Sensex, Nifty close at all time high on shrinking CAD: Thursday closing report

Until Nifty closes below 6,315, the upmove would continue

Taking cues from the Asian counterparts, the Indian indices on Thursday made gradual upmove and closed at their all time high. The BSE 30-share Sensex opened at 21,336 while NSE 50-share Nifty opened at 6,345. After hitting the day’s low almost at the same level, both the indices edged higher to hit a high of 21,525 and 6,407. Sensex closed at 21,514 (up 237 points or 1.11%) while Nifty closed at 6,401 (73 points or 1.15%). The NSE recorded a huge volume of 74.49 crore shares.


India's current account deficit (CAD) narrowed sharply to $4.2 billion (0.9% of GDP) in Q3 of 2013-14 from $31.9 billion (6.5% of GDP) in Q3 of 2012-13 which is also lower than $5.2 billion (1.2% of GDP) in Q2 of 2013-14. The lower CAD was primarily on account of a decline in the trade deficit as merchandise exports picked up and imports moderated, particularly gold imports. The data was as per the preliminary data on India's balance of payments (BoP) for the third quarter (Q3), from October-December 2013, of the financial year 2013-14, presented by Reserve Bank of India in Statements I and II.


On a BoP basis, merchandise exports increased by 7.5% to $ 79.8 billion in Q3 of 2013-14 (3.9% in Q3 of 2012-13) while on the other hand, merchandise imports at $ 112.9 billion, recorded a decline of 14.8% in Q3 of 2013-14 as against an increase of 10.4% in Q3 of 2012-13. As a result, the merchandise trade deficit (BoP basis) contracted by around 43% to $33.2 billion in Q3 of 2013-14 from $58.4 billion a year ago.


US indices closed flat on Wednesday. US companies added 139,000 workers in February, fewer than the market estimates, a report from the ADP Research Institute in Roseland, New Jersey showed. Separate data indicated that service industries in the US expanded in February at the slowest pace in four years. The Institute for Supply Management's non- manufacturing index slipped to 51.6 in February from 54 the previous month.


Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen vowed on Wednesday to do all that she can to boost the US economy that is running well short of the central bank's objectives.


Richard Fisher, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, on Wednesday said he was concerned about "eye-popping levels" of some stock market metrics, and said the central bank has to monitor the signs carefully to make sure another bubble isn't forming.


All the Asian indices closed in the green. Nikkei 225 (1.59%) was the top gainer.


Business activity across emerging markets expanded in February at the slowest pace in five months, weighed down by weaker manufacturing in big developing countries such as Russia and China, a survey showed on Thursday.


HSBC's composite emerging markets index of manufacturing and services purchasing managers' surveys slipped for the third month running to 51.1 in February. It stayed under the 2013 average of 51.7 and well below a long-run level of 54.0.


Based on data from purchasing managers at about 8,000 firms in 17 countries, the survey showed Chinese factory output stayed below the 50 mark. Manufacturing in Russia, India and Brazil hovered just above 50.


European indices were trading in the green while US Futures were trading marginally higher.


A two-day meeting of Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) ends today, 6 March 2014, to decide interest rates in UK. Policy rates are expected to remain unchanged at record low.


UK house-price growth accelerated in February to the fastest in almost five years as the economic recovery strengthened, boosting demand for property.


Maharashtra SCIC illegally transferred three SICs?

According to an activist, there is no provision for transfer of information commissioners under the RTI Act and yet Maharashtra CIC Ratnakar Gaikwad transferred three SICs in 2012


Right to Information (RTI) activist Anil Galgali has alleged that Maharashtra Chief Information Commissioner (SCIC) transferred three State Information Commissioner (SICs) by impeaching on the powers of Governor.


According to Galgali, on 11 June 2012, Ratnakar Gaikwad, the SCIC for Maharashtra, issued transfer orders for three SICs, Bhaskar Patil, PW Patil and MH Shah. "Bhaskar Patil, SIC at Amravati was transferred as SIC at Nagpur while PW Patil, SIC at Nagpur was transferred to Nashik and MH Shah, was transferred to Pune from Nashik by the CIC," Galgali said.


"However," he said, "the RTI Act 2005, has no provision for transfer of SICs. The power to appoint, or remove SICs are with the Governor. During 2007, Vilas Patil, the then SIC at Nagpur sought transfer to Nashik. A High Power Committee headed by the state Chief Minister (CM) with deputy CM and leader of opposition as its members, recommended to the Governor the transfer of the SIC. The Governor sought opinion from the Ministry of Law and Advocate General of Maharashtra (AG). Since the AG pointed out that as per Section 15 of RTI Act, the Governor can appoint a SIC on recommendations from the High Power Committee."


"After the AG's opinion, Vilas Patil first resigned as SIC at Nagpur, then the Committee recommended his name for appointment as SIC at Nashik. The Governor accepted the recommendation and issued order to appoint Vilas Patil as SIC at Nashik," Galgali said.


He said, "From the above case, it is clearly understood that the post of SIC is not transferrable. By issuing transfer orders for the three SIC, the SCIC Gaikwad overstepped his powers and duties and also impeached the powers of the Governor as well as the Committee. Subsequently, since the transfer postings of the respective SICs are illegal, various orders, or decisions taken by them, by virtue of occupying the position, becomes redundant and illegal retrospectively."


Requesting an urgent intervention by the Governor in this matter, Galgali demanded action against SCIC Gaikwad for over stepping his powers and duties.


Last year in December, following strong protest by activist and citizens SCIC Gaikwad had to withdraw his ‘controversial’ order on blocking access to building plans or other document (like interior plans) to anyone under the RTI Act.


The State CIC, in his order on 26 September 2013 had directed all local bodies in the state not to disclose building plans or other document (like interior plans) to anyone under the RTI Act, citing security concerns.


RTI activists Shailesh Gandhi, who also served as Central Information Commissioner, and Bhaskar Prabhu then filed a complaint against the SCIC order. Both, Gandhi and Prabhu are part of the BMC's technical advisory committee (TAC). The TAC was on the verge of ensuring suo moto disclosure of all building plans, and related documents by BMC.


Bitcoin exchange First Meta's CEO found dead in Singapore

Autumn Radtke, CEO of First Meta, a virtual currency exchange has been found dead in her home in Singapore on 26th February


Autumn Radtke, the chief executive of First Meta, a virtual currency exchange has been found dead in her home in Singapore.


A police spokesman said there was no suspicion of “foul play” in the death of 28-year-old Radtke. The spokesman says Radtke, an American, was found dead in her home on 26th February.


First Meta, said it was shocked and saddened by the tragic loss. First Meta allowed users of virtual currencies such as bitcoin to trade and cash out the currencies.


The future of bitcoin has been under scrutiny since the collapse of the Mt Gox exchange in Tokyo last month.


Radtke had worked at other tech companies including Apple.


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