Joe Biden's attack on fossil fuel, earlier than expected

 Bloomberg News -- Oil and gas companies knew they would face a fight with President Joe Biden, who had campaigned on tackling climate change. Nobody expected fossil fuel to come under such an immediate attack. 

Biden didn’t quietly sidetrack the Keystone XL pipeline with legal maneuvers. The new president yanked the permit on his very first day in office, blocking a project that would have delivered crude from Alberta’s oil sands before even speaking to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

He didn’t simply rejoin the Paris climate pact, as he promised during the campaign, but had his climate advisor, Gina McCarthy, commit Wednesday to “the most aggressive” carbon cut the U.S. can make. That came just before Biden signed a climate-related executive order suspending new oil and gas leases on public lands, directing federal agencies to purchase electric cars by the thousands and seeking to end fossil-fuel subsidies.

It all left the oil industry stunned on what the Biden team had pitched as Climate Day. Fossil fuel stocks have plunged on his actions, and banks including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. have warned of a drop in U.S. crude supplies. “The industry is aghast at these changes,” Dan Eberhart, chief executive of oil-field services company Canary Drilling Services, said in an interview. “They are more direct, more fierce and quicker than what folks expected.”

Taken together, Biden has moved faster on climate and clean energy than his former boss, President Barack Obama, who took office in 2009 under the strain of a similarly severe economic crisis. More orders will likely follow, along with legislation. Biden’s actions to date, and his far-reaching goals, reflect how much has changed in the past four years. While the Obama era ended with a fracking boom that transformed the U.S. as a top energy exporter, the Biden era has started with sharp moves against fossil fuel.


Next Biden wants to eliminate net greenhouse gas emissions from power plants by 2035, a timetable some utility executives consider too difficult and expensive to meet. Climate activists are now waging a ” war on gas,” fighting pipelines and pushing cities to ban the fuel’s use in new buildings — and Biden’s early moves align with these goals.

Many clean-energy companies prospered during President Donald Trump’s tenure, despite his oil-friendly policies and his promised to exalt America’s fossil fuel “energy dominance.” In less than a month under the Biden administration, the speed and range of policy moves appear to be a huge potential boost, both for their industry and the jobs it can provide. Wielding the federal government’s vast purchasing power to buy carbon-free electricity and zero-emission vehicles made in the U.S. now promise additional inputs for surging growth. Americans bought or leased 172,000 electric cars in the first three quarters of 2020, compared to 235,000 for all of the previous year, according to data from BloombergNEF.

Oil and gas companies warn their own industry’s jobs will be sacrificed in the process, at a time when the coronavirus pandemic has already crippled the U.S. economy. Biden’s speech on Wednesday sought to address those anxieties. “They helped build this country,” he said of fossil-fuel workers. “We’re never going to forget the men and women who dug the coal and built the nation. We're going to do right by them, make sure they have opportunities to keep building the nation in their own communities and getting paid well for it.”

But those promises won’t mask the risks facing large parts of the economy. “A federal leasing moratorium is effectively a blockade around New Mexico’s economy,” said Ryan Flynn, president of the New Mexico Oil & Gas Association, in statement predicting a rise in unemployment coupled with falling state revenue.

To climate advocates, however, the lease moratorium comes as a needed correction after the Trump administration tried to open up more of the country and its coastal waters to drilling. Biden on his first day signed an order suspending oil and gas leasing in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge—a move that followed on the heels of the Trump administration finalizing nine leases there.



ECB said to study impact of ECB vs Fed policy on exchange rate

ECB to Study Impact over Fed Policy on Exchange Rate; Said To Query Dollar Weakness Despite Stronger U.S. Economy

ECB balance sheet hit fresh ATH as Lagarde keeps printing press rumbling. Total assets rose by another €8.6bn to 7,024.2 past week on QE. ECB Balance sheet now equal to 69% of Eurozone GDP vs Fed's 35%, BoE's 36% or BoJ's 130%.


ECB encourages commercial banks to lend, yet are also warning them of potential wave of bad loans/defaults. $EUR banking system is the weakest in the developed world. One good stiff wind will knock it over.


