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Oil above $84/barrel in Asian trade

Strong regional equity markets, reopening of European airspace helped to boost prices

Oil climbed above $84/barrel in Asian trade today as European governments reopened their airspace to more flights following a shutdown caused by ash from an erupting volcano in Iceland, reports PTI.

Prices also had a boost from regional equity markets, which were buoyed by a rise in US stocks.

New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in May, jumped 36 cents to $84.21 a barrel.

Brent North Sea crude for June rose 47 cents to $85.27.

“Support could be coming from regional equity markets which appear to be doing okay so far today,” said David Moore, commodity strategist at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. “There’s also been more flight activity in Europe which is seen to be helping oil prices.”

Planes took to Europe’s skies in greater numbers on Wednesday after the chaos caused by the Iceland volcano cloud.

Britain finally lifted a flight ban on its airspace late Tuesday, following Belgium, France and Germany and others in easing restrictions introduced after the Icelandic volcano spewed a huge dust cloud across the continent.

However, airlines face a huge challenge to shift the backlog of passengers that has built up.

Millions of people have been stranded across the globe since Europe began shutting down airspace on 14th April, and airline schedules are in disarray after a number of planes were grounded.

Asian stocks were also higher, lifted by Wall Street’s gains and solid earnings from Apple Corp.

Japanese shares were 1.54% higher by noon, with the headline Nikkei index of the Tokyo Stock Exchange finishing the morning session up 168.09 points at 11,068.77.

Hong Kong shares were 0.32% higher in early trading.
 

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Govt may earn up to Rs45,000 crore from spectrum auction

So far 52 rounds of bids have been completed and there is no excess demand in major circles like Delhi, Mumbai, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu

The government is likely to earn up to Rs45,000 crore from the auction of 3G and broadband spectrum, telecom minister A Raja said today, reports PTI.

The amount is much higher than the earlier target of up to Rs35,000 crore.

“The auction of 3G and Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) spectrum put together is likely to fetch Rs44,000 crore to Rs 45,000 crore for the government,” Mr Raja said on the sidelines of a telecom event.

After yesterday’s round of bidding for 3G, which began on 9th April, the government would get at least Rs25,770 crore from the sale of third generation (3G) spectrum alone.

On Tuesday, which was the 9th day of bidding, the base price increased to Rs6,355 crore for pan-India frequency from Rs3,500 crore.

Delhi continues to be on top, with a bid of Rs733.71 crore against the base price of Rs320 crore. Mumbai attracted the second highest quotation of Rs667.77 crore, followed by Tamil Nadu at Rs643.37 crore.

So far 52 rounds of bids have been completed and there is no excess demand in major circles like Delhi, Mumbai, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, indicating that the price may not go up further in these circles.

However, going by the rules of the auction, any operator can come back and bid for any of the circles till the government discovers price in all the areas simultaneously.

Kolkata is the only circle with excess demand and there are 11 service areas with negative demand.
 

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