Latest edition includes:

1 TOP STORY: Commerce chief seeks US trade détente

2 ASIA MARKETS: HSI, CSI300 and Nikkei 225 climb

3 ATF TV: Indian growth prospects under new budget

4 NEWS: China brokerage revenues soar as markets surge

Chinese yuan edges higher, despite rise in US Treasury rates
The onshore yuan exchange rate against US dollar fell slightly at the opening but rose higher by midday on Thursday 
ReNew Power eyes Nasdaq via SPAC deal
In a first overseas listing of an Indian company via the SPAC route, Goldman Sachs-backed ReNew Power has signed a reverse-merger deal with US blank cheque company RMG Acquisition Corporation II to list on the NASDAQ
Australia enacts landmark law to make tech firms pay for news
The first-in-the-world legislation - and subsequent deal-making with local media organisations - could prove a model for resolving tussles with regulators worldwide
Travel app Traveloka’s next destination is fintech expansion  
South-east Asia's hugely popular travel start-up has big plans for this year with more financial services offerings and a possible $5 billion US listing 
It’s back! GameStop shares double on renewed retail buying
GameStop shares more than doubled after a late burst of buying on Wednesday in a surprise apparent return to the retail investor trading demand seen in late January
Geely and Volvo abandon merger to focus on engine alliance
The Chinese and Swedish carmakers said they would also cooperate more closely in the areas of autonomous driving and electrification, leading to greater production efficiency
Hong Kong-US WTO dispute sparks frictions amid hurt civic pride
There is little economic stake over Washington's "Made in China" labelling demand - the city is no longer a  manufacturing powerhouse - but locals love their homegrown products
Biden sends warning to China on chips and rare earths
US President signs executive order for a review of supply chains for semiconductor chips, rare earth elements, pharmaceuticals and large batteries; said he would seek $37 billion to supercharge chip manufacturing in the US; gets bipartisan support for these efforts
Huawei chip stockpile 'can't meet demand' for new premium phone
Chips bought by the tech giant before US sanctions hit full force can't cover demand for its new Mate X2 foldable smartphone, judging by pre-sale bookings; Huawei has also told suppliers component orders will plunge this year as US sanctions continue to bite
China’s ‘rust belt’ questions the price of power 
The country’s industrial North-east argues it gets a raw deal on electricity costs and it is hampering the region’s regeneration 
Another billion-tonne oil and gas discovery in Bohai oilfield 
CNOOC says it has made another large-scale oil and gas discovery 5,200 meters below the Bohai Sea, in the Bozhong 13-2 oil and gas field
Suzuki chairman's departure signals beginning of a new electric era
Veteran executive is leaving his son Toshihiro - already president and chief executive - in complete control as analysts show concern over carmaker's cautious medium-term plan
Japan’s rare earth metals quandary is far from over 
The country’s growing need for both industrial and rare earth metals will force it to invest in overseas projects to source the copper and other metals necessary for infrastructure building 
China is India’s No1 trading partner again despite border fallout 
About 150 investment proposals from China worth more than $2 billion were left in the pipeline after the Asian rivals clashed on their Himalayan border last year leaving dozens dead but it seems things are thawing now 
Biden's Treasury deputy nominee urges tough line on China
President Biden’s nominee as deputy Treasury secretary sticks to tough line; Adeyemo urges allies to isolate China if needed
Allowing foreign exchange purchases may not affect yuan rate much
Economists in China say such a move is unlikely to have a sudden, or even a major impact on the yuan exchange rate; but others say it will help internationalise the yuan
Cryptos eye new peaks as usage widens
Bitcoin, which rallied on Sunday to a peak of $58,354, was down 9.6% to $50,616 on Feb 23, but that is still up more than 80% this year; increased mainstream acceptance has helped cryptos but Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen noted negative features on Monday 
For Japan, Abenomics isn’t going away - it will just get better  
The economic plan trumpeted by Yoshihide Suga, as it has been rolled out so far, has not veered radically from that of his predecessor, but the new PM has a unique chance to excel
