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Wholesale price inflation cools to 9.59% in April

The wholesale price index (WPI) based inflation eased marginally to 9.59% in April from 9.90% in March, mainly on account of decline in prices of fruits, onions, wheat and cereals, reports PTI.

However, cost of some vegetables and metals remained high, government data showed.

On a year-on-year basis, the food price index was up 16.87% while fuel price index rose 12.55%.

As per the data released by the government the WPI for 'all commodities' for the month of March rose by 1.2% to 253.7 from 250.8, the previous month, indicating the decline in inflation as not much due to decline in prices, but primarily due to correcting of base effect.

According to the monthly inflation data, potato prices fell 28.70% in April, and onion prices dropped 11.62%.

On the other hand, iron and steel prices rose by 11.40% in April compared to March.

Sugar prices fell by 5.74% on monthly basis, but turned costlier compared to last year.
 
 

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Uphill struggle

Subject to any future dips, expect the indices to move in a narrow range from here onwards

The market was up on the easing of concerns over the eurozone debt crisis as Spain followed Greece by announcing austerity measures. The Sensex was up 70 points at 17,266 (0.4%) while the Nifty ended at 5,179, higher by 22 points (0.4%). The bourses, which started the day with a sharp rise taking cues from Asian markets, were range-bound till the afternoon session when they started paring gains on profit-booking in some index stocks.

Asian stocks were up on Thursday following strong gains on Wall Street overnight. On Wednesday, Spain outlined measures to cut its deficit, easing fears that the Greek debt crisis could spread throughout Europe. Key benchmark indices in China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan rose by1.04% to 2.21%. Singapore's Straits Times fell 0.17%. Markets in Indonesia were closed for a holiday.

The US market was up on Wednesday, supported by technology and industrial stocks. The Dow was up 148 points (1.38%) to 10,897. The S&P 500 was up 16 points (1.37%) to 1,171.6 and the Nasdaq added 49.7 points (2.09%) to 2,425.

Closer home, the food price index rose 16.44% in the year to 1st May, government data released on Thursday showed, above the prior week's annual rise of 16.04% on the rise of vegetable prices as a heat wave in the country damaged perishable foods. The fuel price index stood at 12.33%, down from the previous week's annual rise of 12.69%, while the primary articles’ index was up 16.76%, compared with the previous week's reading of 13.93%.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said that the Greek crisis will not have any impact on India and the central bank’s policy.

Sugar output is likely to rise to 24-25 million tonnes in 2010-11. Domestic consumption was about 22-23 million tonnes while production was only 18.5 million tonnes in 2009-10.

Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) were net sellers yesterday of Rs15 crore. Domestic Institutional Investors (DIIs) purchased stocks worth Rs222 crore. The rupee was strong on gains from the equity market, however, dollar demand from importers and softening of the euro limited the gains.

Kotak Mahindra Bank (up 1%) is considering acquisition of Citi Financial Consumer Finance India, a non-banking finance company (NBFC) of Citi Holding. XL Telecom (up 14.4%) and SDEM TEGA SA will explore the opportunities in India's solar power business along with growing the Latin America, North Africa and Australia markets. XL Telecom estimates solar power opportunity in India at about Rs8,500 crore in the next 12-24 months.

Godrej Consumer Products (up 13.7%) will buy out the remaining 51% stake in Godrej Sara Lee, owned by its joint venture partner Sara Lee Corporation for €185 million. The buyout will make Godrej Consumer Products the biggest home-grown consumer goods maker. Mercator Lines’ (up 4.2%) Singapore-based subsidiary Mercator Lines (Singapore) has acquired a gearless Panamax vessel, built in 2007. The vessel will generate revenue of Rs120 crore in the next three years, said the company in a press release. Borosil Glass Works touched its upper circuit limit (at 5%). It holds an 18-acre industrial plot in Andheri, a western Mumbai suburb and is likely to sell it. The company is hoping to garner Rs800 crore to Rs1,000 crore for this prime piece of land being put on the block. Lodha Group, Runwal, Piramal Sunteck Realty, HDIL and Dheeraj are likely to be in the fray to acquire the land.
 

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