Lotus Pharmaceutical Co Ltd (美時化學製藥) has received tentative approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its abbreviated new drug application (ANDA) for lenalidomide, the company said in a statement on Friday. The ANDA approval is for 2.5mg, 5mg, 10mg, 20mg and 25mg capsules of lenalidomide, which is a generic version of blood cancer drug Revlimid developed by Celgene Corp. It is the first product fully developed and manufactured in Lotus’ facilities in Taiwan. Lotus expects to launch the product in the US — based on its patent litigation settlement with Celgene last year — some time after March 2022. Under the settlement, Lotus is licensed to make and sell “certain volume-limited amounts of generic lenalidomide in the United States,” the statement said. The volume-limited shipments would periodically increase by no more than a single-digit percentage until Jan. 31, 2026, it said. Unlike new drug applications, an ANDA submitted to the FDA for review of a generic drug does not need preclinical and clinical trial data to establish safety and effectiveness. The company has submitted new drug applications for lenalidomide in 81 countries. Twenty-three countries have approved it, including the US’ tentative approval, Lotus said. “We are so excited to achieve another important milestone for our leading oncology portfolio — after obtaining approval of lenalidomide in Europe as the first generic,” chief executive officer Petar Vazharov said in the statement. “We are now also among the first to receive an approval in the US, which solidifies Lotus’ core competence as the global preferred partner in oral oncology,” Vazharov said. “We have successfully launched the product in selected European countries in February 2019 and we are confident that we will continue to deliver with our evolving portfolio,” he added. Celgene’s blockbuster Revlimid reported global sales of about US$10 billion and US sales of US$7.3 billion last
NOTABLE SHIFT: By 2030, 50% of all laptops would be assembled in Southeast Asia, while Taiwan would still mostly focus on research and development, a report said
Global laptop and desktop computer supply chains are expected to shift significantly away from China in the next 10 years, a Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC, 產業情報研究所) report said. By 2030, only 40 percent of global laptop production would remain in China, said the report, which was released on Thursday. “The reshuffling of the global supply chain will be one of the most important trends in the next 10 years,” the institute said in the report. “In the long run, key component makers will follow laptop assemblers in moving out of China.” The Taipei-based institute predicted most key component makers would move to Southeast Asia. By 2030, 50 percent of the world’s laptops would be assembled in Southeast Asia, the report said. Taiwan would continue to do mostly research and development, with an estimated 5 percent of the world’s laptops being assembled in the nation by 2030, it added. In terms of desktops, only 20 percent of the current Chinese capacity would remain by 2030, the report said, adding that Southeast Asia would be the global center for assembly, with industrial clusters being in India, Thailand and Vietnam. The institute said that up to 30 percent of the world’s desktops would be assembled in the US, while 20 percent would be assembled in the Czech Republic and Poland. However, 40 percent of desktop PC components would still be made in China, it said. More than 170 million laptops would be shipped worldwide this year, a 6 percent annual increase, due to COVID-19-related demand, the report said. Global laptop orders are expected to fall by 4.3 percent next year, the report said. The Institute predicted a small decrease in laptop shipments from Taiwan next year.
Domestic diesel prices are this week to decrease by NT$0.1 per liter, but gasoline prices are to remain unchanged, even though international crude oil prices increased last week, CPC Corp, Taiwan (CPC, 台灣中油) and Formosa Petrochemical Corp (台塑石化) announced separately yesterday. Effective today, gasoline prices at CPC stations would remain at NT$22.2, NT$23.7 and NT$25.7 per liter for 92, 95 and 98-octane unleaded gasoline respectively, while premium diesel would drop to NT$19.5 per liter, the state-run refiner said in a statement. Formosa said that its prices for 92, 95 and 98-octane unleaded gasoline would remain at NT$22.2, NT$23.6 and NT$25.7 per liter respectively, while premium diesel would cost NT$19.3 per liter. CPC said that based on its floating oil price formula, the cost of crude oil increased 0.82 percent last week from a week earlier, as Tropical Storm Beta affected oil and gas operations near the Gulf of Mexico. That would have resulted in CPC increasing gasoline and diesel prices by NT$0.1 per liter each, but to comply with a government policy of keeping domestic fuel prices the lowest in Asia, CPC said that it had to absorb the cost increase for gasoline products and lower diesel prices by NT$0.1 per liter. Formosa decided to match CPC’s price adjustments after factoring in the exchange rate for the New Taiwan dollar and local market competition, the company said.
