Gold declines ₹142; silver tanks ₹615

Scottish Investment Trust Turns To Profit In FY21; Lifts Dividend; Says Optimistic For Future

Scottish Investment Trust PLC (SCIN.L) Monday reported that its fiscal 2021 return on ordinary activities before tax 75.06 million pounds, compared to last year’s loss of 64.51 million pounds.

Return attributable to shareholders was 72.81 million pounds, compared to prior year’s loss of 66.18 million pounds. Return per share was 106.93 pence, compared to loss of 89.82 pence a year ago.

The revenue return per share was 22.78 pence, compared to prior year’s 21.70 pence.

Income was 21.76 million pounds, compared to last year’s 21.74 million pounds.

Further, the Board recommended a final dividend of 7.0p which, if approved, will mean that the total regular dividend for the year will increase by 5.2% to 24.4p.

Subject to shareholder approval, the dividend will be paid on February 11, to shareholders on the register on January 14.

Looking ahead, Chairman James Will said, “Notwithstanding the various challenges that the current environment holds, we are optimistic for the future…”

Oil Prices Slump On Concerns Over Demand Outlook

Oil prices plunged over 3 percent on Monday amid worries that a rapid surge in Omicron Covid-19 cases would stall economic growth and dent fuel demand.

Several countries are imposing stricter rules for travelers to combat a rising wave of infections, increasing the risk of demand slowdown.

Brent crude futures for February delivery fell 3.3 percent to $71.13 per barrel in European trade, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures for January delivery were down 3.8 percent at $68.14.

Europe’s biggest countries are weighing more curbs to fight a surge in Covid-19 infections ahead of the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. In the United States, New York State broke a record for new infections for a third straight day.

An effective shutdown of the U.S. is probably unnecessary, though hospitals will be tested by the expected rush of Omicron cases, Anthony Fauci, who leads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said.

Meanwhile, U.S. energy firms last week added oil and natural gas rigs for a second week in a row.

The oil and gas rig count, an early indicator of future output, rose by three to 579 in the week to Dec. 17, its highest since April 2020, energy services firm Baker Hughes Co said in its closely followed report on Friday.

Omicron scare: Sensex nosedives 1,190 points on global selloff

According to experts, exploding COVID-19 cases, sustained selling by foreign institutional investors and slowing growth momentum in the developed economies have spooked markets the world over.

Equity benchmark Sensex plunged 1,190 points on December 20 as concerns over the impact of surging Omicron cases across the world spooked investors, triggering an intense selloff in global equities.

The 30-share index slumped 1,189.73 points or 2.90 per cent to end at 55,822.01. Similarly, the NSE Nifty tanked 371 points or 2.18 per cent to 16,614.20.

Tata Steel was the top loser in the Sensex pack, sinking over 5 per cent, followed by SBI, IndusInd Bank, Bajaj Finance, HDFC Bank and NTPC On the other hand, HUL and Dr Reddy’s were the gainers.

According to experts, exploding COVID-19 cases, sustained selling by foreign institutional investors and slowing growth momentum in the developed economies have spooked markets the world over.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul ended with heavy losses. Stock exchanges in Europe too were trading deep in the red in mid-session deals.

Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude tumbled 3.51 per cent to USD 70.94 per barrel.

Gold Subdued As Dollar Shines

Gold prices were a tad lower on Monday, after having hit a three-week high hit in the previous session on fears over the rapidly spreading Omicron coronavirus variant.

Spot gold was little changed at $1,797.62 per ounce in European trade, while U.S. gold futures were down 0.4 percent at $1,798.10.

While tumbling equities offered some support, the dollar’s rise dented the metal’s safe-haven appeal.

The U.S. dollar hovered near the highest since July of last year against major peers after a Federal Reserve official signaled a first pandemic-era interest rate hike could come as early as March.

The possibility of more Covid-19 restrictions being imposed ahead of the Christmas and New Year holidays loomed over several European countries ahead of the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

In the United States, New York State broke a record for new infections for a third straight day.

An effective shutdown of the U.S. is probably unnecessary, though hospitals will be tested by the expected rush of Omicron cases, Anthony Fauci, who leads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said.

President Biden is expected to speak Tuesday on the status of the fight against Covid-19 and discuss government help for communities that need it.

Gold declines ₹142; silver tanks ₹615

In the international market, gold was trading marginally up at USD 1,799 per ounce and silver was flat at USD 22.30 per ounce.

Gold in the national capital on December 20 declined by ₹142 to ₹47,480 per 10 gram amid rupee appreciation, according to HDFC Securities.

In the previous trade, the precious metal settled at ₹47,622 per 10 gram.

Silver also moved lower by ₹615 to ₹60,280 per kg from ₹60,895 per kg in the previous trade.

“Spot gold prices for 24 carat at Delhi fell by Rs 142 pressured by rupee appreciation,” HDFC Securities, Senior Analyst (Commodities), Tapan Patel said.

In the international market, gold was trading marginally up at USD 1,799 per ounce and silver was flat at USD 22.30 per ounce.

“Gold prices traded firm with spot gold prices at COMEX trading at USD 1,799 per ounce on Monday,” he added.