N Korea Kim Jong-un, at a party conference warns citizens of a crisis, likely to be similar to 1990’s famine and economic instability. He made reference to another more difficult arduous march. In the 1990’s that is estimated to have killed up to 3m people, about the same number as global covid deaths. -VE for regional tensions.
Ahead this week
China Trade data (Tuesday) and may get new loans data too. On Friday it’s due to release House Price Index, GDP, Industrial Production & Capacity Utilisation, RetailSales and Unemployment. That in addition to PBOC tightening and deteriorating international relations is likely to keep its markets subdued.
S Korea is likely to see support ahead of quarterly earnings with already string guidance from LG and Samsung expectations are running high. Data wise Export & Import Prices, Unemployment and the BoK Interest Rate Decision. But news of Famine and crisis in N Korea could undermine some of the upside.
Taiwan saw strong Exports Friday and continued good local results and should see strong support. The US making meetings with officials easier likely to annoy China but +VE for Taiwan being recognised internationally which is the only way to halt China’s overtures of annexation for the Country.
Japan a quite week for data but M&A activity has picked up recently. The recent surge in covid cases -VE for the Olympics. The decision to release radioactively contaminated Fukushima water likely to prompt activist action.
Australia New Home Sales, Business & Consumer Confidence and Consumer Inflation Expectations
Eurozone inoculations and covid still overhang the recovery. Data wise Eurozone Retail. Sales, ZEW sentiment data, Industrial Production, Inflation Data and a number of ECB speakers.
German Wholesale Prices, ZEW data and Inflation Rate
France Retail Sales and Inflation Rate
United Kingdom GDP, Industrial & Manufacturing Production data, Labour Productivity on the agenda.
US Consumer Inflation Expectations, Inflation Data, NFIB Business Optimism, Import & Export Prices, Retail Sales, NY and Phili Manufacturing Indexes, Industrial and Manufacturing Production, Housing data, Tic Flows and Michigan Consumer Prelim data
DOW +0.98%, NDX +0.51%, S&P +0.77%, Russel 2K +0.04%
Dow opened higher and traded sideways for most of the day, then rallied into the close, NDX opened lower but recovered to flat by lunch time and traded sideways before a late spike into the close. S&P flat open worked slowly higher through the day and again a late rally into the close.
PPI data was stronger than expected, raising inflation expectations but VIX now at pre pandemic levels.
Amazon warehouse in Bessemer voted against forming a union and cut off a path that labor activists had hoped would lead to similar efforts throughout the company and beyond.
Chief executives from Alphabet, AT&T, Intel, General Motors and others are set to participate in a White House virtual summit on Monday addressing the global semiconductor shortage.
State Department on Friday issued new guidelines that will enable U.S. officials to meet more freely with officials from Taiwan; like working-level meetings with Taiwanese officials were now encouraged in federal buildings and could also take place at Taiwan’s representative office.
The White House on Friday said it was keeping a close watch on increased Chinese military activities in the Taiwan Strait, and called Beijing’s recent actions potentially destabilizing.
US Fed Vice Chair Richard Clarida told Bloomberg that, if this year’s inflation uptick continues into 2022, the Fed will take that into account when formulating monetary policy and maintain price stability with corresponding tools.
Banks JPMorgan Chase +0.8%, Citigroup +0.1% Wells Fargo +1.2%, AMEX +0.5%
Work from home names: Facebook -0.2%, Apple +2%, Amazon +2.2%, Netflix +0.1%, Disney +0.3%, Zoom Video -2.6%, Alphabet +0.9% and Microsoft +1%,
Tech NXP Semi flat, Nvidia +0.6%, Micron flat, AMD -0.7%, Skyworks +0.5%
Re-opening stocks Boeing -1% production problems cause some cancellations, Caterpillar +0.1%, Simon Property +1.4%, Kohl’s +2.4%, Nordstrom +1.9%, Gap +3.3%, United Airlines -1.7%, Carnival +2.6%, Wynn Resorts +1.6%, Chevron flat, Exxon Mobil -0.2%,
Lock down names Campbell Soup +1.4% General Mills -1.4%, JM Smucker +0.1%
PPI Mar +1% MoM vs +0.5% Feb. (F/cast was +0.4%)
PPI Mar +4.2% YoY vs +2.8% Feb. (F/cast was +3.5%)
Core PPI Mar +0.7% MoM vs +0.2% Feb. (F/cast was +0.2%)
Core PPI Mar +3.1% YoY vs +2.5% Feb. (F/cast was +2.7%)
Wholesale Inventories Feb +0.6% vs +1.4% Jan (F/cast was +0.5%)
WASDE report released (World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates)
Baker Hughes Total Rig Count 432 vs 430 prior
Baker Hughes Oil Rig Count 337 vs 337 prior
USD was slightly higher vs Yen & Euro. Bitcoin +1.9% @ 59,407.16, VIX -1.5% @ 16.69 lowest since pre pandemic.US T10 @ 1.662% rose on strong PPI data
OIL Brent -0.4%, WTI -0.5% but Brent traded higher after hours
Gold -0.8%, Silver -1%, Copper -1.2% Platinum -2.2%, Palladium +0.5%.
