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Markets are higher, Nasdaq futures are surging towards US Elections 2020

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Bloomberg

Biden-Trump Battle Shifts to Swing States After Early, Easy Wins

(Bloomberg) — Joe Biden scored early wins in traditionally Democratic states in the U.S. while President Donald Trump won Republican strongholds, according to the Associated Press and networks, with key battlegrounds still to be decided.Florida, which Trump’s campaign considers crucial to his re-election hopes, remains undeclared. Trump held a lead in the state after out-performing in one of its most populous counties, Miami-Dade.Other battleground states were also undecided, including North Carolina, Ohio, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Michigan. Trump held a narrow lead in North Carolina and a larger one in Ohio, though there are votes outstanding in both states. Trump won both in 2016.Biden is ahead in Arizona, a state Trump won in 2016, but many votes remain to be counted.The early results gave Biden a 209-118 lead in the Electoral College. The first candidate to reach 270 will claim the presidency.Biden won California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, New York, Virginia, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, Rhode Island, New Mexico, Delaware, District of Columbia and New Hampshire, according to the AP.Trump won Idaho, Kansas, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, West Virginia, North Dakota, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Missouri.Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, was re-elected, the AP said. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, was re-elected, and former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, defeated Senator Cory Gardner. Senator Doug Jones, an Alabama Democrat, was defeated by Republican Tommy Tuberville.Biden is winning over Latino and African-American voters in numbers similar to Hillary Clinton four years ago, and is narrowing Trump’s margin among White voters, early exit polls from the AP show.Trump had a six-point lead among White voters in Tuesday’s election. Network exit polls four years ago showed him with a 20-point advantage among those voters. Biden led among Latino voters by a 2-to-1 ratio, and Black voters 13-to-1.Trump and Biden have little more to do than wait as officials tally the votes, including millions of pivotal mail-in ballots that could take days to count. Some Trump supporters posted on Twitter that they were headed to the White House for an election-night party.A final outcome in the race may not be known until much later in the night, or possibly in days or weeks, if vote counts are close.The odds of a second Trump presidency were trading at more than 79% on the Betfair exchange, and U.S. equity tech futures surged more than 3.5% as investors speculated that they may avoid a contested election.Trump and Biden both projected confidence throughout Election Day, pointing to long lines at some polling stations as signs they were poised to win. While there were reports of high voter turnout in states including Texas, Florida and Arizona, there were few signs of disturbances that many had feared.In Charlotte, North Carolina, police arrested a man who was legally carrying an unconcealed firearm after he returned to a polling station authorities said he’d been banned from. The New York Police Department said it will deploy thousands of officers on street patrol Tuesday night to dissuade violence. “Don’t even try it,” Chief of Department Terence Monahan said.Biden entered Election Day in a strong position, leading nationally by 7.2 percentage points as well as in most swing states, according to the RealClearPolitics polling average. But the Election Day vote was expected to favor Trump in large part because Democrats encouraged their supporters to cast early ballots.Despite Biden’s advantage, some Democrats are spooked that Trump could defy polls and win, just as he did in 2016. But Biden’s lead over Trump in national polls is greater than Clinton’s was on Election Day in 2016. RealClearPolitics had her ahead of Trump nationally by 3.2 percentage points.Biden also has held consistent leads in some key swing states he needs to win, while in 2016 some of those states were infrequently polled and assumed to be a slam dunk for Democrats.On Tuesday, Trump predicted a “big red wave” among Republicans who cast their ballots in person rather than vote early or by mail as many Democrats had done.“I think we’re going to have a great night,” Trump told reporters when he stopped in at his campaign headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, before returning to the White House to await polling results and work the phones.Voting takes place amid a deadly wave of the coronavirus pandemic, leading to millions of votes being cast by mail — a shift that could delay an official tally in some battleground states for days. In Pennsylvania, for example, election officials could not begin processing early ballots until Tuesday, and it’s unclear how long it will take officials to tally them.Early turnout information suggested that Republicans had erased Democrats’ lead in mail-in and early voting in Florida, a key state.Michael Bloomberg, the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the owner of Bloomberg News, provided $100 million in support of Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris in Florida, half of that from his Independence USA PAC.“If there’s something to talk about tonight I’ll talk about it,” Biden said Tuesday afternoon at a campaign stop in Wilmington, Delaware. “If not, I’ll wait till the votes are counted the next day.”The Biden campaign sees multiple paths to victory, while Trump has a narrower route that includes recapturing Pennsylvania while protecting the other states he won in 2016. A win for Biden in those states would all but guarantee him a victory. But the former vice president could also unseat Trump if he picks up traditional GOP bastions in the Sun Belt, like Georgia or Arizona.While Trump made only one stop outside the White House on Tuesday, Biden returned to his childhood hometown of Scranton before heading to Philadelphia. Biden said he wanted to restore “basic decency and honor” and unite a country he said has fractured under the Trump administration.“I can say Texas, Arizona, a few of them are looking really very strong,” Trump said in Arlington. “I think if anything, we’re going to do very well.”(Updates with Electoral College totals in fifth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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Oil prices rise on Middle East tensions; crude stock build caps gains – CNBC

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Oil pump under the blue sky with beam pumping unit in the oil field.
Zheng Zaishuru | iStock | Getty Images

Oil prices edged higher on Thursday, supported by tensions in the Middle East, but failed to regain most of the previous day’s losses after a surprise build in crude stockpiles in the United States, the world’s top oil consumer.

