25 more test positive for Zika virus in Kanpur, six IAF personnel among infected

Twenty-five people, including six Indian Air Force personnel, on Wednesday tested positive for Zika virus here, pushing the number of infected persons to 36 in the district. District Magistrate Vishak G said among the fresh cases, 14 are women. Six IAF personnel have also contracted the infection, he said.

The DM said the health department had collected blood samples of 586 people on Sunday and these were sent to the Lucknow’s KGMU for testing. Twenty-five samples tested positive for Zika virus, he said.

To check the spread of the disease and track its source, health teams have been pressed to undertake sanitisation programmes, including anti-larvae spraying, identification of fever patients, screening of seriously ill people and pregnant women. Health officials have been asked to strengthen their surveillance and ensure door-to-door sampling and testing. ”We advise the local people not to panic regarding the sudden spurt in Zika virus cases,” he said.

A high alert has been sounded in the periphery of hangars of the IAF station, said another official. Zika is a mosquito-borne virus that spreads through the bite of infected mosquitoes.

An IAF personnel from Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh tested positive for Zika virus on October 23, following which the Union Health Ministry had sent a high-level multidisciplinary team to Uttar Pradesh.

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Buy State Bank of India, target price Rs 560: Edelweiss

Edelweiss has buy call on State Bank of India with a target price of Rs 560. The current market price of State Bank of India is Rs 524.

Time period given by analyst is Intra Day when State Bank of India price can reach defined target.

State Bank of India, incorporated in the year 1955, is a banking company (having a market cap of Rs 465596.98 Crore).

State Bank of India key Products/Revenue Segments include Interest & Discount on Advances & Bills, Income From Investment, Interest and Interest On Balances with RBI and Other Inter-Bank Funds for the year ending 31-Mar-2021.

For the quarter ended 30-06-2021, the company reported a Consolidated Total Income of Rs 93266.94 Crore, down -9.83 % from last quarter Total Income of Rs 103430.64 Crore and up 6.00 % from last year same quarter Total Income of Rs 87984.33 Crore. The bank reported net profit after tax of Rs 7379.91 Crore in latest quarter.

Investment Rationale
SBI has given a swing breakout after trapping the bears at level of 500.

Promoter/FII Holdings
Promoters held 57.62 per cent stake in the company as of 30-Sep-2021, while FIIs owned 10.55 per cent, DIIs 24.17 per cent.

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Ahead of Market: 12 things that will decide stock action on Thursday

MUMBAI: Nifty50 on Wednesday formed a bearish candle on the daily chart as the benchmark index succumbed to selling pressure for the second successive session.

Here’s how analysts read the market pulse:

Rohit Singre, Senior Technical Analyst at LKP Securities said Nifty50 has formed a small consolidation zone between 17,600-18,000 levels. “Unless we don’t see a breakout on either side, we may not see a clear directional move. Profit-booking can be witnessed towards the immediate support zone of 17,750-17,700,” he said.

Mazhar Mohammad of Chartviewindia.in said that Nifty50 appeared to be in a consolidation mode, as profit-booking continued for the last two trading sessions without violating the short-term critical support at 17,697-level.

That said, here’s a look at what some of the key indicators are suggesting for Thursday’s action:

Wall St slips lower as focus shifts to Fed

US stocks indexes edged lower on Wednesday as investors looked ahead to the Federal Reserve’s widely expected move to signal the withdrawal of its pandemic-era support, while Activision Blizzard slid on a gloomy outlook and a leadership change. At 10:22 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 114.93 points, or 0.32 per cent, at 35,937.70, the S&P 500 was down 7.10 points, or 0.15 per cent, at 4,623.55, and the Nasdaq Composite was up 7.36 points, or 0.05 per cent, at 15,656.96.

Oil stocks weigh on FTSE 100

London’s FTSE 100 slipped on Wednesday as losses in heavyweight oil stocks outweighed a rebound in miners, while traders held back on uncertainty around a potential UK rate hike. The commodity-heavy FTSE 100 index declined 0.3 per cent, with gains in metal stocks offset by weakness in oil majors Royal Dutch Shell and BP. Broader STOXX Europe 600 inched higher by 0.26 per cent.

