News Live: Bank of England hikes key interest rate by 25 bps for the first time in a decade
This blog will keep track of key global and local developments impacting business and markets through the day. Important local and global political developments will also find resonance here.
# Fed keeps rates unchanged, remains on road to December hike
# White House set to name Jerome Powell as Fed Chair on Thursday
# ONGC to invest Rs 92,000cr to double gas output by FY22
# LIC places $1bn bid in New India Assurance IPO, reports Mint
# SBI now cheapest home, auto loan provider at 8.3% and 8.7%, respectively
# USFDA lifts import alert on Divi’s Laboratories Vizag unit
# Priyanka Chopra, Indra Nooyi, Chanda Kochhar in Forbes’ 100 most powerful women
20:29 Parliament likely to have a truncated winter session
The winter session of Parliament is likely to be a curtailed affair as most MPs would be busy campaigning for the Gujarat assembly polls to be held in two phases in December, reports PTI.
While a final call is yet to be taken by the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs, two senior government functionaries said the session could be held in November end and may last a week or ten days.
The date of the meeting of the CCPA headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh has not yet been finalised, they said.
The Gujarat elections will be held on December 9 and 14 and the counting of votes will take place on December 18 together with Himachal Pradesh, which goes to poll on November 9.
The winter session is usually held from the middle of November till the third week of December.
20:10 First MS Dhoni, now Maria Sharapova: Tennis star in dock for endorsing Gurgaon realty project
The court of chief metropolitan magistrate in North West Delhi has made tennis star Maria Sharapova a party to a complaint by a homebuyer, who invested in a luxury housing project in Gurgaon endorsed by and named after the Russian and for which construction never took off.
The court has named Sharapova in the complaint list and has ordered an FIR against her and the companies Homestead Infrastructure Development Private Limited, Homestead Infrastructure Maintenance Private Limited and Homestead Arabic Homes Private and its directors.
The homebuyer, Bhawana Agarwal (44), filed a complaint in Delhi court, through her lawyer Piyush Singh and informed the court that the builders attracted buyers by advertising the project as ‘Ballet by Sharapova’.
19:55 Not all physical contact can be termed as sexual harassment, rules Delhi HC
If your colleague holds your hand during an "altercation" then that touch itself cannot be termed as "sexual harassment", because any physical contact to be termed as sexual in nature must be "unwelcome sexually determined behaviour," ruled Justice Vibhu Bhakri of Delhi High Court.
The verdict was on an appeal by an employee of the Council of scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), who had levelled charges of sexual harassment against a colleague who had "held her hand and pushed her out of the laboratory".
The employee had taken up the matter with the complaint committee of the organization and the Disciplinary authority, both of which absolved the accused of all charges of sexual harassment.
19:14 Audi recalls 5,000 diesel cars to fix emissions control software
Audi is recalling almost 5,000 cars in Europe for a software fix after discovering they emitted too much nitrogen oxide, the polluting gas that parent Volkswagen concealed from US regulators in its devastating 2015 “dieselgate” scandal, reports Reuters.
The luxury carmaker said on Thursday it had reported the matter to Germany’s road transport authority KBA, which was concerned about the possible illegal manipulation of emission levels.
The KBA had no immediate comment.
Audi said it would update the software of the 4,997 A8 model vehicles with 2.4 liter V8 diesel engines, of which 3,660 are in Germany and were made between September 2013 and August 2017.
19:08 Gujarat polls: Hardik Patel hints he will encourage voters to pick Congress
Patidar leader Hardik Patel on Thursday gave the clearest indication yet that he will back the Congress in the upcoming Gujarat Assembly elections, saying the state's opposition party was "clearly supporting" members of his community.
"I have been telling my community that they have to vote the BJP out of power...the community is directly supporting the fall of the BJP," the 24-year-old leader was quoted as saying by NDTV. "People are intelligent. When I tell them to vote the BJP out, they know who to vote for."
Patel, who has put forward a set of demands before the Congress as a pre-condition for extending support to the party in the upcoming Gujarat Assembly polls, had earlier asked it to make its stand clear by November 3 on how it would ensure reservation for the community.
18:58 Trump calls for death penalty for Uzbek man charged in NY attack
US President Donald Trump said the Uzbek immigrant accused of killing eight people when he drove a truck down a New York City bike path should get the death penalty, reports Reuters.
The suspect, Sayfullo Saipov, told investigators he was inspired by watching Islamic State videos and began planning Tuesday’s attack a year ago, according to a criminal complaint filed against him on Wednesday.
Saipov, 29, also said "he felt good about what he had done" and asked for permission to display the flag of the militant group Islamic State in his hospital room, the complaint said.
18:37 ICICI Bank reduces employee count by over 1,000 people during second quarter
India’s biggest private sector lender, ICICI Bank, reduced its employee base by 1,082 people in the three months period from July to September this year.
As per the latest numbers, the bank had 83,058 employees as of September 30. This number as on June 2017 stood at 84,140 employees.
The bank’s employee costs during the quarter remained flat at Rs 1,514 crore from the previous quarter.
17:35 The Bank of England (BOE) raised interest rates for the first time in more than 10 years Thursday, a landmark move after borrowing costs had slumped to the lowest level on record, reports CNBC.
Alongside Governor Mark Carney, the majority of rate-setters at the U.K.'s central bank voted in favor of hiking the benchmark rate to 0.5 percent from 0.25 percent.
The bank's key rate is crucial for the economy as it is used to price all sorts of bank loans and mortgages.
Investors had widely expected a 0.25 percent move upwards in the interest rate, with the BOE now reversing the emergency rate cut announced in August last year in the wake of the Brexit vote.
17:16 West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee met Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and his son Aditya in Mumbai today. The meeting lasted for 3 hours. Thackeray said after the meeting that they did not talk much about politics, but about GST and demonetisation. Mamata is a very powerful and brave leader, he said.
17:09 Equity benchmarks closed rangebound session flat with a negative bias on Thursday.
16:46 A country of 1.3 billion people, who are getting economically better off by the day, spells good news for any consumer-facing business in India, and Khadim India is no exception. This east India-based shoe retailer is not only riding on macro tailwinds but also on market exuberance, and has priced the issue of Rs 543 crore to perfection. Is it worth a look? Read Moneycontrol's take.