Like Draghi at the ECB before Powell will never raise rates again nor end QE until he's out of office. Fed chair Jerome Powell heads into what could be his last year in the role, determined not to repeat a QE mistake.

Still no sign whatsoever that the ECB is about to become more aggressive with its PEPP purchases.

German 10Y yields vs EURUSD Either yields are too low (ECB YCC?) or the Euro is way too strong and is due a repricing.

Meanwhile, IMF Outlook follows the same pattern as usual:
Significant downgrades to Euro Area short-term outlook and a benign, diplomatic "upgrade" of the following year that will likely be revised down afterward.

XAU spot January seasonality out of the way







Bitcoin Falls as Miners Sell-Off with Negative comments from Yellen

Bitcoin and the entire crypto market have been facing some intense selling pressure as of late that has hampered the uptrend BTC formed throughout the past couple of months.

It remains unclear whether this trend has been invalidated, but bulls certainly have some serious work in front of them if they want to reverse the recent selloff.

Meanwhile, former Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein pooh-poohed bitcoin’s “store of value” and “medium of exchange” propositions on CNBC Monday, stressing that if the cryptocurrency ever grew to a substantial size the regulators would likely move to shut it down.

The finance executive asserted that Bitcoin users have no way of knowing if enemy states like North Korea and Iran are counter-parties to their transactions. He then seemingly implied there's no way to monitor bitcoin transactions, ignoring entirely the cryptocurrency's inherent traceability.

Following the confirmation of Janet Yellen as the new secretary of the United States Treasury, the department’s dreaded cryptocurrency monitoring rule is now back in motion and the public has 60 days to comment on the proposed self-hosted wallet requirement.

Institutions are pressing the pause button on their bitcoin purchases partly because many are trying to get a read from the new Biden administration’s attitude towards crypto-related policies and regulations. Negative comments on cryptocurrencies from new Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen have raised some worries around possible added controls over the crypto markets.

Speaking at a Senate Finance Committee hearing on her anticipated nomination after President-elect Joe Biden takes office tomorrow, Yellen said the U.S. should be aware of emerging tools for terrorist financing.

“The technologies to accomplish this change over time and we need to make sure that our methods for dealing with these matters, with tech terrorist financing, change along with changing technology, cryptocurrencies are a particular concern,” she said in response to a question by Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), who called crypto use in terrorist financing a “growing concern.”

Over the last 48 hours, Bitcoin (BTC) price climbed from $31,000 to $34,800 before reversing course and dropping the majority of these gains. While this $3,800 shift to the downside might not seem significant, the 12% oscillation liquidated $660 million worth of futures contracts.

Bitcoin Falls as Miners Sell-Off with  Negative comments from Yellen - RichDadph Forex Trading Beginners Tutorial Philippines

While it’s unlikely that there will ever be a definitive answer behind the move, on Jan. 25, President Joe Biden voiced his willingness to lower the $1.9 trillion stimulus package. This might have reduced incentives for those buying BTC as an inflation protection or a hedge against U.S. dollar devaluation versus leading global currencies.

Bitcoin Falls as Miners Sell-Off with  Negative comments from Yellen - RichDadph Forex Trading Beginners Tutorial Philippines

Bitcoin has been testing the $30,800 support, but bulls have shown aggressive buying activity below that level.

Bitcoin Falls as Miners Sell-Off with  Negative comments from Yellen - RichDadph Forex Trading Beginners Tutorial Philippines

The cryptocurrency’s remarkable surge has also been fueled in part by a narrative that it offers a store of value akin to gold in times of unprecedented economic stimulus, which some investors fear will cause a spike in inflation.

However, skeptics worry that bitcoin is just another market bubble waiting to burst. The cryptocurrency is known for its volatility — it skyrocketed close to $20,000 in late 2017 before plunging the following year.

Congress Passes Covid-19 Relief, Spending Package With Overwhelming

WASHINGTON -- Congress overwhelmingly approved $900 billion of relief for households and businesses battered by the coronavirus pandemic, passing an emergency measure aimed at buoying the country through a difficult winter and into a new year.

