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BOURSES BACK IN GREEN; SENSEX GAINS AROUND 100 POINTS
Indian equity bourses came back in green terrain in late morning deals, with Sensex and Nifty gaining over 0.35% each. Investors were getting relief, amid a report stating that the Reserve Bank, which has been snapping up greenbacks in the past two years, has also been lapping up US treasury bills and the holdings touched a record high in January. The holdings rose by more than $2 billion between December 2019 and January 2020. At $164.3 billion, the Reserve Bank's US treasury holdings is at an all-time high. Adding more comfort, Union Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said the government is monitoring the availability of essential commodities in the market amid nationwide lockdown for next 21 days to check the spread of coronavirus outbreak.
On the global front, Asian markets were trading in green, after Malaysia's consumer price inflation slowed in February. The figures from the Department of Statistics showed that the consumer price index rose 1.3 percent year-on-year in February, after a 1.6 percent increase in January. Among the main groups, prices for miscellaneous goods and services grew 2.5 percent annually in February. Prices for transport rose 2.4 percent and those of housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels, and communication increased 1.6 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively.
The BSE Sensex is currently trading at 26769.01, up by 94.98 points or 0.36% after trading in a range of 26359.91 and 27299.44. There were 14 stocks advancing against 16 stocks declining on the index.
The broader indices were trading mixed; the BSE Mid cap index was up by 0.26%, while Small cap index was down by 0.23%.
The top gaining sectoral indices on the BSE were Energy up by 4.36%, Telecom up by 2.69%, Basic Materials up by 1.53%, Auto up by 1.48% and Metal up by 0.77%, while Capital Goods down by 3.03%, Industrials down by 2.04%, IT down by 1.44%, PSU down by 0.98% and TECK down by 0.90% were the top losing indices on BSE.
The top gainers on the Sensex were Maruti Suzuki up by 7.45%, Reliance Industries up by 6.67%, Ultratech Cement up by 4.78%, Nestle up by 3.92% and Tech Mahindra up by 3.24%. On the flip side, ITC down by 6.32%, Indusind Bank down by 5.23%, Larsen & Toubro down by 5.16%, HCL Tech down by 3.43% and ONGC down by 3.36% were the top losers.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said that the government has raised the threshold for invoking insolvency under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) to Rs 1 crore from the existing Rs 1 lakh with a view to prevent triggering of such proceedings against small and medium enterprises that are facing currently the heat of coronavirus pandemic. She said the government will also consider suspending Sections 7, 9, 10 of the IBC for six months if the current situation following the outbreak of COVID-19 continued beyond April 30, 2020.
Sitharaman said the government also extended the deadline for filing GST returns for March-May to June 30. On late filing of GST returns, she said no late fee, penalty or interest will be charged for companies with turnover of up to Rs 5 crore. She noted that for companies with more than Rs 5 crore turnover, no late fee and penalty will be charged on GST return filed by 15 days and a reduced interest rate of 9 per cent will be charged.
The minister further said 'Sab ka Vishwas' indirect tax dispute redressal scheme has also been extended to June 30 and no interest on payment made till June 30 will be charged. Additionally, she said the government relaxed company provisions including that of mandatory holding of board meeting and filing of return by newly incorporated companies.
The CNX Nifty is currently trading at 7831.25, up by 30.20 points or 0.39% after trading in a range of 7714.75 and 7980.35. There were 28 stocks advancing against 21 stocks declining, while 1 stock remain unchanged on the index.
The top gainers on Nifty were Maruti Suzuki up by 7.17%, Reliance Industries up by 6.58%, Grasim Industries up by 5.76%, Nestle up by 4.45% and Ultratech Cement up by 4.35%. On the flip side, ITC down by 6.61%, Indusind Bank down by 5.07%, Larsen & Toubro down by 4.94%, HCL Tech. down by 3.57% and ONGC down by 3.44% were the top losers.
Asian markets were trading higher; Nikkei 225 rose 1,454.28 points or 8.04% to 19,546.63, Straits Times jumped 61.65 points or 2.61% to 2,423.70, Hang Seng gained 477.76 points or 2.11% to 23,141.25, Taiwan Weighted surged 398.71 points or 4.29% to 9,684.33, KOSPI soared 74.62 points or 4.63% to 1,684.59 and Shanghai Composite was up by 55.36 points or 2.03% to 2,777.80.
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