Weekly news summary for October 8 to October 14

Friday, Oct. 8: TSMC and Sony May Build Chip Factory in Japan

Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC and Japanese conglomerate Sony Group Corp. are considering setting up a chip factory in Japan, with the country’s government likely to back the project with around JPY800 billion ($7.15 billion).

First reported by Nikkei Asia, the planned chip manufacturing plant in Kumamoto is expected to start operating by 2024 and is likely to produce semiconductors for vehicles, camera image sensors, and other products affected by the worldwide chip shortage.

Monday, Oct. 11: Oil Prices Hit New 7-Year Highs Amid Supply Fears

US oil prices were up new seven-year highs on Monday due to concerns that fuel demand was bouncing back quicker from last year’s economic slump than producers could deliver supply to the market.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose more than $82 per barrel to post their highest since 2014, while global oil benchmark Brent crude futures gained as much as 1.7% to $83.78 per barrel to mark their highest level since October 2018.

Tuesday, Oct. 12: China Q3 Auto Sales Fall on Ongoing Chip Shortage

China’s auto sales dropped 13% in the third quarter from the previous year, the first such decline in over a year, as the worldwide chip shortage continues to weigh on the world’s biggest car market.

China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) stated that sales of passenger cars in the country declined 17% from a year ago to 1.58 million vehicles in September, the worst drop since March 2020.

Wednesday, Oct. 13: US Becomes No. 1 Destination for Bitcoin Miners

The US has taken the top spot from China as the no. 1 place for Bitcoin miners for the first time, followed by Kazakhstan and Russia, with the new data from Cambridge University providing the confirmation.

The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance stated that the US’s Bitcoin hashrate – miners’ collective computing power – was up 428% from September 2020 to 35.4% as of July, while China’s hashrate declined to zero by the same month from 44% in May, and from 75% in 2019.

Thursday, Oct. 14: Chinese Property Shares Fall on Evergrande Crisis

A sub-index monitoring Chinese property shares dropped nearly 3% on Thursday, as investors worried over a debt crisis affecting real estate developers, including troubled Evergrande Group, a day after the sector received new credit rating downgrades.

Evergrande missed a third round of bond interest payments this week, alarming investors, but it seemed to have made minor progress in raising funds after QuMei Home Furnishings Group Co. Ltd. announced to buy its 40% stake in their furnishings joint venture for CNJPY72 million ($11.18 million).

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