Market Talk – Tuesday, March 2

ASIA:

Bank of America economist said China stands a good chance of doubling the size of its economy by 2035 — and surpassing the U.S. as the world’s largest economy along the way. Helen Qiao, head of Asia economics at BofA Global Research, said some reform measures would help China get there. Doubling of China’s GDP requires an average annual growth of 4.7% for the next 15 years, which some observers said may be hard to achieve. China was one of the few economies globally that grew in 2020 despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Official data showed the Chinese economy expanding by 2.3% last year, and the International Monetary Fund has forecast an 8.1% growth for China this year.

India announced new rules to regulate content on social media, making Facebook, WhatsApp, and others more accountable to legal requests for swift removal of posts and sharing details on the originators of messages. Big social media firms will be obliged to remove content within 36 hours of receiving a legal order, according to the rules. The government also said companies need to assist in probes or other cyber security-related incidents within 72 hours of receiving a request. India’s IT minister said the rules would oblige the companies to reveal the originator of a message or post when legally ordered.

Japan’s government cut its view on the overall economy in February for the first time since April last year as an extended state of emergency to curb coronavirus infections battered consumer spending. Analysts expect the world’s third-largest economy to shrink in the current quarter as renewed restrictions rolled out in Tokyo and some prefectures last month to contain the pandemic damage businesses and household spending. The government slashed its assessment on consumer spending for a third straight month in February, saying it has shown weakness recently, as the emergency hurt the retail industry as people avoided eating out and traveling.

The major Asian stock markets had a mixed day today:

  • NIKKEI 225 decreased 255.33 points or -0.86% to 29,408.17
  • Shanghai decreased 42.81 points or -1.21% to 3,508.59
  • Hang Seng decreased 356.71 points or -1.21% to 29,095.86
  • ASX 200 decreased 27.30 points or -0.40% to 6,762.30
  • Kospi increased 30.92 points or 1.03% to 3,043.87
  • SENSEX increased 447.05 points or 0.90% to 50,296.89
  • Nifty50 increased 157.55 points or 1.07% to 14,919.10

The major Asian currency markets had a mixed day today:

  • AUDUSD increased 0.00557 or 0.72% to 0.78232
  • NZDUSD increased 0.00232 or 0.32% to 0.72914
  • USDJPY decreased 0.08 or -0.07% to 106.74
  • USDCNY increased 0.00672 or 0.10% to 6.47353

Precious Metals:

  • Gold increased 11.3 USD/t oz. or 0.66% to 1,735.14
  • Silver increased 0.18 USD/t. oz or 0.68% to 26.693
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