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Bayer to acquire Monsanto in all cash transaction

Bayer to acquire Monsanto in all cash transaction

Sep 14,2016

Monsanto India announced that Bayer and Monsanto signed definitive agreement under which Bayer will acquire Monsanto for USD 128 per share in an all cash transaction.

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Richa Industries receives order worth Rs 35 crore
Apr 13,2017

Richa Industries has received an order worth Rs 35 crore from Delhi Metro Rail Corporation for construction of six elevated metro stations on Mukundpur-Shiv Vihar corridor and depot cum workshop of Jahangirpuri - Badli corridor phase III of Delhi MRTS.

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Infosys slips after weak Q4 outcome
Apr 13,2017

The result was announced before market hours today, 13 April 2017. The result is as per International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

Meanwhile, the S&P BSE Sensex was down 62.22 points, or 0.21% to 29,581.26.

On the BSE, 3.99 lakh shares were traded in the counter so far, compared with average daily volumes of 1.99 lakh shares in the past two weeks. The stock had hit a high of Rs 990.95 and a low of Rs 941.40 so far during the day.

The stock hit a 52-week high of Rs 1,278 on 3 June 2016. The stock hit a 52-week low of Rs 900.30 on 9 November 2016.

Infosys consolidated operating profit fell 2.8% to Rs 4212 crore in Q4 March 2017 over Q3 December 2016.

Infosys consolidated net profit rose 6.4% to Rs 14353 crore on 9.7% rise in revenues to Rs 68484 crore in the year ended March 2017 over the year ended March 2016. Operating profit rose 8.2% to Rs 16901 crore in the year ended March 2017 over the year ended March 2016.

Infosys is one of the leading information technology outsourcing services providers. The company provides business consulting, information technology and outsourcing services.

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Outcome of board meeting of Infosys
Apr 13,2017

The Board of Director of Infosys at its meeting held on 12-13 April 2017 approved the appointment of Ravi Venkatesan, Independent Director as the Co-Chairman of the Board. The Board has recommended a final dividend of Rs 14.75 per equity share for financial year ended 31 March 2017. The dividend will be paid on 27 June 2017.

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JSW Steel in spotlight after raising $500 million through unsecured notes
Apr 13,2017

JSW Steel said it has raised $500 million by allotment of fixed rate senior unsecured notes in accordance with Regulation S of the US Securities Act, 1933 and applicable Indian regulations. The notes will be listed on Singapore Exchange Securities Trading. The announcement was made after market hours yesterday, 12 April 2017.

IT major Infosys will announce Q4 March 2017 result today, 13 April 2017.

Cipla announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Cipla Medpro South Africa, completed acquisition of Anmaratn++ on 12 April 2017. The announcement was made after market hours yesterday, 12 April 2017.

Cera Sanitaryware said it has received CRISIL A1+ rating for the companys Rs 30 crore short term debt (including commercial paper). The announcement was made after market hours yesterday, 12 April 2017.

Karnataka Bank appointed Mahabaleshwara M S, presently the Chief General Manager of Karnataka Bank as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (MD & CEO) of the bank for a period of three years from the date of assuming charge, as per the approval received from Reserve Bank of India. He is succeeding P Jayarama Bhat, who has since assumed charge as part-time, non-executive Chairman of the bank. The Chairmans post was vacant since 26 October 2016 on retirement of Ananthakrishna. The announcement was made after market hours yesterday, 12 April 2017.

Heritage Foods announced that it has completed acquisition of dairy business of Reliance Retail. The company said it received approval from Competition Commission of India and completed the process of acquisition of dairy business of Reliance Retail. Post the transaction closure, Reliance Retail will continue to trade in dairy products including Heritage dairy products through its retail & wholesale channels. The announcement was made after market hours yesterday, 12 April 2017.

Arshiya said it entered into a binding term sheet with Ascendas Property Fund Trustee (APFT), whereby APFT, in its capacity as Trustee-Manager of Ascendas India Trust, has agreed to acquire 6 warehouses (totaling 8,32,000 square feet) of Arshiya at its Free Trade & Warehousing Zone (FTWZ) located at Panvel, near Mumbai. The indicative gross consideration envisaged is Rs 534 crore, to be paid in two tranches; Rs 434 crore upon signing of a definitive agreement and the balance Rs 100 crore to be paid over 4 years on achieving certain milestones. The announcement was made after market hours yesterday, 12 April 2017.