Brent crude oil futures rose by 14 cents, or 0.2%, to $70.52 a barrel by 0132 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures increased by 18 cents, or 0.3%, to $68.33 a barrel. Both benchmarks fell by more than $2 a barrel on Wednesday.

Israeli aircraft struck what its military said were rocket launch sites in south Lebanon early on Thursday in response to earlier projectile fire towards Israel from Lebanese territory.

Two rockets launched from Lebanon on Wednesday struck Israel, which initially responded with artillery fire amid heightened regional tensions over an alleged Iranian attack on an oil tanker in the Gulf last week.

The exchange came after an attack last Thursday that Israel blamed on Iran on a tanker off the coast of Oman. Two crew members, a Briton and a Romanian, were killed. Iran denied any involvement.

The U.S. State Department said on Wednesday it believed Iranians hijacked the Panama-flagged Asphalt Princess tanker in the Gulf of Oman but was not in a position to confirm.

Helping check gains, a rise in locally transmitted Covid-19 cases in China, the world’s second largest oil consumer, that has prompted restrictions in some cities and cancellation of flights is threatening demand, analysts said.

Prices also fell steeply in the previous session after the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said crude stockpiles rose by an unexpected 3.6 million barrels last week.

Still, some analysts pointed to a bigger-than-forecast 5.3 million barrel fall in fuel stockpiles.

“The fall in U.S. gasoline stockpiles to the lowest level since November 2020 suggests that fuel demand conditions in the U.S. are still quite resilient,” analysts from Commonwealth Bank of Australia said in a note on Thursday.

The bank expects Brent oil prices to rise to $85 a barrel by the fourth quarter as oil demand outpaces supply growth. 

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Ontario removes one COVID-19 case from Ottawa total Wednesday – CTV Edmonton

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OTTAWA —
Ottawa Public Health says five more people have tested positive for COVID-19 but the health unit removed 12 cases from its pandemic total after it was found those individuals did not live in Ottawa.

Cases are sometimes removed from totals for a particular health unit when investigations reveal the individual or individuals who tested positive live in another health region.

“On Aug. 3, 2021, some cases were removed from the OPH dashboard because it was determined that the individuals did not live within the city of Ottawa,” Ottawa Public Health said in a statement. “As such, OPH’s cumulative case count has decreased since the previous report.”

A previous version of this article reported an increase of three new cases and the removal of 10, based on changes in daily figures for total cases by age category. Ottawa Public Health later told CTV News Ottawa the correct figures in terms of daily new cases and cases removed via data correction was five new cases and 12 cases removed. The overall change to the pandemic total remains the same.

The correction brings the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ottawa down to 27,821, seven fewer than what was reported Tuesday. Eight of the cases removed from Ottawa’s total were considered resolved. The number of confirmed active cases in Ottawa rose by one.

Hospitals and ICUs in Ottawa remain free of COVID-19 patients and there are zero active COVID-19 outbreaks in the city.

Across the province, Public Health Ontario said 139 more people have tested positive for COVID-19 and 11 more Ontarians have died, while noting that seven deaths are from 2020 and were added following a data cleanup. Another 155 cases are now considered resolved.

Two new cases were reported in the Hastings Prince Edward Public Health region on Wednesday. No other eastern Ontario public health unit reported new COVID-19 infections.

OTTAWA’S KEY COVID-19 STATISTICS

Ottawa is now in Step 3 of Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopen plan.

Ottawa Public Health data:

  • COVID-19 cases per 100,000 (July 27 to Aug. 2): 3.8 (down from 4.0)
  • Positivity rate in Ottawa (July 28 to Aug.3): 0.5 per cent (unchanged from July 23-29)
  • Reproduction number (seven day average): 0.95 (down from 1.16)

Reproduction values greater than 1 indicate the virus is spreading and each case infects more than one contact. If it is less than 1, it means spread is slowing.

COVID-19 VACCINES IN OTTAWA

Ottawa Public Health updates vaccine numbers on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. 

As of Monday:

  • Ottawa residents with 1 dose (12+): 768,618 (+1,266)
  • Ottawa residents with 2 doses (12+): 668,736(+6,771)
  • Share of population 12 and older with at least one dose: 83 per cent
  • Share of population 12 and older fully vaccinated: 72 per cent
  • Total doses received in Ottawa*: 1,333,790

**Total doses received does not include doses shipped to pharmacies and primary care clinics, but statistics on Ottawa residents with one or two doses includes anyone with an Ottawa postal code who was vaccinated anywhere in Ontario. 

