FirstFT: US stocks reverse heavy losses

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Shares on Wall Street ended higher after investors took advantage of a sharp decline early in the session to snap up discounted stocks.

The S&P 500 index stock gained 0.3%, reversing a midday decline of up to 4%. At its lows, the blue-chip U.S. benchmark was more than 10% below an all-time high this month, known as the correction.

The changes throughout the trading day were intense, with volatility gauges reaching the highest levels since October 2020, ahead of the US election and the results of the effectiveness of vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Between its highs and lows, the S&P 500 rose 4.4 percentage points on the day. An intraday move of this magnitude has not been recorded since March 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic sent financial markets plummeting.

Thanks for reading FirstFT Asia. Here’s the rest of today’s news — Emily

1. US puts 8,500 troops on standby ahead of NATO meeting Troops are on standby for a possible deployment to Central and Eastern Europe to help bolster NATO defenses as Western leaders come together to cement a unified response to the threat of a Russian invasion of Ukraine . British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Russia had massed enough troops near Ukraine for a “lightning war” in which it would try to seize Kiev.

2. The Chinese queen of the vape hit by the Beijing investigation An investigation into Chinese vaping tycoon Chu Lam Yiu has sent Hong Kong-listed shares of Huabao International Holdings plummeting more than 65% as President Xi Jinping rejuvenates his crackdown on corruption.

3. President of Burkina Faso overthrown in military coup President Roch Kaboré has been overthrown by a group of soldiers in West Africa’s third military coup in eight months. Last night, on national television, soldiers announced that they had arrested the president, suspended the constitution, dissolved the government and the national assembly and closed the country’s borders.

Men in uniform say on Burkinabe television that they have detained President Roch Kaboré © Radio Télévision du Burkina (RTB

4. Turkish industry hit by power cuts amid gas supply problems Turkey suffered a manufacturing shutdown after problems with the country’s gas supply forced the state to impose power cuts on industry. Renault’s joint venture and Tofas, a Turkish automaker partly owned by Fiat Chrysler, were among those to announce a production halt yesterday, according to Turkish media.

5. Unilever shares rise after Nelson Peltz stake revealed Trian Partners, which previously demanded reforms at Procter & Gamble and Mondolez, has taken a stake in British consumer goods group Unilever. The FTSE 100 company last week dropped a £50bn bid for GlaxoSmithKline’s consumer healthcare division following shareholder disapproval.

Summary of coronavirus

  • Prime Minister of Boris Johnson was plunged deeper into crisis after it emerged he had hosted a birthday party during England’s first lockdown of 2020, despite Covid rules at the time banning indoor social gatherings .

  • Authorities have lifted a month-long pandemic lockdown in the Chinese city of Xi’an, less than two weeks before the start of the Winter Olympics in Beijing.

  • Growth of economic activity in the UK slowed to an 11-month low in January as coronavirus infections weighed on consumer services, a survey found.

  • The Omicron variant causes much less damage to the eurozone economy than previous waves of Covid-19, according to an analysis by the FT.

The day ahead

South Korea’s GDP figures Economists predict that the economy of the Asian nation should have accelerated last quarter, according to a Reuters poll. (Returns)

Earnings The figures released today will highlight how Sweden’s tough stance on Huawei is hurting national tech company Ericsson. Japanese Hyundai Motors and Americans General Electric and Johnson & Johnson are also expected to release fourth quarter data.

What else we read

Reliance wants to disrupt India’s retail supply chain Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance has already disrupted the telecommunications sector and made its mark on retail, but is now seeking to supply mom-and-pop shops, threatening to undermine a system that has existed for decades. Here’s how the sector could change.

While Indian mom and pop stores still dominate the retail market

Paul Polman: Critics of “woke” capitalism are wrong In these difficult times, a more morally conscious business elite must surely be a good thing, writes the former chief executive of Unilever. We are living in a historic moment of multiple and converging global challenges and our governments and multilateral institutions are paralyzed. However, not everyone agrees.

The Metaverse Bandwidth Problem The speculative poetry of what might possibly be possible in the metaverse leaps far ahead of the more prosaic reality, experts say. A fully functional virtual world, or even just a real-time, high-definition immersive experience, will require far more capacity to transmit data between consumer and network than is available in homes around the world.

China’s naval reach in the Western Pacific is fueling tensions China has established a constant naval presence near southern Japan and eastern Taiwan, in a marked expansion of Beijing’s sea power that has drawn the attention to the region as a potential future battlefield.

A map showing Japan, Taiwan and China

How cronyism corrodes relationships and trust at work When a group is threatened, the instinct may be to close ranks rather than act in the best interest of the organization. After all, our ancestry predisposes us to seek advantages through cronyism. Check out these tips to outwit our crony instincts.

To travel

With every takeoff and landing, something remarkable happens under the plane. Mark Vanhoenacker, author and Boeing 787 pilot for British Airways, explains why airplane tires are an engineering miracle.

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