- ASX SPI 200 futures up 0.4% to 7,364.00
- Dow Average up 1.1% to 35,294.76
- Aussie little changed at 0.7418 per US$
- U.S. 10-year yield rose 6.0bps to 1.5703%
- Australia 3-year bond yield rose 4bps to 0.59%
- Australia 10-year bond yield rose 3bps to 1.65%
- Gold spot down 1.6% to $1,767.62
- Brent futures up 1.0% to $84.86/bbl
China is counting the cost of a multiple whammy of hits to its economy, from a crackdown on the property market and an energy crunch to stringent virus controls and soaring commodity prices.
The cumulative impact will show in gross domestic product for the third quarter due on Monday, with growth forecast to slow to 5% from 7.9% in the previous three months. Further illustrating that picture will be monthly industrial and investment data the same day, revealing the severity of electricity shortages last month. China’s slowdown will ripple across Asia and the rest of the world, knocking commodity markets like steel and iron ore that are reliant on the country’s construction activity.
With Beijing tightening its grip on the property market as part of a broader effort to tackle financial risks, real-estate sales and prices are already falling.
Meanwhile, a power shortage last month curbed factory production, pushing the purchasing managers index down enough to signal a manufacturing contraction for the first time since the pandemic started — even if frontloaded export orders for Christmas could have offset some of that. Beijing will likely still meet its modest full-year growth target of more than 6%, meaning authorities may be in no rush to pump in stimulus. The People’s Bank of China refrained from injecting liquidity into the financial system on Friday, while asking lenders to keep credit to the real estate sector “stable and orderly.”
Premier Li Keqiang sounded a confident note in a speech on Oct. 14, saying China has “risen up to the challenges” including severe flooding and a complex international environment.
“Growth leveled off a little bit” in the third quarter, he said. “But for the whole year, we have the confidence and the ability to meet our overall development targets.”
A mercifully murder-free competition inspired by Netflix’s “Squid Game” is coming to a town in Korea — so long as pandemic restriction will allow it. After surpassing all previous Netflix records (eat your heart out, “Bridgerton”) with an audience of 111 million globally since its Sept. 17 release, the Korean dystopian drama has, as to be expected, exploded into a real-life phenomenon — with weird and wacky, sometimes disappointing or occasionally dangerous results. St. John’s Hotel in Gangwon Province has partnered with a ticketing vendor to produce an event of outdoor games as seen in “Squid Game,” including a very real prize of 5 million won ($4,215), the Korea Times reported Thursday. The field day-like event would take place Oct. 24; however, local officials have issued an order to cancel the games as they would violate social distancing restrictions in the city of Gangneung. “Squid Game,” starring an all-Korean cast, tells the story of a group of hard-pressed contestants picked to play in a tournament of deadly children’s games in a bid to win life-changing sums of money. If permitted, contestants of all ages, hotel guests or not, would participate in a series of four games as seen on the show, to take place in a pine tree forest on hotel grounds: tug of war, the traditional Korean paper-flipping game ttakji chigi, the tasty dalgona cookie challenge and the nightmarish “Red Light, Green Light.” No details as to whether a giant, creepy doll will be involved. Chosen players would receive the characteristically mysterious business card with a phone number for a host who would give them instructions on how to play — as depicted in the show. They also warned that those who break rules will be eliminated, “though not literally as in the series,” according to Korea Times. As in the show, the anonymous host will also be revealed once a winner is crowned. But the local authorities in Gangneung said there are rules against the gathering of more than eight people, regardless of vaccination and health status.Registration for the games, which costs 10,000 won ($8.40) in advance, closed as of Wednesday, according to Instagram. The event was already sold out by the time the city issued their order, according to a hotel staffer who spoke to the Korean Times, adding in a statement from St. John’s Hotel that talks are underway to discuss cancellation or modifying the games to comply with city codes.They may look to yet another “Squid Game”-like tournament to begin Oct. 16 at a campground in Wonju, Gangwon Province, Korea Times also reported. Organized by the online game platform Frip, games are scheduled with a limited number of players in compliance with public health restrictions. The winner of Frip’s real-life games would receive 45,600 points — a nod to the 45.6 billion won award for the fictional series winner — to be used on their site. Plans appear to be moving ahead as the hotel said on Instagram Wednesday, that “invitations will be sent” soon.