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Cabinet approves 9.4% hike in raw jute MSP for 2017-18 season
Apr 12,2017

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval for the increase in the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for raw Jute for 2017-18 season in order to protect the economic interests of the farmers.

The CCEA has increased the MSP to a level of Rs 3500 per quintal for 2017-18 season which indicates an increase of Rs 300 (9.4%) over the previous year. During last three years (2015-16, 2016-17 & 2017-18), Government has increased the MSP for jute from Rs 2700/- to Rs 3500/- (29.6%) as compared to increase from Rs 2200/- to Rs 2400/- (9.1%) in the preceding three years (2012-13, 2013-14 & 2014-15).

Jute is mainly used as raw material for Packaging Industry. The increase in MSP would benefit the Jute industry which supports the livelihood of around 40 lakh farm families and provides direct employment to 3.7 lakh workers in organised mills and in diversified units including tertiary sector and allied activities. These farm families are mainly concentrated in the States of West Bengal, Bihar and Assam which account for over 95% of the area as well as jute production in the country.

New varieties of jute viz., JRO-204, JBO-2003, JRS-517, JRC-532 and JRO-2407 are being promoted by providing support for seeds production under National Food Security Mission (NFSM)-Commercial Crops. National Seeds Corporation Limited has entered into agreement for promotion of new varieties of jute seeds in the jute growing states.

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Cabinet approves implementation of Supreme Courts Judgment regarding Target Plus Scheme (TPS)
Apr 12,2017

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the implementation of Supreme Courts Judgment dated 27 October 2015 regarding Target Plus Scheme (TPS) 2004-09 in Civil Application No. 554 of 2006.

The revenue implication under the TPS arising from the Honble Supreme Courts Judgment is about Rs 2700 crore.

Benefit is being extended to all the applicant exporters eligible as per provisions of the initially notified TPS Scheme under FTP for the year 2005-06, and as per provisions of Foreign Trade Policy 2004-09 throughout the country.

The Target Plus Scheme (TPS) 2005-06 was already implemented partially. However, the claims which were denied as a result of retrospective Notification will be now settled as per direction of the Supreme Court in the CA No. 554 of 2006. The scheme has been discontinued w.e.f. 01.04.2006.

The claims will be considered as per original notifications till the date of the Notification No. 48 dated 20.02.2006 and Notification No. 8 dated 12.8.2006. The guidelines and modalities for processing the claims will be worked out by the DGFT HQs in consultation with Department of Revenue and is proposed to be completed in one year from the date of approval of the Cabinet.

The corrective measure will bring an end to multiple litigations with the Government and the claims under the TPS will be issued as per original provisions under Foreign Trade Policy in compliance with the decision of the Honble Supreme Court.

In the Civil Appeal No. 554/2006 titled DGFT v/s Kanak Exports & Ors., the Honble Supreme Court, in its Judgment dated 27.10.2015 gave verdict on the Target Plus Scheme for Export Promotion. It held that the Notification No. 48/2005 dated February 20, 2006 (certain products were made ineligible) and Notification No. 8/2006 dated June 12, 2006 (rates were reduced to 5% from the earlier 5, 10 and 15%) related to the Target Plus Scheme (TPS) could not be applied retrospectively and they would be effective only from the date of their issue.

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Cabinet approves setting up of Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy (IIPE) at Visakhapatnam
Apr 12,2017

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval for setting up of Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy (IIPE) at Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh as an Institute of National Importance through an Act of Parliament. The Institute will have the governance structure as well as legal mandate to grant degrees in a manner similar to that enjoyed by IITs. A separate Act will also impart the required status to the Institute to become a Centre of Excellence in petroleum and energy studies.

The Cabinet has also approved Rs 655.46 crore as capital expenditure to set up IIPE and contribution of Rs 200 crore towards its Endowment Fund (in addition to a contribution of Rs 200 crore from Oil Companies towards the Endowment Fund).

