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Inflation of WPI on a 14-month high of 4.43% in May

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Inflation based on wholesale prices shot up to a 14-month high of 4.43 per cent in May on increasing prices of petrol and diesel, prompting the industry to demand action from policymakers to keep fuel prices under check.

The Wholesale Price Index (WPI) based inflation stood at 3.18 per cent in April and 2.26 per cent in May last year.
According to government data released today, inflation in food articles was at 1.60 per cent in May 2018, as against 0.87 per cent in the preceding month.

Inflation in ‘fuel and power’ basket rose sharply to 11.22 per cent in May from 7.85 per cent in April as prices of domestic fuel increased in line with rising global crude oil rates.

Inflation in vegetables climbed to 2.51 per cent in May, with potato inflation at a peak of 81.93 per cent.

The price rise in fruits was in double digits at 15.40 per cent, while pulses saw a deflation of 21.13 per cent.

May inflation at 4.43 per cent was a 14-month peak. The previous high was in March 2017, when the WPI inflation stood at 5.11 per cent.

Industry chamber Assocham called for government action to tame fuel price rise saying increasing prices of petrol and diesel may significantly impact import bills, which may subsequently have an impact on exchange rates.

“Besides, it might also negatively impact input prices for the industry which has already started feeling the pressure on its profitability,” Assocham Secretary General D S Rawat said.

Icra Principal Economist Aditi Nayar said core WPI inflation rose sharply to 4.4 per cent in May from 3.6 per cent in the previous month, with a rise in 15 of the sub-indices. This reflects the pass-through of higher input costs and a weaker rupee.

“The WPI inflation is expected to harden by up to 0.80 per cent before easing somewhat in the July-September quarter. Key factors that would influence the inflation trajectory include the level at which global crude oil prices stabilise and the extent to which they are transmitted to domestic fuel prices, the trend in the monsoon dispersion and the extent of change in MSPs,” Nayar said.

Also read: Inflation in India likely to hit a 4-month high

The WPI inflation for March has been revised upwards to 2.74 per cent from the provisional estimate of 2.47 per cent.

In its second monetary policy review for the fiscal, the Reserve Bank earlier this month hiked interest rate by 0.25 per cent– the first hike in more than four years — due to growing concerns about inflation stoked by rising global crude oil prices as well as domestic price increases.

The price of Indian basket of crude surged from USD 66 a barrel in April to around USD 74 currently.

Data released earlier this week showed retail inflation jumped to a 4-month high of 4.87 per cent in May on costlier food items such as fruits, vegetables and fuel. RBI mainly takes into account retail inflation data while formulating monetary policy.

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Sensex rises over 250 pts, Nifty reclaims 11,400 mark

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Mumbai | The benchmark Sensex staged a strong comeback in early trade today gaining over 250 points on widespread buying by participants in metal, realty and banking stocks after the US and China agreed to resume trade talks last night.

Taking positive cues from global equities, the 30-share index was trading higher by 262.91 points, or 0.69 percent, at 37,926.47. The index had lost 188.44 points in the previous session. The NSE Nifty reclaimed the 11,400 mark, by rising 62.15 points, or 0.55 percent, to 11,447.20.

All sectoral indices, led by metal, FMCG, realty, auto, banking, PSU, healthcare, infrastructure, power, capital goods, oil and gas and IT, recovered up to 1.38 percent.

Major gainers were Vedanta, Tata Steel, ITC, Yes Bank, Adani Ports, Tata Motors, Axis Bank, SDBI, ICICI Bank, RIL and Asian Paints, rising up to 2.13 percent

While, Wipro, Bharti Airtel, Bajaj Auto and HDFC were trading in the negative zone, falling up to 0.70 percent.

Domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought shares worth a net of Rs 133.78 crore while foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth a net of Rs 825.08 crore yesterday, provisional data showed.

Investor sentiment turned positive after the US and China agreed to resume trade talks last night, traders said.

Amid a stalemate in the trade war with the US, China will send a top official to Washington this month to resume the high-level dialogue to resolve the deadlock over President Donald Trump’s demand to drastically reduce the USD 375 billion trade deficit.

Elsewhere in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.44 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 0.46 percent, while Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.39 percent.

US stocks rallied to close higher yesterday. The US Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 1.58 percent higher yesterday.

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Rupee plummets to historic low of 70.09 on Turkish lira collapse

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Mumbai  |  Reversing all its early gains, the rupee today collapsed to a lifetime low of 70.09 against the US dollar, falling 16 paise amid fears that Turkish economic crisis could lead to a global financial meltdown.

The ongoing currency turmoil in Turkey has dampened investors’ sentiments globally. Investors are turning to the dollar as a safe haven with Turkeys currency lira crisis continuing since the last week.

Yesterday, the rupee had plunged by Rs 1.08, or 1.57 per cent, to a record low of 69.93 against the US currency.

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Rupee recovers from life low, up 23 paise

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Mumbai | The rupee recovered from all-time low of 69.91 and strengthened by 23 paise to 69.68 against the US dollar in opening trade at the interbank foreign exchange market today on some macroeconomic boost.

Yesterday, the rupee had plunged by Rs 1.08, or 1.57 percent, to a record low of 69.91 against the US currency amid fears that Turkish currency turmoil could turn out into global financial crisis.

In a ray of hope for domestic economy, latest data showed that retail inflation fell to 9-month low of 4.17 percent in July on declining vegetable prices which may prompt the Reserve Bank to pause interest rate hike in its next monetary policy review.

In the last two reviews, the RBI had raised the key repo rate by 0.25 percent each on inflationary concerns. The next bi-monthly policy is to be unveiled on October 5. Stock markets opening with gains also boosted the domestic currency, dealers said. However, the dollar’s strength against some currencies overseas capped the gains of the domestic unit.

Meanwhile, the benchmark BSE Sensex recovered 184.93 points, or 0.49 percent, to 37,829.83 points in early trade today.

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