Wholesale Inflation eases to 2.26% in February. US Federal Reserve cuts rates to zero. SEBI considering ban on short-selling to reduce market volatility. Apple and Nike close their retail stores.
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Wholesale inflation stood at 2.26% in February, Government data showed today. In the previous month, wholesale inflation (the rate of increase in wholesale prices determined by the Wholesale Price Index) had stood at 3.1%.
Separate data last week showed consumer inflation was at 6.58% last month. The RBI has a medium-term goal of containing retail inflation at 4% with a margin of 2% on either side. [NDTV Profit]
How to Flirt with Bears
Less than two weeks after it announced an emergency rate cut, the US Federal Reserve announced its second emergency easing, pushing its target interest rate down to zero.
The Fed’s emergency intervention is aimed at propping up the American economy as it prepares for an escalating coronavirus crisis. What began in China and hampered the world’s second-largest economy has since spread westward, with Europe being the new COVID-19 epicentre. Italy and Spain have unleashed national lockdowns while other countries have instituted restrictions of other kinds to contain the virus.
The consequences of COVID-19’s spread were already palpable in the US, considering the wild volatility markets suffered last week. Furthermore, the 11-year-long bull run enjoyed by Wall Street – the longest in the country’s history – ended Wednesday and markets are flirting with bears. The Fed hopes zero-level rates will shore up markets and avoid a recession. But will it be enough? [CNN Business]
When They Go Short, We Go Long
Indian markets experienced high volatility last week. In Friday trading alone, stocks dropped on market open so swiftly that trading had to be temporarily halted. But only hours later, Sensex and Nifty staged impressive rebounds to finish in green territory. Nonetheless, the week ending March 13th remains one of the worst for Indian markets. On a weekly basis, Sensex was down 9.2%, while Nifty fell nearly 9%.
How can such volatility be countered? The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is mulling a solution. This could involve a ban on short selling, mandatory delivery-based trading, and invoking the so-called additional surveillance mechanism (ASM). [BS]
Shut It Down to Shut It Out
Nike and Apple are shutting down all their retail stores for the rest of March in a bid to stem the spread of the coronavirus. While Nike will shut down all its stores in the US, Canada, Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand, Apple will close all its retail stores outside China. [Yahoo News]
Swipe As You Go
In an attempt to curb cases of card fraud, the RBI in a notification dated January 15th mandated that debit and credit cards that have never been used for online or contactless payments will have such functionality disabled, and the order goes into effect today, i.e., March 16th.
Today onwards, debit and credit cards will be enabled for contact-based points of usage only at the time of issuing or reissuing. Online use or contactless transactions will remain disabled until enabled by the cardholder.
For international transactions, online transactions, card-not-present transactions and contactless transactions, customers will have to separately set up services on cards. [The Week]
Your Loan Has Been Approved
Most of us might have applied for a personal loan - either to pay for conveniences, for basic needs, to start a business or due to an emergency.
Having done so, we know that a personal loan takes a couple of days to get approved, and sometimes the application for one may also be rejected.
It is at instances like these that a loan against credit card can come in handy, considering that they are pre-approved. Here’s all you need to know when applying for a loan on credit card. [Financial Express]
Yes Bank Update
Ailing private lender Yes Bank has said it will write down additional tier (AT-1) bonds worth ?8,415cr ($1.13bn) of the ?8,695cr ($1.17bn) issued. This could have implications for the mutual funds, life insurance companies and pension funds that have invested in the scheme – and their investors. [ToI]
This Just In
Yes Bank customers can breathe freely now. The RBI has said the moratorium limiting withdrawals from the lender to ?50,000 ($675) will be lifted on March 18th, 6 p.m. [Financial Express]
Journey to the Crore
Telco Vodafone Idea today said it had made an additional ?3,354cr ($453m) payment towards its adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues, bringing its total amount paid to ?6,854cr ($926m).
The company claims it has now paid the full principal amount as per its self-assessment of dues. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT), meanwhile, has raised total demand of around ?53,000cr ($7.16bn) for AGR liability of the telco, which included interest, penalty and interest on delay in payment of the amount. [BS]
Tech giant Apple has been dealt a major blow by France’s competition authority and has been inflicted with the biggest-ever fine leveled against a business over anti-competitive practices and “sterilising the market” for Apple products. French officials ordered Apple to pay €1.1bn ($1.2bn). Two of its wholesale partners were also fined – Tech and Ingram Micro.
Apple said it plans to appeal the ruling. [TechCrunch]
Short-video app TikTok said it will stop using China-based moderators to monitor overseas content. This work will be shifted to those outside China.
The move is the latest effort by the Bytedance-owned company to distance itself from concerns about it being a Chinese-operated company. The soaring popularity of TikTok has attracted the attention of some American lawmakers worried about its Chinese roots. [WSJ]
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