AHEAD Consumer Inflation Expectations, Monthly Budget Statement
DAX +0.21%, CAC +0.06%, FTSE -0.38%
Markets open slightly lower after mixed handover from Asia. They traded around flat for most of the day DAX in the red for the morning after weak data but in the green through the afternoon. CAC in the green for most of the day but sold down into the close. FTSE in the red all day but did touch flat around midday.
Markets are still trading around their highs and around pre pandemic levels.
German Trade balance up MoM but missed forecasts. French Industrial production also missed and was down MoM which will raise concerns over the recovery in Europe.
Telcos weak but Healthcare rebounded
ACS -0.8% on news it has expressed interest in taking a surprise stake in Atlantia’s motorway unit, the Italian conglomerate announced Thursday.
Airbus +0.3% but offers y highs as a rebound in air travel in China and the United States helped to drive a surge in March deliveries for Airbus. It reported slightly higher deliveries for the first quarter and posted 39 gross orders, including a new deal for 20 A220s to an unidentified buyer.
AstraZeneca’s +0.6% despite struggling with its Covid-19 vaccine rollout and news that Australia, the Philippines and the African Union have limited or abandon purchases of its covid vaccine over fears about its possible link to blood clots, despite global shortages. -VE
Deliveroo, -9.8% following its lackluster initial public offering last week, now trading at 254.50p vs 390p IPO price. FT reports that accusations of short selling being responsible for its initial plunge not corroborated by the short selling data from IHS Markit. Just Eat Takeaway flat; both expected to give trading updates next week
Piaget, owned by luxury goods group Richemont, will continue to open stores this year, notably in the Middle East and China, its chief executive told Reuters on Friday.
GERMANY Balance of Trade Feb Euro 18.1b vs 14.3b Jan (F/cast was 21.5b)
Exports sa Feb +0.9% MoM vs +1.4% Jan (Consensus was +1%)
Imports sa Feb +3.6% MoM vs -4.7% Jan (Consensus was +2.4%)
Current Account Feb Euro 18.8b vs 16.9b Jan (F/cast was 22.5b)
Industrial Production Feb -1.6% MoM vs -2% Jan revised (F/cast was +1.9%)
Industrial Production Feb -4.7% MoM vs +3.2% Jan revised (F/cast was +0.7%)
Halifax House Price Index Mar +1.1% MoM vs 0% Feb revised (F/cast was +0.2%)
Halifax House Price Index Mar +6.5% YoY vs +5.2% Feb (F/cast was +5.1%)
EUROZONE Retail Sales
GERMANY No data due FRANCE Retail SalesUK No data due but lock down restrictions eased.
Expectations for Monday
JAPAN At this stage I expect market to open cautiously higher with the pre market data set to influence market direction. Yen closed 109.65
Data due pre market
Bank Lending Mar (Feb was +6.2% F/Cast is +6.3%)
PPI Mar (Feb was -0.7% MoM (+0.4%. YoY). F/cast is +0.4% MoM (+0.3% YoY)
Machine Tool Orders Mar (Feb was +36.7% YoY, F/cast is +40%)
Tokyo reported 537 new cases on Friday (vs 545. Thursday), while Osaka had 883 daily infections (vs 905 Thursday). The nationwide total hit 3,454 new cases Slight +VE
Government placed Tokyo under a new, month-long “quasi-emergency” state to combat surging COVID-19 case numbers on Friday, less than a month after the capital and host of the Summer Olympics lifted a broader state of emergency. Which will be in force over ‘Golden Week’ (April 29 - 5 May)
Government is poised to release treated radioactive water accumulated at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea despite opposition from fishermen, sources familiar with the matter said Friday. It will hold a meeting of related ministers as early as Tuesday to formally decide on the plan.
