A storefront decorated is with a Chinese national flag and red lanterns to celebrate the National Day in Beijing on Oct. 4.

Photographer: Yan Cong/Bloomberg

When the world’s financial markets hit turbulence, could you really turn to China’s yuan as a store of value?

The idea of the yuan as a refuge has gained some traction in recent weeks as it capped its best quarter in 12 years relative to the dollar. That label would put it on par with currencies traditionally deemed as safe in a market downturn, like the Japanese yen or Swiss franc.

In addition to dollar weakness, the yuan is being underpinned by a wide interest-rate premium over the rest of the world, as well as signs that China’s economy is recovering from the shock of the pandemic. But unlike a haven, China’s tightly-managed currency is gaining just as money flows into risk assets such as U.S. stocks or high-yield credit. In other words, it is strengthening in a relatively benign market.

Buying the yuan as a shelter from market volatility isn’t new: in 2017, the Chinese currency proved to be a better bet than the yen when North Korea fired missiles into the Sea of Japan. But history also shows it’s a risky strategy — when the yuan showed haven-like resilience in early 2018, it slumped to a decade low that year after the Trump administration slapped its first tariffs on Chinese goods.

Considering the policy risk in China and its capital controls, viewing the yuan as a haven will be inappropriate, according to George Magnus, research associate at Oxford University’s China Centre.

“The yuan can be considered a ‘good trade,’ which is a cyclical phenomenon and has nothing to do with haven status — the conditions for that are largely unfulfilled,”

a close up of a box: 3d render image of hydrogen energy fuel cell from Plug Power

© Source: Shutterstock
3d render image of hydrogen energy fuel cell from Plug Power

Fuel cell pioneer Plug Power (NASDAQ:PLUG) seeks to function as an integral part of the hydrogen economy of the future. PLUG stock is a pure play in this niche market, and the company is well known among traders seeking to cash in on the clean-hydrogen, zero-emission fuel-cell economy.

a close up of a box: 3d render image of hydrogen energy fuel cell from Plug Power

© Provided by InvestorPlace
3d render image of hydrogen energy fuel cell from Plug Power

It hasn’t always been an easy ride for PLUG stock holders. It’s no secret that the share price has declined sharply in the past. On the other hand, patient shareholders have enjoyed robust gains in 2020 so far, even amid a global pandemic.

Even in a solid year, though, PLUG shareholders have had to cope with wild bouts of volatility along the way. There’s been no shortage of news developments for Plug Power, but it’s often difficult to predict how the market will react in the short term.

The best approach is to consider whether Plug Power is going down the right path and position yourself accordingly. Recent developments, in my humble opinion, tend to indicate that the company is diligently and effectively preparing for a clean-energy economy.

A Closer Look at PLUG Stock

If you can’t handle sharp moves in both directions, then PLUG stock definitely isn’t your cup of tea. You’d be better off owning shares of a more established company with a bigger market capitalization.

Just the past couple of months should give you an idea of how wiggly and wobbly PLUG stock can be. In August and September, PLUG has been bouncing around between $11 and $14. It’s hard to tell who will win in the tug-of-war between the bulls and the bears.


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For students returning to university, this year will be very different to the last. And for those only beginning, the pandemic has taken away many of the freedoms they should have welcomed when they left home.

But despite local lockdowns of some universities, and bans on parties in others, there is one constant – the struggle to stick to a budget.

A recent survey from the advice site Save the Student put the average monthly cost of going to university at just under £800 – most of that being spent on rent. With part-time jobs thinner on the ground due to coronavirus, many students will need to be especially prudent.

There is help at hand – sites such as Save The Student, UNiDAYS and Student Beans all point out deals that can be found from brands, attractions and services which are eager to get business from both freshers and those returning to college.

So in these extraordinary times, what are the best ways to save during term time?

Choose the right account

Banks are ready to throw any number of perks at students in order to get their business, in the hope that they will continue to bank with them once they leave university. Cashback, awards schemes, free Amazon Prime student membership, free railcards and TOTUM student discount cards are all on offer depending on which bank you go with.

For many, however, the main attraction will be the interest-free overdraft. Both Halifax and Santander offer the most, with up to £1,500 from the start of year one. The other main banks offer similar, if slightly different, amounts – Barclays, Nationwide and HSBC give up to £1,000 while at Bank of Scotland and Lloyds it is £500 in the first six months then £1,000 in months seven to nine.