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Macro-data, rupee to fuel equity market’s trajectory

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Mumbai, May 27 (IANS) Fluctuations in the global crude oil prices, along with the rupee’s movement against the US dollar and the upcoming macro-economic data points are expected to chart the course of the key Indian equity indices during the coming week.

According to market observers, other factors such as the ongoing quarterly results season and the direction of foreign fund flows will also impact investor sentiments.

“The fall in crude oil prices… should help to soothe the market and the INR sentiment,” Devendra Nevgi, Founder and Principal Partner, Delta Global Partners, told IANS.

“The global situation on North Korea and the US-China trade spat would also be closely watched.”

Lately, high crude oil prices and geopolitical developments have pushed the domestic fuel prices higher and weakened the Indian rupee.

However, a reversal in the rupee’s trajectory was seen late last week as it strengthened by 23 paise to close at 67.78 against the US dollar. Even domestic fuel prices are expected to fall after the Brent crude cost eased to around $76 from $78 per barrel last Friday.

Additionally, the direction of foreign fund flows will play a key role to determine the market movement. Last week’s provisional figures from the stock exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors sold scrips worth Rs 3,227.06 crore.

Figures from the National Securities Depository (NSDL) revealed that foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) divested equities worth Rs 2,988.86 crore, or $438.81 million, in the week ended May 25.

“Any negative emerging markets’ sentiment will adversely influence the Indian markets too. The domestic institutional investors have become the new anchors of the Indian markets given its matching net purchases to the net FPI sales,” Nevgi said.

Besides, crucial data points on the country’s ‘Fiscal Deficit’, ‘Index of Eight Core Industries’ and the Q1 GDP growth rate will be keenly watched by the market participants.

“Decelerating macro trends like increase in bond yield, rising inflation, INR depreciation and gap in current account deficit might impact market performance over the medium term,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.

“This will lower the premium valuation of India…”

Apart from the macro-data points, companies like L&T, NHPC, NMDC, NTPC, BHEL, BPCL, Coal India, Indian Overseas Bank and Mahindra & Mahindra are expected to announce their fourth quarter (Q4) earning results in the coming week.

“Given the weakening macro scenario and likely inflationary pressure in coming months due to crude oil prices, direction of market is completely dependent upon the earnings trajectory of companies,” said SMC Investments and Advisors’ Chairman and Managing Director D.K. Aggarwal.

“Going forward, unfavourable developments on the macroeconomic front may dent the confidence of the market participants.”

On technical-charts, any further upsides in NSE Nifty 50 which has rallied for two consecutive sessions till last Friday are seen after the immediate resistance level of 10,628 points is crossed.

“Technically, with the Nifty rallying for the second consecutive session on Friday, traders will need to watch if the recent gains can sustain early next week,” said Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research for HDFC Securities.

“Further upsides are likely once the immediate resistance of 10,628 points is taken out. Crucial supports to watch for resumption of weakness is at 10,417 points.”

Last week, both the key Indian equity indices — S&P BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty 50 — made marginal gains on the back of attractive valuations, as well as a fall in global crude oil prices and appreciation in the Indian rupee.

Consequently, the barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE rose by 76.57 points or 0.22 per cent to close at 34,924.87 points on a weekly basis.

Similarly, the wider Nifty50 of the NSE closed the week on a slightly positive note. It closed at 10,605.15 points — up 8.75 points or 0.08 per cent.

By Rohit Vaid

(Rohit Vaid can be contacted at [email protected])

Business

Airtel narrowing gap with Jio on 4G in India: Report

While Jio won in 48 cities outright it drew for the first place with Airtel in Coimbatore.

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New Delhi: Airtel has come closer to challenging Reliance Jio which continues to reign supreme on 4G availability and 4G coverage experience in India, says a new report by mobile analytics company Opensignal.

While the average proportion of time that Jio users spent connected to 4G has increased by 0.5 of a percentage point since the last report to reach an impressive 98.7 per cent, Airtel saw its score increase by 1.1 percentage points.

“As a consequence, Jio’s lead has dropped from 3.7 percentage points to 3.1,” said the report.

In regional analysis of 49 cities, Airtel came close to challenging Jio’s dominance on 4G availability in a majority of the cities although Jio continued to win almost all awards, said the report.

