Extreme dollar weakness resulted in strong tailwinds which propelled gold to higher pricing today. As of 5:45 PM EST gold futures basis, the most active February 2022 contract is currently trading up by seven dollars, a gain of 0.38% and fixed at $1825.30. Yesterday’s double-digit gain in gold pricing which opened at $1801.40, traded to a high of $1822.90, and then settled just below yesterday’s high at approximately $1818 was in anticipation that today’s CPI index would reveal that inflation continues to expand. The dollar lost just over 0.7%, giving up 0.67 points, and is currently fixed at 94.955.
The U.S. dollar sold off strongly today as the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the most current data on inflation which showed that inflationary pressures continue to grow, now at the highest level we have seen in 40 years. Today’s inflation report revealed that the current level of inflationary pressures is now at a 40 year high, with the last occurrence of inflation at these levels occurring in June 1982.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the following, “The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.5 percent in December on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 0.8 percent in November, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all-items index increased 7.0 percent before seasonal adjustment.”
The largest contributors to inflationary pressures continues to be the cost of shelter as well as used cars and trucks. The report also indicated that the food index, although it increased less than in recent months still rose 0.5% in December.
The core CPI index which strips out food and energy costs is still the preferred inflationary barometer used by the Federal Reserve. The report indicated that all items with the omission of food and energy indexes rose 5.5%, “the largest 12-month change since the period ending in February 1991.” The energy index rose 29.3% over the last year with food costs increasing by 6.3% during the same period.
With inflation at these historical levels, it will not be an easy or short-term project for the Federal Reserve to halt its dramatic increase. Actions by the Federal Reserve can only do so much to alleviate the spiraling level of inflation. One of the primary causes of the recent inflationary pressures is supply chain bottlenecks and shortages. These bottlenecks are largely a byproduct of the shortage of workers. This worker shortage can be seen in factories producing the goods. It is also prevalent in those workers that are responsible for different components of the distribution. As long as there is a shortage of workers to produce the goods, unload the boats, and truckers to move the goods there will continue to be supply chain bottlenecks and shortages.
If gold continues to gain value as I believe it will, it will not encounter any of the technical resistance occurring at $1833.40, which corresponds to a 38% Fibonacci retracement. Above that resistance can be found at $1851.60 the 23% Fibonacci retracement. Major resistance occurs at $1879.50 which is based upon the high achieved on November 16 of last year.
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Wishing you as always, good trading,
Airlines say Canadian flights unaffected by turmoil over 5G wireless launch in U.S. – CTV News
Canadian airlines say flights to the U.S. remain unaffected by the rollout of new 5G wireless technology.
Several international airlines cancelled flights to the United States this week over concerns that 5G mobile phone service could interfere with aircraft technology.
On Wednesday, telecommunications giants Verizon and AT&T announced last-minute delays to the service launch near key U.S. airports — the latest of three postponements since early December — after U.S. carriers warned that the wireless frequency could cause widespread flight disruptions.
Critics say the new C-band 5G service operates in a frequency range that could interfere with airplane radio altimeters, which measure an aircraft’s height above the ground and help pilots land in low visibility.
Air Canada and WestJet Airlines Inc. say no flights to the U.S. have been cancelled due to the issue.
Last fall, the federal Industry Department established protective measures, including so-called exclusion zones near airports, to reduce any interference with radio altimeters while allowing deployment of 5G systems in the 3,500-megahertz band in Canada.(The planned 5G rollout by American telecoms falls between 4,200 and 4,400 megahertz.)
It also imposed a “national antenna down-tilt requirement” on telecoms to protect helicopters and planes used in low-altitude military and search and rescue operations as well as medical evacuations, “which by nature do not fly predictable routes into and out of major airports,” the department’s Nov. 18 decision reads.
“It is expected that as new information and studies become available, and as new radio altimeter standards are developed internationally, these measures may be modified or relaxed well within the 20-year term of ISED’s 3,500 MHz licenses,” Industry Department spokesman Hans Parmar said in an email.
John Gradek, head of McGill University’s aviation management program, says 5G networks in Canada run at lower wireless speeds that would not interfere with landings, and that only some older planes whose technology has not been upgraded pose a risk.
“The question you have to ask yourself is, are the airlines investing in what I would call hardening the radio altimeter equipment so it no longer gets interfered with by C-band 5G?” he said in a phone interview.
“People knew this was coming. The airlines could have done something to invest in their airplanes to get the equipment in place, but they have not. We all know it’s money — airlines are kind of short on money these days.”
On Wednesday, Emirates announced it would halt flights to several U.S. cities due to “operational concerns associated with the planned deployment of 5G mobile network services in the U.S. at certain airports.” It said it would continue flights to Los Angeles, New York and Washington.
Emirates president Tim Clark pulled no punches when discussing the issue. He told CNN it was “one of the most delinquent, utterly irresponsible” situations he’d ever seen as it involved a failure by government, science and industry.
