Month: July 2020

Gold Sets Fresh Record Heading for Best Month in Eight Years

(Bloomberg) — Gold surged to a fresh record Friday fueled by a weaker dollar and low interest rates. Silver headed for its best month since 1979.

Spot bullion is up 11% in July, heading for its best month in eight years, as a gauge of the dollar slumped, prompting concerns its status as the world’s reserve currency of choice is at risk, and U.S. real yields fell to a record low. While the ferocity of rallies in both gold and silver cooled in the middle of the week, most market watchers predict there may be more gains ahead.

Both metals

Italy’s GDP slumps unprecedented 12.4% in Q2, but better than analysts had feared

On a year-on-year basis, second quarter GDP tumbled 17.3%, ISTAT said. (Image: Reuters)

Italy’s economy shrank 12.4% in the second quarter from the previous three months, preliminary data showed on Friday, as activity nosedived during the coronavirus pandemic, but the fall was less severe than many analysts had predicted.

The quarterly slump in gross domestic product (GDP) in the euro zone’s third largest economy was “unprecedented”, national statistics bureau ISTAT said.

On a year-on-year basis, second quarter GDP tumbled 17.3%, ISTAT said.

Analysts polled by Reuters had predicted a 15.0% contraction quarter-on-quarter and an 18.7% drop year-on-year.

All segments of

Loan moratorium eats into banks’ income; 15-40% of net-interest income out of reach of private banks

Reported share of moratorium loans dropped across private lenders to somewhere between 10-25% as of June against 30-70% in the month of April .

The share of moratorium loans has come down significantly for private lenders that have so far reported their April-June quarter results, and that has been dubbed as a sign of improvement by many. However, of the net-interest income of banks, a large sum is interest accrued and not collected as the loans were under the moratorium, said investment bank Credit Suisse in a recent report. “The interest accrued (and not collected) still accounted for as much

VW Cuts Dividend After $940 Million Loss

(Bloomberg) — Volkswagen AG cut its dividend after losing 2.4 billion euros ($2.8 billion) in the second quarter, when the Covid-19 pandemic shuttered showrooms and factories in key markets.

The German manufacturer lowered its proposed 2019 payout by a quarter to help save roughly $1 billion after global deliveries contracted in the six months through June. VW expects markets to recover in the second half after business in July improved from the previous month.

The results show the dramatic impact of the industry’s biggest slump since World War II. Europe’s largest automaker cut its full-year outlook in April, echoing peers

Jeff Bezos: I can’t guarantee that Amazon’s employees never accessed, used third-party seller data

The US Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal had raised questions around the use of third-party seller data by Amazon when making business decisions.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos received flak during the virtual anti-trust hearing by the US House Judiciary Committee for the alleged access and use of third-party seller data by his employees to develop the company’s own products. While he stressed on having the policy to keep a check on that but he didn’t guarantee about its violation. “We have a policy against using seller specific data to aid our private label business but I cannot guarantee to you that that

Chemicals Pessimism Contrasts With Retail Beats: Earnings Wrap

(Bloomberg) — The picture emerging at the height of earnings season is patchy at best, with German chemicals maker BASF SE –- a bellwether of global industrial demand –- reporting a loss and forecasting no significant improvement in earnings in the third quarter, while some retail companies beat low expectations.

European companies’ second-quarter reports so far have been good enough to justify the stock market’s rally from the lows in March, though it’s not clear they’re providing fuel for further gains.

“Global stock markets appear to be starting to get a little wobbly as the latest earnings numbers start to

ADB approves $3 million grant to India to combat COVID-19

The CARES programme is funded through the COVID-19 pandemic response option (CPRO) under ADB’s Counter-cyclical Support Facility. (Reuters photo)

Multilateral funding agency ADB on Wednesday said it has approved USD 3 million (about Rs 22 crore) grant to India from its Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund to further support the government’s emergency response to COVID-19 pandemic.

The grant, which is financed by the Japanese government, will be used to procure thermal scanners and essential commodities to strengthen the India’s COVID-19 response, Asian Development Bank (ADB) said in a statement.

“The new grant complements ADB’s ongoing support to the Government of

Spotify Group Session party mode feature now widely available for all users; details inside

Groups of two to five people can join a Group Session. (Reuters)

Spotify group session: Spotify’s Group Session feature goes remote! On Tuesday, Spotify announced that it was updating its recent Group Session to include users who are in different parts of the world. The feature, which was Spotify’s version of party mode, was released in May for participants to contribute to a collaborative playlist in a real-time environment and control what all the other participants listen to. At the time of the launch, the company had stated that the feature could be useful in small groups, like families who

Gold Loses Momentum After Record as Volatility Roils Silver

(Bloomberg) — Gold’s record-breaking rally showed signs of flagging after futures touched $2,000 an ounce for the first time, as investors assess whether prices rose too high, too fast. Silver fell the most since March.

Both metals retreated after touching fresh highs earlier Tuesday, with gold climbing to a record, as traders looked to lock in profits and the dollar recouped some of its earlier losses. While there’s no end in sight to the economic turmoil unleashed by the coronavirus pandemic and expectations are that more stimulus will be needed to boost growth, investors may seek out more bullish signals

IMF OKs $4.3 billion emergency loan to South Africa

The country has the world’s fifth largest virus caseload, and confirmed cases are approaching half a million. (Reuters photo)

The International Monetary Fund has approved a USD 4.3 billion emergency loan to South Africa as it reels under the coronavirus pandemic. The country has the world’s fifth largest virus caseload, and confirmed cases are approaching half a million.

The fact that Africa’s most developed country for the first time approached the IMF for a loan is the latest sign of pain. Unemployment is above 30 per cent and rising, and major state-owned enterprises were already in poor shape.

The IMF