Market Movers: New e-commerce rules, Jalan to head RBI panel & US clarifies on Fed Chair

Good morning. Here is a list of market-moving macro stories that you may like to read. The same has been prepared from newspaper and wire feeds

E-commernce rules tightened
India will ban e-commerce companies such as and Walmart-owned Flipkart Group from selling products from companies in which they have an equity interest. In a statement, the government also said that the companies will be prevented from entering into exclusive agreements with sellers. The new rules will be applicable from February 1. The new regulations follow complaints from Indian retailers and traders, who say the giant e-commerce companies are using their control over inventory from their affiliates, and through exclusive sales agreements, to create an unfair marketplace that allows them to sell some products at very low prices.

Data deadline extended for US MNCs
In what may come as some relief for US multinationals in India, the government has extended by three months the deadline to submit global revenues, profit and sales to the taxman. The MNCs were first required to submit the details by December 31, but can now to do so by March-end next year.

GST panel for more tax splits
You may soon get separate bills for taxable and non-taxable components in bills that include services exempt under the goods and services tax (GST) regime. The GST Council has decided to extend the unbundling of bills beyond healthcare for all categories of services currently exempt from the tax, such as education. The proposal considered by the council was for healthcare. The move is aimed at bringing more transparency in billing for consumers as also protecting the governments revenues.

Fed Chair's position safe
The head of the US Federal Reserve faces no risk of losing his job and President Donald Trump is happy with his Treasury secretary, a White House official said in an apparent attempt to calm Wall Street nerves frayed by Trumps criticism of the Fed. Asked on Wednesday if Fed Chairman Jerome Powells job was safe, White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett told reporters: “Yes, of course, 100 percent.”

Jalan to head RBI panel
The Reserve Bank of India has formed an expert committee under former governor Bimal Jalan to decide the appropriate level of reserves that the regulator should hold. This comes more than a month after the banks central board proposed the panels formation following a dispute between then governor Urjit Patel and the government over that and various other issues, which eventually led to his departure. The six-member panel has former deputy RBI governor Rakesh Mohan as its vice chairman and comprises economic affairs secretary Subhash Chandra Garg, RBI central board members Bharat Doshi and Sudhir Mankad, and deputy governor NS Vishwanathan.

Import duty on aluminum may rise
The commerce ministry is in favour of hiking import duty on aluminium with a view to support domestic manufacturers, Union minister Suresh Prabhu has said. “That is a proposal to protect our domestic industry. The proposal is under examination and we support the proposal,” Prabhu said. The commerce and industry minister said that there has been a complaint by aluminium industry about dumping of the commodity. He was replying to a question about the governments plan to increase import duty on aluminium.

Trump adamant on Mexico wall
Trump said on Wednesday he is prepared to wait as long as it takes to get $5 billion from taxpayers for his US-Mexico border wall, a demand that has triggered a partial shutdown of the federal government that is now in its fifth day.

US-China trade talks bid
A US trade team will travel to Beijing the week of Jan. 7 to hold talks with Chinese officials, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, citing two people familiar with the matter.

  • The rupee trimmed its early sharp gains to settle 8 paise higher at 70.06 against the US currency mainly due to dollar buying by importers in the last hour of trade. The dollar strengthened against major global currencies in a restricted trade which also weighed on the domestic currency.
  • US oil prices on Thursday extended their sharp climb from the session before amid rising stock markets, but worries over a glut in crude supply and concerns over a faltering global economy kept a lid on gains. WTI crude futures rose 26 cents, or 0.56 percent, to $46.48 a barrel after jumping 8.7 percent to $46.22 per barrel in the previous session.
  • The dollar held its overnight gains versus its peers on Thursday, bolstered by a surge in U.S. stocks and rising treasury yields overnight.
  • Gold prices inched higher on Thursday amid concerns about global economic growth and a partial U.S. government shutdown, although a rebound in investor risk-appetite in the previous session limited gains.

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