16:23 Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh on Thursday said his ministry is working towards achieving the goal of doubling farmers' income by 2020 and several schemes are being implemented in this regard.
A seven-point strategy including 'Per drop more crop' approach is being followed to achieve the goal, he said at the meeting of a Parliamentary Consultative Committee.
"The government has launched a number of schemes and programmes to double farmers' income," Singh said in a statement.16:03 Natco Pharma Q2 net up 27% at Rs 84cr
Natco Pharma reported a 27.49% rise in consolidated net profit to Rs 84.4 crore for the second quarter ended September 30, 2017. The company had posted a net profit of Rs 66.2 crore for the corresponding period of the previous fiscal. Consolidated total revenue of the company stood at Rs 432.2 crore for the quarter under review. It was Rs 471.1 crore for the same period a year ago.15:58 Bajaj Auto launches Pulsar NS200 with ABS priced at Rs 1.09 lakh
Bajaj Auto introduced a new variant of its performance motorcycle model Pulsar NS200 equipped with enhanced safety feature ABS, priced at Rs 1.09 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). The Pulsar NS200 is powered by a 200-cc liquid cooled engine. It now comes with anti-lock braking system (ABS) along with bigger disc brakes and perimeter frame to provide the highest level of stability and control for rider and ensure ultra-safe braking over any surface.15:51 ONGC to invest Rs 92,000cr to double gas output by FY22
Oil & Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) plans to nearly double natural gas production in four years as it invests billions of dollars to produce from newer discoveries, the state-owned firm's Chairman Shashi Shanker told PTI. India's biggest oil and gas producer is investing Rs 92,000 crore in 35 major projects which include 14 to bring new finds to production and six to improve recovery from the ageing fields. Plans on table would help raise crude oil production from 22.25MT in FY17 to 27MT by FY22, he said.
Natural gas output is envisaged to rise from 22 billion cubic meters (60 million standard cubic meters per day) to 42 BCM (115 mmscmd) in FY22, he added. The company's oil production will rise to 23 MT in the current fiscal and to 23.6 MT in FY19, 24.3 MT in FY20, 26.4 MT in FY21 and 27 MT in FY22. Shanker said ONGC is investing over $5 billion in developing oil and gas discoveries in the Krishna Godavari basin block KG-DWN-98/2, which sits next to Reliance Industries' flagging KG-D6 fields.15:46 Congress has become a laughing club, says Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi attacked the Congress for promising "zero tolerance" on corruption when its own chief minister was facing allegations of graft and said the state's ruling party had become a "laughing club", reports PTI. Addressing a rally ahead of the November 9 assembly elections, Modi said it was time to rid "Devbhoomi", or the land of the gods as Himachal Pradesh is known, of monsters. Chief Minister Virabhadra Singh, Modi said, was "out on bail" on graft charges. "I feel the Congress has become a laughing club. The chief minister is himself out on bail... And he is out on bail on what charges? That of corruption. He is facing serious allegations," he said.15:43 CBDT signs 7 more unilateral APAs with taxpayers
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has signed seven more advance pricing agreements (APAs) with Indian taxpayers as it looks to reduce litigation by providing certainty in transfer pricing, reports PTI. The seven APAs signed over the last month pertain to sectors like FMCG, semi-conductor, information technology, travel and leisure, office furniture and engineering. With the signing of these agreements, the total number of APAs entered into by the CBDT has gone up to 184, which includes 171 unilateral and 13 bilateral APAs.
In 2017-18, a total of 32 APAs (2 bilateral and 30 unilateral) have been signed till date. The APA scheme was introduced in the Income-Tax Act in 2012 and the 'Rollback' provision in 2014. The scheme aims to provide certainty to taxpayers in the domain of transfer pricing by specifying methods of pricing and setting the prices of international transactions in advance.
15:41 The United States is Iran’s “number one enemy” and Tehran will never succumb to Washington’s pressure over a multinational nuclear deal, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a televised speech on Thursday. US President Donald Trump broke ranks with other major powers last month by refusing to formally certify Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal, reports Reuters. Under that deal, most sanctions on Iran were lifted in exchange for Tehran curbing its nuclear work. “America’s hostility is towards the Iranian nation ... America is the number one enemy of our nation ... We will never accept their bullying over the nuclear deal,” Khamenei said.15:37 'Fake news' named word of the year 2017
Fake news, a term heavily popularised by US President Donald Trump, been named the word of the year by Collins dictionary due to its widespread use around the world, reports PTI. The UK-based lexicographer found that the use of "fake news" registered a 365% rise in the last 12 months, reflecting Trump’s consistent use of the word in the wake of the 2016 presidential election in retaliation to unflattering media coverage.
Defined as "false, often sensational, information disseminated under the guise of news reporting", fake news takes over from Brexit, which was named the definitive word last year after the June 2016 referendum in favour of the UK’s exit from the European Union (EU). "'Fake news', either as a statement of fact or as an accusation, has been inescapable this year, contributing to the undermining of society's trust in news reporting," said Helen Newstead, Collins' head of language content.15:26 October was strongest month for euro zone factories in almost seven years
Manufacturers in the euro zone had their strongest month since early 2011 in October as factories struggled to meet booming demand despite adding staff at the fastest rate in at least 20 years, a survey showed on Thursday. Economic growth in the currency bloc was a faster-than-expected 0.6% last quarter and unemployment has fallen to an almost nine-year low, reports Reuters. IHS Markit’s final manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index for the bloc rose to 58.5 last month from September’s 58.1. That was below a preliminary estimate of 58.6 but was its highest since February 2011 and the second-highest in over 17 years. An index measuring output, which feeds into a composite PMI due on Monday, dipped to 58.8 from September’s 6-1/2 year high of 59.2.15:22 Ruchi Soya Industries scrip spikes 19% post 51% stake sale to PE firm
Ruchi Soya Industries shares rallied as much as 19% after the company signed binding term sheet for selling 51% stake to private equity investor. "....in its meeting held today, the board of directors has approved signing of a binding term sheet with Devonshire Capital, a global private equity major for investment in Ruchi Soya Industries (RSIL) via acquisition of a majority stake including issue of fresh equity," the company said. As per the binding term sheet, Devonshire Capital is acquiring 51% equity in RSIL post approval from creditors and other statutory/regulatory approvals.15:09 Adani in talks with Chinese engineering firm for Carmichael financing
Indian conglomerate Adani Enterprises is in talks with China Machinery Engineering Corp (CMEC) for the financing of a controversial coal mine project in Australia, sources told Reuters. Adani is seeking A$2 billion in outside financing for its proposed A$4 billion Carmichael coal mine in the state of Queensland. However, Australian and overseas banks have balked at granting loans for the project which environmentalists oppose because of concerns over the size of the mine and the potential for damage to the Great Barrier Reef.