Copper tops $9,000 amid tightening supply
Copper prices push above $9,000 a tonne on underlying Chinese demand and Shanghai Futures Exchange speculation
New Year lockdown hits spending but industry powers on 
Data released this week shows the industrial wheels of China kept on rolling during the Lunar New Year lockdown but spending levels dropped as people stayed put 
South Korean companies plug into big plans for electric vehicles
Samsung SDI said it will invest $850 million to expand its battery factory in Hungary and Hyundai Motor launches a new model in a bid to capture 10% of global EV sales by 2025
India's e-commerce chaos sparks calls for rewrite of regulations
New Delhi must remove ambiguities from digital retail sector, say experts, as accusations of favouritism and skirting of laws disrupt relations among local and multinational players
New broom could sweep in SPACs to Hong Kong stock exchange
HKEX acknowledges the popular special-purpose acquisition vehicles are among the topics studied as it looks at various plans to 'strengthen or reform the listing system'
China rare earths prices see post-New Year rises as high as 22%
Analysts say output targets have been lifted to cater for increasing demand from the automaker, wind power and air conditioning industries – and also to avert a recurring price bubble 
Huawei to use AI and high-tech to create 'smart pig farming'
Surprise move for tech conglomerate as it searches for areas in which it can help China - to stabilise the supply of pork via a "smart pig-farming" program, which means using AI and machines to raise pigs, plus with many other research projects, while it gets used to US bans on the supply of high-end computer chips
EU poised to pounce next as Facebook's Aussie news spat rolls on
With the social media giants now facing the possibility of tightened EU regulation too, on top of its bitter ongoing clash with Canberra lawmakers, analysts are saying this could be a turning point for big tech 
US stimulus makes China tightening more likely 
The looser US monetary policy is, the faster the global economy will recover from Covid-19 and the more likely it is that China will squeeze its monetary policy stance 
Former UK and Canada central bank chief joins board of Stripe
Mark Carney will provide the US digital payments company with financial systems and governance experience as it seeks funding round that could see it valued at $100 billion
HSBC to focus on wealth management across Asia
Banking giant announces 30% drop in profit after being hit hard by the pandemic and geopolitical tension linked to Western powers and political strife in Hong Kong; more job cuts appear likely along with the sale of retail banking operations in France and the US
Declarations of force majeure over Texas storm freeze Asia supply
Celanese is latest company to call halt to exports as US winter power crisis worsens; more bad weather is likely to exacerbate crude oil inventory and cause trade bottleneck
Flexibility is key to fixed income in 2021 even if inflation rebo
A new year may be underway, but one thing is constant — low bond yields — yet the challenges and risks this environment presents are not fully understood by investors  
Chip shortage crisis forces carmakers to face crashing new reality  
The worldwide semiconductor crunch that hit the auto sector especially hard has now left carmakers with a stark choice – pay up or stock up 
JD.com to spin off logistics arm in third IPO in nine months 
The offering is expected to raise about $5 billion and would make it China’s second-most valuable delivery company 
Investors inundate equity funds as reflation trade
Emerging Markets, SRI/ESG and Global Equity Funds continue to receive inflows; Convertible Bond Funds, Bank Loan Bond Funds and Inflation Protected Bond Funds absorbed fresh money on inflation concerns; Energy Sector Funds gain traction on surging oil prices
Ethereum joins the crypto party to hit record high as bitcoin levels 
Institutional demand and a futures launch have pushed the world’s second favourite digicurrency to an all-time peak - and analysts say there’s more to come 
Japan exports boom as services sector remains in Covid-19 slump
Key Purchasing Managers' Index improves for first time since April 2019 although the economic disruption caused by the pandemic is likely to remain in the immediate future
Retail spending surges as China celebrates Lunar New Year online
'Stay put' order convinced many of the country's 277 million migrant workers not to travel; this was a boon for movie theatres, retail trading and e-commerce, and led to surge in family 'reunions' via the internet
