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Major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a dismal note with stock markets in Japan and China trading down by 3.8% and 1.1% respectively. There was a sell-off on Wall Street with benchmark indices falling as much as 2.2%. However, major indices in Europe ended their previous session in green. The rupee is trading at 66.83 per US$.
Indian stock markets too have nosedived in the opening session. The BSE Sensex is trading lower by 325 points (down 1.3%) and NSE Nifty is trading lower by 107 points (down 1.4%). Both BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap are trading lower by 1.6% and 1.8% respectively. Major sectoral indices have opened the day deep in red with stocks from automobile and telecommunication sectors witnessing maximum selling pressure.
Recently, the government had preponed the implementation of Bharat Stage-VI emission standards by a year to April 2020. The decision came a day after Supreme Court refused to lift the ban on diesel vehicles above 2,000cc capacity. Currently, India is implementing BS III across the country and BS IV in major cities. Government has decided to skip the BS-V emission standard and move on directly to the BS-VI. Upgradation to BS-VI will lead to reduction of particulate matter by 80% in addition to reduction of nitrogen oxide level by 83%.This will help to reduce the pollution levels significantly.
With respect to this decision, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), the country's biggest refiner has planned to invest Rs 180 billion to upgrade the fuel specifications needs for meeting the government norms. The capital expenditure will take place in six of its refineries. Reportedly, a sum of Rs 40 billion will be required for producing BS IV compliant fuels and another Rs 140 billion will be required to upgrade the facilities to produce BS VI compliant fuels.
Reportedly, the adoption of new emission standard will also lead to increases in the prices of vehicles. An estimated increase of Rs 1 lakh for diesel vehicles and Rs 20,000 for petrol vehicles is expected with the switch to BS-VI standard. Appropriate modifications in the engine will have to be carried out by the automobile companies to make them suitable for the BS-VI emission standard.
As per an article in leading financial daily, Nestle woes over Maggi are expected to linger as the Supreme Court on Wednesday sought more clarifications on the instant noodle's quality. The court directed Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI), Mysuru, to conduct more tests on the noodles if required and submit the report within next eight weeks. The next hearing on the matter will be held on 5th April.
Currently, CFTRI is conducting tests on two sets of Maggi samples which were sent to them in the previous year. CFTRI has sent the report on the first batch. However, reports on the second batch of samples are yet to arrive. As per courts directive, CFTRI can draw more samples from Lucknow warehouse to conduct further tests on the Maggi noodles. The courts directive is a setback for Nestle as the matter will be stretched further till April at the least.
Nestle is trading down by 1.3%
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