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Markets close flat ahead of key macro data release



Mumbai, Nov 30 : Indian equity markets ended Monday’s trade flat as investors were anxious ahead of the release of key macro economic data and negative Chinese financial cues.

Initially, both the bellwether indices of the Indian equity markets opened on a firm note supported by hopes that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill will get passed in the winter session of parliament.

However, concerns over the weak Asian markets given the major fall at Chinese exchanges on Friday and a decline in the country’s industrial profits spooked investors here.

There were also concerns ahead of the release of the upcoming macro economic data like India’s July-September GDP (gross domestic product) and eight core industries (ECI) numbers.

The barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) closed flat during the day’s trade.

The wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) ended marginally in the red. It ended lower by 7.45 points or 0.09 percent at 7,935.25 points.

The S&P BSE Sensex, which opened at 26,142.53 points, closed at 26,145.67 points — 17.47 points or 0.07 percent up from the previous day’s close at 26,128.20 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 26,231.06 points and a low of 26,089.13 points during the intra-day trade.

Market observers elaborated that the markets traded in a narrow range as investors were docked away ahead of the upcoming release of key macro economic data and the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) monetary policy review slated on Tuesday.

“Markets performed in a lackluster manner ahead of the release of GDP and ECI data. There was caution over Tuesday’s RBI monetary policy review and the commentary that the central bank will give in the backdrop of imminent US rate hike,” Anand James, co-head, technical research desk with Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services, told IANS.

“However, there was a positive bias which was backed by the central government’s efforts to build consensus over the GST bill, so that it can be cleared in the winter session of parliament.”

Nitasha Shankar, vice president of research with YES Securities said: “Volumes remained thin indicating lack of participation before the RBI policy meet.”

“Broader markets outperformed as buying in the high beta names was seen. Market breadth continued to favour the bulls with 1,620 advances and 1,085 declines. Reality, media, bank and auto indices witnessed good gains, while pharma, FMCG and energy indices came under pressure.”

Sector-wise, during the intra-day trade so far, consumer durables, inforamtion technology (IT) and automobile indices gained, while healthcare, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) and metal stocks came under selling pressure.

The S&P BSE consumer durables index augmented by 127.99 points, IT index gained by 115.79 points and automobile index was was higher by 84.64 points.

The S&P BSE healthcare index plunged by 67.77 points, FMCG index receded by 50.08 points and metal index declined by 25.03 points.

Major Sensex gainers during Monday’s trade were Infosys, up 2.08 percent at Rs.1,088.45; ICICI Bank, up 1.67 percent at Rs.274.10; Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M), up 1.41 percent at Rs.1,367.25; Tata Motors, up 1.39 percent at Rs.423.35; and Bajaj Auto, up 1.34 percent at Rs.2,481.55.

The major Sensex losers were Bharti Airtel, down 2.09 percent at Rs.334.50; Vedanta, down 1.96 percent at Rs.90.05; Coal India, down 1.65 percent at Rs.330.70; Lupin, down 1.31 percent at Rs.1,790.80; and Sun Pharma, down 1.26 percent at Rs.730.65.


Excise duty collection surges 48% in FY21 on high fuel levies

The total excise duty in the last financial year was over Rs 2.39 lakh crore.




Modi Poster on Petrol Pump

New Delhi, Jan 17 : As the government has kept excise duty on petrol and diesel elevated amid the pandemic with a view to increase revenue, the total excise duty collection during April-November FY21 has surged nearly 48 per cent as compared to the year ago period.

The excise duty collection during the first eight months of the current financial year was over Rs 1.96 lakh crore, compared to over Rs 1.32 lakh crore collected during April-November FY20, official data showed.

The collection in November 2020 was highest so far in the financial year 2020-21 at Rs 35,703 crore. In November 2019, excise duty collection stood at Rs 18,948 crore.

The total excise duty in the last financial year was over Rs 2.39 lakh crore.

As fuel prices are at record high despite low crude oil prices, demand has been raised from several quarters to reduce the excise duty on petrol and diesel to provide relief to the common man.

In the national capital, petrol is sold at a record high level of Rs 84.70 a litre while diesel is priced at Rs 74.88 per litre.

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Bill Gates is America’s biggest farmland owner

Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates owns the largest chunk of private farmland in the US across 18 states, a new report has revealed.



Biz Billgates

San Francisco: Bill and Melinda Gates amassed 242,000 acres of land in the US, with the largest holdings in Louisiana (69,071 acres), Arkansas (47,927 acres) and Nebraska (20,588 acres), according to The Land report.

Bill Gates also owns a stake in more than 24,800 acres of transitional land outside of Phoenix.

Research indicated that the lands across the US is held by Cascade Investment LLC, Gates’ private investment vehicle.

“Gates also backs online used-car seller Vroom through Cascade as well as the Canadian National Railway Company,” Geek Wire reported.

According to the Tri-City Herald, a 14,500-acre swath of choice Eastern Washington farmland in the Horse Heaven Hills in Benton County has just traded hands for almost $171 million – part of Gates’ holdings.

It is unclear why Gates has invested so heavily in farmland, but it could be connected to climate change.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched a new nonprofit group a year ago, focused on helping small-scale farmers in developing countries with the tools and innovations they’ll need to deal with the effects of climate change.

Bill Gates is currently at the third spot on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index with a net worth of $132 billion.

But even with his big new agricultural holdings, Gates still doesn’t rank in the Top 100 private landowners overall in the US, considering owners of land of all types.

The list is topped by Liberty Media’s John Malone, with 2.2 million acres of ranches and forests. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos makes that list at No. 25 with 420,000 acres.

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HDFC Bank’s Q3 standalone net profit rises 18%

The rise in net interest income was driven by advance growth of 15.6 per cent and a core net interest margin for the quarter of 4.2 per cent.





Mumbai, Jan 16 : Lending major HDFC Bank on Saturday reported an 18.1 per cent increase in standalone net profit for the quarter ended December 31 of FY21 on a year-on-year basis.

The bank’s net profit for the third quarter of FY21 rose to Rs 8,758.3 crore on a YoY basis.

“After providing Rs 3,013.6 crore for taxation, the bank earned a net profit of Rs 8,758.3 crore, an increase of 18.1 per cent over the quarter ended December 31, 2019,” the bank said in a statement.

The bank’s net revenues (net interest income plus other income) grew to Rs 23,760.8 crore during the period under review from Rs 20,842.2 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2019.

Besides, net interest income (interest earned less interest expended) for the quarter ended December 31, 2020 grew by 15.1 per cent to Rs 16,317.6 crore from Rs 14,172.9 crore during the corresponding period of the previous fiscal.

The rise in net interest income was driven by advance growth of 15.6 per cent and a core net interest margin for the quarter of 4.2 per cent.

“The bank’s persistent focus on deposits helped in the maintenance of a healthy liquidity coverage ratio at 146 per cent, well above the regulatory requirement.”

Furthermore, the bank made provision and contingencies worth Rs 3,414.1 crore as against Rs 3,043.6 crore during the quarter ended December 31, 2019.

“Total provisions for the current quarter include contingent provisions of nearly Rs 2,400 crore for proforma NPA as described in the asset quality section.”

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