MORNING WRAP

๐Ÿ—ž๏ธA deep breath now works

The 60-second new covid test method

Hello~ Whether you are a bathroom singer or a karaoke champion, this is the day to pretend that the whole world is your adoring audience! Open up your vocal chords and sing out loud on Sing Out Day. It can even help you to alleviate bad mood๐ŸŽค๐Ÿ˜


Morning Wrap your day:

  1. The move of Chinese government that rippled the commodities market on Monday.
  2. Singapore provisionally approved a new Covid test method… just a deep breath will work. 
  3. Snapchat showcased something really cool to us - shopping with AR.

MARKET

Wall Street: S&P 500 climbed and the Nasdaq 100 outperformed amid a jump in tech stocks. The Fed comments helped sentiment, as officials reiterated they expect the price pressure to be transitory.


European stocks hovered near record highs. Trading activity was subdued with markets in Austria, Denmark, Hungary, Norway, Switzerland and Germany closed for a holiday.


Asia: China ended firmer on gains of financial firms. Hong Kong dropped as materials firms slid after China stepped up intervention in the commodities market, while cryptocurrency-related stocks also slumped after government's latest crackdown.

COVID

A Deep Breath Now Works

Source: Morning Wrap

We are one step closer to international travel! Yesterday, Singapore provisionally approved a new Covid test that could detect infections within 1 minute… just a deep breath will work. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ‍๐Ÿ’จ


A breath? How does it work?

If you have seen how police use the breathalyzer test to find out drunk drivers, it works similar to that: hold a deep breath - blow into the tube continuously - wait for 60 seconds… and the test result is out. โœ…


Humm… Is it accurate?

Breathonix, the start-up behind this, said the new test could reach 90%+ accuracy based on the clinical trial last year. Singapore will soon do a test run when opening up its border with its neighbor Malaysia… more data will be available by then.


Why may this help?

Speed is the king - International travels are mostly blocked as each country would require travelers to complete a Covid test (which may cost 2-3 days to get results). Imagine if they would accept such a speedy test - no more such hurdles.


Global airlines lost nearly USD 120 bln in the past year… they urgently need a way out. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ Hope the new test approach can help.

COMMODITY

Throw Cold Water On the Boom

Source: Morning Wrap

Global commodities have been running hot. ๐Ÿ”ฅ But with prices hitting record highs and speculations overwhelming, Chinese government is stepping up to temper prices and reduce some of the speculative froth that’s driven markets. The move rippled the markets on Monday. ๐ŸงŠ


What did the government do to rein in surging prices?

Leaders of top metals producers were called to a meeting with the government on Sunday. Some of the key points were emphasized by the government:

  • “Zero tolerance” for monopoly behavior and hoarding;
  • Don’t collude: Companies "should not collude with each other to manipulate market prices ... hoard goods and drive up prices”.

So..how did the market react? Is it good or bad news?

๐Ÿ“‰This move rippled across commodities markets on Monday. 

  • Steel dropped as much as 6%, and iron ore tumbled by close to the daily limit, though their prices steadied later in the session. 
  • Most base metals, such as copper and aluminium were also under pressure.

๐Ÿ‘But manufacturers should welcome this news. So do those investors who are concerned about mounting inflation pressures.

  • ...as surging commodities prices hurts manufacturers and market orders, leading to losses and defaults;
  • And it also adds up to the inflation pressure. 

Then...will the commodities boom continue?

There have been increasing signs that China’s commodities demand may be peaking, as its government restricts money flow to the sector and the financing for infrastructure projects also slows this year.


This matters to the global commodities rally - as China’s demand is a key pillar of this year’s rally. Now this pillar seems to be teetering. 

TECHNOLOGY

Shopping with Snapchat?!

Source: Morning Wrap

Snapchat showcased something really cool to us during the latest Snap Partner Summit - shopping with augmented reality (AR).


Ugh? Does Snapchat have a shopping function? ๐Ÿ›’

Like many other social media apps, the 500-mln-user camera app Snap is also stepping into e-commerce now… in a more innovative and fun way. Here are Snap’s new features

  • Scan to match: If I like my friend’s outfit, I can get recommendations from Snap by scanning a photo of my friend using the Snap Camera. What a smart function!
  • Virtual try-on: Cannot try clothes on while shopping online? Snap also made this possible by using AR and partnering with brands. 

Arr...why did they all go e-commerce? It’s related to Apple again - Apple’s new privacy policy constrained their abilities to push targeted ads to users. So they must urge users to buy immediately after seeing the ad, or they will just forget about it.


Maybe this is more ambitious: AR glasses ๐Ÿ˜Ž

During the event, Snap also introduced its first-ever Spectacles AR glasses - enabling us to overlay virtual objects on the real ground. 

  • What’s special? Snap’s really looks like a pair of glasses instead of a heavy helmet… but with only 30 mins battery life. Still, a lot of room to improve. 

So Snap ate an AR startup to make this better. Snap acquired a British AR startup WaveOptics for USD 500 mln to secure key technology and components for its glasses.


What’s next? Build a virtual shopping mall with AR glasses? ๐Ÿค”

WRAP UP

Whatโ€™s Moving in the Business World?

โœˆ๏ธ The world is eying on this rerouted flight: Belarus forced a Ryanair airplane to land at its capital to detain a dissident. EU just imposed new sanctions on Belarus and banned its airlines from EU airspace. (more)


๐Ÿฅถ Biden’s tax hike is having a difficult time: Moderate Democrats have withheld their endorsement, worrying that higher taxes could damage growth. (more)


๐Ÿคฉ Increasingly optimistic: Survey shows that most economists are positive on growth prospects in 2021 and see core inflation pressures moderating in second half. (more)


๐Ÿฆ S.Korea is in for digital currency. After China developed the digital yuan and the US also started examining a digital dollar, S.Korea also moved to develop a pilot digital currency. (more)


๐ŸŒŒ A step closer to space tourism? Virgin Galactic, founded by billionaire Richard Branson, conducted a test flight to space for the first time in more than two years. Its stock climbed as much as 21% on this milestone. (more)

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