Business News Live: Markets To Observe Global Trends, Foreign Fund Flows, Economic Indicators

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The stock markets ended trading on Friday in red, after seeing some highs and lows during the week. The key equity benchmarks, Sensex and Nifty, closed lower amidst the uncertainty regarding the rate cut timing from the US Fed. The BSE Sensex settled more than 450 points lower at 72,485, while the NSE Nifty50 closed the session hanging above the 22K mark at 22,023, slipping 123 points. 

The Indian currency also depreciated 4 paise to settle at 82.88 (provisional) against the American dollar on Friday, slipping further from 82.84 closing on Thursday. The fall was attributed to the current foreign fund outflows and a downward trajectory of the stock market. 

The former Chief Economic Adviser (CEA) Arvind Subramanian also expressed confusion regarding the latest GDP figures of the Indian economy, stating that the numbers remained difficult to understand. Notably, the Indian economy logged a growth rate of 8.4 per cent in the October-December period of 2023, surpassing expectations. 

The economist stated that the GDP figures implied an inflation rate of 1 to 1.5 per cent, while the actual inflation in the country remained between 3 to 5 per cent. “I say that with genuine respect and things. They are absolutely mystifying. They don’t add up. I don’t know what they mean,” Subramanian shared speaking at the India Today conclave on Friday.

The Indian government also said on Friday that it will lower import taxes on certain electric vehicles for firms investing a minimum of $500 million in manufacturing facilities in the country within a period of three years. This decision indicated a major win for Tesla, which has been trying to enter the Indian market. 

According to the new norms, firms committing to the investment and manufacturing criteria will be eligible for a 15 per cent reduction in the import tax rate on electric vehicles priced at $35,000 and above. The current taxation laws charge anywhere between 70 per cent to 100 per cent tax on imported cars and EVs, on the basis of their value.