Today’s Business News | Sensex surges 454 pts; India’s gas consumption to jump, and more

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5:20 P.M.

India’s gas consumption to jump more than 3 times by 2030: GAIL Director

India’s natural gas consumption is projected to rise to as much as 550 million standard cubic meters (mmscmd) per day by the end of the decade from about 174 mmscmd now as the user base expands with the inclusion of newer industries such as steel, GAIL (India) marketing director E S Ranganathan said on Thursday.

Demand from city gas is expected to rise to 140 mmscmd in 8 years from 35 mmscmd now while gas use in refineries is expected to increase to 58 mmscmd from about 14 mmscmd now.

5:11 P.M.

Disney+ Hotstar to educate agency planners use its digital solutions and generate more business

Disney+ Hotstar, a global streaming platform today announced the launch of LEAP, an educational program for agency planners on advertising solutions and online video marketing on Disney+ Hotstar.

The program will enable agency planners to leverage Disney+ Hotstar’s advertising and marketing solutions to create impactful campaigns for their brands. Given that online video marketing is the way forward for the advertising industry, this can help brands to engage with their target audience and generate more business.

5:02 P.M.

Gold rallies ₹195, silver climbs ₹569

Gold rallied ₹195 to ₹46,625 per 10 gram in the national capital on Thursday in line with gain in international precious metal prices and rupee depreciation, according to HDFC Securities. In the previous trade, the precious metal had settled at ₹46,430 per 10 gram.

Silver also jumped ₹569 to ₹61,763 per kg from ₹61,194 per kg in the previous trade.

In the international market, gold is trading in the green at $1,795 per ounce and silver is flat at $23.65 per ounce.

4:58 P.M.

Rupee slumps 12 paise to close at 74.52 against US dollar

The rupee slumped 12 paise to end at 74.52 against the US currency on Thursday amid month-end dollar demand and foreign fund outflows from equity and debt markets. The rupee had closed at 74.40 in the previous trading session.

At the interbank foreign exchange market, the local currency opened at 74.55, witnessed a high of 74.47 and a low of 74.58 against the US dollar.

4:55 P.M.

Sensex surges 454 pts, Reliance Industries rebounds over 6%

Sensex rebounded 454 points on Thursday, boosted by gains in Reliance Industries amid a positive trend in global markets.

The 30-share index ended 454.10 points or 0.78% higher at 58,795.09. Similarly, the NSE Nifty surged 121.20 points or 0.70% to close at 17,536.25.

Reliance Industries was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, followed by ITC, Infosys, Tech Mahindra, Titan, Bharti Airtel and PowerGrid. On the other hand, Maruti, ICICI Bank, IndusInd Bank, HUL and L&T were among the laggards.

4:53 P.M.

Daimler India to tap used commercial vehicles biz

Daimler India Commercial Vehicles, on Thursday said it was expanding the exchange business portfolio, by forming a strategic tie-up with Shriram Automall India Ltd.

The strategic tie-up would enable commercial vehicle customers in exchanging their used vehicles with lower turnaround time, better resale value and hassle-free process. The platform would provide buyers a carefully-picked up pool of used trucks that have undergone thorough quality checks, made available through its national dealership network.

4:47 P.M.

Govt sets up committee for stable gas price for power units: Oil Secretary

The government has set up a committee to make natural gas available to power plants at “reasonably stable prices”, Oil Secretary Tarun Kapoor said on Thursday.

India has 24,900 megawatts of gas-based power generation capacity but of this, 14,305 MW is stranded due to the non-availability of reasonably priced gas.

While gas-based power plants act as balancers in the grid, making available gas to power plants is part of a larger plan to increase the share of environment-friendly fuel in India’s primary energy basket to 15% by 2030 from the current 6.7% , Kapoor said.

4:04 P.M.

Strong demand, rising vaccination drive positive outlook for Indian corporates: Moody’s

Moody’s Investors Service on Thursday said India’s rising vaccination rate, low interest rates and higher public spending drive the positive outlook for corporate sector.