Cathay United Bank (國泰世華銀行) plans to use artificial intelligence and big data analysis to learn what customers need and maintain their loyalty, as emerging virtual banks are likely to poach existing establishments’ clients with fancy marketing and rewards, Cathay United Bank president Alan Lee (李偉正) said. “No bank dares to say that they are not worried about competition from new virtual banks, and neither can we, but our advantage is that we have long relationships with our clients, know them better and can provide financial products to suit their exact preferences,” Lee said on Wednesday last week. For example, the bank has used big data analysis to choose people who have a high demand for funds and might be interested in applying for personal loans, Lee said, adding that Cathay United then sends marketing information to those potential clients. Among the 5 million clients who use Cathay United Bank’s credit cards, about 60 percent have applied for its other financial products, such as mortgages, wealth management products or small loans, Lee said. The bank aims to raise that ratio, he added. “The more products the clients have or the more frequently they interact with us, the more difficult it is for them to leave us and the more loyal they are likely to become,” Lee said. Cathay United Bank does not invest in any of the nation’s three virtual banks. The lender had 680,330 digital savings accounts as of the end of June, the second-highest after Taishin International Bank’s (台新銀行) Richart service, Financial Supervisory Commission data showed. CTBC Bank (中國信託銀行), which holds a 5 percent stake in Web-only Line Bank (連線商業銀行), would not share its financial technology with the virtual bank, as it does not have a controlling stake in the lender, CTBC Financial Holding Co chief technology officer Titan Chia (賈景光) said. CTBC Bank is
Worldwide wearable device shipments are estimated to grow 14.5 percent to 396 million units this year from 345.9 million units last year, as demand remained steady in the first half of the year, despite the COVID-19 outbreak and the launch of new products in the second half, International Data Corp (IDC) said on Friday. The global market for wearable devices, such as hearable items, smartwatches and wristbands, is forecast to grow by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.4 percent in the five years from this year, with total shipments likely reaching 637.1 million units in 2024, thanks to the emergence of services to complement wearable devices, IDC said in a report. The demand for wearable devices would also increase as more enterprises use them to keep their employees physically distant and detect early signs of potential illness in the post-COVID-19 era, the research firm added. “Wearable devices and services will evolve together in the coming quarters,” Ramon Llamas, research director for mobile devices and augmented and virtual reality at IDC, said in a news release. IDC forecast that hearable items would account for the majority of wearable shipments in the next five years, while posting a CAGR of 14.1 percent through 2024. Shipments of smartwatches and wristbands are estimated to grow at a CAGR of 14.3 percent and 2.4 percent respectively over the five-year period, it added. Wearable device makers are laying the groundwork for consumers using multiple wearable devices in conjunction with each other, IDC said. “Imagine tying positional and audio input from hearables with health metrics from the wrist to gauge a user’s level of attention or excitement in the surrounding environment. That’s a powerful new experience that can bring added utility to consumers and vendors alike,” said Jitesh Ubrani, research manager for mobile device trackers at IDC.
The production value of the local IC packaging and testing industry is expected to grow 8.9 percent year-on-year to NT$519.7 billion (US$17.75 billion) this year, due to the booming stay-at-home economy, the Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC, 產業情報研究所) said in a report on Friday. The emergence of 5G technology and the launch of new products by international smartphone brands are also expected to help Taiwanese IC packaging and testing service providers to secure more orders, the institute said. Cheng Kai-an (鄭凱安), a senior industrial analyst and product manager at the institute, said that many suppliers in the industry benefited from an increase in shipments in the first half of this year, as orders were shifted from their counterparts in Southeast Asia, where the spread of COVID-19 was more severe. In the second half of the year, the industry has been boosted by international brands’ efforts to unveil new smartphones and gaming consoles, Cheng said. However, the production value of the IC packaging and testing industry is forecast to fall about 2.1 percent in the fourth quarter from the third quarter due to the effects of the slow season, although it could rise 1.1 percent year-on-year, he said. Cheng said that sanctions imposed by the US on China’s Huawei Technologies Co (華為), which came into effect on Sept. 15, are expected to reduce orders from the Chinese telecom equipment giant in the fourth quarter. Huawei had wanted to build up its inventories before the tighter restrictions took effect, but high inventories could pose a risk to the global semiconductor industry next year, he said.