Tech View: 18,000 remains key hurdle

Analysts said that the Nifty50 index is likely to stay in a consolidated mode in the coming sessions as it lacks momentum to cross a strong resistance at 18,000 points mark. Strength in the Nifty50 will be expected only if it closes above 18,000 points and in such a case 18,200-250 levels are likely, said Mazhar Mohammad of Chartviewindia.in.

F&O: Hope remains high

In the derivatives segment, traders sold both the out-of-money call and put options of the Nifty50 index suggesting that they expect the index to move sideways in the coming sessions. The high accumulation of open interest in the 18,000-strike price call option suggests that the level will act as a stiff resistance.

Stocks showing bullish bias

Momentum indicator Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD) showed bullish trade setup on the counters of L&T, Mazagon Dock, L&T Financial Services, Oberoi Realty, and Sobha.

The MACD is known for signaling trend reversals in traded securities or indices. When the MACD crosses above the signal line, it gives a bullish signal, indicating that the price of the security may see an upward movement and vice versa.

Stocks signalling weakness ahead

The MACD showed bearish signs on the counters of Rail Vikas Nigam, Tata Motors, Escorts, Viji Finance, Divi’s Lab, Borosil Renewables, Allied Digital Services, and Indoco Remedies. A bearish crossover on the MACD on these counters indicated that they have just begun their downward journey.

Most active stocks in value terms

SBI (Rs 4279 crore), L&T (Rs 2188 crore), Bharti Airtel (Rs 1654 crore), RIL (Rs 1376 crore), Tata Power (Rs 1142 crore), Tata Motors (Rs 1120 crore), HDFC (Rs 1082 crore), ICICI Bank (Rs 938 crore), IRCTC (Rs 837 crore) and HDFC Bank (Rs 814 crore) were among the most active stocks on Dalal Street in value terms. Higher activity on a counter in value terms can help identify the counters with the highest trading turnovers in the day.

Most active stocks in volume terms

SBI (Shares traded: 8.1 crore), Vodafone Idea (Shares traded: 7.9 crore), Bank of Baroda (Shares traded: 6.9 crore), PNB (Shares traded: 6.4 crore), YES Bank (Shares traded: 5.1 crore), Tata Power (Shares traded: 5.0 crore), SAIL (Shares traded: 4.1 crore), BHEL (Shares traded: 4.0 crore), IDFC First Bank (Shares traded: 3.3 crore) and Canara Bank (Shares traded: 3.1 crore) were among the most traded stocks in the session.

Stocks showing buying interest

Sobha, eClerx, SKF India, Oberoi Realty, Mazagon Dock and Relaxo Footwear witnessed strong buying interest from market participants as they scaled their fresh 52-week highs, signaling bullish sentiment.

Stocks seeing selling pressure

Airo Lam, Hathway Cable, RPP Infra, and Kotyark Industries witnessed strong selling pressure and hit their 52-week lows, signaling bearish sentiment on these counters.

Sentiment meter favours bears

Overall, the market breadth remained in favour of the bears. As many as 219 stocks on the BSE500 index settled the day in the green, while 281 settled the day in the red.

Podcast: What are the expectations for Samvat 2078?

Benchmark indices ended Samvat 2077 on a weak note, in an otherwise solid year for stocks, thanks to cautiousness ahead of the Fed policy outcome later in the day. The BSE Sensex shed 257 points to end at 59,772 odd level. Nifty faced selling pressure at 18,000 level, before closing the session at 17,829. Given the rally this Samvat, what are your return expectations from the forthcoming year?

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Calcutta High Court allows green crackers

Two days after the Supreme Court set aside a blanket ban on fire crackers, the Calcutta High Court on Wednesday allowed green crackers to be burst from 8 pm to 10 pm during Diwali and Kali puja.

