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Honda and Chinese Joint Venture to Build New EV Factory

Honda Motor and Chinese joint venture partner Dongfeng announced that they shall build a new factory in the Chinese city of Wuhan for the exclusive manufacturing of electric vehicles, starting in 2024. Honda noted in a statement that the new factory would have a capacity of producing 120,000 electric vehicles per annum.

MACROECONOMIC DATA ANALYSIS

Despite several indications throughout the week that Japan’s economy is recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, the PMI (Purchasing Managers’ Index) revealed that the services sector activity of the major Asian nation has expanded at a slower rate in December, when compared to the previous month. This is because of softening growth of new businesses in Japan, amid the spread of Omicron.

Taiwan stated that it plans to create a $200 million fund to invest towards the industries of Lithuania, with the goal of magnifying trade between the two nations. Such initiative aims for a broader objective, which is to retaliate against the pressure of China on the Baltic Lithuania, regarding the control of Taiwan.

CURRENCIES

The U.S. dollar edged higher in early trading sessions of Thursday, remaining close to five-year highs against its yen counterpart, as investors & traders internalized the minutes of the latest U.S. Federal Reserve meeting. The Fed noted the “very tight” American labor market could justify hasty interest rate hikes, in efforts to shield against national inflation. The dollar index jumped 0.21% to 96.388.

GOLD

Gold futures slashed gains from previous sessions, after the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s meeting on Wednesday signaled that due to high inflation and tight U.S. labor markets, the Fed may hike interest rates at a faster rate than expected. Driven by a solid dollar greenback, which typically moves inversely to the safe haven, the bullion stumbled 0.53% to $1,800 per ounce.

OIL

Crude oil prices fall after reaching their highest levels in more than a month, weighed down by soaring U.S. crude inventories, slashing previous gains fueled by OPEC’s decision to increase oil output in February. Brent futures dropped 0.64% to $80.28 a barrel, while WTI oil futures declined 0.67% to price at $77.33 per barrel.

INDICES

USA: S&P500 -1.94%, Dow Jones Industrial Average -1.07%, Nasdaq Composite -3.12%

Europe: FTSE 100 +0.16%, DAX +0.74%, CAC 40 +0.81%

Asia: Nikkei 225 -2.88%, Hang Seng -0.15%, CSI 300 -1.02%, Nifty 50 -1.40%

Newest

Tim Cook makes the most direct indication yet that Apple is creating a headset.

Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, has provided the closest thing to a confirmation that the company is developing a headset.

In a recent interview with China Daily USA, Cook was questioned about what, in his opinion, are the essential elements for augmented reality, or AR, to be successful in the consumer market.

“I am incredibly excited about AR as you might know. And the critical thing to any technology, including AR, is putting humanity at the center of it,” he said, echoing comments he’s made in the past about how important AR is to the company.

Meta and others tech titans create the metaverse standard body

Meta, Microsoft, and other tech titans racing to build the emerging metaverse concept have formed a group to encourage the development of industry standards that will make the companies' nascent digital worlds compatible with one another.

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), as well as other well-known standards-setting organizations, are among the participants in the Metaverse Standards Forum, according to a statement released by the group on Tuesday announcing its formation.

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