1:19 P.M.

Tea industry heading towards crisis: Planters’ body

The Tea Association of India (TAI) has expressed concern over decline in prices and drop in production of tea, and cautioned that the industry could be heading towards a crisis.

There has been a “substantial drop” in tea prices during November, both in Assam and West Bengal, Secretary General of TAI, P K Bhattacharya, said. Input prices have also seen a steep rise, the planters’ body said.

The total projected crop in 2021 is 1,330 million kg, a decline from 1,400 million kg in 2020, due to poor weather conditions and pest-related issues.

12:30 P.M.

Vodafone Idea hikes tariffs by 20-25%

Telecom service provider Vodafone Idea has raised its tariff plans for prepaid users by 20-25%, effective from November 25, 2021.

“The new plans will start the process of ARPU improvement and help address the financial stress faced by the industry,” the company said in a filing with the exchange.

The announcement follows Airtel’s decision to hike tariffs by 20-25% for prepaid users.

12:15 P.M.

Retailers Association urges govt to reconsider proposed GST rate hike

Retailers Association of India (RAI) urged Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, state governments and GST Council to reconsider the proposed hike in GST rates on several textiles and apparel items to 12% from January.

RAI added that apparel retail businesses are already ailing and the 7% hike has been proposed to address the issue of inverted duty structure in the textile industry faced by a small segment of the total textile value chain

“However, such a steep increase in the GST rate will adversely impact 85 per cent of the industry while trying to ease the problem faced by not more than 15 per cent of the industry,” the retailers’ body said in a statement.

11:50 A.M.

MobiKwik to delay planned IPO

Payments firm MobiKwik has delayed its plans to proceed with an initial public offering (IPO) of shares this month after the dismal market debut of larger rival Paytm.

Founder and CEO Bipin Preet Sigh told Reuters that MobiKwik will go public “when we feel we are going to have a successful IPO”. He added his firm has a year from October, when it received regulatory approval, to launch an IPO.

Shares of Paytm have tanked more than 30% below its issue price of 2,150 per share, as investors have questioned both the company’s steep valuation and its business model.

11:40 A.M.

IMF urges El Salvador against using bitcoin as official currency

The International Monetary Fund warned El Salvador against using bitcoin as official tender due to the risks associated with the cryptocurrency.

El Salvador had announced plans for the world’s first “Bitcoin City” months after it became the first country in the world in September to legalize bitcoin as legal tender.

“Given Bitcoin’s high price volatility, its use as a legal tender entails significant risks to consumer protection, financial integrity, and financial stability,” the IMF said in a statement.

11:15 A.M.

Future Retail employees urge top court to clear asset sale in Amazon dispute

Employees of Future Retail have asked the Supreme Court to allow the company to sell its retail assets and rule against Amazon.com Inc in an ongoing dispute.

Employees cited risks to 27,000 jobs as Supreme Court gears up to hear the dispute on Tuesday.

Future has failed to close its $3.4 billion deal to sell its retail assets to Reliance Industries due to successful legal challenges by Amazon. It argued that Future violated some pre-existing contracts the two sides had struck, by deciding to sell its retail assets to Reliance.

10:50 A.M.

Latent View soars 160% on debut

Shares of Latent View Analytics opened at a 160% premium to their offer price indicating strong investor demand for the company after digital payments firm Paytm’s listing debacle.

Latent View’s initial public offering was oversubscribed more than 300 times. The stock debuted at ₹512.20 in pre-open trade, compared with the offer price of ₹197.

10:40 A.M.

Rupee slips to 74.55 against US dollar

The Indian rupee fell 16 paise to 74.55 against the US dollar in opening trade on a muted trend in the domestic equity market and firm American dollar.

The rupee opened on a weak note at 74.48 and lost further ground to touch 74.55 against the American dollar. On Monday, the rupee had closed at 74.39 against the US dollar.

The dollar index, which gauges the greenback’s strength against a basket of six currencies, rose by 0.01% to 96.55

10:00 A.M.

India and U.S. to find ways to resolve trade issues

India and the United States agreed to look for ways to resolve differences on market access and digital trade as U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai visits India for two days.

New Delhi and Washington have failed to reach a conclusion over multiple issues including tariffs for more than an year.

Both countries have agreed to revive their Trade Policy Forum, after a gap of four years on expectation that the forum could help expand bilateral trade that has never seemed to live up to its potential.

9:26 A.M.

Markets update | Sensex plunges over 650 points, Nifty below 17,250

Indian benchmark equity indices opened on a negative note after falling nearly 2% on Monday. At 9:23 IST, the Sensex was down 670.83 points or 1.15% at 57795.06 and the Nifty was down 195.70 points or 1.12% at 17220.85. 

Asia stocks were mostly lower on Tuesday after the US President Joe Biden picked Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell for a second term, reinforcing expectations the U.S. will taper its stimulus soon.

MSCI’s gauge of Asia Pacific stocks outside Japan fell 0.49%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index and China’s benchmark CSI300 Index opened 1.1% and 0.2% lower, respectively.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 outperformed with a 0.55% gain while Japanese markets were closed for a public holiday.

9:15 A.M.

Oil falls on expectation that countries will tap emergency crude reserves

Oil prices fell on growing talk that the United States, Japan and India will release crude reserves despite the threat of demand faltering as COVID-19 cases rise in Europe. 

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 0.6%, to $76.32 a barrel and Brent crude futures fell 0.4%, to $79.40 a barrel.

The U.S. Department of Energy is expected to loan oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, and the same will be coordinated with other countries.

—-

LatentView Analytics lists on stock exchanges today. The Indian benchmark equity indices fell nearly 2% on Monday after a series of unfavourable news during the weekend. Paytm extended losses for the second day after making a weak debut last week while Reliance fell on the announcement that it would re-evaluate the deal with Saudi Arabia’s Aramco.

—-  Edited by John Xavier

(With inputs from Reuters, PTI and other news agencies.)