A bench, comprising Justices Rajasekhar Mantha and Kesang Doma Bhutia, on Wednesday observed that the West Bengal Pollution Control Board has already specified the timings for the use of firecrackers on festival days.

The court also observed that the revellers will not be allowed inside the puja pandals during the coming Kali puja, Jagdhhatri puja and Kartick puja to maintain Covid-19 protocols and ensure physical distancing. Setting aside the verdict of the Calcutta High Court, the apex court had, on Monday, said that green crackers can be used during the Diwali and Kali puja celebrations.

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NSE-BSE bulk deals: WHV-EAM International sells stake in Nazara Tech

MUMBAI: WHV-EAM International Small Cap Equity Fund today sold 161,487 shares of Nazara Technologies at Rs. 2,301.5 apiece through a bulk deal on the National Stock Exchange.

In another transaction, WHV-EAM International Small Cap Equity Fund bought 1.5 million shares of Minda Corporation at Rs. 174.6 apiece through a bulk deal on the NSE.

Meanwhile, Maven India Fund sold 182,586 shares of Veto Switchgear Cable at Rs. 116.1 per share through a bulk deal on the NSE.

Following are the other major deals that took place on the NSE and BSE today:

BSE Bulk Deals Nov 3ETMarkets.com

BSE Bulk Deals: Nov 3

NSE Bulk Deals Nov 3ETMarkets.com

NSE Bulk Deals: Nov 3

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Emergency Use Listing nod to Covaxin expands availability of Covid vaccines: WHO official

The Emergency Use Listing nod to Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, which was found to have 78% efficacy against severe cases, expands the availability of vaccines – the most effective medical tools to end the COVID-19 pandemic, a top World Health Organization official said on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, WHO issued an emergency use listing (EUL) for Covaxin, adding to a growing portfolio of vaccines validated by the UN health agency for the prevention of COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2.

“This emergency use listing expands the availability of vaccines, the most effective medical tools we have to end the pandemic,” said Dr Mariângela Simão, WHO Assistant-Director General for Access to Medicines and Health Products.

“But we must keep up the pressure to meet the needs of all populations, giving priority to the at-risk groups who are still waiting for their first dose, before we can start declaring victory.”

WHO’s EUL procedure assesses the quality, safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines and is a prerequisite for COVAX vaccine supply.

It also allows countries to expedite their own regulatory approval to import and administer COVID-19 vaccines.

“Congratulations India for Emergency Use Listing of its indigenously produced #COVID19 vaccine COVAXIN,” WHO South East Asia Regional Director Poonam Khetrapal Singh said in a tweet.

Covaxin was assessed under the WHO EUL procedure based on the review of data on quality, safety, efficacy, a risk management plan and programmatic suitability.

The Technical Advisory Group (TAG), convened by WHO and made up of regulatory experts from around the world, has determined that the vaccine meets WHO standards for protection against COVID-19, that the benefit of the vaccine far outweighs risks and the vaccine can be used globally, WHO said.

The Bharat Biotech’s vaccine is formulated from an inactivated SARS-CoV-2 antigen and is presented in single dose vials and multidose vials of 5, 10 and 20 doses.

Covaxin was also reviewed on October 5 by WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE), which formulates vaccine specific policies and recommendations for vaccines’ use in populations (i.e.recommended age groups, intervals between doses, specific groups such as pregnant and lactating women).

The SAGE recommended use of the vaccine in two doses, with a dose interval of four weeks, in all age groups 18 and above.

Covaxin was found to have 78% efficacy against COVID-19 of any severity, 14 or more days after the second dose, and is extremely suitable for low- and middle-income countries due to easy storage requirements.

Available data on vaccination of pregnant women with the vaccine are insufficient to assess vaccine safety or efficacy in pregnancy; studies in pregnant women are planned, including a pregnancy sub-study and a pregnancy registry, WHO said.

