Weekly News Summary for September 11-17, 2020

Friday, Sept. 11, 2020: Trump Warns to Shut TikTok’s US Service Down

US President Donald Trump increased the pressure on Chinese internet company ByteDance Ltd., owner of short-form video app TikTok, warning to shut the social media app’s US service down if it fails to establish a deal by September 15.

In response to Trump’s statement, ByteDance said it plans to make Singapore its headquarters in Asia and invest billions of dollars in the country over the next three years, in what appears to be a preemptive tactic against the US’ plans.

Monday, Sept. 14, 2020: Oracle Strikes Deal for TikTok’s US Operations

Computer software group Oracle Corp. won the deal for the US operations of Chinese video-sharing app TikTok, people familiar with the matter said on Monday, outbidding Microsoft Corp. in a major deal to save a popular social media app that has been caught in the middle of a geopolitical conflict.

It was reported that Oracle is due to be announced as TikTok’s trusted tech partner and the agreement will not be an outright sale, although the deal still requires the approval of both the US and Chinese government.

Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020: Yuan Up 16-month High as Chinese Economy Recovers

The Chinese yuan rose to a 16-month high against the US dollar on Tuesday, as the world’s second largest economy continued to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, with a set of key data for August all beating forecasts.

The country’s retail sales rebounded by 0.5% as movie theaters and other entertainment venues resumed operations, while industrial production growth gained momentum by 5.6% on the year from 4.8% in July, while fixed asset investment, China’s growth driver, improved to a drop of only 0.5%.

Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020: Yen Rises to Two-month High as Suga Becomes New PM

The Japanese yen reached its highest since July against the US dollar on Wednesday as investors reacted to Yoshihide Suga’s appointment as the country’s new Prime Minister.

Recovery in the Asian-Pacific economy led by China and a weak dollar due to Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s statement about the central bank adopting a higher tolerance of inflation in the future also provided the yen additional support.

Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020: Japan Stocks Weaken as Fed Rate Outlook Lifts Yen

Japanese stocks weakened on Thursday, weighed further by weak performance in the consumer discretionary and industrial sectors after the Federal Reserve pledge to keep a near-zero interest rate policy until at least 2023 pushed the Japanese yen up 104.80 per US dollar to its strongest since July 31.

The Nikkei 225 index shed 0.67% to 23,319.37 and the broader TOPIX lost 0.36% to 1,638.40, while the yen’s strength dragged shares in the auto sector lower, with Honda Motor Co. Ltd., Isuzu Motors Ltd., and Nissan Motor Co. Ltd, falling 1.5%, 5.09%, and 2.37% respectively.

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