Sunday, 20 October 2019

Japan-US trade deal expected to boost Japan’s economy by 0.8%

The Japan-US trade deal expected to boost Japan’s economy by 0.8%.

The United States and Japan signed a limited trade deal that cuts tariffs on U.S. farm goods, Japanese machine tools and other products while further staving off the threat of higher U.S. car duties.

The deal is also estimated to contribute about 4 trillion yen ($36.84 billion) to Japan’s gross domestic product based on its fiscal 2018 GDP and the pact will create about 280,000 jobs in Japan, it said.

Japan and USA have been working together in many ways. For example, there is also the event that Japan will participate in NASA’s Lunar Gateway project for the Artemis program.

The program will seek to establish an orbital research and staging station around the Moon. The Lunar Gateway is a key component of NASA’s Artemis program, which aims to land the first American woman and the next American man on the surface of the Moon by 2024.

Baidu to sell almost third of Ctrip stake for $1 billion

Baidu ( 百度 ) is a large Chinese multinational technology company specializing in Internet-related services and products and artificial intelligence.

Ctrip ( 携程 ) is a Chinese provider of travel services including accommodation reservation, transportation ticketing, packaged tours and corporate travel management.

Baidu will sell nearly a third of its stake in online travel firm, expecting to raise about $1 billion as it looks to invest in new revenue streams.

Baidu, Ctrip’s biggest shareholder with a 19% stake, is offering 31.3 million American Depositary Shares (ADS), each representing 0.125 ordinary share of Ctrip. Underwriters will have a Greenshoe option of 4.7 million ADS, Ctrip said in a statement.

What is a Greenshoe Option? A greenshoe option is an over-allotment option. In the context of an IPO, it is a provision in an underwriting agreement that grants the underwriter the right to sell investors more shares than initially planned by the issuer if the demand for a security issue proves higher than expected.

Most of Baidu success so far has been at video streaming service iQiyi which competes with Alibaba-backed Youku and Tencent Holdings’ Tencent Video.

Recently Baidu invested in science forum Guoke, and Zhihu, China’s answer to Quora.

China's economic growth is lowest level since 1992

China's growth dropped last quarter to its lowest level in nearly three decades. The world's second largest economy continues to be affected from the trade war with the United States.

China's GDP grew by 6% in the three months to September 30, the weakest quarterly growth rate since 1992. This is down from 6.2% in the April-June period.

Trade issues with the US are the key factors affecting business and investment activities.

Domestic stimulus policies are being used to help the situation. Economic stimulus consists of attempts by governments or government agencies to financially stimulate an economy. An economic stimulus is the use of monetary or fiscal policy changes to kickstart growth during a recession. Governments can accomplish this by using tactics such as lowering interest rates and increasing government spending.

This is the graph of GDP per Capita of China and India. The comparison shows how amazing China's growth has been:

China GDP per capita in 2017: $8,826.99 USD
China GDP per capita in 2016: $8,117.27 USD
China GDP per capita in 2015: $8,069.21 USD
China GDP per capita in 2014: $7,683.50 USD
China GDP per capita in 2013: $7,077.77 USD
China GDP per capita in 2012: $6,337.88 USD
China GDP per capita in 2011: $5,633.80 USD
China GDP per capita in 2010: $4,560.51 USD

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Gold prices are down from last month's highs

Gold prices today moved higher in domestic markets, similar to the global trend.

On MCX, December gold future contracts were up 0.13% to 38,084 per 10 gram while silver contracts edged up by 0.44% to 45,427 per kg.

In global markets, spot gold rates were up 0.2% amid a mixed backdrop.

Britain and the European Union are in last-days talks to get a Brexit Deal ahead of a summit of the bloc's leaders this week. People have hopes of a possible good deal to avoid a disorderly British exit from the European Union.

Gold prices probably will continue to trade in a range of $1480 - $1530, unless there is more information about the US-China trade relationships and Fed's monetary policy.

Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.22% on Tuesday from Monday.

The business of selling gold continues to be profitable as many jewellers come up with promotional offers to attract buyers and gold traders want to buy low and sell high.

China Is Leasing Pacific Island of Tulagi

Tulagi is an island with a little more than 1,000 people in the Solomon Islands. The island of Tulagi served as a South Pacific headquarters for Britain. Then, Japan during World War II made the harbor into its position.

Now, China is going forward with plans to effectively take control. A Beijing-based company has secured exclusive development rights for the entire island of Tulagi and its surroundings. The lease agreement has shocked Tulagi residents.

The renewable 75-year lease was granted to the China Sam Enterprise Group.

Swine fever is hitting Chinese consumers

African Swine Fever has hit China's pig population. Some Chinese consumers are switching to other meats as pork becomes less affordable. Pork in China now costs nearly 70% more than it did a year ago.

China is home to half of all pigs on the planet. The pig herd has shrunk by about 130 million since the outbreak began about 13 months ago. Many farmers don't want to restock pigs after they are slaughtered, fearing they'll catch the disease.

Pork makes up around 70% of China's total meat consumption. Pork is also the main filling used in dumplings.

The price hikes are likely not over yet. The cost of pork will probably rise even more as the country prepares for Chinese New Year (starts off at the end of January).

Xiaomi’s Mi Mix Alpha is almost totally made of screen

This modern cell phone is pretty amazing with a screen that wraps around the entire phone. It looks more futuristic than other phones.

Xiaomi’s Mi Mix phones have always improved phone screens and forms. Curved edges are a nice design. Xiaomi takes phone designs to a new level with the Mi Mix Alpha.

This fantastic surround screen wraps completely around the device to the point where it meets the camera module on the other side. It looks visibly cool like a phone made completely out of screen.

Status icons like network signal, battery charge level and volume buttons are displayed on the side on the phone.

The Mix Alpha uses Samsung new 108 megapixel camera sensor, which was co-developed with Xiaomi.