Moody’s projects India’s economic growth to rebound with GDP expanding 9.3% in the current fiscal ending March 2022, and 7.9% in fiscal 2023.

Moody’s said credit fundamentals are favorable for India’s companies on a sustained economic recovery and earnings of rated companies’ will rise on strong consumer demand and high commodity prices.

3:45 P.M.

PayU becomes fully certified token requestor and token service provider for Mastercard and Visa

PayU, a digital payments solutions provider, said that it has been fully certified by Mastercard and Visa as a token requestor and token provider. PayU can now act as token requestors on behalf of merchants.

As a token service provider, PayU will be able to issue, manage, and operate payment tokens, providing frictionless payment experiences, the company said.

“The PayU Token Hub solution, built on the foundation of Visa’s token solution, will help address the key areas of security and enhanced transaction experience. This timely solution will help more cardholders opt for tokenized transactions when shopping online at their favourite merchants,” said Shailesh Paul, Head of Merchant Services and Solutions and Cybersource, India and South Asia, Visa.

3:36 P.M.

ADB approves $1.5 bn loan to India for purchasing COVID-19 vaccines

The Asian Development Bank has approved around Rs 11,185 crore ($1.5 billion) loan to India for COVID-19 vaccine procurement.

The loan from ADB will fund at least 66.7 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses for an estimated 31.7 crore people. It will support India’s National Deployment and Vaccination Plan which aims to fully vaccinate 94.47 crore people aged 18 years and above, accounting for 68.9% of the population.

3:29 P.M.

Bosch partners German GIZ for promoting sustainable mobility solutions in Indian cities

Auto components major Bosch said it has partnered with GIZ to jointly launch a green urban mobility innovation initiative for implementing sustainable and smart mobility solutions across several Indian cities.

GIZ is a German government-owned enterprise providing support to achieve its objectives in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development.

2:09 P.M.

Airtel partners Nokia to conduct 5G trial in 700 MHz band

Telecom operator Bharti Airtel on Thursday said it has conducted India’s first 5G trial in the 700 MHz spectrum band in partnership with Nokia. 

The trial was conducted on the outskirts of Kolkata, which also marked the first 5G trial in the eastern India, the company said in a statement.

Airtel has been allotted test spectrum in multiple bands by Department of Telecommunications for the validation of 5G technology.

1:46 P.M.

IIT Varanasi researchers develop India’s first device for on-site production of ultra-pure Hydrogen

Researchers at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), BHU claim to have developed India’s first device for the on-site production of ultra-pure Hydrogen.

The device is 100% indigenous and every component is made in IIT, BHU facilities. It requires only 0.6 lit/hr of methanol for the production of around 900 lit/hr of hydrogen.

This is a major development at a time when India has committed to zero net emissions by 2070 at the COP26 Climate Summit. The government recently launched the National Hydrogen Mission and National Electric Mobility Mission Plan to reduce the carbon footprint and dependency on fossil fuels.

1:30 P.M.

ITC developing nasal spray for COVID-19 prevention

ITC on Thursday confirmed that it is developing a nasal spray for COVID-19 prevention for which it has started clinical trials. The nasal spray is designed to arrest the virus at the entry point in the nasal cavity itself.

Developed by scientists at ITC Life Sciences and Technology Centre (LSTC), Bengaluru, the company plans to market the nasal spray under the Savlon brand after it gets all the requisite regulatory approvals.

1:18 P.M.

Taiwan looking at chip cooperation with Eastern European nations

Taiwan is looking to cooperate with three Eastern European countries on semiconductors, a move likely to find favour in Brussels which has been courting Taiwanese semiconductor firms to manufacture in the bloc.

Tech powerhouse Taiwan which is home to companies like Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC), has become centre of efforts to resolve a chip crisis that has hit several industries like automobiles and consumer electronics.

1:08 P.M.

China regulator seeks to avoid U.S. delisting of Chinese firms

Chinese authorities are working with U.S. counterparts to prevent Chinese companies being delisted from U.S. stock exchanges, amid dispute about auditing standards.