As committed under the 13 Schedule of Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act, 2014, it has been decided to set up this Institute. The objective is to meet the quantitative and qualitative gap in the supply of skilled manpower for the petroleum sector and to promote research activities needed for the growth of the sector. The academic and research activities of IIPE will derive strength from the Institutes proximity to sector-related activities such as KG-Basin, Visakhapatnam refinery and the planned Petrochemical complex at Kakinada.

Andhra Pradesh Government has allocated 200 acres of land, free of cost, for setting up of IIPE at Sabbavaram Mandal in Visakhapatnam district. IIPE has been registered as a Society under the AP Society Registration Act, 2001 on 18/04/2016. A temporary campus of IIPE has been set up from academic session 2016-17 from the Andhra University Campus with two undergraduate programmes namely, Petroleum Engineering and Chemical Engineering (with capacity of 50 students each). IIT, Kharagpur has taken up the responsibility of mentoring the Institute.

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Cabinet approves measures to increase oil palm area and production in India
Apr 12,2017

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved measures to increase oil palm area and production in India. These include:

i. Relaxation of land ceiling limit for oil palm cultivation under NMOOP (National Mission on Oilseeds and Oil Palm).

The Cabinet approved relaxation in restrictions for providing assistance to more than 25 hectare area also under NMOOP to attract corporate bodies towards oil palm and derive maximum benefit of 100% FDI.

ii. Revision of norms of assistance under Mini Mission-II of NMOOP.

The Cabinet further gave its approval to revise the norms of assistance mainly for planting materials, maintenance cost, inter-cropping cost and bore-well to make oil palm plantations attractive.

The measures will yield following results:

. To encourage oil palm plantation on large scale by corporate bodies and to utilize wastelands. By relaxing restrictions under NMOOP, private entrepreneurs/cooperative bodies/joint ventures will show their interest in investment in oil palm plantation and availing the NMOOP support.

n++ To encourage farmers for oil palm cultivation in a bigger way. The revision of cost norms will motivate fanners for oil palm plantation.

Annual Action Plan (AAP) of the State / Agencies will be approved by Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare on revised cost norms. The private entrepreneurs/ cooperative bodies/ joint ventures will be invited by the respective state Governments for oil palm plantation in their state.

At present, the programme is being implemented in 12 States, namely, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu. Mizoram, Odisha, Kerala, Telangana. Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland & Assam. Nearly 133 districts are under oil palm cultivation in these 12 states, However, all the potential states of Oil palm are covered under NMOOP.

There will be some financial implication in relaxing restrictions of area and up-scaling the norms of subsidies but the same would be accommodated within NMOOP fund. Therefore, no additional funds would be required.

At present, oil palm development programme is being promoted in individual farmers field. There is no scope to provide assistance directly to private entrepreneurs/Cooperative bodies/Joint ventures for large scale plantation. The waste land/degraded land/cultivable land in the oil palm growing states can be given on lease/rent or bought by private entrepreneurs/ cooperative bodies/ joint ventures for oil palm plantation. However, financial assistance under NMOOP is available for 25 hectare. Therefore, there is a need for relaxation of restrictions under NMOOP to attract corporate bodies towards oil palm and derive maximum benefit of 100% FDI. A combination of individual farming, contract farming and captive plantation (by relaxing land ceiling norms) can only boost oil palm cultivation in the country.

The norms of assistance for various interventions were decided on the basis of prevailing prices at the time of formulation of the NMOOP programme. In view of large investment towards the cost of planting material, digging of pits, planting, manuring, irrigation and maintenance of plantation for four years without any income, farmers particularly small and marginal have shown reluctance in taking up oil palm plantation. Besides, in North Eastern States, which have good potential for oil palm needs additional investment in land preparation being hilly terrain.

Edible Oil is an important component of household food basket. The total production of edible oil in the country is about 9 million MT. while the domestic requirement is around 25 million MT. The gap between demand and supply is being met through imports, which amounted to Rs 68000 crore in 2015-16 (Prov.). Palm oil contributes 70% of vegetable oil import and is one of the cheapest oil due to high productivity per hectare.

Oil Palm is one of the worlds most efficient crop in terms of yield of vegetable oil per ha and today it is largest source of vegetable oil in the world. Malaysia, Indonesia, Nigeria, Thailand and Columbia are the major oil palm producing countries. An average oil yield of 4-5 tonnes/ hectare has been recorded with oil palm against the highest oil yield of 1.3 tonnes/ hectare from rapeseed.

