WhatsApp Groups have been reportedly used for peddling fake news. (Source: The Quint)

BQuick On August 13: Top 10 News Stories In Under 10 Minutes

This is a roundup of the day’s stories in brief

1. Rupee Slumps To All-Time Low

The Indian rupee closed at a fresh low today as a slide in emerging-market currencies led by the Turkish lira spurred demand for haven assets.

  • The rupee fell as much as 1.6 percent, the most since September 2013, to close at 69.93 versus the dollar.
  • The lira slumped for the fourth day to a new low after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan showed no signs of backing down in a standoff with the U.S.
  • Emkay Global’s Dhananjay Sinha said the rupee could breach the 70-per-dollar mark soon, while HDFC Bank’s Bhaskar Panda said that was “far-fetched”.
  • Credit Suisse’s Neelkanth Mishra said concerns over the rupee have abated.
We are unlikely to see meaningful weakness and volatility specific to the rupee.
Neelkanth Mishra, Director - Equity Research, Credit Suisse

Here’s what analysts are expecting from the rupee going forward

2. Sensex, Nifty Fall; U.S. Stocks Rise

Indian equity benchmarks fell for the second consecutive day, as the ongoing crisis in Turkey roiled global markets.

  • The S&P BSE Sensex Index fell 0.59 percent or 224 points to 37,645.
  • The NSE Nifty 50 Index tumbled 0.65 percent or 74 points to 11,356.
  • Eight out of 11 sector gauges compiled by National Stock Exchange ended lower dragged by the Nifty PSU Bank Index's 3.2 percent drop.

Follow the day’s trading action here

U.S. stocks rose while European shares trimmed earlier losses as traders tried to assess how the economic crisis in Turkey could bleed into global markets.

  • The dollar rose to the highest in more than a year, while developing-nation currencies slumped.
  • Major U.S. equity benchmarks opened higher, led by the Nasdaq 100 Index.
  • Stoxx Europe 600 Index recovered from lows but was dragged down by banks that are exposed to Turkish borrwers.
  • West Texas Intermediate crude slid 0.6 percent to $67.20 a barrel.
  • Gold decreased 0.9 percent to $1,199.59 an ounce, the weakest since March 2017.

Get your fix of global markets update here

3. Earnings Update: Tata Steel’s Q1 Profit More Than Doubles

Tata Steel Ltd.’s profit more than doubled in the April-June period as it benefited from the rising steel demand in the country.

  • Net profit rose 112 percent year-on-year to Rs 1,954 crore, according to its exchange filing.
  • Revenue rose 27.5 percent to Rs 37,832.8 crore.
  • Domestic deliveries rose 13.7 percent, "much stronger" than the 9.2 percent steel demand growth in India.
Tata Steel delivered a strong performance across all geographies on the back of strong steel demand and buoyant spreads.
TV Narendran, CEO, Tata Steel

Here's more on the steelmaker's earnings

4. India’s No. 1 Aluminium Producer Wants Curbs On Imports

Hindalco Industries Ltd. wants the government to cap the quantity of imports of low-cost semis, wire rods and scrap from China, southeast Asia and the U.S. as the share of inbound shipments in domestic demand is rising.

We have asked the government to impose quantitative restrictions on imports in the near term.
Satish Pai, CEO, Hindalco 
  • The company has also suggested that the government moves to duty safeguards eventually.
  • That’s because while quantitative restrictions will be helpful in the short-term and are allowed under the World Trade Organization regime, safeguards will take at least six months, Pai told BloombergQuint.

Here are the concerns voiced by Hindalco’s CEO

5. CPI Inflation Cools From Five-Month High

India’s retail inflation cooled more than expected in July due to subdued food prices.

  • Consumer price inflation rose 4.17 percent year-on-year in July, falling from a five-month high of 4.92 percent in June.
  • A Bloomberg poll of economists had expected inflation at 4.49 percent in July.
  • The rise comes after two straight rate hikes by the Monetary Policy Committee as it attempts to bring down inflation to 4 percent.
  • Food prices rose 1.37 percent in July compared with 2.9 percent in June.

For more details of India’s retail inflation, click here

6. Government To Remove Former PNB Chief Ananthasubramanian

The government will remove former Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Allahabad Bank Usha Ananthasubramanian from service effective today after granting the Central Bureau of Investigation permission to prosecute, a senior government official said.

  • Ananthasubramanian was divested of all powers in May after her name appeared in the Central Bureau of Investigation’s chargesheet relating to the Rs 14,000-crore fraud at Punjab National Bank. She was the MD and CEO of PNB till May 2017.
  • The government also gave permission to the CBI to prosecute Sanjiv Sharan, former executive director of PNB, the official said.
  • Ananthasubramanian's term as MD and CEO of Allahabad Bank was scheduled to end today.

Read more on why the sanction for prosecution is significant.

7. Paytm’s Mutual Fund Platform To Go Live This Month

Paytm will this month start selling mutual funds through a separate platform as India’s largest e-wallet company with nearly 300 million users expands its financial services footprint.

  • One97 Communications Pvt. Ltd. has registered more than five lakh mutual fund users on Paytm Money Ltd., the company’s spokesperson said in an emailed response to BloombergQuint.
  • Registration, launched internally, will be open for everyone through the official company website sometime this month, and only “direct” investments will be allowed.
  • While Paytm refused to divulge details of their tie ups, at least nine fund houses, in emailed responses to BloombergQuint, confirmed to have tied up.

Read more on Paytm’s mutual fund platform

8. Curbing Social Media Misuse In Election Campaigns

India is preparing to tighten regulations to deal with an expected escalation in social media-driven hate speech in the lead up to next year’s poll.

  • The Election Commission of India has established a panel to examine the growing use of WhatsApp, Facebook and Youtube.
  • The panel has also been asked to recommend ways to deal with violations, Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa told Bloomberg News in an interview.
  • At least 24 people have been killed in India so far in 2018 due to rumours on social media about child kidnappings and cow smuggling.
Fake news and paid news -- all these are matters of concern when social media is being misused...We are looking at enforcing existing instructions and tightening regulations so that loopholes can be plugged.
Ashok Lavasa, Election Commissioner

Read more on the Election Commission’s plans to curb the fake news menace

9. How Global Smartphone Sales Growth Ground To A Halt

After years of rampant growth, the global smartphone market is slowing down as consumers wait for the next game-changing feature.

  • Growth is slowing mainly because of few major technological inventions that could lead people to trade in a one-year old device that costs $800 for another that costs more.
  • Bigger screens, sturdier cases, and more processing power means smartphones have a longer life now.
  • It’s also about maturing markets. After years of breakneck growth, there isn't a vast pool of untapped demand.

Here’s what it will take to turn around the smartphone market

10. India At 71: Can India Fill A China Trade Gap?

Today—literally, right now—businesses engaged in international trade and foreign direct investment are asking whether, 71 years after its independence, India is ready to fill the impending China trade gap, writes Raj Bhala.

  • Thanks to U.S. trade actions against China, and Chinese tit-for-tat counter-retaliation, exporting to, importing from, and producing in China has been getting harder.
  • India needs to make two great leaps forward in trade policy: liberalise its tariff profile and energise its Free Trade Agreements.
  • India’s tariff profile looks pretty much like Pakistan’s. That’s not a compliment to either country.
  • India needs to do what Japan did: advance India’s ability to compete in a changing geopolitical and economic environment through a robust network of deals that will lure traders and investors.

Can India rise to the challenge? Read Bhala’s column