Market Talk – Tuesday, April 27

ASIA:

China is set to report its first population decline since records began in 1949 despite the relaxation of the government’s strict family planning policies, which was meant to reverse the falling birth rate of the world’s most populous country. The latest Chinese census, which was completed in December but has yet to be made public, is expected to report the total population of the country at less than 1.4 billion, according to people familiar with the research. In 2019, China’s population was reported to have exceeded the 1.4 billion mark. The government was scheduled to release the census in early April. Liu Aihua, a spokesperson at the National Bureau of Statistics, said on April 16 that the delay was partly due to the need for “more preparation work” ahead of the official announcement. The delay has been widely criticized on social media.

India’s economic activity has held up well against the recent spike in COVID-19 cases, but the rise in infections risks protracted restrictions and inflationary pressures, the central bank (RBI) said in its monthly bulletin on Monday. The country still has localized lockdowns in some states to contain the spread of the virus but stricter norms could disrupt supply chains and add to inflation concerns as they did in 2020. The RBI, however, is hopeful the economic recovery will continue based on data points like early corporate earnings and steady rises in capacity utilization and electricity consumption. The RBI has repeatedly assured bond markets that it would ensure ample liquidity in the banking system and help smoothly execute the government’s massive 12.06 trillion rupees ($161.15 billion) market borrowing program.

The major Asian stock markets had a mixed day today:

  • NIKKEI 225 decreased 134.34 points or -0.46% to 28,991.89
  • Shanghai increased 1.45 points or 0.04% to 3,442.61
  • Hang Seng decreased 11.29 points or -0.04% to 28,941.54
  • ASX 200 decreased 11.80 points or -0.17% to 7,033.80
  • Kospi decreased 2.11 points or -0.07% to 3,215.42
  • SENSEX increased 557.63 points or 1.15% to 48,944.14
  • Nifty50 increased 168.05 points or 1.16% to 14,653.05
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