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Sensex tanks 1,700 points, Nifty ends near 17,000; only pharma closes in green

On Friday, Sensex plummeted 1,687.94 points to end at 57,107.15; Nifty sank 509.80 points to 17,026.45. (Mint)Premium
On Friday, Sensex plummeted 1,687.94 points to end at 57,107.15; Nifty sank 509.80 points to 17,026.45. (Mint)

  • Indian stock markets plunged over 2% on Friday, tracking Asian peers which fell following reports of a new and possibly vaccine-resistant coronavirus variant, spooking investors and hurting risk appetite

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Sensex tanked over 1,600 points, while Nifty ended around the 17,000-mark on Friday. Asian stocks fell and headed for their largest weekly drop in nearly two months on Friday, while safe-haven assets such as bonds and the yen rallied as a new virus variant added to swirling concerns about future growth and higher U.S. interest rates. 

26 Nov 2021, 03:55:33 PM IST

Markets closing view:  Manish Hathiramani, proprietary index trader and technical analyst, Deen Dayal Investments

Today's closing has left the markets at a crucial juncture. If we break today's low, the index can easily slide to 16400-16500. The upside now has multiple resistance levels and we are definitely in a short-medium term bear market. Any up move should be utilized to find opportunities to go short on the markets.

26 Nov 2021, 03:52:00 PM IST

Rupee plunges 37 paise to close at 74.89 (provisional) against US dollar

26 Nov 2021, 03:49:18 PM IST

Markets close 

Indian stock markets fell sharply today in tandem with a similar selloff in other Asian markets over fears of a new South Africa Covid variant that could be could be more infectious than Delta.

At close, Sensex plummeted 1,687.94 points to end at 57,107.15; Nifty sank 509.80 points to 17,026.45. On the Sensex, IndusInd Bank, Maruti, Tata Steel and NTPC fell the most, with only three stocks - Dr Reddy, Nestle and TCS - gaining.

Cipla, Dr Reddy, Divi'S Lab, and Nestle rose the most on Nifty, while JSW Steel, Tata Motors, Hindalco, Adani Ports and IndusInd Bank fell.

Most key benchmark indices, such as Bank, Auto, FMCG, IT, Metal, Oil & Gas ended in the red, while only pharma gained. BSE midcap and smallcap also ended on a negative note.

Source: BSE
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Source: BSE
26 Nov 2021, 03:35:49 PM IST

Markets view: Amit Gupta, Fund Manager – PMS, ICICI Securities

Nervousness on the new variant of Corona virus and expectations of US increasing the pace of tapering have led to recent market weakness. This trend may take some time to recover as the WHO meeting on the new mutant variant impact and hospitalization rates in US and Europe will be watched by the market very closely.

India is on higher earnings growth trajectory and this is the only major risk which can spoil the sentiments. The current dollar strength also suggests the risk-off sentiments and is leading to FII flows currently.

Nifty has new base at 16,000-16,500 now which may be tested in this weakness.

The recent commodity prices correction can lower the raw material cost for certain sectors like Consumer and help them to recover after a period of consolidation.

26 Nov 2021, 03:34:22 PM IST

Nifty broad market indices

Source: NSE
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Source: NSE
26 Nov 2021, 03:32:52 PM IST

Gold prices today jump as covid concerns boosts demand for yellow metal

Gold prices surged today in Indian markets, tracking a global rally in the precious metal as concerns over a new Covid variant spreading in South Africa boosted the metal's safe-haven appeal. On MCX, December gold futures were up 1.4% to 48,073 per 10 gram while silver futures jumped 0.4% to 63420 per kg. Despite today's surge gold is down about 1,200 per 10 gram from this month's high as fears of earlier-than-expected tightening of US monetary policy weighed on the precious metal.

26 Nov 2021, 03:27:38 PM IST

Sensex takes a plunge

Source: BSE
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Source: BSE
26 Nov 2021, 03:23:59 PM IST

ITC to pick up 16% stake in Mother Sparsh

Hotel-to-Cigarette conglomerate ITC Ltd today announced that it will be acquiring a 16% stake in Mother Sparsh, a D2C ayurvedic and natural personal care start-up, for 20 crore through a share subscription agreement.

"The said acquisition will enable access to the fast-growing direct to consumer (D2C) space in the 'personal care' category, which has been identified by the company as an area of interest," ITC Ltd has said in a filing.

