Stock markets update: Benchmark indices ended a volatile session near the lowest point of the day amid an intesified selling in FMCG, financial, and realty stocks, along with profit-taking in heavyweights like Reliance Industries, Tech Mahindra, TCS, L&T, and Bharti Airtel.
The 30-share BSE barometer closed at 52,852 levels, down 123.5 points or 0.23 per cent, while its NSE counterpart shut shop 32 points or 0.2 per cent lower at 15,824-mark. The broader markets, however, outperformed the frontline indices with the BSE MidCap and SmallCap indices adding 0.06 per cent and 0.34 per cent, respectively.
Globally, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index plunged over 4 per cent while South Korea's Kospi slipped 0.9 per cent. Japan's Nikkei, meanwhile, gained 1 per cent. In Europe, the pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 0.34 per cent in early deals. Moreover, all three main Wall Street indices were trading in the red too.
TECH VIEW :: Rohit Singre, Senior Technical Analyst at LKP Securities
Index started a week with mild losses and closed a day at 15824 & formed Doji sort of candle pattern on daily chat which hints indecision. The index has good support around 15770-15700 zone holding above said levels we may see positive momentum to be continued towards 15900-16000 zone which are strong resistance zone & fresh upside-only possible when we see a decisive close above 16k mark until then current range of 15600-16000 will extend further.
Markets traded lacklustre and ended marginally in the red, tracking mixed cues. The beginning was downbeat following negative global cues however the index managed to recoup its losses and traded in a narrow range thereafter. Finally, Nifty ended lower by 0.2% at 15,824 levels. The broader markets too ended flat. Amongst the sectors, a mixed trend was witnessed wherein Consumer Durables, IT and Metal ended with gains while Auto, Capital Goods and Oil & Gas ended with losses.
Going forward, the earnings announcement from select Nifty majors combined with global cues will dictate the trend. Meanwhile, we reiterate our view to limit leveraged positions and wait for further clarity.
TECH VIEW | Ashis Biswas, Head of Technical Research at CapitalVia Global Research
The market witnessed some lackluster movement and an attempt to hold the support level around the Nifty 50 Index level of 15800. The expected levels of the market are likely to be in the range of 15800 and 15950, and it is going to be crucial for the short-term market scenario to sustain above the 15800 Nifty50 Index level. Technical indicator suggests, a volatile movement in the market in a small range.
CLOSING COMMENTS :: Vinod Nair, Head Of Research at Geojit Financial Services
Indian market swung between gains and losses in today’s volatile trade reflecting weak global peers as investors await a slew of quarterly earnings. Chinese education, property, and tech sectors fell sharply after tighter government regulations. Globally, markets are awaiting the upcoming Fed meeting this week to have clarity regarding the timing of asset purchase tapering.
Navin Fluorine declines 6% on Q1 show
Voda Idea drops 1% even as firm hikes tarrifs
Symphony slips 5% on disappointing Q1 show
SBI Card jumps over 6% post Q1 numbers
Tata Motors slips 1% ahead of Q1 numbers
Broader markets outperform benchmark
Sensex Heatmap | Top gainers & losers at close
CLOSING BELL : Sensex, Nifty snap 2-day winning streak on weak global cues
BSE Sensex declined 124 points or 0.23 per cent to 52,852. NSE Nifty settled at 15,824, 32 points or 0.20 per cent lower.
