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Sensex extends gains, Nifty still below 10,400; metals fall

Biocon gets observations: Biotechnology major Biocon said the US health regulator has made six observations after inspecting its Malaysia manufacturing facility.

“The USFDA has completed a pre-approval inspection of our manufacturing facility in Malaysia and issued a Form 483 with six observations,” Biocon said in a regulatory filing.

“As per the normal expectations of the agency, we intend to respond with a corrective and preventive action plan in a timely manner,” it added.

The company, however, did not share the details of the observations made by the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA).

In a bold move which will end Coal India’s monopoly. The cabinet has approved opening up coal mining to the private sector for commercial mining.

Coal minister Piyush Goyal announced that allocation will be done through auctions and that there would be no restrictions on end users or on prices.

In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Susheel Kumar, Coal Secretary, Government of India spoke at length about the announcement.

Kumar said that next month we are likely to announce the timeline as well as name and number of coal mines which are going to be offered.

IIFL’s three day India conference begins today and about 180 corporate will be attending. It’s an impressive list.

In an interview to CNBC-TV18, GV Giri, Head of Research at IIFL Institutional Equities spoke at length about the conference and shared his views on the market.

Giri said that investor mood is reasonably optimistic in spite of the fact that some might think that the market is a bit overvalued.

After giving up some gains, the market is currently trading mildly higher. The Nifty continues to be below 10,400-mark. Selling pressure is visible among all sectoral indices, barring IT index. Nifty IT is currently up around 2 percent as tech stocks rose due to a weak rupee. Metal, pharma and PSU banks are currently the top losers. Among stocks, TCS, Dr Reddy’s and Infosys are the top gainers, while Coal India has lost the most.

Venezuela has formally launched its new oil-backed cryptocurrency in an unconventional bid to haul itself out of a deepening economic crisis.

The leftist Caracas government put 38.4 million units of the world’s first state-backed digital currency, the Petro, on private pre-sale from the early hours.

During the first 20 hours of the pre-sale, which runs through March 19, Venezuela received “intent to buy” offers to the tune of USD 735 million, according to President Nicolas Maduro.

“The Petro reinforces our independence and economic sovereignty and will allow us to fight the greed of foreign powers that try to suffocate Venezuelan families to seize our oil,” he said.

After a blockbuster rally in the year 2017, Indian markets are dancing on the tunes of global markets, a trend which is likely to continue in the near term, Pramod Gubbi, Ambit Capital said in an interview with CNBC-TV18.

Indian market is under pressure largely on account of both domestic as well as global factors. But, in the near term, it will be global cues which will give direction to the Indian market.

Investors should also keep a close eye on the dollar which is moving in its normal direction. We might have seen a bottom of the dollar which might not augur well for emerging markets like India.

Commenting on the earnings front, Gubbi said that the December quarter results demonstrated some sort of pick up. The last 3 years have not been that great for Indian markets and India Inc.

The CBI has arrested a General Manager-rank officer of the Punjab National Bank posted at the bank’s head office here in connection with the alleged Rs 11,400-crore fraud involving billionaire jewelers Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi, officials said.

Rajesh Jindal, who was the head of the Brady House, Mumbai, branch of the bank during 2009-11, was taken into custody last night, they said.

It is alleged that the issuance of Letters of Undertaking (LOUs) to Nirav Modi group firms without sanctioned limits started during his tenure.

Jindal is presently posted as GM, Credit, PNB Head Office, New Delhi.

Shares of Coal India lost around 2 percent intraday after the government on Tuesday allowed the private sector to mine coal and sell it for commercial use.

The move ended state-owned CIL’s monopoly in a bid to cut imports by raising domestic output.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved the auctioning of coal mines to any firm bidding the highest per tonne price, Minister for Coal and Railways Piyush Goyal said briefing the media.

The market erased some of its gains from the gap-up opening seen.

The Sensex is up 74.55 points or 0.22% at 33778.14, and the Nifty up 8.00 points or 0.08% at 10368.40. The market breadth is narrow as 995 shares advanced, against a decline of 938 shares, while 157 shares were unchanged.

Dr Reddy’s, ITC, Tech Mahindra and HCL Tech are the top gainers, while Coal India, Sun Pharma, Hindalco and Bajaj Finance lost the most.

Shares of Ambuja Cements were up over 2 percent intraday on Wednesday as investors reacted to the December quarter performance of the company.

The company’s Q4CY17 beat analyst expectations as standalone net profit growth of 88.8 percent year-on-year at Rs 338 crore was far ahead of CNBC-TV18 poll estimates of Rs 251 crore.

Profit in the year-ago quarter stood at Rs 179 crore.

The cement maker said standalone revenue from operations increased 21.9 percent to Rs 2,712.6 crore in Q4, compared to Rs 2,224.5 crore in same quarter last year.

Oil prices witnessed a decline, weighed down by the rebound of the US dollar further away from three-year lows hit last week.

An expected rise in US oil production also weighed on prices, traders said.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $61.32 a barrel at 0307 GMT, down 47 cents, or 0.8 percent, from their last settlement.

The equity market has begun the day on a positive note, with the Sensex gaining over 100 points, while the Nifty reclaimed 10,400.

The Sensex is up 168.98 points or 0.50% at 33872.57, while the Nifty is up 46.60 points or 0.45% at 10407.00. The market breadth is positive as 358 shares advanced, against a decline of 138 shares, while 81 shares are unchanged.

Almost all sectoral indices are trading in the green, with IT and PSU banks being top gainers. Meanwhile, midcaps are also trading positively.

In case of stocks, IT stocks are reacting positively to the rupee’s depreciation. TCS and Infosys are among Sensex gainers. Coal India, Sun Pharma, and ONGC are the top losers.

In the currency market, the rupee opened lower by 11 paise at 64.90 per dollar on Wednesday versus previous close 64.79.

Pramit Brahmbhatt of Veracity said, “Rupee will trade with a negative bias on back of stronger dollar as well as weakness in the domestic equity market. 64.80 is the immediate support for the rupee and more weakness can be seen beyond the support.”

“The trading range for the spot USD-INR is expected to be 64.50-65,” he added.

The US dollar rose to a six-year high as it extends the rebound from a three-year low helped by rising Treasury yields and profit-booking by forex traders.

Among global markets, stock markets dipped after a long winning run on Wall Street ended overnight, while the dollar gained momentum on Wednesday as yields on US Treasury debt headed for highs not seen in four years.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan lost 0.15 percent. Japan’s Nikkei shed 0.2 percent. Australian stocks were down 0.05 percent and South Korea’s KOSPI fell 0.4 percent.

Meanwhile, the Dow and S&P 500 fell on Tuesday to snap a six-session winning streak as a sharp decline in Walmart weighed heavily, but gains in Amazon and chip stocks helped the Nasdaq hold near the unchanged mark.

Walmart, the world’s biggest brick-and-mortar retailer, reported a lower-than-expected profit and posted a sharp drop in online sales growth during the holiday period. Its shares slumped 10.2 percent and suffered their biggest percentage fall since January 1988.

Markets have been choppy in recent weeks, falling more than 10 percent from their January 26 high only to rebound last week with their best weekly gain in five years. Tuesday’s declines once again pushed the S&P 500 below the 50-day moving average, a technical support level.

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