $14.88 billion during last month, as against $10.54 billion in the corresponding period of the previous year.

Sectorwise, the S&P BSE metal index gave up the most and plunged by 449.11 points, followed by consumer durables index by 310.17 points, and oil and gas index by 299.22 points.

On the other hand, the S&P BSE IT index surged by 386.21 points and the Teck index by 160.69 points.

Major Sensex gainers on Tuesday were: Wipro, up 4.88 per cent at Rs 331.90; Infosys, up 3.93 per cent at Rs 1,122.90; Tata Consultancy Services, up 3.77 per cent at Rs 2,850.85; ICICI Bank, up 1.43 per cent at Rs 334.15; and Dr. Reddy’s Lab, up 1.17 per cent at Rs 2,461.70.

Major Sensex losers were: Coal India, down 4.57 per cent at Rs 291.50; Reliance Industries, down 2.54 per cent at Rs 923.50; Tata Motors, down 2.30 per cent at Rs 421.80; Tata Steel, down 2.16 per cent at Rs 766.30; and ITC, down 2.06 per cent at Rs 261.75.

IANS

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Gold declines by Rs 95 on weak global trend

In the international market, gold was trading lower at USD 1,918 per ounce, while silver was quoting flat at USD 24.89 per ounce.

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Gold Wealth Price

New Delhi, Oct 22 : Gold prices fell Rs 95 to Rs 51,405 per 10 gram in the national capital on Thursday amid a weak global trend and rupee appreciation, according to HDFC Securities.

The precious metal had closed at Rs 51,500 per 10 gram in the previous trade.

Silver prices also declined Rs 504 to Rs 63,425 per kilogram from Rs 63,929 per kilogram in the previous trade.

“Spot gold prices for 24 carat in Delhi declined by Rs 95 on weak global prices and rupee appreciation,” HDFC Securities Senior Analyst (Commodities) Tapan Patel said.

The rupee appreciated by 4 paise to close at 73.54 against the US dollar on Thursday.

In the international market, gold was trading lower at USD 1,918 per ounce, while silver was quoting flat at USD 24.89 per ounce.

Navneet Damani, VP Commodities Research, Motilal Oswal Financial Services said, “Gold dipped after inching higher in the previous session amidst to and fro comments on the COVID-19 relief bill and some recovery witnessed in dollar.

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Economy not circus lion that responds to ringmaster’s stick: Chidambaram

Chidambaram said the economy was largely determined by the market, by the laws of demand and supply, and by the purchasing power and the sentiments of the people, which are missing currently

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P Chidambaram

Former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Thursday criticised the Centre for its claims on reviving the economy. He said the economy was largely determined by the market, by the laws of demand and supply, and by the purchasing power and the sentiments of the people, which are missing currently.

“Unless the government puts money in the hands of the bottom half of the families and puts food on the plates of the poor, the economy will not revive smartly,” he added.

The Congress leader said if the government doubted about what he say, then “just listen to the voices of the voters of Bihar on their existential crisis — no work or not enough work, no income or little income, and their thoughts are on surviving, not on spending.

He also said that RBI Governor, SEBI Chairman and the DEA Secretary should tell the FM, in unison, that the vast majority of the people do not have the money or the inclination to buy goods and services.

“Is it not intriguing that the RBI Governor, the SEBI Chairman and the DEA Secretary should speak on the same day on the same subject? All three have tried to ‘talk up’ the economy. I wish the economy was a circus lion that would respond to the stick of the ringmaster!” Chidambaram mocked.

The former Finance Minister was criticising the statements made by the RBI Governor and the Economic Affairs Secretary.

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das said on Wednesday that India is at the doorstep of a revival process from the ongoing pandemic.

Speaking at an event, he said that it is very important that the financial entities have adequate capital to support the growth. He noted that many of them have already raised capital while others are planning to do the same.

He said that after the pandemic is contained, the government will have to spell out a fiscal roadmap for the country.

Secretary, Economic Affairs, Tarun Bajaj on Wednesday said the Centre is open for further measures to boost the economy.

Participating at a CII event, he said that the government has received suggestions from various ministries and sectors on the needed measures.

Bajaj also said that while preparing the next Union Budget, the government would be looking at expenditure for this year and the requirements of various ministries.

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Elon Musk’s Tesla launches ‘Full Self Driving’ beta to select drivers

The customers in Tesla’s Early Access Programme will receive software updates, which will give drivers access to Autopilot’s ‘partially’ automated driver assistance system on city streets.

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San Francisco: Tesla CEO Elon Musk has revealed the company has started rolling out its next-gen Full Self Driving (FSD) set of features to a limited number of expert and careful drivers.

The customers in Tesla’s Early Access Programme will receive software updates, which will give drivers access to Autopilot’s ‘partially’ automated driver assistance system on city streets.

The Early Access program serves as a testing platform to help fix software bugs.

More Tesla owners would get the update as the time passes, with the goal of a “wide release” by the end of the year.

“Regarding the Full Self-Driving beta release, the Autopilot team, again, is just a really all-star team. I spent a lot of time with the Autopilot team. And there’s a lot of really talented people in that team who have worked incredibly hard to make the — to get the beta release out,” Musk said during the company’s Q3 earnings call on Wednesday.

Musk has been talking about ‘Full Self Driving’ a lot in the past couple of years, calling it an investment in the future that will become far more valuable once fully autonomous cars get regulatory approval.

Earlier, he explained that with feature-complete FSD, the car will be able to drive without human intervention but it would still be supervised.

Tesla also rolled out the 2019.40.2 version of its software to some electric vehicle owners and this update includes features like Adjacent Lane Speed Adjustments and Stop Sign Detection that are required for FSD.

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