CMEC is an engineering contractor that is majority-owned by Chinese state-owned enterprise (SOE) China National Machinery Industry Corp, or Sinomach. It would provide financing through the China Export Import Bank or China Construction Bank, or both, in return for winning the procurement and engineering contracts, for the project, according to a report issued earlier on Thursday by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, (IEEFA) an outspoken opponent of the project.
15:04 FMCG major ITC came out with a new brand, Farmland, marking its foray into the fresh fruits and vegetables segment, reports PTI. The company introduced four variants of potatoes, which will be available in Delhi from this week, and soon introduce them in other metro markets. Besides, the company will introduce apples by the next quarter under the new Farmland brand. Farmland potatoes will be sold through neighbourhood stores, organised retail and e-commerce platforms. In the first phase, the company will target metro markets and its products will be sold at 10-15% premium over local prices.15:01 D-Link India turns profitable in Q2, stock surges 16% amid high volumes
D-Link India has turned profitable in the July-September quarter, with net income coming in at Rs 10.7 crore against loss of Rs 10.6 crore in the previous quarter. Revenue during the quarter grew a sharp 97% to Rs 181.5 crore, compared with Rs 92.2 crore in quarter-ended June 2017. D-Link is the global leader in connectivity for small, medium and large enterprise business networking. Operating profit came in at Rs 16.7 crore as against a loss of Rs 16.5 crore in the June quarter. The stock was quoting Rs 135.45, up Rs 16.15, or 13.54% amid high volumes on the exchanges.14:47 German jobless total falls more than expected in October
Germany’s unemployment total fell slightly more than expected in October, data showed on Thursday, reflecting the strength of a labour market that continues to generate new jobs and support a consumption-led upswing in Europe’s largest economy. Data published by the Federal Labour Office showed the seasonally adjusted jobless total fell by 11,000 to 2.495 million, a bigger drop than the 10,000 forecast in a Reuters poll. The unemployment rate remained at 5.6 percent, the lowest level since reunification in 1990.14:42 Indian IT industry could see upturn next year: Nasscom
India's IT industry could see an upturn next year as the process of investments in technology, particularly in the United States, has started to gather momentum, reports PTI. The industry is on track to posting 7-8% growth in exports in the current fiscal and there is no case for revisiting those numbers as no new factor has emerged, said software services body Nasscom's President R Chandrashekhar. The export growth projection for 2017-18 had taken into account "all the changes in technology, global economics and global politics including political protectionism," he said.
14:38 European shares hovered near two-year highs on Thursday, with trading muted as investors battened down the hatches ahead of the Bank of England’s policy meeting, though a profit warning from Playtech punctured the calm in early deals. The pan-European STOXX 600 steadied near two-year highs on Thursday, with British, German and French stocks also broadly flat as investors awaited the BoE’s 17:30 decision.14:23 Borosil Glass Works, Orient Cement shares rally 6-9% post stellar Q2 earnings
Borosil Glass Works share price spiked 9% and Orient Cement gained 5.5% after reporting a solid set of earnings for the quarter-ended September 2017. Borosil Glass’ profit in July-September quarter increased 25% YoY to Rs 13.5 crore, driven by operational performance. Profit for the quarter ended September 2016 stood at Rs 10.8 crore. Revenue during the quarter grew 17.7% to Rs 79.4 crore, compared with Rs 67.5 crore in same quarter last fiscal. Operating profit climbed 77.1% YoY to Rs 12.8 crore and margin expanded 540 basis points to 16.1% in September quarter 2017.
Meanwhile, Orient Cement has posted a net profit of Rs 10.2 crore for the quarter-ended September 2017, against loss of Rs 29.4 crore in year-ago. Revenue during the quarter grew by 36% YoY to Rs 523.1 crore. EBITDA spiked over four-fold to Rs 74.6 crore from Rs 16.5 crore and margin expanded by 1,000 bps to 14.3% in Q2 YoY.13:58 Cadila Healthcare shares gain 4% on USFDA approval for ADHD drug
Cadila Healthcare share gained 3.5% after receiving approval from the US health regulator for ADHD drug. Nesher Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Zydus Pharmaceuticals USA, has received final approval from the US Food and Drug Administration to market Dextroamphetamine Sulfate and Amphetamine Sulfate tablets. Tablets are available in strengths of 5 mg, 7.5 mg, 10 mg, 12.5 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg and 30 mg. The drug is used in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy. It will be produced at Nesher's manufacturing facility located at St Louis, Missouri. IMS Health estimates the sales of Dextroamphetamine Sulfate and Amphetamine Sulfate tablets are estimated at $416.5 million. The group now has more than 165 approvals and has so far filed over 300 ANDAs since FY04.13:54 Mahindra Logistics issue oversubscribed over 2 times on Day 3 so far
Mahindra Logistics’ initial public offering (IPO) was oversubscribed over 2 times so far on Day 3. As per data available on the NSE till 1:15 pm, the issue received bids for 3,91,78,370 shares against a total issue size of 1,35,70,143 shares. The company plans to raise Rs 829.35 crore through the issue. The QIB portion was subscribed 3.34 times, non-institutional investors 0.3435 times and retail investors 3.94 times. The company fixed a price band of Rs 425-429 per share and raised Rs 247 crore from anchor investors. The issue comprises sale of 1,93,32,346 shares, including offloading of 96,66,173 shares — amounting to 13.74% stake — by parent firm Mahindra & Mahindra.13:45 LIC places $1bn bid in New India Assurance IPO
