Sensex, Nifty to move in a range: Thursday closing report

Close above any previous day’s high may reverse the current down pull

With the recent US Federal Reserve's policy statement hinting towards the prospect of interest rates rising sooner than anticipated, it played negatively on the investor’s sentiments globally. Back home, the indices made a weak opening and stayed in the negative for the entire session on Thursday except for a few minutes of efforts to enter the positive zone by the BSE 30-share Sensex.


The Sensex opened at 21,798. It moved in a range between 21,705 and 21,853 before closing at 21,740 (down 93 points or 0.42%). The NSE 50-share opened at 6,508 and hit a high of 6,524 and a low of 6,473 before closing at 6,483 (down 41 points or 0.63%). The NSE recorded a volume of 59.07 crore shares. Today’s loss has wiped off past three days of gain.


Except for IT (1.69%); Media (0.20%) and Pharma (0.17%) all the other indices on the NSE closed in the negative. The top five losers were Realty (2.63%); PSU Bank (2.23%); Infra (1.68%); Finance (1.65%) and Bank Nifty (1.39%).


Of the 50 stocks on the Nifty, 12 ended in the green. The top five gainers were TCS (3.31%); Hindustan Unilever (2.03%); Cipla (1.31%); Wipro (1.27%); Sun Pharma (0.97%) and Infosys (0.96%). The top five losers were DLF (3.91%); BPCL (3.90%); Ambuja Cements (3.64%); Jaiprakash Associates (3.09%) and Power Grid (3.03%).


Of the 1,540 companies on the NSE, 581 closed in the green, 877 closed in the red while 82 closed flat.


India will provide Rs13.5 billion to farmers affected by heavy rains and hailstorms in two key producing states, a government source said on Thursday.


US indices closed in the negative on Wednesday. The US Federal Reserve cut another $10 billion from its economic stimulus programme on Wednesday. Chairwoman Janet Yellen also announced that the Fed has decided to alter its guidance on when interest rates would rise. Previously, the central bank had indicated that rates could rise when the unemployment rate dipped below 6.5% however now the Fed has now dropped the reference. In deciding how long to keep rates low, the committee will look at a "wide range of information," including labour market conditions, inflation expectations and financial markets, she said.


Except for KLSE Composite (up 0.04%) and NZSE 50 (up 0.11%) all the other Asian indices closed in the negative. Jakarta Composite (2.54%) was the top loser.


China will keep economic growth at a reasonable rate while keeping inflation stable, Premier Li Keqiang reportedly said on Wednesday.


On Thursday, the government relaxed rules to allow more foreigners to invest in its stock markets, the latest step to free its financial markets after widening the yuan's trading band at the weekend, taking it closer to turning the yuan into a convertible, global currency. China has lifted a ban on equity financing for listed property developers for the first time in four years, a step that could herald less government intervention in the sector and ease funding concerns as credit grows tight and the economy slows.


New Zealand's annual economic growth exceeded 3% for a second straight quarter, buoyed by dairy exports, adding to signs of increasing inflation pressure that may require higher borrowing costs. Gross domestic product increased 3.1% in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, Statistics New Zealand said in Wellington today. That's slower than the revised 3.3% pace in the third quarter. GDP rose 0.9% from the third quarter.


Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov on Thursday said that Russia isn't planning to cut budget spending in the next three years as it will replace expensive borrowing with extra revenue from exports.


European indices were trading in the red while the US indices were trading marginally lower.


Shakti Mills gangrape: Mumbai Court convicts all accused

The accused have been charged with various offences under IPC such as rape, conspiracy, common intention, unnatural sex and charges under Information Technology Act

All four accused in telephone operator gang rape case of 31 July 2013, at Shakti Mills in Mumbai have been convicted by Sessions Court.


The court has also convicted all four accused in the photojournalist gang rape case of 22 August 2013 at the same mill.


Arguments on sentencing are to be held Friday and the convicted men face a maximum punishment of life imprisonment.


Arguments by Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam and defence lawyers concluded on 15th March before Principal Sessions Judge Shalini Joshi.


The first case pertains to the rape of an 18-year-old telephone operator in the deserted premises of Shakti Mills on 31st July last year. The case came to light after a 23-year-old photojournalist, interning with an English magazine in the city, was gang raped on 22 August 2013 on the same premises.


The accused in the telephone operator case are Ashfaq Sheikh, Kasim Hafiz Sheikh alias Kasim Bangali, Salim Ansari, Vijay Jadhav and a minor. The minor is being tried separately in a juvenile court while the others faced trial in the Sessions Court.


On 8th October, police had filed a 362-page charge sheet against four accused in connection with the gang rape after the minor’s case was separated.


The photojournalist, was gang raped on 22nd August, by five persons, including a juvenile, when she had gone to the deserted Shakti mill along with her male colleague on an assignment.


Of the five accused, three also figure in the 31st July gang rape case. They are Vijay Jadhav, Kasim Bengali, Salim Ansari and Siraj Rehman.


The accused in the 22nd August gang rape case of 2013 have been charged with various offences under IPC such as rape, conspiracy, common intention, unnatural sex and charges under Information Technology Act, whereas the juvenile is being tried separately.


In this case, the police had filed a 600-page charge sheet against the accused on 19th September last year.


The incidents had sparked outrage with people demanding police protection to women and a strong vigil in public places and secluded areas.


Khushwant Singh passes away at 99

Khushwant Singh, who was ill and had faded from public life, passed away in Delhi

Noted author and journalist Khushwant Singh, one of the finest Indian writers in English in contemporary times, died in Delhi on Thursday at the age of 99.


The veteran writer, who was ill and had faded from public life, passed away "very, very peacefully", his son Rahul Singh, also a journalist said on his demise.


He led a very full life, Rahul said, adding, he had some breathing problems.


People associated with the well-known raconteur paid tributes on social media and recalled their time shared with him.


Calling him a remarkable man and a great writer, veteran journalist Mark Tully said Kushwant Singh had a great sense of humour. "He never minced his words and was a courageous person. I remember once having dinner with him when he showed up his tremendous knowledge about Urdu poetry. What a lovable man he was!" said Tully.


Journalist and author, MJ Akbar said Khushwant Singh was an admirable man. "I have this unreserved gratitude for him. I was a kid, 20-year-old in a newspaper, and he really picked us up from nothing. He gave us opprtunities which were undreamt of for any young person wanting to do anything," he said.


Mahatma Gandhi's grandson Rajmohan Gandhi remembered Singh as someone with a desire to build other people. "Apart from being a popular writer and utterly fearless man, what I found unusual in him, very rare in others was his great desire to build other people. He was always praising new authors, giving time to them. He was frank in his verdicts," said Gandhi.


People from all walks of life took to Twitter to offer their condolences.


"The bulb is extinguished ...Goodbye Khushwant Singh," tweeted journalist Ashok Malik.


"So Khushwant Singh goes, like we all must. what a life led! a 100 would have been excellent but he gave us 99 & we must be thankful for that," tweeted cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle.


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