GameStop hearing gives Trump loyalist a chance to attack Webull
A Congressional hearing on the Reddit-driven volatility in GameStop gave a Trump loyalist politician an opportunity to attack Chinese-owned online broker Webull, which competes with Robinhood, the app at the heart of the retail trading frenzy
Asset bubbles won’t help our post-pandemic recovery 
An unintended consequence of the virus has been ‘one of the wildest bull markets in recent economic history’ but a worsening of income distribution will have a negative impact further down the line 
News Corp agrees global content deal with Google
Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp has reached a global content deal with Google that has implications for relations between media firms and big technology companies
China's Baidu beats revenue estimates on strong cloud and AI demand   
The tech giant sprung a surprise with its latest quarterly revenue report thanks to a recovery in advertising and an uptick in demand for its cloud services and artificial intelligence platforms 
Taking green hydrogen to the next level with fossil fuel cost parity 
Europe is leading the way when it comes to the cleanest of energy fuels with Japan, South Korea and Australia lagging a good way behind - while China isn’t even considering it as a renewables option 
The jab and the jab-nots: battle over vaccine equity reaches UN
Inoculations require a coordinated global effort, Security Council hears, amid warning that rich-world hoarding and gaping inequities among nations put whole planet at risk; meanwhile, the Covid response caused a $24-trillion surge in global debt last year
India woos telecom gear makers with new incentives
India is trying to lure foreign telecom and networking equipment makers to set up manufacturing units with incentives to cut the nation’s massive dependence on imports
Some tips and history for Hong Kong Exchange’s new chief
Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing has picked Nicolas Aguzin to take over from Charles Li as CEO of the world’s 5th largest exchange; he will also join HKEX directly from a top position with JP Morgan, after an American education; Charles Li achieved some notable successes; here are some suggestions for his successor
EU commits to green trade plan as Fed warns of climate change impact  
In the week Brussels announced dealing with the impact of global climate change will be central to its trade policies for the next decade – and also called for WTO reform – a Federal Reserve chief told financiers they must start addressing climate risk now 
SPAC deal that values EV firm Lucid Motors at $12 bn is close
A SPAC deal to value electric vehicle firm Lucid Motors at $12 billion is imminent from dealmaker Michael Klein; Chinese backers BAIC Motor and LeEco could see gains
Japanese oil refiner switches on to electric vehicle project
Idemitsu and Tajima aim to unveil their first ultra-compact vehicle in October and start selling the product next year, with a price of up to $14,250 (1.5m yen)
Arnault and Mustier take SPAC  fintech boom global
Europe’s richest person Bernard Arnault and banker Jean-Pierre Mustier are launching a SPAC to target European financial deals; SPACs with a focus on fintech are spreading around the globe with new listing venues and fresh targets
Malaysia factory bosses ordered to Covid-proof migrant labour lodgings 
Company-provided accommodation has been identified as the source of several virus outbreaks in the country and now Kuala Lumpur is cracking down to curb its spread 
Coal and bio-mass habit threatens India’s solar-power revolution'
New Delhi has made some big promises on updating the country’s energy menu but with coal still accounting for 70% of electricity generation and a voracious domestic energy appetite, change is going to be difficult 
Social media ad-spends take a hit as Twitter brawls with India
The Twitter-India tussle has not only led to more Government scrutiny of social media but has also forced digital marketers to the sidelines as they wait for the face-off to play out 
Bitcoin passes $50,000 as Musk plays with alt coin
Premier digicurrency at record but Tesla boss backs offloading his other favourite, dogecoin, saying ‘too much concentration’ of the asset is an issue   
Inflation in the balance 
A year on from the 2020 low in US interest rates, pundits are again calling for a rise in inflation as many did following the GFC; Markets are indicating an expectation for inflation to exceed its 2% target, which aligns well with the Fed's change in approach announced last year
