Morning Alert 16 Feb 2023

Morning Alert..
*Trade deficit hits 1-year low at $17.75 billion; exports, imports contract*
India’s trade deficit in January hit its lowest in a year at $17.75 billion, as both merchandise exports and imports contracted for the second consecutive month amid tepid external demand and a sharp decline in gold imports. Merchandise exports dropped 6.5 per cent year-on-year (YoY) to $32.91 billion last month following a slowdown in demand from key developed economies due to monetary policy tightening and high inflation, data released by the commerce and industry ministry showed on Wednesday. On a sequential basis, the decline was 4.5 per cent. Imports contracted 3.6 per cent YoY to $50.66 billion. The decline was sharper on a sequential basis at 13 per cent. This was due to a combination of factors such as the government’s curbs on non-essential imports, weak domestic demand, and easing commodity prices.

*India-UK ongoing FTA negotiations won’t be hit by BBC row: Govt official*
A day after BBC India’s offices in Delhi and Mumbai were searched by income tax officers, a senior government official said that this will not affect the ongoing free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations between India and the United Kingdom (UK). The income tax officers had searched the British broadcaster’s offices weeks after the government banned a BBC documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his role in Gujarat riots in 2002. “As per the UK government, BBC is an autonomous organisation and the even UK government is not owning up to it,” the official added.

*India’s imports from Russia goes up by 384% in April-Jan: Commerce Ministry*
India’s imports from Russia has jumped about five times to USD 37.31 billion during April-January this fiscal on account of increasing inbound shipments of crude oil from that country, according to the commerce ministry data. In 2021-22, Russia was India’s 18th largest import partner, accounting for USD 9.86 billion of imports. Russia has become India’s fourth largest import source during the 10-month period of the current fiscal. India’s appetite for Russian crude oil in January rose to unseen levels, continuing to remain above traditional middle eastern suppliers for the fourth month in a row, as refiners rushed to snap up plentiful cargoes available at a discount to other grades.

*Commodity play*
Gold – Rs 56276/10gm, Silver – Rs 65122/kg, Brcrude – Rs 6381/barrel, Degumsyoil – Rs 1296/10kg, Copper – Rs 769/kg.

*Corporate News*
Adani Group hires banks to hold meetings with fixed-income investor.

HBL Power Systems to invest up to Rs 150 cr in defence imaging firm Tonbo.

Vodafone Idea to give 5G roll-out a push after securing funds: CEO Moondra.

SGX Nifty indicates positive start to Indian markets trading at 18074 levels up by 0.30% or 54 points. Dow Jones also ended yesterday`s session marginally in green up by 0.11% at close.

Sector in focus – Banks, Power, IT & Infrastructure.

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