Countries across the world are battling rising inflation at the cost of slowing growth
China’s central bank, after the markets closed yesterday, hiked interest rates by another 25 basis points in its ongoing move to rein in inflation. However, US markets closed marginally higher after a day’s pause, ignoring global worries and focusing on developments within the country. Markets in Asia were mixed in early trade on Thursday on concerns about economic growth in the region, and the world at large. The SGX Nifty was seven points higher at 5,643 compared to its previous close of 5,636 on Wednesday.
Back home, the government will announce the weekly food inflation numbers around noon. Food inflation fell to a one-and-a-half month low of 7.78% for the week ended 18th June down from 9.13% in the previous week.
Reflecting the mixed trend in the Asian markets, the domestic market also opened lower yesterday. The Nifty opened nine points lower at 5,623 and the Sensex resumed trade at 18,730, down 15 points from its previous close. PSU oil companies, banking, power and healthcare stocks were under pressure in early trade. Investors soon resorted to bargain hunting, taking the indices to their intra-day highs in the first half hour. At the day's high the Nifty rose to 5,655 and the Sensex touched 18,823.
However, sharp volatility saw the indices bobbing in and out of the red on quite a few occasions. Rudderless trade led the market to the day's low in the post-noon session, when the Nifty lost 21 points to touch 5,611 and the Sensex fell to 18,683, down 62 points. A sharp recovery followed, lifting the market into the positive. However, the lower opening on key European markets made investors jittery in late trade and the market closed flat with a negative bias for the second day. The Nifty closed down seven points at 5,625 and the Sensex finished at 18,727, down 18 points.
The Nifty trailed close to its first support of 5,600 in trade. The market is trying hard to restrain itself from falling. If the Nifty closes below 5,600, its next support lies at 5,500.
US markets settled marginal gains, after settling mixed on Tuesday, Yesterday the Nasdaq closed higher for the seventh straight day. Moody’s downgrade of Portugal’s government bond rating to junk on Tuesday and China’s rate hike on Wednesday were the negative factors that influenced trade. Banks were among the worst performers on concerns about their exposure to euro-zone debt and sluggish US growth. Bank of America declined 2.4%, JP Morgan Chase fell 1.2% and Wells Fargo settled 1.1% lower.
In economic news, the Institute of Supply Management’s purchasing manager’s index for the non-manufacturing (services) sector declined in June to 53.3, from 54.6 in May. The report follows a better-than-expected June ISM report on manufacturing.
The Dow rose 56.15 points (0.45%) to 12,626.02. The S&P 500 added 1.34 points (0.10%) at 1,339.22 and the Nasdaq gained 8.25 points (0.29%) to close at 2,834.02.
Markets in Asia were mixed in early trade on Thursday as the 25 basis point rate by the People’s Bank of China after the market closed yesterday worried investors that the move could jeopardise growth. The 0.25 percentage point increase in lending and borrowing rate, which comes into effect from today, is the third rate hike this year.
On the other hand, Japan’s core machinery orders rose 3% in May from the previous month. The rise in machinery orders was the biggest since a 4% increase in January.
The Hang Seng gained 0.28%, the Jakarta Composite rose 0.48%, the KLSE Composite added 0.02%, the Straits Times climbed 0.30% and the Seoul Composite advanced 0.26% on the other hand, the Shanghai Composite slipped 0.41%, the Nikkei 225 lost 0.10% and the Taiwan Weighted declined 0.51% in early trade.
Oil prices settled almost unchanged on Wednesday as the rate hike by China and Europe’s debt woes raised concerns about demand. Brent futures for August added 1 cent to settle at $113.62 a barrel, having recovered from an earlier $111.91 low. US crude fell 24 cents to settle at $96.65 a barrel, having bounced off a $95.90 intra-day low.
Back home, A government panel on Wednesday deferred decision on UK-based Vodafone’s plea to buy 5.48% stake in telecom company Vodafone-Essar for about Rs2,700 crore for want of comments from home and telecom ministries.
Mauritius based Prime Metals, an indirect subsidiary of Vodafone International, had moved an application before the FIPB for permission to buy about 5.48% stake in the Vodafone-Essar. The home ministry and telecom ministry are yet to make any comment on Prime Metals plea. Prime Metals already holds about 1.53% stake in Vodafone-Essar.
Directs company to change TV commercial which says ‘Pureit’ can destroy one crore viruses in one litre of water and that this is confirmed by tests by NIV
Pune-based National Institute of Virology (NIV) has warned Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) of legal action if it does not change the television commercial of its 'Pureit' water purifier. The advertisement is said to make unsubstantiated claims that it can destroy one crore virus in one litre of water.
In a letter to HUL dated 2 June 2011, A C Mishra, the director of NIV, explained the details of the tests conducted by the institute and said, "Your (HUL's) advertisements are not based on facts. You are requested to refrain from twisting and misrepresenting the facts. Failing to take immediate corrective measures may force us to resort to legal action against your company."
Moneylife had on 6 June 2011 reported the details of this case that were revealed through a Right to Information (RTI) query by Mumbai-based activist A R Shenoy. Pureit has been making the unsubstantiated claims through advertisements stating that the test results were backed by NIV, which tested eight domestic water purifiers using 0.67x105 Hepatitis E virus particles per litre of water.
According to the reply from NIV to the RTI application, the test was conducted on a sample of water of 0.67x105 Hepatitis E virus particles per litre and not one crore virus, as claimed by HUL. (Read, "How safe is your water purifier? HUL makes exaggerated claims")
The report does not mention the names of any of the other water purifiers that were tested, apart from Pureit, which it says, removes 99.9% of virus particles using 0.67x105 Hepatitis E virus particles per litre of water, which is less than one million virus particles. Therefore, HUL took the liberty to twist the facts for its own benefit.
Subsequently, Mr Shenoy again evoked the RTI to find out from NIV whether there was any communication or official letter to HUL between April and early June 2011. In reply, to Mr Shenoy's query, NIV sent him a copy of the letter sent by its director, Mr Mishra, to HUL on 2nd June.
Speaking to Moneylife, Mr Shenoy said, "The letter is in agreement with my findings that the company is twisting the test reports for their own advantage." HUL has not answered an e-mail from Moneylife yet.