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Global stocks struggle after Fed shift, Japanese markets shaken as Abe resigns – Reuters

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LONDON (Reuters) – The Japanese yen surged and stocks fell on Friday after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe resigned for health reasons, while broader share markets were mixed as investors worried about a lack of detail in the U.S. Federal Reserve’s policy shift.

FILE PHOTO: A pedestrian in front of the London Stock Exchange offices in the City of London, Britain, December 29, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

The Nikkei 225 share index closed down 1.4% while the yen soared more than 1% after Abe announced his resignation, saying he would stay as prime minister until a new leader was appointed. [nT9N2F501S]

There has been speculation about Abe’s health all week but the resignation of Japan’s longest-serving premier rattled investors given he has spearheaded efforts to revive growth through his reflationary “Abenomics” policies. [nL4N2FU0RW]

The yen, seen as a safe-haven currency to buy in times of uncertainty, jumped 1.2% to 105.33 yen per dollar, putting it on course for its biggest one-day jump since March when the coronavirus pandemic roiled global markets.

Some analysts said the yen’s rally seemed excessive given that, while there was uncertainty, Abe’s successor was unlikely to alter economic policy significantly because the country remains in the middle of a battle to avoid deflation and lift growth.

“Of course it is unclear what kind of policy his successor will pursue. But realistically: There is unlikely to be a major change – especially in the direction of a much more restrictive policy”, said Thu Lan Nguyen, a currency analyst at Commerzbank.

Graphic: Japanese markets react to Abe resignatihere

It was a mixed day for stock markets elsewhere as investors continued to digest the Fed’s widely-awaited shift in its policy framework, which was unveiled on Thursday and saw the central bank place more emphasis on boosting economic growth and less on worries about inflation running too high.

The policy aims for 2% inflation on average, so too slow a pace would be followed by an effort to lift inflation “moderately above 2% for some time.” [nL1N2FT0PR]

Stocks initially jolted higher as investors bet interest rates would remain low for longer and more stimulus was likely.

But share markets have since been choppy, with some traders disappointed the Fed did not reveal more details about how the new framework would work or provide clues as to what it will do at its next policy meeting.

“It’s not so much about what to do about inflation when it comes but about getting inflation above target. The challenge is to get inflation up to target and not very much was said about that,” said Colin Asher, a senior economist at Mizuho.

The Euro STOXX 50 was last down 0.21%, while Germany’s DAX slid 0.3%. Britain’s FTSE 100 was flat.

U.S. stock futures clawed their way higher and back to near record levels after earlier volatile trading on concern about the impact of a hurricane that struck the centre of the U.S. oil industry. S&P 500 e-mini futures was were last up 0.24%, a seventh straight day of gains.

Asian shares outside of Japan limped higher, with the MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gaining 0.22%.

DOLLAR DECLINE DEEPENS

In currency markets, the dollar extended an earlier drop and was 0.8% lower against a basket of other currencies by 1115 GMT, taking it back towards its lows of last week – which saw the dollar at its weakest since early May 2018.

The greenback has fallen sharply since June as many analysts are predicting more pain ahead if U.S. rates are to stay low for longer and amid political uncertainty before the U.S. presidential election in November.

The euro seized on the dollar’s weakness to gallop another 0.7% higher and was last at $1.1905, close to a more than two-year high it recently touched.

The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield rose to as high as 0.789%, the most since June 10, which caused the yield curve to steepen, reflecting the Fed’s tolerance for higher inflation. It was last at 0.752%, up 1 basis point on the session.

FILE PHOTO: A man wearing protective face mask, following an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), walks in front of a stock quotation board outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan, March 10, 2020. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov

Crude oil prices see-sawed as a massive storm raced inland past the heart of the U.S. oil industry in Louisiana and Texas without causing any widespread damage to refineries.

Brent crude rose 0.09% to $45.13 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude edged 0.23% higher to $43.14 per barrel. [nL4N2FU0GF]

The spot gold price bounced 1.49% to $1,957 an ounce. The precious metal tends to perform well when the dollar is weak and the Fed sends a dovish message on the future path of interest rates. [nL4N2FU0KX]

Additional reporting by Sujata Rao in London; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Mark Potter

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Concerns over safety, confusion over rollout of Ontario's pharmacy testing plan – Ottawa Citizen

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Article content continued

Patients can look up test results online, similar to the public health reporting sites, and positive cases will receive a call both from the pharmacist and from Public Health.

Staff at The Medicine Shoppe pharmacy on Canotek Road, one of the 60 pharmacies in Ontario designated for testing, said they would be offering testing to people after-hours, and would likely roll out testing this weekend.