Industry minister said on Friday there was no truth to a media report that the government was aiming for a 2030 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction of 45% from fiscal year 2013 levels, against the current 26% target. The target has to be realistic, Industry Minister Hiroshi Kajiyama told a news conference.
Weather bureau said on Friday there was an 80% chance that the La Nina weather phenomenon, seen since last summer, will end in the northern hemisphere spring with a 70% chance of normal weather conditions during summer. A La Nina weather event is characterised by unusually cold ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean region and is also linked to floods and drought.
State-backed Japan Investment Corp and the Development Bank of Japan (DBJ) are joining CVC Capital Partners’ bid to take Toshiba Corp private, Nikkei reported on Friday. The fund is set to offer 5,000 yen per share, with plans to launch a tender offer in early July and to delist Toshiba shares in October, the report said. +VE
Renesas to resume operations of clear room damaged by fire by April 19 the firm said. +VE
Tokyo Gas to install 19 off shore wind turbines to generate 159.6 megawatts, enough for 70,000 households +VE
Asahi Group Holdings said it will aim to halve its debt and forego overseas investments after spending $11 billion to buy the Australian operations of Anheuser-Busch InBev. “Basically, we are not considering any large-scale acquisitions,” said Atsushi Katsuki, who became Asahi’s new chief executive in March. +VE but probably reflects tough business outlook.
175 of Japan’s “izakaya” dining bars went bankrupt (a record high) in the year that ended in March, also operators of wedding halls; a sign some service-sector firms are being left behind even as the economy emerges from the shock of the coronavirus pandemic. -VE
Expect markets to open higher with investors focusing on Q1 earnings which are expected to be good, especially exporters to the US, and hence attract foreign buyers. Limiting the upside could be the prospect of a fourth covid wave but increased inoculation may off-set this news.
No data due
KDCA reported 677 new covid cases (vs 671 Friday) but down from Thursday’s high. Govt warns that this could be a fourth wave. But not increasing the social distancing rules -VE
President Moon Jae-in’s ruling Democratic Party under pressure as voters perceive them as hypocritical and inept. The embarrassing loses in the mayorial elections could hamper his efforts to achieve final policy goals, including reforming a prosecutor’s office that his party views as too powerful and too politicised.
Korea Aerospace Industries on Friday rolls out the KF-21 Boramae, the first prototype of the KF-X project, at its manufacturing facility in Sacheon, South Gyeongsang Province. +VE long term for Tech sector.
U.S. President Biden faces a Sunday deadline to decide whether to intervene in a trade dispute between LG and SK Innovation electric vehicle battery makers that could impact a Georgia factory and his push for more electric vehicles.
Iran released on Friday a South Korean ship and its captain detained since January after South Korea promised to try to secure the release of Iranian funds frozen in South Korean banks under U.S. sanctions, a South Korean official said.
Hyundai Motor Co. said Friday it will temporarily suspend another domestic plant next week due to an electronic parts shortage. -VE
Local semiconductor companies have called on the government for support, in a bid to expand their production facilities against the backdrop of the prolonged global shortage. +VE
Kakao, is taking steps to acquire mobile shopping app Zigzag, according to local reports Friday. The reported deal could see Kakao buy a controlling stake in the operator of the shopping app -- estimated to be worth about $1 billion -- and create a new subsidiary for a merger.
KT Corp. said Friday it has clinched business ties with Vietnam Television Cable to cooperate in developing a music streaming platform in the Southeast Asian country. +VE
Samsung Electronics Co. on Friday unveiled its upgraded smart tracking tag leveraging advanced wireless communication technologies that can locate people's lost items with better accuracy. The Galaxy SmartTag+ uses both Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and ultra-wideband (UWB) solutions, according to Samsung. The latest product will be available beginning next Friday though its launch schedule will vary by market. +VE
South Korea should create a legal framework to embrace up-and-rising digital assets, protect customers and support the growth of the industry, a group of experts said Friday. The current laws that govern cryptocurrency transactions, under the Specific Financial Transactions Act, focuses on anti-money laundering and price-fixing aspects. In addition, upon introducing the laws the government emphasized that it is not “institutionalization” of digital assets.
