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Sensex closes 0.4% lower for the week
Fri, 21 Dec Closing

Widespread profit booking in major commodity, telecom and pharma stocks led the indices in Indian stock markets to lead the pack of losers in Asian region today. While the BSE-Sensex closed lower by around 212 points (down 1%), the NSE-Nifty closed lower by 69 points. The BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices also ended lower by around 1.5% each.

Asian indices across the board closed lower today while Europe is trading in the negative currently. The rupee was placed at Rs 55.05 to the dollar at the time of writing.

The stock of telecom Bharti Airtel took a beating later today on the back of negative news of a CBI probe. The stock ended 3% lower today. The probe is into alleged corruption in allocation of mobile phone airwaves a decade ago.

Meanwhile, the government is preparing fresh plans to auction telecom spectrum that can fetch around Rs 399 bn. As per the projected plan, the government may get around Rs 253 bn from the auction of spectrum in premium 900 Mhz GSM band and Rs 146 bn from auction of unsold spectrum in 1800 Mhz band. For the premium 900 Mhz band, government is learnt to have fixed minimum price of Rs 9.7 bn per block for Delhi, Rs 9.5 bn per block for Mumbai and Rs 2.2 bn per block for Kolkata circle.

As per a business daily, State Bank of India (SBI) has requested the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to reduce the minimum tenure for fixed deposits to three days from seven days. However, it is unlikely the banking regulator will grant the wish of the country's largest bank. The unfixed deposit scheme of SBI, launched earlier in the year, became a huge success. The bank allows depositors to withdraw their funds after seven days, as the minimum period for fixed deposits.

Most banks are facing difficulties in mobilising resources. This was reflected from the fact that deposit growth has been sluggish for two years. However, SBI's deposit mobilisation has remained robust due to its widespread franchise. The bank had reported excess liquidity of Rs 600 bn at the end of September quarter.

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Mar 20, 2018 (Close)