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Sensex tanks 572 points over oil output cut fears, weak rupee

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Mumbai, Dec 6: Fears over possible crude oil production cut by the OPEC group as well as broadly negative Asians stock markets pulled the barometer S&P BSE Sensex index lower by over 570 points on Thursday.

In addition, outflows of foreign funds, weak rupee and uncertainty over the outcome of Assembly elections subdued investor sentiments.

All the sectors ended lower, led by energy sector, which shed 2.52 per cent, the most BSE, followed by realty and auto stocks.

The Sensex settled lower 1.59 per cent, or 572.28 points, at 35,312.13, from its previous close of 35,884.41. It touched an intra-day high of 35,707.23 and a low of 35,266.76.

The Nifty50 lost 181.75 points or 1.69 per cent to close the session at 10,601.15.

The market breadth was negative as a number of declining stocks was thrice the advancing ones. A total of 656 stocks advanced while 1,814 declined.

The crude oil prices remained volatile amid expectations of supply cuts by OPEC, the group of 15 of the world’s top oil producers which is to meet on December 7.

However, Brent crude oil price slipped to $60.46 per barrel after the US President Donald Trump said: “Hopefully OPEC will be keeping oil flows as is, not restricted. The world does not want to see, or need, higher oil prices!”

The rupee continued to depreciate and traded at Rs 70.88 to a US dollar from its close of Rs 70.46. It had slipped below the 71-mark during the afternoon session of the trade.

Selling by foreign institutional investors (FII’s) and domestic institutional investors (DII)on Wendnesday also weighed on investor sentiments as provisional figures from BSE showed that FII sold stocks worth Rs 357.82 crore and DII off-loaded Rs 791.59 crore of shares.

IANS

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Petrol prices increase after 2 months

The cost of petrol increased by 11 paise and 13 paise in Mumbai and Chennai respectively from Wednesday’s levels, to Rs 75.91 and Rs 72.94 per litre.

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Petrol Price

Mumbai, Dec 13 : After declining for nearly two months, petrol prices rose marginally on Thursday across three of the four metro cities in the country.

The increase comes after the prices of the fuel declined over 15 per cent in the last two months from the highs recorded in mid-October.

In Delhi, petrol was priced at Rs 70.29 per litre, up from Rs 70.20 recorded on Wednesday, according to data on the Indian Oil Corp’s website.

The cost of petrol increased by 11 paise and 13 paise in Mumbai and Chennai respectively from Wednesday’s levels, to Rs 75.91 and Rs 72.94 per litre.

However, in Kolkata, petrol price dropped 90 paise to Rs 72.38, from Rs 73.28 recorded on Wednesday.

Prices of diesel were unchanged for the second consecutive day in three out of the four metro cities.

In Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai, diesel was sold at unchanged prices of Rs 64.66, Rs 67.66 and Rs 68.26, respectively. Meanwhile, in Kolkata the price of diesel fell by Re 1 to Rs 66.40 per litre.

Diesel prices too have declined nearly 15 per cent from the record high levels reached in mid-October.

The rate hike comes amidst stability in crude oil prices as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia last week decided to reduce supply by 1.2 million barrels per day after the continuous fall in oil prices for around two months.

On Thursday, the Brent crude oil futures were around $60.35 per barrel.

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Key Indian equity market indices open in green

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Mumbai, Dec 13: Taking a cue from global markets, the key Indian equity market indices opened higher on Thursday.

The Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE, which had closed at 35,779.07 points on Wednesday, opened higher at 36,024.88 points.

Minutes into trading, it was quoting at 35,979.33 points, up by 200.26 points, or 0.56 per cent.

At the National Stock Exchange (NSE), the broader 51-scrip Nifty, which had closed at 10,737.60 points on Wednesday, was quoting at 10,807.40 points, up by 69.80 points or 0.65 per cent.

Buying at lower levels and hopes of an easing monitory policy with the appointment of Shaktikanta Das as the new Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor, pushed the key equity indices up.

The Sensex was up by 629.06 points or 1.79 per cent at the Wednesday’s closing. In the day’s trade, the barometer 30-scrip sensitive index had touched a high of 35,826.58 points and a low of 35,167.47 points. The Nifty, too, was up by 188.45 points or 1.79 per cent.

On Thursday, Asian indices were showing a positive trend. Japan’s Nikkei 225 was quoting in green, up by 1.13 per cent while Hang Seng was up by 1.43 per cent, South Korea’s Kospi was also up by 0.97 per cent. China’s Shanghai Composite index was trading in green, up by 1.50 per cent.

