British Pound Hits 4-week High
GBPUSD increased to a 4-week high of 1.392
Sensex Ends Sharply Lower on Lockdown Fears
The S&P BSE Sensex lost more than 880 points or 1.8% to close at 47,949 on Monday, having touched an over two-and-a-half-month low earlier in the session. Banks, automakers and energy stocks led the declines, as concerns about India’s economic recovery mounted due to the pandemic-induced local lockdowns after the country’s health authorities reported a tenth record daily increase in COVID-19 cases in eleven days. New Delhi is currently under a weekend curfew, while the state of Maharashtra is under a lockdown since April 15th. On the corporate front, heavyweight HDFC Bank posted on Saturday a more than 18% increase in its quarterly profit, but said the second coronavirus wave would impact its future results.
Venezuela March Inflation Rate Hits Over 1-Year High
The annual inflation rate in Venezuela climbed to 3012% in March of 2021 from 2937% in February, according to the country’s Central Bank. It was the highest inflation rate since January of 2020 amid the continued depreciation of the bolivar due to the Covid-19 pandemic and still subdued oil production. Venezuela’s cash shortages and hyperinflation have led to informal dollarization in the oil-reliant economy in recent years, a change embraced by President Maduro as an “escape valve” to US sanctions aimed at ousting him, but without abandoning completely the bolivar. In March, main upward pressure came from costs of health (4369% vs 4077% in February), as the Covid-19 situation deteriorated; food & non-alcoholic beverages (2795% vs 2783%); miscellaneous goods & services (3639% vs 3445%); transport (3359% vs 3309%) and communication (3556% vs 3497%). On a monthly basis, consumer prices increased 16.1%, the least since March of 2020.
Israel Trade Deficit Widens in March
The trade gap in Israel widened to USD 2,934.9 million in March of 2021 from USD 1,948.0 million in the corresponding month of the previous year. Exports climbed 7.6 percent from a year earlier to USD 4,326.6 million while imports surged 21.7 percent to USD 7,261.5 million.