The Cedarview Guardian pharmacy on Strandherd Drive said it was working toward offering testing but would not be ready for Friday.

Rexall, with one location in Orléans designated for testing, did not return a request for comment Thursday.

Hurley said the government should be working to expand capacity at existing assessment centres rather than engaging private companies in testing.

“You already have hospitals running assessment centres, where the only people going in there are professionals, well-equipped, regulated and supported by people in infection control. There’s intense cleaning and the only thing going on in those environments is testing,” Hurley said.

“With pharmacies, there’s whole side industry selling groceries, but a lot of the clientele who are going to a pharmacy are people with medical conditions, or people who are elderly who are going in to pick up prescriptions, and they’re not people who can afford to contract coronavirus,” Hurley said. “The idea you would use a commercial facility to test people seems really unwise, and I can’t imagine this is the safest alternative.

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Canada's COVID-19 cases: Half of recent Winnipeg cases linked to bars, restaurants; Ontario, Quebec report more than 100 new school infections – Yahoo News Canada

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On Thursday, Sept. 24, Ontario and Quebec once again reported worrisome case updates, as health officials try to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Their situations within their communities have had an impact in their schools, with the two provinces reporting a combined 120 new infections among students and staff.

In Manitoba, there are now 449 currently infected patients, a new record-high. The majority are in Winnipeg, as health officials warn against a worrisome trend that has been developing in the city’s bars, pubs and restaurants among those in their 20s.

On the west coast, Dr. Deena Hinshaw expressed her disagreement with Justin Trudeau’s claim that Alberta is among the provinces that is currently experiencing a “second wave.” In addition, 13 school outbreak alerts have now been declared over.

In British Columbia, health officials announced 148 new cases, which marks the second largest spike in daily COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="For more on today’s top stories, and on how the novel coronavirus continues to spread across the nation, please refer to our live updates below on Yahoo News Canada.” data-reactid=”20″>For more on today’s top stories, and on how the novel coronavirus continues to spread across the nation, please refer to our live updates below on Yahoo News Canada.

11,138 active COVID-19 cases in Canada: 149,094 diagnoses, 9,249 deaths and 128,707 recoveries (as of Sept. 24, 6:30 p.m. ET)

  • Alberta – 1,462 active cases (17,190 total cases, including 261 deaths, 15,467 resolved)

  • British Columbia – 1,371 active cases (8,543 total cases, 229 deaths, 6,917 resolved)

  • Manitoba – 449 active cases (1,711 total cases, 19 deaths, 1,243 resolved)

  • New Brunswick – 6 active cases (199 cases, 2 deaths, 191 resolved)

  • Newfoundland and Labrador – 1 active case (272 total cases, 3 deaths, 268 resolved)

  • Northwest Territories – 0 active cases (5 total cases, 5 resolved)

  • Nova Scotia – 1 active cases (1,087 total cases, 65 deaths 1,021 resolved)

  • Ontario – 3,774 active cases (48,496 total cases, 2,836 deaths, 41,886 resolved)

  • Prince Edward Island – 1 active case (58 total cases, 57 resolved)

  • Quebec –  3,917 active cases (69,670 total cases, 5,810 deaths, 59,943 resolved)

  • Saskatchewan – 130 active cases (1,835 total cases, 24 deaths, 1,681 resolved)

  • Yukon – 0 active cases (15 total cases, 15 resolved)

  • Nunavut – 0 active cases (4 false positive cases)

  • CFB Trenton – 0 active cases (13 total cases, 13 resolved)

Dr. Hinshaw doesn’t agree with Trudeau’s assessment that Alberta is in its ‘second wave’

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, did not agree with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s claim that the province is in its “second wave” of the COVID-19 pandemic.

During a public address on Wednesday, the prime minister said “in our four biggest provinces, the second wave isn’t just starting, it’s already underway.” However, Hinshaw said there are some key differences to consider between Alberta and other provinces when trying to define what exactly is a second wave.

“The concept of a second wave implies that we don’t have any control or influence over the circulation of the virus,” said Hinshaw. “In Alberta, I don’t think that that’s where we’re at right now.”

Hinshaw noted that the province has seen an increase in daily case counts for the last few months, but they have “remained relatively stable.” Alberta also hasn’t seen a “very large spike of uncontrolled spread.”

The chief medical officer noted that the province doesn’t necessarily need to have a second wave in its future. Instead, they can see a stable, relatively slow burn of a constant case count over time, or even small ripples that go up and down.

