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Expectation of healthy rural demand lifts equity indices; auto stocks rise

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Mumbai, July 4: Expectation of a healthy rural demand on the back of the government’s enhanced farm sector support buoyed the key Indian equity indices on Wednesday.

Additionally, positive economic data on services sector and healthy buying in automobile and banking sector stocks pushed the indices higher, despite broadly negative global cues.

Consequently, the 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) zoomed by 266.80 points or 0.75 per cent.

Similarly, the wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) ended the day’s trade in the positive territory. It gained 70 points or 0.65 per cent at 10,769.90 points.

The Sensex of the BSE, which opened at 35,385.52 points, ended at 35,645.40 points, higher by 266.80 points or 0.75 per cent from the previous day’s close at 35,378.60 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 35,667.31 points and a low of 35,309.67 during the intra-day trade.

“Markets rallied strongly on Wednesday as it broke out of the recent trading
range. The gains came despite mixed Asian cues,” said Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research at HDFC Securities.

“Positive economic data (Nikkei India Services Business Activity Index and Nikkei India Composite PMI Output Index) boosted investor sentiments.”

According to Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services said: “After an insipid start, the market gained momentum on account of better auto sales and govt’s announcement of increase in minimum support price (MSP).”

“Rural income and spending power will increase due to higher minimum price and progressing monsoon which may result in higher demand for consumption oriented stocks. Gradual fall in domestic yield and stability in oil price may add provide some direction in the market.”

Globally, major Asian markets closed on a mixed note, while European indices like FTSE
100 and DAX traded in the red.

On the currency front, the rupee ended at 68.74 per dollar, 16 paise weaker than its previous close of 68.58 per greenback.

Investment-wise, provisional data with exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors sold scrip worth Rs 284.58 crore while the domestic institutional investors bought stocks worth Rs 611.01 crore.

Sector-wise, the S&P BSE automobile index gained the most, by 313.70 points, followed by the banking index which ended 201.19 points higher while the healthcare index was up 113.85 points.

On the other hand, the S&P BSE consumer durables index fell by 103.05 points, the IT index was down 85.05 points and the TECK index ended lower by 39.89 points from its previous close.

The major gainers on the Sensex were Bajaj Auto, up 3.95 per cent at Rs 2,978.20; Maruti Suzuki, up 2.69 per cent at Rs 9,220.80; HDFC, up 2.09 per cent at Rs 1,922.85; Hindustan Unilever, up 2.03 per cent at Rs 1,676.15; and Reliance Industries, up 1.90 per cent at Rs 990.05 per share.

The top losers were NTPC, down 1.32 per cent at Rs 153; Vedanta, down 1.21 per cent at Rs 228.15; ONGC, down 1.20 per cent at Rs 155.95; Bharti Airtel, down 1.01 per cent at Rs 366.45; and Tata Motors, down 0.93 per cent at Rs 267 per share.

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‘Should have remembered Gandhians have lost favour with this regime: Ribeiro’s response to Delhi top cop

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Ribeiro SN Shrivastav

New Delhi, Sep 16 : A day after Delhi Police Commissioner SN Shrivastava replied to an email by retired IPS officer Julio Ribeiro about the investigation by the Delhi Police into the North East Delhi riots, Ribeiro has reverted and said his doubts in the open letter have not yet been addressed by Shrivastava.

“I realise that it is difficult, indeed impossible, to justify the licence given to the three BJP stalwarts I named — licence to rant, rave and threaten those who are peacefully protesting perceived wrongs. If the speakers were Muslims or leftists the police would have surely taken them in for sedition !” Ribeiro wrote to Shrivastava.

He further added: “After talking to you on the phone and perusing your letter I have decided to put myself in your shoes! How would I dispel the doubts that your retired brother officers still have about the Delhi Police investigations in North East riots? I would quickly file the charge sheets in all the 753 cases, including specially the conspiracy case registered by your Special cell and get the evidence authenticated in a court of Law.”