Government of India is promoting oil palm by implementing several programmes since 1986-87 and from 2014-15 through NMOOP. NMOOP aims to bring an additional area of 1.25 lakh hectare under oil palm cultivation by the end of 2016-17. The developmental efforts have resulted in area expansion under oil palm from 8585 hectare in-1991-92 to around 3 lakh hectare by the end of 2015-16. Similarly, production of fresh fruit bunches (FFBs) and crude palm oil (CPO) have increased from 21,233 ton and 1,134 ton respectively (1992-93) to 11,50,000 ton and 1,98,000 ton during the year 2014-15.

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Cabinet approves policy for Purchase Preference in all PSUs under Petroleum Ministry
Apr 12,2017

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval for Policy to provide Purchase Preference (linked with Local Content (PP-LC) in all Public Sector Undertakings under Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas.

The Policy will be applicable for five years. A steering committee will be constituted to oversee implementation of the Policy and carry out annual review and recommend continuation of the policy from year to year basis.

Under the Policy, the targets of Local Content (LC) will be stipulated for certain oil and gas business activities. The manufacturers/ service providers who meet the local content targets and whose quoted price is within 10% of the lowest valid price bid would be eligible for purchase preference for a stipulated portion of the purchase order on matching such price.

The Policy is expected to encourage suppliers and service providers to progressively adopt Make in India practices and add value to their goods and services within the country.

The Policy will apply to all the Public Sector Enterprises and their wholly owned subsidiaries, Joint Ventures that have 51% or more equity by one or more Public Sector Enterprises, attached and subordinate offices of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.

The Make in India initiative was launched by Prime Minister in September, 2014 as part of a wider set of nation-building initiatives devised to transform India into a global design and manufacturing hub. In tune with this campaign, the Government has decided to incentivize the growth in local content in goods and services while implementing oil and gas projects in India through a policy for providing Purchase Preference to the manufacturers/ service providers who meet the local content targets in oil and gas business activities.

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Cabinet approves setting up of a SPV for govt procurement of goods & services
Apr 12,2017

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval for the following:-

Setting up of a Special Purpose Vehicle to be called Government e-Marketplace (GeM SPV) as the National Public Procurement Portal as Section 8 Company registered under the Companies Act, 2013, for providing procurement of goods & services required by Central & State Government organizations. GeM SPV shall provide an end-to-end online Marketplace for Central and State Government Ministries / Departments, Central & State Public Sector Undertakings (CPSUs & SPSUs), Autonomous institutions and Local bodies, for procurement of common use goods & services in a transparent and efficient manner.

DGS&D shall be wound up and cease its functions by 31 October 2017. In case it is not possible to wind up DGS&D by 31 October 2017, the Department may extend the date of closure with proper justification latest upto 31st March, 2018.

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Major ports of India register 6.79% traffic growth in FY2017
Apr 12,2017

The twelve major ports under the Ministry of Shipping handled a record 647.43 million tonnes (mt) of traffic in 2016-17, registering an annual growth rate of 6.79%, as against 4.32% last year. With this, these ports have out- performed private ports for the second consecutive year. The private ports have registered a traffic growth rate of 4% this year.

The top position in cargo handling was retained by Kandla Port that handled 105.44 mt of cargo, registering a growth of 5.39% over last year. This was followed by Paradip Port with 88.95 mt of cargo handled, and an impressive growth rate of 16.45%. Mumbai Port holds the third position with 63.05 mt of cargo handled and growth rate of 3.17%.

JNPT recorded highest ever handling of 4.50 million TEUs during 2016-17. The port owned terminal, JNPCT, achieved highest ever handling of 1.53 million TEUs during the year, registering a growth rate of 7.33%.

Iron-ore traffic attained the highest growth rate of 163.67%. Other miscellaneous and general cargo grew by 18.53% and POL products by 8.16%.

In terms of Operating Surplus too, the Major Ports have shown highest ever achievement in 2016-17. JNPT net surplus has crossed Rs. 1300 crore as against Rs. 1091 crore of 2015-16. Kandla Port posted its highest ever net surplus of Rs. 651 crore during 2016-17, an increase of 54.4% over last years profit of Rs 422 crore.

