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Today's top business news: Stocks drop over 2%, prices of essential goods shoot up, traders seek loan interest waiver, and more

Stocks opened the day weak with the benchmark indices losing around 1% after recording some gains in the pre-open session.
The rupee too slipped against the dollar, reflecting the weak sentiment in the domestic equities market.

Meanwhile, new estimates keep coming in to shed further light on the economic impact of the lockdown imposed to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
The latest estimate coming from the Asian Development Bank pegs India's likely growth rate in FY21 to be 4%
Join us as we follow the top business news through the day.
India’s peak power demand slipped over 25% to 125.81 GW on Thursday compared 168.32 GW on April 2 amid the lockdown to contain COVID-19 outbreak, showed power ministry data.
In actual terms, the demand fell around 43 GW on Thursday compared to the same day a year ago. However, the data showed that peak power demand met has stabilised around 120 GW after March 22.
The government has imposed 3-week lockdown to fight the pandemic from March 24.
The demand was down mainly due to lower requirements from industry and state power distribution companies (discoms) across the country due to the lockdown.
Manojit Saha reports from Mumbai:
The Reserve Bank of India has reduced the timing of market hours from April 7 to April 17 due to the unprecedented situation that has emerged due to the spread of Coronavirus.
The call money market, government securities market, currency market, and many others which typically open at 9 AM and close at 5 PM will mostly now be open between 10 AM and 2 PM.
"The unprecedented situation created by the COVID-19 outbreak has necessitated lockdowns, social distancing, restrictions on movement of people and non-essential activities, work from home arrangements and business continuity plans. The resultant dislocations have adversely impacted the functioning of financial markets. Staff and IT resources have been severely affected, posing operational and logistic risks. The thinning out of activity is impacting market liquidity and increasing volatility of financial prices," RBI said.
"In order to minimise these risks and to ensure that market participants maintain adequate checks and supervisory controls while optimising thin resources and ensuring safety of personnel, it has been decided to revise trading hours for various markets," the RBI said.
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