Asian markets extend slump

Asian stocks were trading lower on Tuesday morning following a volatile session in Europe and the US as investors exercised caution ahead of what may be the first Federal Reserve interest rate hike in almost a decade. Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average plunged 1%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and Shanghai Composite Index were trading flat, read more.

US markets closed marginally higher

US markets closed marginally higher in a volatile session of trade due to slump in crude prices. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500 ended up between 0.4% and 0.6% each.

Brent crude inches closer to $36 per barrel

Crude fell below $35 per barrel briefly in New York for the first time since 2009 due to increased expectations of oversupply in the market. Last week, speculators increased bets on falling US crude prices to an all-time high after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries effectively abandoned production limits. Brent crude dropped $1.60 to $36.33 a barrel on Monday, the lowest in seven years, read more.

Inflation threat has not receded yet

The threat of inflation has not yet receded as consumer prices accelerated marginally to 5.41% in November and inflation based on wholesale price index came in at -1.99% in November, the highest since January. This is because of higher food prices, especially pulses and bottoming out of international commodity prices like crude. Two back-to-back deficient monsoon years and the consequent impact on the rural economy is affecting food inflation, read more.

Mahindra group to buy Italy’s Pininfarina

Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd and affiliate Tech Mahindra Ltd, through a special purpose vehicle (SPV), have agreed to buy a 76.06% stake in Italian car designer Pininfarina SpA, for €25.3 million (around 187 crore). The transaction will help India’s largest maker of sport utility vehicles boost its design and styling capabilities.

Winter session of Parliament headed for another washout

The ongoing winter session of Parliament seems to be headed for another washout as the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the opposition Congress are unable to resolve their differences over the proposed goods and services tax, read more.

Nestle makes subtle changes to Maggi packaging

Nestle India Ltd has made subtle changes to the packaging of its Maggi noodles as the food company plays safe after the ban. The packaging says consume noodles along with fruit and milk, instead of Maggi masala noodles is a source of essential nutrients, reports Economic Times.

Sun Pharma to sell its US factory in Bryan

Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd shares will be in focus as it will sell its US factory in Bryan, Ohio, to Nostrum Laboratories Inc., as part of its manufacturing consolidation, following the merger with Ranbaxy Laboratories, reports Mint.

Infosys buys minority stake in US-based start-up Whoop

Infosys Ltd has bought a minority stake in Delaware, US-based start-up Whoop, which makes activity trackers, for $3 million. The deal, which marks Infosys’s sixth investment from its $500 million innovation fund, could help drive revenues from its clients in the wellness space and professional sports, reports Mint.

Maharashtra plans 10,000 crore package for drought-hit farmers

Lastly, the BJP-led state government in Maharashtra is planning 10,000 crore relief package for drought-hit farmers as pressure from allies and opposition parties to help farmers is rising. The state government may have to raise value-added tax (VAT) on some items by 1-2 percentage points to finance this package, read more.

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