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News from China
Hangzhou Asian Games hunts for sponsors, suppliers
11th March 2020

 Companies can now apply to become official sponsors and suppliers of the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022, the event’s organizing committee said on Tuesday.

The first application round, aimed at enterprises in network safety, Internet of Things technology, photography, non-alcoholic beverages, travel service platforms, Western fast food and home kitchen appliances, marks a new stage for the market development of the Asian Games.
Companies chosen as official sponsors and suppliers will enjoy benefits in terms of marketing, reception, product and service provision and prioritized negotiation.
“The committee will use digital marketing to benefit partner companies with various event cooperation opportunities,” said event organizers. “We will also build platforms such as sponsor clubs to strengthen the interaction among companies and the committee.”
Companies with interest can submit applications through the Hangzhou Asian Games official website (, and eligible candidates will enter into further negotiations.
Source: Shanghai Daily, March 11, 2020
China's consumer inflation eases to 5.2 pct
10th March 2020

 China's consumer price index, the main gauge of inflation, grew 5.2 percent year on year in February, the National Bureau of Statistics said Tuesday.

The reading, in line with market expectations, eased slightly from the 5.4-percent gain in January. On a monthly basis, consumer prices edged up 0.8 percent.
Food prices, which account for nearly one-third of weighting in China's CPI, went up 21.9 percent year on year last month, contributing 4.45 percentage points to the index rise as the novel coronavirus outbreak disrupted market supplies and demands.
Restrictions on flows of transport and people, as well as business closures during the period have affected food supplies, while rising demands among stay-at-home residents to hoard foods combined to push up prices, NBS official Zhao Maohong said.
In the first two months, CPI went up 5.3 percent year on year on average, up 3.7 percentage points from the same period last year.
Tuesday's data also showed China's producer price index, which measures inflation at the factory gates, fell 0.4 percent year on year last month.
Source: Shanghai Daily,March 10, 2020
IMFC pledges to provide necessary support to mitigate COVID-19's impact
5th March 2020

 The policy-setting body of the International Monetary Fund on Wednesday pledged to provide necessary support to mitigate the economic and financial impact from the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic.

"The economic and financial impact has also been felt globally, creating uncertainty and damaging near-term prospects," the International Monetary and Financial Committee said in a statement after holding a teleconference call, chaired by Governor of the South African Reserve Bank Lesetja Kganyago and Managing Director of the IMF Kristalina Georgieva.
"We have called upon the IMF to use all its available financing instruments to help member countries in need," the IMFC said, adding that the IMF's 189 member countries "stand united" to address the global challenges related to the COVID-19 epidemic.
"We are confident that, working together, we will overcome the challenge facing us and restore growth and prosperity for all," the IMFC said.
Following the conference call, the IMF announced that it is making available about 50 billion U.S. dollars through its rapid-disbursing emergency financing facilities for low-income and emerging market countries in light of the COVID-19 outbreak.
"We know that the disease is spreading quickly. With over one-third of our membership affected directly, this is no longer a regional issue — it is a global problem calling for a global response," Georgieva said Wednesday at a joint press conference with World Bank Group President David Malpass.
The IMF chief said she is "particularly concerned about our low-income and more vulnerable members — these countries may see financing needs rise rapidly as the economic and human cost of the virus escalates."
The World Bank Group also announced Tuesday that it is making available an initial package of up to US$12 billion in immediate support to assist countries coping with the health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak.
In January, the IMF had projected global growth to improve to 3.3 percent this year from 2.9 percent last year. Then in February, it revised down 2020 global growth to 3.2 percent.
"Under any scenario, global growth in 2020 will drop below last year's level," Georgieva said at Wednesday's press conference.
Source: Shanghai Daily,March 6, 2020
US stocks resume downward trend amid skepticism of Fed rate cut
4th March 2020

 Wall Street stocks suffered another rout on Tuesday, while the yield on US Treasury bonds slid to new all-time lows as investors panned the Federal Reserve's surprise interest rate cut.

The US central bank slashed its key interest rate by a half point to a range of 1.0-1.25, a bigger cut than usual, saying the move was needed because "coronavirus poses evolving risks to economic activity."
US stocks initially cheered the Fed announcement, but soon pulled back, resuming a market downturn that pummeled Wall Street and eroded most of the ground won in Monday's big rally.
European stocks finished higher, but well below session highs as doubts began to emerge about the Fed's move, with many commentators arguing that lower interest rates will not be able to address the economic dislocations of a spreading coronavirus.
Across the world, 3,155 people have died from the virus.
The International Monetary Fund and World Bank announced their Spring meetings in April will become a virtual event.
"The Fed's emergency rate cut was supposed to boost confidence but it may wind up raising fears that the coronavirus is likely to cause a major economic downturn," economist Joel Naroff said. analyst Patrick O'Hare said the Fed's action "could ultimately erode market psychology because when you act that quickly, that aggressively in that short amount of time, it does raise a concern that things are going to get potentially must worse than what was presumed."
The Dow finished down 2.9 percent, a loss of nearly 800 points, to 25,017.41.
Dollar weakness
The Fed's move followed an earlier announcement from G7 finance ministers declaring "they are ready to take actions, including fiscal measures where appropriate, to aid in the response to the virus and support the economy during this phase."
The Fed was the first top-tier central bank to act, but Australia and Malaysia had already cut borrowing costs earlier in the day.
AvaTrade analyst Naeem Aslam said he suspected the Bank of Canada would follow suit at its policy meeting on Wednesday.
Following the Fed's move, the yield on the 10-year US Treasury bond slid below 1 percent for the first time. US government debt serves as a refuge that tends to attract buyers during periods of uncertainty.
The dollar also weakened against the euro and other leading currencies.
"The problem for the Fed and other central bankers is that rate cuts cannot solve a health crisis," said Kathy Lien of BK Asset Management.
"While the Fed may have hoped that easing early and aggressively would reassure investors, it did the complete opposite by highlighting the extent of the central bank's concern."
Lien said the Bank of Japan and Bank of England have both signaled more stimulus ahead, but adding that "we haven't heard much from the European Central Bank." 
Source: Shanghai Daily, March 4, 2020

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