Prime Minister Narendra Modi will take his oath of office on Thursday along with his ministers, though he suffered a setback at the start of his second term when key aide and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley opted out of the next government.The swearing-in ceremony at the forecourt of the colonial-era presidential palace will be attended by thousands of guests including Bollywood stars and leaders of neighbours including Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.Modi won a massive mandate in the general election that ended this month after focusing his campaign on national security, as tension with old rival Pakistan shot up over a deadly militant attack on security forces in the disputed region of Kashmir.
Arun Jaitley, India’s finance minister, has asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to give him a ministerial position in the new government due to ongoing health problems.
The U.S. Commerce Department said on Wednesday it had determined that Chinese-made mattresses and stainless steel beer kegs were being dumped in the U.S. market at less than fair value, and that it would impose preliminary anti-dumping duties.German and Mexican-made stainless steel kegs are also being hit with new duties, the Commerce Department said.The U.S. government is imposing duties of up to 79.7% on Chinese-made kegs and up to 1,731% on mattresses. Major U.S. mattress firms had petitioned for relief, including Serta Simmons Bedding LLC, Leggett & Platt Inc and Tempur Sealy International Inc. American Keg Co had also sought relief.The duties are 8.6% for German kegs and 18.5% for Mexican kegs. In 2017, imports of refillable stainless steel kegs from China, Germany and Mexico were valued at an $18.1 million, $11.8 million, and $5.7 million respectively, the department said.
Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia is expected to raise prices for all crude grades it sells to Asia in July for a third straight month after Middle East crude benchmarks jumped, trade sources said on Thursday.The producer is likely to increase the official selling price (OSP) for flagship Arab Light crude by up to $1 a barrel to the highest since January 2014, a Reuters survey of four sources at refineries showed.U.S. sanctions on Venezuela and Iran and a Russian oil crisis have tightened sour crude supplies in Asia, pushing spot Middle East and Russian crude premiums to multi-year highs.Strong demand for prompt supplies this month caused the backwardation in the price spread between first- and third-month Middle East benchmark Dubai to widen by about $1.20 a barrel. Backwardation refers to a market where prompt prices are higher than later prices.
The head of a Japanese business lobby said a planned sales tax hike should proceed in October to sustain the social security system for a rapidly ageing population, despite calls from elsewhere to postpone it given growing economic challenges.The intensifying Sino-U.S. trade war and slowing Chinese economy threaten to derail Japan’s export-reliant economy, keeping alive expectations that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe may forego a twice-delayed increase in the national sales tax.While a tax hike could hurt growth, it would also help Japan achieve fiscal reform in the long run, which will more than offset the near-term pain, Mimura told Reuters in an interview conducted on Wednesday.
Uncertainty over Britain’s departure from the European Union has triggered a sharp drop in business confidence in Europe over the past six months, a survey showed on Thursday.Only 50% of European business leaders said they were confident about the ability of their firms to grow and prosper, compared with 70% in November 2018, the survey by insurer CNA Hardy found.Only 36% of British business leaders were confident, down slightly from 39% in the previous survey.
Gold prices inched down on Thursday as bonds rallied and the dollar hovered near a two-year high, negating the support from an increasingly bitter Sino-U.S. trade dispute that rekindled doubts about global economic growth.Spot gold was down 0.1% at $1,277.71 per ounce, as of 0312 GMT. U.S. gold futures edged 0.3% lower to $1,276.70 an ounce.
Oil prices rose on Thursday after a bigger-than-expected decline in U.S. crude inventories, although concerns that the U.S.-China trade war will trigger an economic downturn kept a lid on gains.Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $69.71 per barrel at 0502 GMT, up 26 cents, or 0.4% from their last close. Brent fell nearly 1% in the previous session.U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 40 cents, or 0.7%, at $59.21 a barrel.U.S. crude inventories fell by 5.3 million barrels in the week to May 24 to 474.4 million barrels, data from industry group, the American Petroleum Institute, showed on Wednesday.