26 Nov 2021, 03:14:03 PM IST

Brent oil tumbles with new Covid variant roiling markets

Oil fell sharply as a new Covid-19 strain raised concerns about the outlook for demand, sending global markets spiralling.

Futures in New York tumbled below $74 a barrel and benchmark Brent shed more than 5%. The emergence of the new strain has seen several nations curb travel from South Africa and some neighbouring countries. Global markets sold off heavily, as traders fled to haven assets.

26 Nov 2021, 03:05:53 PM IST

Engineers India's strong order adds to brighter outlook

Engineers India Ltd's September quarter earnings were a mixed bag. As a result, the stock has been hovering at levels seen at the time of results earlier this month.

Slower execution was among the reasons that led to a muted performance of Engineers India. Revenue stood at 648 crore, down 5% year-on-year. Analysts at Motilal Oswal Financial Services said revenues were 12% below their estimates. The miss, according to them, was led by less than expected revenue from the consultancy segment.

26 Nov 2021, 02:54:22 PM IST

Nifty near day's low

Source: NSE
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Source: NSE
26 Nov 2021, 02:49:19 PM IST

Tata Group in talks with 3 states to set up $300 mn semiconductor assembly unit: Report

India's Tata group is in talks with three states to invest up to $300 million to set up a semiconductor assembly and test unit, two sources familiar with the matter said, as part of the conglomerate's push into high-tech manufacturing.

Tata is talking to the southern states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Telangana and scouting for land for the outsourced semiconductor assembly and test (OSAT) plant, the sources said, declining to be identified as the matter is not public.

26 Nov 2021, 02:42:32 PM IST

Rakesh Jhunjhunwala portfolio stock rises 13% today despite stock market crash

Rakesh Jhunjhunwala portfolio: Amid bloodbath at Indian stock market today, one of the Rakesh Jhunjhunwala stocks Indiabulls Housing Finance share has shot up around 13 per cent in today's session. Following Indian market sentiment, Indiabulls Housing Finance share price today opened downside but soon started moving northward and hit intraday high of 259.80 per share, giving fresh breakout at 250 levels. According to stock market experts, this sharp upside movement in the Big Bull-owned stock is due to the news of promoters of India's second largest housing finance company cutting their stake to below 10 per cent.

26 Nov 2021, 02:32:16 PM IST

BSE LargeCap index shed over 2% dragged by Bandhan Bank, Indigo, JSW Steel, and DLF

BSE LargeCap
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BSE LargeCap
26 Nov 2021, 02:24:03 PM IST

Indian airports to report profit in FY2022: Icra

India's airport infrastructure sector, which reported losses last fiscal, is expected to post up to 3,200 crore in operational profit during FY22 on the back of a revival in domestic air passenger traffic, rating agency Icra Ltd. said in a report.

26 Nov 2021, 02:13:07 PM IST

Black Friday in Dalal Street: ₹4.48 lakh crore investor wealth lost as markets plummet

Investors' wealth tumbled 4.48 lakh crore during day trade on Friday with the BSE benchmark plummeting 1,488 points tracking weak global trends. The 30-share benchmark index tumbled 1,488.01 points during the day to 57,307.08.

26 Nov 2021, 02:01:34 PM IST

Refined soya oil futures fall on low demand

Refined soya oil prices on Friday fell by 9.3 to 1,235.9 per 10 kg in futures trade as speculators reduced holdings amid subdued demand in spot market.

On the National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange, refined soya oil for delivery in December declined by 9.3, or 0.75 per cent, to 1,235.9 per 10 kg in 40,435 lots.

26 Nov 2021, 01:51:18 PM IST

Amazon, Asian Paints, Tata Tea top purposeful brands ranking

Amazon, Tata Tea and Asian Paints emerged as the most purposeful brands in India across technology, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) and in non-FMCG categories respectively, according to findings of the Kantar’s BrandZ India 2021 report released Thursday.

26 Nov 2021, 01:41:44 PM IST

Multibagger stock rises 200% in one year. Sumeet Bagadia see 45% gain in 3-month

Multibagger stock to buy now: Sutlej Textiles shares are one of the multibagger stocks in 2021. The small-cap textile stock has risen from around 29 to 87 in lat one year, logging near 200 per cent rise in this period. However, Sumeet Bagadia of Choice Broking believes that Sutlej Textiles share price may go up to 125 levels in next 2 to 3 months, delivering around 45 per cent return to its shareholders from its current 87 per share levels.