TWENTY CONSECUTIVE QUARTERS: While the US stays in the top spot, followed by China, the nation’s lenders hold fewer assets in Hong Kong, the central bank said
The US ranked as the largest debtor to Taiwanese banks for the 20th consecutive quarter at the end of June, the central bank said on Friday. Data compiled by the central bank showed that outstanding claims on a direct risk basis by Taiwanese banks on US debtors totaled US$91.90 billion at the end of June, up about US$7.55 billion from a quarter earlier. The increase came after the combined value of Taiwanese-owned assets in the US grew in the wake of a significant rebound of US stock markets when the US Federal Reserve eased its monetary policy to support the US economy amid the crisis caused by COVID-19, the central bank said. On an ultimate risk basis, which calculates a country’s consolidated debts after risk transfers, local banks’ claims in the US totaled US$89.32 billion, larger than in any other nation and an increase from US$83.90 billion at the end of March, the data showed. China was in second place, with the exposure of Taiwanese banks hitting US$47.77 billion, up from US$46.13 billion on a direct risk basis, ahead of exposure to Luxembourg, which reached US$37.51 billion, up from US$32.02 billion, the data showed. Hong Kong dropped one notch to fourth place with exposure for Taiwanese banks down US$3.36 billion to US$33.67 billion at the end of June, it showed. The central bank said that exposure to Hong Kong fell as local banks became more cautious about their investment risks in the territory after Beijing passed the National Security Law for Hong Kong in late June. Japan took the fifth spot with exposure for Taiwanese banks at US$29.31 billion, down from US$31.32 billion, followed by Australia (US$24.98 billion), the Cayman Islands (US$18.93 billion), the UK (US$18.21 billion), Singapore (US$15.52 billion) and the British West Indies (US$12.39 billion). Banks’ exposure to
Many retailers have been caught off-guard by COVID-19 restrictions and shifting consumer habits, but do-it-yourself (DIY) stores are enjoying a boom as people spend money on their homes and gardens. A report by consulting group McKinsey & Co found that faced with a prolonged period of financial uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers “intend to continue shifting their spending largely to essentials ... and cutting back on most discretionary categories.” Consumers worldwide are cutting back on clothing and shoes, but spending more to improve their homes, the report said. In the UK, the sector has helped consumer spending overall to rebound to a level higher than before the pandemic hit. “Spending for home improvements continued to rise in August as sales volumes within household goods stores increased by 9.9 percent when compared with February,” the UK Office for National Statistics said. This should not come as a surprise, as people are spending more time at home, and even when not under lockdown, many people are working from home or have fewer public activities to participate in, the report said. A survey carried out in 20 countries by consulting firm Accenture Ltd found that over two-thirds of respondents expect most of their social activities to take place at their home or that of friends. The unease that many people feel in public spaces might push a lasting shift toward people spending more time at home, Accenture said, calling it a “decade of the home.” Many Germans have used the downtime during the COVID-19 lockdown to “repair, refurbish and decorate their homes,” the country’s BHB trade association for home improvement, building and gardening said in a report. Sales in the sector rose by 15.6 percent year-on-year to nearly 12 billion euros (US$139.58 billion) over the first half of this year, boosted by many DIY stores and garden centers
Taxpayers in Taiwan can use their smartphones to file taxes next year, the Ministry of Finance said. In a hearing held by the Legislative Yuan’s Finance Committee on Thursday, Minister of Finance Su Jain-rong (蘇建榮) said that with the government promoting e-taxation, the ministry plans to allow taxpayers to file taxes using their smartphones in May next year. May is the annual tax filing month in Taiwan. Taxpayers could use the ministry’s Taiwan FidO smartphone app or certified smartphone numbers, among other planned smartphone-based methods, to file their taxes, Su said. Due to smartphones’ technical limitations, such as the small screen size, only the ministry’s simple calculation forms would be available for smartphone-based tax payments, he said. The smartphone filing system would also allow taxpayers to confirm important information such as their income, tax deductions and tax exemptions, Su said. The ministry estimates that about 3.85 million taxpayers would be able to use their smartphones to file taxes next year. Taxpayers have since 2016 been able to pay their taxes through two mobile payment systems — Taiwan Pay and ezPay — which are linked to many banking apps. Su said that the new services would be more convenient for taxpayers and help the government deliver on its promise to provide more comprehensive e-taxation. “All you have to do is tap your smartphone,” Su said. Only those using phones with by Android or iOS operating systems would be able to register for the new service, he added.