At this stage I would expect the market to open higher after Friday’s Trade data and record sales from TSMC
No data due but after market Friday
Balance of Trade Mar $3.66b vs 4.51b Feb (F/cast was 5.1b)
Exports Mar +27.1% YoY vs +9.7% Feb (Consensus was +17.4%)
Imports Mar +27% YoY vs +5.7% Feb (Consensus was +12.1%)
Exports driven by inventory demand for all product categories gained unprecedented traction amid component shortages and shipping delays, the Ministry of Finance said yesterday. The growth momentum might extend into this quarter, buoyed by expectations of a global economic recovery, although the COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose uncertainty, the ministry said. “Component shortages and shipping delays have prompted companies to build up and vie for tech and non-tech products, and push up their selling prices,” said Department of Statistics Director-General Beatrice Tsai
US State Department on Friday issued new guidelines that will enable U.S. officials to meet more freely with officials from Taiwan. +VE for Taiwan but will annoy China and raise already heightened tensions.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) Friday reported a third straight quarter of record sales, underscoring its lead as the world’s No. 1 maker of advanced chips, which are in short supply. Q1 revenue +16.7% to NT$362.41 billion (US$12.74 billion), compared with the average NT$360.5 billion of analysts’ estimates. TSMC in the middle of January said that its revenue for the three-month period was expected to range from US$12.7 billion to US$13 billion after the estimate was converted into a range of NT$354.97 billion to NT$363.35, based on the average exchange rate of NT$27.95 at the time. +VE
Nanya Technology Corp Friday posted its best quarterly profit in three quarters as work-from-home and remote schooling trends helped improve demand for Chromebooks and other consumer electronics. The chipmaker said that it expects the growth momentum to extend into this quarter, as the global economic outlook has improved amid increasing COVID-19 vaccinations. Recovering demand for servers is adding to the already resilient sales of notebook computers, mobile phones, TVs and networking devices, it said. +VE
Taiwan’s three listed freight forwarders yesterday reported annual growth in first-quarter revenue as freight rates remain high amid rising demand. T3EX Global Holdings Corp reported the largest increase, 133.16 percent to NT$5.89 billion (US$207.13 million), ahead of Dimerco Express Corp’s 66.4 percent growth to NT$6.89 billion and Soonest Express Co’s 35.69 percent expansion to NT$1.06 billion, data from the companies showed. T3EX’s revenue generated from sea freight business advanced 208 percent from a year earlier to a record NT$3.86 billion in the first quarter, the company said. +VE and +VE cross read to shipping companies and airline freight operators.
Golden Friends Corp Friday posted NT$330.48 million (US$11.62 million) in revenue for last month, +38.7% MoM, amid continued recovery in the local property market, although -15.15% YoY Revenue in the first quarter totaled NT$1.03 billion, a 3.66 percent increase from a year earlier, Golden Friends data showed.
Replacement of old elevators rose 16.35 percent, accounting for 24.69 percent of overall installments, or 500 elevators, in the January-to-March period, the Taipei-based company said in a statement. +VE
Computer-simulated invasion will kick off Taiwan war games. Exercises will run 24 hours a day in first phase of Taipei’s largest annual military drills which start on April 23All possible scenarios of an invasion on the island will be simulated, according to defence ministry
Expect market to open lower with continued concerns over more tightening to the property sector, US sanctions, deteriorating international relations and caution ahead of New loans data.
No data due but could get
New Yuan Loans Mar (Feb was CNY1360bn. F/cast is CNY 2520bn)
Outstanding Loan Growth Mar (Feb was +12.9%, F/cast is 12.8%)
Total Social Financing Mar (Feb was CNY1710b, F/cast is CNY3680b)
M2 Money Supply Mar (Feb was 10.1% F/cast is 9.8%)
National Health Commission of the PRC announced that 14 additional cases of novel coronavirus, all imported, had been confirmed yesterday.
The city of Ruili in southwest China's Yunnan province has concluded a second round of city-wide nucleic acid testing, with 18 samples testing positive for the coronavirus disease, the local government said Friday, state media reports.
