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Thursday,26-November-2020

Business

Sensex closes 282 points higher amid volatility

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Bombay-Stock-Exchange

The key Indian equity indices settled on a positive note on Friday after a volatile trade session, with the BSE Sensex ending over 280 points higher.

Healthy buying was witnessed in telecom, banking, finance and consumer durables stocks.

Sensex closed at 43,882.25, higher by 282.29 points or 0.65 per cent from its previous close of 43,599.96.

It had opened at 43,732.14, and touched an intra-day high of 44,013.02 and a low of 43,453.75 points.

The Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange closed at 12,859.05, higher by 87.35 points or 0.68 per cent from its previous close.

The top gainers on the Sensex were Bajaj Finserv, Titan Company and Bajaj Finance, while Reliance Industries, IndusInd Bank and Sun Pharmaceuticals were the major losers on Friday.

Business

Indian economy exhibited stronger pick up than expected: RBI Governor

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Shaktikanta-Das

The Indian economy has exhibited stronger pick up in momentum of recovery than expected, said Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das on Thursday.

Addressing the 4th Annual Day of Foreign Exchange Dealers’ Association of India (FEDAI), he cited that a multi-speed normalisation of activity in Q2FY21, after the country witnessed a sharp contraction in GDP by 23.9 per cent in Q1FY21.

“Even as the growth outlook has improved, downside risks to growth continue due to recent surge in infections in advanced economies and parts of India,” he said.

“We need to be watchful about the sustainability of demand after festivals and a possible reassessment of market expectations surrounding the vaccine.”

Besides, he said that monetary policy guidance in October emphasised the need to see through temporary inflation pressures and also maintain the accommodative stance at least during the current financial year and into the next financial year.

“A key source of resilience in recent months has been the comfortable external balance position of India supported by surplus current account balances over two consecutive quarters, resumption of portfolio capital inflows on the back of robust FDI inflows, and sustained build-up of foreign exchange reserves,” he said.

“The Government’s recent policy focus to enhance India’s participation in global value chains, including through production linked incentives for targeted sectors, can leverage on the strong external balance position of India.”

On the financial markets, he said conditions were benign at the start of the year but witnessed severe stress and dislocation as the Covid-19 pandemic unfolded.

“The Reserve Bank acted proactively and nimble-footedly to ease financial market conditions and mitigate risks with a slew of conventional and unconventional measures. Market participants responded with alacrity and together we have been able to ensure stable and resilient markets across all segments,” he said.

“The Reserve Bank remains committed to fostering orderly functioning of financial markets and will continue to evaluate incoming information having a bearing on the financial markets and act, as needed, to mitigate any downside risks.”

Furthermore, he cited that Reserve Bank has taken steps to usher in the next phase of reforms to accelerate the pace of financial markets’ liberalisation.

“The broad approach driving the recent regulatory initiatives is that any person with a need to access financial markets should be able to do so with ease at minimum cost. Principle-based regulations for interest rate derivatives and foreign exchange derivatives aim at achieving this broad objective,” he said.

“Users with limited or small hedging requirements have been allowed to enter into contracts equivalent of USD 10 million without the need to establish the existence of underlying exposures.”

In addition, Das said that as a major milestone towards opening up of markets, banks in India have been permitted to deal in the offshore rupee derivative markets.

“The measure is expected to reduce the segmentation between onshore and offshore markets, apart from reducing volatility and the cost of hedging. Banks have also been permitted to undertake foreign exchange transactions beyond the usual onshore market hours, thus fostering real time market activity,” Das said.

“In a complementary measure, exchanges and banking units in the GIFT City have been permitted to undertake Over the Counter (OTC) and exchange traded rupee derivatives.”

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Business

SpiceJet launches dedicated freighter services to Leh

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SpiceJet

Airline major SpiceJet on Thursday launched dedicated freighter services connecting Leh with the rest of the country.

Accordingly, the airline operated its first freighter flight from Delhi to Leh carrying 13 tonnes of cargo supplies.

The flight was operated by SpiceXpress, the dedicated cargo arm of SpiceJet.

According to the airline, a Boeing 737 freighter has been deployed on this route.

Besides, the new flights launched are seasonal and will operate during the winter months when surface transportation is disrupted owing to harsh weather conditions.

“Our flight services are especially significant considering the extreme weather conditions during winter months when temperatures fall below sub-zero levels hampering the movement of essential supplies and cargo for the local populace and administration in Leh,” said Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, SpiceJet.

“Our freighter services to Leh will ensure seamless and timely transportation of essential supplies to this most beautiful part of our country throughout winters.”

In addition, the airline said that the dedicated cargo flights will help transport fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers, perishables, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, and other general cargo. Besides improving logistics and connectivity, the new freighter service will ensure transportation of these essential commodities remains unaffected due to dipping temperatures and adverse weather conditions during these winter months.

At present, SpiceJet operates a fleet of 17 cargo aircraft including three wide-body planes and is the only Indian carrier to operate long-haul non-stop cargo flights to Europe, Africa and CIS countries.

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Business

International flights to remain suspended till December 31

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Runway

The Centre on Thursday extended the suspension of scheduled commercial international flight operations to and from India till December 31.

“This restriction shall not apply to the international all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by the DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation),” an official statement said on Thursday.

“However, international scheduled flights may be allowed on selected routes by the competent authority on a case to case basis,” it added.

At present, India has entered into ‘Air Bubble’ agreements with several countries.

This type of arrangement allows nationals of both the countries to travel in either direction.

Passenger air services were suspended on March 25 due to the nationwide lockdown to check the spread of Covid-19.

Domestic flight services, however, resumed from May 25.

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