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Markets surprised at Sitharaman becoming Finance Minister

IANS  |  Mumbai 

Indian investors were caught by surprise at the appointment of as the on Friday. Sitharaman will also head the

Dalal Street was expecting the portfolio to go to either Amit Shah, who has been given charge of the Home Ministry, or to Piyush Goyal, who has retained Railways and additionally has the Commerce portfolio.

At 1.18 p.m. on Friday, the S&P was trading at 39,726.44 after it had crossed the 40,000-mark during the early trade. The Nifty also slipped to 11,927.50 after it surpassed the 12,000 mark earlier in the day.

A post-graduate in Economics, Sitharaman is familiar with the world of and economy. She has served as a junior responsible for both Finance and Corporate Affairs in the previous government and also as before taking charge of the during the later part of NDA-I.

Sitharaman's work is clearly cut out given the economic slowdown and rising unemployment. The forthcoming Union Budget 2019-20, to be presented in July, provides her an opportunity to prescribe appropriate remedial measures.

The Minister's immediate challenge would come from the (GDP) numbers for the fourth quarter as well as the full fiscal 2018-19, slated for release later on Friday by the (CSO), that is widely expected to provide confirmation of the current slowdown in the economy.

Globally, the markets traded lower in reaction to US Donald Trump's threat to impose tariffs on

"On June 10th, the will impose a 5 per cent tariff on all goods coming into our country from Mexico, until such time as illegal migrants coming through Mexico, and into our country, stop....the tariff will gradually increase until the Illegal Immigration problem is remedied,..," Trump said in a tweet.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, May 31 2019. 15:02 IST