BUZZING :: Zomato extends gains on heavy volumes
Persistent Systems hits record high; soars 16% in 2 days on strong Q1 show
Shares of Persistent Systems hit a new high of Rs 3,294.95, up 8 per cent on the BSE in the intra-day trade on Monday, having surged 16 per cent in the past two trading days, after the company reported a strong set of numbers for the quarter ended June 2021 (Q1FY22). Besides, in the past three months, the stock of information technology (IT) consulting & software company has zoomed 70 per cent, as compared to a 9 per cent rise in the S&P BSE Sensex. READ MORE
Result Reaction :: M&M Financial tanks over 5% on surprise one-time loss
>> Net loss: Rs 1,543 crore vs Rs 432-crore profit YoY
Chemical stocks in focus; Alkyl Amines, Gujarat Fluorochem at new highs
Shares of chemicals companies were on a roll in Monday's intra-day trade. Shares of Alkyl Amines Chemicals, Gujarat Fluorochemicals, Balaji Amines and Navin Fluorine International hit their respective new highs on the BSE in an otherwise subdued market on expectations of strong earnings. These stocks rallied up to 11 per cent in intra-day trade today. In comparison, the S&P BSE Sensex was down 0.05 per cent at 52,948 points at 01:54 pm. READ MORE
Q&A | Real money in market is made by remaining invested for long: Vikas Khemani
The markets are always vulnerable to corrections as they depend on a lot of unexpected factors — ranging from politics and geopolitics to inflation, monetary policy, etc. Many of these factors never happen and some happen unexpectedly. Investors always get hit when the markets are unprepared. That said, it is futile to manage these. Real money in the market is made by remaining invested for long. India is in one of its best super-cycle periods for the next five-seven years. Waiting for a market correction and optimising entry time in the markets will be akin to missing the woods for the trees. READ FULL INTERVIEW HERE
India VIX rises over 5%
Volatility indicator India VIX jumped 5.16 per cent to 12.37
The multiplex mess: Road to recovery for pandemic-battered cinema is long
The devastation has been absolute. PVR Cinemas had sold over 101 million tickets, made Rs 3,500 crore in revenues and over Rs 600 crore in operating profit in the year ending March 2020. The previous year, 2019, had been one of the best for Indian cinema, and it showed on the balance sheet of the country’s largest film retail firm. Just a year later, its revenues have tumbled to Rs 310 crore; less than 10 per cent of the March 2020 topline. Its 842 screens remain shut. READ MORE
Caplin Point jumps 19%, hits record high; stock soars 37% in seven days
Shares of Caplin Point Laboratories hit a record high of Rs 944 as they rallied 19 per cent on the BSE in intra-day trade on Monday in an otherwise subdued market. At 12:56 pm, the stock of the pharmaceutical company was trading 18 per cent higher at Rs 935 on the back of a 10-fold jump in trading volumes. At the same time, the S&P BSE Sensex was trading flat at 52,980 points.
A combined 5.8 million equity shares, representing 7.6 per cent of the total equity of Caplin Point Laboratories, had changed hands on the NSE and BSE so far. READ MORE
BUZZING :: Jindal Stainless (Hisar) zooms 8% in a subdued market
Mid-market view | Gaurav Garg, Head of Research at CapitalVia Global Research
On Monday, Indian equity benchmarks got off to a sour start due to weakeness in Asian rivals. Market sentiment is also dampened by fears of a third wave and the proliferation of Delta and Delta plus variants. As Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal expressed confidence that India will continue to attract high levels of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the current fiscal year, the downside was limited, and the market recovered swiftly. Stocks soared to new highs on Wall Street on Friday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing above 35,000 for the first time, as the market recovered from its brief plunge earlier in the week.
We witnessed an attempt in the market to hold above an important support level of 15.800. While sustaining above 15.800 is the key factor from a short-term perspective, we expect the market to extend the rally till 15,920-15,950.
Bajaj Auto takes a different road from Ola in its electric vehicle journey
Tech giant Ola Electric wants to disrupt the two-wheeler market by offering electric scooters for the price of a 125cc ICE-powered model. Its ambitious target is to get half of the 21 million two-wheeler buyers to move from ICE to electric in a few years as it builds the world’s largest two-wheeler factory in Tamil Nadu. To be fully operational by 2022, it will churn out 10 million units per annum. READ MORE
Status quo likely in September review of Nifty but not for long
The composition of the Nifty50 index is unlikely to change during the semi-annual review, slated for September. The two key stocks in contention — Info Edge and Avenue Supermarts — are yet to fulfil the inclusion criteria, even as the cutoff date of July 30 nears.
This despite the Nifty positions of state-owned Indian Oil and Coal India — the lowest-ranked index constituents, in terms of free-float market capitalisation — appear in danger. READ MORE
Analysts revise earnings estimates of Reliance Industries by 1-4%
After a beat in the operational performance in the April-June quarter of 2021-22 (FY22), brokerages have revised upwards their earnings estimates of India’s largest listed company by market capitalisation, Reliance Industries (RIL), by 1-4 per cent. The earnings revision has been led by an improvement in margin performance in Reliance Jio, oil-to-chemicals (O2C) business, including the refining segment. READ MORE
NEWS ALERT :: Vodafone Idea likely raises corporate tariffs
>> Co raises tariff for corporate customers by 30-40%
>> Tariff in the post-paid segment hiked
>> Minimum plan at Rs 299
Source: TV reports
BPCL, HPCL: Is it time to look at OMC stocks amid crude oil drop?
