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Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

Gulf crisis, inflation forecast and French Open

Qatar diplomatically isolated by Arab neighbours; RBI lowers inflation forecast; Djokovic crashes out of French Open

1. Adani to proceed with Australia project

Adani Enterprises Ltd announced on Tuesday that it is ready to proceed with its $16.5 billion Australian mining and railway projects. The company’s shares surged over 8% on the development. The project has been stuck for seven years because of various legal issues, regulatory problems and environmental protests. The Carmichael mine and rail projects will be centred around Central Queensland in Australia.

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2. RBI lowers inflation forecast

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Wednesday lowered its inflation forecast for the current financial year. The central bank announced that its monetary policy committee has lowered its inflation forecast from 4.5% for the first half of the year to 2-3.5%. It lowered it from 5% to 3.5-4.5% for the second half. Previous forecasts have been off the mark.

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3. Electricity production hits a high

Electricity production was at its highest in at least five years in May. Mint reported on Thursday that generation was up 7.2% from the previous year. Increased demand during the summer is said to have contributed to the rise. The Indian Energy Exchange also saw volumes in the spot power market hit record levels in May.

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4. Tension in the Middle East

A number of Gulf countries moved to cut ties with Qatar on Monday. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt have isolated Qatar on allegations that the country supports terrorists. The move has had an impact on factors like air traffic in the region, but oil prices remain largely unaffected. Tensions in the region have not resulted in higher oil prices.

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5. Markets at new highs

The National Stock Exchange’s Nifty index and the BSE’s Sensex both touched all-time highs on the first day of the week. Monday’s closing values of 31,309 for the Sensex and 9,675 for the Nifty were the highest-ever. The outlook remained sanguine during the rest of the week. Interestingly, quarter-end figures show that earnings growth has not kept up with the rise in the market. Trailing 12-month earnings growth, which looks at how much money companies made over the last 12 months over a comparable period a year ago, has been negative over the last two quarters.

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6. Djokovic loses in French Open

Defending champion Novak Djokovic lost in the French Open in a shocking defeat to Austria’s Dominic Thiem on Wednesday. The quarterfinal loss marked his exit after beating his opponent in all their previous matches. Thiem has seen his career graph rising over the years. His win-loss ratio too has been on the upswing.

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7. OECD says global growth is picking up

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said that the world economy is likely to grow at its fastest pace in six years this year. A rise in trade would help make up for a weaker economic outlook for America, it said on Wednesday. Interestingly, its forecasts show India growing ahead of its peers and the world, despite the recent domestic slowdown.

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8. IMD raises monsoon expectations

The monsoon rainfall will be 98% of the long-period average this year, according to the weather department. The India Meteorological Department on Tuesday raised its estimate from 96%, which it had made in April. It raised its forecast because of the receding threat of the El Nino effect. The weather phenomenon disrupts monsoons in India.

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9. SBI launches largest ever QIP

The State Bank of India launched the country’s largest-ever qualified institutional placement (QIP) on Monday. The QIP is a sale of shares to institutional investors. Monday’s issue size of Rs15,000 crore is the largest one ever. The issue was successful. The issue size beat the Rs8,000 crore QIP by SBI in January 2014.

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10. UK election results

British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party lost ground in Thursday’s elections. She called for snap elections in the United Kingdom to help strengthen her position while negotiating Britain’s exit from the European Union. Instead, it wiped out her parliamentary majority. Negotiations are now reportedly likely to be delayed.

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Graphics by Prajakta Patil/Mint.

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