A judge in Pennsylvania on Saturday rejected a request by three TikTok content creators who asked her to temporarily block a US government ban on Apple Inc and Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc to offer the short-video sharing app for download in their app stores. The content creators argued they would “lose access to tens of thousands of potential viewers and creators every month, an effect amplified by the looming threat to close TikTok altogether.” ‘INCONVENIENCE’ US District Judge Wendy Beetlestone said that the ban, set to take effect today, is “undoubtedly an inconvenience,” but added that the content creators “will still be able to create, publish, and share content for their millions of current followers.” A separate legal challenge from TikTok and its Chinese owner ByteDance Ltd (字節跳動) to the US Department of Commerce order is still pending. A hearing on the issue before US District Judge Carl Nichols is set for 9:30am today in Washington. ByteDance on Sunday last week said that it had negotiated a preliminary deal with Walmart Inc and Oracle Corp to take stakes in the app’s US operations, but the exact terms remain unclear. The commerce department gave the companies an additional week to finalize a deal before an order banning TikTok from US app stores takes effect. TikTok has an estimated 100 million users in the US and 700 million worldwide, making it one of the largest in the social media space. USER RELATIONSHIP A ban would not only lead to lost revenue, but also inflict “extraordinary harm to [TikTok’s] reputation and goodwill, making it unlikely that these relationships could be salvaged even if the ban is later lifted,” company lawyers said. A ban “will cause our user base to stagnate and then precipitously decline,” TikTok US general manager Vanessa Pappas said. Additional reporting by AFP
CHINA Industry trends upward Profits at Chinese industrial enterprises grew for a fourth consecutive month, as the country’s factories maintained momentum following the COVID-19 shutdown. Industrial profits rose 19 percent last month, after July’s 19.6 percent increase, data from the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics published yesterday showed. For the first eight months of the year, it was still down 4.4 percent from a year earlier. The increase was due to factors including the continued recovery of production and demand, and falling operational costs, the bureau said. Banking New Commerzbank chair Commerzbank AG, Germany’s second-largest bank, which has been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Wirecard scandal, on Saturday named Manfred Knof as its new chairman. The appointment is a bid to end turmoil after Martin Zielke resigned in early July, following sustained criticism by shareholders of his performance and the bank’s losses. Knof, 55, was Deutsche Bank AG’s German retail head, but spent a large part of his career in the insurance business, working for German giant Allianz AG. Semiconductors Kioxia not to go public Kioxia Holdings Corp, the memory chipmaker spun out of Toshiba Corp in 2018, is to cancel its initial public offering plan to list its shares on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, the Nikkei Business magazine reported. The decision came due to deepening political tensions between the US and China expected to sharply weigh on the chipmaker’s profitability, the report said, without disclosing its source. A Kioxia spokesperson could not immediately comment on the Nikkei report.