Of particular concern appears to be older Boeing 777 wide-body jetliners. Emirates only flies that model and the Airbus A380 jumbo jet — and it was among one of the most affected airlines.
Japan’s All Nippon Airways cancelled 20 flights to cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles and New York after the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration “indicated that radio waves from the 5G wireless service may interfere with aircraft altimeters,” the carrier said. Along with Japan Airlines, it said Boeing announced restrictions on airlines flying its 777s.
Air India also announced on Twitter it would cancel flights to Chicago, Newark, New York and San Francisco because of the 5G issue. But it also said it would try to use other aircraft on U.S. routes — a course several other airlines took.
In Canada, the industry and transport departments are working with the telecom and aviation sectors “to ensure that appropriate rules are in place to protect the critical operations of radio altimeters” and minimize potential interference, Transport Canada spokeswoman Sau Sau Liu said in an email.
Transport Canada also issued a civil aviation alert on Dec. 23 offering recommendations on how to fly an airplane “in a 5G environment,” she noted.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 19, 2022.
Canada's inflation rate rises to new 30-year high of 4.8% – CBC News
The Consumer Price Index increased at an annual pace of 4.8 per cent in December, as sharply higher prices for food led to the cost of living going up at its fastest rate since 1991.
Statistics Canada reported Wednesday that grocery prices increased by 5.7 per cent, the biggest annual gain since 2011.
The price of fresh produce is being walloped by two things, the data agency said: “Unfavourable weather conditions in growing regions, as well as supply chain disruptions.”
The price of apples has increased by 6.7 per cent in the past year, and oranges by almost as much — 6.6 per cent.
The U.S. is the major supplier of oranges to Canada, and because of bad weather and a plant disease called citrus greening, the major growing region of Florida is on track to produce the smallest number of oranges since 1945.
That’s causing the price of frozen concentrated orange juice to skyrocket on commodities markets.
“If you’re an orange juice drinker, it means your prices are going to be going up at the store,” analyst Phil Flynn, with Chicago-based commodity trading firm Price Group, told CBC News. “The cost of orange juice has almost doubled here in the last few months, and that’s going to be passed down to the consumers.”
Other types of food are going up quickly, too. The price of frozen beef has gone up by almost 12 per cent in the past year, while ham and bacon are up by about 15 per cent.
Kendra Sozinho, a manager at the Fiesta Farms grocery store in Toronto, says costs from suppliers are going up faster than she’s ever seen “We’re seeing almost every single supplier increasing their pricing whech then increases our pricing,” she told CBC News in an interview. “I’ve been here for 20 years and I’ve never seen a jump like this.”
WATCH | Grocery store manager explains why prices are going up:
Economist Tu Nguyen with consultancy RSM says food price increases could be set to get even worse in the coming weeks and months because of new rules forbidding unvaccinated truckers from entering the country.
“The current bout of inflation is driven by supply chain disruptions, pent-up demand and inflation expectations,” she said. “While pent-up demand is expected to ease as pandemic spending winds down, supply chain and inflation expectations remain paramount challenges.”
Expect a rate hike soon
Food is far from the only thing becoming more expensive.
Shelter costs have risen by 5.4 per cent in the past year, faster than the overall inflation rate. And unlike the global forces at play pushing up food prices, the factors driving up shelter costs are all Canadian-made, TD Bank economist James Marple said.
“The one exception to the global nature of the current inflationary environment, is housing inflation, which is both domestically driven and, outside of increased incidents of extreme weather driving up insurance prices, directly related to the Bank of Canada’s policy stance,” he said.
Politicians weigh in
Conservative finance critic Pierre Poilievre placed the blame for high inflation squarely at the foot of the federal government, noting that as a country with abundant energy and food resources, Canada should have a built-in advantage when it comes to keeping a lid on prices.
“The biggest increases for consumer products have been those that we source right here at home, not those that depend on foreign supply chains,” he told reporters in Ottawa.
“Home price inflation is a home-grown problem,” he went on, arguing that record government spending under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is to blame for inflation. “The more he spends, the more things cost,” Poilievre said.
The Prime Minister, for his part, rejected that claim and said his government has a plan in place to face the inflationary challenges that many countries are facing.
WATCH | Trudeau talks about record high inflation:
Lending rates were slashed to record lows in the early days of the pandemic to stimulate the economy. But two years of rock bottom mortgage rates have proven to be jet fuel for Canada’s housing market, causing many policy makers to suggest the time has come for the Bank of Canada to hike its rate to cool things down.
After Wednesday’s inflation report, investors think there’s about a 75 per cent chance of a rate hike as soon as next week, when the bank is set to meet.
“Inflation is likely to come down over the next year, but getting it there will require tighter financial conditions and rate hikes by the Bank of Canada,” Marple said.
Semiconductor shortage persists
And an ongoing lack of semiconductor microchips continues to drive up the price of just about anything with a microchip in it.
That includes durable goods like washing machines and other household appliances, the price of which have gone up by 5.7 per cent in the past 12 months. New car prices are up by even more — 7.2 per cent.
