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GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian stocks, oil sell off on second wave fears

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* Asian stock markets : tmsnrt.rs/2zpUAr4

SYDNEY, June 15 (Reuters) – Asian markets started the week on the backfoot on Monday while oil prices slipped as fears of a second wave of coronavirus infections in China sent investors scurrying for safe-havens.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.25% with Australian shares off 0.4% and South Korea slipping 0.6%. Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.75%.

The losses follow a strong rally in global equities since late March, fuelled by central bank and fiscal stimulus and optimism as countries gradually lifted restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

However, risk sentiment took a knock after Beijing recorded dozens of new COVID-19 cases in recent days, all linked to a major wholesale food market.

Investors are also fretting over a spike in cases in the United States.

Another large coronavirus outbreak could roil financial markets, which had been rallying recently on hopes for economic recovery.

Some analysts were still hopeful Monday’s sell-off will be temporary.

“We assume that any second wave is likely to be more manageable than the first given earlier policy experience,” analysts at Morgan Stanley wrote in a note.

“Policy easing will also help Asia (excluding Japan) get back on its feet better.”

The Chinese yuan dipped in offshore trade to 7.0877 per dollar while the risk-sensitive currencies of Australia and New Zealand were also sold off. Both were last down 0.4% at $0.6855 and $0.6424, respectively.

Investors are keeping a close eye on Chinese industrial production and retail sales figures due later in the day for signs of recovery in the world’s second-largest economy.

Elsewhere, the dollar was little changed at 107.46 yen as investors avoided big moves before a Bank of Japan policy meeting ending Tuesday.

No major changes are expected, but some investors may be interested in Governor Haruhiko Kuroda’s views on its yield curve control policy.

U.S. central bankers have discussed the option of adopting yield curve control to cap bond yields.

Analysts said further tests awaited global markets this week – in particular whether re-opening hopes could still push equities higher.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is due to testify before Congress where “he may try to spin a more upbeat/hopeful outlook – but whether markets listen remains to be seen,” said Betashares chief economist David Bassanese.

Also of interest is U.S. May retail sales figures on Tuesday, which are expected to bounce smartly after a slump in April.

“If the market can’t rally on retail sales it will be a strong signal that the initial ‘re-opening bounce’ has finally been priced,” Bassanese added.

“If so, that means going forward economic data – which will provide guideposts on the actual shape of the recovery – will start to matter again.”

In commodities, oil prices slipped with Brent down 2% at $37.95 a barrel while U.S. crude fell 2.7% at $35.26. Gold rose 0.2% to $1,732.2 an ounce on safe haven demand.

Editing by Sam Holmes

Source:reuters

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B.C. says all eligible adults should get first dose of COVID-19 vaccine by end of July – Global News

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Health officials are hoping to fast-track how quickly all eligible British Columbians will receive their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

The province is expecting all adults in the province will have the option to receive their first dose before the end of July.


Click to play video 'Officials aim to administer first dose of COVID-19 vaccine to all British Columbians by July'



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Officials aim to administer first dose of COVID-19 vaccine to all British Columbians by July


Officials aim to administer first dose of COVID-19 vaccine to all British Columbians by July

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced Monday that the gap between the first and second doses of the vaccine will be extended to 112 days.

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Pfizer, one of the manufacturers, has recommended a 21-day gap between doses and the province previously was spacing them out by 42 days.

The province is also expecting to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine as soon as next week, which will allow some essential workers to get the shot ahead of their age group.

Read more:
B.C. rolls out COVID-19 vaccination plan for those over 80 and extends time between doses

“The extension of dose two will make a big difference in our ability to vaccinate our mass population,” Dr. Penny Ballem, who is leading the province’s vaccination plan, said Monday.

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“It will likely result in mid-to-late July we will be able to give a first dose to everyone in our population, which is a significant shift in our original plan. We will come back with more details on this.”


Click to play video 'B.C. health officials roll out phase two of province’s vaccination plan'



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B.C. health officials roll out phase two of province’s vaccination plan


B.C. health officials roll out phase two of province’s vaccination plan

There is still no approved COVID-19 vaccine for children and teenagers in British Columbia.