While Jio won in 48 cities outright it drew for the first place with Airtel in Coimbatore.

However, for the second report in a row, Airtel has won four of the awards outright — video experience, games experience, voice app experience and download Speed experience, while ownership of the upload speed experience award smoothly passed from Vodafone to Vi.

This is the first report in which Opensignal treated Vodafone and Idea as a single operator — Vi — in line with the combined operator’s new branding that was announced on September 7.

For the report, Opensignal examined the mobile network experience of the four main mobile network operators in India: Airtel, BSNL, Jio and Vi, over a period of 90 days beginning May 1 to see how they fared, and further delved deeper into 49 of India’s largest cities, comparing the experience users received on these four operators.

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Govt-owned NABARD gives clean chit to Reliance Commercial Finance

Action of Indian Bank and Federal Bank is despite the Delhi High Court staying such action by the lead bank Bank of Baroda on 14th August, 2020.

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Anil Ambani

New Delhi: Government owned National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), the second largest lender to Reliance Commercial Finance Limited (RCF) with over Rs 1,100 crore of secured loan exposure has given clean chit to RCF and has removed its red flag.

NABARD is a part of the consortium of lenders and is signatory to an Inter Creditor Agreement (ICA) executed between the lenders of RCF under June 7, 2019 circular of RBI on resolution of stressed assets.

NABARD had classified the account of RCF as Red Flag on February 25, 2020. Thereafter lenders conducted a detailed forensic audit by Grant Thornton (GT).

At a meeting of the Consortium of Lenders led by Bank of Baroda, held on Friday September 25, 2020, NABARD informed the consortium of lenders that having examined the GT forensic report, it found no element of fraud and has therefore removed the red flag.

Earlier, Delhi High Court on August 14 had stayed a move by Bank of Baroda, the leader of Consortium of Bank, to classify the accounts as fraud, restraining banks from taking any other coercive action till the next hearing. Similar action of Punjab National Bank was also stayed by Delhi High Court on 11th August, 2020.

As per information reported on Central Repository of Information on Large Credits (CRILC), Indian Bank and Federal Bank have classified their exposure to Reliance Home Finance Ltd (RHFL) as a fraud account.

Indian Bank having an exposure of only Rs. 120 crore, made such classification on 29th August, 2020. The exposure of Federal Bank to RHFL is 100 crore — out of the total RHFL debt of over Rs 10,000 crore.

Action of Indian Bank and Federal Bank is despite the Delhi High Court staying such action by the lead bank Bank of Baroda on 14th August, 2020.

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Paytm Dares Google, Brings Back Cricket League With UPI Cashback

Paytm said that the cashback was being given following all rules and regulations set by the government.

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New Delhi: Home-grown financial services platform Paytm, which was briefly removed from Google Play Store for alleged policy violations earlier this month, said on Monday that it has brought back the Paytm Cricket League with UPI cashback and scratch cards.

Now, users can collect stickers of their favourite cricket stars as they pay digitally for their mobile bills, recharges, buying groceries or money transfers, Paytm said.

Once they complete a set, they can redeem it for cashback up to Rs 1,000, it added.

Every sticker collected by the user is automatically added to the cricket album. There are three different milestones to be achieved for getting cashback — 11 unique cricket players, 11 unique bowlers or 11 unique batsmen.

Whenever a milestone is achieved, the users get a scratch card with an assured cashback.

“We are excited to bring Paytm Cricket League back on our app to reward users with UPI cashback on reaching various milestones, accomplished by collecting player stickers,” a Paytm spokesperson said in a statement.

Earlier, Paytm in a blog post stated that Google mandated it to remove the UPI cashback and scratch cards campaign to get re-listed on the Android Play Store even though offering both is legal in India.

Paytm said that the cashback was being given following all rules and regulations set by the government.

The company alleged that it was “arm-twisted” by the search engine major to comply with what it called “biased Play Store policies that are meant to artificially create Google’s market dominance.”

Later, the Paytm app was restored on the Play Store after a gap of a few hours.

“We maintain that our promotional campaign was within guidelines and there was no violation. We believe that such arbitrary actions and accusatory labelling go against the laws of our country and acceptable norms of fair competition by arbitrarily depriving our users of innovative services,” the Paytm spokesperson said.

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