Business Live: Shares erase gains as global inflation worries weigh

The benchmark stock indices opened the day on a  positive note boosted by the Centre’s revised vaccine policy.

Join us as we follow the top business news through the day.

2:30 PM

Tata Digital to invest up to $75 million in CureFit

Tata Digital Ltd., a 100% subsidiary of Tata Sons, has entered into an MoU for investing up to $75 million (₹547 crore) in CureFit Healthcare, a health and fitness company, subject to approvals. CureFit founder and CEO Mukesh Bansal will join Tata Digital in an executive role as president. He will also continue in his leadership role at CureFit.

“Curefit, with its range of fitness and wellness offerings, will help Tata Digital expand into pro-active health management space,” the company said.

N. Chandrasekaran, chairman Tata Sons said “The CureFit partnership with its industry leading platform in fitness and wellness aligns very well with our overall healthcare proposition where fitness is increasingly becoming an integral part of a consumers’ life.”


2:00 PM

‘MSMEs, retailers need to adapt to home delivery’

Micro, small and medium enterprises and retailers need to adapt to the home delivery model at the earliest to leverage the anticipated pent up demand for consumer goods over the next three months, according to a survey by LocalCircles.

A majority of 66% respondents said their top criteria for deciding the mode of buying will be contactless home delivery and adherence to social distancing over the next three months. About 13% voted for convenience, 3% for price, 15% for supporting small businesses and 1% for ‘other’ reasons.

“The survey received more than 40,000 responses from citizens residing in 303 districts of India,” LocalCircles said. The survey added that one in three households would need to purchase a gadget.


1:30 PM

Air travel to pick up in FY22: Dutta

Budget carrier IndiGo expects domestic travel demand to pick up once again by the third quarter of FY22, and that for international travel by the fourth quarter.

“February 2021 was the best month post COVID-19,” said CEO Ronojoy Dutta, during an earnings conference call on Monday.

“Bookings on certain days peaked at approximately 80% of pre-COVID-19 levels. Our best guess scenario is that we will hit February 2021 domestic travel level by third quarter of FY 2022. And, meaningful recovery of international traffic will probably be pushed to the fourth quarter of 2022.”


1:00 PM

Michelin to hike tyre prices by up to 8% in India

Inflation hits one more sector of the economy.

PTI reports: “French tyre major Michelin on Tuesday said it will increase prices by up to 8 per cent in India with effect from June 18.

The company will hike prices in the Africa, India and Middle East region by up to 6 per cent on passenger car tyres, light truck and motorcycle replacement tyres as well as up to 8 per cent on both on-and off-road commercial vehicle tyres due to rise in raw material cost, global transportation cost and prevailing market dynamics, the tyre maker said in a statement.

This increase in prices is effective June 18 for India and July 1 for the Middle East region and is applicable to all Michelin group brands, it added.

Price changes may vary across specific products within each brand portfolio, Michelin said.

Details will be presented to dealers, fleets, end-users and commercial equipment manufacturers by June first week, it added.

Michelin caters to passenger cars, trucks, buses, two-wheelers and off the road vehicles in India. The company has a 290-acre plant in Tamil Nadu where it produces radial truck/bus tyres.

Headquartered in Clermont-Ferrand, France, Michelin is present in 170 countries and has 1,23,600 employees.

It operates 71 tyre production facilities which together produced around 170 million tyres in 2020.”

12:30 PM

Facebook names Spoorthi Priya as grievance officer for India on website

Social media giant Facebook has named Spoorthi Priya as its grievance officer for India on its website.

The move comes in the backdrop of the new IT rules coming into effect recently that require significant social media intermediaries — those with over 50 lakh users — to appoint a grievance officer, nodal officer and a chief compliance officer. These personnel are required to be residing in India.

As per Facebook’s website, users can contact Spoorthi Priya — who is the Grievance Officer — through an e-mail ID.

Additionally, users can also contact Facebook in India via post at an address in New Delhi, as per the page.

Earlier, sources had said Facebook was updating the details of the new grievance officers appointed, to replace the existing information on its platform.


12:00 PM

Indian shares erase gains as global inflation worries weigh

The morning rally didn’t last long.

Reuters reports: “Indian shares retreated from record highs on Tuesday, weighed down by losses in financials and energy stocks, as investors grew uneasy about high valuations and rising global inflation ahead of central bank meetings.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index fell 0.20% to 15,716.40 and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex was down 0.18% at 52,243.87 by 0541 GMT.

The Nifty 50 has gained nearly 13% this year even as a second COVID-19 wave battered the country and economists cut growth projections, with investors focusing on a post-pandemic recovery.

“Markets are at slightly elevated valuations and seeing routine profit taking due to global inflation worries,” said Anita Gandhi, director at Arihant Capital Markets.

Investors are awaiting U.S. inflation data due later this week for clarity on tapering of policy support from the Federal Reserve.

The European Central Bank is set to meet later this week where it is not expected to announce any changes to policy.

Top private-sector lender HDFC Bank Ltd and conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd were among the top drags to the Nifty 50 index, falling 1% and 0.8%, respectively.

