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  • China Shares Climb 1.4% in Afternoon Trade
    The Shanghai Composite Index jumped 50 points or 1.4% to a near one-month high of 3,479 in afternoon deals on Friday after trading flat in the early session. Traders welcomed reports on Thursday that foreign direct investment into China surged 38.6% yoy in the first four months of the year, boosted by higher investment in the service industry and the high-tech industry. Risk appetite was also buoyed by news that initial jobless claims in the US dropped to 473K last week, a new pre-pandemic low and better than forecasts of 490K, suggesting the labor market’s recovery is picking up steam. On the trade front, US Trade Representative Katherine Tai said Thursday that Washington needs new trade law tools to head off anti-competitive threats from Beijing, rather than reacting once the harm is done. Gainers were broad-based, led by the healthcare sector, financials, and consumer non-cyclicals.8 minutes ago

 

  • India Stock Market
    SENSEX Trades Slightly Higher
    The BSE SENSEX was up 30 points or less than 0.1% to 48,716 in early trade on Friday after Wall Street rebounded from a three-day losing streak, amid reports that the number of Americans seeking jobless benefits fell last week to 473,000, a new pandemic low. Meantime, Fed’s Bullard said Thursday that the US central bank would make a judgment call on whether inflation is transitory or if there are more persistent pressures. On the pandemic front, India Friday reported 343,144 new virus cases, bringing the total caseloads past 24 million marks, while deaths rose by 4,000. Traders now anticipate the release of wholesale inflation for April later in the day. Asian Paints climbed 9.3% after reporting upbeat Q4 earnings results. Meanwhile, ITC Ltd added 3.3%. For the week, the index is on track to fall for the first time in three weeks.
  • Finland Inflation Rate
    Finnish Inflation Rate at Over 9-Year High of 2.1%
    The annual inflation rate in Finland increased to 2.1 percent in April 2021 from 1.3 percent in the previous month. It was the highest inflation rate since December 2012, due mainly to a faster rise in prices of housing & utilities (1.7 percent vs 1.6 percent in March), transport (7.5 percent vs 5.4 percent) and for food and non-alcoholic beverages (0.8 percent vs 0.5). Also, prices advanced more for alcoholic beverages & tobacco (4.7 percent vs 4.6 percent), education (1.7 percent vs 1.5 percent), while rebounded for both clothing & footwear (0.5 percent vs -2.3 percent) and recreation & culture prices (0.8 percent vs -0.2 percent). By contrast, prices fell further furnishings (-1.3 percent vs -2.3 percent). On a monthly basis, consumer prices were up 0.4 percent in April, accelerating from a 0.2 percent rise in the prior month.
  • Commodity
    Gold Eases Slightly
    Gold prices fell 0.1% to $1,822 an ounce on Friday at around midday after hitting a three-month peak earlier in the week, amid a stronger dollar and rising US Treasury yields on Thursday. In recent data, fewer Americans filed new claims for jobless benefits last week, suggesting the labor market’s recovery is picking up steam. Meanwhile, Fed Governor Christopher Waller said he expects inflation to exceed the Fed’s 2% target for the next two years, but added that the central bank would not raise rates until it sees inflation above target for a long time or excessively high inflation. Aside from economic headlines, the precious metal continues to benefit from safe-haven demand stemming from the ongoing coronavirus crises as infection rates continue to accelerate in India.
  • Commodity
    Oil Extends Drop
    Oil prices declined on Friday, extending a plunge of more than 3% in the prior session, amid deepening fears over coronavirus situations in India. The head of the main Indian health agency said that lockdown restrictions should remain in place in all districts for another six to eight weeks. In the US, meantime, President Joe Biden announced fuel supplies are expected to return to normal from next weekend after certain parts of the country suffered shortages due to the Colonial Pipeline shutdown. On the supply side, OPEC+ revised down its estimates for global oil demand for Q2 by 300,000 bpd due to virus situation in India; while starting a gradual easing of its oil production curbs this month, pumping an extra 350,000 barrels a day, saying that demand will grow by 5.95 million barrels per day this year. Meantime, the EIA predicted demand for oil will outstrip supply. At around 03:45 AM GMT, WTI crude fell 0.4% to $63.59 a barrel, while Brent oil dropped 0.5% to $66.75 a barrel.
  • Philippines Stock Market
    Philippines Equities Sink to Near 7-Month Low
    The PSE Index slumped 142 points or 2.3% to a near seven-month low of 6,094 in early deals on Friday, amid escalating worries over tensions between the Philippines and China. Manila said Wednesday that patrols had spotted nearly 300 Chinese militia ships in the country’s claimed waters of the South China Sea, while President Rodrigo Duterte noted that he will not compromise the dispute over COVID-19 virus vaccines from China. Traders were also nervous over rising prices in the US that could prompt the Federal Reserve to move early on tightening. Meanwhile, Fed’s Bullard said Thursday that the US central bank would make a judgment call on whether inflation is transitory or if there are more persistent pressures. Adding to the bearish tone, the Philippines Thursday extended its ban on travelers from India until the end of May, to arrest the spread of a COVID-19 first detected in the South Asian nation, and expanded the restriction to two more countries.
  • China Stock Market
    China Shanghai Composite Trades Flat
    The Shanghai Composite Index was almost flat in early deals on Friday, as market participants continued to follow reports that the US Fed would make a judgment call on whether higher inflation is transitory or if there are more persistent pressures. Data showed the annual inflation rate jumping to 4.2% in April, the highest in 13 years. At the same time, market participants keep their eyes on a suggestion by local media that Beijing should seek to boost commodity supplies to keep prices stable. China’s annual inflation rate jumped to 0.9% in April, the highest in seven months, while factory gate prices rose 6.8%, the most in 42 months. In business news, China’s Alibaba Group Thursday posted its first quarterly operating loss since going public in 2014 due to a record anti-monopoly fine by the country’s market regulator. Gainers were mainly seen in the healthcare sector, consumer non-cyclicals, and real estate. Meantime, shares in energy, basic materials, and technology moved lowe

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