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.
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 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.
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.
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%
Irish-American online payment processor Stripe, has added Ford to its customers list, with the American carmaker signing a five-year deal with the goal of strengthening Ford’s e-commerce strategy and long-term outlook. Ford aims to use Stripe’s technology to process digital payments across Europe and North America.
Stripe, which is set for an initial public offering in 2022, is attracting investors from all corners of the world, currently valued at $95 billion as of April of 2021.
Microsoft announced that it shall acquire Activision Blizzard in a $68.7 billion deal. Taking over the “Call of Duty” maker at this price tag would mark the largest deal in the gaming industry history, and the biggest ever all-cash acquisition of Microsoft’s history. The Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) rocketed 26% on the news. The acquisition is aimed at entering the metaverse & virtual future world with confidence and bolstered powers.