The prospect of Prime Minister- designate Narendra Modi leading India’s most stable government in three decades has prompted economists to raise growth forecasts in the world’s second-most populous nation.
Joyalukkas Group, a gold and diamond retailer in India, is offering 12 free BMW cars and two kilograms (4.4 pounds) of bullion in a lucky draw as it fights a lean season in the world’s second-biggest buyer of the yellow metal.
South Asia, home to a quarter of the world’s population, will probably get less monsoon rainfall than normal this year as odds increase for the emergence of the El Nino weather phenomenon that has previously caused droughts.
India’s rupee fell as investors preferred the dollar before U.S. jobs data, which economists predict will support the Federal Reserve’s decision to reduce stimulus that fueled inflows to emerging markets.
South Korea’s industrial output fell, India’s economy grew the least in more than two years and Thailand cut interest rates as an Asian slowdown limits the region’s ability to support a faltering world recovery.
A doubling of cotton prices since Feb. 1 may mean more expensive clothes, sheets and towels as textile mills including India’s Arvind Ltd. and retailers such as Next Plc pass along higher costs to their customers.