The bill now heads to the White House, where President Trump is expected to sign it into law. Both the House and Senate on Monday night also approved a seven-day continuing resolution to keep the government funded until the larger package is signed. Mr. Trump signed the short-term bill early Tuesday morning.

The Senate voted 92-6 late Monday to approve the infusion of coronavirus aid together with a $1.4 trillion spending bill that will fund the government through September. Initially, the Senate's presiding officer said the vote was 91-7, which was later corrected to 92-6.

The package passed the House earlier Monday evening in a 359-53 vote.

The 5,593-page package approves another round of direct checks of $600 per adult and $600 per child, adds $300 to weekly unemployment payments for 11 weeks and extends two other unemployment programs, supplies more than $300 billion in relief for small businesses, including a second round of the Paycheck Protection Program, and pours more than $50 billion into distributing coronavirus vaccines, as well as testing and tracing efforts.

"None of us think any of this legislation is perfect. But a big, bipartisan majority of us recognize the incredible amount of good it will do when we send it on to the president's desk," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said Monday on the Senate floor. "The American people have waited long enough."

Congress Passes Covid-19 Relief, Spending Package With Overwhelming - RichDadph Forex Trading Beginners Tutorial Philippines

The votes marked the final resolution of a bitter, monthslong fight as lawmakers wrestled with how to respond to the virus as it upended the economy and daily existence for the entire country. Even the negotiations that produced the final agreement were transformed by the pandemic, as lawmakers dug into policy disputes over Zoom meetings and conference calls.

Democrats lauded the relief package, but said its size, while surpassed only by the stimulus bill Congress passed in March, was insufficient to meet the country's needs.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) said they would press to pass more assistance next year, when President-elect Joe Biden is in office. In an effort to find common ground, congressional leaders agreed to drop both funding for state and local governments, which Democrats had sought, as well as liability protections for entities operating during the pandemic, a top GOP priority.

"The bill today is a good bill. Today is a good day. But it is certainly not the end of the story, and it cannot be the end of the story," Mr. Schumer said on the Senate floor Monday. "Anyone who thinks this bill is enough doesn't know what's going on in America."

Mr. Biden praised the bipartisan agreement, but said it wouldn't be enough to get the country back on its feet.

"I applaud this relief package, but our work is far from over," Mr. Biden said in a tweet early Tuesday. "Starting in the new year, Congress will need to immediately get to work on support for our COVID-19 plan. My message to everyone out there struggling right now: help is on the way."

But some Republicans said the $900 billion price tag was too high in a year when Congress has already spent more than $3 trillion to combat the pandemic's health and economic blows.

"It's clear that government has worsened the economic damage and acted as the biggest obstacle to economic recovery," Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) said on the Senate floor Monday night. "The answer is not printing up and distributing 'free money.' It's opening the economy."

Mr. Paul voted against the package.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Monday the first batch of payments could go out at the beginning of next week. "We couldn't be more pleased," Mr. Mnuchin told CNBC Monday. "It took us too long to get here."

Monday's votes cap a long, difficult legislative struggle to craft an aid package that both parties could support. Months of intense negotiations between Democratic leaders and top White House officials ended in an impasse before the November elections. Even after a bipartisan group pieced together a framework for a $900 billion proposal this month that mirrored much of the final agreement, congressional leaders had to resolve a series of stubborn disputes, including a late-emerging disagreement over whether to restrict the Federal Reserve's emergency lending powers next year.

Mr. Schumer reached a deal late Saturday with Sen. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.), who had pushed to curtail the Fed's powers, clearing the way for the final agreement reached Sunday night.

The relief package will set up a second round of stimulus payments to individuals that will be smaller than the $1,200 and $500 payments approved in the spring. The payments start phasing out when individual adjusted gross income exceeds $75,000, when head-of-household income exceeds $112,500, and when income for married couples filing jointly exceeds $150,000.

So-called mixed-status households -- where some members have Social Security numbers but others don't -- would be eligible for partial payments, unlike the first round, when they were excluded. This change is retroactive, so these households can claim an amount for the first payment as part of their 2020 tax returns.