Shift to renewable energy needed by 2035, top researchers say
Leading energy experts are campaigning for a more rapid global energy transformation, saying the world must shift to nearly 100% use of renewable power sources within the next 10 to 15 years – "much sooner than 2050"
Tourism slump beaches Thailand’s post-pandemic optimism 
South-east Asia's second-largest economy downgrades its economic outlook despite smaller fourth quarter GDP fall as tourist arrivals continue to plummet 
BHP bulks up its half-year dividend as demand for iron ore soars
Shares in miner have surged more than 130% from their pandemic lows in March as it overtakes Royal Dutch Shell and Unilever to become biggest company listed in the UK
Jaguar’s great EV leap forward comes with net zero pledge   
The luxury brand has vowed to go all-electric from 2025 as Nissan denies it was in talks with Apple over its autonomous car project 
Electric vehicles yet to get the groove in India
Indians yearn for clean non-polluting vehicles, but the relatively high cost and lack of basic charging infrastructure mean it's still early days for EVs, despite the much-hyped arrival of Tesla, Mercedes Benz, MG, and now Jaguar
Banker named CEO of Indonesian sovereign wealth fund
Jokowi ensures nation about integrity of fund and its top execs, after Malaysian 1MDB debacle; INA set up to fund infrastructure projects such as toll roads and new capital planned on Borneo Island; it appears to have $10bn in the pipeline on top of initial seed funding
Directors quit Aussie casino group after damning inquiry report
Billionaire James Packer severs links to the board after Crown Resorts is deemed to be an 'unsuitable' operator for new Sydney casino; speculation mounts about a possible takeover after allegations of links to organized crime and money laundering
London loses lead in Europe share trading
Brexit sees business migrate from The City to Amsterdam as officials try to hammer out a deal to allow British traders back into EU 
South Korea jobless rate hits 22-year high as recovery weakens
Moon government offers cheap loans to exporters, public investment spending and tax credits for credit-card purchases but analysts question if these efforts are enough
More pain Down Under for Aussie gas producers
Canberra needs to do more, as the outlook for gas producers could take a hit like its coal exports did in China recently; meanwhile, Australia accounts for over half the world's coal, which still makes up a third of the country's energy mix, despite a surge in renewable power sources
Digicurrency-loving firms share in Tesla’s bitcoin bet bonanza  
Musk's $1.5 billion bitcoin purchase has fuelled gains for companies already invested in the currency while Tesla rival Rivian has announced it’s ready to go public this year 
US maize futures hit highest mark since 2013 on China demand
Analysts expect the US Department of Agriculture to make further reductions to its end-of-season supply outlooks after Beijing makes record purchases of the grain 
Bank of Japan reshuffle good news for the ‘money-printers’ 
The latest appointment to the country’s central bank will give more voice to advocates of big stimulus in the world’s third biggest economy 
HKEX appoints Alejandro Nicolas Aguzin as its first non-Chinese CEO
The ex-JP Morgan banker, with his international background and network connections, has set his eyes on making the stock exchange a catalyst for 'connecting China with the world, and the world with China'
Biden warns Xi to expect
President warns Beijing that his administration will focus on 'international rules of the road' but adds there is no need for conflict between the two countries
Vietnam’s uneven green energy push just became murkier
The country is rapidly expanding its use of gas and LNG, plus it could become a regional leader for solar and has a large untapped potential for offshore wind; yet it still plans to boost the number of coal-fired power plants from 32 to a troubling 51 by 2050
Tesla summoned to China regulator over technical, safety issues
US electric vehicle manufacturer said it accepted the authorities' “guidance” over malfunctions after several drivers complained to Beijing's consumer issues supervisor
Uncovering opportunities within China's medical beauty industry
As a booming live-streaming economy heightens the desire to look attractive, a growing acceptance of aesthetic treatments by young people has led to a longer consumer life cycle and created investment opportunities in many sectors