BQuick On Aug. 5: Top 10 Stories In Under 10 Minutes    
Buildings stand at sunset in Bangalore, India. (Photographer: Sanjit Das/Bloomberg)

BQuick On Aug. 5: Top 10 Stories In Under 10 Minutes   

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

1. Sales Slump? Not For Tractors

Tractor sales at dealerships jumped to the highest in 19 months, aided by normal monsoon and pent-up demand in India’s hinterland ahead of the sowing season, helping the sector witness a recovery before other categories.

  • Vehicle registrations—a measure of sales at dealerships—for tractors rose 35% year-on-year and 67% over the preceding month to 74,319 units in July 2020, according to data of 1,225 regional transport offices in 32 states and union territories collated by BloombergQuint from the website of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.

  • That compares with a 36.9% year-on-year drop and a 16% rise over June in overall vehicle registrations to 11.34 lakh units in the reported month.

Even the factory-gate shipments of India’s tractor industry outshined other vehicle segments over the year-ago period.

2. SEBI Chief Gets An Extension

Securities and Exchange Board of India Chairman Ajay Tyagi was given an 18-month extension, allowing him to head the markets regulator till February 2022.

  • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the extension of Tyagi's term with effect from Sept. 1.

  • Tyagi, a 1984 batch retired IAS officer of Himachal Pradesh cadre, was appointed as the SEBI chairman in March 2017 for three years.

  • In March this year, he was given a six-month extension till August.

3. Nifty Gives Up Early Gains; Gold Smashes Records

Indian equity markets gave up early gains to end little changed as Tuesday's outperformers - Reliance Industries Ltd. and HDFC Bank Ltd. dragged benchmarks lower.

  • The S&P BSE Sensex ended little changed at 37,663.

  • The NSE Nifty 50 index ended 0.2% higher at 11,117.

  • Metals and auto stocks outperformed, with the two sectors contributing four out of the top five Nifty gainers.

Follow the day’s trading action here.

India's equity market, propped up by positive cues and excess liquidity, is likely to be shaped by two factors in the near term: rural economy and consumer demand after the lockdown, according to Harsha Upadhyaya, chief investment officer at Kotak Asset Management Co. Ltd.

Here’s what Upadhyaya cautions investors about.

U.S. stocks gained alongside European shares amid encouraging news on the vaccine front and speculation Washington lawmakers are making progress on an aid package.

  • The S&P 500 Index headed for a fourth straight advance and a gauge of global equities was on the verge of wiping out its losses for the year.

  • Gold continued its ascent above a record $2,000 an ounce as investors sought an alternative to low bond yields.

  • Oil rose after a decline in U.S. stockpiles.

Get your daily fix of global markets.

Related Coverage

  • India has biggest disconnect between stock rally, economic gloom.

  • India’s top telecom stock is also its biggest money loser.

4. Services Activity Shows Little Improvement

A gauge of India’s services sector indicated some improvement in activity as the nation eased certain restrictions imposed to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

  • The India Services Business Activity Index, compiled by IHS Markit, stood at 34.2 in July compared with 33.7 in June, according to a media statement.

  • The India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index, released on Monday, stood at 46 in July compared with 47.2 in June.

  • Consequently, the Composite PMI, measuring services and manufacturing activity together, fell to 37.2 in July from 37.8 in June. Still, it remains below the crucial 50 level.

While new businesses declined for a fifth straight month, the decline in export orders was even steeper.

5. What Will MPC Do Tomorrow?

India’s Monetary Policy Committee meets this week against a backdrop of severe economic stress. The number of cases of Covid-19 detected in the country is still rising and local lockdowns have diluted the push to reopen the economy.

  • While demand remains weak, there are signs that inflation isn’t yet responding to those conditions. This will pose a dilemma for India’s inflation targeting-MPC, which meets the last time under its current four-year term.

  • Economists are divided on whether the MPC will rule in favour of another rate cut.

  • A Bloomberg poll of 42 economists shows that 21 expect another 25 basis point cut this week, while 20 economists expect a status quo. The economists at Rabobank expect a 50 basis points cut.

Is there space for easing? Here’s what economists say.

6. An Accounting Breather

The government has revised the Indian accounting standards to reflect the true and accurate impact of Covid-19 on companies’ financials and align them with the International Financial Reporting Standards.

  • The revisions will give investors a better picture of the economic impact of the pandemic on a company, experts said.

  • The Ministry of Corporate Affairs has amended the Indian accounting standards relating to presentation of financial statements, business combinations and changes in accounting estimates, among others.

  • The most significant change relates to Ind AS-116, which sets out the principles for recognition, measurement and disclosures relating to commercial lease in financial statements.

Find out what’s changed in the revised accounting standards.

7. Get Ready For First Amazon Prime Day Of The Pandemic

Amazon.com Inc. will kick off its first Prime Day since the coronavirus outbreak later this week in India, modifying almost everything about the retail bonanza to navigate the realities of a new era.

  • Prime Day will have the customary deep discounts, hundreds of exclusive products, new launches and cashback offers.

  • But in a profound departure from the past, the global retailer will have a virtual operations room instead of a real one, with thousands of employees coordinating the sale from their homes, and stringent hygiene protocols for its armies of packers, sorters and deliverymen.

  • India is a test case for the e-commerce pioneer and founder Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest person. The U.S. version of Prime Day has been postponed from its usual spot in July, with the new date yet to be announced.

That Amazon is holding its 48-hour sale despite the pandemic underscores the intense competition in the country’s online retail sector.

8. India's Covid Tally Breaches 19 Lakh; Global Death Toll Crosses 7 Lakh

Covid-19 cases in India continue to surge even as the government pushes ahead with the third phase of reopening of the economy.

  • India added over 52,000 fresh cases in a matter of 24 hours, taking the tally to over 19 lakh, according to the Health Ministry’s update as of 8 a.m.

  • This includes over 39,700 deaths and 12.8 lakh patients who have recovered.

  • India, the world’s third-worst infected country, has added over 3.5 lakh cases in just one week.

Follow the latest updates here.

The global death toll from Covid-19 surpassed 7 lakh, data from Johns Hopkins University showed, while total cases crossed 1.85 crore.

  • Johnson & Johnson will supply 100 million doses of its experimental Covid-19 vaccine to the U.S.

  • The U.K. agreed to invest $18 million in a Scottish vaccine-manufacturing plant, while Moderna Inc. said it has received $400 million of deposits for its potential Covid-19 shot.

Get up to speed with the global pandemic.

9. Heavy Rains Lash Mumbai

As heavy rains lashed Mumbai and neighbouring areas on Wednesday, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray asked people to stay indoors and venture out only for essential work.

  • Thackeray took stock of the situation and asked the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation to coordinate with the police and railway authorities, health machinery and the National Disaster Response Force to ensure that citizens do not face any hardships.

  • Heavy rains affected some local train and bus services due to water-logging on rail tracks and roads.

10. Revoking Article 370 Made Kashmiri Identity Stronger

“Before, I had to think what to draw. Now... I can’t stop.”

“Before, it was like being eaten by termites from the inside. Now, it’s a visible, straight bite.”

“Come live like us, you will know what it means.”

Three Kashmiris talk to Priya Ramani about the year gone by.

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