Market Talk – Monday, March 1

ASIA:

China’s manufacturing sector grew at a markedly slower pace in February than the month before, surveys released over the weekend suggested, even as similar indicators in the US are signaling rapid growth. Chinese purchasing managers indexes have been trending lower since December when officials mandated new lockdowns in some northern cities to contain a rash of coronavirus outbreaks there. February’s service sector PMI was expected to be weak because officials have been exhorting citizens to stay at home. The survey conducted suggests that if China’s export orders don’t recover in March and April, that could signal the nation’s economy is cooling more quickly than many anticipated.

China’s Inner Mongolia has banned cryptocurrency mining and declared its intention of shutting all such projects by April, spurring fears the world’s No. 2 economy will take more steps this year to eradicate the power-hungry practice. The autonomous region, a favorite among the industry because of its cheap power, also banned new digital coin projects, according to a draft plan posted on the Inner Mongolia Development and Reform Commission’s website Feb. 25. The aim is to constrain growth in energy consumption to about 1.9% in 2021.

India’s GDP grew 0.4% in October-December compared with the same period a year earlier, data released by the National Statistics Office on Friday showed. That compared with revised contractions of 7.3% in July-September and 24.4% in April-June. Investment recorded its first growth since December 2019, growing at 2.6% compared to a revised 6.8% fall in the previous quarter, while weakness in consumer demand eased, Reuters reported. Consumer spending – the main driver of the economy – dropped 2.4 % year-on-year in Oct-December compared to an 11.3% fall in the previous quarter, data showed.

The major Asian stock markets had a green day today:

  • NIKKEI 225 increased 697.49 points or 2.41% to 29,663.50
  • Shanghai increased 42.32 points or 1.21% to 3,551.40
  • Hang Seng increased 472.36 points or 1.63% to 29,452.57
  • ASX 200 increased 116.30 points or 1.74% to 6,789.60
  • Kospi closed
  • SENSEX increased 749,85 points or 1.53% to 49,849.84
  • Nifty50 increased 232.40 points or 1.60% to 14,761.55

The major Asian currency markets had a mixed day today:

  • AUDUSD increased 0.00644 or 0.84% to 0.77717
  • NZDUSD increased 0.00298 or 0.41% to 0.72629
  • USDJPY increased 0.23 or 0.22% to 106.78
  • USDCNY decreased 0.01347 or -0.21% to 6.46642
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