Market Talk – Tuesday, Dec. 15

ASIA:

China’s economic recovery broadened in November as both retail sales and industrial production growth accelerated, data released on Tuesday showed. Retail sales, a key indicator of consumption trends in the world’s most populous nation, grew by 5.0 percent from a year earlier, marking the fourth successive month of expansion. The November growth rate was the highest since reaching 8.0 percent in December 2019. Industrial production, a gauge of manufacturing, mining and utilities output in the Chinese economy, grew by 7.0 percent from a year earlier, up slightly from 6.9 percent in October. Analysts had predicted a growth of 7.0 percent.

India’s retail inflation eased in November after holding above 7% for two straight months, but remained beyond the upper bound of the 2-6% target, meaning the central bank is likely to leave policy rates on hold to support the economy, analysts said. November’s annual retail inflation was 6.93%, lower than the 7.1% forecast in a Reuters poll of economists and down from 7.61% in October, government data showed on Monday. Economists said the short-term trend for retail inflation is likely to remain elevated as manufacturers and service providers may jack up prices after a pick up in consumer demand following a fall in coronavirus infections.

The Indian government said it has received multiple bids for its stake in state-run carrier Air India, the auction for which ended on Monday evening. Tata Sons, India’s autos-to-steel conglomerate, is expected to have submitted an initial bid for the loss-making airline, Reuters reported. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government in January renewed its push to sell its entire interest in the loss-making airline, which has been kept aloft by a bailout since 2012.

Singapore will allow a limited number of business official and high economic value travelers from all countries to come to the city-state and stay at dedicated facilities under a “bubble” arrangement. Applications for the new travel arrangement, which was announced by the Ministry of Trade and Industry on Tuesday, will open next month. Travelers who qualify will be allowed into Singapore from the second half of January for up to 14 days. Tourism, including business travel, is a significant part of Singapore’s economy. Earlier this month, the World Economic Forum announced that its next annual conference, which is usually held in the Swiss ski resort of Davos, will be held in Singapore.

The major Asian stock markets had a mixed day today:

  • NIKKEI 225 decreased 44.60 points or -0.17% to 26,687.84
  • Shanghai decreased 1.89 points or -0.06% to 3,367.23
  • Hang Seng decreased 182.23 points or -0.69% to 26,207.29
  • ASX 200 decreased 28.90 points or -0.43% to 6,631.30
  • Kospi decreased 5.38 points or -0.19% to 2,756.82
  • SENSEX increased 9.71 points or 0.02% to 46,263.17
  • Nifty50 increased 9.70 points or 0.07% to 13,567.85
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