ACTIVE CASES OF COVID-19 IN OTTAWA

There are 43 active cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa on Wednesday, up from 42 on Tuesday.

Ottawa Public Health removed eight resolved cases from its pandemic total on Wednesday. The total number of resolved cases of coronavirus in Ottawa is 27,185. The eight cases were removed upon investigations revealing these individuals did not live in Ottawa.

The number of active cases is the number of total laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 minus the numbers of resolved cases and deaths. A case is considered resolved 14 days after known symptom onset or positive test result.

HOSPITALIZATIONS IN OTTAWA

Ottawa Public Health is reporting zero COVID-19 patients in local hospitals and zero in intensive care.

Local ICUs have been COVID-19 free for more than a month.

These data are based on figures from Ottawa Public Health’s COVID-19 dashboard, which refer to residents of Ottawa and do not include patient transfers from other regions.

COVID-19 CASES IN OTTAWA BY AGE CATEGORY

  • 0-9 years old: Three new cases (2,307 total cases)
  • 10-19 years-old: Zero new cases (3,586 total cases)
  • 20-29 years-old: Three cases removed from total (6,243 total cases)
  • 30-39 years-old: Three cases removed from total (4,251 total cases)
  • 40-49 years-old: One case removed from total (3,662 total cases)
  • 50-59 years-old: Two cases removed from total (3,332 total cases)
  • 60-69-years-old: One case removed from total (1,964 total cases)
  • 70-79 years-old: Zero new cases (1,097 total cases)
  • 80-89 years-old: Zero new cases (856 total cases)
  • 90+ years old: Zero new cases (520 total cases)
  • Unknown: Zero new cases (3 cases total)  

VARIANTS OF CONCERN

Ottawa Public Health data*:

  • Total Alpha (B.1.1.7) cases: 6,834 (-1)
  • Total Beta (B.1.351) cases: 406
  • Total Gamma (P.1) cases: 35 
  • Total Delta (B.1.617.2) cases: 52 (+1)
  • Percent of new cases with variant/mutation in last 30 days: 40 per cent
  • Total variants of concern/mutation cases: 9,154 (+1)
  • Deaths linked to variants/mutations: 101

*OPH notes that that VOC and mutation trends must be treated with caution due to the varying time required to complete VOC testing and/or genomic analysis following the initial positive test for SARS-CoV-2. Test results may be completed in batches and data corrections or updates can result in changes to case counts that may differ from past reports.

COVID-19 TESTING IN OTTAWA

Ottawa Public Health says 525 Ottawa residents were tested for COVID-19 on Tuesday. The daily positivity rate was 0.95 per cent.

The weekly average positivity rate for Ottawa residents for the week of July 28 to Aug. 3 is 0.5 per cent.

CASES OF COVID-19 AROUND THE REGION

  • Eastern Ontario Health Unit: Zero new cases
  • Hastings Prince Edward Public Health: Two new cases
  • Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington Public Health: Zero new cases
  • Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit: Zero new cases
  • Renfrew County and District Health Unit: Zero new cases

Correction:

A previous version of this article reported an increase of three new cases and the removal of 10, based on changes in daily figures for total cases by age category. Ottawa Public Health later told CTV News Ottawa the correct figures in terms of daily new cases and cases removed via data correction was five new cases and 12 cases removed. The overall change to the pandemic total remains the same.

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Feds say 82000-plus doses of AstraZeneca vaccine to be sent to Trinidad and Tobago – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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OTTAWA – The federal government has announced it will send more than 82,000 doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to Trinidad and Tobago.

International Development Minister Karina Gould said in a release Wednesday that Trinidad and Tobago was selected to receive the excess doses that had already arrived in Canada based on need and the country’s capacity to deploy them immediately.

Gould said the doses will be delivered in the coming days and the Government of Trinidad and Tobago will manage the administration of the vaccines in accordance with manufacturing guidelines and public health best practices.

Last month, the federal government said it would donate nearly 18 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to poorer countries.

At the time, Procurement Minister Anita Anand said after talking to the provinces, the federal government determined these vaccine doses were excess supply, as demand for the AstraZeneca vaccine had been met.

She said Canada would donate 17.7 million doses that were supposed to flow into Canada from the United States through an advance purchase agreement with AstraZeneca and that they would be made available to lower-income countries through the global vaccine-sharing alliance COVAX.

In her statement Wednesday, Gould said vaccinating the world against COVID-19 continues to be the best strategy to end the pandemic.

“By redirecting excess doses we do not need here in Canada, we are supporting global efforts to fight this virus, and ensuring vaccines get to those in need,” she said. “Canadians know that no one is safe until everyone is safe.”

At the G7 meeting in June, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged that Canada would give back at least 13 million doses it was set to receive through a contract with COVAX, on top of millions of dollars already set aside for the global vaccine effort.

Global Affairs Canada said Trinidad and Tobago is a key partner for Canada, with more than 100,000 Canadians with connections to the country, and many thousands of Trinbagonians with connections to Canada.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 4, 2021

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