Beijing takes more action to curb Jack Ma, I think President Xi sees him as a threat, because of his popularity in China with both ordinary people and business leaders.It has shut down his Human University Business School which was said to be harder to get into than Harvard in an FT article. It indicates the crackdown is against Ma rather that Alibaba. Separately Alibaba was fined $2.8bn (4% of 2019 revenue) by the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) after an anti-monopoly probe said it abused its market dominance with its choose one policy. It will also have to file self-examination and compliance reports to the SAMR for three years. Alibaba said it fully cooperated with the investigation, conducted a self-assessment and already implemented improvements to its internal systems.“Alibaba would not have achieved our growth without sound government regulation and service, and the critical oversight, tolerance and support from all of our constituencies have been crucial to our development,” the company said.
The company added it will hold a conference call on Monday at 8 a.m. Hong Kong time to discuss the fine. -VE. Its ADR was -0.4% in US trading before the fine was announced.
Beijing orders five Chinese cities to rein in their runaway house prices. The deputy housing minister instructed top officials from Guangzhou, Hefei, Ningbo, Dongguan and Nantong to to roll out cooling measures where needed, according to Xinhua. The central government is signalling a greater willingness to intervene directly at city level, say analysts -VE for developers, especially those with high debt levels.
MIDEA a home appliance giant based in southern China looks to increase technology and automation in its factories over the next three to seven years due to labour shortages. Includes robots and sensors along with hardware and software upgrades +VE Robotic companies
Piaget, owned by luxury goods group Richemont, will continue to open stores this year, notably in the Middle East and China, its chief executive told Reuters on Friday.
Didi Chuxing has mandated Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to lead its blockbuster IPO and plans to file confidentially for the New York float this month, two people with knowledge of the matter said.
FT Reports Manila confronts Beijing’s ‘utter disregard’ for law in South China Sea, Beijing says the Philippines is hyping the issue and the vessels are sheltering but the recent weather has been ‘fair’ which undermines the claim. Furthermore China’s actions are in line with its precious ‘land grabs’ in the South China Sea. The US has pledge to support the Philippine action and called on China to abide by the 2016 arbitration ruling at The Hague. Delfin Lorenzana, the Philippines defence secretary, said that China was showing an “utter disregard ” for international law that he described as “appalling”.
China’s embassy in Yangon said on Friday it had been in touch with “all parties” in military-ruled Myanmar, when asked about a report that a diplomat had spoken to a parallel government representing Aung San Suu Kyi’s ousted administration. China has not condemned the coup. I think it is watching closely the public uprising and International reaction in case it faces similar issues in the futures
ADR’s +23pts at 28,721 with weakness in Ecommerce, Financials mixed but overall slightly +VE More +VE profit alerts should help but sentiment remains weak and after the Alibaba fine other Ecommerce names likely to see more weakness.
No data due
The Centre for Health Protection reported 5 new covid cases (vs 14 Friday)
Short Selling Friday 15.9% vs 4.6% Thursday
Top Shorts Country Garden (2007) 50%, Bud Apac (1876) 48%, Ali Health (241) 44%, Sino Pharma (1177) 41%, ICBC (1398) 38%, CSPC Pharma (1093) 36%, HSBC (5) 35%, Hang Seng Bank (11) 32%, CCB (939) 30%, Mengniu Dairy (2319) 29%, Haidilao (6862) 27%, Bank of China (3988) 26%, Longfor (960) 25% (announced contracted sales after market)
Teachers of the revamped liberal studies should not worry about violating the “red line” of the national security law if they are discussing mainland affairs in a “fair and unbiased” manner, education minister Kevin Yeung Yun-hung said. “The four acts under the national security law are all serious offences. I don’t think the general public should be worried [about breaking the law] as long as they love our country. The most important is [teachers] seek to deliver authentic and multi-dimensional information, as well as analysing them fairly and unbiasedly,” he said.I guess that depends on your definition of love and for which country.
