Meaning of futures: Future is a type of derivative financial instrument that provides an opportunity for the investors to exchange an underlying asset at a fixed price at a future date which is predetermined today. The investor can trade the underlying asset on the expiry date at the predetermined price regardless of what the current market price is. These are used for speculation or hedging purposes.
Types of Futures contracts
Various types of futures are available in the market:
- Currency futures
- Commodity futures
- Stock index futures
- Interest rate futures
- Individual stock futures
Meaning of currency futures
Currency future is an exchange-traded futures contract that determines the price of one currency at which another currency can be bought or sold at a future date. These are legally binding contracts. They are usually used for hedging or speculation activities.
Are currency futures popular in India?
The currency futures were introduced in 2008 in India and since then, the value and volumes have increased steadily. In 2019-20, NSE posted a total turnover of Rs. 41,10,022.58 crores in the currency futures section while the total turnover for the currency derivatives was around Rs. 82,67,678.23 crores. The development in the segment can be measured by the steady increase in the turnover over the years. The total turnover in the currency futures segment in 2008-09 was Rs. 1,62,272.43 crores which rose to Rs. 37,65,105.33 crores in 2012-13 and then to Rs. 46,54,927.35 in 2018-19. The growth in the currency futures market shows the higher demand for price transparency among the investors. The traders in India including both exporter and importer, in genuine have the need to hedge their risk against currency fluctuation.
How to trade in currency futures?
NSE and BSE both have a currency futures segment. Even the Metropolitan Stock Exchange of India (MSEI) has a currency futures segment. All the leading brokers play a major role in this market and one can trade through them. It is very similar to trading in the stock market, the only difference is that the underlying asset, in this case, is a currency cross, i.e., USD INR, instead of normal stocks. Trading can also be done through a trading app of any of the brokers.
Sensex reaches 1,600 Points, Nifty at 8,200 Level; Axis Bank Top Gainer
Equity benchmark Sensex recovers over 1,600 points in the afternoon session on Wednesday led by gains in index heavyweights Reliance Industries, HDFC twins, ICICI Bank and Kotak Bank as the government took drastic measures to combat Covid-19 outbreak.
Asian banks were also trading higher as authorities world over stepped up efforts to fight the pandemic. After rallying 1,657 points, the BSE barometer was trading 1,573.02 points or 5.90 percent higher at 28,247.05.
The NSE Nifty was trading 444.30 points, or 5.70 percent, up at 8,245.35. Axis Bank was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, rallying up to 15 percent, followed by Reliance Industries, Kotak Bank, ICICI Bank, Maruti, UltraTech Cement, HDFC twins, and Bharti Airtel. On the other hand, ITC, ONGC, and L&T were the laggards.
According to traders, “in a highly volatile market, investors are weighing the economic impact of the 21-day lockdown announced last night.In an unprecedented drastic measure to curb the spread of coronavirus, Modi said the lockdown will be in force from Tuesday midnight, as he announced a central allocation of Rs 15,000 crore to strengthen the health infrastructure to tackle the disease”.
VK Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist said at Geojit Financial Services,” enforcement of the 21-day lockdown of the nation will be a major challenge.Ensuring supplies to all households is not going to be easy, but has to be done. The temporary shock to the economy will be huge.
Market is now awaiting a stimulus package for the financial task force, headed by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, traders said. Bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul rallied up to 8 per cent. Stocks on Wall Street rallied up to 11 per cent in overnight trade.
Global oil benchmark, Brent crude futures rose 1.62 per cent to $27.59 per barrel. As per to the latest Union Health ministry update the number of coronavirus cases in India rose to 562, while the death toll due to this viral infection was revised down to nine from 10 after the second death in Delhi turned out to be negative.
The number of global Covid-19 infections has shot past 4,20,000. Worldwide fatalities have topped 18,000.
Big Bazaar launches food delivery in various States
The supermarket chain Biz Bazaar has launch doorstep delivery services to amid deadly Coronavirus in major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Gurugram.
However, within no time, even Big Bazaar was flooded with calls, forcing the company to issue a statement on Wednesday, saying that “In light of the recent announcement, we are receiving an unprecedented number of requests for doorstep delivery. There could be delay due to the restrictions on movements”.
Owned by Kishore Biyani-led Future Retail Ltd (FRL), part of the Future Group, Big Bazaar has also started doorstep delivery services in like Ranchi, Uttarakhand, Noida, Ghaziabad, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu, Punjab, Haryana, Faridabad, Gujarat and Rajasthan.
Big Bazaar is the flagship chain while small store neighborhood retail chains, EasyDay and Heritage Fresh, operate closer home to customers.
According to the government notification on the official 21-day lockdown period, “Shops including ration shops (under PDS), dealing with food, groceries, fruits and vegetables, dairy and milk booths, meat and fish, animal fodder can remain open.
Future Retail that currently attracts over 35 crore footfalls across its retail network like Big Bazaar and Foodhall, is present in more than 400 cities with over 1,500 stores that cover over 16 million square feet of retail space.
Amazon India and Future Retail Ltd in January this year announced long-term agreements to expand the reach of Future Retail stores and consumer brands through the Amazon India marketplace. Last year, Amazon agreed to acquire a 49 per cent stake in Biyani’s Future Coupons, which owns 7.3 per cent of Future Retail.
