Business news live: Oil falls amid tight market

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Today’s agenda:

Moving to renewables in India to get dearer after the Union government raised GST on critical components used in solar technology, including photovoltaic cells. The government has hiked GST to 12% from the existing 5% with effect from the beginning of this month. The hike in taxes could increase solar power tariffs to Rs 2.6-2.7 per unit from an all-time low of Rs 2 per unit, next fiscal, according to a report by Crisil.

Facebook’s profit rise amid revelations from leaked documents. The embattled social media giant’s net income grew 17% in the September ending quarter to $9.19 billion, buoyed by strong advertising revenue. The company’s shares rose 2.5% in after-hours trading after closing up 1% for the day.

In another corporate development within the country, Bharti Airtel has informed the government that it will opt for the four-year moratorium on payment of AGR and spectrum dues.

In the EU, ahead of energy talks, 9 countries in the bloc, including Germany, said they wouldn’t support an overhaul of the electricity market. According to the group of countries, setting up a common response within the bloc’s 27 member states to weather energy prices’ impact on consumers will prove problematic. – John Xavier

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Oil falls amid tight market

Oil prices fell after a sustained rally due to strong demand in the United States.

Brent crude fell 0.2% to $85.79 a barrel and U.S. oil was down 0.3% at $83.55 a barrel. 

Gasoline and distillate consumption is back in line with five-year averages in the United States, the world’s biggest consumer of oil and its products, after more than a year of depressed demand.

Asian markets update | Sensex rises

Indian benchmark equity indices opened on a positive note. At 9:15, the Sensex was up 0.26% at 61123.56 and the Nifty was up 0.22% at 18164.80.

Asian stocks rose after upbeat Wall Street earnings lifted the broader economic outlook. Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Alphabet have their earnings report due this week. The firms have been the drivers of the market rally this year. Facebook announced its quarterly earnings report with a higher profit.

Concerns over China’s property sector hit Hong Kong and mainland markets. China said it will roll out a pilot real estate tax in some regions. 

MSCI’s index of Asia Pacific stocks outside Japan rose 0.23% while Hang Seng Index and China’s benchmark CSI300 Index opened fell into negative territory, weighed by property stocks. An index of Hong Kong-listed mainland property firms dropped 4%.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei average rose 1.14% on Tuesday, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.2%.

—-  Edited by John Xavier

(With inputs from Reuters, PTI and other news agencies.)

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