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Musk’s SpaceX readying to collaborate with Indian telcos for satcom services

Elon Musk’s SpaceX will soon start talks with Indian telecom service providers like Reliance Jio, Vodafone Idea, BharatNet and Raitel for possible collaborations to offer satellite communication, or broadband from space, services in the hardest-to-reach regions.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Sanjay Bhargava, the India head of SpaceX’s Starlink operation, also trashed allegations that Starlink was taking pre-bookings in India without having any regulatory clearances or licenses, which was ‘illegal’ and amounted to cheating consumers.

He said that there must be an Indian constellation of satellites but that will take some time and capital. He added that Bharti Global-UK government backed rival OneWeb was not an Indian constellation.

“…someone says that SpaceX is running a ponzi scheme…but why would SpaceX, which is such a large company, run a scheme for such a small amount. There are all kinds of rubbish,” said Bhargava. “Any person who is thinking in national interest will not try to stop Starlink by creating useless speculation”.

Since March 2021, the company has been accepting pre-bookings for high-speed internet service, beamed down from a constellation of multiple low-earth-orbit (LEO) satellites, for a fully refundable deposit of $99 (around Rs 7,500). Pre-orders from India for Starlink services had already crossed 5,000, Bhargava had said previously.

SpaceX now recently registered a 100% owned subsidiary in India, Starlink Satellite Communications Private Limited (SSCPL), which will allow it to start applying for licenses.

Bhargava said the company’s Indian entity will start taking advances in the unit and will follow all the rules of the land. SpaceX will first seek a trial license to deploy 100 Starlink connections on schools in Delhi and other parts of the country. After this, it will seek a restricted commercial license in India.

“…we only want to serve the hardest to reach regions. If there is broadband by telcos, we can provide service somewhere else. They [service providers] will work together to tap those areas…There is an unlimited market out there…we can change the game – from pricing to access,” he added.

In addition to SpaceX, Bharti Global-backed OneWeb, Amazon and the Tata-Telesat combine are also readying to enter India’s relatively nascent fast broadband-from-space segment, leveraging their respective low–earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellations. Experts see India as a key emerging satellite broadband services market with an almost $1 billion annual revenue opportunity in the near-term. This is the case since nearly 75% of rural India does not have access to broadband, as many locations are still without cellular or fibre connectivity. Accordingly, LEO satellite systems are being seen as a viable alternative, though they are costly at present.

Bhargava said the company will make representations to the government and various departments for licenses and other regulatory requirements on its own and will not join any industry representative associations, as there were already too many associations.

Industry body Indian Space Association (ISpA) was recently formed as a grouping of space and satellite companies, and counts OneWeb as a member, among others.

The executive also said that Starlink was subsidising the cost of its service for India already. “It is extremely expensive. If the cost was passed on, it would be unaffordable. Starlink is subsidising the cost a lot already and benefits must outstrip cost.”

Starlink has already received pre-orders for more than 5,000 terminals in India. The executive said that the company will do everything to bring the terminal cost down in the country. “We can see if they can be made locally. Starlink is looking at innovation to bring costs down and the next terminal might be cheaper.”

SpaceX is also working with Niti Ayog for its aspirational districts program and will identify 12 districts to create an ecosystem of innovation based on Starlink services. The company will work with bureaucracy, politicians and the community to develop solutions for these districts.

“These 12 districts will not absorb 1,60,000 Starlinks but will build models where we build the models for catalysing rural development with the help of collectors, who will issue RFPs to companies. I will be talking to CEOs of private companies directly,” he said, adding that the company will provide mentorship to startups and teams looking to do innovation.

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DoT gets legal opinion to settle disputes out of court

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has received legal opinion that it has the power to settle cases such as those over one-time spectrum charges (OTSC) out of court, a person familiar with the matter said.

“The legal opinion has thrown the ball in the DoT’s court, saying that it is well within DoT’s administrative powers to settle the case outside court,” the person told ET.

However, DoT has previously received sums from various telcos toward OTSC. The department is now studying what bearing out-of-court settlements may have on these amounts it has already received from telecom companies.

