Indian stock markets hit record highs while the rupee and bonds rallied as early vote counting in general elections showed the ruling National Democratic Alliance with Narendra Modi at the helm winning a second term.The NDA led by Prime Minister Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was ahead in 324 seats, with the opposition United Progressive Alliance winning in 111, at 0430 GMT, about two hours after counting of about 600 million votes began.Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party is set for a historic victory as India began counting on Thursday hundreds of millions of votes from its general election, according to data from the Election Commission.
The UK Times report that the British Prime Minister Theresa May is preparing to quit her position after latest cabinet mutiny over her Brexit proposal.The news report that some of her allies say that the PM May will announce her departure on Thursday. Latest departure of House of Commons’ leader Andrea Leadsom was also mentioned in the piece.More British ministers could resign from Prime Minister Theresa May’s government, following the Leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom who quit late on Wednesday.This programme has been told other ministers could soon follow.
Japanese manufacturing activity swung back into contraction in May as export orders fell at the fastest pace in four months, highlighting why policy makers and investors remain anxious about the growing economic impact of a bruising Sino-U.S. trade war.The Markit/Nikkei Japan Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) fell to a seasonally adjusted 49.6 in May from a final 50.2 in the previous month.The 50 mark separates contraction from expansion, and the latest result dashed expectations that Japan’s crucial manufacturing sector had started to bottom out after shrinking in both February and March.
The United States is at least a month from enacting its proposed tariffs on $300 billion in Chinese imports as it studies the impact on American consumers, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Wednesday.Washington this month hiked existing tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods to 25% from 10%, prompting Beijing to retaliate with its own levies on U.S. imports, as talks to end a 10-month trade war between the world’s two largest economies stalled.U.S. President Donald Trump, who has embraced protectionism as part of an “America First” agenda aimed at rebalancing global trade, has threatened to slap tariffs of up to 25% on an additional list of Chinese imports worth about $300 billion.“There won’t be any decision probably for another 30 to 45 days,” Mnuchin said in a hearing before the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee.
German household spending rose at its strongest pace in eight years, driving a rebound in the first quarter, while a pick up in construction activity and surprisingly solid exports also helped Europe’s largest economy to get back on track.The Federal Statistics Office on Thursday confirmed preliminary gross domestic product growth of 0.4% quarter-on-quarter and 0.7% year-on-year seasonally adjusted.Private consumption rose 1.2% on the quarter, which was the biggest increase since 2011, contributing 0.6 percentage points to the expansion.Investments in construction increased 1.9% on the quarter which resulted in a contribution of 0.2 percentage points.
Asian shares broke support and caved to a four-month low on Thursday, as concerns grew that the Sino-U.S. trade conflict was fast morphing into a prolonged technology cold war between the world’s two largest economies.Late Wednesday, Reuters reported the U.S. administration was considering Huawei-like sanctions on Chinese video surveillance firm Hikvision over the country’s treatment of its Uighur Muslim minority, according to a person briefed on the matter.After the United States placed Huawei Technologies on a trade blacklist last week, British chip designer ARM has halted relations with Huawei in order to comply with the blockade.
Gold prices were steady on Thursday, as simmering Sino-U.S. trade tensions underpinned the dollar, while bullion investors looked for a direction after the minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve meeting indicated that rates will remain steady.Spot gold was steady at $1,273.15 per ounce as of 0517 GMT, after falling to $1,268.97 on Tuesday - its lowest level since May 3.U.S. gold futures edged down 0.1% to $1,272.60.
Oil prices dropped 1% on Thursday, extending falls from the previous session amid surging U.S. crude inventories and weak demand from refineries.Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $70.62 per barrel at 0109 GMT, down 37 cents, or 0.5 percent, from their last close.U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down by 31 cents, or 0.5 percent, at $61.11 per barrel.Crude futures already fell by around 2 percent the previous day.