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Friday, December 3, 2021

Business News Live: Sensex, Nifty open flat

11:15 A.M.

Meesho raises $570 million funding, valuation reaches $4.9 billion

Social commerce platform Meesho has raised $570 million (about Rs 4,235.2 crore) in funding, led by Fidelity Management & Research Company and B Capital Group, PTI reported.

The recent funding has helped the company more than double its valuation to $4.9 billion in less than five months. Existing investors – Prosus Ventures, SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and Facebook also participated in this round, a statement said.

In April, Meesho had raised $300 million (about Rs 2,201.7 crore) in a funding round from SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and others, which had pushed its valuation to $2.1 billion. Till date, the company has raised over USD 1 billion.

11:10 A.M.

Rupee falls 22 paise to 74.36 against US dollar

The Indian rupee depreciated 22 paise to 74.36 against the US dollar in opening trade on Thursday, amid a muted trend in domestic equities, PTI reported.

The rupee opened on a weak note at 74.28, and fell further to 74.36 against the dollar, registering a decline of 22 paise from the last close.

In the previous session on Wednesday, the rupee had settled at 74.14 against the US dollar.

11:00 A.M.

Free Trade Agreement is the next frontier in India-US relationship: USIBC president

A Free Trade Agreement is the next frontier in the India-US relationship, the head of a top India-centric business advocacy group has said, PTI reported.

Nisha Desai Biswal, president of US-India Business Council and a former US diplomat, at a dinner hosted by Indiaspora said it is not tenable for the two largest economies of the world to not have a trade architecture in place between them, though its path is riddled with “all kinds of obstacles”.

“The time has come for us to get serious about where the next frontier is in US India ties. And neither for the United States, nor for India, is it tenable for two of the largest economies in the world to be outside of the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) and to not have a trade architecture in place between the two of them,” Nisha Desai Biswal said.

10:45 A.M.

The king of oil bets on batteries

Alex Beard is losing his thirst for oil.

Once one of the world’s most powerful oil traders, the former Glencore executive is now raising money to build a portfolio of strategic battery sites across the United Kingdom to support the renewable energy industry, Reuters reported.

In his first interview since leaving the commodities giant in 2019, billionaire Beard said his Adaptogen Capital investment fund planned to build storage with a capacity of at least 500 megawatts (MW) to power homes when grid supplies fall short.

10:20 A.M.

Decision on Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin in October : WHO

A decision on Bharat Biotech’s submission seeking emergency use listing (EUL) for its Covaxin COVID-19 vaccine will be made in October, PTI reported citing the World Health Organisation.

Bharat Biotech had submitted EOI (Expression of Interest) on April 19 for its vaccine. The latest ‘Status of COVID-19 vaccines within WHO EUL/PQ evaluation process’ guidance document dated September 29 on the WHO website said that the decision date for Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin is “October 2021”.

The WHO said it began rolling data of the vaccine on July 6. Rolling data allows the WHO to start its review right away, as information continues to come in, to accelerate the overall review process.

10:10 A.M.

China factory activity shrinks for first time since February 2020

Chinese factory activity contracted in September for the first time since the height of its initial coronavirus outbreak in February 2020, AFP reported.

The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) — a key gauge of manufacturing activity in the world’s second-largest economy — slipped to 49.6 from 50.1 in August, the National Bureau of Statistics said. A figure below the 50-point mark represents contraction, while above it indicates growth.

The growing power crisis, exacerbated by local government restrictions on factories to cut energy use, has led some major banks to lower their annual growth forecast for China, while there are also concerns about the impact on supply chains for global firms such as Apple and Tesla.

9:50 A.M.

Government begins Air India bid evaluation

The government has begun evaluation of financial bids received from Tata Group and SpiceJet founder for the acquisition of Air India, PTI reported.

With this, the privatisation process of the national flag carrier has moved to the next phase and the financial bids are being evaluated against an undisclosed reserve price. The bid offering the highest price above that benchmark would be accepted.

If successful, this will mark the return of Air India to Tata fold after 67 years.

9:25 A.M.

Sensex, Nifty open flat

The Indian equity benchmark indices opened on a flat note tracking weakness in Asian markets amid mixed global ciues.

 At 9:16 IST, the Sensex was up 0.07% at 59.456.56 and the Nifty was up 0.05% at 17,719.40.

9:15 A.M.

Oil falls after U.S. inventories post surprise gain

Oil prices fell after official figures showed an unexpected rise in inventories in the United States although prices seem to have stabilised following a recent run of gains, Reuters reported.

Brent crude was down 11 cents at $78.53 a barrel while U.S. oil fell 5 cents to $74.78 a barrel.

U.S. oil and fuel stockpiles increased last week, the U.S. Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Wednesday.

9:00 A.M.

Asian stocks steady as calm returns

Asian shares found some calm following this week’s heavy China-driven losses although the dollar sat at a more than one-year high against major peers, Reuters reported.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dropped 0.06%, while the Nikkei lost 0.36% a day after Japan’s ruling party chose softly spoken consensus-builder Fumio Kishida as its new leader and the country’s new prime minister.

Hong Kong stocks fell 1% but these were balanced by a 1.1% rise in Australia. Chinese blue chips gained 0.5% after data published showed China’s services sector returned to expansion in September after COVID-19 outbreaks receded.

Kaylie Pferten
A pilot of submersible crafts in a former life, now married to my husband David and writing about investment advice.

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