Economy
India’s trade deficit widens to $10.6 billion in October

The rise in India’s imports is due to seasonality, as imports tend to rise ahead of the festival season, says Nomura

India's trade deficit widened to $10.6 billion in October from $6.8 billion in September. Overall global demand is improving, but higher imports (of oil, gold and others) have led to the deterioration in India’s trade deficit. The rise in imports is due to seasonality, as imports tend to rise ahead of the festival season, says Nomura in a research note.

 

Export growth rose to 13.5% in October from 11.2% in September, which suggests that global demand continues to recover. Imports contracted 14.5% in October compared with a decline of 18.1% in September, which reflects continued weakness in domestic demand. Within imports, gold and silver imports rose slightly to $1.4 billion in October from $0.8 billion in September ahead of the festival season but was still down sharply from year-ago levels (-80%); oil imports rose 1.7% versus a decline of 5.9% in September; while imports excluding oil and gold fell a more muted 2% from -12.6% in September, according to the research report.

 

Nomura said, India's current account deficit (CAD) is likely to moderate to $54 billion in FY14 from $88.2 billion in FY13 due to better exports, weak domestic demand and a policy-driven reduction in gold imports.

 

"Large inflows under the FCNR(B) deposit scheme and the delayed QE taper have led to a surge in capital inflows since September. However, with the FCNR(B) deposit window to close soon (by end-November), oil marketing companies' demand gradually being shifted back to the market and changing expectations around the US QE taper (our US economists now assign a higher probability to a taper in January 2014 relative to March 2014), financing may remain a challenge," it said in a research note.

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Nifty, Sensex dip as tapering theme re-emerges: Monday closing report

With the rupee sliding and re-emergence of US tapering talks, the markets slid on Monday, witnessing broad-based weakness

The markets opened Monday on weak footing and stayed weak throughout the trading session, never breaching into green territory even once, underscoring bearishness seen since the beginning of the previous week.

 

The Sensex and the Nifty opened at 20,596 and 6,110, respectively. The Sensex moved up to the level of 20,672 before dropping off to 20,453, while the Nifty moved up to the level of 6,141 then dropped to as low as 6,067. The S&P BSE Sensex closed at 20,490 (down 175 points or 0.85%) while the Nifty closed at 6,078 (down 61.95 points or 1.01%).

 

The National Stock Exchange (NSE) recorded much lower volumes at just 58.07 crore shares trading hands, showing inherent weakness. Of the 1,224 shares on the NSE, 398 advanced, 787 fell while 39 remained unchanged, signifying broad weakness and lack of depth.

 

All sectoral indices were in the red except for IT, media and pharmaceuticals which were up 0.07%, 1.96% and 0.37% respectively. Of the 50 stocks on the Nifty, just eight scrips ended in the green, showing broad-based weakness.

 

The top five gainers were Dr Reddy (2.82%); Cairn (2.23%); Tata Steel (1.41%); Maruti (0.50%) and HDFC Bank (0.48%), while the top five losers were Hindalco (-4.72%), Axis Bank (3.91%), ACC (3.75%), IndusInd Bank (3.64%) and NMDC (3.54%).

 

Today’s market was affected by the news of the rupee slide as well as the re-emergence of the ‘tapering’ theme. The Indian rupee fell 94 paise to an eight-week low, while the 10-year government bond yield crept up to its highest point since August. This was spurred by rising US yields.

 

Meanwhile, the American markets look forward to Janet Yellen, the front-runner of the chairman of the US Federal Reserve, when she testifies to the Senate hoping to pick her brain, so to speak, and may give some clues to tapering as well. However, with the Veteran’s Day on Monday, markets are expected to trade with less than usual volumes.

 

Asian markets, with the exception of Japan and Hong Kong, finished in the red. Japan went up as the US Dollar firmed against the Yen, since it is an export-oriented economy. The Nikkei index finished up nearly 1% while Hang Seng finished even stronger, up 1.43%. The US stock futures were trading in the green as were European indices.

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Residents want 24 ‘illegal’ cell towers pulled down

Residents of Mayuresh Park complex in Bhandup (a Mumbai suburb) are protesting against their management committee reluctance to pull down 24 illegal mobile towers from the roof of their building.

The residents are concerned about the health hazards of such a large number of mobile towers. “The combined measured radiation levels are high in almost all the rooms especially near the windows,” reads the report prepared by IIT professor and radiation expert Girish Kumar. Residents alleged that radiation from the towers has triggered several cases of migraine, memory loss and joint pains among the 600 families living in the complex.

But the building’s management committee’s members were not keen on removal of the towers because these fetch a lot of income from mobile operators. The Bombay Municipal Corporation (BMC) admitted that the towers were installed without permission, but said that they were protected by a Bombay High Court stay order against their demolition.
 

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