Can a small US aerospace company reach Venus before NASA returns to Earth’s superheated planetary neighbor? That is what Rocket Lab chief executive officer Peter Beck is hoping as he sets his sights on launching a low-cost probe in 2023. Over the past decade his company has become very good at putting satellites in to orbit — and his dream of taking the next step, an interplanetary mission, has recently received a shot of adrenaline with the surprising discovery of a gas linked to living organisms in Venus’ corrosive, sulfuric atmosphere. “What we’re looking for on Mars is signs of previous life,” Beck said. “Whereas Venus, it’s signs of potential life now.” With its hellish landscape, Venus has been largely neglected by the major space agencies since the 1980s in favor of the solar system’s more distant bodies. Dozens of missions have notably been sent to Mars seeking signs of ancient microbes. However, the discovery by Earth-based radio telescopes of a gas called phosphine in Venus’ atmosphere, reported on Sept. 14, sparked a new wave of enthusiasm among scientists who had for years defended the hypothesis that tiny organisms could live in the planet’s clouds. Phosphine is not definitive proof of life, but it is possible its presence is linked to living organisms, as it is on our planet. The finding led NASA to declare it was time to once more prioritize Venus. However, Beck has always been in the pro-Venus camp, and for two years has been contemplating sending an entirely privately funded probe there, he said. He calculated, with the help of a doctoral student, that a small satellite called “Photon” that Rocket Lab developed in-house could be adapted into a spacecraft for an interplanetary voyage. Such bids have historically been the domain of national space agencies, given the enormous costs involved, but Beck thinks he has
A start-up backed by billionaire venture capitalist Chris Sacca and Airbus SE says that it can turbo-charge forest regrowth in the aftermath of devastating wildfires such as those raging across the US West Coast. Australia-based Dendra Systems uses specialized drones to survey vast areas of scorched land and produce an action plan to restore plant and tree life. The drones can then be used to sow seeds of native species much faster than traditional manual planting methods, at the same time providing a constant flow of real-time data on the progress of regeneration. “We’ve got an aerial feeding system, it has been called a sky tractor, so that we can get into those hard-to-reach places,” Dendra chief executive officer and cofounder Susan Graham said. “It’s much more efficient to be flying over the ground than walking over it.” IDENTIFYING ISSUES Huge wildfires are burning across California, Oregon and Washington, while Australia’s East Coast still bears the scars of its worst season on record. Reforestation efforts can be set back by factors including weed invasion and soil erosion, and Dendra’s system uses artificial intelligence software to identify those issues quickly and tackle them before they get out of hand. “You can’t make a tree grow faster, but you can prevent all of the stumbling blocks which happen,” Graham said. SIX TIMES FASTER Seattle-based DroneSeed Co also uses drones to aid the forest regeneration process and claims its airborne delivery system is six times faster than a human planter, allowing it to sow 16 hectares a day. “With catastrophic fires we’re seeing increasingly that wildfire damage is not coming back as forest” as nature’s ability to regenerate becomes overwhelmed, DroneSeed chief executive officer Grant Canary said in a Bloomberg television interview on Aug. 25. “We can fix that, but we’ve got to build the tools,” Canary said. Dendra is also working
In the town of Brignoles in southeast France, 40 tonnes of human hair are stacked in a warehouse — discarded locks sent in from salons far and wide under an innovative recycling scheme. After a successful trial in the nearby port of Cavalaire-sur-Mer, the hair is destined to be stuffed into nylon stockings to make floating tubes that are to line harbors and mop up ocean oil pollution. “Hair is lipophilic, which means it absorbs fats and hydrocarbons,” said Thierry Gras, a hairdresser in Saint-Zacharie near Brignoles and founder of the project Coiffeurs Justes. Awaiting the green light from labor inspectors and anti-pollution officials, Gras hopes to start large-scale production of the tubes before the end of this year, and so help fight pollution. He plans to sell the forearm-length tubes, which can each absorb eight times their weight in oil, for 9 euros (US$10.47) apiece. At the Brignoles warehouse, paper bags are filled with 2kg of hair each, waste from thousands of participating hairdressers from all over France — including Gras’ own — as well as Belgium, Germany and Luxembourg. The bags are then sent to another site a few streets away, where formerly unemployed people and school dropouts are paid to make the absorbent tubes. Gras plans to reinvest half of the sale price of the tubes in the employment center. Each hairdresser on average produces about 29kg of hair waste every year, most of it ending up in the trash, Gras said. Last year, scientists found that discarded human hair was likely to blame for a strange phenomenon of missing toes among Paris pigeons. The birds appear to get entangled in the discarded locks, cutting off blood flow to their extremities. While snipping away at a client’s hair, Gras said that his appetite for fighting pollution was awakened in childhood by the 1978 stranding of the Amoco
