Market (Page 102)

Crude futures surged for a second day on Friday, with both US and Brent contracts posting their largest weekly percentage gains on record due to hopes that a global deal to cut crude supply worldwide will emerge early next week.

On Thursday, oil staged its largest one-day rally in history on prospects for a cut in supply equivalent to anywhere from 10 per cent to 15 per cent of world demand. The sharp rebound from weeks of losses came after US President said Russia and will negotiate to end a price war that slashed prices last month by more than half. Trump said the United States has not agreed to cut its output.

The rally continued Friday, with Brent crude futures jumping 13.9 per cent, or $4.17 a barrel to settle at $34.11. Brent soared as much

Investor wealth tumbled by Rs 4,82,033.63 crore in two days of market fall as rise in Covid-19 cases further triggered selling in equities.

The Sensex plummeted 674.36 points or 2.39 per cent to close at 27,590.95 on Friday.

Selling in led to a decline in market capitalisation of the BSE-listed companies which tumbled Rs 4,82,033.63 crore to Rs 1,08,66,722.96 crore in two days.

“The Indian benchmark indices continued to plunge southwards, after a surge in the number of cases in India. Besides, Moody’s report on the banking sector wherein they have changed their outlook, further dented the sentiment,” Ajit Mishra, vice-president (research), Religare Broking Ltd, said.

ALSO READ: Coronavirus LIVE: 11 CISF jawans posted at Mumbai airport test positive

Axis Bank was the top loser in the Sensex pack, dropping 9.16 per cent, followed by IndusInd

The supply of pulses is likely to improve in the next one week as the government has taken a series of steps to smoothen processes across entire value chain. So far, dall mills have been complaining of a squeeze due to the closure of mandis, labour shortage and unavailability of transport facilities, following the 21-day

Dal mills are currently operating at less than 40 per cent of their installed capacities due to the shortage of raw materials, as supply of whole-grain pulses deteriorated due to the closure of agricultural mandis across the country. The sudden announcement of the has brought transportation of all essential and non-essential commodities to a halt. While intermittent transportation continues with permission from the local authorities, mathadis, truckers and others involved in the supply value chain remained apprehensive, resulting in massive disruptions in pulse supplies.

Commodity traders have asked India’s regulator to restore trading hours till 11.30 pm to contain trading volatility and losses seen after the coronavirus pandemic since December 2019.

Narinder Wadhwa, president of Commodity Participants Association of India (CPAI), said in a letter to Santosh Kumar Mohanty, executive director and whole-time director of Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), said the request is based on an opinion poll of its members who voted for restoration of the original trading timing.

After the government imposed a nationwide lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, reduced the trading hours on commodity to 9 am-5 pm from the earlier 9 am-11:30 pm to help exchange employees and traders practise social distancing.

However, the shortened trading hours, the association claimed, have increased their risks and thus, the possibility of losses.

The Rs 27-trillion mutual fund (MF) industry could see some slowdown in March, with estimates (up to March 27 for 80 per cent industry assets) suggesting a dip of 10-15 per cent to Rs 9,100-9,700 crore in the equity segment. Industry players say flows have shown resilience in a highly-volatile month that also saw closure of MFs’ branch offices due to Coronavirus-induced lockdown.

Compared to the last 12-month average of Rs 6,984 crore, the estimated equity flows are still 30-38 per cent higher.

The monthly flows for industry are typically released with lag of 7-10 days.

“The flows have been robust, even though there is some decline. The current sell-off has also given fund managers an opportune time to deploy cash in with several stocks in mid- and small-cap segment trading at attractive valuations,” said a fund manager.

SBI Mutual Fund (MF) and DSP MF have opened up their small-cap funds for accepting lump sum investments amid the sharp correction in valuation of these stocks in the recent market sell-off.

Lump sum investments are like tactical infusions that one can make at any point of time, based on his view. They differ from systematic investments that are routed through SIPs on a monthly basis.

Starting Monday, SBI Small Cap Fund will allow lump sum investments till it receives net inflow of Rs 1,000 crore. SIPs were allowed in the scheme with certain caps.

From April 1, DSP MF has decided to revoke the temporary suspension of lump sum investments in units of DSP Small Cap Fund.

“Over the last two years, the S&P BSE Small Cap TRI (total return index) has fallen cumulatively by 56 per cent. We currently have the ability to invest in great businesses