Unilever second-quarter sales beat estimates, to separate part of tea business into new entity

Chinese online grocer MissFresh raises $495 million in latest fundraising

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Chinese online grocery startup MissFresh said on Thursday it has raised $495 million in its latest round of fundraising.

Investors include a fund under China International Capital Corporation, Tencent, Abu Dhabi Capital Group and Tiger Global, the company said in a statement.

Thailand has not intervened in baht for trade advantage -c.bank

BANGKOK, July 23 (Reuters) – Thailand has not intervened in the baht for any competitive trade advantage and its foreign exchange transactions have been in line with rapid capital movements, the central bank said on Thursday.

The comments came after a media report that Thailand could be added to a U.S. watch list for currency manipulation.

The baht has been moving both ways, the central bank said in a statement.

China launches independent, unmanned Mars mission

WENCHANG (REUTERS) – China launched an unmanned probe to Mars on Thursday (July 23) in its first independent mission to visit another planet, a bid for global leadership in space and display of its technological prowess and ambition.

At 12:41 p.m. (0441 GMT), China’s largest carrier rocket, the Long March 5 Y-4, blasted off with the probe from Wenchang Space Launch Centre on the southern island province of Hainan. This story is developing.

Sensex rises over 50 points in opening trade; Nifty tests 11,150

According to traders, movement in domestic benchmarks remained muted amid lack of strong directional cues.

Equity benchmarks Sensex and Nifty opened with marginal gains on Thursday led by buying in index majors Reliance Industries, HDFC and ITC amid positive cues from global markets.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was trading 59.02 points, or 0.16%, higher at 37,930.54.

Similarly, the NSE Nifty advanced 34.70 points, or 0.31%, to 11,167.30.

Asian Paints was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, rising around 2%, followed by L&T, Sun Pharma, ITC, Titan, HDFC, SBI and ONGC.

On the other hand, Axis Bank, Infosys, Tech Mahindra, HDFC Bank, M&M and PowerGrid were among the laggards.

In the previous session, the BSE barometer finished 58.81 points, or 0.16%, lower at 37,871.52, and the Nifty slipped 29.65 points, or 0.27%, to close at 11,132.60.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers in the capital market on Wednesday, purchasing equities worth ₹1,665.57 crore, provisional exchange data showed.

According to traders, movement in domestic benchmarks remained muted amid lack of strong directional cues.

Market bias remained positive on firm global trend and sustained foreign fund inflows, they said.

Bourses in Shanghai, Seoul and Tokyo were trading on a positive note, while Hong Kong slipped into red.

Stock exchanges on Wall Street too ended on a firm note in overnight session.

Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude futures fell 0.18% to USD 44.37 per barrel.

Repsol Reports Adj. Profit In H1 – Quick Facts

Repsol (REPYY.PK) reported a net loss of 2.484 billion euros for the first half of 2020. The company noted that the unprecedented situation caused by the coronavirus led to a historic fall in oil and gas prices, resulting in a negative impact of 1.088 billion euros on inventories. Also, Repsol has adjusted its price curves, which has affected the book value of its Upstream assets. The company reported an adjusted net income of 189 million euros for the first half of 2020.

The company noted that it is applying a Resilience Plan that includes additional reductions in operating costs (of more than 450 million euros) and in investments (of over 1.1 billion euros), and optimizations in working capital of nearly 800 million euros compared to its prior estimates.

The Resilience Plan includes the objective of not increasing the net debt during fiscal 2020. The company reduced its net debt during the last quarter to 3.987 billion euros, around 500 million euros less than that registered as of March 31. The company has liquidity of 9.762 billion euros. The company also increased the pledged and unused credit lines by 1.602 billion euros.

Boeing Gets $916 Mln NASA Contract Extension

Aerospace and defense conglomerate Boeing Co. (BA) said it has been awarded a $916 million contract extension by National Aeronautics and Space Administration or NASA to support the International Space Station’s (ISS) orbiting laboratory through September of 2024.

Under the contract valued at about $225 million annually, Boeing would provide engineering support services, resources, and personnel for activities aboard the ISS and manage many of the station’s systems.

Work would be done at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston; the John F. Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida; and Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, as well as other locations around the world.

Congress, NASA and its international partners have agreed to extend ISS operations to at least 2024, as recent structural analysis shows that the spacecraft continues to be safe and mission-capable, the company said.

John Mulholland, Boeing vice president and program manager for the ISS, said:

“As the International Space Station marks its 20th year of human habitation, Boeing continues to enhance the utility and livability of the orbiting lab we built for NASA decades ago.”

Unilever second-quarter sales beat estimates, to separate part of tea business into new entity

Consumer goods giant Unilever reported a smaller than expected drop in quarterly sales on Thursday, helped by strong demand for food and hygiene products.

The company also said that after exploring options for its 3 billion euro a year tea business, it had decided to keep its operations in India and Indonesia and partnership interests in the ready-to-drink tea joint ventures.

The rest of the tea business will be separated into an independent entity, the company said.

The Anglo-Dutch maker of Dove soaps to Knorr soups reported a 0.3% drop in underlying sales for the second quarter, much better than the analysts' average forecast for a 4.3% fall in a company poll.