The Brent crude is struggling to touch the $75-mark after a sharp decline of over 15 per cent from the recent peak of $77.80 a barrel. Crude prices have recovered from last week's low of $67.42, although the momentum is not showing much excitement. Meanwhile, stocks of oil marketing companies (OMCs) off late are witnessing some profit-taking. Shares of BPCL and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL) have declined over 10 per cent from the highs touched last month. READ MORE
Bitcoin leaps 12% to test recent peaks, ether hits 3-week high
Cryptocurrencies popped to the top of recent ranges on Monday as short sellers bailed out in the wake of a strong week and while traders hoped a handful of positive comments from influential investors might signal a turnaround in fragile sentiment. READ MORE
Aurionpro Solutions surges 16%, hits 52-wk high on robust June quarter nos
Shares of Aurionpro Solutions surged 16 per cent at Rs 238, also its fresh 52-week high, on the BSE in the intra-day trade on Monday after the company reported a robust set of numbers for the quarter ended June 2021 (Q1FY22). In the past one month, the stock of the information technology (IT) software products company has zoomed 64 per cent, as compared to a 0.27 per cent rise in the S&P BSE Sensex. READ MORE
Q1 results: 230 early bird companies report 71% jump in net profit
The companies in cyclical sectors are likely to drive corporate earnings in the June 2021 quarter, too. The combined net profit of 230 early bird companies in Q1FY22 is up 70.6 per cent year-on-year (YoY), because of a favourable base and strong showing by firms in cyclical sectors, such as banking, metals & mining, cement, and oil & gas.
The combined net sales were up 35.2 per cent YoY to Rs 5.25 trillion in the June 2021 quarter, though the figure was down 5 per cent over Q4FY21. READ MORE
What were RIL's hits and misses in Q1? D-Street analysts decode
The oil-to-telecom behemoth Reliance Industries posted its June quarter numbers on July 23. Business Standard spoke to some of the D-Street analysts to understand the conglomerate's diverse businesses and how they fared in Q1! Watch the video for more
Q&A | Expect time-wise correction in market for next few months: Nirav Sheth
Markets are trading at about 21xFY22 and about 19XFY23E earnings at the higher end of their trading range. Earnings racing off a cliff have some upside risk and low-interest rates will support relatively high valuations. We expect markets to time correct for the next several months and sector rotation to be the dominant theme. READ FULL INTERVIEW HERE
Nirav Sheth, CEO- Institutional Equities, Emkay Global Financial Services
L&T Q1 Preview: Net profit may slide up to 60% QoQ, say analysts
“We expect Q1FY22 to be a weak quarter in terms of execution and profitability across the EPC (Engineering procurement and construction) and industrials space, as a sharp spike in Covid-19 cases across India, particularly in April-May, impacted execution levels,” said a report by foreign brokerage Nomura.
It added: Q1FY22 also saw a further rise in commodity prices (especially steel), compared with Q4FY21, leading to further aggravation of pressure on gross margins. Thus, we expect execution to weaken for EPC companies like L&T from the March quarter of FY21 (Q4FY21). READ MORE
NEWS ALERT :: NTPC issues clarification on report of bagging new order in Madhya Pradesh
Co says: Yes, NTPC Renewable Energy Ltd. (NTPC REL), a 100% subsidiary of NTPC, has emerged winner at the Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Limited (RUMSL) auction for 450 MW of solar projects at the Shajapur Solar Park in Madhya Pradesh (M.P). NTPC Renewables won a capacity of 105 MW & 220 MW quoting the lowest tariff of Rs 2.35 per kWh, and Rs 2.33 per kWh respectively.
However, NTPC group having an installed capacity of 66875 MW, has no material information to add, on the above mentioned news item on a routine business activity, considering size and scale of operations of the Company.
Considering size and scale of operations of the Company there is no material impact of this article on the Company.
