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Friday,03-December-2021

Business

US to release 50mn barrels of oil from strategic petroleum reserve

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The US Department of Energy will authorise the release of 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to lower oil prices and address the mismatch between demand exiting the pandemic and supply, the White House said.

Of the 50 million barrels, 32 million barrels will be an exchange over the next several months, releasing oil that will eventually return to the SPR in the years ahead, Xinhua news agency quoted the White House as saying on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, 18 million barrels will be an acceleration into the next several months of a sale of oil that Congress had previously authorised, it added.

The White House noted that this release will be taken in parallel with other major energy consuming nations, which would help lower oil prices.

“This culminates weeks of consultations with countries around the world, and we are already seeing the effect of this work on oil prices. Over the last several weeks as reports of this work became public, oil prices are down nearly 10 per cent.”

The announcement came as fuel prices and inflationary pressures have climbed in the country in recent weeks.

The national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline was $3.403 as of Tuesday, $1.29 dollars more than a year ago, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA).

“Today’s announcement reflects the President’s commitment to do everything in his power to bring down costs for the American people and continue our strong economic recovery,” the White House said, adding President Joe Biden stands ready to take additional action, if needed, to work in coordination with the rest of the world to maintain adequate oil supply.

The SPR, the world’s largest supply of emergency crude oil, was established by the US federal government in the 1970s primarily to reduce the impact of disruptions in supplies of petroleum products.

As of November 19, the SPR held 604.5 million barrels of crude oil, including 352 million barrels of sour crude and 252.5 million barrels of sweet crude, according to the Energy Department.

Business

Unheard of Rs 3.3 lakh Cr bank deposit bulge in Diwali week slumped in a fortnight

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Indian-Rupee

State Bank of India’s Economic Research Department has highlighted the curious case of Rs 3.3 lakh crore deposit bulge and the Rs 2.7 lakh crore deposit slump in alternate fortnights.

As per the provisional data released by RBI for the fortnight ended November 19, ASCB’s aggregate deposits have slumped by Rs 2.7 lakh crore during the fortnight. The slump in deposits follows an abrupt increase by Rs 3.3 lakh crore during the previous fortnight ended November 5. Interestingly, such growth in deposits was around 36 per cent of the incremental deposit growth at that point of time. This increase in deposits and subsequent slump is quite a contrarian trend, says Soumya Kanti Ghosh, Group Chief Economic Adviser, State Bank of India.

While it may be exactly difficult to decipher the increase and subsequent decline, it does pose questions on liquidity management/financial stability or a shift in behavioural trend in customer payment habits through digitisation and hence lower currency leakage and concomitant deposit bulge or both.

First, the fortnightly increase of Rs 3.3 lakh crore. This has never happened during a Diwali week as there is always a currency leakage and concomitant deposit decline. This is also the fifth largest increase in any fortnight in the last 24 years. Such huge incremental addition has happened only a few times, with higher deposits accretion (than the current year’s fortnight) occurring during the fortnight ended November 25, 2016 (Rs 4.16 lakh crore), September 30, 2016 (Rs 3.55 lakh crore), March 29, 2019 (Rs 3.46 lakh crore) and April 1, 2016 (Rs 3.41 lakh crore). However, the increase in November 2016 was because of demonetisation and the March and April fortnightly increases could be attributed to seasonal year-end bulge. In this respect, the current deposit bulge requires a detailed explanation, the report said.

Next, the fortnightly deposit slump in the subsequent fortnight. ‘We believe that it is possible that there was a large influx of deposits into the banking system for the fortnight ended November 5, 2021 in anticipation of a build up in rally in stock markets post primary issuances of new age companies and others. However, when such a rally did not materialise, the bulge in banking deposits slumped and almost 80 per cent of deposit bulge was withdrawn, the report said.

Interestingly, the amount of money parked in fixed reverse repo window jumped from Rs 0.45 lakh crore on October 19 to Rs 2.4 lakh crore on November 17, 2021 and has remained at such level till December 1. However, it must be noted that the significant jump in digital transactions has also resulted in lower usage of cash in the current fiscal and ideally could also have resulted in a surge in deposits for the Diwali week.

Meanwhile, if we look at the quarterly ASCB data, though the deposits growth remains same in Q2 (2.6 per cent) as compared to Q1 (2.5 per cent), sequentially at all-India level, apart from Metro regions, the deposits growth has decelerated in Q2 as compared to Q1, particularly in rural areas indicating that the current economic recovery is mostly urban led and rural economy is still recouping. Meanwhile, ASCB’s credit has increased by Rs 1.18 lakh crore (7.1 per cent YoY) during the fortnight ended November 5, which may be due to festive demands.

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Business

Oil marketing companies keep diesel, petrol prices unchanged

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petrol

Oil marketing companies kept diesel and petrol prices unchanged across major Indian cities on Friday.

Accordingly, diesel and petrol prices in Delhi stood at Rs 86.67 per litre and Rs 95.41 per litre, respectively.

In the financial capital Mumbai, the prices remained unchanged at Rs 94.14 and Rs 109.98 respectively.

Prices also remained static in Kolkata at Rs 89.79 and Rs 104.67 respectively.

In Chennai too, it remained at Rs 91.43 and Rs 101.40 respectively.

Across the country as well, the price of the fuel largely remained unchanged on Friday, but the retail rates varied depending on the level of local taxes.

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Business

Equity indices rise for third consecutive day

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The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) rose in the early trade on Friday. Indices have been gaining for the past three consecutive sessions.

At 9.15 a.m., the S&P BSE Sensex traded at 58,671 points, up 0.37 per cent.

It opened at 58,555 points from the previous close of 58,461 points.

Till now it has touched a low of 58,512 points.

Besides, the broader 50-scrip Nifty at the National Stock Exchange (NSE) opened at 17,424 points after closing at 17,401 on Thursday.

It traded at 17,475 points, up 0.39 per cent during the early-morning trade session.

Hindustan Zinc, Infosys, NMDC, L&T and BPCL were some of the top gainers during the early trade, exchange data showed.

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