Top headlines: Sale of residential units at 10-yr low, SGBs reach new high

The Covid-19 and the nationwide lockdown since March 2020 has severely dented the Indian real estate sector that was already grappling with slowing sales and rising unsold inventory levels since the past few years.
Residential unit sales at 10-yr low in H1; office vacancy rate at 4-yr high
The Covid-19 pandemic and the nationwide lockdown since March 2020 has severely dented the Indian real estate sector that was already grappling with slowing sales and rising unsold inventory levels since the past few years. While sales of residential units across eight major metros in India – Mumbai, National Capital Region (NCR), Bengaluru, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Ahmedabad – hit a 10-year low, office vacancy rates across these metros are near four-year high. Read more.

174 Indians in US file lawsuit against Trump's order on H-1B visa
A group of 174 Indian nationals, including seven minors, has filed a lawsuit against the recent presidential proclamation on H-1B that would prevent them from entering the United States or a visa would not be issued to them. In his presidential proclamation on June 22, Trump temporarily suspended issuing of H-1B work visas till the end of the year. Read more.

Twitter's security in doubt after hacking spree targets famous users
The extraordinary hacking spree that hit Twitter on Wednesday, leading it to briefly muzzle some of its most widely followed accounts, is drawing questions about the platform's security and resilience in the run-up to the US presidential election. The company statements confirmed the fears of security experts that the service itself - rather than users - had been compromised. Read more.

Sale of sovereign gold bonds at a record high in July in times of Covid-19
July has so far been the best month in terms of quantity of gold and amount raised under the sovereign gold bond (SGB) scheme, that was launched in November 2015 with an objective of reducing demand for physical gold and shifting a part of domestic savings, used for purchase of the yellow metal, into financial savings. Sovereign gold bonds are forms of paper gold and were an easier way to invest in gold without taking physical delivery during the lockdown period. Read more.

IMF chief warns global economy 'not out of the woods,' dangers lurk
Global economic activity is picking up after an unprecedented decline this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, but a second major wave of infections could trigger more disruptions, the International Monetary Fund's top official said. The IMF last month further slashed its 2020 global output forecasts, predicting a 4.9% contraction and weaker-than-expected recovery in 2021. Read more.

Oxford University Covid-19 vaccine raises hopes with strong trial resutts
Researchers at the University of Oxford believe they may have a breakthrough in their search for a Covid-19 vaccine after the team discovered that the jab could provide "double protection" against the deadly coronavirus following early stage human trials, according to media reports in the UK. The discovery is promising because separate studies have suggested that antibodies may fade away within months while T-cells can stay in circulation for years. Read more.

Ladakh: Govt says 'intricate' discussions on disengagement continue
After a 14-hour meeting in Ladakh between Chinese and Indian military commanders on Tuesday, the government said the two sides continue to discuss ways to disengage their troops that continue to face off in several locations. Sources close to the government admit there was no breakthrough in Tuesday’s fourth round of talks between India’s corps commander in Leh. Read more.

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