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With Iran-US tension easing, expect markets to move up




Markets were under pressure in the first half of the week and waited for Iran to come out of the period of mourning and then gauge the response to the killing of their top chief of the Revolutionary Guards. Post the mourning period the retaliation which came in the form of missile attacks at two bases of the US army in Iraq was a measured attack and certainly not meant to escalate tensions. President Donald Trump for once showed restraint and helped in easing global tensions by talking down the markets. A net result of all of this was markets went up globally. Crude oil prices fell and so did gold. In a nutshell what was being talked about as the probable beginning of world war III, saw tensions de-escalating in a big manner.

BSESENSEX gained 135.11 points or 0.33 per cent to close at 41,599.72 points while NIFTY gained 30.15 points or 0.25 per cent to close at 12.256.80 points. The broader indices saw BSE100, BSE200 and BSE500 gain 0.27 per cent, 0.28 per cent and 0.37 per cent, respectively. BSEMIDCAP was up 0.29 per cent, while BSESMALLCAP gained 1.13 per cent.

During the week we saw BSESENSEX lose 1,000 points to touch a low of 40,476.55 points and then make a new lifetime high at 41,775 points. NIFTY similarly lost 300 points to make a low of 11,929 points and then a new lifetime high at 12,311 points.

Tata Sons in their appeal to Supreme Court against the order of reinstating Cyrus Mistry issued by NCLAT got the expected stay. Corporate India would certainly be interested in the final judgement as it has raised many issues of interest and also rights of minority shareholders.

The US-Iran tension seems to have significantly eased of and the acceptance of Iran in downing the Ukrainian passenger plane accidentally taken centre stage. Without doubt the people of Ukraine would ask for huge compensation for the loss of lives of 176 people at some point of time, this issue would indirectly shift the focus from US-Iran to Iran-Ukraine.

The matter of Sterling and Wilson Solar Limited is becoming interesting. In the Red Herring Prospectus on page 84, it is clearly mentioned that the objects of the issue include the Promoter Selling Shareholders utilising a portion of the Net Offer Proceeds, towards funding full repayment of the loans due to the Company going public, and Sterling and Wilson International Solar FZCO from SWPL and Sterling and Wilson International FZE (a subsidiary of SWPL) respectively within 90 days from the date of listing of the Equity Shares. This period expired in November 2019. The board has approved an extension for the loans to be repaid in a phased manner till September 2020. This is a serious issue and object of the issue cannot be changed without the consent of shareholders particularly the minority shareholders. The share price has fallen significantly and therefore not liked by shareholders. What view would be taken by SEBI is yet to be finalised. This certainly would be a high-profile judgement and considering that the Shapoorji Pallonji group is fighting the Tata’s would make it even more of a high-profile case.

Result season has begun and one would see corporate results for the quarter October-December or Q3 of FY2019-20 coming in over the next five weeks. The season has begun well and one would hope that there are positive surprises and some green shoots visible.

Markets have recovered significantly from intra week lows and are back on track to continuing their upward move. One should expect markets to move up in the coming week led by midcap and Smallcap stocks, ably supported by the large caps. In case corporate results lend a helping hand the movement could be stronger and faster. Also, developments on the geo-political front would also be at the back of the mind of investors.

In such a scenario it makes sense to ride the rally and also book profits stock specifically as and when the opportunity arises. With budget three weeks away, expect markets to start reacting to expected events in the budget.

(Arun Kejriwal is the founder of Kejriwal Research and Investment Services. The views expressed are personal)


‘Tablighi Jamaat chief has not shown vision, scientific approach’

Maulana Saad released an audio message last week in which he had said that he is in “self-quarantine in Delhi as advised by the doctors” and appealed to all Jamaatis wherever they are in the country to follow the directives of the law.





New Delhi, April 6 : Tablighi Jamaat chief, Maulana Saad Kandhalvi, who is at the centre of the controversy for holding a large global congregation at a time of spreading coronavirus — despite advice of veterans — which led to a wider spread of the disease across the country, has been faulted by community leaders and intellectuals for his misjudgements.

Given that Islam is not against science, they said the community expects that followers of Jamaat to adhere to the “scientific approach”.

“The community is suffering because of the lack of vision shown by Maulana Saad in dealing with the issues which could have been dealt in a better manner,” Navaid Hamid, President of the Majlis Mushawarat, said, adding that had Maulana Saad showed vision, “the community would not have been maligned the way it is being done by the adversaries”.

“Since the beginning, authorities of the Markaz Jamaat, including its Amir Maulana Saad, have not shown the visionary attitude which they were supposed to demonstrate during the whole crisis in its basic aspects….the foremost is the continuous congregation of the faithful and the inept response of the Markaz,” he said.

Hamid suggested that Maulana Saad should have made a public statement when attendees got stuck in the lockdown, but at least now, he should come out to make a public statement.

Maulana Ashraf Imam of Mumbai said that mosques were closed when the government advisory came and it is in the teachings of Islam to save your life and the life of other person.

“The Prophet himself has said to do research on certain things to serve the human kind. The Prophet also said that not to go to the place where there is pandemic and also not to migrate from the place of pandemic,” he said.

