The government is likely to achieve its fiscal deficit target of 3.5 per cent of GDP in the current fiscal but higher infrastructure spending will limit the room to reduce it further to 3 per cent in 2017-18, Moody’s said today.
The credit rating agency expects the government to renew its commitment to increase capital spending and address the short-term disruptive impact of demonetisation in the Budget to be unveiled on February 1, 2017.
“On the fiscal front, the government will likely remain committed to achieving its fiscal deficit target of 3.5 per cent of GDP for the fiscal year ending March 2017. However, room to reduce the deficit further to the target of 3 per cent of GDP in the following year will be limited, due to the need for increased infrastructure spending and higher government salaries,” Moody’s Investors Service said in a statement.
It said that in an environment of lacklustre global trade and with economies globally facing the increasing risk of protectionism, India’s very large domestic markets provide a relative competitive advantage when compared to smaller and more trade-reliant economies.
The implementation of the pending GST and other measures aimed at enhancing income declarations and tax collection will help widen India’s tax base and boost revenues, it said, adding that such a boost will however only materialise over time, with the magnitude uncertain at this point.
Benefits of demonetisation are “highly uncertain” and the potential positives are unlikely to be strong or last long enough to make a significant difference to government finances or medium-term growth prospects, global ratings agency Fitch said today. Taking into account the short-term disruptions, it also revised down the GDP growth estimate for the current fiscal to 6.9 per cent from the earlier 7.4 per cent.
“The note ban move has some potential benefits, but the positive effects are unlikely to be strong or last long enough to make a significant difference to government finances or medium-term growth prospects…benefits of demonetisation are highly uncertain,” the ratings agency said in a note.
“The intentions behind demonetisation are positive and in keeping with the broader reform efforts, but the short-term pains may outweigh the uncertain long-term gains,” it said.
Terming the note ban as a “one-off event” as people will still be able to use the new high denomination bills and other options like gold to store their wealth, it warned that “there are no new incentives for people to avoid cash transactions. The informal sector could soon go back to business as usual.”
Stocks ended mixed Thursday as retailers dominated the news with Macy’s and Kohl’s both plunging following weak holiday-season reports that led the chains to cut their profit forecasts.
Still, the Nasdaq composite’s modest gain of 11 points, or 0.2%, was enough to notch a new all-time high. Settling at at 5487.94, it topped the old record by half a point.
The Dow Jones industrial average finished down 43 points, a 0.2% decline to 19,899.29. Losing 0.1% was the S&P 500, which settled at 2269 even.
nvestors were also focusing on upcoming U.S. jobs data following the publication of the minutes to the Federal Reserve’s last board meeting.
Private U.S. companies added 153,000 jobs in December, according to payroll processor ADP. That total was a bit lower than analysts expected and slightly slower than the pace of hiring for the rest of 2016. The government will issue its own hiring report on Friday.
U.S. stocks ended lower Thursday as health care companies took more losses and investors’ Dow 20,000 watch goes on.
The Dow Jones industrial average finished 0.1% lower, down 23 points to 19,918.88, and 81 short of the never-reached 20,000 level. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq composite lost 0.2 % and 0.4%, respectively.
Alibaba (BABA) fell 2.8% after the U.S. government put the Chinese e-commerce company back on a list of marketplaces that sell large amounts of counterfeit goods and is slow to respond when companies complain about knockoffs. Chinese regulators have made similar criticisms.
Benchmark U.S. crude gained about 0.9% to $52.95 a barrel in New York. Energy companies made modest gains.
Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note climbed to 2.56% from 2.54%.
The dollar dipped to 117.43 yen from 117.54 yen. The euro rose to $1.0455 from $1.0427.
Stocks in Europe were also quiet. The DAX in Germany lost 0.2% and France’s CAC-40 fell less than 0.2%. In Britain, the FTSE 100 got a 0.1% lift. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index edged 0.1% lower and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 0.8%. The South Korean Kospi fell 0.1%.
The US decision to extend 1979 sanctions against Iran for another 10 years violates the nuclear deal struck by Iran with international powers, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday.
“The path that the US has taken in regard to Iran will lead to a considerable drop in international trust in the American government,” Rouhani was quoted as saying at a meeting with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano by Mehr news agency.
He stressed that it was highly significant for all parties to the deal to comply with their commitments, arguing that the US recent decision to prolong Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) for another 10 years clearly violated the Iran nuclear deal.
On July 14, 2015, Iran and the P5+1 group of countries — the United States, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom plus Germany — signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), ensuring the peaceful nature of Tehran’s nuclear program in return for the gradual sanctions relief. The US sanctions introduced against Tehran in 1979, however, were not mentioned in the document.
Former finance minister P Chidambram on Tuesday demanded the Reserve Bank of India should make public minutes of its November 8 meeting whose outcome empowered government to scrap specified notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denominations.
On November 8, the Narendra Modi government in a televised address announced it was abolishing the legal tender status of Rs 1,000 and Rs 5,00 currency notes.
