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METALS-Copper in longest losing streak in 6 years on China virus fears | – Kitco NEWS



* Nickel slides to 6-1/2 month low

* Copper on course for ninth consecutive session of falls

(Updates with official prices)
By Eric Onstad
LONDON, Jan 27 (Reuters) – Copper was on track for its ninth
consecutive session of falls on Monday, the longest losing
streak in six years, as investors worried that a spreading
Chinese coronavirus would hit demand in the world’s biggest
metals consumer.
Copper tumbled to the weakest in three months and other
industrial metals also slid as investors fled.

The death toll from the virus outbreak in China rose to 81
on Monday, as the government extended the Lunar New Year holiday
and more big businesses shut down or told staff to work from
home in an effort to curb the spread. Copper, regarded as a bellwether of the global economy, has
given up all of its gains since early December when a rally
pushed prices up nearly 10% to eight-month highs as investors
welcomed the first phase of a U.S.-China trade deal and hoped
for a rebound in economic growth.

“Chinese demand accounts for about 50% of the majority of
base metals and looking at the latest data regarding the
coronavirus, it’s now spread quite widely,” said analyst Timothy
Wood-Dow at BMO Capital in London.
“On Friday, we didn’t know this, it seemed quite contained.
Now this wider geographical spread is very concerning, so that’s
feeding through to the market.”
It was possible that Chinese economic growth could still hit
6% this year if the virus is contained since the government was
determined to bolster the economy, he added. “Probably
infrastructure investment will just be pushed back later in the

Benchmark three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange
(LME) hit its lowest since Oct. 18 at $5,775 a tonne. It
failed to trade in official open-outcry activity and was bid
down 2% at $5,808 a tonne.
Last week, LME copper posted its steepest weekly loss in
five years, falling 5.5%, as the virus spread.
“Fingers crossed we will get good earning reports this week
from U.S. companies or else the panic selling will be even
worse,” a base metals trader, who asked not to be named, said.


* NICKEL: LME nickel prices shed 1.8% in official
rings to trade at $12,745 a tonne, the lowest since July 10. The
net speculative short position on the LME had risen to 2.9% of
open interest as of last Thursday, according to Marex Spectron.
“Whilst modest in size, this is a level not seen in nickel since
January 2019,” the broker’s Alastair Munro said in a note.

* LEAD STOCKS: On-warrant LME lead inventories – material that is not earmarked for delivery –
fell to 50,025 tonnes, the lowest since July 26 last year, daily
LME data showed.
The premium of cash LME lead over the three-month contract
rose to $12 a tonne, the highest since Oct. 31 last year,
indicating tighter supplies. It has moved from a discount of
$21.25 two weeks ago.

LME three-month lead slipped 3% to $1,881 a tonne in
official trading.

* PRICES: LME aluminium was bid down 1% to a near
six-week low of $1,764 a tonne, zinc was bid down 2.7%
to $2,277 and tin was bid down 1.6% to $16,575 a tonne.
Both zinc and tin hit three-week lows.

* For the top stories in metals and other news, click or (Additonal reporting by Mai Nguyen in Hanoi and Zandi Shabalala
in London; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

LME price overview COMEX copper futures All metals news All commodities news Foreign exchange rates SPEED GUIDES ))

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Goldman Sachs moves to full ownership of China securities JV



Goldman Sachs said on Sunday it received approval from China’s securities regulator to take full control of its mainland securities business.

The U.S. bank said it would buy the remainder of Goldman Sachs Gao Hua Securities Company Ltd (GSGH), and rename it as Goldman Sachs (China) Securities Company Ltd.

The migration of its onshore business units to GSGH from Beijing Gao Hua Securities was underway, it added.

“This marks the start of a new chapter for our China business following a successful 17-year joint venture,” Goldman Sachs said in a statement.

It becomes the second Wall Street firm to be granted approval to shift to full ownership of its securities business after JPMorgan Chase & Co moved to 100% in August

Securities businesses in China typically house investment banking, research, equities and fixed income businesses.

Unlike most of the other China JVs, Goldman had day-to-day operational control of its business even with its minority ownership.

Lucrative underwriting fees on equity and bond transactions – especially initial public offerings (IPOs) – in China’s expanding capital markets has been the driving force for Western banks to increase stakes in their mainland business.

Full ownership could allow foreign banks to expand their operations in the multi-trillion-dollar Chinese financial sector, and better integrate them with their global businesses.

Morgan Stanley currently owns 90% of its securities joint venture with partner Shanghai Chinafortune Co Ltd after increasing its stake in May.

China’s regulators had examined Goldman Sach’s application to move to full ownership since the bank flagged its intention to buy out its partner in December.