Dependents over the age of 16 wouldn't qualify, just as in the first round of stimulus payments. That means households wouldn't get payments for those who are college students or disabled adults.

In addition to adding $300 in unemployment benefits for 11 weeks, lawmakers extended two other unemployment programs until they begin phasing out in mid-March and end in early April. Those two programs expand the pool of people eligible for unemployment benefits and extend their duration. Lawmakers also included $1.8 billion in tax credits for businesses to provide paid leave.

About $280 billion would go toward the Paycheck Protection Program, the bulk of the $325 billion the bill puts toward small businesses.

Businesses that received PPP loans would be able to deduct expenses associated with those loans. That move -- urged by businesses after an extensive lobbying effort in recent weeks -- would overturn a Treasury Department decision that denied the deductions.

Theater operators and owners of small performance venues would be eligible for $15 billion in grants, and the bill provides $15 billion for airline payroll support. Schools would receive $82 billion under the agreement, and $10 billion would go toward child care.

The package includes $25 billion in rental assistance, extends a moratorium on evictions and approves $13 billion in funds for food-stamp and child-nutrition benefits.

In a response to the recent authorization of coronavirus vaccines, lawmakers agreed to increase the amount of money aimed at combating the virus, adding $30 billion for the vaccine's procurement and distribution of a vaccine, as well as $22 billion for testing and tracing.

The White House won a tax break Mr. Trump had been seeking all year: the ability for businesses to deduct restaurant meals during 2021 and 2022. Some lawmakers had criticized the idea in part because it could encourage indoor dining that spreads the coronavirus.

The bill will extend a tax credit for retaining employees and make it available to PPP recipients, and includes a number of other tax provisions.

The relief package excludes a priority from each party: legal protections for businesses operating during the pandemic that Republicans had sought, and direct aid for state and local governments that Democrats and some GOP lawmakers had pressed to include.

The legislation includes some new stipulations around the Federal Reserve, which in March announced lending programs to keep credit flowing to large companies and cities and states. Days later, Congress provided $454 billion for the Treasury Department to cover losses in the Fed's lending programs.

Mr. Mnuchin last month declined to allow the programs to continue after Dec. 31, saying he didn't think it was legally allowed. Mr. Toomey had insisted that the Fed be prevented from reviving those programs without explicit congressional approval.

The bill will revoke the remaining funding previously provided to the Treasury Department to backstop losses in Fed lending programs, and the Fed wouldn't be able to replicate identical emergency lending programs next year without congressional approval. But the Fed would retain its ability to set up similar emergency-lending programs without congressional approval, which Democrats said was crucial to giving the Biden administration flexibility in bolstering the economic recovery.

 @Newswires

Bitcoin Price Hits All-Time High, Trades Above $19,000

Bitcoin surged on Monday to set its first fresh record in nearly three years, driven by a wave of new investors lured by the potential for big profits.

The digital currency rose as high as $19,834.93, according to CoinDesk, topping the previous intraday record of $19,783.21 set Dec. 18, 2017. Bitcoin has nearly tripled in 2020 and is up more than 90% since early September. It closed Monday at $19376.18, up 6.1%. The surge comes amid a wider rally across markets. The Federal Reserve and other central banks have injected trillions worth of liquidity into the capital markets, and a number of companies working on coronavirus vaccines are providing hope that the global pandemic will soon be brought under control.

With safe assets like government bonds yielding close to zero, investors have been more willing to place bets on risky assets in hopes of reaping big gains, and bitcoin is among the riskiest assets in the capital markets. "You have the weakened dollar, enormous growth of central bank balance sheets and questions about whether it will or won't cause inflation," said Société Générale forex strategist Kit Juckes. "It's another beneficiary of the collapse in real yields."

Trading volume for bitcoin has surged in the past few months, to $50 billion a day from around $18 billion a day in September, according to data from research site Coingecko. Other cryptocurrencies have benefited from the interest as well. Ether is up 370% this year. XRP is up more than 234%.

