Stocks
Nifty, Sensex directionless – Monday closing report
We had mentioned in Friday’s closing report that Nifty, Sensex might head higher. The major indices of the Indian stock markets were range-bound and closed with small gains over Friday’s close. The S&P BSE Sensex closed at 28,634.50, up 0.12%, while the NSE’s Nifty 50 closed at 8,808.40, up 0.33%. The trends of the major indices in the course of Monday’s trading are given in the table below:
 
 
Positive global sentiments, along with higher crude oil prices and value buying, buoyed the Indian stock markets during the late-afternoon trade session on Monday. However, upcoming global events such as monetary policy announcements from major economies and profit booking at higher levels, capped gains. The key indices traded on a flat-to-positive note as healthy buying was witnessed in metal, banking and IT stocks. The BSE market breadth was tilted in favour of the bulls -- with 1,494 advances and 1,244 declines. On the NSE, there were 786 advances, 673 declines and 85 unchanged.
 
Initially, the benchmark indices opened on a firm note in sync with their Asian peers. However, investors were seen cautious ahead of the US Fed's FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) meeting, which is scheduled for September 20-21. A hike in US interest rates can potentially lead FPIs (Foreign Portfolio Investors) away from emerging markets such as India. It is also expected to dent business margins as access to capital from the US will become expensive.
 
India approved an ambitious $1.04-billion project for constructing and upgrading 558 km of roads to link it with Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal and ease the movement of passengers and cargo, as part of the larger effort to increase intra-regional trade by 60%. The new project has been given an official nod by India's Department of Economic Affairs with 50% funding from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), officials told IANS, adding that the road project will cover West Bengal and Manipur on the Indian side, as of now. "The mandate is for completing the project within the next two years," a senior official said. "The primary idea behind the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) road initiative is to improve ground connectivity in the region," said Leena Nandan, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. "We have taken up five highway stretches in the country, which are very important for such a connectivity to succeed. This project is entirely different and new -- and about to be rolled out," Nandan told IANS. The project -- as per a list accessed by IANS -- includes, among others, an upgrade of the 122-km Siliguri-Mirik-Darjeeling ($15 million) and the widening of the 60-km National Highway-35 (Kolkata-Bangaon) on the border with Bangladesh ($130 million). This is likely to improve the infrastructure sector for investors in the stock markets too.
 
A 21-member business delegation from China arrived in West Bengal on a two-day visit to explore investment and business opportunities in West Bengal, said a minister on Monday. The delegation representing sectors like energy, manufacturing, mining, medical care, real estate and infrastructure consists of 21 entrepreneurs from 13 Chinese companies with an aggregate turnover of $10 billion, said Finance Minister Amit Mitra. In 2015, Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao had met Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and promised to send a business delegation, Mitra said. “With a focus on investment, the delegation has come to explore business opportunities in West Bengal," said Mitra, who also holds the Excise, Commerce and Industries portfolio. "They will have discussions with West Bengal Industrial Development Corp (WBIDC) and also visit a manufacturing zone to have first-hand knowledge of investment opportunities in the state," he said. "Another delegation with representatives from Fortune 500 companies will also visit the state in October-November," he added. These developments are good news for investors in well managed West Bengal-based companies.
 
The top gainers and top losers of the major indices are given in the table below:
 
 
The closing values of the major Asian indices are given in the table below:
 

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Baloch leader Brahumdagh Bugti to seek asylum in India
Unable to move out of Switzerland to campaign for a "free Balochistan", Baloch nationalist leader and Baloch Republican Party (BRP) founder Brahumdagh Bugti will seek official asylum in India within a week, a party spokesperson told IANS.
 
The decision was taken after a two-day meeting of the BRP central committee at Geneva, following which the BRP founder held a press conference expressing his desire to move to India.
 
"Asylum will be sought within a week at the Indian embassy in Bern, Switzerland. For now only Mr Bugti would apply," BRP spokesperson Sher Mohammad Bugti told IANS.
 
Asked for the reason behind applying for asylum in India, he cited "political restrictions" placed by the Swiss government, especially the restriction to move out of Switzerland. 
 
"He is not allowed to travel outside Switzerland, the government here is not giving all essential documents for that. With Indian asylum, he can travel throughout the world, meet people and campaign for a free Balochistan," the BRP spokesperson said.
 
The BRP also held an anti-Pakistan protest in Geneva. 
 
Grandson of Baloch leader and Bugti tribe head, Nawab Akbar Bugti, Brahumdagh left Balochistan to save his life after Akbar Bugti was killed in a Pakistan Army offensive in 2006. He was first given asylum in Afghanistan from where he shifted to Switzerland in 2010 following a life threat. 
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Uri attack: India to gather evidence, isolate Pakistan at global fora
The government at the highest level mulled its options in the wake of the Uri terror attack, with informed sources indicating that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sought a concerted global effort to diplomatically isolate Pakistan as an immediate step.
 
Modi, who chaired a meeting here on Monday to review the situation in Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of the attack that left 18 soldiers dead -- one more soldier succumbed to his injuries in Delhi -- wants clear evidence of Pakistan's complicity to be presented to all major global fora, including the upcoming UN General Assembly, the sources indicated.
 
The meeting was attended by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Defence Minster Manohar Parrikar, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, Army Chief Gen. Dalbir Singh Suhag and other senior officials in the PMO, Defence Ministry and the Home Ministry.
 
The meeting is believed to have also considered several other options, the sources said, but these were likely to be measured and well thought-out.
 
At the meeting, the Prime Minister was also briefed about the use of "incendiary" ammunition by the terrorists, though such ammunition can be found only with army establishments, a source said. 
 
Such ammunition, experts believe, points to the backing the terrorists received from the Pakistan Army. 
 
The sources said that Modi asked the security and other investigative agencies to collect all evidence that points to Pakistani involvement in the attack for presentation at international fora.
 
The sources said the broad thinking was that India must act without getting into the trap of emotions and anger after taking into account both the short- and long-term implications.
 
Speaking to reporters separately, Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said India was not concerned about Pakistani denials and reactions and will react appropriately and at its own pace. 
 
"Everything is in front of the people. We must not give much attention to Pakistan's reaction. We will take our steps carefully," Rijiju said.
 
Modi's high-level meeting was held shortly after Rajnath Singh reviewed the situation along the border and the Line of Control (LoC) at a meeting with Home Ministry officials who were directed to coordinate with other border states like Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat.
 
In Punjab, the border districts have been put on high alert.
 
India has put the blame on Pakistan for the Sunday morning attack, with the Prime Minister asserting that the perpetrators will not go unpunished.
 
Pakistan has rejected Indian allegations that Islamabad was to blame for the killing of soldiers at the camp near Uri town on Sunday.
 
Modi is under pressure to live up to his 2014 election campaign rhetoric of showing Pakistan that India is not a "soft power" and would give a "befitting reply" to any attacks on the country.
 
Expectations of appropriate action were raised when Modi himself said soon after the attack: "I assure the nation that those behind this despicable attack will not go unpunished."
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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