The initial public offering (IPO) of state-owned The New India Assurance Co (NIA) was fully subscribed on the back of a $1 billion (approximately Rs 6,500 crore) bid by Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), sources told Mint. The Rs 9,600 crore NIA IPO was subscribed 1.04 times on Wednesday, the first day of the share sale. NIA’s IPO is the second largest this year after state-owned General Insurance Corporation of India’s Rs11,372 crore share sale in October.13:24 Priyanka Chopra, Indra Nooyi, Chanda Kochhar in Forbes’ 100 most powerful women
Priyanka Chopra has debut in Forbes' list of 100 most powerful women in the world, reports Business Today. She has been ranked 97th in a list that includes names like Angela Merkel, Theresa May, Indra Nooyi, Oprah Winfrey, Queen Elizabeth II and Hillary Clinton. The highest ranking Indian woman on the list is Indra Nooyi, Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of PepsiCo at 11, followed by Chanda Kochhar, Managing Director and CEO of ICICI Bank at 32, Roshni Nadar Malhotra, CEO of HCL Enterprise at 57, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Chairman and MD of Biocon at 71, Shobhana Bhartia, Chairperson and Editorial Director of Hindustan Times Group at 92 and Priyanka Chopra at 97.13:13 Tata Motors launches Tigor AMT priced up to Rs 6.22 lakh
Tata Motors announced the launch of automated manual transmission (AMT) version of its compact sedan Tigor priced up to Rs 6.22 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). The AMT version of the Tigor will be available in two variants - XZA and XTA - with 1.2 litre petrol engine, priced at Rs 5.75 lakh and Rs 6.22 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) respectively. The new AMT cars will be on sale across the country in over 600 Tata Motors sales outlets from today. It had introduced an AMT version of its hatchback Tiago earlier, which it said "has so far received a tremendous response".13:02 Victim of cyber stalking, phishing? New insurance product covers it
Bajaj Allianz General Insurance has launched ‘Bajaj Allianz Individual Cyber Safe’ policy, a cyber-protection product for individuals falling victim to threats such as cyber-attacks, cyber extortion and cyberbullying. The sum Insured ranges from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1 crore and can be availed by individuals above 18 years. This is the first cyber cover for individuals. It will provide comprehensive protection against various cyber risks such as identity theft, malware attack, IT theft loss, phishing, email spoofing, cyber extortion and cyber stalking. It will cover financial loss resulting from being a victim of email spoofing and phishing, losses and expenses related to defence and prosecution cost for identity theft, IT theft loss and restoration cost to retrieve or reinstall data or computer program damaged by entry of malware. Counselling services, claim for damages against third-parties for privacy and data breach, cyber extortion loss and transportation cost for attending court summons are also included.12:44 Centre approves Rs 2 lakh compensation for NTPC boiler blast victims' kin
Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved an ex-gratia payment of Rs 2 lakh each for the families of those killed in an explosion at NTPC's power plant in Uttar Pradesh's Rae Bareli district, reports PTI. At least 26 persons died after a massive explosion in one the boilers at NTPC's Unchahar plant on Wednesday. "Prime Minister @narendramodi has approved an ex- gratia of Rs 2 lakh each for the next of kin of those who have lost their lives due to the accident at the NTPC plant in Raebareli, Uttar Pradesh. PM has approved Rs. 50,000 each for those injured due to the accident," PMO India said on Twitter.12:34 BSF jawan killed as Pak Rangers attack patrol party in Samba
A BSF jawan was killed when Pakistani Rangers attacked a patrol party of the force along the International Border in Jammu & Kashmir's Samba district, reports PTI. The BSF effectively retaliated. "Today, at about 0930 hours, Pakistani Rangers suddenly fired on a BSF patrol in Samba sector", a senior BSF officer told PTI. Constable Tapan Mondal of BSF succumbed to injuries sustained in the attack. On October 31, Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire by firing from small arms along the Line of Control in Karmara belt of J&K's Poonch district. On October 26, Pakistani troops fired using small and heavy weapons at Sher Shakti and Mandhar areas of Kerni sector.12:12 Bajaj Auto October sales up 7.38% at 3,82,464 units
Bajaj Auto reported a 7.38% increase in total sales in October at 3,82,464 units as against 3,56,168 units in the same month last year. Total domestic sales were at 2,47,210 units last month as compared to 2,38,781 units in October 2016, a growth of 3.53%. Motorcycle sales in the domestic market declined marginally to 2,11,553 units in October as against 2,12,997 units in the corresponding month last year. Exports however jumped by 20.37% to 1,14,225 units last month as against 94,895 units in the year-ago period. Total commercial vehicle sales also witnessed a growth of 17.42% in October at 56,686 units as compared to 48,276 units in the same month last year.
12:05 Suzuki Motor Corp reported a 56% jump in operating profit for the second quarter, driven by strong sales at home and in India, its biggest market. Operating profit at Japan’s No 4 automaker came in at JPY 87.8 billion ($770.7 million) in July-September, up from JPY 56.3 billion a year ago and above an average forecast for JPY 78.21 billion from 10 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.
11:40 IIM Calcutta has completed the summer placement process for the 2017-19 batch and has achieved 100% placement within a span of over two days. A total number of 180 firms across diverse sectors had come to IIM Calcutta for the summer placements, reports PTI.11:20 NTPC boiler blast toll rises to 26; Rahul visits Rae Bareli
The toll in the massive explosion in a boiler at the state-run power giant NTPC's Unchahar plant here has risen to 26, a senior official told PTI. Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi has taken a break from his ongoing 'Navsarjan Yatra' in poll-bound Gujarat and is visiting Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh to meet the families of victims of the explosion. Rae Bareli is the parliamentary constituency of Congress President Sonia Gandhi, who has expressed shock at the "terrible tragedy".
While Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is abroad, Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma will be visiting Rae Bareli today. UP Principal Secretary (Home) Arvind Kumar said that the toll in the NTPC boiler blast has risen to 26. The NTPC has initiated a probe to ascertain the reasons behind the blast. The chief minister had on Wednesday announced Rs 2 lakh as compensation for the families of those killed and Rs 50,000 for the grievously injured.11:00 Tata Motors share price under pressure after fall in JLR October US sales
Tata Motors’ share price fell over 1.5% after its subsidiary Jaguar-Land Rover reported disappointing sales numbers in October. The fall could also be due to profit booking as it had rallied 2% on Wednesday post the domestic sales data. The luxury car maker's US sales declined 4.4% YoY to 8,368 units in October, dented by degrowth in both brands. JLR had sold 8,751 units in same month last year. Jaguar sales in October dropped 10.2% to 2,891 units and Land Rover sales were down 1% to 5,477 units on a YoY basis.10:48 SBI now cheapest home, auto loan provider at 8.3% and 8.7%, respectively
State Bank of India (SBI), India's largest bank, is offering home loans starting at 8.3% and auto loans at 8.7%, reports Moneycontrol News’ Beena Parmar. The bank’s interest rates will now be the lowest in the industry and is likely to boost retail loans. With this reduction, SBI's offering in the home loan segment is the lowest in the market. The new rates will be effective from November 1, 2017. Both home and auto loan rates have been cut by by 5 bps or 0.05 percentage points. Rates have been reduced by 5 bps point in all the brackets (all tenures). The effective interest rate for all eligible salaried customers will be 8.3% per annum for loans up to Rs 30 lakh. Other lenders including HDFC, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank and LIC Housing Finance among others are offering home loans at 8.35%.10:37 Cash-rich CPSEs may be nudged to invest in Rs 1.35 lakh cr recap bonds
The government may nudge cash surplus central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) to invest in the proposed Rs 1.35 lakh crore bond offering to recapitalise public sector banks, reports The Economic Times. This is among the options being considered by the government, said a senior finance ministry official. Earlier this month, the government had announced a Rs 2.1 lakh crore bank recapitalisation plan, of which Rs 76,000 crore will come through budgetary support and bank stake sales, and Rs 1.35 lakh crore as bonds. A wider pool of investors for these bonds will ensure that the recapitalisation leads to a net infusion of funds in banks apart from boosting their capital.10:27 Godrej Consumer share up 2% on robust Q2 FY18 result
Shares of Godrej Consumer Products are up close to 2% after the FMCG major reported a 12.56% increase in its consolidated net profit to Rs 361.95 crore for the September quarter on higher income and volume growth. It had posted net profit of Rs 321.54 crore during the July-September quarter of last fiscal. Net sales (including excise duty) during the quarter under review stood at Rs 2,496.93 crore as against Rs 2,436.64 crore in the year-ago period, up 2.47%.
10:23 JSW Energy stock is down close to 4% after the company reported a 38.31% increase in net profit for the quarter-ended September 30 at Rs 297.23 crore on the back of better merchant realisations, increase in other income and lower finance cost. The company had reported a net profit of Rs 214.9 crore in the corresponding quarter last fiscal. Total income for the July-September quarter increased to Rs 2,219.58 crore from Rs 2,098.64 crore a year-ago.10:14 TVS Motor stock up over 2% post stellar Q2 nos, Oct data
TVS Motor share is up over 2% after the company posted a 20.2% rise in net profit at Rs 213.16 crore for the second quarter ended September 30, aided by robust sales across domestic as well as export markets. It had reported a net profit of Rs 177.39 crore during the same period of previous fiscal. Revenue rose to Rs 4,097.99 crore during the second quarter, as against Rs 3,465.69 crore during the same period of previous fiscal.
The company had also posted a 3% YoY increase in total sales at 3,17,411 units in October. Total two-wheeler sales were at 3,08,364 units last month as against 3,03,885 units in October 2016, a growth of 1.5%. During the month, domestic two-wheeler sales declined to 2,70,372 units as against 2,72,229 units in the year-ago month, it added. Three-wheeler sales rose 88.3% to 9,047 units in October 2017 as against 4,805 units in the same month last year. Total exports grew 29.3% in October at 45,437 units as compared with 35,134 units in the same month last year.10:07 The Fed is on a 'beautiful normalisation,' and no chair would mess with it: Mohamed El-Erian
The US Federal Reserve is on a "beautiful normalidation" that balances rising interest rates and the stability of markets and the economy — something the next chairperson, whoever it will be, would not want to disrupt, Allianz Chief Economic Advisor Mohamed El-Erian said Thursday. "The Fed's embarked on this beautiful normalidation: It has stopped [quantitative easing], it has raised rates, it has declared a path to reduce its balance sheet without disrupting markets and without derailing the global recovery. And I don't think anybody will want to mess with this beautiful normalization," El-Erian said. That means that "nothing will change" in the short term, El-Erian added, with the Fed expected to raise interest rates in December and to continue pressing ahead with winding down its balance sheet.
10:00 The rupee advanced 10 paise to 64.49 against the dollar as the US Federal Reserve held off on rates and kept the window open for a December hike. Banks and exporters kept to dollar selling, reports PTI. The dollar's reduced clout overseas amid uncertainty about prospects of US tax cuts and domestic stock markets opening high were instrumental in the rupee's rise, traders said. On Wednesday, the rupee had surged a solid 16 paise to end at an over one-month high of 64.59 against the US currency following heavy dollar unwinding.09:53 Amit Shah to kick off 'Karnataka Parivartan Yatra' today
BJP president Amit Shah will kick off the party's 79-day 'Karnataka Parivartan Yatra' in Bengaluru today, with the aim of returning to power in the southern state. According to a BJP statement, more than one lakh party workers riding motorbikes are expected to attend a rally to be addressed by Shah. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address a rally on January 28 on the conclusion of the yatra to be led by the party's chief ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa. Party workers from the state's 28,000 polling booths are expected to take part in Shah's rally. Top party leaders, including Union ministers and chief ministers, will attend the yatra, which will pass through the state's 224 Assembly seats, the statement said.09:42 IDFC Bank scrip down over 3% on mgmt. rejig fears
IDFC Bank scrip is down over 3% despite the management saying speculation on social media with regard to a change in leadership is "false". The private sector lender said "these speculative observations seem to have been circulated with the malafide intention of misleading investors and the general public....there has been speculation in a section of social media with respect to a change in leadership at IDFC Bank. We would like to clarify that these reports and market speculation stemming from it, pertaining to a change in leadership, are false," it said in a regulatory filing.
