Sensex and NIFTY Rally, Settle at Record Closing Highs, Game of Thrones Season 8 Debut Breaks HBO Records, Jet Stares at Shudown et al.

Sensex and NIFTY rally, settle at record closing highs. ICICI Bank surges as Goldman Sachs maintains 'Buy' rating on the stock. Apple and Google asked to take down TikTok app. 'Game of Thrones' Season 8 debut breaks HBO records. Board to meet today as Jet stares at shutdown. Reliance Jio approaches Department of Telecom for in-flight connectivity licence.
 

 

Moving on to the top Business stories of the day. 

 

MARKETS 

Sensex and NIFTY rally, settle at record closing highs. ICICI Bank surges as Goldman Sachs maintains 'Buy' rating on the stock. 

Fly High: The BSE Sensex ended at new closing high of 39,275, up 370 points, while the broader NSE Nifty50 settled at record closing high of at 11,787, adding 97 points, led by banking stocks like IndusInd Bank and ICICI Bank. Investors were also perhaps optimistic as the earnings season got off to a good start and the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) forecasted average monsoon rains this year.  

ICICI Bank shares surged more than 3% during the day before closing at INR407.95 (very near to its 52-week high of INR409.55) as Goldman Sachs hiked the target price to INR492 from INR451 on the stock, maintaining the 'Buy' rating.
 

Rain Rain Go Away: The IMD has forecasted near-normal rains for the April-September monsoon season, putting to rest worries over the possibility of below-normal rainfall, earlier predicted by private weather forecaster Skymet. However, do the markets really care? Read this article to know more.
 

Good Reads: A survey of 21 global funds and strategists expect PM Modi to return to power, an outcome that may be baked into asset prices. However, even if Modi is to win again, the hurdle is high for Indian markets. Click here to know why.

 

TECHCONTROL 

Apple and Google asked to take down TikTok app. NATO condemns US banning Huawei as shortsighted. 
 

Shutting Down...: The Indian government has asked Google and Apple to take down popular Chinese short-video mobile application TikTok from their app stores.
 

The move comes a day after the Supreme Court refused to stay an earlier order by the Madras High Court to ban the app. 
 

The order will help stop further downloads of the application, but people who have already downloaded it will be able to continue using it on their smartphones.
 

Huge Loss: TikTok was the third most installed app globally during Q1 across the App Store and Google Play, according to Sensor Tower, a market analysis firm. Out of the 188 million new users added in the March quarter, India accounted for 88.6 million. India accounted for more than 39% of its 500 million user base.
 

Short-Sighted: As per a report by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), recent banning of Huawei’s products by the US on back of fears that its 5G wireless equipment could be exploited by the Chinese government to spy on other countries was rather shortsighted from a strategic standpoint. 
 

While adequate measures need to be put in place to ensure that Huawei's equipment are not exploited in any manner, rejecting Huawei and its products could prevent many prospective customers from using the company's state-of-the-art technology to develop their own 5G services, as per NATO.

 

CONTENT 

AT&T sells stake in HULU. 'Game of Thrones' Season 8 debut breaks HBO records.

 
Giving it Back: AT&T has sold its 9.5% minority stake in Hulu back to the company in a $1.43bn deal that now values the streaming platform at around $15bn. 
 

Backstory: AT&T had inherited its stake in Hulu when it acquired Time Warner and had said it planned to sell its position to focus on its own streaming service, which it plans to launch this year. 
 

Hulu is managed by Walt Disney which owns a roughly 60% stake after acquiring shares held by 21st Century Fox along with other TV and film assets. Comcast holds a 30% share in the streaming platform.
 

Topping the Charts: HBO reported that over 17.4 million viewers watched the Season 8 debut of Game of Thrones, breaking all previous records.
 

The episode topped the 16.1 million who saw the seventh-season premiere and the 16.9 million who watched that season’s finale.

 

AVIATION 

Board to meet today as Jet stares at shutdown. Reliance Jio approaches Department of Telecom for in-flight connectivity licence
 

A Sinking Ship: The management of Jet met today to inform the Board about the “critical developments” before a call is taken on the future of the airline.
 

The development comes as lenders of Jet led by SBI failed to infuse the emergency funds into the beleaguered airline. Soon after, the suspension of the international operations was extended till at least April 18.
 

With the domestic carrier now staring at an imminent shutdown, here’s a list of those who went before it. 
 

Ambani’s Airline Punch: As per reports, Reliance Jio has approached the Department of Telecommunications for in-flight connectivity licence, which allows service providers to offer connectivity and data services to Indian and foreign airline. 
 

The telecom department has also received applications from others including Ortus Communications, Station Satcom and Cloud Cast Digital for the license.

 

RUSSIA 

Robert Mueller to release redacted report on the Russia investigation to Congress.
 

Devil is in the Details: Attorney General William Barr is expected to release Special Counsel Robert Mueller's nearly 400-page long redacted report on the Russia investigation to Congress and the public on Thursday morning.
 

The redacted report will provide more details into the 22-month investigation undertaken by Mueller into possible collusion between Donald Trump's team and Russia and possible obstruction of justice.
 

Zoom Out: Last month, after a 22-month investigation, charges against 37 defendants, seven guilty pleas and one conviction at trial, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has concluded that President Trump and his campaign didn’t conspire or coordinate with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election.
 

New Best Friend: OPEC has found an ally in Russia. 
 

When OPEC met in Vienna in December, it was in danger of imploding. Oil prices had plunged. Member states Iran, Venezuela and Libya were refusing to cut production. Qatar had quit. US President Trump was pressuring Saudi Arabia to keep prices low.
 

With negotiations on the brink of failure, rescue came from a non-member – Russia. President Vladimir Putin agreed to cut Russian oil production in league with OPEC, provided that Iran was allowed to keep pumping. More on this new-found friendship here.

 

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