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China isn’t what it used to be | Rappers don’t kill people, ventilators do |

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Today's big stories

  1. China’s economy grew at its slowest pace in a year last quarter
  2. There’s one precious metal with a lot more profit potential than gold right now – Read Now
  3. Healthcare giant Philips reported worse-than-expected results

All Fail The King

All Fail The King

What’s Going On Here?

Data out on Monday showed that China’s economy grew at its slowest pace in a year last quarter, as last year’s teacher’s pet suddenly falls out of favor.

What Does This Mean?

China might’ve outperformed the rest of the world last year, but this year has brought a whole host of challenges for its economy. Energy shortages, for one, have led to surging prices and power rationing, which has pushed factories to cut production and led to a drop in manufacturing activity. The government’s much-discussed crackdown on the real estate market, meanwhile, has really slowed the property sector down – no small thing considering property-related activities make up nearly a third of the Chinese economy.

All that might be why the country’s economy grew just 4.9% last quarter compared to last year – well below the 7.9% of the quarter before. Investment banks, for their part, saw it coming: data out last week showed that 10 of the 13 major banks have been cutting their full-year growth forecasts for China since August.

Why Should I Care?

Zooming in: Don’t expect a helping hand.
Things aren’t all bad: China’s exports grew 28% last month compared to the year before, while consumer spending grew by a better-than-expected 4.4%. The government might be holding out hope that this will be enough to keep its recovery on track for now, which could explain why it isn’t rushing to bring in any financial support programs.

The bigger picture: EMs break with tradition.
China’s fellow emerging markets (EMs) aren’t doing much better: Bank of America is forecasting that the group of them (excluding China) won’t grow as quickly as the US next year – the third year in a row that’s happened (tweet this). This wasn’t the plan: EMs – which have a lot of scope to come on in leaps and bounds using advancements from around the world – traditionally grow faster and offer higher potential returns than more developed markets.

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Analyst Take

Silver Miners Have Lost Their Sparkle, And That Might Be A Great Reason To Buy

Silver Miners Have Lost Their Sparkle, And That Might Be A Great Reason To Buy
Photo of Stéphane Renevier

Stéphane Renevier, Analyst

What’s Going On Here?

Silver miners have taken a trouncing this year.

Investors have been pulling their money from silver ETFs at a record rate, as a potential drop-off in inflation and Fed bond-buying puts them off the “poor man’s gold”.

But it might represent a seriously profitable value play for that very reason.

See, silver miners right now are cheap and profitable, and they’re generating a record amount of cash from their operations.

Demand for the metal is high too, and it should only keep getting higher as the transition to a greener economy accelerates. Supply, meanwhile, isn’t keeping up.

So that’s today’s Insight: why silver’s a good bet going forward, and how you can buy in while miners are looking cheap.

Read or listen to the Insight here


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Diagnosis Murder

Diagnosis Murder

What’s Going On Here?

Philips reported worse-than-expected earnings on Monday, so the healthcare tech giant really should think about cutting back on poisoning its customers.

What Does This Mean?

Philips sold off its domestic appliances business to focus on its healthcare products back in March, and, uh, things haven’t been going well: it made the monumental mistake for a healthcare company – any company, really – of exposing its customers to toxic effects via its ventilators. That’s led to a recall of its products that’s cost the company almost $600 million so far. And while the demand is still there for its (presumably less fatal) products, all-too-familiar shortages of components have left the company struggling to convert those orders into sales. All in all, Philips’ revenue fell by around 8% last quarter compared to the same time last year.

Why Should I Care?

For markets: Investors hold a grudge.
Those shortages aren’t going anywhere fast, and the whole “toxic ventilator” thing might not be either: there could be any number of lawsuits in the pipeline, which might be why Philips cut its sales outlook for the rest of the year. Investors – who had already sent its stock down more than 25% between April and this update – didn’t take it well: they sent its share price down another 3%.

Zooming out: The doctor will Zoom you now.
Philips’ bedside manner could clearly do with some work, but at least it has telehealth in the meantime. And that’s not a bad market to fall back on: consulting firm McKinsey estimates that the US telehealth industry will grow from its 2019 revenue of $3 billion to as much as $250 billion. And Philips can thank an illness it didn’t cause for that one: McKinsey says the number of virtual doctors’ visits are up 38-fold since before the pandemic.

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💬 Quote of the day

“To imagine is everything, to know is nothing at all.”

– Anatole France (a French poet, journalist, and novelist)
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🤔 The Pros And Cons Of Alternative Investments: 5pm UK time, October 18th
👍 How To Trade In Good And Bad Times: 5pm UK time, October 19th
👀 How To Spot A Market Dud: 6pm UK time, October 20th
⚡️ What’s Next For EV Batteries?: 11am UK time, October 21st
🤓 A Smarter Way To Profit In The Short Term: 5pm UK time, October 21st
🇰🇷 Are Korean Stocks The Next Big Thing?: 1pm UK time, October 22nd
🤖 How to Assess Winning DeFi Projects: 6pm UK time, October 28th
✈️ Are Space Flights And Self-Driving Cars The Future?: 5pm UK time, November 2nd
🚀 Finimize & Ledger Crypto Summit 2021: December 2nd-3rd

🎯 On Our Radar

  1. Staycations taken literally. The case against globe-trotting.
  2. There’s an answer to rising sea levels. Just get rid of boats, apparently.
  3. Biscoff hot chocolate. It’s taking over TikTok just in time for winter.
  4. No more mines. Pandora is switching to lab-made diamonds.
  5. Cracked glass. The downside of Sky Glass.
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