Friday's Market Preview: Market to open flat-to-down

Global market cues point out to a cautious-to flat opening for the Indian market today. US markets closed in the red on Thursday on a sudden rise in initial jobless claims and consumer spending trends indicated lower-than-expected retail sales in July. Markets in Asia, weighed down by the US economic data, are trading mostly lower early today. The SGX Nifty is trading with a loss of 6.5 points at 5,449 against its previous close of 5,455.

The Indian market was in a consolidation mood on Thursday after three days of gains. The session started on a positive note and was range-bound for a major part of the trading day. However, profit-booking in the last half-hour saw the benchmarks giving up all gains accrued in the session. The Sensex ended at 18,172, down 44 points (0.2%). The Nifty shut at 5,447, down 20 points (0.3%).

Annual food inflation fell marginally to 9.53% for the week ended 24th July as prices of vegetables, especially potato and onion declined government data on Thursday showed. Food inflation, which was 9.67% for the week ended 17th July, remained in single digit for the second consecutive week.

Meanwhile, fuel inflation for the week ended 24th July stood at 14.26% against 14.29% in the previous week.

The US markets ended lower on Thursday, weighed down by dour economic news that fuelled concerns about the pace of the economic recovery. Weekly jobless claims data revealed initial claims for jobless benefits rose to 479,000, the highest level since early April. Besides, sales at 30 retail chains rose 3%, less than the 3.2% average forecast by analyst. This is the fourth month in a row sales have trailed estimates.

The Dow fell 5 points (0.05%) to 10,674.98. The S&P 500 fell 1 point (0.1%) to 1,125.81. The Nasdaq fell 10 points (0.4%) to 2,293.06.

Weak US markets impacted Asia in early trade today. Shanghai Composite was down 0.4%, Hang Seng was down 0.2%, KLSE Composite was down 0.1%, Nikkei 225 was down 0.3%, Straits Times was down 0.7% and Seoul Composite was down 0.2%. On the other hand, Jakarta Composite gained 0.1% and Taiwan Weighted was up 0.7%. The SGX Nifty is trading with a loss of 6.5 points at 5,449 against its previous close of 5,455.

Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia on Thursday said the current high level of inflation at 10.55% is a problem, but it should come down to a comfortable level of 6% by December.

"Inflation right now is a problem and the government recognises that...In my judgment by the end of this year it will not be what it is now. It will be much close to 6%, which most people regard as a comfortable level," Mr Ahluwalia said at a panel discussion.


Malaria War: Mumbai does not have enough insecticides

The metropolis is fighting a war against malaria. However, the BMC does not have enough insecticides to combat the disease

Malaria is spreading like wildfire in Mumbai. In July, there has been a three-fold rise in cases diagnosed with the disease compared to last year. Amidst the lack of beds in hospitals and shortage of medicines, here comes another shocker. Civic body Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) does not have enough insecticides to ward off the mosquitoes spreading the disease.

According to a few BMC officials, the municipal authority does not have enough stock of insecticides to curb this disease. They said that the government has not been able to provide adequate funds for buying insecticides, plus payments have not been made to the insecticide manufacturer; even the supply chains are not working.

"We haven't received the necessary funding and there seems to be some payment issues with the insecticide manufacturing company," a BMC official told Moneylife on the condition of anonymity.

There is a shortage of stocks for medicines like Vectobac, and insecticides such as DDVP and Pyrethrum, to combat the disease. Another BMC official told us that ward officers have been asking for the insecticides, but have not been receiving them. "We have received our quota (for our ward), but for the past few days, (other) ward officers have been requesting for insecticides, but they have been told to wait," the official told Moneylife.
"As of today, we have got adequate insecticides, which will last us for a month - and we are in the process of procuring insecticides soon," said Dr Arun Bamne, BMC's chief insecticide officer. He refuted the allegations that there were inadequate funds for insecticides and said that there were no delays in distribution.

According to BMC data, in July, 12,000 people tested positive for malaria from the one lakh slides taken in house-to-house surveys. Last year, during the same period, there were 4,380 positive cases. The number of malaria cases in July has not only more than doubled compared to last year, it could very much be the highest number ever recorded in Mumbai.

Malaria spreads through the bite of the female Anopheles mosquito. The monsoon and post-monsoon period from June to November is considered the high transmission season for malaria.

(This is the first part of a continuing series on the malaria threat facing the city)




6 years ago

Large water surfaces as well as water tanks could be tried with plastics beads that float and prevent musquitoes breeding. This would eleminate the need for insecticides.

Idea under scanner for 3,640 connections to one person

New Delhi: In a major breach of licence terms and conditions, Birla group firm Idea Cellular has issued a whopping 3,640 connections to a single person and his company, endangering national security, reports PTI.

"Yes, Idea Cellular had issued 3,640 post-paid connections to a single person and his company, Limco Sales Corporation of Delhi and as per the report of the Department of Telecom (DoT), the bulk connections have been rented out to other customers," minister of state for telecom and IT Sachin Pilot said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

He said the home ministry has intimated that security agencies face problems in establishing identity of actual users in cases where bulk connections have been activated in the name of a single user/location/organisation, and the numbers have been further distributed/rented for use.

To a query whether this endangers national security, Mr Pilot said "this practice of providing mobile connections to an individual without maintaining his identity particulars has security implications and operational activities of security agencies are hampered due to non-availability of identity of a particular suspected target."

Idea Cellular has over 68 million mobile subscribers and has operations in most of the circles across the country.

Mr Pilot said the licence conditions provide that "utmost vigilance should be exercised in providing bulk telephone connections for a single user as well as for a single location."

Provision of 10 or more connections may be taken as bulk for this purpose, he said.

"Special verification of bonafide should be carried out for providing such bulk connections. Information about bulk connections shall be forwarded to respective Vigilance Telecom Monitoring cell of DoT and concerned officials authorised by DoT and security agencies from time to time on monthly basis," he said.


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