"The Board of IDFC Bank Limited is completely aligned with the strategic direction set by Rajiv Lall, Founder Managing Director and CEO, and the business plans spearheaded by him and his executive team," the filing added. The clarification follows speculation that there may be change in leadership with someone from the Citi Bank being roped in for the top job.
09:25 Cooking gas (LPG) price was on Wednesday hiked by Rs 4.50 per cylinder, the 19th increase in rates since July 2016 when the government decided to eliminate subsidy on it by raising prices every month. Also, jet fuel or ATF price was increased by 2% on firming international rates, the fourth straight increase in rates since August, according to price notification posted by state-owned retailers. The price of non-subsidised LPG or market priced cooking gas has been hiked by Rs 93 to Rs 742 per bottle.
At the last revision on October 1 the rate was hiked by Rs 50 to Rs 649 per bottle. Subsidised LPG price has been hiked by Rs 4.50 per 14.2- kg cylinder to Rs 495.69. The government last year had asked state-run oil firms to raise prices every month to eliminate all the subsidies by March next year. Since the implementation of the policy of monthly increases from July last year, subsidised LPG rates have gone up by Rs 76.51 per cylinder. A 14.2-kg LPG cylinder was priced at Rs 419.18 in June 2016.09:21 158 crorepatis, 61 with criminal cases in HP polls: ADR
A total of 158 crorepati candidates are in the fray for the Himachal Pradesh assembly elections -- to be held on November 9 -- while 61 have declared criminal cases against them, reports PTI. Himachal Pradesh Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) have analysed the self-sworn affidavits of all 338 candidates. "Out of the 338 candidates analysed, 158 (47%) are crorepatis. The average assets per candidate contesting in the Himachal Pradesh assembly elections 2017 is Rs 4.07 crore," Delhi-based think-tank ADR said.
Among party wise crorepati candidates, 59 out of 68 candidates from Congress INC, 47 of 68 from the BJP, 6 of 42 from the BSP, 3 of 14 from the CPI (M), 1 of 3 from the CPI and 36 of 112 independents have declared assets worth more than Rs 1 crore. Among major parties, the average assets per candidate for 68 Congress candidates is Rs 8.56 crore, for 68 BJP candidates is Rs 5.31 crore and for 42 BSP candidates is Rs 46.78 lakh. The same for 14 CPI (M) candidates is Rs 2.31 crore, 3 CPI candidates' is Rs 74.64 lakh and for 112 independent candidates is Rs 3.20 crore. The top candidates with highest assets contesting in the Himachal Pradesh assembly elections are Balvir Singh Verma of BJP with total assets of over Rs 90 crore followed by Vikramaditya Singh of the Congress with over Rs 84 crore.09:11 US generic drug price-fixing conspiracy jolts Sun Pharma, Dr Reddy’s, Glenmark
The global generic drugs industry, with several Indian firms at its core, was jolted on Wednesday by allegations of a vast price-fixing conspiracy in the US aimed at keeping prices of the copycat medicines artificially high, reports Mint. Attorney general George Jepsen of the US state of Connecticut, led 45 other state counterparts in a wide-ranging multistate anti-trust investigation into allegations of “unreasonably restraining trade, artificially inflating and maintaining prices and reducing competition in the generic pharmaceutical industry throughout the US”.
Calling the findings “shocking”, Jepsen asked the federal court for permission to file a new complaint in the states’ pending 2014 lawsuit that increases the number of generic drug manufacturer defendants from six to 18 in the case and the number of drugs at issue in the litigation from two to 15. Simultaneously, for the first time, the states are also suing two senior executives—Rajiv Malik, President and Executive Director of Mylan, and Satish Mehta, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Emcure Pharmaceuticals, which is the parent company of Heritage Pharmaceuticals. The expanded list of companies includes Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, Emcure Pharmaceuticals, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, and Zydus Pharmaceuticals (USA).09:07 Tech Mahindra Q2 net profit up 29.7% at Rs 836cr
India's fifth largest IT firm Tech Mahindra’s consolidated net profit has increased 29.7% to Rs 836.15 crore for the quarter ended September. This is against a net profit of Rs 644.73 crore in the July-September 2016 quarter. Revenue from operations was up 6.1% at Rs 7,606.38 crore during the quarter under review as compared to Rs 7,167.41 crore in the year-ago period. In dollar terms, the net profit was up nearly 34% to $129.3 million, while revenue was up 10% to $1.17 billion in the said quarter. The company's total headcount stood at 1.17 lakh with software accounting for 75,587 professionals and BPO business had 35,287 people. Tech Mahindra's cash and cash equivalents stood at Rs 5,961 crore as of September 2017.09:01 Boiler blast in NTPC’s Unchahar plant leaves 20 dead, 100 injured
20 people were killed and up to 100 injured in a boiler blast in state-run NTPC’s Unchahar power plant in Rae Bareli, Uttar Pradesh. The blast occurred in the boiler area of a 500MW unit of the recently commissioned plant in Rae Bareli district. The 1,550 MW coal-fuelled plant supplies electricity to Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan, Chandigarh, Delhi and Uttaranchal. The Unchahar plant is currently generating around 640 MW. “There was an explosion in the boiler. After the coal burns it gets deposited and has to be cleared. The people who died were engaged in that cleaning,” said a senior NTPC executive.08:54 Bharti Airtel to spend Rs 250bn in FY18 on boosting networks
Bharti Airtel is looking to spend Rs 250 billion this financial year on its networks, a quarter more than its initial forecast and mainly to speed up the expansion of its 4G mobile broadband network in India, reports Reuters. The boost in capital expenditure comes at a time when the Indian market leader is facing stiff competition from Reliance Jio, operator of the entirely new 4G network which cost owner Reliance Industries about $30 billion to build.
