Aug 18: The day in pictures
Aug 18: The day in pictures
A dealer reacts on the trading floor of IG Index in the City of London
European equities followed Asian stocks lower on Thursday as investors fretting about the global growth outlook cut exposure to riskier assets, while the Swiss franc fell on talk the central bank was intervening in the forwards market.
Nagging worries about the US economy and dim prospects of a quick fix for the eurozone's debt crisis prompted investors to lock in profits following this week's rally in European stocks to one-week highs.
Adding to the glum growth picture, Morgan Stanley cut its forecast for global growth, citing "recent policy errors" in the United States and Europe, plus prospects of further fiscal tightening in 2012.
European stocks fell 1.2%, giving up the previous session's gains.
A man sells fish at a wholesale fish market in Kolkata
India's food price index rose 9.03% and the fuel price index climbed 13.13% in the year to August 6, government data on Thursday showed.
In the previous week, annual food and fuel inflation stood at 9.90% and 12.19% respectively.
The primary articles index was up 11.64%, compared with an annual rise of 12.22% a week earlier.
India's central bank has raised interest rates 11 times since March 2010 to tame headline inflation, which stood at 9.22% in July.
A man uses a plastic sheet to guard against a downpour while riding his trishaw in Chandigarh
India's monsoon rains were 26% above normal in the week to August 17, strengthening from a 14% above normal reading in the previous week, the weather office said on Thursday.
In particular, rice, cotton, oilseeds, lentils and cereal growing areas of northwest India saw well above average rainfall.
Rains were also heavy over oilseed and cotton growing areas of Gujarat, and over rice and cotton growing areas of Punjab.
In eastern India, rains were mixed as rice areas of West Bengal received heavy rains, but they were below average in Orissa, another rice producing eastern state.
"Rains over northwest India will decrease next week," a source in the weather office said.
"The monsoon will improve in central India," he added.
Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries, speaks during a news conference in Mumbai
Reliance Industries, for long the darling of Indian investors, was knocked off its four-year long perch as the country's most valuable company, as fears over slowing gas production dragged its stock down almost 30% this year and led to the first full day of trade with Coal India on top.
Reliance, owned by Mukesh Ambani, the world's ninth richest man, saw its crown seized by Coal India, the world's largest coal miner, whose stock in energy-hungry India is the best performer this year on the country's top index.
Reliance has been under fire over the past few months from the upstream regulator, investors and analysts due to slowing gas output, sending its shares down over 29% this year, compared to an almost 19% fall in the main index.
A woman checks a gold waist belt inside a jewellery shop in HyderabadPhysical purchases in Asia's bullion market slowed as prices neared $1,800 an ounce, but any price dips could trigger investment buying as dark clouds over global growth continued to support appetite for gold.
India, the world's largest gold consumer, is holding off purchases ahead of the festival and wedding season as prices hovered at lofty levels.
Spot gold was on course for a fourth straight session of gains and stood at $1,796.29 an ounce by 0814 GMT, barely $20 off the record above $1,813 hit on August 11.
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