Business Live: Stocks rise; India’s GDP to shrink 16.5% in Q1, says SBI report

The benchmark stock indices opened the day in the green on positive global cues.

A SBI report has made an initial estimate of the economic brunt of the virus lockdown.

Join us as we follow the top business news through the day.

10:40 AM

Competition for jobs posted doubles in first half: LinkedIn

Competition for jobs posted on LinkedIn in India has risen significantly with the average number of applicants per job doubling in the first six months of 2020, even as hiring sentiment was 15% lower than a year earlier at the end of June, the professional network’s ‘labour market update’ showed.

“Competition for jobs has doubled compared to six months ago, with the average number of applications per job posted on LinkedIn increasing from around 90 in Jan, to 180 in June,” Pei Ying Chua, Senior Economist and APAC Lead – LinkedIn Economic Graph, wrote in a blog. She added that in India, ‘hiring declines’ reached a low of below (-)50% year-on-year in April, before starting to slowly recover.

“As risks of second wave of infections emerge, some States have begun lockdowns again. Given all this uncertainty, we expect recovery to remain fairly flat in the coming weeks,” she said.


10:20 AM

Consumer sentiment improving, revival stronger among lower-income segments, small cities: Report

Signs of greenshoots in the economy.

PTI reports: “Consumer sentiment has started to get “a little better”, even though the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to worsen, said a report by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

“Cautious living” is emerging as the new theme, where consumers beginning to feel that it is time that they need to resume their activities albeit with a lot of caution, said the report titled ‘COVID-19 Consumer Sentiment Research’

The revival is stronger among lower-income segments and lower-tier cities, said the report, which has covered around 3,000 respondents across metros and Tier I/II/III & IV cities from July 20 to August 2, 2020.

Around 44 per cent of consumers think their income in the next six months will be lower than pre COVID levels — significantly lower than 57 per cent in the last round conducted over May 18-23.

“Similarly, the sentiment about spending is beginning to look better. The latest round had 42 per cent consumers expecting their spends over the next six months to be lower compared to 53 per cent in the last round,” it said.

There is also a pick up in routine activities with 53 per cent consumers stating that they have been going out to work and 66 per cent consumers saying that they have been visiting friends in the latest round as against 15 per cent and 10 per cent respectively in the last round.

“Majority of the consumers, however, say that the frequency of most of these activities is still not at the pre-COVID levels,” it said.

This is the fifth round of survey, which assessed the overall changes in behaviour across a large set of categories and daily lifestyle. It also tracks overall consumer sentiment towards COVID-19.

Kanika Sanghi, Lead, Centre for Customer Insight for BCG India said, “We are beginning to see a change in the consumer sentiment. The overarching feeling in all the previous rounds of survey had been more around fear, worries about economy and their own incomes, whereas the latest round speaks much more about learning to live cautiously with the virus.

The extent of revival is much faster in smaller cities. Across metrics, Tier 2 and below towns show faster pick-up.

“For example, 52 per cent consumers in Metro and Tier 1 think their income will be lower, while only 41 per cent in Tier 2 and below think the same. Similarly, 36 per cent of small town consumers are going to local markets for essentials shopping as much as they used to pre COVID compared to 27 per cent in metro and tier I,” it said.

The spending sentiment has improved across many categories.

While essentials, health, in home entertainment continue to be winners, there is an uptick in sentiment across many semi-essentials like personal care, packaged food as well as discretionary items like apparel, cosmetics, auto, consumer electronics. Travel, out of home entertainment, on the other hand, continue to show little to no improvement.

The strong acceleration in e-commerce continues.

As per the survey, around 20 per cent new users have been added to the universe of online shoppers in the last 3-4 months. Many of the categories have seen an even faster acceleration — with fresh foods, staples seeing up to 40-50 per cent new users.”

10:00 AM

Sensex rises over 200 points in early trade; Nifty tops 11,300

A good start to the day for the stock indices that ended yesterday’s session with slight gains.

PTI reports: “Domestic equity benchmark Sensex jumped over 200 points in early trade on Tuesday tracking gains in index-heavyweights Reliance Industries, ICICI Bank and Infosys amid sustained foreign fund inflow.

The BSE Sensex was trading 210.93 points or 0.55 per cent higher at 38,261.71; while NSE Nifty was up 65.30 points or 0.58 per cent at 11,312.40.

ONGC was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, rising around 2 per cent, followed by Reliance Industries, ICICI Bank, M&M, Infosys, Titan, Bajaj Finance and Bajaj Finserv.

On the other hand, Tata Steel, PowerGrid, IndusInd Bank, Axis Bank and SBI were among the laggards.

In the previous session, the Sensex had settled 173.44 points or 0.46 per cent higher at 38,050.78, while the Nifty ended 68.70 points or 0.61 per cent up at 11,247.10.

Exchange data showed that foreign institutional investors bought equities worth Rs 332.90 crore on a net basis on Monday.

According to traders, buying in index-heavyweights led benchmarks higher amid sustained foreign fund inflow.

Largely positive cues from global markets too supported domestic indices, they said.

Bourses in Shanghai and Hong Kong were trading on a positive note, while Tokyo and Seoul were in the red.

Stock exchanges on Wall Street ended with gains in overnight session.

Global oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.37 per cent lower at USD 45.20 per barrel.”

9:30 AM

India’s GDP to shrink 16.5% in Q1: SBI report

State Bank of India’s research report Ecowrap expects GDP to contract by 16.5% in the first quarter of the current fiscal.

Earlier in May, Ecowrap had estimated Q1 GDP contraction at over 20% and now pegs it lower, “though with the relevant caveats in the current uncertain scenario”, as per the report released on Monday.

Degrowth in corporate GVA had been significantly better than revenue degrowth in Q1 as far as the results of listed companies were concerned, it said.


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