MARKET CHECK :: Sensex at day's high
SBI Card gains 4% on strong June quarter results
In Q1FY22, SBI Card saw a sequential revenue increase of 2 per cent, and 10 per cent year-on-year (YoY), to Rs 2,362 crore. The net profit was up 74 per cent at Rs 304.61 crore against Rs 175.42 crore QoQ. Net interest margin improved 159 basis points (bps) sequentially at 14.8 per cent from 13.2 per cent the previous quarter. READ MORE
Tata Motors Q1 Preview: Analysts estimate up to Rs 2,000 crore loss
“Tata Motors is expected to report muted Q1FY22 results tracking sequential weakness in volumes across India passenger vehicles (PV), India commercial vehicle (CV) and Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) operations along with associated perils of negative operating leverage and higher raw material costs,” noted analysts at ICICI Securities. READ MORE
Axis Bank slips over 1% ahead of Q1 results today; here's what to expect
The brokerage is building in a net interest income (NII) growth of 18.6 per cent year-on-year (YoY) at Rs 8,285.2 crore on the back of a 0.5 per cent QoQ and 11.7 per cent YoY growth in loan book at Rs 6.27 trillion. Further, they expect a marginal operating profit growth of 0.8 per cent sequentially, at Rs 6,918 crore, aided by higher NII, while net profit is pegged at Rs 2,848.3 crore, up 156 per cent YoY and 6.4 per cent QoQ. READ MORE
ICICI Bank hits record high post stellar Q1; slips later on profit booking
Shares of ICICI Bank hit a frsh record high of Rs 681.40, up 1 per cent on the BSE in Monday's intra-day trade, after the private sector lender reported a strong set of numbers for the quarter ended June 2021 (Q1FY22). The stock surpassed its previous high of Rs 679, touched on February 16, 2021. The stock, however, slipped nearly 3 per cent from its intra-day high on profit booking. READ MORE
MARKET VIEW | V K Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist at Geojit Financial Services
15600 - 15900 range has held well for the Nifty for some time now. Buying at around 15600 and selling at around 15900 have proved to be profitable for traders. This range is likely to break on the upside when FII selling becomes weak and DII buying becomes strong, as is happening now. The very good Q1 results declared so far confirm the turnaround in corporate earnings. And this can embolden the bulls. If the Nifty breaks 15900 decisively & move forward, that rally is likely to be led by a new set of heavyweights. An important development in the banking space is the huge outperformance of ICICI Bank over HDFC Bank. This month, so far, HDFC Bank is down 3.7% while ICICI Bank is up by 7.3%. Globally, while the US & European markets are at record highs, Asia is under pressure due to rising Covid cases in Indonesia, Korea & Japan. This is unlikely to weigh on India since fresh cases are continuously on the decline in India except in certain pockets.
JSPL gains 4% on receiving revised bid for subsidiary
> JSPL on Sunday announced it has received a revised offer of Rs 7,401 crore from Worldone Private Limited for divestment of its subsidiary company Jindal Power Limiter (JPL). Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL) had earlier announced accepting a Rs 3,015-crore offer from Worldone Private Limited to divest 96.42 per cent stake it holds in the subsidiary company JPL.
MCX slips post Q1 show
>> Leading commodity bourse MCX has posted a 29.47 per cent YoY drop in its consolidated net profit at Rs 39.80 crore in the first quarter of the current fiscal. The company had clocked a net profit of Rs 56.43 crore in the same quarter previous fiscal.
Earnings Impact :: YES Bank jumps nearly 6%
>> The private sector lender reported a sharp increase in its June quarter net profit at Rs 203.76 crore on a consolidated basis, as against Rs 34.05 crore in the year-ago period, as the private sector lender's asset quality issues subsided.
Results Impact :: Investors book profit in ICICI Bank
> ICICI Bank reported a 78 per cent YoY rise in standalone net profit at Rs 4,616 crore for June quarter compared with Rs 2,599 crore in the same quarter last year.
Earnings Reaction :: ITC trades in the green
> The company reported a 28.6 per cent YoY growth in standalone profit at Rs 3,013.5 crore for Q1FY22, partly driven by low base in the year-ago quarter.