Finance Minister Sitharaman made easy Business Rules To Fight COVID-19
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman revealed a series of easy rule for statutory and regulatory compliance matters on Tuesday and said that “the government will soon announce an economic package to absorb the negative impact of the coronavirus epidemic”.
For income tax-related matters, she said the last date for filing returns pertaining to the financial year 2018-19 has been extended to June 30. For delayed payments, the interest rate has been reduced from 12 percent to 9 percent. All GST returns for March, April, May and composition return too have been extended till June 30.
At the same time, bank charges are being reduced for digital trade and transactions, said Sitharaman. There will be no minimum balance requirement fee imposed by banks and ATM withdrawal from any bank will be free for the next three months.
The date for Aadhaar-PAN linking and ‘Vivad Se Vishwas Scheme’ has also been extended till June 30 with no additional 10 percent payment.
During this period, those paying indirect tax will not be charged any interest fee. The date to opt for the composition scheme also extended to June 30, said the Finance Minister.
Nirmala Sitharaman said “All compliances under Income Tax Act, Wealth Tax Act, Benami Transaction Act, Black Money Act, Vivaad Se Vishwaas, have been extended to June 30”.
To help the business and trading community, she said, the customs will be performing as an essential service 24×7 until June 30 even during the lockdown. Sitharaman said the mandatory requirement for holding board meetings has been relaxed by 60 days for the next two quarters.
She said, “For 2019-20, if independent directors of companies have not been able to hold even a single meeting, that will not be seen as a violation,” .For newly incorporated companies, there is a requirement to file a disclosure of commencement of business within six months. This is extended by six months.
She said that”We are raising the default threshold to prevent triggering of IBC for MSMEs. If the situation does not improve till April 30, we can suspend sections 7, 9 and 10 for six months,” said Sitharaman.
On the financial market, she said all regulators and the Ministry of Finance are working together to monitor the developments. “SEBI has come up with certain guidelines to ensure stability in the stock market. We are consciously monitoring the stock market thrice in a day. A lot of inputs have come, the task force is also looking into them.”
Markets will work normally from Monday: Sebi reports of shutdown
The stock markets will operate normally on Monday, said regulatory and exchange officials on Sunday. “The clarification came after reports surfaced that the market regulator Sebi and the finance ministry was considering shorter trading hours or even a complete shutdown in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak”.
Ashish Chauhan MD & CEO, BSE said “Markets will work normally tomorrow (Monday),” said a Sebi official. “All segments at BSE will operate as usual on Monday 23,”.
Nithin Kamath, founder, and CEO, Zerodha.
Said in tweeted “Surprised with people asking for closing exchanges. Firstly the business is all digital today, operations can be run online with some effort. We are working from home, the last two weeks. Yeah, there will be a drop in customer experience, but they’d understand. We track global markets, exchange closing doesn’t mean stock price will stop falling. No one knows where we will be in a few days. Even if we had to close, loan-against-share (Promoter funding), margin funding and derivative positions have to be unwound first. Otherwise, when markets open and had to factor a big move globally when we were closed, it would be a systemic risk to exchanges, clearing corp, banks, and brokers,”.
Question marks were raised over the functioning of the markets after the Maharashtra government ordered the closure of all working places in Mumbai, Pune, Pimpri Chinchwad and Nagpur in Friday. The state government, however, was quick to clarify that the directive will not be applicable to the stock market ecosystem.
On Friday Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Uddhav Thackeray tweeted “Stock exchanges, clearing corporations, depositories, stockbrokers and Sebi-registered participants operating through these institutions will be exempted,”.
Meanwhile, exchanges, including NSE, BSE, and MCX, have allowed brokers the flexibility to relocate the trading terminals to their homes to ensure business continuity.
Chinese businessman Jack Ma donated 500,000 test kits and 1 million masks to the U.S.
Asia’s richest man announced on Friday to donate 500,000 testing kits and 1 million masks to the U.S. in an effort to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
Jack Ma’s charitable foundation and his China-based company’s foundation, the Alibaba Foundation, have also sourced and donated supplies to other countries being hit by the virus, including Japan, Korea, Italy, Iran and Spain.
The donation comes amid testing delays across the U.S. as state officials scramble amid a shortage of lab materials — sparking concerns that health officials are undercounting the number of Americans with the virus.
“Drawing from my own country’s experience, speedy and accurate testing and adequate personal protective equipment for medical professionals are most effective in preventing the spread of the virus,” the statement said. “We hope that our donation can help Americans fight against the pandemic!”
Ma’s announcement also comes as Trump aides and allies cast blame on China, with some officials calling it “the Wuhan virus” — a reference to the Chinese city that is the epicenter of the disease. National security adviser Robert O’Brien has accused China of covering up a health crisis, while Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has labeled the outbreak the “Wuhan coronavirus.”
“The crisis presents a huge challenge to all humankind in a globalized world. The pandemic we face today can no longer be resolved by any individual country,” Ma said in the statement. “Rather, we need to combat the virus by working hand-in-hand. At this moment, we can’t beat this virus unless we eliminate boundaries to resources and share our know-how and hard-earned lessons.”
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