Short Market Update: Markets ended on a positive note this week. Fiscal deficit 115% of the target, It’s not a Happy New Year for Flipkart and Amazon, Stricter norms for online food players – FSSAI emphasizes food safety during last-mile delivery.
On Friday, markets ended slightly higher, with BSE Sensex up 269.44 points or 0.75% and closed at Rs 36,076.72, and NSE Nifty up 80.10 points or 0.74% at Rs 10,859.90. Midcap up by 141.92 points or 0.93% and closed at Rs 15,360.21. And, Small Cap up 123.82 points or 0.86% and ended at Rs 14,605.69.
After a weak start, this week markets recovered from the lows and ended on a positive note. This week, Sensex rose 334.65 points or 0.93% and closed at Rs 36,076.72, while Nifty was up 105.9 points or 0.98%, and closed at Rs 10,859.90.
The rupee appreciated 1.70% (Rs 1.21) against the dollar during the week.
Nationwide PSB banks strike
Various banking employees and officer unions went on a strike that halted banking operations on 26th December. Enthusiastic participation was witnessed to the nationwide strike call for various demands issued by the United Forum of Bank Unions (UBFU). The strike was to oppose the merger of Vijaya Bank, Dena Bank and Bank of Baroda, and to demand an early and justified wage revision.
April-November Fiscal Deficit touches nearly 115% of FY target
The government’s fiscal deficit touched 114.8% of the full year estimates. This is raising concerns that the gap between the target and final tally could widen. The government had budgeted fiscal deficit of Rs 6.24 lakh crore, or 3.3 percent of the GDP, for FY19. Fiscal deficit for April-November stood at Rs 7.16 lakh crore or 114.8 percent of the target. The fiscal deficit is the indication of the total borrowings that the government needs.
Government tightens the norms for E-commerce websites
Government added a new rule which will come into force on Feb 1st 2019. The policy bars any entity related to e-commerce platforms from selling on that site and imposes a limit on how much one vendor can sell on a particular portal. The policy also prohibits e-commerce platforms from giving any preferential treatment to any supplier. Entities like Cloudtail (which Amazon has a stake in) and Walmart may not be able to sell on Amazon and Flipkart due to the new policy. Brick and mortar stores will be the big gainers from this policy.
New guidelines for online food and grocery players
The new norms for the food and grocery players emphasize food safety during last-mile delivery. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has said that it can collect samples at any point on the supply chain for testing. The platforms have to show indicative images of the product on their app. Any mandatory information given by Food Safety Standards (FSS) must be provided to the customer. Only fresh food must be delivered to the customers. Food should have a remaining shelf life of 30% or 45 days before expiry at the time of delivery. These guidelines came up as a safety measure for the people and to increase their confidence on the e-commerce platforms.