“To date we have not seen any single factor that seems to be driving the majority of cases, and therefore we have not imposed any additional restrictions,” said Hinshaw.

“Again, whether or not we have a steep sharp second wave is entirely within our hands, and we can prevent that without any additional formal restrictions.”

Hinshaw announced Thursday that the province’s labs have identified 158 new cases of COVID-19. One more person has died, while 215 patients have recovered, setting Alberta’s active case count to 1,462.

The most recent victim is part of the outbreak at the Foothills Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary. So far, the outbreak at the hospital has led to 29 linked cases, including 17 patients and three deaths.

Hinshaw also provided an update about the developing COVID-19 situation in schools.

There are now active alerts in 97 schools with 163 active cases among them. Throughout Alberta, that means there are only four per cent of schools that have a case.

Alerts at 13 schools have been declared over, with no signs of transmission being identified after all close contacts among students and teachers were forced to self-isolate.

Thirty-two schools have had outbreaks, meaning there have been at least two cases within a 14-day period. Seven of those outbreaks have seen likely transmission between individuals in the school setting.

“I remind everyone that although two confirmed cases in a school may qualify as an outbreak,” said Hinshaw. “It is not a sign that a school is unsafe”

Hinshaw says all throughout the pandemic, they’ve noticed a consistent correlation between the amount of cases in the community and the amount of cases among people 5-19 years old.

During the province’s peak week in April, labs tested 2,257 school aged children, resulting in 216 cases. Since school started in Alberta on Sept. 1, the province has “actually seen a week over week decrease,” among school aged children, despite consistent testing outputs.

Top Manitoba doctor shares troubling trend as province reaches new record-high for active cases

Manitoba's top doctor is pleading with the public to follow COVID-19 protocols when visiting restaurants, pubs and bars, as cases continue to spike in the province's largest city. (Getty Images)Manitoba's top doctor is pleading with the public to follow COVID-19 protocols when visiting restaurants, pubs and bars, as cases continue to spike in the province's largest city. (Getty Images)
Manitoba’s top doctor is pleading with the public to follow COVID-19 protocols when visiting restaurants, pubs and bars, as cases continue to spike in the province’s largest city. (Getty Images)

Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief public health officer, said the province is seeing an increasing number of COVID-19 cases among people in their 20s who were in bars, pubs and restaurants in Winnipeg. 

In recent weeks, about half of the patients in Winnipeg have been linked to those venues.

“It doesn’t mean they necessarily acquired it there, but that’s a staggeringly high number of people who were at these sites during their acquisition period,” said Roussin on Thursday.

Crowding and the number of people in attendance have been common problems that have raised concerns for health officials. Roussin said there have been individuals who have visited more than one bar in a single evening. In one instance, an individual visited multiple bars while symptomatic, which resulted in 36 close contacts.

“We know that we should be decreasing our time in enclosed spaces, crowded places and reducing prolonged contact,” said Roussin. “We certainly shouldn’t be out and about when we’re symptomatic.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Throughout Manitoba, there are now a record-high 449 active cases of COVID-19. Of those currently infected individuals, 364 of them are in the Winnipeg health region, according to provincial data.&nbsp;” data-reactid=”88″>Throughout Manitoba, there are now a record-high 449 active cases of COVID-19. Of those currently infected individuals, 364 of them are in the Winnipeg health region, according to provincial data. 

Of the remaining 37 new cases, four were identified in the Interlake-Eastern health region, two in Southern Health and one in Prairie Mountain, which used to be the province’s epicentre in August.

In addition, Roussin announced a case of COVID-19 in connection to Grant Park High School in Winnipeg, involving an individual who was at the school between Sept. 15-17. The risk of further spread is considered “low.”

The outbreak at Winnipeg’s John Pritchard School in Winnipeg has now been linked to 26 cases. However, not all the individuals were necessarily at the school. 

On Thursday, Roussin also announced one more COVID-19 related fatality, involving a woman in her 90s who lived at the Parkview Place personal care home in Winnipeg. Nineteen people have now died in Manitoba in connection to the virus.

Another day with over 400 cases in Ontario, 31 new infections in schools

Ontario reported 409 new cases on Thursday, which marks the fifth time over the past seven days that it has surpassed the 400 daily cases mark. 

Before the recent stretch, Ontario had not recorded over 400 cases in a 24-hour stretch since June 2. 

The latest patients were identified after the province completed 30,634 tests for COVID-19, leading to a positivity rate of 1.3 per cent — tied for its second highest output since late-June. 

