Mumbai: It is the day after the Akshaya Tritiya festival, one of the most auspicious times of the year to buy gold but sales were nearly flat as gold prices remained close to record high raising expectations of weaker returns, reports Wall Street Journal India. The poor customer turnout has disappointed retailers, who were hoping to recover from losses suffered during a 20-day strike that ended on 6 April.
US markets ended on a mixed note after the previous session’s euro zone jitters. S&P 500 closed up by a modest 0.4%, Dow Jones was up 0.6% and Nadaq Composite declined 0.3%. Apple reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings after the closing bell on Wall Street. Investors’ attention will now turn to the conclusion of the US Federal Reserve’s April policy meeting on Wednesday, reports Financial Times.
Asian markets climbed on Wednesday morning led by a rally in technology shares after Apple Inc reported good results. Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average gained 0.8%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng advanced 0.3% and China’s Shanghai Composite was off 0.2%, reports MarketWatch.
There could be some reprieve for telecom companies as the Supreme Court extended the deadline by three months to conduct auctions for the 2G spectrum that will be freed up following the cancellation of licenses in February, reports Mint. Telecom companies whose licenses were cancelled will get another three months to wind up operations unless they win spectrum in the upcoming auction. This is a day after the telecom regulator recommended increasing spectrum prices by near 10-fold.
United Spirits will be in focus after the world largest spirits company Diageo initiated talks to buy United Spirits Ltd, owned by Vijay Mallya reports Economic Times. Diageo has also roped in JM Financial to negotiate the deal which will give enough cash to the debt ridden company to revoke pledges on shares. Diageo is expected to acquire 26% stake in United Spirits.
IVRCL will be watched after JM Financial increased its stake from 4.59% to 5.04% by the acquisition of an additional 1.2 million shares, reports Business Line. IVRCL has been in the news for a stake tussle between the current promoters and the Subhash Chandra-promoted Essel Group. JM Financial said that about 7,160 shares held as margin were released, and 2.08 lakh shares were acquired from open market as part of cash future arbitrage transaction.
Essar Shipping is planning to cut $1.1 billion debt and drive up its valuation by deleveraging, reports Business Standard. In the quarter ended December, interest expenses increased 39% against last year. The company is planning to use its cash flows to reduce a part of the debt. Moreover, shipping rates have upturned after an extended spell of low rates which will also strengthen the balance sheet.
ONGC Videsh may surrender a second deep-water offshore block in Vietnam due to high exploration risks, reports Wall Street Journal India. ONGC Videsh is an overseas investment arm of ONGC. The board’s decision will be conveyed to the oil ministry for final approval. Surrendering of the second block will hurt ONGC Videsh’s plans to achieve its target of getting 35 million tonnes of oil and gas from overseas assets by 2030.
Lastly, FMCG major Hindustan Unilever is introducing a dry shampoo which uses half the amount of water to sell in various markets, reports Economic Times. HUL is also trying to reduce water consumption, greenhouse emissions and waste associated with the consumer use of products.