LONG-TERM BET: A lot of US stimulus measures are beginning to wind down, and many investors believe technology remains the investment of choice, analysts said
Technology stocks again rode to Wall Street’s rescue on Friday, lifting the main indexes more than 1 percent, but the Dow Jones and the S&P 500 still posted their longest weekly losing streaks in a year as fears of a slowing economy sparked an almost month-long rout. Investors started buying beaten-down shares after the NASDAQ confirmed a corrective phase earlier this month and the S&P 500 on an intra-day basis briefly broke that barrier this week. The Dow and S&P 500 notched their fourth straight weekly declines, the longest weekly losing streak since August last year. The NASDAQ closed higher for the week after falling the previous three, and is now up 22 percent for the year. The S&P 500 is up a bit more than 2 percent for the year. Investors are looking at the long term and believe technology remains the investment of choice, said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda Corp in New York. “It’s dip buying,” Moya said. “When you look at the correction that we’ve seen in these tech giants, people are still going to want to hold US equities. The reality is that 2021 is going to be a much higher stock market and you’re probably going to see tech still lead the way.” Shares of tech mega-caps Apple Inc, Microsoft Corp and Amazon.com Inc led the way, followed by Nvidia Corp and Facebook Inc, rising at least 2.1 percent. The information technology index jumped 2.4 percent as investors ditched value-linked stocks on signs of a slowdown in the broader economic recovery. Growth-oriented shares gained at a rate almost twice that of value stocks. Volatility has also shot up as investors look for clarity on whether the US Congress plans to approve more stimulus ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election, which now appears unlikely. The CBOE Market Volatility Index, known
European equities fell, posting their worst weekly decline since mid-June, on mounting concern that the rise in COVID-19 cases would hamper the region’s economic recovery. Banks slid to a record low. The STOXX Europe 600 on Friday closed down 0.1 percent at 355.51, and is down 3.6 percent this week as countries including the UK and France tighten their virus rules, and former hotspots such as the Spanish capital of Madrid report rising hospitalizations. The STOXX 600 Banks Index declined for a seventh straight day, closing at the lowest level since its creation in 1991, hit by concerns over coronavirus-related lockdowns, low interest rates and bad loans. Democrats in the US House of Representatives have started drafting a stimulus proposal of roughly US$2.4 trillion, just as economists were expressing doubts over whether additional funding would be seen this year. “We think it makes sense to stay positioned for continued recovery and further cyclical outperformance, but the argument has become more balanced,” Bank of America Corp strategists led by Sebastian Raedler wrote in a note on Friday. “The downside risks have increased,” they said. UBS Global Wealth Management’s chief investment officer Mark Haefele said that “overall, we maintain our constructive outlook for equities over the coming months, while acknowledging that markets will likely be choppy.” Meanwhile in London, a nearly 44 percent surge in bookmaker William Hill PLC on takeover offers lifted consumer stocks, helping UK shares outperform European peers and end a tumultuous week on a high note. Without disclosing the value, buyout firm Apollo Global Management Inc and US casino operator Caesars Entertainment Inc made offers for the British betting firm, shares of which rose 43.47 percent on Friday to ￡312.20. “William Hill had been one of the big gainers since March among UK equities... The news of course has done what bid approaches always do, namely
Oil fell this week amid growing concerns that another wave of the COVID-19 pandemic would spark tighter lockdown measures and further stifle crude demand. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for October delivery on Friday dropped 0.15 percent to US$40.04 and fell 2.6 percent on the week. Brent crude for November delivery shrank 0.05 percent to US$41.92, losing 2.85 percent for the week. The number of US COVID-19 cases rose above 7 million, Johns Hopkins University data showed. Meanwhile, a second governor tested positive for the virus as cases surge around the country. At the same time, the market is contending with returning supply. Oil traders have reported a sharp increase in Iraqi exports for next month, while output from Libya has shown signs of rising this week. “There are concerns about the stalling economic recovery,” said Phil Streible, chief market strategist at Blue Line Futures LLC in Chicago. When the world gets a vaccine, widespread reopenings and a meaningful increase in travel, “that’s when you’re going to start to see demand pick up” and prices rally, Streible said. US crude’s gradual climb since May has come to a halt this month, with futures on track to drop about 5.5 percent for the month. Still, Goldman Sachs Group Inc said that oil consumption is currently just above 93 million barrels a day and might rise 1.8 million a day to the end of the year. However, any meaningful recovery in consumption has so far been held back by the lingering pandemic. “We’re going to be range-bound for a while until there’s the perception that the bulk of the COVID impact on demand is behind us,” Strategic Energy and Economic Research president Michael Lynch said. Additionally, “if the OPEC+ deal starts to fall apart and we get a lot more crude, that would send prices down,” Lynch said. In a sign
