Stocks rally on RBI’s stance, GDP outlook
The Sensex rallied 447 points to close above the 45,000-level for the first time on Friday, tracking strong buying in financial stocks after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) left interest rates unchanged for the third straight time amid persistently high inflation, but said the economy was recuperating fast and would return to positive growth in the current quarter itself.
The broader NSE Nifty touched a new high of 13,280.05 during the session, before finishing 124.65 points, or 0.95%, higher at 13,258.55 — its record closing high.
Rate-sensitive banking, financial, realty and auto stocks rallied after the policy announcement.
ICICI Bank was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, rising about 4%, followed by UltraTech Cement, Sun Pharma, Bharti Airtel, HUL, SBI, L&T, Axis Bank and IndusInd Bank.
The RBI’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) “decided to continue with the accommodative stance… as long as necessary – at least through the current financial year and into the next year,” RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said.
Gaurav Dua, Head – Capital Market Strategy and Investments, at Sharekhan by BNP Paribas, said growth remains high on the priority of RBI.
“The commentary is dovish in spite of the elevated level of inflationary pressure. It essentially means the liquidity situation would be comfortable and interest rates likely to remain soft in the near term,” he added.
U.K., EU Pause Brexit Talks; Johnson, von der Leyen to Hold Call
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen are set to hold a crisis call on Saturday to broker a post-Brexit trade deal after a week in which negotiations between the two sides lurched backward.
The two sides’ negotiators said in tweets on Friday they have paused talks because the “conditions for an agreement are not met” and will now brief their respective political leaders.
The U.K. and EU haven’t yet reached agreement on three key issues: access to British fishing waters, the competitive level playing field for business, and how any overall agreement is enforced, according to the statement.
Oil Prices Advance On News Of OPEC Agreement
Oil prices moved higher on Friday as OPEC and Russia cleared the hurdle of exiting the current oil output cuts in a coordinated way.
West Texas Intermediate crude futures climbed $0.62 or 1.4 percent to $46.26 a barrel.
OPEC and other oil producing countries agreed to increase output beginning next month at a much slower pace to overcome coronavirus-induced demand concerns.
The oil producers have reached an agreement to pare current production cuts from January by 500,000 barrels per day and agreed to hold monthly meetings to assess market conditions and decide on further adjustments for the following month.
Meanwhile, there are greater hopes for the oil demand recovery amid signs that U.S. may be closing in on new stimulus.
The dollar eased as a bipartisan, $908 billion coronavirus aid plan gained momentum in the U.S. Congress, with conservative lawmakers expressing their support.
Biden Said He Expects Quieter Inauguration Amid Spiking Virus
President-elect Joe Biden said he expects to have a quieter-than-normal inauguration without crowds filling the National Mall and a series of evening celebrations because of the risk of spreading the coronavirus.
Biden said he will follow the advice of health experts who are asking people to stay away from crowds and indoor gatherings. The president-elect said the festivities may look more like the Democratic National Convention in August, which was almost entirely virtual. He said such a move could “engage many more people” than a traditional inauguration.
“It is highly unlikely there will be millions of people on the Mall,” Biden told reporters in Wilmington, describing the mass gathering of supporters who normally come to Washington to watch a new president take office.
“The key is to keep people safe,” he added.
As the coronavirus raged over the summer, the Democratic National Committee ultimately shifted from plans to hold an in-person convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to holding an all-virtual event.
Biden has made a point of abiding by the guidelines set by health officials to show he is taking the coronavirus pandemic seriously. While President Donald Trump has mostly eschewed masks, Biden has made a point of wearing one any time he’s in public.
Apple offers free fix for iPhone 11 devices that no longer respond to touch
- Apple said on Friday that it will repair some iPhone 11 devices that don't respond to touch.
- The affected devices were manufactured between November 2019 and May 2020, Apple said.
- The iPhone 11 was first launched in September 2019 and was likely the most popular iPhone model in that year's lineup.
Apple said on Friday that it will repair some iPhone 11 devices that don't respond to touch.
The affected devices were manufactured between November 2019 and May 2020, and the issue affects a "small percentage" of display modules, Apple said.
The replacement program doesn't cover other models, like the iPhone 11 Pro, and it only covers affected devices.
Users can check if their phone is eligible on Apple's website by checking their serial number.
The iPhone 11 was first launched in September 2019. In January, Apple CEO Tim Cook suggested that the iPhone 11 was Apple's best-selling model in the weeks after it launched. "iPhone 11 was our top-selling model every week during the December quarter," Cook said.
In the quarter ended September 30, Apple reported iPhone revenue of $26.4 billion, down 20.7% year-over-year. iPhone sales accounted for 40.8% of Apple's revenue that quarter.
The company introduced and began selling several new iPhone 12 models in October.