26 Nov 2021, 01:30:18 PM IST

Nifty Realty down 4.5%

Nifty Realty
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Nifty Realty
26 Nov 2021, 01:20:05 PM IST

India's jet fuel demand revives after being decimated by Covid-19

India's jet fuel demand is ready for takeoff as the country plans to open its doors to international tourists and establishes more air travel bubbles. Meanwhile, domestic travel has surged amid a steady decline in fresh daily coronavirus infections, with the total number of doses administered in the world's second most populous country crossing 1 billion, according to S&P Global Platts Analytics.

26 Nov 2021, 01:11:09 PM IST

Stocks in Asia set for worst day since March on fresh virus woes

Asia’s stock benchmark was on track for its worst day since March as worries over the economic impact from a new Covid-19 variant sparked a broad rout that was exacerbated by thin liquidity.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slumped as much as 1.9%, with tech and financials being the biggest drags. Japanese equities tumbled to lead losses in the region, with some traders away for Thanksgiving celebrations. U.S. futures extended declines, with contracts on S&P 500 and Dow Jones falling by more than 1%, while volatility spiked.

26 Nov 2021, 01:01:54 PM IST

Rupee slips 16 paise to 74.68 against US dollar in early trade

The Indian rupee depreciated by 16 paise to 74.68 against the US dollar in opening trade on Friday, tracking the negative domestic equity market and a firm American dollar.

Further, unabated foreign fund outflows weighed on investor sentiment, traders said.

At the interbank foreign exchange, the rupee opened on a weak note at 74.60, then lost further ground and touched 74.68 against the American dollar, registering a decline of 16 paise from the last close.

On Thursday, the rupee had closed at 74.52 against the US dollar.

26 Nov 2021, 12:52:47 PM IST

Paytm shares rollercoaster ride continues, all eyes on quarterly earnings

Shares of digital payments giant Paytm have been on a wild ride since its weak stock market debut last week and now all eyes are set on Saturday when it reports earnings in the wake of its largest-ever initial public offering (IPO) in the country. Paytm’s quarterly and half-yearly results announcement on Saturday will be followed by an earnings call.

While the company’s shares have bounced back about 30% over the past three days, they are still well below the IPO issue price as investors continue to weigh its longer-term prospects against recent losses.

26 Nov 2021, 12:40:31 PM IST

All in the red, Nifty Auto down 3%

Nifty Auto
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Nifty Auto
26 Nov 2021, 12:30:37 PM IST

HCL expands delivery hub in Sri Lanka with new facility

IIT services major HCL Technologies Ltd (HCL) has opened a new facility in Sri Lanka which will be its largest in the country, accommodating 4,000 employees. Noida-based HCL entered Sri Lanka in 2020 with the aim of making it a global technology and IT services delivery hub for some of the largest corporations in the world.

26 Nov 2021, 12:21:14 PM IST

Star Health Insurance IPO: GMP, price, other details

Star Health Insurance IPO (Initial Public Offering) is going to open for subscription on 30th November 2021 and it will remain open for bidding till 2nd December 2021. Should you subscribe?

The public issue worth 7,249.18 crore will be listed at both NSE and BSE and the tentative date for listing of this Rakesh Jhunjhunwala-backed IPO is 10th December 2021. However, it seems that big name like Rakesh Jhunjhunwal is not working in favour of the company's share price performance in the grey market. As per the market observers, shares of Star Health Insurance have been nosediving in the grey market ever since it became available for trade.

26 Nov 2021, 12:09:38 PM IST

Nifty Metal down 3%

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26 Nov 2021, 12:00:06 PM IST

IEX's bonus issue gets shareholders approval

The Indian Energy Exchange (IEX) has received shareholders' approval for the issue of bonus shares and increase in authorised share capital. The energy exchange has fixed 6 December as record date for the purpose of finding out eligibility of shareholders entitled for issuance of bonus equity shares.

In a regulatory filing on Thursday, the company said the shareholders of the company have approved the resolutions as contained in the notice by requisite majority on November 25, 2021, through remote e-voting postal ballot process as set out in the postal ballot notice.


