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Equity indices dip lower but metal stocks shine

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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], February 16 (ANI): Equity benchmark indices gave up early gains during volatile trade on Tuesday and closed in the red.
Market experts said traders booked profit across counters to realign their portfolios.
The BSE S&P Sensex closed 50 points or 0.1 per cent lower at 52,104 while the Nifty 50 was down by 1 point or 0.01 per cent to 15,313.
Sectoral indices at the National Stock Exchange were mixed with Nifty IT down by 1.5 per cent and FMCG by 0.7 per cent. But Nifty metal rose by 2.9 per cent and PSU bank by 1.7 per cent.
Among stocks, Axis Bank lost by 2.2 per cent to close at Rs 776.55 per cent while ICICI Bank wound up 2.3 per cent lower at Rs 658.15.
Public sector State Bank of India declined by 1 per cent at Rs 402.90 per share. The other major losers were Nestle India, Hindustan Unilever, Titan, Tata Motors, Eicher Motors, Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services.
However, Bank of Maharashtra, Indian Overseas Bank, Central Bank of India and Bank of India closed 20 per cent higher after reports that the government plans to privatise them.
Meanwhile, Asian shares advanced as optimism about the global economic recovery and expectations of low interest rates drive investments into riskier assets.
Japan’s Nikkei rose by 1.28 per cent to a 30-year high. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index surged by 1.9 per cent to hit a 32-month high in its first trading session since Thursday following the Lunar New Year holidays.
Mainland Chinese markets will remain closed for the holidays until Thursday while Wall Street was also shut on Monday. (ANI)

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PayPal reiterates commitment to India, plans to hire over 1,000 engineers

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Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], Mar 3 (ANI): Global leader in digital payments PayPal said on Wednesday it will hire 1,000 engineers for its India development centres across Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad over the course of this year.
Technology talent will be hired across software, product development, data science, risk analytics and business analytics streams at entry, mid-level and senior roles. PayPal India also announced its plans for campus hires from top engineering colleges across India.
The pandemic has accelerated the shift towards digital payments and highlighted the benefits of adopting a digital first approach.
PayPal said its products and services have become even more relevant now and hence the need to focus on technology innovation across artificial intelligence, machine learning, data science, risk and security, customer experience and other key areas.
“Our India technology centres are the largest for PayPal outside of the United States and play a pivotal role in enabling us to constantly innovate and remain ahead of the curve,” said Guru Bhat, Vice-President for omnichannel and customer success at PayPal India.
“As digital payments move from a nice-to-have to an essential service, we are focused on investing in and nurturing world-class technology talent to continue to offer products and services that meet the needs of our growing base of consumers and merchants,” he said.
PayPal’s India technology centres currently employ over 4,500 people across the three locations which play a critical role in enabling a safe and seamless payments experience.
The PayPal platform empowers more than 375 million consumers and merchants in more than 200 markets to thrive in the global economy. (ANI)

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Tata Power to provide green energy in Jharkhand

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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], March 3 (ANI): TP Saurya Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Power, has signed a power purchase agreement with Tata Steel to develop a 15 megawatt solar project at Jamshedpur in Jharkhand.
The energy will be supplied to Tata Steel under a power purchase agreement valid for a period of 25 years from scheduled commercial operation date.
The project is required to be commissioned within six months from the date of power purchase agreement’s execution. The plant is expected to generate an average of 32 million units of energy per year and will annually offset average 25.8 million kg of carbon dioxide.
Tata Power’s renewable capacity will increase to 4,047 MW out of which 2,687 MW is operational and 1,360 MW is under implementation, including 15 MW won under this power purchase agreement.
“We are glad to collaborate with Tata Steel to reduce their carbon footprint and reaffirm the Tata Group’s commitment for sustainability,” said Praveer Sinha, CEO and Managing Director of Tata Power.
“Presently the association is limited to Tata Steel at Jamshedpur and we look forward to working closely with them for covering all their other plants across India,” he said in a statement on Wednesday. (ANI)

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Strengthening demand boosts business activity growth in Feb: IHS Markit

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New Delhi [India], March 3 (ANI): Indian service providers expanded business activity at the fastest rate in a year during February due to a quicker increase in new orders, according to the latest IHS Markit Services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) released on Wednesday.

Moreover, the rollout of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines led to an improvement in business confidence towards growth prospects. Worryingly, however, employment declined for the third month in a row and companies noted the sharpest rise in overall expenses for eight years.
Rising from 52.8 in January to 55.3 in February, the seasonally adjusted India Services Business Activity Index pointed to the sharpest rate of expansion in output in one year. Moreover, the latest reading extended the current growth sequence to five months.
Survey participants linked the upturn to improved demand and more favourable market conditions. New work intakes expanded for the fifth straight month and at the fastest pace over this sequence.
According to monitored companies, marketing efforts and increases in new clients led to sales growth. Panellists continued to indicate that the Covid-19 pandemic and travel restrictions curbed international demand for their services.
New export orders declined for the 12th month running albeit at the weakest rate since last March. Despite ongoing growth of total new business, service sector employment fell further during February.
A number of companies suggested that the Covid-19 pandemic restricted labour supply. The pace of job shedding accelerated from January but was moderate overall.
“The February PMI data showed a solid growth performance for Indian service sector which alongside a robust upturn in manufacturing production pushed up the Composite Output PMI to a four-month high,” said Pollyanna De Lima, Economics Associate Director at IHS Markit.
“With capacity pressures mounting, business sentiment strengthening and the vaccination programme widening, it seems that the best days are ahead of us regarding employment growth,” she said.
The IHS Markit India Services PMI is compiled from responses to questionnaires sent to a panel of around 400 service sector companies. The sectors covered include consumer (excluding retail), transport, information, communication, finance, insurance, real estate and business services.
The panel is stratified by detailed sector and company workforce size based on contributions to GDP.
IHS Markit is a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions for the major industries and markets that drive economies worldwide. The company delivers next-generation information, analytics and solutions to customers in business, finance and government. (ANI)