For the first time ever, JNPT raised Foreign Denominated Loan of US $400 million. It became the first major port to raise foreign currency loans. Kamarajar Port Limited (Ennore) is also in the process of raising USD $100 million foreign currency loan. This mode of financing at low interest rates and natural hedging has been followed in the Major ports for their infrastructure development for the first time.

The major ports have also recorded the highest ever capacity addition of 100.37 mt during 2016-17. The capacity of major ports during 2015-16 was 965.36 MTPA. This crossed 1065 MTPA during 2016-17.

In respect of development of port infrastructure, 56 projects have been awarded with a capacity of 103.52 MTPA against a target of 102 MTPA with an investment of Rs. 9490.51 crore during 2016-17.

The efficiency indicators in major ports are also improving steadily. During 2016-17, total turn-around time came down to 3.44 days as against 3.64 days during last year. Likewise, Average Output Per Ship Berthday has gone up to 14583 tonnes as against 13748 tonnes during last year.

Major Ports have been benchmarked to international standards. 116 initiatives were identified. Out of these, 70 initiatives have been implemented and remaining will be implemented by 2019. This has resulted in unlocking 80 MTPA capacity. Implementation of these initiatives would further improve the efficiency & productivity of the Major Ports.

Mumbai Port has become Home Port for cruise tourism. Asias largest passenger ship Genting Dream with a capacity of 3,400 guests anchored at Mumbai Port on 29th October, 2016. The ship also ferried 1,900 passengers from Mumbai to Singapore via Colombo. 51 cruise vessels have called at Mumbai Port during 2016-17. A total number of 158 Cruise vessels anchored at 5 Major Ports during 2016-17, registering an increase of 23% over 2015-16.

In addition to the outstanding performance of the ports, the Ministry has taken several initiatives. The dredging of Mumbai Channel and JNPT Channel phase - II has been awarded to increase draft upto 15 meters at an estimated cost of Rs. 1963.17 crore. Smart Port Industrial Cities are being developed at Paradip and Kandla, Master Plans for which have been finalised. Multi Modal Logistic Park is being set up in Paradip.

The Ministry of Shipping has initiated several Policy during the year. The New Captive Policy guidelines were issued in July, 2016 to ensure uniformity and transparency in the procedure for awarding captive facilities in the ports. This will allow concessionaire to handle non captive cargo upto 30% of the designed capacity of the berth.

The New Berthing Policy came into effect from August, 2016. This policy provides standardized framework for calculation of norms, specific to the commodity handled and infrastructure available on the berth. This will improve the efficiency at ports and productivity norms across ports.

The New Stevedoring Policy has been implemented since July, 2016. This will improve productivity, efficiency and safety in the ports.

The existing Model Concession Agreement of 2008 is under process of revision which will address the concerns of PPP projects and prevent them from getting stressed.

The Major Port Authorities Bill has been introduced in the Lok Sabha in December, 2016 to modernize the institutional structure of the ports to usher in professional governance in the ports.

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IIP declines 1.2% in February 2017
Apr 12,2017

Indias industrial production declined 1.2% in February 2017 over February 2016, snapping 3.3% growth recorded in January 2017. The manufacturing sectors production dipped 2% in February 2017, mainly contributing to the dip in industrial production. The mining output increased 3.3%, while the electricity generation rose 0.3% in February 2017.

In terms of industries, 15 out of the 22 industry groups in the manufacturing sector have shown negative growth during the month of February 2017 as compared to the corresponding month of the previous year.

Industrial production rose 0.45% in April-February FY2017, compared with 2.61% growth in the corresponding period last year. The manufactured product sector output declined 0.3%, while the mining and electricity generation improved 1.6% and 4.6% in April-February FY2017.

As per the use-based classification, the basic goods output improved 2.4% in February 2017 over a year ago, while the output of capital goods declined 3.4%. The consumer goods output dipped 5.6%, while the output of intermediate goods also fell 0.2% in February 2017. Within consumer goods, the production of consumer durables declined 0.9%, while that of consumer non-durables plunged 8.6% in February 2017 over February 2016.

The IIP growth in January 2017 has been revised upwards to 3.3% in the first revision compared with 2.7% growth reported provisionally. Meanwhile, the growth in November 2016 has been revised marginally downwards to 5.6% at final revision.

