Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said December’s IIP numbers indicate India’s economy may grow more than 8% in the 2010-2011financial year after growing around 7.5% in the current fiscal year ending March. Industrial output for December surged 16.8%, its fastest pace on record. The finance minister however did say that high inflation was disturbing, but hopes it will moderate over the next few months. Headline inflation for January was up 8.56% overtaking the RBI’s end of March inflation forecast of 8.5%.
Demand for gold in India, the world’s largest consumer of the metal, rose 13% in the fourth quarter ending December, to 180.7 tons, as wedding and festive season demand peaked. India’s total demand for gold in 2009 was at 480 tons against 712.6 tons in the previous year.
With China’s consumption at 461.9 tons, some analysts say the country could displace India as the world’s largest consumer of gold.
Several companies were given approval to trade in derivatives by the National Stock Exchange. The exchange approved 11 companies to trade in the futures and options segment starting February 19th. Areva T&D, BGR Energy Systems, and Godrej Industries, all of which were approved, were among the stocks that advanced for the day on the news.
Shares of Bharti Airtel went up over 2% today after falling about 13% over the last 2 days. Markets also ended the day on a high note, gaining over 1.2%. The Sensex closed up 202 points to end at 16,429 while the Nifty went up 58 points to end trade at 4,914.