For example, in July 2018, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular had together paid ₹7,248 crore to the DoT as OTSC dues, though under protest, fulfilling a precondition for the government to approve their merger. Back then, Kumar Mangalam Birla-owned Idea Cellular had furnished bank guarantees to the tune of ₹3,322.4 crore while Vodafone India had paid ₹3,926.34 crore in cash to the DoT toward OTSC.


SC to Hear Issue on Nov 17
But, as reported by ET in its October 5 edition, the government is looking for out-of-court settlements to end all major legal disputes with telecom operators as it tries to help rebuild the sector into a profitable one. To this end, a day later, the DoT had told the Supreme Court that it wants to reconsider its appeal against a telecom tribunal ruling backing the telcos’ argument that OTSC should be levied prospectively. The next hearing in the OTSC matter is on November 17 and the DoT needs to firm up its views by then. According to the government’s estimates, about Rs 15,000 crore is locked under dispute with

Vodafone Idea

as OSTC while the amount for Bharti


is Rs 8,414 crore.

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Country by country, scientists eye beginning of an end to the COVID-19 pandemic

As the devastating Delta variant surge eases in many regions of the world, scientists are charting when, and where, COVID-19 will transition to an endemic disease in 2022 and beyond, according to Reuters interviews with over a dozen leading disease experts.

They expect that the first countries to emerge from the pandemic will have had some combination of high rates of vaccination and natural immunity among people who were infected with the coronavirus, such as the United States, the UK, Portugal and India. But they warn that SARS-CoV-2 remains an unpredictable virus that is mutating as it spreads through unvaccinated populations.

None would completely rule out what some called a “doomsday scenario,” in which the virus mutates to the point that it evades hard-won immunity. Yet they expressed increasing confidence that many countries will have put the worst of the pandemic behind them in the coming year.

“We think between now and the end of 2022, this is the point where we get control over this virus … where we can significantly reduce severe disease and death,” Maria Van Kerkhove, an epidemiologist leading the World Health Organization’s (WHO) COVID-19 response, told Reuters.

The agency’s view is based on work with disease experts who are mapping out the probable course of the pandemic over the next 18 months. By the end of 2022, the WHO aims for 70% of the world’s population to be vaccinated.

“If we reach that target, we will be in a very, very different situation epidemiologically,” Van Kerkhove said.

In the meantime, she worries about countries lifting COVID precautions prematurely. “It’s amazing to me to be seeing, you know, people out on the streets, as if everything is over.”

COVID-19 cases and deaths have been declining since August in nearly all regions of the world, according to the WHO’s report on Oct. 26.

Europe has been an exception, with Delta wreaking new havoc in countries with low vaccination coverage such as Russia and Romania, as well as places that have lifted mask-wearing requirements. The variant has also contributed to rising infections in countries such as Singapore and China, which have high rates of vaccination but little natural immunity due to much stricter lockdown measures.

“The transition is going to be different in each place because it’s going to be driven by the amount of immunity in the population from natural infection and of course, vaccine distribution, which is variable … from county by county to country by country,” said Marc Lipsitch, an epidemiologist at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Several experts said they expect the U.S. Delta wave will wrap up this month, and represent the last major COVID-19 surge.

“We’re transitioning from the pandemic phase to the more endemic phase of this virus, where this virus just becomes a persistent menace here in the United States,” former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said.

Chris Murray, a leading disease forecaster at the University of Washington, likewise sees the U.S. Delta surge ending in November.

“We’ll go into a very modest winter increase” in COVID-19 cases, he said. “If there’s no major new variants, then COVID starts to really wind down in April.”

Even where cases are spiking as countries drop pandemic restrictions, as in the UK, vaccines appear to be keeping people out of the hospital.

Epidemiologist Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London said that for the UK, the “bulk of the pandemic as an emergency is behind us.”


COVID-19 is still expected to remain a major contributor to illness and death for years to come, much like other endemic illnesses such as malaria.

“Endemic does not mean benign,” Van Kerkhove said.

