Current Affairs – 06 August 2020 - Doo Prime News
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Current Affairs – 06 August 2020


Facebook, Twitter, YouTube pull Trump posts over coronavirus misinformation

Facebook Inc (FB.O) on Wednesday took down a post by U.S. President Donald Trump, which the company said violated its rules against sharing misinformation about the coronavirus.

The post contained a video clip, from an interview with Fox & Friends earlier in the day, in which Trump claimed that children are “almost immune” to COVID-19.

This video includes false claims that a group of people is immune from COVID-19, which is a violation of our policies around harmful COVID misinformation,” a Facebook spokesman said.

A tweet containing the video that was posted by the Trump campaign’s @TeamTrump account and shared by the president was also later hidden by Twitter Inc TWTR.R for breaking its COVID-19 misinformation rules.

Full coverage: REUTERS

Siemens profit beats forecasts helped by accounting gain

ZURICH – Siemens (SIEGn.DE) posted better-than-expected industrial profit for its third quarter as the German engineering group weathered the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Orders and revenue both fell during the three months to the end of June, but the trains to industrial software maker still increased the operating profit of its industrial business, helped by an accounting gain and savings to deal with the COVID-19 downturn.

Siemens said adjusted industrial profit for the three months to the end of June rose 8% to 1.79 billion euros ($2.13 billion), beating analyst forecasts for 1.17 billion euros in a company-gathered consensus.

The result was helped by a 211 million euro gain in the valuation of Siemens’ stake in American industrial software company Bentley Systems, which offset declines elsewhere.

Full coverage: REUTERS

Singapore lender DBS profit skids 22% but pandemic-hit business steadying

SINGAPORE – DBS Group’s (DBSM.SI) quarterly profit slumped by a fifth as it boosted loan-loss provisions in pandemic-hit markets, but Southeast Asia’s top lender said bad loans were steady and fee income was rising as economies bounced back from lockdowns.

The profit beat market estimates and rose from the preceding quarter, sending its shares up 2% on Thursday. Singapore’s bank shares have been pummelled recently following a capping of their dividends last week by the central bank.

“DBS did better with help on treasury income and surprisingly was again able to contain costs like Q1,” said Kevin Kwek, a senior analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein.

Given the circumstances, DBS’ ability to maintain a 10% return on equity would be seen positively, especially in light of the recent stock price drop, he added.

Investors are keen to see if the June quarter marked the trough for banks’ net interest margins, a key measure of profitability, and whether lenders can effectively tackle loan losses in recession-hit economies.

DBS’ net interest margin slumped to 1.62% in the second quarter from 1.91% a year earlier as interest rates fell. The bank expects full-year margin at around 1.6%.

Full coverage: REUTERS


Stocks stall and dollar squeezed as investors wait for stimulus

SINGAPORE – U.S.-China tension and sobering economic data knocked momentum out of Asia’s stock markets on Thursday, though the hope of stimulus staved off falls and kept pressure on the dollar as investors wait for Congress to agree on a new spending package.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan hit an early-session six-and-a-half-month peak but fell back to be flat after drops in China and Hong Kong.

European markets also appeared set for a soft open with Euro STOXX 50 futures down 0.4% and FTSE futures down 0.6%, while S&P 500 futures were steady.

Japan’s Nikkei declined 0.5%.

Full coverage: REUTERS

Oil prices mixed as coronavirus concerns undercut support from lower U.S. crude stocks

MELBOURNE – Oil prices were mostly flat on Thursday, as a boost from lower-than-expected U.S. crude stocks that lifted the market to five-month highs in the previous session gave way to fuel demand concerns amid rising coronavirus infections.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures eased 3 cents, or 0.1%, to $42.16 a barrel by 0436 GMT, while Brent crude LCOc1 futures rose 9 cents or nearly 0.2% to $45.25.

The two benchmark contracts rose more than 1% on Wednesday to their highest since March 6, completing a four-day rally, after the Energy Information Administration reported a much bigger than expected drop in U.S. crude stockpiles. [EIA/S]

However, investors remained wary of rising U.S. refined product inventories at a time when U.S. central bankers said the resurgence in cases was slowing the economic recovery in the world’s biggest oil consumer.

Full coverage: REUTERS

Dollar struggles ahead of job figures as investors fret over U.S. recovery

TOKYO – The dollar struggled on Thursday under the weight of worries the U.S. economic recovery may lag other countries due to a high level of coronavirus infections, as investors looked to upcoming data on the U.S. labour market.

The dollar’s index against a basket of currencies =USD stood almost flat at 92.814, having fallen more than 0.5% in the previous session to approach its two-year low of 92.539 marked last Friday.

“Dollar-selling seems to have resumed. We are having the same structure we saw in July,” said Shinichiro Kadota, senior strategist at Barclays.

A decline in the U.S. currency has gathered pace since late July on rising perception that the U.S. economic recovery could be hobbled by the country’s poor performance in containing the COVID-19 outbreak.

The euro changed hands at $1.1869 EUR=, having gained 0.5% in the previous day’s trade to stand just below Friday’s two-year high of $1.1908, extending its bull run since European leaders agreed on a recovery fund on July 21

Full coverage: REUTERS

Sterling to dip this year as Brexit uncertainty swirls – Reuters poll

LONDON – Sterling, which was approaching a five-month high on Wednesday, is expected to lose some of those gains this year amid Brexit and coronavirus fears before recovering in 2021, a Reuters poll found.

The pound registered its biggest monthly rise in more than a decade in July, although its ascent was mainly due to a weaker dollar after a surge in U.S. coronavirus cases and unease about the upcoming presidential election.

But fears of a second wave of infections in Britain, already the hardest-hit European country, have capped the pound’s advance and according to a new study published on Tuesday a resurgence of the pandemic could be twice as bad as the initial outbreak.

Also containing sterling strength is a weak economy and growing pressure to strike a Brexit trade deal before a transition period ends in December, prompting traders and investors to be wary of the pound’s prospects.

Full coverage: REUTERS

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