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Rupee movement, trade tensions to set course of equity indices

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Mumbai, Sep 2 (IANS) Escalating geo-political tensions following further trade protectionist measures, coupled with high crude oil prices and the rupee’s movement against the US dollar will determine the trajectory of the Indian equity markets in the coming week, analysts said.

According to market observers, other factors such as the direction of foreign fund flows along with healthy GDP growth numbers and the upcoming macro-data points are also expected to influence investors’ sentiments.

“The higher GDP growth rate numbers is likely to buoy the sentiments in the markets, though the infrastructure output slowed down and fiscal deficit rose,” Devendra Nevgi, Delta Global Partners Founder and Principal Partner, told IANS.

“The PMI (Purchasing Managers’ Index) and the auto numbers will be closely watched, after the higher GDP growth rate.”

Apart from last week’s GDP growth numbers, trends in global markets and the rupee’s movement against the US dollar will dictate trend of key indices.

“Macro-economic data, trend in global markets, the movement of rupee against the US dollar and crude oil price movement will dictate trend on the bourses in the near term,” SMC Investments and Advisors’ Chairman and Managing Director D.K. Aggarwal told IANS.

In recent days, geo-political developments have pulled the Indian rupee to fresh intra-day and closing lows.

On Friday, the Indian rupee plunged to over 71 — the lowest-ever mark — against the greenback, surpassing the previous record low of 70.85 to a US dollar.

The Indian currency closed last Friday’s trade at a new record low of 70.99-71 per dollar, 25 paise weaker than its previous close of 70.74 per greenback.

Rushabh Maru — Research Analyst at Anand Rathi Shares and Stock Brokers — told IANS: “Strong reading of India GDP data may provide some relief to rupee. However, any appreciation in the rupee would be temporary as importers may rush to cover their unhedged exposure on any appreciation opportunity.

“Exporters are likely to refrain from selling US dollars at this juncture as there are talks of rupee moving towards 72-73 levels.”

Besides the rupee, the direction of foreign fund flows will also set the course for the key indices.

In terms of investments, provisional figures from the stock exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors sold scrips worth Rs 2,028.47 crore during August 13-16.

“Domestic market may see some more consolidation in the near term given sharp rally in last two weeks,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.

“However, we expect the downside is limited given improvement domestic macros and revival in corporate earnings.”

Last week, firm global cues lifted the Indian equity market for the sixth consecutive week as both S&P BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty50 rose by over one per cent.

Accordingly, the S&P BSE Sensex closed at 38,645.07 points, higher 393.27 points or 1.03 per cent from its previous close.

Similarly, the wider Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange ended last Friday’s trade session at 11,680.50 points, higher 123.40 points or 1.07 per cent from the previous week’s close.

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

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BSNL employees plan hunger strike on Monday

Due to the delay in the 4G spectrum allotment and non-availability of funds, BSNL was unlikely to launch 4G services by the end of 2020, it said and added it was quite grim situation for employees.

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New Delhi, Feb 22 : The All Unions and Associations of BSNL (AUAB) has decided to organise a country-wide hunger strike on February 24 for early implementation of the cabinet decisions on the Bharat Sanchar Nigam’s revival.

The strike is also aimed at putting pressure for the expeditious settlement of employees’ grievances, according to an AUAB statement here on Saturday.

Last year the cabinet approved a Rs 69,000 crore revival package for both BSNL and MTNL. The salient features of the package included allotment of 4G spectrum, issuing sovereign guarantee for raising Rs 15,000 crore (Rs 8,500 for BSNL and Rs 6,500 for MTNL) funds via long-term bonds, monetisation of assets and implementation of voluntary retirement scheme.

Of these, only the VRS has been implemented and 78,569 BSNL employees have been sent home. The BSNL has not been allotted 4G spectrum. Similarly, the sovereign guarantee is awaited. The process of monetisation of BSNL’s assets is also moving slowly, according to the statement.

The Supreme Court’s recent judgement on the AGR calculation had created uncertainties in the telecom sector, due to which banks were unwilling to extend loans to BSNL, the AUAB said.

Due to the delay in the 4G spectrum allotment and non-availability of funds, BSNL was unlikely to launch 4G services by the end of 2020, it said and added it was quite grim situation for employees.

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OYO announces bug bounty programme to strengthen security

OYO has accordingly developed an improved responsible disclosure policy to encourage honest and responsible reporting of any potential risks.

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New Delhi, Feb 22 : Hospitality unicorn OYO has said that it will introduce a bug bounty programme towards ensuring that there is a credible and continuous flow of positive feedback from independent security groups and individual researchers to mitigate against any bug or shortfall in the company’s systems.

This is in line with the established practice of recognition and reward for ethical hackers who help responsibly investigate shortfalls within the tech architecture of several tech companies including the likes of Facebook, Google etc., OYO said in a statement this week.

OYO has accordingly developed an improved responsible disclosure policy to encourage honest and responsible reporting of any potential risks.

Additionally, OYO has partnered with a specialised cybersecurity startup, AppSecure/Hackerhive, that connects companies and ethical hackers to help the former discover and fix security vulnerabilities.

“In today’s digital world, a cyberattack is a real concern. Hence, in line with our efforts to continually improve, we are investing in ethical hacking programmes as well,” said Anil Goel, Group Chief Technology and Product Officer at OYO.

OYO said it has also joined hands with other technology companies to address the issue of increasing online frauds and save guests from cybercrimes.

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Fiscal deficit as GDP percentage touched 4.56% in Dec: Finance Ministry data

Out of total government expenditure of Rs 21.09 lakh crore, which is 76 per cent of the BE, revenue expenditure was Rs 18.54 lakh crore and capital expenditure Rs 2.55 lakh crore.

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National debt under Modi govt surges

New Delhi, Feb 21 : Fiscal deficit as a percentage of GDP touched 4.56 per cent as of December 2019 with total receipts pegged at Rs 11.77 lakh crore against a higher expenditure of Rs 21.09 lakh crore, data of government accounts showed.

For the fiscal 2019-20 (till March 31, 2020), the fiscal deficit has been revised to 3.8 per cent now.

Gross tax collection was Rs 13.83 lakh crore (53 per cent of the Budget estimates). The net tax revenue of the Central government was at Rs 9.04 lakh crore which was 55 per cent of the BE, after deducting devolution to the states to the tune of Rs 4.76 lakh crore and Rs 2,480 crore towards NDRF.

The non-tax revenue accrued to the Centre was Rs 2.41 lakh crore whereas other receipts were pegged at Rs 31,000 crore. The government released Rs 54,621.14 crore to the states as their share in central taxes and duties as well as Rs 6,989.38 crore as recommended by the Finance Commission in January.

In December 2019, the states received Rs 7,499.89 crore as recommended by the Finance Commission and the government released Rs 2,714.03 crore towards various schemes. In January 2020, the states received much lower Rs 101.29 crore.

Out of total government expenditure of Rs 21.09 lakh crore, which is 76 per cent of the BE, revenue expenditure was Rs 18.54 lakh crore and capital expenditure Rs 2.55 lakh crore.

Fiscal deficit was pegged at Rs 8.07 lakh crore, which was 11 per cent of BE.

“As a percentage of the GDP, fiscal deficit is 4.56 per cent. The revenue receipts are sufficient to cover only 56 per cent of the expenditure,” the Accounts Review Report of the Finance Ministry said.

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