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Air passenger demand globally falls further: IATA

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Geneva [Switzerland], March 3 (ANI): The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has said air passenger traffic fell in January, both compared to pre-Covid levels (January 2019) and compared to the immediate month prior (December 2020).
Total demand in January 2021 measured in revenue passenger kilometres was down by 72 per cent compared to January 2019. That was worse than the 69.7 per cent year-over-year decline recorded in December 2020.

Total domestic demand was down 47.4 per cent versus pre-crisis (January 2019) levels. In December it was down by 42.9 per cent on the previous year.
IATA said this weakening is largely driven by stricter domestic travel controls in China over the Lunar New Year holiday period.

International passenger demand in January was 85.6 per cent below January 2019, a further drop compared to the 85.3 per cent year-to-year decline recorded in December.
“2021 is starting off worse than 2020 ended and that is saying a lot. Even as vaccination programmes gather pace, new Covid variants are leading governments to increase travel restrictions,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

“The uncertainty around how long these restrictions will last also has an impact on future travel. Forward bookings in February this year for the northern Hemisphere summer travel season were 78 per cent below levels in February 2019,” he said.
Asia Pacific airlines’ January traffic plummeted by 94.6 per cent compared to the 2019 period, virtually unchanged from the 94.4 per cent decline registered for December 2020 compared to a year ago.
The region continued to suffer from the steepest traffic declines for a seventh consecutive month. Capacity dropped by 86.5 per cent and load factor sank 49.4 percentage points to 32.6 per cent, by far the lowest among regions.
“To say that 2021 has not gotten off to a good start is an understatement. Financial prospects for the year are worsening as governments tighten travel restrictions,” said de Juniac.
“We now expect the industry to burn through 75 billion to 95 billion dollars in cash this year, rather than turning cash positive in the fourth quarter as previously thought. This is not something that the industry will be able to endure without additional relief measures from governments.” (ANI)

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Wipro joins WEF initiative to advance racial justice, social equality

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Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], Mar 3 (ANI): IT software major Wipro Ltd has joined the Partnering for Racial Justice in Business initiative launched by the World Economic Forum to promote a culture of diversity, inclusion, equity and justice for people of all racial backgrounds in the workplace.
The initiative is aimed towards driving action and accountability for companies to confront racism at a systemic level, set new global standards for racial justice in business and accomplish necessary policy changes for the inclusion and advancement of professionals with under-represented racial and ethnic identities.
“As a global brand that influences millions of lives across the world, it is our responsibility to accelerate every attempt towards equity and justice,” said Thierry Delaporte, Wipro’s Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director.
“We will do everything we can to help us all rise up and together strive for racial justice. Wipro seeks to access as many different resources as possible to learn from them and introduce inclusive practices into our hiring, retention and employee growth approach,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.
Saadia Zahidi, Managing Director at the World Economic Forum, said with just one per cent of Fortune 500 companies led by black chief executives, the need to tackle racial under-representation in business is urgent and obvious.
“To design racially and ethnically just workplaces, companies must confront racism at a systemic level, addressing not just the structural and social mechanics of their own organisations, but also the role they play in their communities and the economy at large,” she said. (ANI)

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Equity indices on upward trajectory, metal stocks shine

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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], Mar 3 (ANI): Equity benchmark indices traded higher by 0.8 per cent during early hours on Wednesday with metal stocks witnessing smart gains amid mixed global trends.
At 10:15 am, the BSE S&P Sensex was up by 390 points or 0.78 per cent at 50,687 while the Nifty 50 edged higher by 125 points or 0.84 per cent to 15,044.
Except for Nifty auto which slid slightly, all sectoral indices at the National Stock Exchange were in the positive zone with Nifty metal up by 3.2 per cent, PSU bank by 1.7 per cent and realty by 1.2 per cent.
Among stocks, Tata Steel rose by 5.5 per cent to Rs 775.80 per share while JSW Steel and Hindalco moved up by 4.1 per cent and 2.6 per cent respectively.
The other prominent gainers were Adani Ports, Tata Motors, HDFC, State Bank of India, SBI Life, Axis Bank and UltraTech Cement.
However, auto stocks skidded with Hero MotoCorp down by 1.5 per cent to Res 3,423.60 per share. Bajaj Auto slipped by 1.4 per cent, Maruti Suzuki by 1.3 per cent, Mahindra & Mahindra by 0.6 per cent and Eicher Motors by 0.1 per cent.
Ircon International was down by 5.8 per cent as the offer for sale opened for up to 16 per cent government stake at a floor price of Rs 88 per share in the railway PSU.
Meanwhile, Asian shares edged higher as investors shrugged off concerns that stocks may have rallied too far too fast in the past year.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan was up by 0.44 per cent. Japan’s Nikkei stock index rose only 0.03 per cent and shares in China gained by 0.63 per cent. (ANI)

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