Nuclear power can help Japan become energy self-sufficient, says the minister
Reactivating nuclear plants in Japan will make it possible for the country to be self-sufficient and ensure energy security, said Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Yasutoshi Nishimura.
“If Japan reactivates one nuclear plant, it produces one million tons’ worth of energy, making it possible for Japan to have secure energy and potentially be self-sufficient,” Nishimura said at the G-20 ministers’ meeting in Indonesia on Saturday.
Japan currently imports about 94% of its energy supply.
“I believe that nuclear power is important as we work towards carbon neutrality while ensuring energy security. We are in the direction of planning to increase the overall dependency level in nuclear energy,” he said.
The minister added that Japan has secured 10 plants for reactivation, and is working towards reactivating seven more from next year onwards. The minister emphasized the importance of safety while acknowledging the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station accident.
— Lee Ying Shan
Singapore and Thailand to be first hit on US recession, economists warn
Singapore and Thailand are likely to be affected first by a US recession than the rest of the region, economists told CNBC.
Senior economist Chua Hak Bin at Maybank said Singapore’s export dependency and its small and open economy play a significant factor.
Thailand’s tourism sector will also be one of the first to be impacted if the US falls into a recession, Chua said, adding another “wildcard” would be when China reopens its borders.
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— Charmaine Jacob
Dollar index marks 110, hits highest level since 2002
The US dollar index hit 110.086 in Asia’s morning trade, reaching a new two-decade high.
The Japanese yen weakened further to 140.3 after touching a 24-year low last week. The Korean won was at 1,370.87 against the greenback, a level not seen since April 2009.
CanSino Biologics rise after inhaled vaccine gets emergency use approval in China
The company announced its approval from the Chinese drug regulator to use its recently developed inhaled vaccine as a booster dose.
in its latest earnings release reported a 69.45% drop in revenue in the first half of this year compared with the same period a year ago, as the demand for Covid shots declined globally.
CanSino’s shares were last 4.7% higher after paring some gains.
— Jihye Lee
Japanese service sector activity declines for the first time since March
The au Jibun Bank Japan Services Purchasing Managers’ Index dropped to a seasonally adjusted 49.5 for August, lower than 50.3 in July.
The marginal decline marks the first contraction in service sector business activity since March, S&P said in the reportciting the recent spike in Covid cases in the nation.
“With Japan now facing its seventh and most serious wave of the pandemic, strong cost pressures and a worsening global economic outlook, it’s likely that Japan’s private sector will remain under pressure in the months ahead,” said Annabel Fiddes, economics associate director at S&P Global Market Intelligence.
— Jihye Lee
Caixin services PMI show Chinese services activity grew in August
China’s Caixin Services Purchasing Managers’ Index for August came in at 55.0, compared with July’s print of 55.5.
The official non-manufacturing PMI for August is 52.6.
PMI readings are sequential and represent month-on-month expansion or contraction, where the 50-point mark means no change from the month before.
— Abigail Ng
CNBC Pro: This tech stock is up nearly 20% over the past year — and one pro says it’s got further to go
Tech stocks have endured a difficult year so far, with some of the biggest names deep in the red.
But one cybersecurity firm has stood out for its relative resilience, and market veteran Nancy Tengler believes the stock is just getting started.
Tengler, who is CEO and chief investment officer of Laffer Tengler Investments, said her bullishness on the firm might be construed as a “controversial,” but argued that it is in fact a safer bet within the tech space.
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— Katrina Bishop
Australia’s business activity expands at the slowest rate in seven months
The seasonally adjusted S&P Global Australia Services PMI Business Activity Index came in at 50.2 in August, lower than July’s 50.9, marking the slowest rate of growth in seven months.
The S&P Global report noted overall demand only grew marginally in August.
“August’s sluggish expansion in business activity was a sign that inflationary pressures and recent interest rate hikes were weighing on sales,” Laura Denman, economist at S&P Global Market Intelligence, said in a press release.
Despite inflationary pressures easing from record highs seen earlier this year, overall business confidence has reached the lowest level since April 2020, the report said.
— Jihye Lee
CNBC Pro: Mohamed El-Erian reveals where to invest right now
With stock and bond valuations falling concurrently, investors should be looking to get out of “distorted markets,” according to Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic adviser to Allianz.
“There was a time when all asset prices went up — stocks and bonds — and we forgot about correlations. Why care about correlations when you’re being paid for holding both risk assets and risk mitigating assets? It’s a lovely world,” he told CNBC’s Steve Sedgwick Friday.
“”But the first half taught us, and what we have again learned since the middle of August, [is] that they can both go down at the same time.”
Investors seeking alternatives have a couple of options, El-Erian says.
— Elliot Smith and Katrina Bishop