July 13: The lensman`s view
July 13: The lensman`s view
A worker holds a fuel nozzle at a petrol pump in Hyderabad
India's fuel demand may rise 3.8% in 2012 led by diesel and gasoline, the International Energy Agency said on Wednesday, adding a recent retail price hike by Asia's third largest oil consumer will not dent demand growth in the short term.
IEA, an adviser to 28 industrialised countries, in its July report, forecasts India's fuel demand to rise 132,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 3.6 million bpd in 2012 despite a likely slowdown in economic growth to 7.8% in that fiscal.
It said India's fuel demand may rise 3.7% or 124,000 bpd in 2011 to 3.46 million bpd, unchanged from its June estimates, on expectations of strong economic growth of 8.2%.
A salesman displays a gold necklace at a jewellery shop in Agartala, Tripura
India gold futures rose on Wednesday afternoon, extending gains for a fifth session in a row, nearing its all-time high, as fears of euro zone debt crisis spurred safe-haven buying in the yellow metal, pushing traders to the sidelines, dealers said.
* The most-traded gold for August delivery on the Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) was trading 0.42% higher at 22,797 rupees per 10 grams, after gaining 2.4% in the previous four sessions.
* The contract had struck a high of Rs 22,809, just 1% lower than the record high of Rs 23,148 hit on April 30.
* "Demand is poor as prices have reached all-time high," said Mayank Khemka, managing director, of gold wholesaler Khemka Group, adding that buyers stayed away despite a discount of $3-$4 on London prices.
A customer uses his card to withdraw money from an ATM in Jammu
India banks are pushing plastic again, hoping that credit card sales will lift profits in a market where the competition is tough, the opportunity large, and the risks high.
Fewer than 18 million of India's 1.2 billion people use credit cards. In China, a country with a slightly higher population, more than 200 million credit cards were in use as of a year ago.
Lenders in India say a focus on higher end customers will be key to the success of a second credit card push, but if history is a guide, it still faces high hurdles.
India's banks cancelled millions of cards when a wave of customer defaults followed aggressive growth pre-financial crisis. Banks vow to be more selective this time as they tap rising spending power and the high interest rates and fees they can charge on cards.
A worker installs window frames at an unfinished building in Nanjing, Jiangsu province
China's economy grew faster than expected in the second quarter, easing fears of a hard landing and strengthening Beijing's resolve to fight persistently high inflation.
China's statistics office said on Wednesday that stabilising prices remained the top priority, even though a "complex and volatile" global economy posed a threat to growth, complicating the policy choices.
Second-quarter gross domestic product rose 9.5% from a year earlier, exceeding economists' forecasts for 9.4% growth, helped by solid domestic consumption and investment.
But that was still the slowest pace since the third quarter of 2009, when the world economy was pulling out of its worst recession in 80 years.
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