Asian Stocks Rise After S&P 500 Surges on Fed; Oil Swings
Asia started the week strong in the markets, growing on an announcement by the Fed that they will wait on interest rates. This was a much-needed boost for Asian markets, who are in the midst of nearly a 1-year slide.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced 0.9 percent by 11:27 a.m. in Tokyo, as Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index (HSI) climbed from its lowest since May and Japan’s Topix index headed for its biggest gain in six weeks. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures were little changed after the U.S. gauge jumped 2 percent, erasing about half of its December drop. Crude oil traded at $56.57 a barrel in New York. China’s yuan was at the weakest since July. Gold climbed 0.3 percent and nickel added 0.9 percent in London.
The Fed said it will be patient when it comes to the timing of rate increases, replacing a pledge in its statement to keep borrowing costs near zero for a “considerable time,” and raising its assessment of the job market. While falling unemployment is pushing the U.S. toward higher borrowing costs, plunging oil prices are holding inflation below target. Russian President Vladimir Putin holds a media conference amid the ruble’s slump.
Uber Says It’s Doing 1 Million Rides Per Day, 140 Million In Last Year
What was once a fledgling startup is now becoming one of the world’s hottest tech companies, and groundbreaking transportation business. This week, the company finally released user data, and the numbers are huge. Uber is already estimated to be worth close to $40 billion (although this is very speculative), and has had one of the best success stories as far as raising quality capital over the past few years.
Uber hasn’t shared ride volume before now. The company has hinted at growth numbers in the past — CEO Travis Kalanick said in September that the company was adding 50,000 new drivers a month — but best guesses at ride volume have come from leaked documents. A year ago, those documents suggested the company was doing around 850,000 rides per week, so around 121,000 per day. The numbers Uber shared Wednesday mean its daily ride rate could have grown eight times this past year.
A recent FORBES analysis of Uber launch dates also showed that the company is expanding into new areas at breakneck pace — about 30 new cities in the last 30 days. The company is currently in 53 countries and more than 250 cities.
Russian Ruble Collapses After Late-Night Rate Hike
Russia is having a tough month economically, and this past week was no better. As the Ruble continues to dip, many worry about what Russia will do to buck the trend. Just this week alone, the Russian currency dropped by 20%, bringing it to a total 56% this year to date.
To compound the country’s woes, Russia’s 10-year local bond yield (the interest rate the government has to pay to borrow) jumped more than 2% to 15.36%, while the country’s dollar-denominated 10-year bond yield also leaped up 36 basis points to 7.55%, the Financial Times reports.
Heinz Rüttimann, an emerging-market strategist at Julius Baer, describes the situation as a “perfect storm” for Russia, the final step of which would be the introduction of capital controls or a move to stop money already in Russia from leaving the country.
Mail forwarding services for the Busy Traveler: How to keep up with your cargo?
Business travelers are always on the go. And many times, even in the digital world, you need physical material shipped to you, wherever you are. Now there’s a new company that’s looking to change the way you look at forwarding your mail, and at a major discount to traditional postage. The company is called Please Forward, and they’re a new hot investment with a bright future.
Regardless whether it’s for business or pleasure, we are much more mobile than we used to be. And that’s a good thing. But it also means that our need for on-the-go shipping is more important than ever. When you travel, you can only plan so far ahead. In many cases you need to rely on outside logistics to get what you want, when you want it, and fast.
Getting what’s important to you, when it’s important to you
Business, even in the digital age, often requires lots of physical supplies. This is especially true if you’re in manufacturing, architecture/design, pharmaceuticals, and advertising. But it can certainly be the case for almost any small or large business, or business professional. Luckily the US is pretty well set up to handle on-the-go shipments and last minute deliveries. With major shipping networks from companies like FedEx, UPS, and DHL, getting a package on time is more efficient than ever.