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Asian stocks jump because of hopes for recovery

Asian stocks opened higher on Friday, with Japan hitting a three-decade high as investors looked beyond rising coronavirus cases and political unrest in the United States and bet on an economic recovery later in the year. Futures for the S&P 500 jumped 1.48% and Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.84%, hitting its highest level since August 1990. The broadly upbeat mood came after Wall Street hit record highs on Thursdaywhile bond prices fell as markets bet a new Democrat-controlled government would lead to heavy spending and borrowing to support the U.S. economic recovery. U.S. government officials have begun weighing removing President Donald Trump from office before President-Elect Joe Biden’s inauguration date of Jan. 20 after he incited a violent riot against at the U.S. Capitol building. On Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.69%, the S&P 500 gained 1.48% and the Nasdaq Composite added 2.56%. MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 1.18%. The dollar also strengthened on hopes of a meaningful economic recovery later this year. (Yahoo Finance)

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The head of a major US business group that represents 14,000 companies including Exxon Mobil, Pfizer and Toyota Motor urged senior US officials to consider removing President Donald Trump from office after supporters of the outgoing president stormed the US Capitol. Trump has 14 days remaining in office before President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in on Jan 20. The mayhem at the Capitol forced Congress to temporarily postpone a session to certify Biden’s victory. The chaotic scenes unfolded after Trump, who before the election refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he lost, addressed thousands of supporters near the White House, repeating unfounded claims that the election was stolen from him due to widespread fraud and irregularities. (CNA)

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Tesla chief and billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk surpassed Amazon. com Inc’s top boss Jeff Bezos to become the world’s richest man, Bloomberg News reported recently. Including Thursday’s gains in Tesla shares, Musk, 49, had a net worth of more than US$188.5 billion, US$1.5 billion more than Bezos, the report said. Musk’s personal wealth has been boosted by last year’s more than eightfold surge in the shares of Tesla, which became the world’s most valuable carmaker. He has a 20 per cent stake in the carmaker and about US$42 billion of unrealised paper gains on vested stock options, according to the Bloomberg report. Tesla shares were up as much as 7.4 per cent on Thursday at a record high of US$811.61. The Forbes Billionaires List, however, said Musk still trails Amazon’s Bezos by US$7.8 billion. (CNA)

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Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) is to partner with a company specializing in marine energy to scope for potential project sites in Japan and surrounding regions. The collaboration between the Tokyo-headquartered shipping giant and a firm called Bombora Wave Power will center on finding possible locations for the latter’s mWave system, as well as hybrid projects which combine mWave and wind energy. The search for site locations follows on from what MOL described as a “detailed internal technical review” of Bombora’s wave energy converter technology. In simple terms, the tech developed by Bombora — which has offices in both Wales and Australia — is based around the idea of using rubber membrane “cells” which are filled with air and fitted to a structure submerged underwater. While some are excited about the prospect of marine-based energy, the sector still faces hurdles. (CNBC) mannyrabacal1144@ gmail.com