The benchmark stock indices opened the day on a positive note with gains of close to 1%The economy has shown some strength with increased foreign fund inflows in the last few months.Join us as we follow the top business news through the day.12:00 PMCathay Pacific cuts 8,500 jobs, shutters regional airline Hong Kong airline Cathay Pacific Airways said Wednesday it would cut 8,500 jobs and shut a regional airline as it grapples with the plunge in air travel due to the coronavirus pandemic.About 5,300 employees based in Hong Kong and another 600 elsewhere will likely lose their jobs, and 2,600 unfilled positions will be cut. The cuts are about 24 per cent of the company’s workforce, Cathay Pacific said in a statement.The company will also shut down Cathay Dragon, its regional airline unit, with operations ceasing from Wednesday. It will seek regulatory approval for most of the routes to be operated by Cathay Pacific and its budget airlines subsidiary HK Express.The restructuring is aimed at reducing Cathay Pacific’s cash burn to 500 million Hong Kong dollars (USD 64.5 million) a month, from about 1.5 billion Hong Kong dollars (USD 193.5 million) to 2 billion Hong Kong (USD 258 million) dollars currently, Cathay Pacific CEO Augustus Tang said in a statement.
11:30 AMFDI up 16% to USD 27.1 bn in Apr-Aug: Govt dataSome positive signs on the external economic front for India.PTI reports: “Foreign direct investment (FDI) in India has increased by 16 per cent year-on-year to USD 27.1 billion during April-August this year, the Commerce and Industry Ministry said on Tuesday.During April-August last year, India had received FDI worth USD 23.35 billion.The ministry said that the total FDI, which includes reinvested earnings, grew by 13 per cent to USD 35.73 billion.“It is the highest ever for the first 5 months of a financial year and 13 per cent higher as compared to the first five months of 2019-20 (USD 31.60 billion),” it added.It also stated that the total FDI inflow grew by 55 per cent from USD 231.37 billion in 2008-14 to USD 358.29 billion in 2014-20.“India is preferred destination for Foreign Direct Investment under PM @NarendraModi ji’s leadership,” Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal tweeted.FDI inflow rose 55 per cent in last six years. During April-August 2020, despite COVID-19, FDI inflow increased 13 per cent, the highest ever for the first five months of a financial year, he added.“FDI is a major driver of economic growth and an important source of non-debt finance for the economic development of India. It has been the endeavour of the government to put in place an enabling and investor friendly FDI policy. The intent all this while has been to make the FDI policy more investor friendly and remove the policy bottlenecks that have been hindering the investment inflows into the country,” the ministry said.It said that the steps taken in this direction during the last six years have borne fruit as is evident from the ever increasing volumes of FDI inflows being received into the country.“Measures taken by the government on the fronts of FDI policy reforms, investment facilitation and ease of doing business have resulted in increased FDI inflows into the country. The following trends in India’s FDI are an endorsement of its status as a preferred investment destination amongst global investors,” the ministry said.”11:00 AMMetals rise on supply-chain disruptions
10:40 AMRupee rises 13 paise to 73.36 against US dollar in early tradeThe strength in the stock indices has aided the rupee’s rise this morning.PTI reports: “The rupee strengthened by 13 paise to 73.36 against the US dollar in opening trade on Wednesday, supported by positive domestic equities and weak American currency.At the interbank forex market, the domestic unit opened at 73.39 and gained further ground to touch 73.36, registering a rise of 13 paise over its previous close.On Tuesday, the rupee depreciated by 12 paise to close at 73.49 against the US currency.“The risk sentiment continues to remain upbeat on Democrat leader Nancy Pelosi’s optimistic comments on the stimulus deal which seems to suggest Democrats and Republicans have reached a consensus on most aspects barring a couple of issues like state and local aid and assistance to working families,” said Abhishek Goenka, Founder and CEO, IFA Global.Meanwhile, the dollar index, which gauges the greenback’s strength against a basket of six currencies, was trading 0.18 per cent down at 92.90.On the domestic equity market front, the BSE benchmark Sensex was trading 396.23 points higher at 40,940.60, and the broader NSE Nifty rose 107.75 points to 12,004.55.Foreign institutional investors were net buyers in the capital market as they purchased shares worth Rs 1,585.07 crore on Tuesday, according to exchange data.Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, rose 0.58 per cent to USD 42.91 per barrel.”10:20 AMMicrosoft, Elon Musk’s SpaceX tie up to woo space customersMicrosoft Corp is partnering with billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk-led SpaceX and others as it expands its cloud-computing platform into space, the software giant said on Tuesday.The partnership would allow Microsoft to connect its Azure cloud computing platform to SpaceX’s network of low-Earth orbiting satellites, offering the software company an edge in its battle with the rival cloud platform from Jeff Bezos’ Amazon.com Inc.Cloud companies have seen a surge in demand this year as more businesses use their services for switching to work from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.Microsoft in recent months has tested its Azure cloud with satellites in space, and in September unveiled its Azure Space venture, tapping into the demand for data-heavy space services.
10:00 AMSensex rallies over 400 points in early trade; Nifty tops 12K markYet another bullish start to the day for stocks,PTI reports: “Equity benchmark Sensex rallied over 400 points and the Nifty topped the 12,000 mark in opening trade on Wednesday tracking strong buying sentiment in index majors HDFC twins, ICICI Bank and Reliance Industries amid positive cues from global markets.The 30-share BSE index was trading 404.42 points or 1 per cent higher at 40,948.79, and the broader NSE Nifty rose 113.55 points or 0.95 per cent to 12,010.35.IndusInd Bank was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, surging around 3 per cent, followed by HDFC, Tata Steel, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, SBI, Titan, Kotak Bank and Reliance Industries.On the other hand, Nestle India, HUL and TCS were among the laggards.In the previous session, Sensex settled 112.77 points or 0.28 per cent higher at 40,544.37. The broader NSE Nifty rose 23.75 points or 0.20 per cent to 11,896.80.Exchange data showed that foreign institutional investors bought equities worth Rs 1,585.07 crore on a net basis on Tuesday.According to Arjun Yash Mahajan, Head Institutional Business at Reliance Securities, Indian markets look to be firm on positive global cues.2QFY21 corporate earnings so far have been good for the market as many companies exceeded consensus estimates and shared positive outlook. We expect Nifty to open on a positive note and trade in the range of 11,900-12,000. IT, auto and financials should remain in focus, he said.He stated that US equities witnessed recovery as investors remained hopeful that a fiscal stimulus could happen before election.Additionally, positive commentary from drug maker Moderna about possible availability of coronavirus vaccine for emergency use in December 2020 bolstered market sentiments.Bourses in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul were trading on a positive note in mid-session deals, while Shanghai was in the red.Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.67 per cent lower at USD 42.87 per barrel.”9:30 AMAmazon extends work from home option till June Amazon.com Inc on Tuesday told employees whose work can be done from home that they can do so until June, extending the timeline on a return to office due to the COVID-19 pandemic.“Employees who work in a role that can effectively be done from home are welcome to do so until June 30, 2021”, an Amazon spokeswoman said in an emailed statement on Tuesday, adding the guidance is applicable globally.Amazon had earlier allowed that option until January.The development comes less than three weeks after the world’s largest online retailer said more than 19,000 of its U.S. frontline workers contracted the coronavirus this year.