Bitcoin Price Hits All-Time High, Trades Above $19,000 - RichDadph Forex Trading Beginner's Tutorial Philippines

Bitcoin's gains have been fueled by both retail and professional investors, and a plethora of platforms that make it easy to trade cryptocurrencies.

On the retail side, online platforms like Square Inc.'s Cash App, Robinhood and PayPal Holdings Inc. allow users to buy and sell bitcoin directly within their apps. For professionals, financial firms like CME Group Inc. and Intercontinental Exchange Inc. both operate derivatives markets. Fidelity Investments Inc. has a digital-assets group for investors. There are also a number of over-the-counter funds, similar to exchange-traded funds.

Still, for all the attention, bitcoin remains a small market. With the current rally, the total market value of bitcoin in circulation is about $362 billion. By comparison, the size of the investment market for gold was about $11.9 trillion at the end of 2019, according to the World Gold Council.

Bitcoin, unveiled on Halloween 2008 and launched in January 2009, was designed to operate as a digital version of cash that would be outside the control of governments or banks. Its software runs on a network of linked but independent computers. Anyone can download and run the program to become part of the network, but no party has control to make unilateral changes.

This prevents counterfeiting and ensures that one of the program's core features can't be easily changed: a limit of 21 million bitcoins that can be created. This limit is what gives bitcoin a preset rate of inflation, which steadily decreases as more bitcoins are minted and circulated. It is this feature that leads some to claim bitcoin is a digital version of gold.

There are about 18.5 million bitcoins currently in circulation. 

@Newswires

Pfizer requested emergency authorization for its Covid vaccine before FDA approval

 Pfizer Inc. filed with U.S. regulators for an emergency-use authorization for its Covid-19 vaccine, seeking clearance for an experimental shot that’s expected to play an important role in an immunization effort to halt the virus.

The vaccine, developed by the U.S. drugmaker with its German partner BioNTech SE, is the first to seek authorization from the Food and Drug Administration. An emergency clearance would allow Americans to access the vaccine before it’s granted full approval. It is likely to be the first to be made available on a limited basis to health workers and older Americans.

Earlier this week, Pfizer said its experimental vaccine — which relies on messenger RNA technology never before used in an approved medicine — was 95% effective, protecting people of all ages and ethnicities from developing symptomatic Covid-19. So far, there have been no significant safety problems in the trial that includes nearly 44,000 participants.

The FDA is expected to spend the next few weeks reviewing the data, and the vaccine could be available by the middle to the end of December. A key step along the way is a meeting of outside FDA advisers, all experts in infectious diseases and vaccines. They’re set to confer Dec. 10, the FDA said on Friday, allowing the clinical trial data to be vetted in public to bolster confidence.

“Today we were able to submit a very robust data set that we believe meets and, in many cases, exceeds the FDA’s high standards,” Pfizer Chief Executive Officer Albert Bourla said in a video statement announcing the filing.

Pfizer requested emergency authorization for its Covid vaccine before FDA approval - RichDadph Forex Trading Beginner Tutorial Philippines
It took just 248 days from when Pfizer announced the collaboration with BioNTech to approach U.S. regulators for an emergency-use authorization, he said.

Among the vaccine front-runners, the Pfizer-BioNTech project is the only one that didn’t take funding from the White House-led Operation Warp Speed program to accelerate development, manufacturing and distribution of Covid-19 shots. However, the two companies have secured a $2 billion deal to supply 100 million doses to the U.S., with an option for 500 million more.

Pfizer shares closed up 1.4% to $36.70 in New York trading. BioNTech’s U.S. depositary receipts gained 9.1% to $104.07.

Pfizer already has started rolling submissions for the vaccine in Australia, Canada, Europe, Japan and the U.K. and plans “to submit immediately to other regulatory authorities around the world,” Bourla said in the video statement.

Cases Surging

The filing for regulatory clearance comes at a time when the U.S. — which has the world’s largest number of cases at more than 11 million — is fighting a fierce resurgence of infections. A string of promising developments on the vaccine front, however, is offering hope that the virus can be defeated in 2021.

