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India proposes to raise customs duty on 30 US products

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India has now submitted a revised list of 30 items — including motorcycle, certain iron and steel goods, boric acid and lentils — to the WTO on which it proposes to raise customs duty by up to 50 per cent.

As duties hiked by the US on certain steel and aluminium products would have implications of about $241 million on India, the rise in tariffs proposed by New Delhi too would have an equal implication on America.

“The US would be collecting $241 million worth of duties by hiking tariffs on certain steel and aluminium items from India, we also proposed to withdraw concessions of the similar amount from these 30 products imported by India from the US,” a source said.

Earlier in May, India proposed to raise duties by up to 100 per cent on 20 products such as almonds, apple and specific motorcycles imported from the US.

The additional duty proposed to be hiked on these items ranges from 10 per cent to 100 per cent.

“The revision is being provided to adjust the products and the tariff rates in accordance with India’s rights reserved vide its notification to the Council for Trade in Goods contained in the WTO document…of May 18, 2018.

“India hereby reiterates its decision to suspend concessions or other obligations notified to the Council for Trade in Goods on May 18, 2018…of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 and Article 8.2 of the Agreement on Safeguards, that are substantially equivalent to the amount of trade affected by the measures imposed by the United States,” according to a communication by India to WTO.

It said that the proposed suspension of concessions or other obligations takes the form of an increase in tariffs on selected products originating in the US, based on the measures of America.

“India reserves its right to further suspend substantially equivalent concessions and other obligations based on the trade impact resulting from the application of the measures of the US,” it added.

The country has proposed this move under the WTO Agreement on Safeguards.

On March 9, US President Donald Trump imposed heavy tariffs on imported steel and aluminium items, a move that has sparked fears of a global trade war.

Trump signed two proclamations that levied a 25 per cent tariff on steel and a 10 per cent tariff on aluminium imported from all countries except Canada and Mexico.

Earlier India had stated that these suspensions will come into effect earlier than June 21, 2018, in case the US decides to continue the period of application of the measures.

It said that the duty imposed by America has affected steel exports by $198.6 million, while the same on aluminium was $42.4 million.

The other items include chickpeas, fresh apple, walnut, refined palmolein, motorcycle with engine capacity over 800 cc, diagnostic reagents and threaded nuts.

India has also dragged the US to the World Trade Organisations dispute settlement mechanism over the imposition of import duties on steel and aluminium.

India’s exports of steel and aluminium products to America stood at about $1.5 billion every year. Its exports to the US in 2016-17 stood at $42.21 billion, while imports were $22.3 billion.

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Sensex rallies over 300 pts, Nifty reclaims 10,800 level

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Mumbai | BSE benchmark Sensex Friday rallied over 300 points and NSE Nifty reclaimed the 10,800 mark on firm global cues, heavy foreign fund inflow and strengthening rupee.

Extending gains for the third session, the 30-share index was trading 306.16 points, or 0.86 percent, higher at 36,113.44. The index had ended 157.34 points, or 0.44 percent, higher at 35,807.28 in the previous session Thursday.

The broader Nifty too jumped 86.75 points, or 0.80 percent, to 10,866.55. The gains on Dalal Street were led by pharma, auto, realty and financial stocks. Top gainers include HDFC duo, Reliance Industries, ICICI Bank, L&T, ITC, HUL, SBI, TCS and Sun Pharma, rising up to 2 percent. On the other hand, Coal India, NTPC and Hero MotoCorp were the top losers, falling up to 1 percent.

According to Rahul Mishra, AVP (Derivatives), Emkay Global Financial Services, markets have been very volatile through the month; state election, global cues and crude oil price movement have kept the market busy.

However, market has seen good recovery since Nifty hit the month’s low on state election result day. Global cues provided good resistance, he said. The rupee, meanwhile, strengthened against the US dollar, up 30 paise at 70.05 a dollar from its previous close. Brent crude, the international benchmark, was up 1.63 percent at USD 53.59 per barrel.

On a net basis, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth Rs 1,731.91 crore Wednesday, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) were net sellers to the tune of Rs 663.00 crore, provisional data available with BSE showed. Elsewhere in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.47 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 0.12 per cent, Kospi gained 0.66 per cent and Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.15 per cent in early trade.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average index rose 260.37 points, or 1.14 percent, to 23,138.82 in its previous session Thursday.

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Sensex, Nifty choppy amid weak global cues

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Mumbai | The benchmark BSE Sensex opened on a volatile note early Monday on short-covering by investors amid weakness in Asian markets.

Buying activity in pharma, technology, banking auto and FMCG stocks, influenced market sentiment. The benchmark BSE Sensex was trading 28.05 points, 0.08 percent, lower at 35,714.02, after swinging over 200 points between highs and lows of 35,910.67 and 35,675.02, respectively.

The gauge had plunged 572.04 points on Friday. NSE Nifty was trading lower 25.25 points, or 0.23 per cent, at 10,728.75. Top losers were Hero MotoCorp, Vedanta, Bajaj Auto, Bajaj Finance, Asian Paint and HDFC Bank fell up to 3 per cent.

On the other hand, major gainers were Sun Pharma, Infosys, TCS, SBI, ITC, ICICI Bank, Tata Motors, IndusInd Bank, Kotak Bank, Axis Bank, Maruti Suzuki, L&T, Bharti Airtel, M&M and Coal India, rising up to 2.12 per cent.

According to experts, global equities were choppy as a partial US government shutdown that entered was set to stretch through Christmas, after Congress adjourned for the weekend with no deal in sight to end an impasse over funding for President Donald Trump’s wall on the US-Mexico border.

Also, investors are nervous after reports emerged that Trump privately asked cabinet members if he had the authority to fire Fed Chair Jerome Powell after interest rates were increased and the stock market tanked.

Meanwhile, on a net basis, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth Rs 134.14 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) sold shares worth Rs 488.55 crore Friday, provisional data showed. Asian markets were trading lower following Friday’s losses on the Wall Street.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down 1.29 percent. Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.49 per cent in early trade. Korea’s Kospi fell 0.38 per cent and Taiwan index slipped 0.20 percent. Japan’s markets are closed Monday. The US Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 1.81 per cent lower Friday.

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Rupee slips 37 paise to 70.07 against US dollar in early trade

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Mumbai | The rupee fell by 37 paise to 70.07 against the US dollar in early trade Friday amid strengthening of the US dollar against some currencies overseas and foreign fund outflows.

Forex traders said besides increased demand of the US currency from importers, the dollar’s strength against some currencies overseas weighed on the rupee. The rupee opened lower at 69.93 against the dollar and dropped further to quote at 70.07, 37 paise down over its previous close.

On Thursday the domestic currency appreciated by 69 paise to close at 69.70 against the US dollar. Traders said a lower opening in domestic equity market, rising crude prices and foreign fund outflows put additional pressure on the local unit.

Globally, Brent crude, the international benchmark, was trading 1.27 per cent higher at USD 55.04 per barrel. Foreign funds pulled out Rs 386.44 crore from the capital markets on a net basis, while domestic institutional investors bought shares worth Rs 87.96 crore Thursday, provisional data showed.

The 30-share index fell 31.70 points, or 0.09 per cent, to trade at 36,399.97. In similar movement, the NSE Nifty was trading 12 points, or 0.11 per cent, lower at 10,939.70.

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