Of the 409 new cases, 151 were identified in Toronto, 82 in Ottawa, 46 in Peel, 34 in York, 26 in Waterloo, 12 in Middlesex-London and 11 in Halton. All the other 27 public health units reported fewer than 10, while 15 reported no new patients at all. 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Thirty-one new cases were identified in schools across Ontario in the province’s latest 24-hour stretch. Twenty-four of those include students, three involve staff, while the other four have not yet been identified by the Ministry of Health. Of the province’s 4,828 schools, there are now 178 that have had a case of COVID-19, with 210 total cases among them.” data-reactid=”98″>Thirty-one new cases were identified in schools across Ontario in the province’s latest 24-hour stretch. Twenty-four of those include students, three involve staff, while the other four have not yet been identified by the Ministry of Health. Of the province’s 4,828 schools, there are now 178 that have had a case of COVID-19, with 210 total cases among them.

Of the most recent 409 cases, 195 of them were among people 20-39 years old, the most of any age group. There were also 91 cases among those 40-59, and 64 among those 19 and under. Thirteen new cases were identified among long-term care residents and five among health-care workers. 

Throughout Ontario, one more person has died and 286 more patients have recovered from the respiratory virus. There are now 3,774 active cases, the most since June 9. Of those currently infected patients, there are 88 in hospital, which includes 27 in intensive care and 11 who require a ventilator.

On Thursday, Doug Ford and his provincial government announced that they’ll invest $1 billion on COVID-19 testing and contact tracing efforts as cases continue to rise around Ontario. In an effort to contain the spread and shorten wait times, Ford has asked people without COVID-19 symptoms, who are not at risk, to avoid getting tested. As of Thursday, there are 53,840 tests that are in the province’s backlog.

Quebec reports one of its largest spikes since May, 89 new cases in schools

Quebec reported 582 new cases on Thursday, the second most in a 24-hour stretch since May 27.

Earlier this week on Monday, the province announced 586 cases of COVID-19.

It’s now the sixth straight time that the province has recorded more than 400 cases, and the 13th straight time that it has reported more than 200. The last time Quebec had a similar stretch was in late-May to early-June; since then it has enjoyed multiple stretches where it consistently reported fewer than 100 daily cases as it contained the spread of COVID-19 within the province.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Of the most recent cases, 247 were identified in Montreal, 103 in Quebec City, 53 in Montérégie, 36 in Outaouais, 29 in Laval and 25 in Estrie. Of the 18 regions, eight of them reported fewer than 10 cases, while four reported no new patients at all.” data-reactid=”110″>Of the most recent cases, 247 were identified in Montreal, 103 in Quebec City, 53 in Montérégie, 36 in Outaouais, 29 in Laval and 25 in Estrie. Of the 18 regions, eight of them reported fewer than 10 cases, while four reported no new patients at all.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Throughout Quebec schools, 89 new cases were identified among students and 23 among staff. Since 29 more school cases have recovered, there are now 576 currently infected students and 72 staff in the province. So far, at least 359 class bubbles have been sent home and asked to learn remotely, up by 34 since Wednesday’s report. Of the province’s 3,089 schools, 457 of them have had a case of COVID-19, up by 30.” data-reactid=”111″>Throughout Quebec schools, 89 new cases were identified among students and 23 among staff. Since 29 more school cases have recovered, there are now 576 currently infected students and 72 staff in the province. So far, at least 359 class bubbles have been sent home and asked to learn remotely, up by 34 since Wednesday’s report. Of the province’s 3,089 schools, 457 of them have had a case of COVID-19, up by 30.

Quebec’s testing numbers are reflective of its output from two days prior. Most recently, it completed 25,553 tests for COVID-19, as it continues to push its capacity. 

No one has died in the province’s latest 24-hour stretch, but one more fatality was added to its death toll (5,810) that occurred between Sept. 17-22. Instead, the province noted that 257 more patients have recovered, meaning there are now 3,917 currently infected patients in Quebec, which 184 people in hospital and 31 in intensive care.

Quebec currently leads the way in active and total cases, as well as COVID-19-related deaths throughout the pandemic.

British Columbia records its second largest spike in cases, 30 exposure events so far in schools

Dr. Bonnie Henry, British Columbia’s provincial health officer, announced 148 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, which marks the second largest one-day spike since the start of the pandemic.

On Sept. 17, 165 cases were announced for a record-high.

With the latest increase in cases, Henry was asked if the province plans on taking further precautions to limit gatherings around the province. Since late-August, officials have increased fines for party organizers, and have also closed nightclubs and banquets.

