(Kitco News) – The gold market continues to hold near all-time highs and is see some delayed buying momentum the Federal Reserve maintains a steady course to stabilize the economy devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As expected the U.S. central bank kept interest rates at the zero-bound range and provided little new guidance on monetary policy.
“Overall financial conditions have improved in recent months, in part reflecting policy measures to support the economy and the flow of credit to U.S. households and businesses,” the central bank said in its monetary policy statement. “The path of the economy will depend significantly on the course of the virus.”
August gold futures last traded at $1,951.10 an ounce, up 0.33% on the day.
The Federal Reserve also reiterated its stance that interest rates will not be changing for the foreseeable future.
“The Committee expects to maintain this target range until it is confident that the economy has weathered recent events and is on track to achieve its maximum employment and price stability goals,” the statement said.
Although gold prices have pushed to session highs following the release of the Fed statement, analysts have noted that market reaction has been limited as the Federal Reserve statement did not meet expectations.
“There were two risks heading into the decision: 1) that the Fed would launch or hint at something new in terms of programs/policy 2) that they would say something negative about the economy. Neither happened and markets generally indifferent,” said Adam Button, chief market strategist at Forexlive.com.
Katherine Judge, senior economist at CIBC, said that the U.S. central bank could be waiting for more information before they committee to new any new announcements.
“They appear to have opted to wait for the September meeting, when the next set of forecasts are due, to provide more concrete forward guidance on future rate hikes by perhaps tying them to the outcome of a macro variable,” she said. “Thursday’s Q2 GDP report will provide a starting point for assessing the scale of the output gap.”
Ontario adds 151K new jobs in July, majority are part-time positions – CTV Toronto
Ontario added 151,000 new jobs in July, the country’s national statistics agency said, but the majority of them were part-time positions.
After losing more than one million jobs in a three-month time span following the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ontario added about 378,000 jobs in June. In July, employment in the province grew by 2.2 per cent.
The Labour Force Survey (LFS) released on Friday, which used the week of July 12 to 18 as a sample, said that businesses and workplaces across Canada have continued to reopen after being shuttered due to COVID-19 restrictions. At the same time, the survey was conducted while much of the province was still in Stage 2 of Ontario’s economic reopening plan.
“Although public health restrictions had been substantially eased in most parts of the country—with the exception of some regions of Ontario, including Toronto—some measures remained in place, including physical distancing requirements and restrictions on large gatherings,” Statistics Canada said.
Of the 151,000 jobs added in Ontario, Statistics Canada said that about 145,000 were part-time positions. The agency attributed that number to the fact that part-time workers were hit hardest by the shuttered economy months ago.
“This was due to a number of factors, including part-time work being more prevalent in industries that were most affected by the COVID-19 economic shutdown, namely retail trade and accommodation and food services.”
Ontario’s unemployment rate has now fallen to 11.3 per cent, down from 12.2 per cent the previous month.
In Toronto, employment also rose by about 2.2 per cent, with close to 26,000 jobs added in the city. Statistics Canada says that employment in Toronto has now reached 89.9 per cent of its February, pre-COVID-19 level.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford posted a brief message on social media Friday afternoon saying he was happy to see the July labour numbers.
“What I love are the job numbers today, 150,000 people going back to work, the premier said in a video on Twitter, noting that there is still work to do to rebuild the province’s economy.
“That is great news for the people of Ontario.”
About 419,000 jobs were gained across Canada in the month of July, reducing the national unemployment rate to 10.9 per cent.
16 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Manitoba Saturday – Global News
Manitoba public health officials announced 16 new cases of COVID-19 in the province Saturday.
That brings the total number of cases in Manitoba to 507.
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The province said Manitoba has now performed 100,074 tests for COVID-19 with 1,263 lab tests completed on Friday. The test positivity rate for Manitoba is 1.23 per cent.
The active caseload is 148 with 351 people considered recovered.
Nine people are in hospital due to the virus with three of those in the intensive care unit. The number of deaths attributed to the virus remains unchanged at eight.
Health officials say 12 of the new cases are from the Prairie Mountain health region and four are from the Southern health-Sante Sud health region.
While case investigations are ongoing, the province says a majority of today’s cases appear to be linked to known clusters in the Brandon area or close contacts.
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
South Regina Walmart sees second COVID-19 exposure alert in 2 days – CTV News
The Saskatchewan Health Authority has sent out a COVID-19 exposure alert for a Walmart in south Regina, for the second time in two days.
In a release, the SHA said the Walmart Grasslands location in Regina was possibly exposed to the virus on August 5, between 11:15 a.m. and 11:45 a.m.
Although risk of transmission to the public is low, the SHA is advising anyone who visited the store during the affected times to monitor for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days.
The SHA sent out an alert about a separate instance of COVID-19 exposure at this location, in a release Friday.
Symptoms include fever, cough, headache, muscle and/or joint aches and pains, sore throat, chills, runny nose, nasal congestion, conjunctivitis, dizziness, fatigue, nausea/vomiting and diarrhea.
COVID-19 testing is available to anyone who wants it. If symptoms develop call 811 to get a referral for a test.
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