Global Political Landscape:
Quiet trading marks the last day of the year, but 2024 is expected to bring significant elections in over 50 countries, including Taiwan, the UK, and the US.
Trump faces disqualification from the Republican Ballot in Maine, setting the stage for a potentially eventful 2024 in US politics.
Asian Economic Indicators:
South Korea’s December inflation eases for the second consecutive month.
Vietnam surpasses Q4 GDP growth and Trade Balance estimates.
Japanese Steel Industry:
JFE Steel voices concerns over market liquidity in coking coal and plans to increase spot market purchases.
US-China Trade Tensions:
China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) complains that US chip actions are causing harm.
Gold Market Performance:
Gold has a strong year in 2023, with Australia’s AXGD Index posting a 27% gain. However, Australian gold miners see a decline today due to softer bullion prices.
USD Index retraces about half of its peak gains in 2022 amid expectations of Fed rate cuts.
Pound Sterling records its most significant yearly gain since 2017, while the Swiss Franc sees its highest gains against USD since 2010/11.
Offshore Yuan reaches a 7-month high against the dollar.
Japanese equities post their highest annual gains (30%) since the start of Abenomics in 2013.
Shanghai equities outperform, but China’s CSI 300 records a -12% decline in 2023, and the Hang Seng is down -14%.
US Equity Futures slightly up in Asian trading.
USTR aims to complete its review on thousands of Chinese imports by the end of 2023, potentially complicating matters with Biden administration’s exploration of tariff increases on some Chinese goods.