Pfizer requested emergency authorization for its Covid vaccine before FDA approval - RichDadph Forex Trading Beginner Tutorial Philippines
Moderna Inc.’s rival shot appears equally effective, judging from data published on Monday. The Cambridge-based biotech said at the time that it expects to be able to apply for emergency authorization in the U.S. within weeks. A third contender, from AstraZeneca Plc and the University of Oxford, is expected to release late-stage trial results in coming days.

In the meantime, public-health officials led by Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, have warned it will take months before vaccinations will slow the virus. He and others have urged the continued use of masks and social distancing to slow Covid-19’s advance until the country can hit a level of vaccination that stops the virus.

Both Pfizer’s vaccine and Moderna’s use mRNA technology which essentially teaches the body’s cells to become vaccine factories, allowing the technology to be developed much faster than a traditional shot.

Well-Tolerated

Most people who received the Pfizer-BioNTech regimen tolerated it well, according to an analysis by the companies. The vaccine’s efficacy in people older than 65 was more than 94%, the companies said.

Pfizer requested emergency authorization for its Covid vaccine before FDA approval - RichDadph Forex Trading Beginner Tutorial Philippines
Pfizer has found itself drawn into a contentious political debate about how quickly regulators in the U.S. should allow a vaccine to be given to Americans. While U.S. President Donald Trump pushed to have a shot approved before Election Day, regulators put in place rigorous standards — including two months of safety data — that largely pushed that goal out of reach.

Pfizer’s Bourla said on Friday in an interview with Time that he expects the two-dose regimen to be granted a full approval by the end of the first quarter or early in the second quarter of 2021.

@Bloomberg

Japan's Economy Expands More Than Expected - GDP Surges 21.4% On Year In Q3

TOKYO -- The Japanese economy expanded at its fastest pace in at least 40 years in the July-September period as private consumption and exports improved along with the reopening of the global economy.

The world's third-largest economy after the U.S. and China expanded 5% in the third quarter of 2020 from the previous quarter, the first growth in four quarters and the biggest expansion since 1980, the period for which comparable data are available. The result came after a record drop in the second quarter and was better than economists' forecast.

On an annualized basis, which reflects what would happen if the third-quarter pace continued for a full year, Japan's economy expanded 21.4%, compared with a consensus forecast of 18.9%. In the third quarter, the nation's gross domestic product totaled an annualized 508 trillion yen, equivalent to $4.85 trillion, recovering a little more than half of what it lost in the coronavirus pandemic.

Private spending rose 4.7% from the previous quarter as consumers went out more for shopping and dining. Meanwhile, external demand added 2.9% to growth.

Japan's Economy Expands More Than Expected - GDP Surges 21.4% On Year In Q3

Economists say any further recovery is likely to be slow in coming quarters. The services sector remains weak owing to fears of infection, and the virus is spreading again in some countries. 

@Newswires

Asia Leads the World in Covid-19 Economic Recovery - 'The Zoom Boom'

SEOUL -- Asian economies are emerging as clear winners in the race to a full recovery, aided by demand from Western shoppers and success in containing Covid-19, which has helped the region keep its factories humming.

China remains on track to grow nearly 2% this year, the most of any major economy, while the world is expected to contract by 4.4% and the U.S. by 4.3%, according to the International Monetary Fund. Other Asian economies are close behind China: Vietnam is expected to grow 1.6%, Taiwan is expected to be flat from a year earlier and South Korea is forecast to contract modestly at 1.9%. 

But they also derive an especially large part of their growth from exports of manufactured goods to the rest of the world, especially the U.S. and Europe. Asian economies are among the largest producers of laptops, communication equipment, TVs and other household goods that have experienced surges in demand as the pandemic forced people to stay home.

So as Westerners consume, Asia enjoys much of the benefit.

"We call it the Zoom boom," said Rory Green, an economist at research firm TS Lombard who covers China and North Asia, referring to the increase in demand for screens and laptops as more people work from home.

A key question is whether all that demand can be sustained as Covid-19 caseloads surge again in the West. Stimulus paychecks have been spent and even if cases of infection come down again, there is a limit to how many smartphones and other devices people need to work and study from home.

