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Commodities on edge as tight US election hurts gold, aids oil – BNN

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Gold and copper slumped while oil rose with U.S. equity futures, as tight races in battleground states in the U.S. election raised the prospect of a prolonged wait for the final result.

Most commodities were dragged lower as the dollar rallied, with the unexpected closeness of the race sparking risk aversion across financial markets and spurring a flight to the safety of the greenback.

President Donald Trump has once again defied polls and predictions, with a better-than-expected showing that appeared to significantly shrink Democrat challenger Joe Biden’s path to victory. The incumbent falsely declared early Wednesday he had won re-election and said he would ask the Supreme Court to intervene. Biden didn’t concede defeat and it looked likely that the final result would not be known for some time.

“The only thing we know for a fact is that the uncertainty will linger for a while after Trump’s premature announcement and Supreme Court threat,” said Ole Hansen, head of commodities strategy at Saxo Bank A/S. “Most assets classes are selling off while bonds and the dollar have rallied.”

The stakes have never been higher in a presidential election as whoever wins will have the monumental task of leading the U.S. in its fight against a virus that’s claimed more than 230,000 lives in the country and decimated the economy. On a global level, the next president will also play an integral role in shaping domestic as well as international efforts against climate change, the use of fossil fuels and the pace of energy transition.

Prices

  • Spot gold fell 0.9 per cent to US$1,892.66 per ounce as of 9:25 a.m. in London
  • West Texas Intermediate for December delivery rose 1.5 per cent to US$38.23 a barrel, rebounding after having earlier wiped out a 3.4 per cent gain
  • Brent for January settlement rose 1.5 per cent to US$40.31 on the ICE Futures Europe exchange
  • Copper dropped 1.5 per cent to US$6,712.50 a ton on the London Metal Exchange
  • Soybeans fell 0.4 per cent to US$10.5975 cents a bushel
  • Sugar lost 0.3 per cent and coffee was down 0.7 per cent in New York

“Clearly the Blue Wave has not materialized as the polls predicted,” said Wayne Gordon, executive director for commodities and foreign exchange at UBS Global Wealth Management. “The consequence of a Trump victory could be that the fiscal packages come more quickly, but potentially be of a smaller amount.”

During his presidency, Trump took a hard-line stance against major oil producers Iran and Venezuela by means of crippling sanctions, tightening global supplies. His support for American shale producers helped the nation’s output rise to a record, adding more supplies to the global pool.

A victory by Biden could pave the way for the roll-out of more fiscal stimulus that could lift equity and commodity markets — particularly gold, which benefits from a weaker dollar due to money printing — in the near term. It could also lead to stricter regulation of shale drillers and also signal a detente with Iran, which would unleash millions of barrels a day in fresh crude exports.

Delays to any conclusive result over the next day or so should offer support to the dollar and would pressure prices of commodities, said Vivek Dhar, an analyst at Commonwealth Bank of Australia. “Gold, metals and oil — particularly oil and copper — will be sensitive to those dollar movements.”

The futures curve for Brent shows there’s still some concern about a potential glut even after increasing signs the OPEC+ alliance will delay easing output cuts as lockdowns are imposed in Europe and Libyan production rises.

“Under Trump, there’s a bigger chance of oil prices rising,” said Fereidun Fesharaki, chairman of industry consultant FGE. “The market has also began to realize that the selloff has been overdone..”

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Ford differentiates between Ontarians holding private gatherings and establishments defying COVID-19 rules – CBC.ca

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Premier Doug Ford drew a distinction between Ontarians flouting public health measures through private gatherings and establishments that openly defy the province’s COVID-19 rules Tuesday.

The remarks came in response to questions about at Toronto barbeque restaurant owner publicly vowing to keep his doors open amid the province’s lockdown for the city.

“They have to follow the rules. There can’t be rules for one group and not another,” he said at a news conference Tuesday, less forcefully than in other instances where the premier has come out swinging against people throwing large parties or weddings, for example.

“When it comes to private parties, that’s a different ball of wax,” Ford said. “I’m not going to get up here and start pounding the small business owner when the guy’s holding on by his finger nails. I differentiate between someone at home being reckless and having 100 people over and partying and renting a public storage place … that’s reckless.

“I don’t condone that he opened up but I feel terrible. My heart breaks for these guys … these business-owners, believe me. “But please, in saying all that, you’ve got to follow the protocols and guidelines.”

