Market Talk – Wednesday, Feb. 17

ASIA:

Japan’s exports accelerated in January, led by a jump in Chinese demand, and manufacturers’ sentiment turned positive for the first time since 2019, signaling a gradual recovery from last year’s deep coronavirus slump. Ministry of Finance data showed on Wednesday exports rose 6.4% in January from a year earlier, roughly in line with a 6.6% increase seen by economists in a Reuters poll and following a 2.0% gain in December. Despite the upbeat indicators, analysts warn the recovery momentum in the world’s third-largest economy could stall as policymakers struggle to balance the need to contain the virus against the need to revive growth and fix Japan’s dire finances.

India is poised to clear some new investment proposals from China in the coming weeks as frosty relations between the two neighboring countries thawed amid an easing in border tensions, a major Indian daily reported. The foreign investment rule change by the Indian government said investments from an entity in a country that shares a land border with India would require government approval, markedly slowing investment flows from China. The rule change had put in limbo over 150 proposals from China worth more than $2 billion, hurting the plans of Chinese companies in India. Among the proposals delayed was China’s Great Wall Motors’ acquisition of a General Motors’ plant in India.

The major Asian stock markets had a mixed day today:

  • NIKKEI 225 decreased 175.56 points or -0.58% to 30,292.19
  • Shanghai closed
  • Hang Seng increased 338.28 points or 1.10% to 31,084.94
  • ASX 200 decreased 32.10 points or -0.46% to 6,885.20
  • Kospi decreased 29.52 points or -0.93% to 3,133.73
  • SENSEX decreased 400.34 points or -0.77% to 51,703.83
  • Nifty50 decreased 104.55 points or -0.68% to 15,208.90

The major Asian currency markets had a mixed day today:

  • AUDUSD decreased 0.00074 or -0.10% to 0.77338
  • NZDUSD decreased 0.00199 or -0.28% to 0.71718
  • USDJPY decreased 0.25 or -0.23% to 105.84
  • USDCNY increased 0.01645 or 0.26% to 6.44494

Precious Metals:

  • Gold decreased 15.51 USD/t oz. or -0.86% to 1,778.80
  • Silver increased 0.126 USD/t. oz or 0.46% to 27.346

Some economic news from last night:

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