Paris summit, monetary policy among major events of busy week
Global climate change summit starts Monday
US President Barack Obama on Sunday said he was “optimistic” about sealing a global climate agreement at the upcoming two-week UN conference in Paris, starting 30 November. As world leaders arrived in Paris on 29 November, frustration over restrictions on protests against the 13 November terror attacks in France gave rise to what French president Francois Hollande called “scandalous” scuffles between protesters and police at the Place de Republique, the site of a memorial to victims.
ECB likely to ease policy, US data may lead to Fed hike
The world’s two biggest central banks will move decisively in opposing directions this week, with the European Central Bank (ECB) almost certain to ease policy on 3 December and a US jobs report on 4 December likely to seal the case for a Federal Reserve rate hike in December. A Reuters poll of more than 50 economists predicted that the ECB would opt for a deposit rate cut to -0.3% from -0.2%, an expansion of its asset buying program to €75 billion per month from €60 billion, and an extension of that buying beyond September 2016.
Alongside the US jobs report, investors will also hear from Janet Yellen , the Fed’s chair, and several other US rate setters. And then there’s the meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) in Vienna on 4 December to discuss the group’s production policy against the backdrop of a protracted slump in crude prices.
RBI policy on 1 December
On 1 December, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will hold its final monetary policy review of 2015. The review, at which the RBI is expected to hold benchmark rates, will mark a quiet end to a very busy year for domestic monetary policy, even though it may not be the close of the current monetary easing cycle. The rate cuts began early in the year with the first surprise off-cycle rate cut on 15 January.
GDP data on Monday
The government is scheduled to issue the gross domestic product (GDP) data on Monday. India’s economic expansion may have gained speed last quarter as manufacturing and services output improved even as weak rains hurt agriculture, reports the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). GDP in the three months ended 30 September rose 7.4% from a year earlier, according to the median estimate in a poll of 14 economists by the WSJ. That is a step up from the 7.0% expansion in the preceding quarter.
According to a Reuters poll of 45 economists, economic growth accelerated to 7.3% in the September quarter. The range of forecasts for GDP growth for the latest quarter was between 6.9% and 7.6%, with the median at 7.3%.
Sovereign gold bond schemes to be issued from today
Last week, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) extended the issue date of the sovereign gold bond scheme by four days to 30 November to enable their proper processing. The first tranche of these bonds, which opened for subscription from 5 November to 20 November, were to be issued on 26 November. The scheme, so far, has generated lukewarm response, with bankers pegging the overall collections at Rs.150 crore.
New chief justice to take over on 3 December
Justice T.S. Thakur, who has been appointed the 43rd Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India, will take over from incumbent chief justice H.L. Dattu on 3 December. He has been a judge of the apex court since November 2009. Thakur was head of the bench that delivered the popular verdict on the controversies surrounding the Indian Premier League (IPL) and initiated administrative reforms within the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
State assembly sessions
Several state assemblies are set to start their session on 30 November. The newly-elected Bihar government has recommended convening a session of the Legislative Assembly from 30 November to 8 December. The newly-elected MLAs will take oath on 30 November and 1 December, and on 2 December, the new Speaker of the Legislative Assembly would be elected.
A five-day winter session of Himachal Pradesh assembly is to be held from 30 November to 4 December.
After a gap of nearly 30 years, the Haryana assembly will have a special session without any legislative business on 30 November. The session has been planned for two days.
The Delhi assembly session has also been extended by five working days and will conclude on 4 December.
Direct New Delhi-San Francisco flight from 2 December
Air India on Friday said it will start a new tri-weekly Hyderabad-San Francisco flight via New Delhi from 2 December. The flight will travel non-stop from New Delhi to San Francisco and passengers headed to the US city will undergo all customs and immigration formalities at Hyderabad airport itself for their onward journey, the national carrier said in a statement.
San Francisco International Airport has announced a trivia contest on social media to mark the beginning of the first-ever non-stop flight from New Delhi to the popular tech city.