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Dr. Danuta Skowronski, epidemiology lead for influenza and emerging respiratory pathogens at the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, has convinced provincial health officials that spreading out doses will not jeopardize the vaccine’s effectiveness.

In a letter to the editor published in the New England Journal of Medicine, co-authored with Dr. Gaston De Serres of the Institut National de Sante Publique du Quebec, Skowronski argues the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine — initially said to be just 52.4 per cent effective with one dose — could provide more than 90 per cent protection with a single shot.

According to Skowronski and De Serres, Pfizer’s own research started measuring the vaccine’s efficacy immediately after a dose was administered, not after a two-week grace period, which is typical in vaccinology.

READ MORE: Canada prepares for single biggest Pfizer vaccine shipment to date

Using documents submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the doctors say they determined Pfizer’s vaccine is actually up to 92.6 per cent effective with a single dose.

“These are decisions that have gone through our immunization committee, our public health team,” Henry said.

“We have such good protection from these vaccines after the first dose. We will be focusing on second doses in the summer.”

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The province originally estimated all eligible British Columbians would receive at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by September.

–with files from Aaron McArthur, Simon Little and The Canadian Press

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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What side effects do Canadians report after getting COVID-19 vaccine? – News 1130

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VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – B.C. is ramping up its vaccine efforts in the coming weeks, planning to get more people immunized faster by extending the length of time between first and second doses. That means you may be able to get the jab sooner that first thought.

So what has the experience been like for the many people who have already been vaccinated?

Looking at the latest poll from Leger, there is a range of experiences reported.

In Canada, most of those immunized against COVID-19 so far (55 per cent) have received the Pfizer vaccine. When it comes to side effects, respondents most commonly report pain in the arm, at 68 per cent.

About a quarter report tiredness and fewer than two-in-10 say they got a headache after rolling up their sleeve.

In descending order, other reported effects from the COVID-19 shot include muscle soreness, swelling, chills, and fever.

Only about three per cent report they were hospitalized, though the poll doesn’t go into why.

There is a significant portion of those polled who say they had absolutely no side effects at 17 per cent.

Meanwhile, 41 per cent of Canadians surveyed reported some sort of pain associated with the side effects. Thirteen per cent say the side effects were “very painful” while 28 per cent say they were “somewhat” so.

Across the country, 59 per cent seem to be on the other side of that; 44 per cent say the side effects were not very painful while 15 per cent say they weren’t painful at all.

Read the full survey:

Legers-North-American-Tracker-March-1st-2021-min

On Monday, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced B.C. would be extending the interval between first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccines to four months. The extension will apply to all three vaccines currently approved in Canada, made by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and AstraZeneca.

“The important thing that we have learned is that these vaccines work, they give a very high level of protection, and that protection lasts for many months,” Henry said.

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“In combination with the new vaccines that we have available, this gives us a very important and very real benefit to everybody here in B.C. That means we can move everybody up the list and more people will be protected sooner,” B.C.’s top doctor added, noting delaying the second shot “provides very high, real-world protection to more people sooner.”

Word of the extension came as the province unveiled dates for when the most senior British Columbians will begin to have access to the vaccines.

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2020 was the worst year on record for Canada's economy. It shrank by 5.4% – CBC.ca

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Canada’s economy shrank by 5.4 per cent last year, official data from Statistics Canada showed Monday, making 2020 the worst year for the country’s economic output since record keeping began.

The data agency said Tuesday that Canada’s gross domestic product — the total value of all goods and services it produced — grew by 2.3 per cent during the last three months of the year, but that was nowhere near enough to offset the record-setting plunge it experienced during the the middle half of 2020.

Since bottoming out in the spring and early summer, economic activity has slowly, steadily grown.

For comparison purposes, Canada’s economy contracted almost twice as much as the U.S. did during the COVID-19 pandemic, despite the U.S. seeing far more cases per capita.

Preliminary data suggests the U.S. economy shrank by 3.5 per cent last year.

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