26 Nov 2021, 11:51:07 AM IST

26 of 30 Sensex stocks in red

Source: BSE
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Source: BSE
26 Nov 2021, 11:41:22 AM IST

Nifty technicals: Sameet Chavan (Chief Analyst-Technical and Derivatives, Angel One Ltd)

The market had a positive start yesterday despite mixed global cues. In the initial trades, it looked a bit tentative as there was some hangover left of the previous day’s late correction. Fortunately, all these nerves settled down in the first half an hour and then it was all big boy RELIANCE’s show thereafter. The stock kept surging throughout the day to mark whopping gains of over 6%. It is needless to mention when this heavyweight moves in this fashion, it certainly takes the benchmark alongside it. If we look at the contributors' list, this stock single-handedly pushed Nifty beyond 17500 as it contributed 104 points in Nifty yesterday.

The November series ended with slightly less than couple of percent, which clearly snapped its recent winning streak. Also last couple of weeks have been difficult for the markets overall as they certainly went under the hammer. After Monday’s brutal knock, the Nifty seems to have slipped into a consolidation mode. The immediate range would be 17600 to 17200; where 17200 becomes a sacrosanct support and on the flipside, 17600 – 17700 is to be seen as a sturdy wall. We continue to remain on the cautious side and expect the current recovery to get sold into. Hence, traders are advised to start lightening up longs if Nifty enters the mentioned resistance zone.

For today, 17400 – 17300 are to be seen as immediate supports. We reiterate that till the time we do not surpass 17900 – 18000, one should continue with a sell on rise strategy. Sooner or later it is likely to breach the key support of 17200.

26 Nov 2021, 11:31:12 AM IST

Indian Metals to issue bonus shares in 1:1 ratio

Indian Metals and Ferro Alloys on Friday informed that its board has approved at its meeting approved the issue of bonus shares in the ratio of 1:1. The company has fixed Monday, January 10, 2022 as the record date, for the purpose of ascertaining the eligibility of shareholders entitled for issuance of above bonus equity shares. Indian Metals shares were trading nearly 1% higher in early deals.

26 Nov 2021, 11:20:35 AM IST

Multibagger stock gets rating upgrade from Anand Rathi

After becoming strong in Indian contract manufacturing, Dixon Tech now has global aspirations. It is targeting the global LED-bulb market. The company's new product categories like refrigerators and telecoms equipment are well placed to support growth in FY23/FY24, said Anand Rathi in a note.

26 Nov 2021, 11:13:12 AM IST

Tarsons shares rise on market debut

Check if you should buy, sell or hold?

26 Nov 2021, 11:04:38 AM IST

Market Share tracker: ICICI Securities

Bharti Airtel likely to continue winning market shares

Industry AGR (incl. NLD) grew 12.8% YoY / 1.9% QoQ to Rs466bn on 4G and postpaid sub adds and selective tariff hike by Bharti Airtel (Bharti) and VIL. Bharti has gained AGR (incl. NLD) market share of 100bps QoQ (370bps YoY) despite one-off gain in base, and it is the third quarter in row where Bharti has added more incremental AGR compared to RJio. Bharti is benefitting from strong market share gain in metro and A’ circles, which are growing fast. On the other hand, RJio has gained market share in B’ and C’ circles, which are smaller and have grown relatively slow. Bharti is likely to outperform in H2FY22 too as it has shown ability to win in SIM consolidation and translate tariff hikes to higher AGR.


26 Nov 2021, 10:56:33 AM IST

Tarsons Products sees surge

Tarsons Products Ltd
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Tarsons Products Ltd
26 Nov 2021, 10:47:35 AM IST

Volatility up 14.50% as India VIX touches 19.08

26 Nov 2021, 10:41:12 AM IST

Rollover Analysis for November by YES SECURITIES

Heavy weights dragging on unabated FII’s selling

Indian markets traded under pressure as FII’s continues to dump heavy, Nifty/BankNifty finished series with losses of 1.8/5.4% each. Highlights for the Nov series were a) Expiry week saw selling ~2bn $ b) Divergence widened for net stock futures positions for clients and FII’s c) We highlighted heavy shorting on BankNifty previous expiry ended with cuts of ~5.5% eoe basis d) Index options PCR marked low of 0.6x mark as markets trying to bounce from oversold ground.