For now, though, daily life looks much better in many parts of Asia. In Taiwan, an annual gay-pride parade drew thousands of people last month. South Korea has hosted international touring performances of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "The Phantom of the Opera" and "Cats," at a time when Broadway theaters in New York remain closed.

In China, restaurants are buzzing and leisure businesses like water parks have reopened, as entertainment companies like Walt Disney Co. lay off thousands in the U.S. Domestic airline capacity in China is still about 35% below pre-pandemic levels, but that is far better than in the U.S. and Europe, where it is down by more than 60%.

But containing Covid-19, as many Asian nations have done, isn't always enough. In Thailand, where caseloads have been kept low, the economy is expected to contract by 7.1% this year, in large part because it is so reliant on international tourist arrivals -- which have dropped to effectively zero -- according to the Bank of Thailand.

Asia Leads the World in Covid-19 Economic Recovery - 'The Zoom Boom' - RichDadph Forex Trading Tutorial Philippines

A few other Asian countries are also looking particularly bad, including India and the Philippines, which are set to contract by 10.3% and 8.3%, respectively. Both were hit particularly hard by Covid-19 and India lacks a big electronics-export industry.

In China, Guangzhou Viewo Electronics Co., a Guangzhou-based television exporter, saw orders surge by about 50% from a year earlier as soon as the factory reopened from a virus lockdown in March, said Michael Yang, an overseas sales department manager. The company had to hire more workers to cope with all its orders, he said.

Demand has been so strong that the company is now struggling to keep up. Shortages of raw materials have driven up its prices by 50%, he said.

"We continued receiving new orders from our customers," but the factory can't fulfill all of them, Mr. Yang said.

With large companies like Samsung Electronics Co., Huawei Technologies Co. and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Asia is home to many of the world's top electronics makers. Globally, about 97% of the world's handsets and 60% of the world's PCs are made there, in addition to many of the world's electronic appliances, according to Counterpoint Research.

Asia Leads the World in Covid-19 Economic Recovery - 'The Zoom Boom' - RichDadph Forex Trading Tutorial Philippines

In October, nearly all of Taiwan's 11.2% year-over-year export growth came from electronic components and devices, according to TS Lombard. Without overseas shipments of these goods, Taiwan's exports would have gained just 0.2% from a year earlier.

China's trade surplus with the U.S., meanwhile, widened in October as demand for medical supplies and work-from-home gear remained robust. South Korea's October exports to the U.S. and European Union jumped 3.3% and 9.5%, respectively, in contrast to declines for most other major regions.

Not all Asian manufacturers are experiencing a full rebound. In South Korea, YoungjinIND Co., which makes chip-making equipment, says it has only recovered half of its orders from pre-pandemic levels due to weak domestic demand.

"I'd cautiously aim for next summer for a full recovery," said Park Jong-jin, the company's head of planning.

Perhaps the biggest risk for Asian economies going forward is that American or European consumers will become less confident about spending as Covid-19 cases rise. A retail survey conducted by consulting firm Deloitte found that 38% of American consumers who were polled plan to spend less on holiday shopping this year due to economic concerns, while spending per household is set to drop 7% from a year earlier.

On the other hand, Asian consumers -- particularly in China -- are becoming a more substantial force in the world economy, which could help offset any weakening of demand from the West. China is expected to surpass the U.S. as the world's largest retail market this year, according to research firm eMarketer. And while the U.S. may reclaim the top spot in 2021, China is likely to be the larger market in the long term, the firm says.

Retail spending in China took longer to recover than the country's manufacturing sector this year. But it has shown strength in recent months, which in turn has improved results for international companies selling into China.

Japanese Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing Co. expects net profit to rise 83% this fiscal year thanks to stronger China sales.

"While the new waves of Covid have created a whole new risk in terms of where the global economy may go...there will continue to be enough global demand for goods that the Asian supply chains should be relatively engaged," said Steve Cochrane, chief APAC economist at Moody's Analytics in Singapore.

@Newswires