Result Impact :: RIL trades marginally higher
> Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries reported a consolidated net profit of Rs 12,273 crore for the three months ended June 30, 2021 (Q1FY22), down 7.2 per cent from Rs 13,233 crore posted in the same period last year (Q1FY21). However, last year's June quarter profit included an exceptional gain of Rs 4,966 crore. This will mean a 48.4 per cent growth in adjusted profit after tax over last year's Rs 8,267 crore.
Sector Watch :: Bank, financial stocks bleed
Sensex Heatmap | Top gainers & losers at opening tick
First Trade :: Nifty tests 15,800
OPENING BELL :: Sensex slides 150 points
Sensex Heatmap | Top gainers & losers in pre-open trade
Nifty tops 15,900 in pre-open session
Pre-open session :: Sensex rises 140 points
Kotak Securities on ITC
Reco: BUY | TP: Rs 275
ITC’s 1Q print was on expected lines – (1) cigarette revenues declined 13% qoq impacted by the second wave of Covid. The management has called out faster recovery of volumes as compared to the first wave with most markets returning to normalcy, and (2) FMCG grew 10% yoy (~5% LFL excluding Sunrise Foods); EBIT margin at 4.7% was decent in the context of steep RM inflation. ITC offers a combination of decent growth, dividend yield and inexpensive valuation. We maintain estimates, roll over and revise FV to Rs 275 (Rs257 earlier).
Kotak Securities on ICICI Bank
Reco: BUY | TP: Rs 770
ICICI Bank reported a solid ~80% yoy earnings growth on the back of 60% yoy decline in provisions. The bank has reported solid loan growth (17% yoy) and healthy NIM (3.9%), leading to 23% yoy operating profit growth. Slippages were high but from segments where the time for recovery is fast and recovery rates are likely to be high (secured loans). ICICI Bank is well-positioned in this leg of the cycle and closer to delivering best-in-class returns.
Kotak Securities on RIL
Reco: ADD | TP: Rs 2,260
RIL’s EBITDA was in line with our expectations in 1QFY22 as better-than-expected delivery by O2C, Jio and upstream businesses, was offset by a significant Covid-related impact on the retail segment. Robust additions to Jio’s subscriber base and growth in the new commerce business were encouraging, while the unrelenting pace of capex remained an area of concern. We raise FY2022-24E EPS by 3-4% for below-EBITDA changes and retain ADD with a revised FV of Rs2,260 on rollover.
Top stocks to watch today
ICICI Bank: The private sector lender reported a 78 per cent YoY rise in standalone net profit at Rs 4,616 crore for June quarter compared with Rs 2,599 crore in the same quarter last year.
ITC: The company reported a 28.6 per cent YoY growth in standalone profit at Rs 3,013.5 crore for Q1FY22, partly driven by low base in the year-ago quarter. READ MORE
Sharekhan on Biocon
Reco: BUY | TP: Rs 470
We retain Buy on the stock of Biocon with an unchanged price target (PT) of Rs. 470.
Q1FY22 was a weak quarter and results missed estimates. Performance was impacted due to 2nd wave of Covid in India.
Growth outlook across all the business is strong with Biologics segment expected to be the key growth driver. In the near term interchangeability status for Semglee and approval for bAspart, if received could be the key triggers
After a weak performance in Q1FY22, management has shared a promising growth outlook which augurs well from a growth perspective.
Sharekhan on JSW Steel
Reco: BUY | TP: Rs 850
Q1FY22 consolidated EBITDA at Rs. 10,274 crore (up 22% q-o-q) beat ours and the street’s estimates, led by higher-than-expected EBITDA/tonne at Rs. 29,608/tonne (up 42% q-o-q). Volumes declined 14.5% q-o-q to 3.5 mt due to weak demand in India because of lockdowns.
Overseas subsidiaries performed well with positive EBITDA contribution of Rs. 282 crore (versus an EBITDA loss of Rs. 322 crore in Q4FY2021) led by a turnaround in the US subsidiary Acero. Bhushan Power and Steel (jointed controlled entity) also performed well with PAT of Rs. 745 crore in Q1FY22.
Management maintained its standalone crude steel sales volume guidance of 17.4 mt, while Dolvi expansion is on track to get commissioned by September 2021. Domestic steel price is at 15-20% discount to imported steel price and focus on production cuts in China bodes well for sustained high steel price/margin.