The Nifty PSU Bank Index, which tracks state-owned banks, fell 1.72% and the Nifty Bank Index was down 1.04%.

Losses were capped, however, as the government pledged to provide free COVID-19 vaccines to all adults, in an effort to rein in a pandemic that has killed hundreds of thousands.

Heavyweight software companies Infosys Ltd and Tata Consultancy Services Ltd gained 1.1% and 0.8%, respectively, lifting the Nifty IT index by 1.41%.

Daily COVID-19 cases in India have been on a downward trend since early May, with data from the health ministry on Tuesday showing 86,498 infections in the last 24 hours, the lowest in 66 days.”

11:30 AM

Free vaccines, food to cost India an additional $11 bln -Bloomberg News

More fiscal spending called for to tackle the effects of the pandemic.

Reuters reports: “India will need to spend an additional 800 billion rupees ($11 billion) to provide free vaccine and food to millions of people devastated by a deadly wave of coronavirus infections, Bloomberg News said on Tuesday.

The government of the world’s second most populous nation will earmark an additional 700 billion rupees to provide food until November to the poor and other eligible groups, it said, citing people familiar with the matter.

The government may not have to tap the bond market for the funds, the sources said, citing a dividend of 991.2 billion rupees it received from the central bank and inflows expected from asset sales.

India will provide the free vaccines to all adults, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday after markets closed, in a bid to rein in a pandemic that has killed hundreds of thousands.”

11:00 AM

Rupee rises 3 paise against U.S. dollar in early trade

The rupee opened on a flat note and inched higher by 3 paise to 72.77 against the U.S. dollar in early trade on June 8 amid strong American currency overseas and subdued domestic equity markets.

However, lower crude prices supported the domestic unit, dealers said.

At the interbank foreign exchange, the rupee opened at 72.78 against the dollar and inched up to touch 72.77 in early deals, registering a rise of 3 paise over its previous close.

On June 7, the rupee had settled at 72.80 against the U.S. dollar.

Meanwhile, the dollar index, which gauges the greenback’s strength against a basket of six currencies, surged 0.13% to 90.05.


10:30 AM

Oil falls again amid concerns over demand rebound

Demand concerns continue to trouble oil.

Reuters reports: “Oil prices lost more ground on Tuesday as concerns about the fragile state of the global recovery in demand for crude and fuels were heightened by data showing China’s oil imports fell in May.

Brent crude was down 11 cents, or 0.2%, at $71.38 a barrel by 0151 GMT, after declining 0.6% overnight. U.S. oil was off by 13 cents, or 0.2%, at $69.10 a barrel, having dropped by 0.6% in the previous session.

“Chinese oil imports at a five-month low … would tend to confirm weakness in the Asia market,” said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizhuo Securities.

China’s crude imports were down 14.6% in May, from a high level a year earlier, with daily arrivals at the lowest level this year, as maintenance at refineries limited demand for oil purchases.

Crude prices have risen in recent weeks, with Brent up by nearly 40% this year and WTI gaining more than that, amid expectations of demand to return as some countries succeed in vaccinating populations against COVID-19.

Restraint on supply by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies has also helped buttress prices.

But major oil importers like India have been going through waves of infections that continue to threaten the expected pickup in global demand in the second half of this year.”

10:00 AM

Indian shares edge up as govt offers free COVID-19 vaccines to adults

A positive start to the day for stocks.

Reuters reports: “Indian shares edged up on Tuesday, extending gains from a record high close in the previous session, as the government offered free COVID-19 vaccines to all adults, boosting sentiment as parts of the country ease restrictions.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index rose 0.09% to 15,765.55 and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex was up 0.11% at 52,384.61 by 0352 GMT.

Both the indexes closed at a record high on Monday, bolstered by hopes that the economy would pick up as some states eased COVID-19 lockdowns.

India will provide free COVID-19 vaccines to all adults, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday after markets closed, in an effort to rein in a pandemic that has killed hundreds of thousands.

Technology stocks boosted the Nifty 50 index, with software services firms Infosys Ltd and Tata Consultancy Services Ltd rising 1.1% and 0.8%, respectively.

The Nifty IT index was up 1.1%, hitting a record high and leading gains among other subindexes.

Daily COVID-19 cases in India have been on a downward trend since early May, with data from the health ministry on Tuesday showing 86,498 infections in the last 24 hours, the lowest in 66 days.”

9:30 AM

Hyatt suspends operations at Hyatt Regency, Mumbai

Global hospitality firm Hyatt Hotels Corporation has suspended operations at Hyatt Regency hotel in Mumbai, and said the property will remain closed till further notice.

“As a result of no funds forthcoming from Asian Hotels (West) Ltd, the owner of Hyatt Regency Mumbai, to sustain the operations of the hotel, a decision has been taken to temporarily suspend all operations for Hyatt Regency Mumbai,” Sunjae Sharma, Vice President and Country Head – India, Hyatt said in response to a query from PTI.

The hotel will remain closed until further notice, he added.

Mr. Sharma, however, did not provide any details on since when funds have not been forthcoming.


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