Gold and silver posted their biggest weekly losses since March, when the global onset of the COVID-19 pandemic panicked markets. The US dollar gained as concern over the outlook for global economic growth bolstered the appeal of the currency as a haven, sapping demand for gold. Fears are mounting that rising coronavirus cases, particularly in Europe, might lead to more national lockdowns, denting the outlook for recovery. Gold fell 4.6 percent this week, while silver slumped 15 percent. “Both have succumbed to belated long liquidation and pressure generated by the strength in the general dollar index,” Edward Meir, an analyst at ED&F Man Capital Markets in New York, said in a note. The rally in gold, often used as an inflation hedge, has also flagged as the dimming view of the recovery undercuts the outlook for a rise in consumer prices. A lineup of US Federal Reserve officials have said that the central bank alone cannot boost prices and the economy would falter without more aid. Gold has fallen more steeply of late than currency exchange-rate developments would have led one to expect, Commerzbank AG analyst Carsten Fritsch said. “Abating concerns about inflation due to rising corona numbers could have something to do with this,” Fritsch said in a note. Democrats in the US House of Representatives have started drafting a stimulus proposal of roughly US$2.4 trillion that they can take into possible negotiations with the White House and Republicans in the US Senate. The bill could get passed by the House next week. Spot gold fell 0.3 percent to close at US$1,861.58 an ounce at 5pm in New York. Silver slipped 1.1 percent. Platinum also declined in its worst week since March, while palladium had the biggest weekly slide since July. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index climbed 0.3 percent and registered its best week since April. Gold’s
Most Asian shares advanced on Friday, cheered by a modest rally on Wall Street and rising hopes for fresh stimulus for the US economy. Despite signs of a global economic rebound in the third quarter, worries remain that the upturn might be running out of steam. Democrats from the US House of Representatives said that they are paring back their proposal for a new stimulus package in an attempt to jump-start negotiations with the administration of US President Donald Trump. US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin and US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell have said that the government’s top priority should be to provide affordable loans to small businesses and further support for millions of Americans still unemployed. Paralyzing partisanship has prevented a US Congressional renewal of aid, and the recent vacancy following the death of Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg has deepened the divide. The renewed optimism that the world’s biggest economy might receive another boost carried over into Friday’s trading. “This stimulus deal needs to go through,” Stephen Innes of AxiCorp Financial Services Pty said in a commentary. “With the risks building up everywhere you look, it doesn’t seem to be a great time to be trying to pick the bottom of equity markets, but a stimulus relief bill will go a long way to nudging the market along.” Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 edged up 0.51 percent to 23,204.62, dropping 0.67 percent for the week. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 1.51 percent to 5,964.90, gaining 1.71 percent for the week, while South Korea’s KOSPI added 0.27 percent to 2,278.79, but lost 5.54 percent from a week earlier. However, in Taiwan, the TAIEX ended down 31.47 points, or 0.26 percent, at 12,232.91, after moving between 12,149.81 and 12,385.81, on turnover of NT$209.042 billion (US$7.14 billion) on Friday. It lost 4.99 percent for
The US dollar on Friday gained ground and measured its biggest weekly gain since early April as investors worried about a slowing economic recovery, rising COVID-19 infections in Europe, uncertainty about US stimulus, and the upcoming elections here. While orders for key US capital goods increased more than expected last month, orders for durable goods — ranging from toasters to aircraft — which are meant to last three years or more, rose 0.4 percent after jumping 11.7 percent in July. With so much for investors to feel uncertain about, J.B. Mackenzie, managing director of futures and forex at TD Ameritrade sees increasing volatility ahead of the Nov. 3 US elections and as a result, more demand for the US dollar. “The election and stimulus and the continued economic recovery, those three parts, if those are not working lock step, there very well could be a movement to the dollar as that flight to safety trade,” Mackenzie said. Mackenzie is looking at factors such as the UK’s struggle to come up with a plan to exit the EU as an overseas factor that could also keep the US dollar strong. While the greenback fell slightly on Thursday, after four days of gains, as equities rose on hopes for stimulus, the US currency’s rally resumed on Friday as worries resurfaced. “Yesterday was a calmer more positive sentiment ... then this morning’s durable goods show that the pace of growth in the United States is very uneven,” said Juan Perez, senior currency trader and strategist at Tempus Inc. Along with weaker US and overseas economic data and expectations, Perez said that US dollar demand was also boosted by Washington’s failure to create a stimulus package and concerns ahead of the US election. Top Republicans on Thursday repudiated US President Donald Trump’s refusal to