The industry group Tobacco products has shown the highest negative growth of (-) 42.8% followed by (-) 21.7% in Food products and beverages and (-) 20.6% in Office, accounting and computing machinery. On the other hand, the industry group Electrical machinery & apparatus n.e.c. has shown the highest positive growth of 17.4% followed by 10.7% in Wearing apparel; dressing and dyeing of fur and 9.9% in Basic metals.

Some important items that have registered high negative growth include woollen carpets (-) 66.4%, plastic machinery including moulding machinery (-) 52.2%, ship building and repairs (-) 49.7%, sugar machinery (-) 47.8%, sugar (-) 41.6%, molasses (-) 39.0%, cigarettes (-) 37.7%, aluminium conductor (-) 29.3%, three-wheelers (including passenger and goods carrier) (-) 24.5% and leather garments (-) 22.0%.

Some important items showing high positive growth during the current month over the same month in previous year include cable, rubber insulated 241.2%, cement machinery 116.5%, electric sheets 90.1%, HR coils/ skelp 29.1%, antibiotics and its preparations 25.6%, biaxially oriented polypropylene bopp film 25.5% and stainless/ alloy steel 24.2%.

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CPI inflation rises to 3.81% in March 2017
Apr 12,2017

The all-India general CPI inflation increased to 3.81% in March 2017 (new base 2012=100), compared with 3.65% in February 2017. The corresponding provisional inflation rate for rural area was 3.75% and urban area 3.88% in March 2017 as against 3.67% and 3.55% in February 2017. The core CPI inflation rose marginally to 4.79% in March 2017 from 4.75% in February 2017.

The cumulative CPI inflation was lower at 4.52% in April-March FY2017 compared with 4.91% in April-March FY2016.

Among the CPI components, inflation of food and beverages increased to 2.54% in March 2017 from 2.39% in February 2017 mainly contributing to the rise in CPI inflation. Within the food items, the inflation increased for vegetables to (-) 7.24%, fruits 9.35%, milk and products 4.69%, prepared meals, snacks, sweets etc. 5.65%, egg 3.21% and cereals and products 5.38%. The inflation was flat for non-alcoholic beverages at 3.17%. On the other hand, inflation declined for pulses and products to (-) 12.42%, spices 2.99%, meat and fish 2.96% and sugar and confectionery 17.05% in march 2017.

The inflation for housing rose marginally to 4.96%, while that for miscellaneous items was flat at 4.78% in March 2017. Within the miscellaneous items, the inflation for personal care and effects eased to 4.52% and education 5.20%, while inflation rose for transport and communication to 6.04% in March 2017.

The inflation for clothing and footwear increased to 4.60% in March 2017, while the CPI inflation of fuel and light surged to 5.56% in March 2017.

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Asia Pacific Market: Stocks largely higher but geopolitical risks cap gains
Apr 12,2017

Headline equities of the Asia Pacific market closed mostly higher after recouping early losses late afternoon on Wednesday, 12 April 2017, as investors shifted toward riskier assets, with resources shares being major gainers on reports that Saudi Arabia was lobbying oil producers to extend an output cut.

Brent oil extended gains into an eighth straight session on Wednesday, having recovered nearly all last months losses, after Saudi Arabia was said to be pushing its fellow OPEC members and some rivals to prolong supply cuts beyond June.

However, the rising geopolitical woes curbed gains as investors mood was risk adverse on fears about growing tensions in the Middle East and on the Korean peninsula. Traders were subdued as they watched developments following last weeks US strike on Syria and intensifying sabre-rattling by the United States and North Korea. On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump warned that Washington was prepared to solve the problem of North Korea on its own if necessary as he and Pyongyang engaged in tit-for-tat comments that sent tensions soaring.

Trumps warning came as a US naval strike group headed towards the Korean peninsula, a show of force that prompted the nuclear-armed North to declare it was ready to react to any mode of war desired by the US.

North Korean state media warned of a nuclear attack on the United States at any sign of American aggression, as a U.S. Navy strike group steamed toward the western Pacific.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson flew to Moscow on Tuesday to confront the Kremlin about its support for the government of Bashar al-Assad, amid US statements that Russia tried to cover up a chemical attack.