Mobile internet traffic in the Indian market is also growing rapidly as more users upgrade to smartphones from basic and feature phones, using the Internet for everything from watching movies to shopping online. “Considering the explosion in data traffic in India, we believe it is expedient to activate our 4G rollout in terms of coverage and also build additional capacity in existing geographies along with fibre connectivity and backhaul,” Nilanjan Roy, Global Chief Financial Officer at Bharti Airtel, said.08:49 Hero MotoCorp Q2 net profit up marginally at Rs 1,010cr
India's largest two wheeler maker Hero MotoCorp posted a marginal increase in its net profit at Rs 1,010.49 crore for the second quarter ended September 30, although it clocked a record two million units sales during the period. The company had reported a net profit of Rs 1,004.22 crore during the same period of the previous fiscal. Total income stood at Rs 8,479.59 crore for the second quarter, as compared to Rs 8,601.10 crore for the same period of the previous fiscal. It registered sales of 20,22,805 units during the period, a growth of 10.9% over 18,23,498 units in the same period of the previous fiscal.08:44 Auto sales cool off in October on inventory readjustment
Auto sales of most manufacturers cooled in October as dispatches to dealers moderated after the festive season ended on 19 October, with Diwali. Auto firms in India count dispatches to dealerships as sales. The top five passenger vehicles makers—Maruti Suzuki India, Hyundai Motor India, Mahindra & Mahindra, Honda Cars India, and Tata Motors—sold a cumulative 238,838 units in the month, up 3.7% from a year ago.08:34 India manufacturing PMI 'stagnates' in October
Manufacturing activity in India slackened in October as new orders stagnated in the wake of subdued demand conditions, largely due to "negative impacts" of GST, reports PTI. The Nikkei India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) fell to 50.3 in October, from 51.2 in September, indicating a "broad stagnation" in the manufacturing sector. This is for the third consecutive month that the index has come in above 50 that separates expansion from contraction. The decline in manufacturing activity was mostly because of stagnation in new business as "negative impacts" of GST led to subdued demand conditions. Moreover, new export orders dropped at the fastest pace since September 2013.08:32 Arun Jaitley to head panel to oversee state bank consolidation
India has set up a panel headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to evaluate proposals for mergers among state-run banks, the government said on Wednesday, taking the long-awaited move a step forward. Piyush Goyal, the Minister for Coal and Railways, and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will be the other two members in the panel that will send final proposals to the government and parliament for approval, the Finance Ministry statement said. India has 21 public sector banks, which account for more than two-thirds of the country’s banking assets. But a surge in bad loans and lower profitability compared with their private-sector rivals have triggered calls for consolidation among the state lenders.08:28 Amazon just bought three domain names related to cryptocurrency
Amazon has secured three new domain names related to cryptocurrency, sparking speculation that the e-commerce giant could be preparing a move into the cryptocurrency space. However, Amazon Pay's VP Patrick Gauthier told CNBC last month that Amazon had no plans to accept cryptocurrency because there hasn't been much demand yet, and Amazon may simply be protecting its brand name. The domains are: amazonethereum.com, amazoncryptocurrency.com, amazoncryptocurrencies.com. Trade publication DomainNameWire was the first to report on Amazon's move. The report said Amazon registered for the domains on Tuesday.08:24 Wall Street regulator warns celebrities, individuals touting digital coins
Wall Street’s main regulator warned on Wednesday that celebrities or other individuals may be breaking US securities law when promoting investments in initial coin offerings (ICOs), a means for companies to raise funds online, reports Reuters. ICOs have become an increasingly popular fundraising mechanism for young technology companies, enabling them to quickly raise millions of dollars by creating and selling digital coins online such as bitcoin with little regulatory oversight. Over the past few months some projects have received endorsements on social media by celebrities including hotel heiress Paris Hilton, boxer Floyd Mayweather and rapper The Game.
But the US Securities and Exchange Commission said endorsements may be unlawful if the coins are considered securities and the celebrities do not “disclose the nature, scope, and amount of compensation received in exchange for the promotion.” “A failure to disclose this information is a violation of the anti-touting provisions of the federal securities laws,” the SEC’s Enforcement Division and Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations said in a joint statement. Promoters may also be liable for possible violations of anti-fraud rules and for acting as unregistered brokers, the statement added.08:21 Cryptocurrencies reach record $185bn in market value after bitcoin surge
The market capitalisation of all cryptocurrencies soared to a record high Wednesday, on the back of a jump in the price of bitcoin, reports CNBC. The total value of the digital currencies topped $185 billion for the first time at around midday ET, according to data from industry website Coinmarketcap.08:18 Bitcoin smashes through $6,600 to new record high after CME announces plans for futures contracts
Bitcoin surpassed $6,500 and $6,600 on Wednesday to hit a new record high after the CME announced plans to launch bitcoin futures later this year, reports CNBC. The price of the cryptocurrency hit a high of $6,600.84 just hours after breaking through the $6,400 barrier, and minute after moving past the $6,500 mark, according to data from industry website CoinDesk. Its market capitalisation, or the total value of bitcoin in circulation, hit $110 billion. On Tuesday, US-based exchange CME said it would introduce bitcoin futures contracts this quarter, subject to regulatory approval.
08:09 Gold prices held onto gains early on Thursday after the US Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged on Wednesday, and as investors awaited an announcement on a new chair for the central bank later in the day.
08:05 Oil prices held steady on Thursday as US crude inventories fell despite a rise in production, while outside the United States an OPEC-led supply cut continued to tighten the market.08:04 Bank of England set to raise rates for first time since 2007
The Bank of England looks set to raise interest rates for the first time in more than 10 years on Thursday, despite uncertainty over Brexit. Almost all economists polled by Reuters expect the BoE to raise base rates to the 0.5% they stood at from March 2009 until August last year, when they were halved to 0.25% after Britons voted to leave the European Union. Britain’s annual growth is running at its weakest in four years, but with inflation hitting a five-year high of 3% in September and unemployment at a 42-year low, the central bank is worried the economy could overheat. A BoE rate hike would follow the pattern set by the US Federal Reserve and to an extent by the European Central Bank, which has said it will start to scale back its stimulus plan.