Q TECH (01478.HK) announced that the sales volume of camera modules in March totaled 36.066 million units, up 10.2% YoY and up 13.2% MoM. +VE
AIRLINES +VE as the rebound in air travel in China helped to drive a surge in March deliveries for Airbus +VE
SHANGHAI PECHEM (00338.HK) issued a positive profit alert. Net profit attributable to shareholders of the Company for the first quarter of 2021 is estimated to be between RMB1.06 billion and RMB1.29 billion, expected to achieve a turnaround from loss to profit as compared with the corresponding period in 2020.
CRRC (01766.HK) announced that based on the preliminary calculation of the Company, it is estimated that the net profit attributable to shareholders of the listed company for the first quarter of 2021 will increase by RMB524 million to RMB748 million as compared with that for the corresponding period of the previous year, representing a year-on-year increase of 70% to 100%.
TRIP.COM-S (09961.HK) (TCOM.US)s. IPO has registered over $3.85 billion
margin as at around 6:00 pm according to brokers. Based on the public fundraising amount of approximately $737 million, the IPO was over-subscribed by over 4.2 times.
EVERG VEHICLE (00708.HK) announced that it had today received HK$26 billion from all of the six investors and completed the issuance of new shares to those investors.
S HARBOURHOLD (01663.HK) announced that it was informed by Wong Lam Ping, the Company’s chairman and substantial shareholder, that he had acquired an aggregate of 476,000 shares of the Company in the open market at an average price of approximately HK$0.156 per share on 9 April.
BAUHAUS INT'L (00483.HK) announced that the same store sales YoY growth was -40% during the year ended 31 March 2021; Hong Kong and Macau's same store sales YoY growth was -39%.
The Lands Department (LandsD) announced that it had issued six pre-sale consents for residential developments and two pre-sale consents for non-residential developments in the first quarter of 2021. The six pre-sale consents for four residential developments (of which three are phased developments) involve a total of 1,832 residential units.
SUNNY OPTICAL (02382.HK) announced that in March 2021, the shipment volume
of handset lens sets increased by 14.8% YoY to 131 million units; the shipment volume of vehicle lens sets increased by 49.6% YoY to 6.491 million units; the shipment volume of handset camera modules increased by 52.1% YoY to 59.995 million units. Contrasts with Largan in Taiwan who yesterday warned of shortages of key components in the months ahead and reported its weakest quarterly net profit in three quarters.
SUNWAH KINGSWAY (00188.HK) announced that during the period from 9 October 2020 to 9 April 2021, the Company, through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, disposed of an aggregate of 27,300 TENCENT (00700.HK) Shares in the range of an average price between HK$536 and HK$625 per Share for an aggregate consideration of HK$15.853 million. The Disposals realise a gain of approximately HK$200,000.
CHINA OVERSEAS (00688.HK) announced that for March, the contracted property sales amounted to approximately RMB38.832 billion and the corresponding gross floor area (GFA) sold was approximately 1.887 million square meters, with year-on-year increase of 45% and 26.1% respectively.
GEMDALE PPT (00535.HK) announced that the contracted sales approximated RMB7.216 billion in March 2021, up 90.7% yearly.
CH OVS G OCEANS (00081.HK) announced that, for the first three months of 2021, the total property contracted sales amounted to RMB15.519 billion and the total contracted GFA reached 1.1602 million square meters, with year-on-year increase of 89.5% and 63.0% respectively.
SUNSHINE 100 (02608.HK) announced that, in March 2021, the Group achieved contracted sales of approximately RMB307 million, down 14% YoY, corresponding to a contracted sales area of approximately 37,597 sq.m., up 20.6% YoY.
LONGFOR GROUP (00960.HK) announced that, as at the end of March 2021, the Group achieved aggregated contracted sales of RMB60.22 billion, up 57.81% yearly.
Centa-City Leading Index (CCL) last printed at 181.31, up 0.54% weekly to a 36-week high.
CCL Mass climbed 0.55% weekly to 183.48.
CCL (small-to-medium units) hiked 0.50% weekly to 181.41.
CCL (large units) gained 0.73% weekly to 180.78.
Centaline Property, expected second-hand home deals to stay vibrant during the Easter holiday, seeing property prices to keep shooting up. CCL is set to attempt 190, likely hitting the goal around mid-2021.
Julius Baer released the latest lifestyle index survey, where Shanghai is now the most expensive city in the index, capturing the top spot from Hong Kong given China's swift economic recovery from the pandemic. Tokyo and Hong Kong are the second and third most expensive cities, respectively.