Market Talk – Wednesday, Jan. 13


China posted its biggest daily jump in COVID-19 cases in more than five months on Wednesday, stepping up containment measures that have seen four cities put under lockdown, as the world’s second-biggest economy scrambles to head off a new wave of infections. Most of the new cases were reported near the capital, Beijing, but a province in the far northeast also saw a rise in infections, official data showed, amid a resurgence that has seen more than 28 million people put under home quarantine. On Wednesday, the National Health Commission reported a total of 115 new confirmed cases on the mainland, compared with 55 the previous day, the highest daily increase since July 30.

A fall in vegetable prices helped India’s retail inflation to ease in December to within the central bank’s 2% to 6% target range, although it’s unlikely to cut the policy repo rate soon, economists said. December’s annual retail inflation was 4.59%, down from 6.93% in November to the lowest since September 2019 and below the 5.28% forecast in a Reuters poll of economists, data released by Ministry of Statistics showed on Tuesday. Economists said growing consumer demand and rising input costs for manufacturers are likely to keep headline inflation above 4%, providing little wriggle room to the Reserve Bank of India in 2021.

India’s Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said on Tuesday that trust with China had been deeply impaired after last summer’s border clash which resulted in the first combat deaths in 45 years. Ties with the United States, on the other hand, were converging and were likely to expand under the new administration in Washington, India’s top diplomat told the Reuters Next conference.

The major Asian stock markets had a mixed day today:

  • NIKKEI 225 increased 292.25 points or 1.04% to 28,456.59
  • Shanghai decreased 9.69 points or -0.27% to 3,598.65
  • Hang Seng decreased 41.15 points or -0.15% to 28,235.60
  • ASX 200 increased 7.50 points or 0.11% to 6,686.60
  • Kospi increased 22.34 points or 0.71% to 3,148.29
  • SENSEX decreased 24.79 points or -0.05% to 49,492.32
  • Nifty50 increased 1.40 points or 0.01% to 14,564.85

The major Asian currency markets had a mixed day today:

  • AUDUSD decreased 0.00322 or -0.41% to 0.77376
  • NZDUSD decreased 0.0047 or -0.65% to 0.71789
  • USDJPY increased 0.1 or 0.10% to 103.87
  • USDCNY increased 0.0259 or 0.40% to 6.46864
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