COVID-19 News

  • Hong Kong’s commerce chief Edward Yau said achieving “zero infection” and having a 100% vaccination rate would not be the prerequisites for the reopening of borders. He added that the government has yet to come up with a set of criteria for resuming cross-border travel.
  • The US planned to invest US$3 billion in the vaccine supply chain as it continues to work to position itself as a leading supplier of vaccines for the world. The funding, which will begin to be distributed in the coming weeks, will focus on manufacturers of the inputs used in COVID-19 vaccine production as well as facilities that fill and package vaccine vials.
  • The European Commission said on Tuesday that 70% of the European Union's adult population had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, hitting a target it set at the beginning of the year.

Global News Highlights

  • UK Services Purchasing Managers' Index fell to 55.0 in August, revised lower from a preliminary "flash" reading of 55.5 and down sharply from 59.6 in July. The country’s 's economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic lost more momentum last month than originally estimated.
  • The European Central Bank found in July that their new inflation strategy and changes to their commitment on the future path of interest rates could end up reducing the need for ultra-expansionary monetary policy.
  • US manufacturing expanded at a stronger-than-expected pace in August, reflecting faster orders and production growth as well as rising backlogs consistent with global supply chain challenges. The Institute for Supply Management’s gauge of factory activity index rose to 59.9 from 59.5 in the prior month, according to data released Wednesday.”

Asia News Highlights

  • Singapore's retail sales rose at 0.2% in July on a year-on-year basis, as a result of the Phase 1 measures placed in June last year. July's retail sales growth was much slower than the previous month's revised figure of 26%, which had been recorded against a low base due to stricter COVID-19 measures in place for most of the month.
  • Chinese regulators have summoned ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing and ten other car platforms to demand they cease "disorderly expansion" and "vicious competition" tactics, the government said this Thursday, amid a national crackdown on the tech industry.
  • Japan's economy likely grew more than initially reported in the second quarter thanks to stronger business spending, a Reuters poll showed, though a resurgence of coronavirus infections is seen weighing on growth going forward. Revised GDP data is expected to show Japan's economy grew an annualised 1.6% in April-June, more than a preliminary reading of 1.3% growth.

World 2.0

  • Apple is facing a lawsuit in which its Siri voice assistant is accused of violating users’ privacy. Consumers have brought similar complaints over Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant. The common complaint is that devices are listening even when users didn’t push a button or use a pre-set voice command to engage them, resulting in all manner of utterances and even intimate moments being captured in company databases.
  • Credit Suisse Group AG and JPMorgan Chase & Co’s asset and wealth management business are working together to launch a new fund that will invest in public companies that address the ties between nutrition, health, biodiversity and climate, with a particular focus on nutrition’s societal and environmental aspects.
  • ESG-labeled investment funds are faced with increasing pressure. The US Securities and Exchange Commission and BaFin, Germany’s financial regulator, initiated a probe into allegations that Deutsche Bank AG’s DWS Group asset-management arm has been misstating the environmental—and possibly the social—credentials of some of its ESG-labeled investment products.

Latest COVID-19 Cases

    United States42,634,054 cases
    1,072,898 new cases
    up 2.58% on last Friday
    688,486 deaths
    reported to date
    53.4% fully
    vaccinated to date
    United Kingdom7,339,009 cases
    206,937 new cases
    up 2.90% on last Friday
    157,669 deaths
    reported to date
    64.8% fully
    vaccinated to date4
    Hong Kong12,150 cases
    16 new cases
    up 0.13% on last Friday
    213 deaths
    reported to date
    51.4% fully
    vaccinated to date
    Singapore74,848 cases
    4,809 new cases
    up 6.87% on last Friday
    59 deaths
    reported to date
    76% fully
    vaccinated to date
    India33,380,522 cases
    217,518 new cases
    up 0.66% on last Friday
    444,287 deaths
    reported to date
    13.2% fully
    vaccinated to date
    Brazil21,069,017 cases
    110,118 new cases
    up 0.53% on last Friday
    589,277 deaths
    reported to date
    35.3% fully
    vaccinated to date
    China95,577 cases
    449 new cases
    up 0.47% on last Friday
    4,636 deaths
    reported to date
    67.2% fully
    vaccinated to date
    Australia82,200 cases
    12,288 new cases
    up 17.58% on last Friday
    1,141 deaths
    reported to date
    34.9% fully
    vaccinated to date
    Globally227,826,370 cases
    3,780,738 new cases
    up 1.69% on last Friday
    4,683,977 deaths
    reported to date
    30.4% fully
    vaccinated to date