Market Talk – Monday, March 8

ASIA:

China will invest more in coal to power its economy over the next five years, according to a government plan released Friday (Mar 5) that only modestly increased renewable ambitions. Environmentalists had been hoping China’s five-year national development plan, unveiled at its annual parliamentary session would give a roadmap for its goal of carbon neutrality by 2060. The blueprint sets a target of generating just 20 percent of energy from non-fossil fuels by 2025, up from 15.9 percent in 2020.

India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), announced last week that the central bank plans to launch its own digital currency and the work with respect to the same is in progress. India’s central bank governor Shaktikanta Das said that the move comes after there have been “major concerns” about cryptocurrencies, flagging potential risks caused by cryptocurrencies to financial stability. Das also said that he had communicated his concerns to the government. A government panel in 2019 had recommended banning all private cryptocurrencies with a jail term of up to 10 years and heavy fines for anyone dealing in digital currencies. RBI also told lenders in 2018 that they could not offer any banking services to any cryptocurrency traders or exchanges, but the order was challenged in court and eventually reversed by the Supreme Court.

Japanese financial conglomerate SBI Holdings Inc is in talks with foreign financial firms to set up a cryptocurrency joint venture, its chief executive said, as the company aims to expand the business as a core pillar of profitability. The comments by Yoshitaka Kitao, who founded the company in 1999, comes as cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and Ethereum have emerged as alternative investment targets, and global investors have warmed to the rapidly expanding market. SBI, Japan’s biggest online brokerage, has been providing cryptocurrency trading services since 2018.

The major Asian stock markets had a mixed day today:

  • NIKKEI 225 decreased 121.07 points or -0.42% to 28,743.25
  • Shanghai decreased 80.57 points or -2.30% to 3,421.41
  • Hang Seng decreased 557.46 points or -1.92% to 28,540.83
  • ASX 200 increased 28.80 points or 0.43% to 6,739.60
  • Kospi decreased 30.15 points or -1.00% to 2,996.11
  • SENSEX increased 35.75 points or 0.07% to 50,441.07
  • Nifty50 increased 18.10 points or 0.12% to 14,956.20

The major Asian currency markets had a mixed day today:

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