“More pertinently I would not prolong the UAPA case by arresting persons just a day or two before the time limit expires for filing the charge-sheet,” he wrote.

The former IPS further added: “I note in your email to me that you have doubted the patriotism of the three who I named as ‘True patriots’. The three include Harsh Mander, Prof. Apoorvanand and me. I have not described one else as such and hence my surmise. Harsh and Apoorvanand are Gandhians. I should have remembered that Gandhians have lost favour with this regime!”

The response came after Delhi Police Commissioner SN Shrivastava backed the investigation of its force in a reply to doubts raised by Ribeiro and said that a false narrative of the riots investigation was being created.

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Haryana transport minister tests positive for COVID-19

With the speaker too positive for the disease, Deputy Speaker Ranbir Gangwa will be presiding over the House proceedings.

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Mool Chand Sharma

Chandigarh, Aug 25 : Haryana Transport Minister Mool Chand Sharma tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, a day before the Assembly’s monsoon session begins here.

On Monday, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Speaker Gian Chand Gupta were also found infected with the virus. Officials said the chief minister, admitted to Gurgaon’s Medanta hospital, is in a stable condition.

The speaker had mandated a coronavirus test for all MLAs, Assembly staffers and officials ahead of the session beginning August 26.

BJP MLAs Lakshman Napa, Ram Kumar Kashyap and Aseem Goel have also tested positive as have six Assembly staffers, officials said.

Sharma, a BJP MLA from Ballabgarh in Faridabad district, said he was asymptomatic and appealed to all those who had come in contact with him to get themselves tested.

Until Tuesday morning, I’ve had no symptoms. I am not running fever, my throat is clear, there is no runny nose and there are no flu-like symptoms. As of now, I have isolated myself at home, Sharma told PTI over phone.

The state’s transport minister had on Monday carried out a surprise inspection of a bus stand in his assembly constituency.

Former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who is leader of opposition in the Assembly, has tested negative for the infection, sources said.

Khattar’s test report came on Monday, six days after he had attended a meeting with Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, who was later found COVID positive. The chief minister reached Gurgaon on Monday night from his official residence in Chandigarh

With the speaker too positive for the disease, Deputy Speaker Ranbir Gangwa will be presiding over the House proceedings.

The speaker had made it mandatory for anyone entering the Assembly complex for the monsoon session to show a COVID-19 negative certificate, which should not be older than three days. This was done on Health Minister Anil Vij’s suggestion. The seating arrangement in the House has also been changed to ensure social distancing, officials said.

Haryana Assembly has a strength of 90 members.

With 1,074 fresh cases, the state’s COVID-19 tally is 55,460, according to the health department’s daily bulletin on Monday.

Vij on Friday said all offices and shops, except those providing essential services, will remain closed every Saturday and Sunday in the wake of the increase in COVID-19 cases in the state.

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Kerala approaches HC to stay transfer of T’puram airport to Adani firm

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The Kerala government on Friday approached the High Court to stay the Centre’s move to lease out Thiruvananthapuram international airport to Adani Enterprises.

The plea was posted for hearing on Monday.

In its plea, the Kerala government has said the decision to lease out the airport under the PPP model for 50 years comes at a time when a petition against it is pending in the Kerala High Court.

On Thursday, an all party meeting called by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan decided to prevent the transfer deal from going through at any cost.

Vijayan in the past two days has written twice to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking cancellation of the deal. He has demanded that the Kerala government, which runs two airports — Cochin and Kannur, be given the right to operate Thiruvananthapuram airport also.

In Kerala, barring the BJP and Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, other political parties, including the CPI-M and the Congress have strongly opposed this deal.

Speaking out against the stand of all the political parties in the state, Union Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan said it was strange that the Congress party, which during their time had privatised major airports in the country, was now opposing it here.

State BJP Chief K. Surendran slammed Kerala Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran for making the allegations. The state Minister on Thursday said, “This is one of the biggest scams to hand over the country’s first international airport in Independent India to a private party”.

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