Current Affairs – 25 August 2020 - Doo Prime News
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Current Affairs – 25 August 2020

WORLDWIDE : HEADLINES

China agrees with U.S. to push forward implementation of Phase 1 trade deal

BEIJING – China said on Tuesday it agreed with the United States to continue pushing forward the implementation of the bilateral Phase 1 trade deal reached earlier this year during a call between the two countries’ top trade negotiators.

Vice Premier Liu He spoke with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, China’s commerce ministry said in a statement. The two sides had constructive talks on the trade deal and strengthening macroeconomic policy coordination, the ministry said.

Full coverage: REUTERS

Delta set to furlough over 1,900 pilots in October

CHICAGO – Delta Air Lines (DAL.N) is set to furlough 1,941 pilots in October, the carrier said in a memo to employees on Monday that noted the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic and plunging air travel demand.

U.S. airlines have warned they will need to furlough tens of thousands of workers once $25 billion in U.S. government stimulus funds run out in September. The aid, which covered employees’ pay, was meant to help them weather the pandemic and preserve jobs until a recovery, but travel remains depressed.

“We are six months into this pandemic and only 25% of our revenues have been recovered. Unfortunately, we see few catalysts over the next six months to meaningful change this trajectory,” Delta’s head of flight operations John Laughter said in the memo.

He said the airline is “simply overstaffed.”

Full coverage: REUTERS

WORLDWIDE : FINANCE / ECONOMY / STOCK MARKET

Asian stocks mostly higher as trade, virus treatment hopes lift mood

SINGAPORE/HONG KONG – Asia’s stock markets were mostly higher on Tuesday as investors cheered signs of progress in U.S.-China trade negotiations and following a fresh Wall Street rally.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.32% to its highest since early January and sits just a fraction below a two-year high.

Japan’s Nikkei was trading 1.5% higher and banking stocks led Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 up 0.58%.

The Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong was an outlier in early trade, slipping 0.27% while the Shanghai Composite was 0.15% firmer.

Markets worldwide were boosted when U.S. regulators on Sunday authorised the use of blood plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients as a treatment option, helping the S&P 500 1% higher to another record close overnight.

Full coverage: REUTERS

Oil prices mixed on storm-driven output cuts, rising COVID-19 cases

SINGAPORE – Crude oil prices were mixed on Tuesday as traders weighed massive production cuts in the U.S. Gulf Coast from Tropical Storms Marco and Laura against rising coronavirus cases in Asia and Europe.

Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 added 5 cents, or 0.1%, to $45.18 a barrel by 0055 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude CLc1 was down 9 cents, or 0.2%, at $42.53 a barrel.

“A jump last week in the U.S. rig count and mixed data on COVID-19 infections are having a muted negative effect on oil this week, thanks in part to the possible disruption from two separate hurricanes moving into the U.S. Gulf Coast region,” said Stephen Innes, chief global markets strategist at AxiCorp.

Energy companies moved to cut production at U.S. Gulf Coast oil refineries on Monday after shutting 82% of the area’s offshore crude oil output as the rare double-storm assault on key U.S. oil regions threatens to bring days of heavy rains and strong winds this week.

Producers have shut more than 1.5 million barrels per day of Gulf Coast offshore oil production, nearly 14% of the nation’s total output.

Full coverage: REUTERS

Dollar hangs on as currency market waits for Powell

SINGAPORE – The dollar held firm on Tuesday, shrugging off selling pressure from a move higher in equities, as investors seemed to temper their bearish bets against the greenback ahead of a Thursday speech from U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell.

The dollar, which often falls when stocks rise as investors seek out riskier currencies, had inched higher overnight -repelling the Australian dollar back under 72 U.S. cents and pushing the euro below $1.18.

It hung on to those gains early in the Asia session and the Aussie last traded at $0.7162 and the euro at $1.1791. It was steady on the yen at 105.97 per dollar.

Fed Chair Powell on Thursday addresses a virtual Jackson Hole symposium with the theme “Navigating the Decade Ahead: Implications for monetary policy.” Investors expect he might address the bank’s strategy – especially its 2% inflation target, with speculation that could become an average rather than nominal aim.

Full coverage: REUTERS

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