Shakil Ahmed, an engineer who has lived in the Gulf for years, said: “Islam is not against scientific approach and it seeks a person to be practical…. the problem is that the Markaz issue has damaged the image of Muslims whereas there are very less number of people who follow the Tablighi Jamaat.”

However, the Jamaat disagrees on the charge that they do not follow modern ways and says its chief is in quarantine as per the advice of doctors.

Maulana Saad released an audio message last week in which he had said that he is in “self-quarantine in Delhi as advised by the doctors” and appealed to all Jamaatis wherever they are in the country to follow the directives of the law.

He said that it is also advised to remain indoors and adhere to the directives of the government and not assemble anywhere.

Maulana Saad, through his advocate, also appealed that followers of Jamaat should present themselves to the authorities for checkup and follow-up if any of the persons has returned from Jamaat and they should also adhere to the directive of the authorities and there was “no need to argue and misbehave with anybody”.

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9-minute lights off for solidarity: Indians come together




nine-minute show 9 PM
Dibyangshu Sarkar / AFP - Getty Images

New Delhi, April 5 (IANSlife) As a gesture and acknowledgement to all those who are on the frontlines in the battle against the COVID-19 outbreak, Indians came together for a nine-minute show of solidarity at 9 pm on Sunday.

On the request of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, people across the country switched their lights off, coming out on their rooftops or balconies to light a candle for nine minutes as a salutation for those risking their lives while fighting coronavirus,

The Prime Minister had requested Indians to pay their respects in a video message stating, “We have stood together and fought the coronavirus pandemic togethere We have set an example to the world. In the time of lockdown, we displayed the same unity. Crores of people are in their homes. We might be alone in our homes, but we are not alone in this fight. The Indian society is fighting this together. This Sunday, April 5, we must come together to dissolve the darkness of COVID-19 and bring in light. On April 5, 9pm, I need your nine minutes. Turn off all lights in your home and light lamps, mobile flash lights and torches. We are not alone in this fight. Nobody is alone. But, please do this activity within the confines of your home. Do not violate social distancing.”

India is currently under a 21-day lockdown, imposed by the government, which is one of the strictest steps taken in the fight against the novel coronavirus compared to any other nation in the world.

Many celebrities took to their social media accounts to post pictures in support of what is being called the e#9Baje9Minute’ or e#9pm9minutes’ across online platforms.

Actor Akshay Kumar posted a picture of himself holding a candle at his window commenting, “Together we stand and together we will come out of this dark phase. Till then stay strong, stay safe #9Baje9Minute.” Actors Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh also shared a picture during this time of self-isolation.

Power couple, cricketer Virat Kohli and actress Anushka Sharma also posted a pictue lighting traditional diyas (candles). Virat commented, “A prayer in unity does make a difference. Pray for every being and stand together,” while Anushka wrote, “I light a diya everyday for many years now. And as I light the diya I seek guidance, asking for the darkness in me to be dispelled. For many days since the turn of the recent events across the world, I have prayed to God to end the suffering of so many who are losing their lives without their families beside them, for the less-fortunate and the needy whose lives have turned upside down completely, for all the healthcare professionals who are working tirelessly & bravely to protect the lives of other beings, for those who are uncertain about their jobs and future. So tonight, I prayed extra for everyone and I lit diyas with the whole of India and we all prayed for each other. Prayers never go in vain,” on their respective Instagram posts.

During this time India has seen the cleanest air levels in almost 3 decades as businesses, industries and transport have come to a standstill. However, while most choose to support the activity, many Indians especially in affluent localities or over crowded societies saw this as an opportunity to light fire crackers, creating both noise pollution and air pollution, which was neither the request nor the motive behind the event.

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How important is speech in transmitting coronavirus




coronavirus infection

New York: Normal speech by individuals who are asymptomatic but infected with coronavirus may produce enough aerosolized particles to transmit the infection, according to a new study.

Although it’s not yet known how important this is to the spread of COVID-19, it underscores the need for strict social distancing measures, according to the findings, published in the journal Aerosol Science and Technology.

“Aerosols are particles small enough to travel through the air. Ordinary speech creates significant quantities of aerosols from respiratory particles,” said study lead researcher William Ristenpart, Professor at the University of California, Davis in the US.

These respiratory particles are about one micron, or one micrometre, in diameter. That’s too small to see with the naked eye but large enough to carry viruses such as influenza or SARS-CoV-2.

Last year, Ristenpart, graduate student Sima Asadi and colleagues published a paper showing that the louder one speaks, the more particles are emitted and that some individuals are “superemitters” who give off up to 10 times as many particles as others.

The reasons for this are not yet clear.AIn a follow-up study published in January in PLOS One, they investigated which speech sounds are associated with the most particles.

Calculating just how easily a virus-like SARS-CoV-2 spreads through droplets requires expertise from different fields, the study said.

From virology, researchers need to know how many viruses are in lung fluids, how easily they form into droplets and how many viruses are needed to start an infection.

Aerosol scientists can study how far droplets travel once expelled, how they are affected by air motion in a room and how fast they settle out due to gravity.

“The aerosol science community needs to step up and tackle the current challenge presented by COVID-19, and also help better prepare us for inevitable future pandemics,” the researchers concluded.

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