Overnight, Nasdaq closed in green, up by 0.95 per cent while FTSE 100 was also up by 1.08 percent at the closing on Wednesday.

IANS

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RBI is accountable, government runs country: Shaktikanta Das

On the issue of RBI’s reserves, he said a committee to examine it would be constituted shortly and then with the appointment of its Chairman, the terms of reference of the committee would be drawn with fixed timelines.

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Shaktikanta Das

Mumbai, Dec 12 : Declaring that he will uphold the “autonomy, integrity and credibility” of the RBI, newly-appointed Governor Shaktikanta Das said on Wednesday that the government is responsible for running the country and the central bank is also accountable.

Briefing reporters here after taking charge as the 25th Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Das said that consultations with stakeholders have become fundamental to the central bank’s functioning in view of the complexity of modern day decision-making, and as part of this process he would meet the heads of the Mumbai-based state-run banks on Thursday.

Meetings with public sector banks outside Mumbai would follow “after some days”, he added.

“The RBI is a great institution and I will try my best to uphold its autonomy, identity and values. The autonomy, integrity and credibility is very important for this great institution and it will remain intact,” he assured.

In response to queries on the recent government-RBI tiff culminating in the resignation of Urjit Patel as Governor, Das refused to go into contentious issues.

“I do not like to go into whatever the issues or what are the issues between government which runs the country and the RBI, but every institution has to have its professional integrity, maintain its professional autonomy. At the same time, every institution also must adhere to the principles of accountability,” he said.

“Government is not just a stakeholder but I mean the government of the day runs the economy, runs the country and manages major policy decisions.

“There has to be a free, fair, objective and very frank discussion between the government and the RBI. And, I believe that all issues, however contentious, can be resolved through discussions,” he added.

Das, who holds post graduation degree in history from the Delhi University, unlike his predecessors Urjit Patel and Raghuram Rajan, who were economists of repute, said the RBI board meeting would be held on Friday (December 14) as scheduled.

“We will hold the central board meeting as planned on December 14 and go through the agenda and discuss the various issues that are listed,” he said.

Das took charge as the RBI Governor a day after Urjit Patel resigned amidst a tiff with the Central government on the issue of RBI’s autonomy. Das had steered the monetary situation post-demonetisation as the Economic Affairs Secretary.

On the issue of RBI’s reserves, he said a committee to examine it would be constituted shortly and then with the appointment of its Chairman, the terms of reference of the committee would be drawn with fixed timelines.

Das said he does not want to discuss individual issues as he intends to settle down first and study the issues before taking any decision. On capital requirement in the economy, he said he is open to discussing all issues within the ambit of RBI.

“After the amendment of the RBI Act, the inflation targeting continues to be very important and it’s very heartening to note that inflation broadly is as per the targets and inflation outlook also looks fairly benign at this stage, but we have to be very watchful of the developments,” he said.

Health of public sector banks, liquidity issue and maintenance of growth trajectory of Indian economy are some of the important issues for which he would interact with stakeholders and get an internal feedback before taking a view on these, he said.

Unlike his immediate predecessor Patel, who the government officials alleged had little stakeholder consultations, Das said consultation with all stakeholders always adds value to understanding and his top priority is the banking sector.

“To begin with, I have convened a meeting with the MDs and CEOs of the public sector banks based in Mumbai tomorrow. Banking is an important segment of our economy and is currently facing several challenges which are of critical importance and they need to be dealt with.”

He will follow it up with similar consultations with the state-run banks from outside Mumbai and still later with the chiefs of private sector banks to understand the issues relating to them.

“This is a general consultation. There is no fixed agenda,” he said denying that RBI’s Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) framework, a measure to check banks’ financial health, would be discussed. Currently, 11 out of 21 public sector banks are barred from lending.

Looking forward to working with the officers and staff of the RBI, Das said he always found RBI officers possessing inherent core competence and professionalism to deal with any technical issue.

“I will work as a team with other officials here (RBI) in the best interest of the economy,” he said. Das is a retired 1980-batch IAS officer from Tamil Nadu cadre.

Immediately prior to his current assignment, Das was acting as 15th Finance Commission member and G-20 Sherpa of India. In last 38 years, Das held important positions in Central and state governments in areas of finance, taxation, industries and infrastructure.

IANS

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