The province also announced Tuesday that it has begun deploying rapid testing in long-term care homes, rural and remote areas — something the premier called a “gamechanger.”

The announcement comes as a data error resulted in an artificially low daily total of 1,009 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday.

It also comes just one day before the province’s auditor general is set to issue a three-part report on the province’s pandemic emergency preparedness and its response to COVID-19, including lab testing, case management and contact tracing. 

A spokesperson for Health Minister Christine Elliott said that yesterday’s figure of 1,589 cases (which appeared to be a record high) inadvertently included eight-and-a-half extra hours worth of data from Nov. 22, meaning the total count was inflated. Today’s number adjusts for the mistake.

The new cases include 497 in Toronto, 175 in Peel Region and 118 in York Region. The seven-day average now sits at 1,395.

Other public health units that saw double-digit increases were:

  • Waterloo Region: 40
  • Windsor: 31
  • Simcoe Muskoka: 25
  • Ottawa: 19
  • Niagara Region: 19
  • Durham Region: 16
  • Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph: 16
  • Hamilton: 10
  • Thunder Bay: 14

[Note: All of the figures used in this story are found on the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 dashboard or in its Daily Epidemiologic Summary. The number of cases for any region may differ from what is reported by the local public health unit, because local units report figures at different times.]

Today’s additional cases include 270 that are school-related: 223 students and 47 staff. The Ministry of Education said in a statement that the figure is not a one-day increase. Rather it reflects cases identified in schools from 2 p.m. last Friday to 2 p.m. yesterday, and also some others that were not reported Friday because of professional learning days in some boards, including the Toronto public and Catholic boards.

There are currently 703 publicly-funded schools in Ontario, or about 14.6 per cent, with at least one reported instance of COVID-19. Four schools are closed due to the illness, including one in Windsor with 39 cases, the largest school-related outbreak in the province.

There are now 12,917 confirmed, active cases of the illness provincewide, a slight drop from yesterday as 1,082 cases were marked resolved today. 

The further infections in today’s update come as Ontario’s network of labs processed just 27,053 test samples for the novel coronavirus, and added 29,316 to the queue to be completed. There is currently capacity in the system for up to 50,000 tests daily. Meanwhile, the province reported a test positivity rate of 5.8 per cent.

The official COVID-19 death toll grew by 14, up to 3,519. So far this month, 374 people with COVID-19 have died in Ontario. 

Hospitalizations of people with COVID-19 also jumped, up 27 to 534. Of those, 159 are being treated in intensive care and 91 with ventilators. Public health officials have identified 150 patients in ICUs as the threshold for when unrelated surgeries and procedures are likely to be postponed because of burdens on the hospital system.

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Error in reporting COVID-19 data resulted in overestimation of case count on Monday, province says – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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Ontario is reporting 1,009 new cases of COVID-19 but the province says an error in reporting yesterday’s data has resulted in an underestimation of today’s case count and overestimation of Monday’s total.

On Monday, Ontario reported 1,589 new cases of the virus , a new single-day record, but the province now says that number was not accurate.

“Due to technical issues, instead of including cases up until 12:00 p.m. on November 22, yesterday’s report contained cases reported in CCM up until 8:30 p.m. on November 22, resulting in an overestimate of the daily counts yesterday, and an underestimate of the daily counts today,” a spokesperson for Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott said in an email on Tuesday.

The province has not confirmed how many cases should have been included in yesterday’s total.

When averaging out new infections reported over the last two days, Ontario saw 1,299 cases on both Monday and Tuesday.

“Ontario is reporting 1,009 cases of #COVID19,” Elliott tweeted on Tuesday, acknowledging Monday’s data glitch.

“Locally, there are 497 new cases in Toronto, 175 in Peel and 118 in York Region. There are 1,082 more resolved cases and nearly 27,100 tests completed.”

On Monday, the province said that 37,471 tests were completed, meaning that an average of just 32,285 tests were processed on both Monday and Tuesday, well below the province’s goal of 50,000 tests per day.

The test positivity rate averages out to about 5.2 per cent over the two days, according to figures provided by provincial health officials.

The rolling seven-day average of new cases is now 1,395, down from 1,421 one week ago.

According to the province’s latest disclosure, 14 more virus-related deaths were reported in Ontario today.

Ten of those deaths involved residents of long-term care homes in the province.

