Here’s what you need to know today.
1. Global Covid-19 cases exceed 16 million
Global cases of Covid-19 have exceeded 16 million worldwide as countries like US, India and even Hong Kong are seeing surges in cases.
On Sunday, the US recorded over 65,000 cases and 900 deaths. Virus cases in 30 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico were growing at a faster pace over the last seven days than during the week prior.
Meanwhile Indonesia records over 10,000 cases as lockdown measures ease.
President Joko Widodo has called for higher testing rates and a tougher response, including threats to reshuffle his cabinet if ministers don’t do a better job at fighting the crisis. However, the President has been criticized for his slow response in dealing with rising infection rates.
Vietnam has evacuated over 80,000 local tourists from Danang after three residents contacted the virus.
Vietnamese authorities are rushing to contain a potential new outbreak in the bud after the Southeast Asian nation recorded its first locally-transmitted case of Covid-19 in 100 days, which broke out on Saturday. Whilst it may seem like an overreaction, Vietnam’s handling of the virus has been praised since its early days of aggressively early screening of passengers at airports and strict screening.
2. Hong Kong enforces stricter lockdown measures
Hong Kong is still seeing a surge of unconnected, locally transmitted cases, having reported 142 cases of Covid-19 yesterday. The government’s response? They’re re-closing restaurants entirely, after transitioning to take out only for dinner last week. That’s not all, you cannot socialize in a group of more than 2, that’s barely a group.
Sports venues and swimming pools are also being shut, adding to a list of closed businesses that included gyms, bars and beauty parlors.
Officials are now scrambling to slow the third wave, while boosting health-care facilities that are reaching capacity. The share of infections of unknown origins remains high at about 40%.
3. Hong Kong launches tech index
Hong Kong has its first day of debut for its tech index, but it didn’t quite sizzle. The Hang Seng Tech index closed 1.3% lower on Monday.
However, traders are optimistic that the new benchmark could lay the groundwork for the Hong Kong market’s shift away from property and finance stocks. Alibaba, JD.com, Tencent and Meituan have now joined this new index.
Hang Seng Indexes calculates that tech index stocks have risen 40% so far this year.
Tech groups including JD.com and NetEase have raised billions of dollars via secondary share placements in Hong Kong against the backdrop of tense US-Chinese relations and as President Trump turns a more critical eye towards Chinese tech companies.
“The tech index will outperform because investors don’t want to give too rich a valuation to the old economy companies,” said Dickie Wong, head of research at Kingston Securities. What else? soon enough, funds will be actively tracking the index and most likely launching investment products for this tech index.
4. Bitcoin surges 11% within 7 days
Bitcoin jumped $10,00 for the first time since early June after somewhat muted recent price action. Bitcoin has jumped by 11% over the past 7 days. However, it still lags Ethereum’s ether token, which recently traded at 13-month highs.
Both equities and gold have benefited from recent economic stimulus packages form governments and central banks across the world as they fight the economic fallout of the pandemic. Bitcoin could actually benefit from this rally; some analysts have said that the bullish momentum from equities and gold could very well carry onto BTC and crypto.
There appear to be two main reasons behind the abrupt upsurge of Bitcoin from $9,700 to over $10,200. They are the liquidation of over-leveraged shorts and traders taking profit from over-extended alternative cryptocurrencies