Retail Inflation Hits Six-Month High, WPI Inflation Slips to 3.07% in April, Bitcoin Price Rises Beyond $8,000 Mark, Jet Airways CFO Quits and Other Top Business News of the Day

Retail inflation hits six-month high of 2.92% in April. WPI inflation slips to 3.07% in April. Bitcoin price rises beyond $8,000 mark. Vodafone Idea falls 4% after global research firm CLSA cuts target price. Jet Airways CFO and Deputy CEO Amit Agarwal quits. Shares of SoftBank slump following Uber’s lackluster IPO. Consumers can pursue a lawsuit complaining that iPhone apps cost too much, rules New York Supreme Court. 

 

Moving on to the top Business news of the day.

 

 ECONOMY 
 

Retail inflation hits six-month high of 2.92% in April. WPI inflation slips to 3.07% in April.
 

Invest in Inflation..It’s the Only Thing Going Up!: India's inflation based on Consumer Price Index (CPI) or retail inflation touched a six-month high in April to 2.92% vs 2.86% in March on back of spike in food prices, including vegetables, meat, fish and eggs. This is below the RBI target of 4 (+/-2) per cent.
 

The previous spike was recorded in October 2018, when the rate was 3.38%. 
 

Chart: India Consumer Price Index (CPI) trend here.
 

Some Highs, Some Lows: India’s wholesale price-based (WPI) inflation slipped to 3.07% in April vs 3.18% in March and 3.62% in April 2018 on cheaper fuel and manufactured items, even as prices of food articles remained high.
 

Vegetables inflation was at 40.65% in April, up from 28.13% in the previous month. Inflation in food articles basket was 7.37%, up from 5.68% in the previous month. Inflation in ‘fuel and power’ category cooled to 3.84%, from 5.41% in March. Manufactured items too saw easing of prices with inflation at 1.72% in April, against 2.16% in March.
 

Chart: India Wholesale Price Index change here

 

 VODAFONE 


Vodafone Idea falls 4% after global research firm CLSA cuts target price.
 
 
Target Identified…Target Lowered: Share price of telecom major Vodafone Idea fell over 4% before closing at INR14 (+3.11%) after global research firm CLSA initiated a “Sell” Rating on the stock and cut target to INR12.50 from INR27 per share. It is of the view that operating metrics look weak with slower-than-expected data adoption.
 
 
This comes a day after the telecom giant reported a consolidated loss of INR4,881.9cr in Q4. The company's Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) however grew by 16.3% QoQ to INR104 in the March quarter from INR89 in the December quarter.
 
 
Less is More: Vodafone Idea and Airtel recently introduced ‘service validity vouchers’, which required customers to make minimum recharges to continue using their networks.
 
 
The move helped both operators weed out low-value subscribers, while increasing revenues. However, this is far from being enough. The company’s survival in a competitive market hinges on market repair and pricing uptick, which are yet to be seen. More on this here
 
 
 COMPANIES 
 
 
Jet Airways CFO and Deputy CEO Amit Agarwal quits. Shares of SoftBank slump following Uber’s lackluster IPO. Shares of Indian pharmaceutical companies fall after being named in a price-fixing lawsuit in the US.
 
 
Grounded carrier Jet Airways Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Amit Agarwal has resigned.
 
 
Domino Effect: SoftBank has lost about $16bn in market value in the past three trading days as Uber plunged nearly 20% below its IPO price. On Tuesday, SoftBank’s shares fell 5.4%, the biggest decline since Dec 25.
 
 
SoftBank Group, which became an investor in Uber in early 2018, had expected to make a profit of $3bn from its debut.
 
 
Share prices of some leading domestic pharmaceutical companies, led by Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, fell 4-9% on Monday, after being named in a price-fixing lawsuit in the US.
 
 
 
Twenty drugmakers, including seven from India, are facing charges of price fixing in a lawsuit in Connecticut. The lawsuit covers over 100 drugs whose prices were allegedly kept high by the drugmakers.
 
 
 TECH 
 
 
Consumers can pursue a lawsuit complaining that iPhone apps cost too much, rules New York Supreme Court. Bitcoin price rises beyond $8,000 mark.

 
Foul Play: A group of iPhone owners accused Apple of violating US antitrust rules can sue the company, the New York Supreme Court ruled on Monday. 

 
The antitrust suit alleges consumers pay inflated prices because Apple requires that all phone software be sold and purchased through the company’s App Store. Apps would be cheaper if software developers could sell them directly and bypass Apple as a middleman, the lawsuit alleges. 

 
Apple typically takes a 30% cut of every app it sells, and a 15% cut of subscriptions sold through the app store after subscribers’ first year.

 
Side Effects: The ruling is likely to adversely impact billions of dollars in revenue that the company is counting on to make up for slowing iPhone sales. It could also have implications on other tech companies that operate similarly walled-off online storefronts.

 
Apple's stock fell 5.3% on the news. 

 
What’s the Matter?: The price of the world’s largest cryptocurrency, Bitcoin rose as high as $8,195. More than $27bn worth of bitcoin was traded across exchanges.

 
Value of other cryptocurrencies are also witnessing a notable increase as a result of Bitcoin’s rebound.
 
 
 TRADEWARS 

 
China plans to increase levies on $60bn in US imports. Dow and S&P 500 report worst day since January 3.

 
Cat Fight: China plans to increase tariffs on $60bn in US goods already subject to levies, increasing most of them to 10%, 20% and 25% from levels now at 5% and 10%, starting June 1.Higher tariffs would be imposed on a range of US goods including frozen vegetables and liquefied natural gas. 


The news comes shortly after US President Donald Trump ordered his top officials to begin the process to raise tariffs on almost all the imports from China, amounting to about $300bn. This is in addition to the Chinese imports worth $200bn on which Trump increased the import duty from 10% to 25%.
 

Things Fall Apart: Financial markets, already reeling from the trade impasse last week, took another sharp drop. The Dow and S&P 500 had their worst day since January 3. The Dow tumbled 617 points, or 2.38%, to finish at 25,325 on Monday. The S&P's 500 index lost almost 70 points, or 2.41%, to end at 2,812. The sell-off decimated the tech-heavy Nasdaq the most, which plunged 270 points, or 3.41%, to 7,647.


Technology stocks had some of the heaviest losses. Apple fell 5.81% to $185.72, while Cisco dropped 3.86% to $51.30 per share.
 
 
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