The Indian market is likely to face a range-bound opening today as the world awaits US employment report for December, due to be released later today. Wall Street closed in negative territory overnight, weighed down by bleak retail sales numbers for December by the country’s top retailers. Asian markets were lower in early trade this morning on a decline in commodity prices. The SGX Nifty recouped early losses and was three points higher at 6,073 against its previous close of 6,070.
The market opened up, then fell and stayed down through most of the day, breaking the support of 20,200 to close at 20,184.74, a loss of 116.36 points. The Nifty closed at 6,048.25, down 31.55 points. This is a seven-day closing low for the two indices. The three-day drop in the Sensex shows that the rally, which began on 10 December 2010, is losing strength. The next support for the Sensex lies at 20,000 (Nifty at 5,990). The indices are consistently making lower lows and lower highs. Also, institutional investors seem to be reluctant to commit money at current levels. On 5th January foreign institutional investors pulled out Rs240.30 crore and domestic institutions were also net sellers. It has been a slow and laboured rally from 10th December, but now the bulls are losing grip.
The bellwether Sensex touched an intraday high of 20,425.85 in initial trade and a low of 20,107.17. The Nifty swung between a high-low of 6,116.15 and 6,022.30.
The US markets closed lower on Thursday, pulled down by lower retail sales in December by the country’s top retailers. Retail Metrics said its index of same-store sales rose 3.2% last month, lower than analysts’ expectations for a 3.5% gain. Sales were hurt on account of the cold weather in the north-eastern region of the US. This apart, investors preferred to wait for the release of the employment report for December, due to be released later today. Meanwhile, worries in the euro-zone debt markets flared up once again after the European Union proposed a framework for dealing with bank and investment-firm failures.
The Dow declined 25.65 points (0.22%) at 11,697.24. The S&P 500 shed 2.71 points (0.21%) at 1,273.85. On the other hand, the Nasdaq added 7.69 points (0.28%) at 2,709.89.
Markets in Asia were lower in early trade on Friday as commodity prices retreated and as investors await the release of the US employment data later today. Crude oil for February delivery fell 2.1% to $88.38 a barrel in New York on Thursday. The London Metal Exchange Index of six key metals shed 0.2% and gold futures for February delivery declined for the third straight day yesterday. Concerns over a rise in coking coal prices following devastating floods in Australia’s Queensland province also added to the woes.
The Hang Seng was down 0.21%, the Jakarta Composite declined 0.88%, the Nikkei 225 fell 0.11%, the Straits Times lost 0.41%, the Seoul Composite shaved off 0.10% and the Taiwan Weighted fell 0.28%. Bucking the trend, the Shanghai Composite added 0.02% and the KLSE Composite gained 0.28% in early trade. . The SGX Nifty recouped early losses and was three points higher at 6,073 against its previous close of 6,070.
Under attack over various scams, the government is all set to set up a Group of Ministers (GoM) to deal with the issue of corruption in the framework of five-point agenda outlined by Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
The GoM, which is expected to be headed by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, is likely to include home minister P Chidambaram, defence minister AK Antony, HRD minister Kapil Sibal and law minister Veerappa Moily, sources said.
Private insurance company Bajaj Allianz General Insurance has launched Commercial Package Policy-a comprehensive insurance for small and medium business enterprises (SME). The highlight of the product is that commercial package policy covers all the major risks in a single policy which are otherwise needed to be covered under separate policies.
Tapan Singhel, chief marketing officer, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, said, "SMEs are often regarded as the key to India's economic growth and the cornerstone of entrepreneurship. Most of such entrepreneurs will be busy with their daily operations of their entities, which leaves little time to think about managing the various associated risks. Bajaj Allianz's simple and comprehensive commercial package policy is ideal for such business owners as it is customised to take care of all the risks associated to their assets or people and even probable losses due to an interruption through a single policy."
Commercial package policy offers a host of covers namely fire and allied perils, burglary and robbery, money in transit , damage to plate glass, machinery breakdown, neon sign, electronic equipments, fidelity guarantee, public liability, portable equipment, baggage and business interruption cover. The plan also covers employees under group personal accident and workmen's compensation cover.
Scamsters are using replicas of I-T department and bank login web pages to get your username and password. While the sites are no longer available, the emails are still in circulation
Taxpayers beware, especially those awaiting tax refunds from the Income Tax (I-T) department. Fraudsters, who claim to give I-T refunds online, are back in action. This time, they are promising even bigger refunds and have created pages that are a replica of the I-T department and your bank websites.
Moneylife had alerted readers in a report in October 2009, about a phishing mail, which claimed to give I-T refunds. (Read, 'Fraudsters want to give your I-T tax refund via mail!')These mails later vanished, or the circulation fell substantially. Now, a more sophisticated phishing mail has resurfaced again.
If you have read the earlier report, you would know how to identify a phishing mails. In the latest mail, the language acts like a big hoarding that reads, "SPAM" and "PHISHING", similar to the last email. The salutation in this mail says "Dear Valued Taxpayer" while the I-T department commonly uses "Dear Taxpayer". Similarly, the sign off in the mail reads "Tax Refund Department, Department of revenue, Ministry of finance, Government of India". The I-T department never mentions anything about the Ministry of Finance and Government of India.
This time, the figure mentioned as your tax refund is quite huge, but again reads 47,320.00 INR. The question to be asked is why would our I-T department use an international symbol like INR instead of Rs? Also, the I-T department never mentions any amount in its electronic communication, except in encrypted attachment or attached pdf files, which are password protected.
Another point in the mail is you need to submit a refund request to them, whereas the I-T department processes all refund claims on its own and sends the amount (if any) directly to your bank account or dispatches a cheque which mentions your bank account number and your name.
The next issue is that you have to click on a link to submit your request. And this is where it becomes more dangerous. The click opens a page that is a replica of the I-T department website, except for the IP address. The I-T department's site address is www.incometaxindia.gov.in, while the address of the page that opens after clicking the link in the mail is http://beauxartsschool.com/webalizer/web/1/refunds/index.html?id=refund. Those who use Mozilla Firefox and a plug-in 'Web of Trust' or WOT, will immediately receive an alert that this site (beauxartsschool.com) has a very poor reputation.
Although, the fake site appears genuine in terms of looks and design, the IP address again raises the banner, SPAM and PHISHING. In case you do not want to pay any heed, then click to select your bank. There are names of a few banks mentioned like Axis Bank, Bank of Maharashtra, Canara Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, State Bank of India (SBI) and so on. But the list is incomplete and you will find the label 'corporate' attached to some banks, like Bank of Maharashtra (corporate). What this 'corporate' means we don't know, and if this relates to state-run banks then why have SBI and Punjab National Bank not been given the tag?
If you still want to select your bank and click on the link, then it will take you to the login page of your bank, except that the URL or IP address remains unchanged. That is, it still reads http://beauxartsschool.com/webalizer/web/1/refunds/YOURBANK/indexx.html. This page also looks the same as your bank webpage and you may be prompted to provide your account number and password, which will be recorded by the spammers. No doubt, using your username and password they will immediately log in to your account and divert all the money to their own account.
When checked last, the links for the fake site were not working. The browsers were showing an error that the requested URL was not found on the server. It's possible that the Indian authorities or site owners of http://beauxartsschool.com/ have removed the fake pages from the servers.
Those who have received such mails in their Gmail account can also mark it as a phishing attack. Open the mails (do not click on anything inside the mail, just open it to read). At the upper end on the right side, next to the 'reply' tab you will see a triangle pointing downwards. Click on it for more options. Click on 'report phishing' and it will send an alert to Google and the sender will be blocked from making a phishing attempt.