Rollovers for Nifty/Bank-Nifty stood at 83% (1.09cr shrs)/84% (23.7lakh shrs) vs 82% (1.1cr shrs)/80% (21lakh shrs) previous month. Market wide rolls stood at 94%vs 92.5% previous month. FII’s derivative stats indicates long short index futures ratio at 2.29x for December series vs 3 months avg. of 1.44x levels, while Index futures long roll 3 months average stood at 95% and index future short roll 3 months average is seen at 65%. Outlook, last series we mentioned downside opening till 17500 mark, going forward we expect 18000 now as supply zone while meaningful support at 17k mark. BankNifty correcting ~10% from previous month highs, expecting periodic bounce with 36,500 now seen as support.

26 Nov 2021, 10:33:30 AM IST

Sensex slips below 58,000

Source: BSE
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Source: BSE
26 Nov 2021, 10:27:35 AM IST

Why stock markets are worried over new covid variant?

Indian stock markets fell sharply today in tandem with a similar selloff in other Asian markets over fears of a new Covid variant detected in South Africa could be could be more infectious than Delta. The Sensex fell over 1000 points while Nifty was struggling below 17300.

“Just as this particular tail risk was melting away into the background, scientists in South Africa have announced they have discovered a new Covid variant which could potentially be more transmissible. While the impact on human life is not yet established, the re-imposition of movement restrictions is likely to hurt economic activity. The South African Rand (ZAR) weakened past the 16 level for the first time this year," said Kristal.AI, a wealth management platform, in a note.

26 Nov 2021, 10:15:06 AM IST

Tarsons Products shares make a strong debut despite weak broader markets

Shares of leading life sciences company Tarsons Products made its stock market debut on Friday by listing at premium of 3% at 682 per share on the NSE as compared to IPO issue price of 662 apiece. On the BSE, Tarsons Products shares were trading at 708 apiece.

26 Nov 2021, 10:07:39 AM IST

Sensex takes a plunge

Market watch
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Market watch
26 Nov 2021, 10:00:15 AM IST

Nifty view: Manish Hathiramani, proprietary index trader and technical analyst, Deen Dayal Investments

The index has opened with a gap down this morning. If we sustain the gap and break the lows, we can slide further to 17100 which is the next level of support. However, it is well established now that the current trend is down and all up moves are opportunities to short the Nifty. The upside is capped by multiple levels of resistance, the most important one being 17600.


26 Nov 2021, 09:52:05 AM IST

Top gainers/losers at this hour

Nifty 50
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Nifty 50
26 Nov 2021, 09:44:49 AM IST

Godrej Properties buys 16 acres in suburban Bengaluru

Godrej Properties Ltd on Friday said it has bought a 16-acre land parcel in suburban Bengaluru’s Sarjapur Road area to develop a mid-income residential project. The developer didn’t disclose the value of the land purchase. The project is estimated to have about 1.5 million sq ft of potential saleable area comprising primarily of residential apartments of various sizes.

26 Nov 2021, 09:38:52 AM IST

RIL stock to go higher: Motilal Oswal

In the last year, Reliance Industries (RIL) has seen strong deleveraging on the back of value unlocking in the consumer business, which has aided valuations, as per brokerage and research firm Motilal Oswal. The consumer business – Reliance Jio and Reliance Retail are richly valued given their strong growth potential. Motilal Oswal sees these key drivers to push stock higher

26 Nov 2021, 09:30:12 AM IST

 Nifty under 17,300

Source: NSE
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Source: NSE
26 Nov 2021, 09:27:07 AM IST

2 of 30 Sensex stocks in green

Market watch
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Market watch
26 Nov 2021, 09:22:29 AM IST

Nifty broad market indices at open

Source: NSE
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Source: NSE
26 Nov 2021, 09:21:02 AM IST

Sensex nears 58k at open

Source: BSE
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Source: BSE
26 Nov 2021, 09:13:35 AM IST

Credit cards battle BNPL, banking on aspirational value

Wary of the growth in India’s ‘buy now, pay later’ (BNPL) market, credit card issuers are banking on the fact that credit cards still remain an aspirational product, leaving ample opportunity for both payment categories.

26 Nov 2021, 09:05:49 AM IST

Markets in pre-open

Source: BSE
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Source: BSE
26 Nov 2021, 09:04:53 AM IST

Nifty in pre-open

Nifty 50
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Nifty 50
26 Nov 2021, 09:02:53 AM IST

Rakesh Jhunjhunwala portfolio stock to give a breakout. Should you buy it now?

