Mumbai: The benchmark BSE Sensex cracked over 300 points and the NSE Nifty dropped below the 12,000 level in afternoon session Thursday tracking losses in financial stocks after the Reserve Bank cut its key interest rates for the third time in a row. The 30-share index was trading 333.32 points, or 0.83 per cent, lower at 39,750.22, and the broader Nifty fell 114.35 points, or 0.95 per cent, to 11,907.30. Top losers in the Sensex pack include IndusInd Bank, Yes Bank, Vedanta, SBI, L&T, M&M, Tata Steel, RIL, TCS, ICICI Bank and HDFC twins, shedding up to 5 per cent. Also Read – SC declines Oil Min request to stay sharing of documents On the other hand, Asian Paints, Coal India, HUL, PowerGrid, HCL Tech and Infosys were trading up to 2 per cent higher. According to traders, investor sentiment took a hit after the RBI lowered its benchmark lending rate to nearly a nine-year low of 5.75 per cent. Slashing benchmark lending rates for the third time this year, the RBI cut its repo rate by 0.25 per cent Thursday and said its future monetary policy stance will be more accommodative. Also Read – World suffering ‘synchronized slowdown’, says new IMF chief The central bank also lowered the economic growth forecast for the current fiscal to 7 per cent due to slowdown in domestic activities and escalation in global trade war. “RBI reduced repo rate by 25 bps as expected. The change in stance to accommodative’ was a bit of a surprise. Debt markets will take this as a significant positive move though most of the rate cut cycle is probably over,” said Suvodeep Rakshit, Sr. Economist, Kotak Institutional Equities. “The tone of the RBI policy was dovish and highlights the concerns on growth. We maintain our call for another 25 bps rate cut in August factoring in the benign inflation trajectory and the growing concerns on growth,” Rakshit added. On the currency front, the rupee was trading 4 paise lower at 69.30 against the US dollar.
TORONTO — Sears Canada Inc. is looking to expand its plan to sell organic groceries and build so-called dash buttons to help customers purchase their favourite products from home as the retailer better known for tools and appliances looks to reinvent itself.Executive chairman Brandon Stranzl said Wednesday he expects three to five locations where Sears will give some space to a partner grocer to be finalized by the end of this year, including two in Ontario and one in B.C.“Kind of like Whole Foods at a Joe Fresh price,” he said, explaining that shoppers should expect fresh food at a reasonable price.The company is also trying to amp up its digital efforts, which includes developing new technologies to integrate the retailer into its customers’ lives.‘Abolish it’: Sears disavows department store model with new pop-up location, merchandise“We could have — hypothetically — dash buttons that we roll out at some point in the future,” he said.A dash button is a consumer goods ordering service that allows a customer to press a button in their home to purchase a product from a particular store. Amazon, for example, sells dash buttons for laundry detergent, bottled water and snacks, among other things.Stranzl said people are working on creating these at the company’s Initium Commerce Lab, but they haven’t linked it to any products yet. They’re also working on reinventing the store’s annual wish book, he said, to potentially be a customized, digital one instead of a physical catalogue.Stranzl made the comments after Sears (TSX:SCC) reported a $45.8-million loss in its latest quarter, but noted that same-store sales improved compared with a year ago.Same-store sales for the quarter ended Jan. 28 were up 1.3 per cent compared with the same quarter last year. The company also said there’s been growth in same-store sales through the first two months of its current quarter.Sears, which has struggled in recent years, said same-store sales were up 6.2 per cent in February compared with the same month last year and up 4.1 per cent in March compared with a year ago.The loss for what was the fourth quarter of its financial year amounted to 45 cents per share.That compared with a profit of $30.9 million or 30 cents per share a year ago when the company benefited from a $170.7-million gain on the termination of a credit card agreement.Revenue fell to $744.0 million, compared with $887.6 million a year ago, due in part to store closures and a decline in its direct business due to a reduction in catalogues, challenges with its new website, and fewer merchandise pick-up locations.Shares slipped 5.49 per cent or nine cents to $1.55 on the Toronto Stock Exchange by late-afternoon trading.The Canadian Press