We maintain a Buy on JSW Steel with a revised PT of Rs. 850, given a robust earnings growth outlook, focus on downstream value-added products and potential long-term value creation from recently-acquired steel assets. At CMP, the stock trades at 6.9x FY2023E EV/EBITDA
Sharekhan on ITC
Reco: BUY | TP: Rs 265
ITC’s Q1FY2022 cigarettes sales volume growth stood at 32-33%, above street average estimated volume growth; Cigarette EBIT margin up 174 bps y-o-y. Sales stood at 95% of Q1FY2020 levels.
Non-cigarette FMCG business revenue grew by ~10% y-o-y in Q1FY2022. EBIDTA margin up 40 bps y-o-y to 8.0% despite raw-material inflation.
Cigarette business sales volume picked up momentum from mid-June and is expected to sustain momentum (likely to reach pre-covid level volumes by Q3FY2022); FMCG is gaining good traction and will maintain its double-digit revenue growth and OPM expansion in the medium term.
The stock is currently trading at attractive valuation of 15.3x its FY2023E EPS in view of strong cash generation ability and dividend yield of ~5%. We maintain Buy with an unchanged PT of Rs. 265.
Sharekhan on RIL
Reco: BUY | TP: Rs 2,400
Consolidated EBITDA was in line with estimates at Rs. 23,368 crore (up 2.4% q-o-q) as Jio Platforms’ strong performance was offset by a miss in retail EBITDA. Standalone business recovered strongly with a 12.4% q-o-q rise in EBITDA to Rs. 11,460 crore. Adjusting for Rs. 551 crore of investment income in retail business, consolidated EBITDA at Rs. 22,817 crore missed estimate by 2.5%.
Jio Platforms’ EBITDA at Rs. 8,892 crore (up 3.7% q-o-q) was 7% higher than our estimate led by higher net subscriber additions of 14.4 million and stable APPU of Rs. 138 (versus estimate of Rs. 135). Retail business’ performance was hit by lockdowns and revenue/adjusted EBITDA declined sharply by 19%/55% q-o-q to Rs. 33,566 crore/Rs. 1,391 crore.
We expect a strong recovery in retail biz led by pent-up demand, store additions, rise in share of digital + new commerce and a likely increase in footfalls. Digital Services to see strong growth led by potential ramp-up of JioFiber and wireless customers addition. RIL’s PAT to grow at 30% CAGR over FY21-23E.
We maintain a Buy on RIL with an unchanged SoTP based PT of Rs. 2,400. Potential deal in O2C business and further value unlocking in digital and retail businesses (with a likely IPO) are key catalysts for RIL
Bank Nifty's role crucial in Nifty's march past 16,000 mark: Sameet Chavan
Although these levels may appear not so far from 16,000, we would see good stock specific action in this range. If Nifty has to reach and surpass the magical figure of 16,000, banking certainly has to play a vital role. It would be very important for the banking index to surpass the 36,000 mark to push the benchmark to new highs. READ MORE
Two technical picks by Vaishali Parekh: Buy Maruti Suzuki, TCS
The stock has corrected well from the peak of 7,690 level and has bottomed out near 7,150 level. It took support and formed a "higher bottom" formation on the daily chart to indicate strength and has the potential to rise further from here on in the coming days. Besides, the stock has moved past the significant 50EMA and 200DMA levels to indicate improved bias. We suggest to buy and accumulate this stock for an upside target of Rs 7,900-8,000, keeping the stop loss of Rs 7,100. READ MORE
Results today :: A total of 43 companies are slated to post their quarterly numbers today
>> At 8:24 AM, the index was down 116 points at 15,738 levels.
Oil prices have fared better amid wagers demand will remain strong as the global economy gradually opens and supply stays tight.
Brent was trading 23 cents firmer at $74.33 a barrel, while U.S. crude added 20 cents to $72.27.
Wall Street on Friday
The Dow jumped 238.20 points, or 0.68%, to 35,061.55. The S&P 500 gained 1.01% to 4,411.79 and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 1.04% to 14,836.99.
Asian markets trade mixed in early deals
Japan's Nikkei bounced 1.6 per cent in early trade but was off a seven-month low. Hong Kong dropped about 2 per cent, South Korea's Kospi was down 0.3 per cent and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index increased 0.2 per cent.
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