08:00 European stocks closed higher Wednesday afternoon, amid a global rally, as investor sentiment was buoyed by a slew of corporate earnings. The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed up 0.45% provisionally. The German DAX made the biggest gains of the major European bourses, up 1.78% for the session. The DAX rallied after being closed for trading Tuesday.07:54 Multiple people down in shooting at Colorado Walmart
Multiple people were shot on Wednesday inside a Walmart in a Denver suburb, local police said. Police in Thornton, Colorado, did not release any information about any of the victims and it was not clear if an assailant had been taken into custody. Thornton is about 16 km northeast of Denver. “We’ve got multiple parties down, we’re still trying to ascertain what their conditions are,” Officer Victor Avila of the Thornton Police Department told Reuters. The store had been “self-evacuated” by customers and employees who fled following the gunfire, Avila said. Reports of shots fired came shortly before 6:30 pm Mountain Time, a police spokesman said. Local television images showed a number of police cars and ambulances surrounding the store, lights flashing. For more updates, click here07:49 After delay, Republicans in Congress prepare to introduce tax bill
Republicans in the US House of Representatives were expected on Thursday to release a tax bill offering plenty of flexibility, as they grapple with stubborn internal disagreements on paying for the tax cuts they propose. After an embarrassing one-day postponement of the bill’s unveiling on Wednesday, lawmakers have made plans for a measure that will seek up to $6 trillion in tax cuts over 10 years but likely not spell out completely how to offset them. Asked if the bill would contain a permanent corporate tax rate cut to 20% from 35%, US House of Representatives tax panel Chairman Kevin Brady said: “That’s our goal and I think it’s going to take several steps ... to achieve that.”07:46 Trump kills class-action rule against banks, lightening Wall Street regulation
President Donald Trump signed a Congressional resolution on Wednesday that lets banks block customers from filing class action lawsuits, partly delivering on his election campaign promise to lighten US financial regulation, reports Reuters. The White House confirmed Trump signed the resolution, which kills a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) rule released in July, despite heavy lobbying for a veto by the president.
The rule, set to go into effect next spring, gave bank customers the option to band together in lawsuits known as class actions to lower their legal costs, but Republicans say the suits only benefit attorneys who reap large fees. They also argue arbitration is faster and leads to larger awards. Democrats say arbitration is rigged against customers and the US constitution guarantees a right to a trial. Trump vowed as a presidential candidate to lighten the bank regulation introduced after the 2007-09 financial crisis, but this was his first concrete action since taking office in January.07:38 White House set to name Powell as Fed Chair on Thursday
President Donald Trump plans to nominate current Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell as the next chair of the US central bank. The announcement is expected on Thursday. If elected, he will take over from the current Fed Governor Janet Yellen whose term ends in February. Powell, 64, was already seen as the frontrunner for the job, with a White House source telling Reuters on Monday that he was the likely pick.
So, why Jerome Powell is the 'boring' choice for Fed chair, but the best for stock market? Jerome Powell's Fed could be very different than Janet Yellen's, but the Fed governor is expected to steer monetary policy much as she did but jump into deregulation in a way she would not, reports CNBC. A lawyer and former undersecretary of the Treasury, he is considered a solid choice, and while not an economist, he is experienced at the Fed, having been appointed a governor in 2012. Powell is also a Republican and the least controversial of the final choices Trump considered to run the central bank, other than Yellen.07:25 Fed keeps rates unchanged, remains on road to December hike
The Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged on Wednesday and pointed to solid US economic growth and a strengthening labour market while playing down the impact of recent hurricanes, a sign it is on track to lift borrowing costs again in December, reports Reuters. In keeping with that encouraging tone, the central bank’s policymakers acknowledged that inflation remained soft but did not downgrade their assessment of pricing expectations. The Fed has raised rates twice this year and currently forecasts another nudge upwards in its benchmark lending rate from its current target range of 1% to 1.25% by the end of 2017.
Fed policymakers have been buoyed in recent months by a stronger global and domestic economy and further tightening in the labour market, although they are divided over the causes and duration of the current weakness in inflation. The Fed’s preferred inflation measure sits at 1.3% after retreating further from the central bank’s 2% target for much of the year. Nevertheless, Yellen and some other key policymakers have said the Fed still expects to continue to gradually raise rates given the strength of the overall economy. In its statement, the central bank reiterated it expects inflation to rise back to its target over the medium term and emphasised that the unemployment rate has declined further.
So, what has changed in Wednesday's statement and the one issued after the Fed's previous policymaking meeting on September 20.
07:17 Wall Street posted modest gains on Wednesday after the US Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged and gave encouraging comments about the economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 57.77 points, or 0.25%, to 23,435.01, the S&P 500 gained 4.1 points, or 0.16%, to 2,579.36 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 11.14 points, or 0.17%, to 6,716.53.
07:14 Chinese President Xi Jinping replied to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s congratulatory message on China’s recently completed Communist Party Congress, saying he hopes to promote ties between the two countries, North Korea’s state news agency said. “I wish that under the new situation, the Chinese side would make efforts with the DPRK side to promote relations between the two parties and the two countries to sustainable soundness and stable development and thus make a positive contribution to ... defending regional peace and stability and common prosperity,” Xi wrote in the message dated November 1, North’s official news agency KCNA stated.07:13 US lawmakers reach agreement on new North Korea sanctions
Republican and Democratic US senators on Wednesday said they agreed on a new package of sanctions on North Korea, and that the Senate Banking Committee would act on the legislation next week, while President Donald Trump is on his first trip to Asia since taking office, reports Reuters. Among other measures, the “Otto Warmbier Banking Restrictions Involving North Korea Act of 2017,” named after a US student who died after he was imprisoned in North Korea, would strengthen and expand existing sanctions and strengthen Congress’ oversight of North Korea sanctions. It would also impose sanctions on foreign financial institutions, such as Chinese banks found to provide services to any individual targeted for North Korea-related sanctions by the US Congress, a presidential executive order or UN Security Council resolution.07:12 Asian shares advanced on Thursday after the US Federal Reserve expressed optimism about the economy, virtually cementing the case for a year-end rate hike as investors awaited the formal nomination of the next head of the central bank. Japan's Nikkei stock index was up 0.2%, probing fresh 21-year highs and on track to gain 2.3% in a holiday-shortened week. Japanese markets will be closed for a national holiday on Friday. The SGX Nifty is indicating a subdued start on Thursday.