Despite profit-booking pressure in the last few trade sessions, Crisil share price has managed to appreciate more than 10 per cent in the last month. As per the stock market experts, this Rakesh Jhunjhunwala stock is about to give a breakout at 3300 as the scrip is looking highly bullish on  thechart pattern. They advised positional investors to buy the counter for a medium to long-term target of 4,000 per share levels.

26 Nov 2021, 08:54:37 AM IST

Tarsons share price listing today. Experts predict above 20% listing gain

Shares of Tarsons Products are going to hit Indian bourses today. While Tarsons IPO GMP (grey market premium) today is 177, stock market experts are of the opinion that Tarsons share price may open at above 20 per cent premium against its price band of 635 to 662 per equity share. They said that lucky bidders of the public issue can expect Tarsons share listing price to be in the range of 800 to 850. However, in bull’s case, Tarsons Products share price listing may go up to 920, giving up to 35 per cent maximum premium to the shareholders.

26 Nov 2021, 08:45:01 AM IST

SGX Nifty plunges

SGX Nifty futures are trading at 17,383.50, down 194 points or 1.10%, indicating a negative start for Indian benchmarks in today's trade.

26 Nov 2021, 08:37:05 AM IST

Day trading guide for Friday

8 stocks to buy or sell today — 26th November

26 Nov 2021, 08:28:21 AM IST

Petrol, diesel prices remain unchanged

Check what you need to pay in your city

26 Nov 2021, 08:20:18 AM IST

Oil skids on concerns of rising surplus in Q1

Oil prices slid more than 1% on Friday on concerns that a global supply surplus could swell in the first quarter following a coordinated release of crude reserves among major consumers, led by the United States.

Brent crude futures extended declines for a third session, falling 96 cents, or 1.2%, to $81.26 a barrel by 0130 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was down $1.35, or 1.7%, at $77.04 a barrel. There was no settlement for WTI on Thursday because of Thanksgiving holiday.

U.S. President Joe Biden's administration announced plans on Tuesday to release millions of barrels of oil from strategic reserves in coordination with other large consuming nations, including China, India and Japan, to try to cool prices.

26 Nov 2021, 08:12:13 AM IST

Go Fashion IPO: Latest GMP and how to check share allocation

The finalisation of share allotment for Go Fashion IPO can be announced anytime today. Those who have applied for the public issue worth 1,013.61 crore are advised to check their application status either at the BSE website or at the website of the official registrar of the IPO. The official registrar of the public issue is KFintech Private Limited. However, ahead of the share allotment announcement, Go Fashion share price has appreciated in the grey market. As per market observers, Go Fashion IPO GMP today is 475.

26 Nov 2021, 08:03:47 AM IST

Bitcoin, ether, dogecoin, Shiba Inu gain while Solana, Cardano dip. Check cryptocurrency prices today

In cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin prices today were trading above the $58,000 mark. The world's largest and most popular cryptocurrency was trading at $58,590, up over 1%. Bitcoin had recently hit record high of around $69,000 and is up over 103% this year (year-to-date or YTD) so far. Global crypto market cap surged slightly to $2.8 trillion, as per CoinGecko.

26 Nov 2021, 07:52:36 AM IST

Stocks to Watch: Reliance, ITC, Latent View, JSW Energy

Here is the list of stocks that could be in focus in Tuesday's trade.

26 Nov 2021, 07:42:05 AM IST

SGX Nifty lower in early deals

SGX Nifty futures traded at17,467.50 in early deals, down 110 points or 0.63%, indicating a lower start for Indian benchmarks in Friday's trade.

26 Nov 2021, 07:32:43 AM IST

Havens rally on concern new covid-19 variant will derail recovery

Asian stocks, U.S. Treasury yields and crude oil fell Friday amid caution over a new coronavirus strain and growing predictions of faster Federal Reserve policy tightening to curb inflation.

Shares fell in Japan and Australia and wavered in South Korea, while S&P 500 futures retreated. Scientists in South Africa are studying the recently identified variant amid fears it could spread internationally. The rand weakened beyond 16 per dollar for the first time in a year.

Treasuries climbed, the dollar was around a 16-month high and the yen jumped. Traders are also grappling with expectations of a quicker exit from ultra-loose monetary settings as the pandemic recovery stirs price pressures.

Crude oil slid more than 1%, gold edged up and Bitcoin pushed past $59,000. U.S. markets were closed Thursday for Thanksgiving and will have a shortened session Friday, which may narrow trading volumes.

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