The Asia Eight

Daily must-reads from the world’s most dynamic region

December 29, 2020

1 TOP STORY: India's mixed messages over coal

2 ATF BIG PICTURE: Concern amid Alibaba probe

3 ATF TV: US-China ties under President Biden

4 ASIA MARKETS: HSI, Nikkei 225 climb; CSI300 falls

5 NEWS: China-EU ready to sign investment deal

6 TRADE OF THE DAY: Oil holds new year promise

7 NEWS: Coal stuck offshore despite China crisis

8 COMMENT: Reasons to be cheerful in 2021

01 Top Story India's coal and climate conundrum

The world's biggest coal miner and India's largest greenhouse gas emitter Coal India Ltd is set to diversify into renewables while making major investments in 'clean coal'; but its plan to ramp up coal production is at odds with its commitment to curb emissions

02 The ATF Big Picture

03 ATF TV Biden and the new China reality

ATF Executive Editor Umesh Desai looks at how China-US relations could develop under a Biden presidency

04 Asia Markets

HSI climbs 1% to 26,568.49, Nikkei 225 advances 2.7% to 27,568.15; CSI300 falls 0.5%to 3.379.04

05 China-EU deal 'ready'

Beijing to open its manufacturing sector to EU companies, plus construction, advertising, air transport, maritime services, telecoms and some cloud computing; but legal texts to accompany the agreement could take months, so it may not be implemented for a year

06 Trade of the Day

"Oil markets feel very rangy into the New Year but should find support today from broader risk markets as stocks are soaring on the prospects of larger stimulus cheques."

Stephen Innes, Chief Global Market Strategist at Axi

07 Coal shipping crisis

About 70 vessels laden with millions of tonnes of coal have been unable to discharge their cargo for months; now an international sailors' union wants an end to the geopolitical feud that has left 1,400 sailors stranded – while Beijing struggles to maintain power in areas where citizens desperately need fuel for heating

08 Comment

"Trump has at last withdrawn his threat not to sign into law the pandemic aid package agreed after months of wrangling. The agreement raises the outlook for the US economy before the new administration takes over and is positive for risk assets. Meanwhile, mass vaccination programmes have now started in many countries - a critical development in the light of the discovery of a more infectious variant of the virus – so 2021 is set to begin on a hopeful note."

César Pérez Ruiz, Head of Investments & Chief Investment Officer at Pictet Wealth Management