Among Asian bourses

Australia Shares hit fresh two-year high

Australian equity market finished session above the neutral line fourth straight session, thanks to modest strength in resources stocks and further gains in major banks, which helped to offset a slump in Telstra after a rival communications company unveiled plans to build a rival mobile network in the country. At the close, the benchmark SS&P/ASX 200 edged up 4.7 points, or 0.1%, to 5934.0--its highest close since late April 2015.

Financials extended gain, with all four big four banks closed in positive territory, led by a 1% gain by Australia & New Zealand Banking. Commonwealth Bank of Australia added 0.7%, National Australia Bank rose 0.6% and Westpac banking picked up 0.2%.

Shares of energy sector inclined as crude oil prices gained on expectations that major producers will curb more of their production, helped lift the energy sector. Woodside Petroleum was up 0.3% and Oil Search ahead by 0.8%.

Material stocks were mixed. Among the miners, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto fell 0.4% and 0.2%, respectively, but Newcrest Mining was 1.6% higher as gold producers benefited from a rise in gold prices to fresh five-month highs in Asian trading amid geopolitical concerns.

Telstra dropped 7.5%, the biggest single drag on the ASX 200, after TPG Telecom said it had acquired mobile spectrum and planned to roll out a network that would challenge the incumbent operators.

Japan Stocks fall on stronger yen, geopolitical tensions

The Japan share market finished session steep down, with investor sentiment dragged down by the yens rise against the dollar amid growing geopolitical tensions. Stocks met with selling almost across the board from the outset of Wednesdays trading, after U.S. equities fell overnight with investors risk appetite dissipated by U.S. President Donald Trumps tweet suggesting the possibilities of a unilateral action against North Korea and an additional strike against Syria. The 225-issue Nikkei average dived 195.26 points, or 1.04%, to close at 18,552.61, hitting its lowest finish since Dec. 7 last year. The TOPIX index of all first-section issues ended down 15.56 points, or 1.04%, at 1,479.54, after falling 4.55 points the previous day.

Exporter-led issues dented by the yens continued strength against the US dollar. The dollar was trading below 110 yen for the first time since November, changing hands at 109.50 yen Wednesday morning against 109.65 yen in New York on Tuesday afternoon and 110.66 yen in Tokyo earlier. A stronger yen is seen as a negative for Japans exporters as it can dent their profitability by reducing the value of overseas earnings.

On the economic news front- Japan Mar Producer Prices up 1.4% : The monthly corporate goods price index (CGPI) from the Bank of Japan released on Wednesday, showing the index of domestic producer prices rose 1.4% on year in March, the third consecutive gain. The CGPI rose a revised 1.1% in February and 0.5% in January, which was the first rise in 22 months. On month, the CGPI rose 0.2% in March, the fifth straight rise after a revised +0.3% in February. Japans CGPI was down 2.3% on year in fiscal 2016, compared with a drop of 3.2% in fiscal 2015.

China Stocks fall on profit booking, softer PPI data

The Mainland China equity market closed lower, as investors elected to book recent gains after softer producer inflation data raised questions on the sustainability of the countrys economic recovery and some shares that had rallied on plans for a new economic zone lost steam. The Shanghai Composite Index dropped 0.5% to 3,273.8 while the CSI 300, which tracks large companies listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen, was down 0.2% to 3,509.4. The Shenzhen Component index lost 0.6% to 10,587.3 while the Nasdaq-style ChiNext was down 1.1% to 1,897.5.

Chinas producer price inflation (PPI) cooled for the first time in seven months in March as iron ore and coal prices tumbled, pressured by fears that the countrys steel production is outweighing demand and threatening a glut of the metal this year. The Producer Price Index, which measures costs for goods at the factory gate, rose 7.6%, 0.2 percentage points slower than Februarys 7.8%, which was a eight-year record.

Meanwhile, consumer inflation warmed up slightly in March. The Consumer Price Index, a main gauge of inflation, rose 0.9% year on year in March, 0.1 percentage points higher than February, the National Bureau of Statistics said today.