If there was one area of relief for consumers, it was gas prices, where the price to fill up at the pump fell by 4.1 per cent during the month. That’s the biggest monthly drop since April 2020. But compared to a year ago, gas prices are still 33 per cent higher than they were in December 2020.
Pfizer’s COVID pill is in short supply. Should unvaccinated be prioritized? – Global News
With a limited supply of Pfizer’s new COVID-19 treatment, Paxlovid, bound for Canada, the country’s top doctors have identified groups that should be first in line to get the pills — including unvaccinated older Canadians.
Giving unvaccinated Canadians access to this COVID-19 medication isn’t only the right thing to do, it’s smart public health policy, says one bioethicist.
“It would be ethically unjustifiable, and it would not be scientifically sound to withhold this limited drug from unvaccinated people,” said Dr. Kerry Bowman, a bioethicist at the University of Toronto.
In clinical trial data submitted to Health Canada, the drug was found to reduce risk of hospitalization and death by 89 per cent, according to Dr. Supriya Sharma, Canada’s chief medical adviser.
Ethically speaking, Bowman explained, it’s “very dangerous” to make “judgments” about choices patients make, as well as “about how much health care they can receive based on the choices that they made.”
“It would be a dangerous precedent, and it’s not in alignment with the Canada Health Act,” Bowman said.
As for the science, keeping people out of the hospitals — unvaccinated or not — is key to emerging from the pandemic, he explained.
“From a triage point of view, (vaccination status) is not relevant information…we don’t want highly sick people in the intensive care unit with COVID that don’t have to be there,” Bowman said.
“And so if, in fact, you could avert some of the unvaccinated entering our ICU and taking up space, which is what everyone’s upset and complaining about, all the more reason to do that.”
COVID-19: O’Toole says Pfizer’s Paxlovid shipment of 30,000 treatment courses is ‘insufficient’
Very few courses of this treatment are arriving in Canada in the weeks ahead. Canada has already received an initial shipment of 30,400 treatment courses, Procurement Minister Filomena Tassi said on Monday, and 120,000 more are expected to be delivered between now and the end of March.
There are over 330,000 active cases of the COVID-19 confirmed across the country right now, though that’s considered to be an underestimate.
But far from being the best option for all of those active cases, Paxlovid is only an effective treatment option for a small group of people in Canada to begin with, according to Health Canada. To receive a course of the COVID-19 treatment, an individual must be over 18, and must first test positive for COVID, either with a PCR or a rapid antigen test.
The person must also be within their first five days of having symptoms, and be sick enough to need the medicine without being so sick they need to go to the hospital.
“Paxlovid is just yet another piece of the puzzle that helps us manage this illness in people who may be at more risk,” said Dr. Gerald Evans, an infectious disease specialist at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont. “For instance, those very small few who are not vaccinated at the moment.”
Evans added that if you are fully vaccinated, you probably shouldn’t be concerned about others having access to Paxlovid before you.
“If you’re fully vaccinated, you don’t need this drug,” Evans said.
“The effectiveness of vaccination is clearly better than it is for a new antiviral medication like this that’s come out. So being fully vaccinated, you’re way ahead of the game.”
Some individuals who are fully vaccinated might find themselves needing the treatment, such as “an elderly person with a solid organ transplant,” Evans said, but those people are the exception, not the rule.
Who gets priority access to Paxlovid?
The final priority list will be up to the provinces and territories to decide, Health Canada said on Tuesday, but the federal government has provided those regions with “interim implementation considerations” for the first batches of Paxlovid that have arrived.
“(The) first consideration is prioritizing individuals who are at the highest risk for severe illness and hospitalizations,” said Anne Génier, a spokesperson for Health Canada.
Those individuals, Genier added, include immunocompromised Canadians, those over 60 who live in certain at-risk settings and aren’t fully vaccinated, and those over 80 “whose vaccinations are not up to date.”
When will Pfizer COVID-19 antiviral treatment arrive in B.C.?
Global News contacted every province and territory to determine the criteria they’ll use in deciding who gets first access to the limited supply of Paxlovid.
In Quebec, people who are immunocompromised will be given priority access to the treatment, regardless of their vaccination status, a spokesperson told Global News. New Brunswick’s government, meanwhile, said Paxlovid “will only be provided to individuals who are among the public health priority groups for the time being.”
COVID-19: Canada has already received 1st shipment of Pfizer antiviral pill, procurement minister says
Nova Scotia, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia did not provide specifics on their priority groups. However, Ontario, Alberta and B.C. all said they are currently working to determine eligibility and would have more details to share in the near future.
Manitoba did not directly answer Global News’ question. Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon governments did not respond by the time of publication.
At the end of the day, Paxlovid is just another tool in the pandemic toolbox, said Evans.
“I don’t think this is a game changer,” he said.
“What this is about, is yet another very effective tool we can use in a portion of the population.”
© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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