BQuick On Nov. 4: Top 10 Stories In Under 10 Minutes
The silhouette of the downtown Des Moines skyline is seen as the sun sets in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S. (Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg)  

BQuick On Nov. 4: Top 10 Stories In Under 10 Minutes

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

1. Biden's Chances Of Victory Improve

The presidential battlefield is narrowing to a smaller number of states, with Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s chances of an Electoral College victory getting higher as votes come in.

  • Biden now has 238 electoral votes to President Donald Trump’s 213.
  • Biden edged ahead of Trump in Wisconsin, one of the three “Blue Wall” states where voting tallies all moved in his favor as more were counted.
  • His victory in Arizona, a state Trump won in 2016, gives him more breathing room.
  • Even without Pennsylvania, Biden could now reach the necessary 270 electoral votes if he can win Michigan and Wisconsin, as well as Nevada, where he was leading by a razor-thin margin early Wednesday.

For Trump to win, he needs at least four of these five states.

Related Coverage

2. U.S. Stocks Rally; Crude Rises

Technology shares led a rally in U.S. stocks, while Treasuries surged the most since June and the dollar fluctuated as a too-close-to-call American election zapped expectations for a massive federal spending bill.

  • The Nasdaq 100 initially jumped more than 3% and the 10-year Treasury yield slumped below 0.8% as the outcome of the presidential vote remained uncertain.
  • The Cboe Volatility Index slid toward 30.
  • West Texas Intermediate crude climbed 2.7% to $38.69 a barrel, the highest in more than a week.
  • Gold weakened 0.2% to $1,906.13 an ounce.

Get your daily fix of global markets.

Sensex See-Saws

Indian equity markets ended a volatile day with gains, extending their winning streak for the third straight day.

  • The S&P BSE Sensex ended 0.9% or 355 points higher at 40,616.
  • The NSE Nifty 50 index managed to end above the 11,900 mark.
  • The Nifty Bank index traded in an 800-point range, before closing 0.3% higher at 25,771.

Follow the day’s trading action here.

3. Elections And A Word Of Caution For Investors

Equity investors have to be “very very cautious” about prospects in the near term amid a spike in uncertainty, according to Alavan Business Advisory’s Alistair Newton, as Donald Trump and Joe Biden remain locked in a close race for the U.S. presidency.

  • There’s no way that U.S. election results are going to be declared tonight, considering the large voter turnout, the co-founder and director at the firm told BloombergQuint’s Niraj Shah in an interview.
  • “I don’t think this is good for the markets. Investors hate uncertainty,” he said.

Find out why Newton thinks this is not a “happy context” for investors to operate in.

Related Coverage

4. SBI’s Profit Jumps 52%

State Bank of India’s net profit rose by more than half in the quarter ended September, aided by higher core income and a fall in provisions against bad loans over the year earlier.

  • Net profit rose 52% year-on-year to Rs 4,574.
  • Net interest income, or core income, rose 14.55% to Rs 28,181 crore.
  • SBI’s asset quality, too, improved.

Read more to see what new SBI boss Dinesh Khara had to say on the results.

5. India’s Services PMI Boost

A gauge of India’s services sector moved back into the expansion zone for the first time in eight months as economic activity continues to pick up on easing lockdown curbs.

  • The India Services Business Activity Index, compiled by IHS Markit, stood at 54.1 in October compared with 49.8 in September, according to a media statement.
  • With manufacturing activity climbing to the highest in over a decade, the Composite PMI Output Index rose to 58 in October from 54.6 in September.

Despite the improvement, the employment situation continued to worsen.

6. Better Pay Hikes...In 2021!

Indian employees are likely to witness their monthly paycheck getting a bigger boost next year compared to 2020 as companies are betting on higher consumer demand due to enhanced government spending and bumper rainfall to neutralise the pandemic-led economic contraction, a survey showed.

  • Companies, spanning sectors including e-commerce, energy, financial institutions and pharmaceuticals, are projected to increase compensation by an average 7.3% in 2021 compared to 6.1% -- lowest since 2009 -- this year, Aon said in the survey released Wednesday.
  • Around 87% companies are planning pay hikes compared to 71% in 2020.

Here are the industries that are likely to give the highest salary increases.

7. India's Biggest Pharma IPO

Gland Pharma Ltd. and its shareholders are looking to raise as much as Rs 6,450 crore ($871 million) in what would be India’s biggest initial public offering by a pharmaceutical firm.

  • The company and existing holders including Fosun Pharma Industrial Pte. are selling as many as 4.32 crore shares in the offering, according to terms of the deal obtained by Bloomberg News.
  • The shares are marketed at Rs 1,490 to Rs 1,500 each.

Get more details about the IPO here.

8. Are Indians Selling Gold To Tackle Economic Distress?

Indian consumers recycled the most gold in at least eight years, with sales likely driven by a combination of distress on household balance sheets and higher prices for the yellow metal.

  • Total gold recycled in India in the July-September quarter rose 13.6% year-on-year to 41.5 tonnes, according to data from the World Gold Council.
  • Along with sales of household gold holdings, financing against gold has also been on the rise.

Here’s why.

9. What's Working For Hero Moto?

India’s largest two-wheeler maker has seen a dramatic turnaround as the country reopened the economy slowly after imposing one of the world’s harshest Covid-19 lockdowns.

  • Within a month of the reopening of the economy, Hero MotoCorp Ltd.’s sales were within 4% of the pre-lockdown levels.
  • The next three months saw volumes of the maker of Xpulse and Splendor grow 8%, 17% and 35%, respectively, including its highest sales of more than eight lakh units in October.

Yet, analysts caution that it may be too early to say that things have fully recovered.

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