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Rupee rises 39 paise to 70.30 against US dollar in early trade

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Nepal rupee

Mumbai | Rising for the eighth straight day, the rupee climbed 39 paise to 70.30 against the US dollar in early trade Monday, as global crude prices slipped below the USD 60 per barrel mark.

Traders said the weakness in the greenback against some currencies overseas and a higher opening of domestic equities supported the rupee.

At the interbank forex market, the rupee opened higher at 70.48 and rose further to quote at 70.30, showing a rise of 39 paise over its previous close. The rupee had rallied 77 paise to end at 70.69 against the US dollar Thursday, in lock-step with softening crude oil prices and foreign capital inflows. The forex market was closed Friday on account of Gurunanak Jayanti.

In the last seven trading sessions, the rupee has gained a healthy 220 paise. Forex traders said the uptrend in the local unit was largely driven by foreign funds inflows to capital markets and softening crude oil prices.

Foreign funds poured in Rs 446.24 crore into the capital markets on a net basis Thursday, while domestic institutional investors also net bought shares worth Rs 49.68 crore, provisional data showed.

Globally, Brent crude, the international benchmark, slipped below the USD 60 per barrel mark and was trading at USD 59.47 per barrel Monday.

Meanwhile, the benchmark BSE Sensex opened on a positive note higher by 137.07 points, at 35,118.09 in opening trade.

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Honda to close UK plant in 2022, risking 3,500 jobs: reports

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London | Japanese car giant Honda is expected to announce that it will close its plant in south west England in 2022, putting 3,500 jobs at risk, according to media reports on Monday.

The carmaker is due to announce the closure of its Swindon plant on Tuesday, according to Sky News, but still retain its European headquarters in nearby Bracknell.

Other carmakers including Nissan and Ford have also warned that jobs could be lost at British plants as it prepares to leave the European Union, but local MP Justin Tomlinson said the Honda decision was not down to Brexit. “I have already spoken to… Honda. They are clear this is based on global trends and not Brexit as all European market production will consolidate in Japan in 2021,” he tweeted. The company is not expected to announce any job losses until 2021, he added.

The carmaker said in a statement that “we are not able to make any comments regarding the speculation. “We take our responsibilities to our people very seriously and will always communicate any significant news with them first,” it added.

The Swindon plant, Honda’s only one in the European Union, has produced the Civic model for the global market for over 24 years, with 150,000 units rolling off the line every year. Rival Japanese carmaker Nissan announced earlier this month that it was cancelling plans to build its X-Trail SUV in north east England, citing uncertainty surrounding Brexit as a factor. Jaguar Land Rover has also warned about the risks of leaving the EU without a deal, triggering the imposition of tariffs on exports to the bloc.

Senior vice-president of Honda Europe Ian Howells said last year that Britain leaving the EU without a deal would cost the company tens of millions of pounds, but that they were preparing for such an outcome.

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Malvinder Singh files criminal complaint against his brother Shivinder

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Former Indian Billionaire Malvinder Singh has filed a criminal complaint with the New Delhi branch of the Economic Offences Wing against his younger brother accusing him of siphoning funds worth 10’s of millions of dollars from their holding company, RHC Holdings, and fraudulently diverting it to benefit the companies of their renowned spiritual guru Gurinder Singh Dhillion. In the latest twist in the unravelling of a multi-billion dollar empire, the New Delhi police have opened an investigation into the public spat between the two brothers that follows the collapse of one of India’s most storied business families that once controlled the nation’s top drug maker – Ranbaxy and the 2nd largest hospital chain – Fortis.

The complaint by big brother Malvinder against his younger brother Shivinder comes after the brothers’ mother brokered a truce and convinced the younger Singh not to file a suit against his elder brother months ago.

The criminal complaint alleges that that the 43 year old Shivinder initiated as well as permitted this siphoning and malfeasance of funds entrusted to him with the ulterior motive of gaining ultimate control of the seat of the spiritual head of the Radha Soami Satsang Beas promised to him by the brothers’ spiritual guru Gurinder Singh Dhillion.

In his complaint, the elder Singh also claims that he received a death threat from their spiritual guru for exposing him to the case, he is the leader of one of India’s most powerful sects, the 130 year old Radha Soami Satsang Beas which boasts 4 million followers worldwide. Malvinder Singh also alleges that he has recordings of these threats and is fearful for his life.

 

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Sensex drops over 150 points ahead of RBI board meet

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Mumbai | The BSE benchmark Sensex on Monday fell over 150 points, led by weakness in auto, IT and financial stocks amid heavy selling by foreign institutional investors, as investors turned cautious ahead of RBI’s board meet.

The 30-share index, after rising over 100 points, fell 158.94 points, or 0.44 percent, to 35,650.01. Similarly, the 50-share NSE Nifty fell 44.45 points, or 0.41 percent, to 10,679.95.

According to traders, investors were cautious ahead of RBI’s board meeting. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is scheduled to address the customary post-budget meeting of the central board of the Reserve Bank later in the day and highlight the key points of the interim Budget, including the fiscal consolidation roadmap. The meeting, according to sources, will take a call on the interim dividend to be paid to the government during the current fiscal.

Yes Bank fell up to 5 percent after the private bank, in a regulatory filing Friday, said it had received a letter from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) which noted that the risk assessment report (RAR) was marked ‘confidential’.

It was expected that no part of the report be divulged except for the information in the form and manner of disclosure prescribed by regulations, the RBI letter said, adding that the issuance of a press release has, therefore, been viewed seriously by the RBI and could entail further regulatory action/s.

Other losers on the Sensex pack include HCL Tech, HUL, Bajaj Auto, TCS, Reliance, Bajaj Finance, Asian Paints, M&M and Bharti Airtel, falling up to 1.68 percent. While, NTPC, Vedanta, Tata Steel, ONGC, SBI, L&T, PowerGrid, ITC and Sun Pharma were the top gainers, rising up to 2.24 percent.

Meanwhile, on a net basis, foreign institutional investors sold shares worth a net of Rs 966.43 crore on Friday, while domestic institutional investors were net buyers to the tune of Rs 853.25 crore, provisional data available with BSE showed.

Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rallied 1.67 percent, Shanghai Composite Index was up 1.79 percent higher, Kospi gained 0.73 percent, and Japan’s Nikkei soared 1.78 percent in early trade.

On Wall Street, Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 1.33 percent higher on Friday. The rupee, meanwhile, was trading depreciated 13 paise against US dollar to 71.36. The benchmark Brent crude futures slipped 0.09 percent to USD 66.19 per barrel.

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