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A mini bear market in bonds might be what the world needs as investors amass US$13 trillion in negative-yield debt

A picture is said to be worth a thousand words. In financial markets, the number US$13 trillion explains a lot about the way investors are positioning themselves, their perceptions of risk and, most importantly, why markets are increasingly vulnerable to a sharp and disorderly sell-off. The number refers to the global stock of government and corporate bonds trading at negative yields, one of the most striking consequences of a decade of ultra-loose monetary policy and a development once… Source link

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US consumers set to bear burden of Trump’s tariffs as American retailers such as Wal-Mart, Target and Best Buy weigh price hikes

American retailers are increasingly warning consumers to brace for higher prices as the United States prepares to put tariffs on nearly all goods made in China, in the latest escalation in the trade war between the world’s two largest economies.Over the past three weeks, some of the biggest sellers of everything from apparel to electronics in the US have expressed concern over how higher duties will affect their bottom lines and said they are preparing to pass along the increased cost to their… Source link

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Hong Kong’s dollar millionaires swell at the slowest pace since 2014, as trade war-induced bear market crimped fortunes

The ranks of Hong Kong’s US dollar-denominated millionaires grew at their slowest pace since 2014, as the US-China trade war weighed on financial markets and depressed stock values all over Asia, according to a report by Citibank.The number of Hong Kong residents with at least HK$10 million (US$1.27 million) in assets, including property holdings, rose 3 per cent last year to a record 511,000, based on Citibank’s telephone survey and interviews with 4,192 respondents. Of these, the number of… Source link

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With market turbulence subsiding into a rolling bear market, are investors being complacent? Not quite

On December 24 last year, the benchmark S&P 500 equity index stood at its lowest level since April 2017, having plummeted nearly 20 per cent from its record high on September 21. Yet, by December 31, the index had risen 6.5 per cent and has since climbed a further 12.6 per cent, leaving the S&P 500 just 3.7 per cent shy of its all-time high.  The speed and scale of the shift in sentiment – after suffering their worst December since 1931, US stocks roared back in January, enjoying their…

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From reality show dating to rapping: How China’s cryptocurrency stars are coping with the prolonged bear market

There are many ways to measure the bursting of the cryptocurrency bubble last year: Bitcoin was down 80 per cent from its peak; over 900 digital tokens became worthless; the vaporised value of digital assets exceeded US$600 billion. Some metrics are more personal and show the pain felt by those on the ground who helped inflate the bubble. Over the past year Michael Zhang, a 26-year-old telecommunications engineer based in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou, put 40,000 yuan (US$5,964) into cryptocurrencies, only to see his investment shrink to one…

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Expect more hard times ahead, as bear market has just begun to stir

Today’s globalised economy is like a game of consequences – something done in one country has consequences in another, and ditto where different economic sectors are concerned. Failure to see this is why the seriousness of the current economic downturn is being dangerously underestimated. At each stage of the game in 2018, a widespread view was that the gathering economic downturn would be of limited severity and duration. Trade wars were containable, there was little fear of currency wars; debt could be managed and slowing corporate earnings would not affect…

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How Chinese cryptocurrency exchange Huobi is weathering the prolonged bitcoin bear market

One year can make a lot of difference in the roller-coaster world of cryptocurrencies. At the start of 2018, China’s Huobi Group offered one senior executive the highest year-end bonus of 300 bitcoin, worth around US$3 million at the time. Now the digital-asset exchange is letting people go, after bitcoin plunged 80 per cent from its peak. But despite trading volumes shrinking to just a tenth of its record at one point, the Beijing-based company is still profitable each month, according to Livio Weng Xiaoqi, CEO of Huobi Global, the…

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Apple’s Taiwan suppliers could bear the brunt of slump in shares

Apple’s Taiwan-based suppliers could be hit the hardest by a recent slump in the California-based company’s stock. About 15 per cent of the 195 globally listed companies that supply Apple are based in Taiwan, according to Bloomberg, including five of the iPhone maker’s biggest suppliers. Although, most of its suppliers are based in the United States, Taiwan is home to the most important, ranked by how much money Apple spends on their goods. Apple-related stocks hammered in China, Hong Kong markets after US smartphone giant cuts revenue outlook Hon Hai…

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China’s cryptocurrency giants Bitmain and Huobi plan lay-offs amid bear market

Two of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency companies have confirmed lay-off plans amid an industry crunch that has seen US$170 billion wiped off bitcoin’s market value this year. Beijing-based Bitmain Technology, the world’s biggest maker of cryptocurrency mining rigs, said in a statement that the company is undergoing “some adjustment to our staff this year” as it continues to build a sustainable business, following reports on Chinese social media that it was planning job cuts. “A part of that is having to really focus on things that are core to that…

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China stocks fall on Christmas after Japan’s Nikkei enters bear market, another day of losses in US

Shares listed in mainland China fell on Tuesday, tracking the steep losses in markets in Japan and the United States triggered by an intensifying row between the White House and the US Federal Reserve. The Hong Kong market will remain closed until Thursday. The Shanghai Composite Index dropped by as much as 2.5 per cent during the day before paring some of the losses to close 0.9 per cent, or 22.19 points, lower at 2,504.82. The decline follows a Wall Street bloodbath on Monday, in which a 2.7 per cent…

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