Some experts say the virus will eventually behave more like measles, which still causes outbreaks in populations where vaccination coverage is low.

Others see COVID-19 becoming more a seasonal respiratory disease such as influenza. Or, the virus could become less of a killer, affecting mostly children, but that could take decades, some said.

Imperial College’s Ferguson expects above-average deaths in the UK from respiratory disease due to COVID-19 for the next two-to-five years, but said it is unlikely to overwhelm health systems or require social distancing be reimposed.

“It’s going to be a gradual evolution,” Ferguson said. “We’re going to be dealing with this as a more persistent virus.”

Trevor Bedford, a computational virologist at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center who has been tracking the evolution of SARS-CoV-2, sees a milder winter wave in the United States followed by a transition to endemic disease in 2022-2023. He is projecting 50,000 to 100,000 U.S. COVID-19 deaths a year, on top of an estimated 30,000 annual deaths from flu.

The virus will likely continue to mutate, requiring annual booster shots tailored to the latest circulating variants, Bedford said.

If a seasonal COVID scenario plays out, in which the virus circulates in tandem with the flu, both Gottlieb and Murray expect it to have a significant impact on healthcare systems.

“It’ll be an issue for hospital planners, like how do you deal with the COVID and flu surges in winter,” Murray said. “But the era of … massive public intervention in people’s lives through mandates, that part I believe will be done after this winter surge.”

Richard Hatchett, chief executive of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, said with some countries well protected by vaccines while others have virtually none, the world remains vulnerable.

“What keeps me up at night about COVID is the concern that we could have a variant emerge that evades our vaccines and evades immunity from prior infection,” Hatchett said. “That would be like a new COVID pandemic emerging even while we’re still in the old one.”

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Market Movers: A Big Bull bet is down in dumps and Diwali bash on realty counters

MUMBAI: Nazara Technologies has been one of the standout stocks of the past 12 months. Since its listing earlier this year, it has been a multibagger.

Backed by veteran investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, the gaming technology company had caught investors’ imagination over the past nine months. In recent weeks, though, the stock has been down in the dumps.

Without grabbing many eyeballs, shares of Nazara Technologies have given up more than 30 per cent of the gains after hitting record highs in early October. The losses have been primarily driven by profit booking, given the rich valuations.

Whether the stock will pe further is anybody’s guess, but a move back towards the record highs certainly looks elusive as investors become more demanding on the back of earnings delivery and uncertainty over gaming regulations.

SBI makes pitch for rerating

State-owned lenders have been trading at a discount to their private rivals since the dawn of time. That is largely because of the state-owned tag and their limited capacity to protect market share from deep-pocketed private players. SBI is trying to quickly change that argument.

While the stock has seen a substantial rerating over the past 12 months, its September quarter earnings provided another glimpse into the turnaround happening under the new Managing Director, Dinesh Khera. Trading at little more than 1 times one-year forward price-to-book, SBI’s improving asset quality and loan growth prospects may force investors to value the company at higher multiples.

Another boardroom drama

We were just getting tired of eating popcorn while watching the dramedy that is Zee Entertainment vs Invesco when another boardroom drama landed on our lap. This time, the company is Spandana Sphoorty and the protagonist is the company’s founder and managing director Padmaja Reddy.

Reddy has in spectacular fashion resigned from her post to protest the majority share owner Kedaara Capital’s sale of the company to Axis Bank at “throwaway price”. As much as the drama is intriguing, it did not seem to bother investors. The shares of Spandana Sphoorty ended nearly 3 per cent higher.

Realty stocks singing a different tune

If there is one sector that couldn’t be bothered by what is happening to the rest of the world right now, it is real estate.

The Nifty Realty index surged another 2 per cent in the session as investors continued to buy stocks of real estate companies on optimism that the sector is in the middle of a once-in-a-generation turnaround. The strong sales numbers reported by the likes of Oberoi Realty, Godrej Property and DLF have provided more evidence of the return of the real estate investment cycle in the economy. Long may it continue!

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