Henry said the province has taken necessary enforcement measures for some of the university parties that have taken place as of late, but that the measures they have in place have been “relatively successful in the last few weeks”.

“It’s not the number [of cases], in and of itself, that’s the issue,” said Hinshaw. “What is important for us is to say, ‘Can we manage this outbreak, this pandemic? Make sure that we’re doing everything we can to prevent transmission.

“Obviously, I would prefer if we had far fewer people being infected, because we know every time somebody transmits it to somebody else, there’s a risk that is going to be somebody who gets very sick or dies.”

In the province’s latest 24-hour stretch, two more people have passed away in Fraser Health, which increases B.C.’s death toll to 229. In addition, 148 people have recently recovered.

Throughout the province there are now 1,371 active cases of COVID-19, the fewest since Sept. 7. There are also 3,417 people who are self-isolating and are being actively monitored by B.C. public health, since they were in contact with a known COVID-19 patient. 

Henry said there have been 30 school exposure events throughout its more than 2,000 schools. However, by B.C.’s definition, there have been no outbreaks that have identified so far.

“That is not surprising to me,” said Henry. “With millions of children going back into the schools in the last few weeks, this is to be expected.”

<h2 class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Updates from across Canada” data-reactid=”126″>Updates from across Canada

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="No new cases were identified in Nova Scotia or Newfoundland and Labrador, which continue to have one active case of COVID-19 each. As of Prince Edward Island’s last update on Wednesday, there remains one active case in its province as well.” data-reactid=”127″>No new cases were identified in Nova Scotia or Newfoundland and Labrador, which continue to have one active case of COVID-19 each. As of Prince Edward Island’s last update on Wednesday, there remains one active case in its province as well.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Two new cases were identified in New Brunswick. One of the cases involves an individual in their 40s, who is currently in Ontario and will stay there until they have recovered. They live permanently in the Fredecition region. The other patient is in their 60s in the Moncton region, and their reason for transmission is believed to be travel related. In addition, health officials notified the public that there is a Quebec resident in the Campbellton region who has tested positive; they will stay in N.B. until they recovered. However, they are not counted among the province’s six active cases.” data-reactid=”128″>Two new cases were identified in New Brunswick. One of the cases involves an individual in their 40s, who is currently in Ontario and will stay there until they have recovered. They live permanently in the Fredecition region. The other patient is in their 60s in the Moncton region, and their reason for transmission is believed to be travel related. In addition, health officials notified the public that there is a Quebec resident in the Campbellton region who has tested positive; they will stay in N.B. until they recovered. However, they are not counted among the province’s six active cases.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Saskatchewan reported five new cases of COVID-19, but that also eight more patients have recovered. Of the recently diagnosed, two are in Saskatoon, while there is one each in the Central West, Regina and South Central zones. Of the province’s total cases, 130 are considered active. The Saskatoon region is home to 75 of those currently infected patients, while throughout Saskatchewan there are eight people in hospital.” data-reactid=”129″>Saskatchewan reported five new cases of COVID-19, but that also eight more patients have recovered. Of the recently diagnosed, two are in Saskatoon, while there is one each in the Central West, Regina and South Central zones. Of the province’s total cases, 130 are considered active. The Saskatoon region is home to 75 of those currently infected patients, while throughout Saskatchewan there are eight people in hospital.

Timelines of cases prior to August:

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Investors who profited from Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme must return earnings: judge – CBC.ca

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Investors who profited from Bernard Madoff’s massive Ponzi scheme even though they knew nothing of it must still pay back their profits, an appeals court decided Thursday.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan upheld lower-court decisions in cases filed by Irving Picard, a court-appointed trustee who has recovered money for cheated investors for over a decade.

Madoff, 82, is serving a 150-year prison sentence imposed after he pleaded guilty to federal charges in 2009.

His bid to be released early on grounds that he is dying was rejected this year. Thousands of investors lost billions of dollars through his multi-decade fraud.

Madoff customers who received millions of dollars more than their original investments fought in court to hang on to their profits, arguing through their lawyers that they had receive the payouts in good faith and that too much time had passed to let Picard recover the money.

A three-judge panel of the 2nd Circuit concluded, however, that the investors were not entitled to “fictitious” profits that actually was money belonging to other customers.

It noted that the investors were permitted to retain the principal of their investments.

Picard has reported recovering over $14.3 billion US for investors who lost over $17.5 billion US that they invested. The collapse of the Ponzi scheme left many investors severely damaged financially because they were told their investments had grown much larger than what they started with.

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