(Reporting by Scott Murdoch in Hong Kong and Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V and Stephen Coates)

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From Canada? Want to go to the U.S.A.? Better have the right vaccine – Boing Boing



The last couple of years have been hard on Canadian Snowbirds. Many of us, myself included, are used to heading south in the fall, to escape the icy bullshit of a Canadian winter. Unfortunately, thanks to COVID-19, a lot of us have been trapped, north of the wall, since March 2020. 

I’ve been fine with this. 

When the land border was closed down to everyone but essential travellers, my mindset was that if I was going to get sick, I’d just as soon do it in my own nation where healthcare is free (yeah, we pay our taxes, but still.) Then, last winter, the vaccines started to roll out. By early spring, both my wife and I had been injected with two doses of Pfizer’s version of the brew. We breathed a sigh of relief and began to hope that we might, one day soon, be able to start our travels again. I’m sure that lots of other folks did too. Unfortunately, depending on where in Canada they live, it wasn’t a sure bet that they’d wind up with two doses of the same vaccine. In the rush to get as many Canadians vaccinated against the plague as possible, many provinces started mixing and matching whichever vaccines that they had on hand.

So, you could wind up with Pfizer for your first jab and Moderna for your second. It’s cool, they told us. Mixing vaccines affords tons of protection, we were assured. Why, we’d all be able to get back to our lives in no time… provided said life doesn’t include travelling to one of many countries where vaccine mixing is considered to be a dangerous load of bullshit. You may have guessed by now, that America is one of those countries.  

From The CBC:

…at the same time the U.S. reopens the land border, it will start requiring that foreign land and air travellers entering the country be fully vaccinated.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) currently doesn’t recognize mixed COVID-19 vaccines — such as one dose of AstraZeneca, and one dose of Pfizer or Moderna — and hasn’t yet said if travellers with two different doses will be blocked from entry when the vaccine requirement kicks in.

So that sucks. 

According to the CBC, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention might soon consider changing their stance on mixed vaccines. I’d like to think that a crap load of data on the effectiveness of mixed vaccine dosing will play into such a decision. No matter how badly folks might want to head south for the winter, Americans deserve to be as safe as they can be. 

In the meantime, I suspect that, just like last fall, many snowbirds will wind up on Vancouver Island, where I hang my hat, these days. It’s warm enough here that living in an RV is both possible and comfortable.

But I’ll tell ya, it’s a far cry from kicking back in the trade winds on the cusp of Texas’ southern border.

Image via Wikipedia Commons

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Travel industry, health experts applaud U.S. decision to allow travellers with mixed doses – CTV News



The organization representing Canada’s tourism industry is applauding the U.S. government’s decision to allow Canadian travellers with mixed vaccine doses once the border opens in November.

On Friday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that travellers with “any combination” of two doses of vaccines approved by the World Health Organization or the U.S. Food and Drug Administration “are considered fully vaccinated.”

Beth Potter, who is president and CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, says the announcement is “really good news.”

“What it does is it provides a little bit more clarity, and this is something that we’ve talked about a lot. We know now that if you’ve got that mixed dose, as of November you’re going to be able to enter into the United States,” she told CTV News Channel on Saturday.

Infectious disease expert Isaac Bogoch of the University Health Network in Toronto says allowing mixed dosed travellers is “a smart and data driven approach.”

“This will be a huge relief to many Canadians who did the right thing and got vaccinated and even took those mixed and matched vaccine approaches. It’s safe, it’s effective, and now there’s a recognition of this,” Bogoch said in an interview with CTV News Channel on Saturday.

“I’m really happy to hear this. It’s about time.”

This announcement came after the White House confirmed that the U.S. land borders with Canada and Mexico would be open to fully vaccinated tourists by Nov. 8.

On the American side, the U.S. Travel Association also applauded the Biden Administration’s plans to reopen the border.

“Reopening to international visitors will provide a jolt to the economy and accelerate the return of travel-related jobs that were lost due to travel restrictions,” said association president and CEO Roger Dow in a statement on Friday.

“We applaud the administration for recognizing the value of international travel to our economy and our country, and for working to safely reopen our borders and reconnect America to the world.”

But while the U.S. won’t require Canadians to show proof of vaccination to cross, returning to Canada requires a negative PCR test conducted at most 72 hours before crossing the border.

PCR tests can cost upwards of $200. The Canadian government does not accept rapid antigen tests, which can be had for only $40.

Brian Higgins, a New York congressman whose district includes the border cities of Buffalo and Niagara Falls, wants to see Canada drop the COVID-19 PCR test requirement.

“I think that the U.S. decision to allow Canadians coming into the United States without a test again underscores the potency of the vaccine,” Higgins told The Canadian Press on Friday. “I would like to see that reciprocated by our Canadian neighbours.”

However, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said that Canada will continue to require PCR tests so long as the Public Health Agency of Canada advocates for it.

“We’ve seen throughout the pandemic that advice has evolved as new evidence and new data is available. We’ll continue to follow the advice in the Public Health Agency Canada​,” he said in an ​interview with CTV’s Question Period on Sunday.

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