Market Talk – Monday, Jan. 11

ASIA:

A World Health Organization (WHO) team of international experts tasked with investigating the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic will arrive in China on January 14, Chinese authorities said on Monday. Lack of authorization from Beijing had delayed the arrival of the 10-strong team on a long-awaited mission to investigate early infections, in what China’s foreign ministry called a “misunderstanding.” A health expert affiliated with the WHO said expectations should be “very low” that the team will reach a conclusion from their trip to China.

Short-selling guru Carson Block has warned that Chinese shares are “uninvestable” following the disappearance of billionaire Alibaba founder Jack Ma Block, one of the world’s best-known active investors. He said Ma’s temporary disappearance is ‘just one of the reasons’ he is betting against Chinese firms. Shares in Alibaba have fallen by around 25 percent since October, when founder Ma made critical comments about China’s regulator and state-owned banks.

India’s fuel consumption in December rose for a fourth straight month as economic activity and transport demand continued to recover from a coronavirus-led hiatus, Reuters reported. Consumption of fuel, a proxy for oil demand, rose 4.1% to 18.6 million tonnes in December, the highest since January 2020, data from the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) of the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas showed on Friday. India’s fuel consumption scales 11-month peak in December.

India’s central bank warned that an expected doubling of bad loans and soaring financial markets in the nation’s weakened economy threaten financial stability. The non-performing asset ratio is forecast to rise to 13.5% by the end of September from 7.5% a year ago, the Reserve Bank of India said in its semiannual Financial Stability Report published Monday. If the number holds through the fiscal year ending March 2022, it would be the worst since 1999.

The major Asian stock markets had a mixed day today:

  • NIKKEI 225 closed
  • Shanghai decreased 38.61 points or -1.08% to 3,531.50
  • Hang Seng increased 30.00 points or 0.11% to 27,908.22
  • ASX 200 decreased 60.70 points or -0.90% to 6,697.20
  • Kospi decreased 3.73 points or -0.12% to 3,148.45
  • SENSEX increased 486.81 points or 1.00% to 49,269.32
  • Nifty50 increased 137.50 points or 0.96% to 14,484.75
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