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Market round up: Safe havens rally as risk events stack up

LiveMint logoLiveMint 06-06-2017 Livemint

Caution reigned across markets in a week loaded with risk events, from former Federal Bureau of Investigation chief James Comey’s congressional testimony to the European Central Bank’s (ECB’s) policy meeting and Britain’s increasingly uncertain election. Havens including gold, the yen and Treasuries gained while stocks retreated. Gold headed for a seven-month high and the yen rose to the strongest since April, while 10-year Treasury yields fell to the lowest since November. The dollar traded at an eight-month low and US stock futures slipped. Europe’s benchmark share index fell the most in a week led by Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche Holding AG after one of its drug studies disappointed. South Africa’s rand slumped after the country fell into a recession for the first time since 2009. With all three major events—Comey, the ECB meet and British election—on Thursday, investors’ risk-off mood this week is understandable. It’s been compounded by a diplomatic spat among energy producing nations in the Middle East and a terror attack in London.

Cement prices across India correct in June

All India average cement prices decreased by Rs6/bag (a bag=50kg) on a month-on-month basis to Rs343/bag in June as prices fell in north, central and south India, points out a Kotak Institutional Equities Research report. According to the brokerage firm’s dealer channel check, price decreases were the strongest in the south, where the decline was Rs12/bag month-on-month. This was followed by the north and central regions, even as cement prices in the eastern and western markets rose by Rs2/bag month-on-month. The report further added that in the first quarter of fiscal year 2018, pan-India cement firms will see realizations improve by Rs400/tonne compared to the same period last year, though higher production cost through increase in pet-coke prices will constrain the improvement in profitability.

Livestock exports drop 7.4% in April

India’s livestock exports in April fell 7.4% from a year earlier to $300 million, an Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority statement said on Tuesday. The majority of exports comes from the sale of buffalo meat, which fell 10.4% in value terms to $257 million. A Reuters report said that the drop was on account of a strike by abattoirs and that an appreciating rupee hit shipments. India is the world’s largest exporter of buffalo meat, with an annual value of around $3.8 billion. The Reuters report adds, “Abattoirs and meat sellers in Uttar Pradesh, the country’s top buffalo meat exporting state, went on strike in March after a crackdown on unlicensed abattoirs. In the latest setback to the Muslim-dominated meat industry, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government decreed animal markets will only be able to trade cattle for agricultural purposes such as ploughing and dairy production.”

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