The benchmark stock indices have opened with gains this morning on positive global cues. The rupee has followed suit by appreciating against the US dollar.
Meanwhile, oil prices are steady as the surge in fresh coronavirus cases puts a cap on the ongoing rally.
Join us as we follow the top business news through the day.
COVID-19 | IndiGo allows reservation of two seats for single passenger
IndiGo launched a scheme on July 17 allowing passengers to book two seats for themselves as an additional safety measure amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“The charges for the extra seat will be effectively up to 25% of the original booking cost. This offer is effective travel starting July 24, 2020,” the airline said in a statement.
The low-cost carrier said the “6E double seat” scheme will not be available through travel portals, IndiGo call centre or airport counters. The scheme can only be availed using IndiGo’s website.
Lack of social distancing by other passengers is a top concern among flyers, according to a survey by IndiGo that was conducted online between June 20 and June 28 among 25,000 travellers.
HCL Technologies shares jump over 2% after Q1 earnings
Earnings reports of IT companies continue to impress investors.
PTI reports: “Shares of HCL Technologies on Friday rose over 2 per cent after the company posted 31.7 per cent rise in consolidated net profit for the June 2020 quarter.
The stock gained 2.28 per cent to Rs 642 on the BSE.
At the NSE, it rose by 2.22 per cent to Rs 641.70.
IT firm HCL Technologies on Friday posted 31.7 per cent rise in consolidated net profit at Rs 2,925 crore for the June 2020 quarter, and said that Shiv Nadar has stepped down from the Chairman’s role.
Nadar’s daughter, Roshni Nadar Malhotra, will succeed him with immediate effect.
The IT major had registered a net profit of Rs 2,220 crore in the April-June 2019 quarter (as per US GAAP), HCL Technologies said in a regulatory filing.
Its revenue grew 8.6 per cent to Rs 17,841 crore in the quarter under review, from Rs 16,425 crore in the corresponding quarter last year.”
Tech bubble 2.0?
Rupee rises 5 paise against US dollar in early trade
The rupee appreciated 5 paise to 75.13 against the US dollar in opening trade on Friday tracking positive domestic equities and weakening of the American currency.
At the interbank forex market, the domestic unit slipped 7 paise to 75.25 against US dollar in opening trade, but soon recouped the losses amid high volatility and touched 75.13 against the US dollar, gaining 5 paise over its previous close.
It had settled at 75.18 against the US dollar on Thursday.
Forex traders said positive opening in domestic equities and weak American currency supported the rupee, while foreign fund outflows and rising COVID-19 cases weighed on the local unit down.
Oil prices steady as clouds gather over fuel demand, looser supply curbs
An update on the oil market.
Reuters reports: “Oil prices were unchanged on Friday, with trading marked by growing uncertainty about global recovery in fuel demand as new COVID-19 cases surge in several countries just as major producers get set to loosen production curbs.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 1 cent to $40.76 a barrel at 0204 GMT, while Brent crude futures were steady at $43.37 a barrel. Both were still on track to end the week up slightly.
On Thursday, the United States reported at least 75,000 new COVID-19 cases, a new daily record. Spain and Australia reported their steepest daily jumps in more than two months, cases continued to soar in India and Brazil stepped up lockdown measures.
The two benchmark contracts fell 1% on Thursday after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies, together known as OPEC+, agreed to trim record supply cuts of 9.7 million barrels per day (bpd) imposed earlier this year by some 2 million bpd from August.
But actual output additions will be closer to 1.1 million bpd, as countries like Iraq – which overproduced compared with their commitments to cut supply in May through July – agreed to bigger reductions in August and September.
Vivek Dhar, commodities analyst at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, said the market took some heart with the agreement for some to compensate for previous non-compliance with commitments at a time when there is uncertainty over demand growth.
“They’re taking those precautions. That gives the market confidence that OPEC+ is looking quite closely at those conditions to make sure they don’t push the market in the wrong direction,” he said.
Analysts expect the market to remain in the $40-45 a barrel range, with the looming return of some U.S. supply and uncertainty over fuel demand as new lockdowns may be needed to curb the resurgence of COVID-19 cases.
“The problem with the market right now is prices have got to a level where we’re concerned U.S. supply is going to come back,” Dhar said.”
Shiv Nadar steps down as HCL Chairman
IT firm HCL Technologies on Friday posted 31.7% rise in consolidated net profit at ₹2,925 crore for the June 2020 quarter, and said that Shiv Nadar has stepped down from the Chairman’s role.
Mr. Nadar’s daughter, Roshni Nadar Malhotra, will succeed him with immediate effect.
The IT major had registered a net profit of ₹2,220 crore in the April-June 2019 quarter (as per US GAAP), HCL Technologies said in a regulatory filing.
Its revenue grew 8.6% to ₹17,841 crore in the quarter under review, from ₹16,425 crore in the corresponding quarter last year.
Sensex jumps over 200 points in early trade; Nifty tops 10,800
The bourses have opened on a positive note this morning.
PTI reports: “Equity benchmark Sensex jumped over 200 points in early trade on Friday tracking gains in index-heavyweights HDFC twins, HUL, Reliance Industries and ICICI Bank.
The 30-share BSE Sensex was trading 217.95 points, or 0.60 per cent, higher at 36,689.63.
Similarly, the NSE Nifty rose 71.50 points, or 0.67 per cent, to 10,811.45.
Tata Steel was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, rallying around 4 per cent, followed by ONGC, HCL Tech, Bajaj Finance, HUL, HDFC duo, Reliance Industries and ICICI Bank.
On the other hand, Infosys, TCS, M&M and Tech Mahindra were among the laggards.
In the previous session, the BSE barometer ended 419.87 points, or 1.16 per cent, higher at 36,471.68, and the broader Nifty surged 121.75 points, or 1.15 per cent, to end at 10,739.95.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers in the capital market on Thursday, offloading equities worth Rs 1,091.08 crore, provisional exchange data showed.
According to traders, positive earnings reports from key index components led to stock-specific buying, lifting benchmarks in early trade.
Gains were, however, capped as spike in coronavirus cases weighed on investor sentiment.”
India needs holistic ecosystem to rebuild its API industry: PwC Study
India, in the short term, should focus on providing production incentives for critical active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) to encourage investments to achieve self sufficiency in API manufacturing, PwC India said in a study called “Reviving India’s API industry”.
Besides, India should provide subsidies in form of cheaper utilities like power and water, faster environment clearances and facilitate alternative sources of imports, it added.
It said the country needs a holistic and conducive ecosystem to rebuild its API manufacturing capabilities.
From a long term perspective, India needs to develop two to three large clusters and provide plug-and-play infrastructural support in dedicated zones for manufacturing APIs and encourage industry-academia initiatives, the study said.