Market Talk - Thursday, May 27

ASIA:

The US and China’s top trade negotiators have held “candid, pragmatic” talks, in their first meeting under the Biden presidency. US Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He held a virtual meeting to discuss matters. In the virtual meeting, both sides said they discussed the importance of the trade relationship between the two countries. The world’s two biggest economies signed a so-called “phase 1” agreement in January last year. The Chinese Commerce Ministry representative, Ms. Tai has said she is now looking at whether the terms of the deal have been met by Beijing, as some experts have suggested that China has fallen up to 40% short on its agreement to buy American goods.

India’s government exceeded its legal powers by enacting rules that companies such as WhatsApp say will force them to break end-to-end message encryption, the messaging app owned by Facebook argued in a court filing, Reuters reported. WhatsApp has filed a lawsuit in a Delhi court against the government to quash a provision of a new regulation that mandates companies to divulge the “first originator of information,” arguing in favor of protecting privacy. In a statement on Wednesday, WhatsApp said it would engage with the Indian government to find “practical solutions,” and protect users. Still, its court filing shows it has taken a firmer stance against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration.

Singapore’s economy grew at its fastest pace in more than a year in the first quarter of 2021, helped by a stronger-than-expected manufacturing sector, official data showed Tuesday. The Southeast Asian economy expanded by 1.3% in the quarter ended March compared with a year ago, the ministry of trade and industry said in an economic update. But the government warned of “heightened uncertainties” arising from the Covid-19 pandemic in the months ahead while maintaining its growth forecast for Singapore at 4% to 6% for 2021. The latest GDP print also exceeded the 0.9% year-on-year growth projected by analysts in a Reuters poll.

The major Asian stock markets had a mixed day today:

  • NIKKEI 225 decreased 93.18 points or -0.33% to 28,549.01
  • Shanghai increased 15.49 points or 0.43% to 3,608.85
  • Hang Seng decreased 52.81 points or -0.18% to 29,113.20
  • ASX 200 increased 2.40 points or 0.03% to 7,094.90
  • Kospi decreased 2.92 points or -0.09% to 3,165.51
  • SENSEX increased 97.70 points or 0.19% to 51,115.22
  • Nifty50 increased 36.40 points or 0.24% to 15,337.85
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