U.S. authorities are moving towards removing foreign companies from American stock exchanges if their audits fail to meet U.S. standards.

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board and U.S. policy makers have long complained of a lack of access to audit working papers for U.S.-listed Chinese companies. However, Chinese authorities have been reluctant to allow overseas regulators inspect working papers from local accounting firms, citing national security concerns.

12:55 P.M.

CSR budgets of cos must create social, environment, business value: Niti Aayog member

The corporate social responsibility budgets of companies must create social, environment and business value, Niti Aayog member V K Sarawat said on Thursday.

Corporate social responsibility (CSR ) should also promote artificial intelligence and automation activities, he added while addressing ‘National CSR Network’ virtual round table.

12:15 P.M.

Responsibility for content on social media platforms, websites must be clearly defined: Vaishnaw

IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said the responsibility for content put out on social media platforms and websites should be “clearly defined”,

The Minister further said changes in technology and internet over the last few decades requires fundamental rethink in the governance structure of the internet.

According to Vaishnaw, the nation being one of the largest users of the internet has to be a key stakeholder in the way governance of the internet is defined all over the world.

11:30 A.M.

UAE fully committed to OPEC+ agreement

The United Arab Emirates is fully committed to the OPEC+ agreement and has no “prior stance” ahead of an upcoming meeting on Dec. 2, according to a news report from state news agency WAM.

“The energy ministry confirms that the United Arab Emirates is fully committed to the cooperation agreement with OPEC+ and that there is no prior stance on the upcoming meeting,” the agency said, citing an energy ministry statement.

The ministry “reiterates that any decisions will be taken collectively by the OPEC+ group in its next Ministerial meeting,” it added.

10:45 A.M.

Rupee slips to 74.55 against US dollar

The Indian rupee fell15 paise to 74.55 against the US dollar in opening trade on a muted trend in domestic equities and a firm American currency.

The rupee opened on a weak note at 74.55, after closing at 74.40 against the US dollar the previous day .

The dollar index, which gauges the greenback’s strength against a basket of six currencies, fell 0.14% to 96.74.

10:15 A.M.

China non-committal to US’s oil release, OPEC+ unmoved

China, the world’s largest crude importer, was non-committal to release oil from its reserves as requested by the United States, while OPEC producers were sticking to their current tactics.

On Tuesday, U.S. said it would release millions of barrels of oil from strategic reserves in coordination with other large consuming nations, including China, Japan and India, to try to cool prices.

The United States will release 50 million barrels of pre-approved sales along with loans to the market while China said it was working on its own reserves release.

9:30 A.M.

Markets update | Sensex, Nifty open lower

India’s benchmark equity indices, Sensex and Nifty opened lower amid mixed global cues. At 9:16 IST, the Sensex was down 94.53 points or 0.16% to 58246.46 and the Nifty was down 18.50 points or 0.11% to 17396.50.

Asian shares inched lower primarily due to the rising U.S. dollar as investors bet on interest rates increasing faster in the United States than Japan and the euro zone.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.18% to a six-week low, while Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.8%. Australia shed 0.1%, Hong Kong lost 0.35%, and Chinese blue chips shed 0.3%.

9:15 A.M.

Oil falls marginally as investors await OPEC+ response

Oil prices fell as investors waited to see how major producers respond to the emergency crude release by major consuming countries.  

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 0.1%, to $78.30 a barrel and Brent crude futures slipped to $82.20 a barrel. 

All eyes are now on OPEC+, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and allies, who are due to meet next week to discuss oil demand and supply. 

—–

Amazon asked Supreme Court to pause an expedited review of allegations that the U.S. firm concealed information while seeking antitrust clearance for a 2019 deal with Future Group. The U.S. Trade Representative’s office is terminating its trade retaliation case against India after Washington and New Delhi agreed on a global tax deal transition arrangement that will withdraw India’s digital services tax. The government’s plan for a new bill that would bar most private cryptocurrencies led to heavy selling in the digital currency markets, as investors looked to exit positions despite the losses.

 

—-  Edited by John Xavier

 

(With inputs from Reuters, PTI and other news agencies.)

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