These high value notes comprised a huge 86 per cent of total currency in circulation and the decision has led to severe cash crunch in country causing inconvenience to the citizens.
“RBI should publish the minutes of meeting on Nov 8, let country know who were the directors who attended the meeting,” Chidambaram demands.
The government had banned these specified notes through an executive order instead of passing a legislation in parliament as part of its drive to curb black money and prevent recurrence of fake currency incidents.
According to the RBI Act, 1934, the Central Board of the apex bank takes a call on legal tender, its validity or invaldity, in circulation in country and proposes government accordingly.
In a video message released moments ago by Donald Trump, the President-Elect announced that he has asked his team to develop a list of executive actions for his first day as president and announced that he would issue an executive order on his first day of office, withdrawing the US from the Trans Pacific Partnership, and would issue a notification of intent to withdraw from the TPP, voiding Obama’s “free-trade legacy.”
Trump stated that his agenda “will be based on a simple core principle, putting America first… whether it’s producing steel, building cars, or curing disease, I want the next generation of production and innovation to happen right her on our great homeland.”
He added that he would issue a rule, along the lines of what he proposed during his Gettysburg address, that for every new government regulation, two existing regulations must be eliminated, and said that he will direct the labor department to investigate abuses of visa programs.
TRADE – Withdraw from TPP and negotiate bilateral trade deals in America’s favor
ENERGY – Cancel job-killing restrictions on American energy industry (including shale energy and clean coal)
REGULATION – For each new regulation, 2 old rules must be eliminated
NATIONAL SECURITY – Develop a plan to protect America’s vital infrastructure from cyber-attacks and all other forms of attack
IMMIGRATION – Direct Department of Labor to investigate all abuses of visa programs
ETHICS REFORM – Drain the swamp by imposing a 5-year ban on executive officials becoming lobbyist after they leave the administration (and a lifetime ban on lobbying for foreign governments)
U.S. stocks jumped Monday as all four major U.S. indexes closed at new record highs.
Stocks got a lift from energy stocks as the price of oil jumped. Investors are hoping that OPEC countries will soon finalize a deal that would cut oil production and help support prices. The start of the week once again brought several corporate deals, with companies in the energy and technology industry making moves.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 16.28, or 0.8%, to close at a record 2198.18. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 88.76, or 0.5%, to a record close of 18,956.69. The Nasdaq composite index gained 47.35, or 0.9%, to close at an all-time high of 5368.86. The Russell 2000, an index of smaller companies, rose 6.59, or 0.5%, to 1322.23.
For the past couple of weeks, the main driver in markets has been the election of Donald Trump as the next U.S. president and bullishness about possible pro-growth fiscal policies. In general, his victory has helped stocks and the dollar but weighed on bonds. But slowly attention is shifting onto other matters, including next month’s widely anticipated interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve.
Also generating attention is the next meeting of oil ministers from the OPEC oil cartel on Nov. 30 in Vienna, Austria. Expectations are growing that the ministers will push through a production cut following an indication recently that one was on the cards. That’s helped buoy oil prices in markets.
Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose to its highest price this month. It gained $1.80, or 3.9%, to $47.49 a barrel while Brent crude, the international standard, rose $2.04, or 4.4%, to $48.90 a barrel in London.
The U.S. stock market finished lower Friday but higher for the week as Wall Street heads into a holiday-shortened week when the focus will be on a slew of economic data and fresh scrutiny of a suddenly surging U.S. dollar and rising interest rates.
The past week on Wall Street centered on competing forces as the domestically focused small-company Russell 2000 stock index continued its hot streak, hitting another record high Friday and extending its winning streak to 11 sessions. Similarly, the tech-heavy Nasdaq notched an intraday record Friday.
Still, fresh headwinds emerged in the form of an appreciating U.S. currency and a sell-off in the U.S. government bond market that sent the 10-year Treasury note yield, which moves in the opposite direction of price, soaring to its highest intraday level (2.351% at its high point Friday) since Dec. 4, 2015, according to Tradeweb.
Stocks finished the week mixed. The Nasdaq closed down 12.46 points, or 0.2%, to 5321.51, after setting an all-time intraday high of 5346.80. The Standard & Poor’s 500 fell 5.22 points, 0.2%, to 2181.90, but remained within striking distance of its record closing high of 2190.15 set Aug. 15. The Dow Jones industrial average, which set a record high this week, closed down 35.89 points, or 0.2%, to 18,868. All the major stock indexes posted gains for the week.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday announced a list of measures to be enforced by the state government to curb the soaring pollution in the national capital, including putting all construction projects across the city on hold for the next five days and ordering the shutdown of all schools for the next three days.
Addressing a press conference here after chairing an emergency meeting to take stock of the initiatives being taken to put a dent in the spike in pollution, Kejriwal announced the following emergency measures:
All construction and demotion works will be shut down for the next five days
No diesel generators to be used for the next 10 days, except in hospital and emergency places
The Badarpur Power Plant will be shut down for the next 10 days
Transportation of fly ash to stop for 10 days
Vacuum cleaning of roads to begin from 10th November