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A file photo of the BSE building in Mumbai. Photo: Mint
A file photo of the BSE building in Mumbai. Photo: Mint

Lower factory output numbers could prolong market slump

Asian markets were trading mixed as investors digested bond market volatility in Europe

Asian markets trade on a subdued note

Asian markets were trading mixed on Wednesday morning as investors digested bond market volatility in Europe. China’s Shanghai Composite was down 0.4%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.2% and Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average slipped 0.1%.

US markets end in the red

Overnight, the US markets ended lower, following a sharp sell-off in European equities and government bonds, reports Wall Street Journal. Yields on the so-called “peripheral" eurozone bonds have increased as Greece taps International Monetary Fund reserves to pay debt. The S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite declined 0.2-0.3% each.

Growth slows, inflation eases

In India, factory output touched a five-month low in March to 2.1% on the back of an across-the-board slowdown in production, while the consumer price index-based retail inflation eased to a four-month low of 4.87% in April. Consumer goods production growth fell to the lowest level in two decades due to depressed rural demand. The numbers provide the right context for a rate cut in June.

GST and land bill deferred

The government was forced to defer land acquisition and goods and services tax bills under pressure from opposition. The land acquisition bill will be scrutinized by a 30-member joint committee of Parliament and GST bill will be reviewed by a select committee of the Rajya Sabha.

Companies cautious on growth

Five of the top nine chief executive officers said that things were difficult on the ground and that they would wait and watch, reports Economic Times. Indian businessmen continue to remain cautious about growth and investment as weak demand, rural woes due to unseasonal rains and the prospect of below-normal rainfall appear to have sapped the spirits of investors and companies.

Apax Partners picks up 20% stake in Shriram City Union Finance

Shriram City Union Finance Ltd (SCUF) shares will be in focus with private equity firm Apax Partners picking up a 20% stake or 1.34 crore shares in SCUF. The company will buy the stake from TPG Capital at around 2,366 crore at Monday’s closing price, reports Economic Times.

Aditya Birla Retail acquires total super store

The board of Aditya Birla Retail Ltd (ABRL) has agreed to acquire the Total Super Store business from Jubilant Agri and Consumer Products Ltd for an undisclosed sum in an all-cash deal, reports Mint. This will help ABRL expand its reach as Total Super Store has an aggregate retail footprint of 2.87 lakh sq. feet.

Earthquake strikes Nepal again

At least 41 people were killed and around 1,100 were injured in Nepal after an earthquake measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale struck the country on Tuesday afternoon. In India, the earthquake claimed 17 lives. The epicentre was 76km east-northeast of Kathmandu, and it was at a depth of 10km.

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