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Indian equities end flat, Sensex closes below 30k mark

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Mumbai, May 2 : Global cues on Tuesday depressed the Indian equity markets to close on a flat-to-positive note.

According to market observers, investors were cautious ahead of the two-day US Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meet which is scheduled to commence on late Tuesday evening.

Besides, sentiments were subdued by heavy selling pressure witnessed in index heavyweights such as Reliance Industries and Bharti Airtel.

The barometer 30-scrip BSE Sensitive index (Sensex) slipped below the psychologically important 30,000-point mark, however, the wider NSE Nifty retained its position above the 9,300-point level.

The 51-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) inched up by 9.75 points or 0.10 per cent at 9,313.80 points.

The BSE Sensex, which opened at 30,021.49 points, closed at 29,921.18 points — up a tad 2.78 points or 0.01 per cent from its previous close at 29,918.40 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 30,069.24 points and a low of 29,804.12 points during the intra-day trade.

The BSE market breadth was bearish — with 1,520 declines and 1,350 advances.

In terms of the broader markets, the S&P BSE mid-cap index closed up by 0.38 per cent, while the small-cap index rose by 0.31 per cent.

“After opening on a positive note, Nifty showed intra-day volatility for better part of the day and showed some upside recovery towards the end. Investors awaited more corporate earnings and the outcome of Federal Reserve policy meeting due Wednesday,” Deepak Jasani, Head – Retail Research, HDFC Securities, told IANS.

“Asian markets have ended on a mixed note, while European indices like FTSE 100, DAX and CAC 40 are all trading in positive trend,” he added.

Anand James, Chief Market Strategist of Geojit Financial Services, said: “Auto sales numbers boosted markets’ returns from long weekend, but with global markets shaky ahead of FOMC meet, consolidation looks to continue.”

“Positive vibes from core sector and PMI (Purchasing Managers’ Index) numbers should hold markets in good stead, and shall ensure that recent upside momentum is not lost amid consolidation.”

The Nikkei India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which is a composite indicator of manufacturing performance during April 2017, matched the index reading of 52.5 reported in March.

Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, said the equity benchmark indices witnessed volatile trade and closed the session with marginal gains as investors booked profits at higher levels.

“Index heavyweights such as Reliance, HDFC Bank and Bharti Airtel witnessed selling pressure and pressurised the market sentiments. Most banking sector stocks witnessed firm price movement throughout the session,” Desai told IANS.

“Power and telecom sector stocks traded down due to selling pressure. Along with IT, auto remained top performing sector on a positive side.”

Sector-wise, the S&P BSE consumer durables index surged by 187.28 points, the oil and gas index rose by 151.13 points and the automobile index gained 121.44 points.

In contrast, the S&P BSE healthcare index fell by 116.76 points, the capital goods index was down by 99.47 points, and the metal index edged down by 64.52 points.

Major Sensex gainers on Tuesday were: ONGC, up 3.14 per cent at Rs 192.15; HDFC, up 2.99 per cent at Rs 1,582.95; Maruti Suzuki, up 2.76 per cent at Rs 6,705.65; Gail, up 1.46 per cent at Rs 429.95; and Bajaj Auto, up 1.28 per cent at Rs 2,904.95.

Major Sensex losers were: Lupin, down 2.49 per cent at Rs 1,304.45; Bharti Airtel, down 2 per cent at Rs 347.50; Reliance Industries, down 1.71 per cent at Rs 1,370.90; Sun Pharma, down 1.59 per cent at Rs 632.35; and NTPC, down 1.40 per cent at Rs 162.10.

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ICICI Bank sets up presence in Nepal

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ICICI Bank

Mumbai, Dec 3: Lending major ICICI Bank on Thursday launched its operations in Nepal, via a representative office, to become the first Indian private sector bank to set up its presence in the country.

The bank opened a representative office in Kathmandu which will closely work with the domestic banks in Nepal to facilitate investment, trade, payments and treasury business between the two countries.

According to the bank, the current foray has expanded its global footprint to 15 countries including India.

“India and Nepal have significant trade and investment links between them. We believe that ICICI Bank’s on-ground presence through the new representative office coupled with its strong business partnerships with banks in Nepal, will help us further our participation in the economic flows between the two countries,” said Sriram H. Iyer, Head – International Banking Group, ICICI Bank.

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RBI asks HDFC Bank to temporarily stop issuing new credit cards

Furthermore, the filing said that these measures shall be considered for lifting upon satisfactory compliance with the major critical observations as identified by the RBI.

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HDFC Bank

The Reserve Bank has asked HDFC Bank to temporarily stop all launches of the ‘Digital Business generating activities and sourcing of new credit card customers.

The RBI’s order dated December 2 comes after outages in the bank’s online facilities or payment utilities occurred over the past 2 years, including the recent incident in the internet banking and payment system on November 21, 2020 due to a power failure in the primary data centre.

In a regulatory filing, HDFC Bank on Thursday said: “The RBI vide said ‘Order’ has advised the Bank to temporarily stop i) all launches of the Digital Business generating activities planned under its program – Digital 2.0 (to be launched) and other proposed business generating IT applications and (ii) sourcing of new credit card customers. In addition, the Order states that the Bank’s Board examines the lapses and fixes accountability.”

Furthermore, the filing said that these measures shall be considered for lifting upon satisfactory compliance with the major critical observations as identified by the RBI.

“The Bank over the last two years has taken several measures to fortify its IT systems and will continue to work swiftly to close out the balance and would continue to engage with the Regulator in this regard.

“The Bank has always endeavoured to provide seamless digital banking services to its customers. The Bank has been taking conscious, concrete steps to remedy the recent outages on its digital banking channels and assures its customers that it expects the current supervisory actions will have no impact on its existing credit cards, digital banking channels and existing operations.”

In addition, the bank said these measures will not materially impact its overall business.

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Petrol, diesel become dearer after OMCs raise retail prices

The pump price of petrol increased by 17 paisa per litre on Thursday to Rs 82.66 a litre in Delhi from a level of Rs 82.49 a litre a day earlier.

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Oil Price

Oil marketing companies on Thursday increased the prices of petrol and diesel after keeping the retail prices unchanged for the past couple of days.

The pump price of petrol increased by 17 paisa per litre on Thursday to Rs 82.66 a litre in Delhi from a level of Rs 82.49 a litre a day earlier.

Similarly, the diesel price increased by 19 a litre to Rs 72.84 a litre in the national capital as compared to Rs 72.66 per litre on the previous day.

The prices of auto fuel have also increased across the country but the level of rise has been different depending on the taxation structure in each state.

In the past 14 days, due prices have risen 11 days with petrol prices rising by Rs 1.60 per litre and diesel by Rs 2.38 a litre.

The increase has been primarily on account of firming up of global oil and product prices following news of successful coronavirus vaccine.

Petrol prices had been static since September 22, and diesel rates hadn’t changed since October 2.

Though retail pricing of petrol and diesel has been deregulated and oil marketing companies were following a daily price revision formula, the same was suspend ended for almost two months to prevent volatility in international oil markets from impacting fuel prices regularly during the pandemic.

But with crude on the boil again on news of a successful coronavirus vaccine launch soon, the patience was lost by OMCs who finally resorted to price increase to cover for their under recovery on the sale of two petroleum products.

The benchmark Brent crude has crossed $48 a barrel on Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) lately. It has remained an over $44 a barrel for most part of November.

OMCs need almost 40 paise per litre increase in retail price of petrol and diesel to cover for $ 1 increase in crude.

Going by this yardstick, product prices would have to be increased by upto Rs 2 per litre to cover under recovery on its sale.

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