Defence stocks continued to rise, while investors cheered news that Hong Kong chief executive Leung Chun-ying will start his three-day visit next week in Guangdong province to study the performance of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Bay Area. Most of the shares related to that area rose. Shenzhen Yan Tian Port Holding surged 10% to 10.98 yuan. Shenzhen Chiwan Wharf Holdings, Guangdong Shirongzhaoye and Zhuhai Port Co all climbed by the maximum daily 10% limit.

Most listed lenders sagged after the banking regulator told lenders to conduct self-inspections in areas such as using loopholes to circumvent rules, in order to reduce leverage. The move will potentially hurt banks balance sheet.

Stocks related to Xiongan New Area were mixed. Tianjin Port closed 10% lower while cement maker BBMG Corp continued its winning streak to end 10% up for a sixth consecutive day.

Hong Kong Stocks gain as concerns over North Korea abate

The Hong Kong stock market closed session higher after recouping losses during late afternoon trade, on easing concerns about geopolitical tensions in North Korea after Chinas President reportedly called for a peaceful resolution of the North Korean security crisis in a phone call to his American counterpart Donald Trump on Wednesday. The benchmark index opened down 19 points at 24,068. It fell as much as 94 points to an intra-day low of 23,994. But buying orders of market heavyweights help push the market higher in afternoon session. The Hang Seng Index ended up 225 points or 0.9% to 24,313. The H-share index rose 42 points or 0.4% to 10,208. Turnover decreased to HK$71.8 billion from HK$76.8 billion on Tuesday.

Tencent Holdings, the most traded blue chip, surged 2.7 per cent to close at a new high of HK$231. China Construction Bank surged 0.5 per cent to HK$6.2 and HSBC Holdings gained 0.8 per cent to HK$64.2, its best level since mid March. Geely Automobile Holdings was the best performer among blue chips, rising 3.7 per cent to HK$10.7.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said the central government in 2017 would study and set up development plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area. Zhuhai Holdings Investment (00908) surged 9.3% to HK$1.29. Chu Kong Shipping (00560) climbed 3.5% to HK$2.07. Shenzhen International (00152) soared 4.2% to HK$13. Shenzhen Investment (00604) surged 7.9% to HK$3.71.

Sensex, Nifty close with modest losses

Indian benchmark indices suffered modest losses amid volatile session of trade ahead of the release of key domestic economic data later in the day. The barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, fell 144.87 points or 0.49% to settle at 29,643.48. The Nifty 50 index shed 33.55 points or 0.36% to settle at 9,203.45.

Stocks of public sector banks declined. Stocks of private sector banks were mixed. Shares of power generation and power distribution companies edged lower. IT major Infosys edged higher ahead of its Q4 March 2017 results tomorrow, 13 April 2017. Vedanta and Cairn India advanced after Vedanta and Cairn India announced that the merger of Cairn India with Vedanta pursuant to the scheme of arrangement has become effective.

Tata Power Company rose 0.06% in volatile trade after the company announced that the Supreme Court on Tuesday, 11 April 2017, conveyed its judgment on the Compensatory Tariff mailer on the Mundra Ultra Mega Power Projects (UMPP). The announcement was made after market hours yesterday, 11 April 2017.

Wipro declined 1.76%. The company said it has completed the acquisition of Brazilian IT service provider InfoSERVER. The impact of the buyout will reflect in the financials of the company from the Q1 June 2017, it added. In January this year, Wipro signed an agreement to acquire InfoSERVER, an IT service provider focused on the Brazilian market for $8.7 million. The announcement was made after market hours yesterday, 11 April 2017.

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Japan Stocks fall on stronger yen, geopolitical tensions
Apr 12,2017

The Japan share market finished session steep down on Wednesday, 12 April 2017, with investor sentiment dragged down by the yens rise against the dollar amid growing geopolitical tensions. Stocks met with selling almost across the board from the outset of Wednesdays trading, after U.S. equities fell overnight with investors risk appetite dissipated by U.S. President Donald Trumps tweet suggesting the possibilities of a unilateral action against North Korea and an additional strike against Syria. The 225-issue Nikkei average dived 195.26 points, or 1.04%, to close at 18,552.61, hitting its lowest finish since Dec. 7 last year. The TOPIX index of all first-section issues ended down 15.56 points, or 1.04%, at 1,479.54, after falling 4.55 points the previous day.

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