Hospitalizations now sit at 534, according to provincial health officials, and intensive care admissions are at 159.

On Monday, Toronto and Peel Region officially entered into a 28-day lockdown period to curb the spread of the disease.

Restaurants have been forced to close patios and indoor dining rooms in the two regions as part of the lockdown but they can remain open for takeout and delivery.

All non-essential retail stores are also closed to in-person shopping but are still permitted to offer curbside pickup and delivery.

New GTHA cases (average over two days):

Peel Region: 355 (535 on Monday, 175 on Tuesday)

Toronto: 416.5 (336 on Monday, 497 on Tuesday)

York Region: 162 (205 on Monday, 118 on Tuesday)

Durham Region: 37 (51 on Monday, 23 on Tuesday)

Halton Region: 29 (53 on Monday, 5 on Tuesday)

Hamilton: 35.5 (61 on Monday, 10 on Tuesday)

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Dow hits 30000 on Biden transition, stimulus odds – BNN

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U.S. stocks rallied toward records, oil surged past US$45 and the dollar fell as the formal start of President-elect Joe Biden’s transition spurred investors into risk assets.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed to 30,000 for the first time, led by a 5 per cent rally in Boeing Co. The S&P 500 jumped more than 1 per cent. Back-to-normal stocks led the gains. Carnival Corp. surged 9 per cent, MGM Resorts International added 7 per cent and Planet Fitness Inc. jumped 8 per cent. The Russell 2000 rose almost 2 per cent and is on track for its best month ever.

Energy companies in the S&P 500 surged 4 per cent after oil topped US$45 a barrel in New York for the first time since March 6. Bitcoin rallied past US$19,000. The dollar weakened versus major peers and Treasuries slipped. Gold fell toward US$1,800 an ounce.

“The market has room to run but on the premise that investors are trying to rotate into these undervalued areas of the market and more into the value play rather than the technology,” Shawn Snyder, head of investment strategy at Citi Personal Wealth Management, said by phone.

Stock markets globally trended higher after the General Services Administration acknowledged Biden as the apparent winner of the presidential election. The move reduces political uncertainty in the U.S., giving Biden and his team access to current agency officials, briefing books, some US$6 million in funding and other resources. Markets also cheered his plan to nominate former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen to lead the Treasury Department.

“Markets love certainty and the move by Trump overnight partially removes ambiguity over the presidential succession,” Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst with Oanda Asia Pacific Pte, wrote in a note. “A Biden administration is expected to be much less isolationist, with hopes that the U.S. will reengage on global trade and improve relations with China.”

Wall Street is also viewing a possible Yellen appointment as reason to count on more economic stimulus. She recently said the recovery will be uneven and lackluster if Congress doesn’t spend more to fight unemployment and keep small businesses afloat. That’s fueling the rotation out of defensive technology stocks and into assets that have been hardest hit by the pandemic, such as airlines and energy producers.

In other markets, gold dropped to a four-month low and the dollar weakened against its major peers.

In New Zealand, the government proposed adding home prices to the central bank’s remit to rein in an overheating property market. The move has prompted investors to reduce bets on lower interest rates, pushing the kiwi to the highest level since June 2018.

In Germany, the operator of the DAX index announced the biggest overhaul since the index’s inception in 1988. The number of members will increase to 40 from 30 and new quality criteria will be imposed on both existing and prospective members.

These are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

The S&P 500 Index rose 1.4 per cent as of 11:39 a.m. New York time.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.6 per cent.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.9 per cent.
The MSCI Emerging Market Index was little changed.

Currencies

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.3 per cent.
The euro climbed 0.2 per cent to US$1.187.
The British pound gained 0.1 per cent to US$1.3333.
The onshore yuan was little changed at 6.586 per dollar.
The Japanese yen was little changed at 104.54 per dollar.

Bonds

The yield on 10-year Treasuries jumped two basis points to 0.87 per cent.
The yield on two-year Treasuries increased less than one basis point to 0.16 per cent.
Germany’s 10-year yield gained three basis points to -0.56 per cent.
Japan’s 10-year yield climbed one basis point to 0.025 per cent.

Commodities

West Texas Intermediate crude surged 4.7 per cent to US$45.07 a barrel.
Brent crude climbed 1.6 per cent to US$47.845 a barrel.
Gold futures weakened 1.9 per cent to US$1,809.30 an ounce.

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