July 12, 2020

Business

DailyHum News
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Exclusive: U.S. turns screws on maritime industry to cut off Venezuela's oil
Business

LONDON/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Several companies that certify vessels are seaworthy and ship insurers have withdrawn services to tankers involved in the Venezuelan oil trade as the United States targets the maritime industry to tighten sanctions on the Latin American country. U.S. sanctions have driven Venezuela’s oil exports to their lowest levels in nearly 80 years, starving President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government of its main source of revenue and leaving authorities short of cash for essential imports such as food and medicine. The sanctions are part of U.S. efforts to weaken Maduro’s grip on power after Washington and other Western democracies accused him of rigging a 2018 re-election vote. Despite the country’s economic collapse, Maduro has held on and frustrated the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump.
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MultiPlan merges with Churchill Capital to go public in $11B deal
Business

MultiPlan Inc. is merging with a special purpose acquisition company in an $11 billion deal that will take the health-care-services provider public.The company, currently owned by private-equity firm Hellman & Friedman, will merge with Churchill Capital Corp. III, a SPAC run by former Citigroup Inc. banker Michael Klein that went public in a February initial public offering, the companies said late Sunday.The Wall Street Journal earlier Sunday had reported on the deal.The transaction, the value of which includes debt, will infuse MultiPlan with up to $3.7 billion of new equity and convertible debt, including $700 million from existing investors and $2.6 billion from outsiders—among them sovereign-wealth funds, mutual funds and family offices, according to people familiar with the matter. The company plans to use the new money for purposes including paying down debt, purchasing a portion of the current owners’ stake and funding its balance sheet.
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China is stepping into global leadership vacuum as U.S. struggles with coronavirus, says Kevin Rudd
Business

The global leadership vacuum during the coronavirus crisis is an "open door" for China to walk through, said Kevin Rudd, president of the Asia Society Policy Institute.The former Australian prime minister said the U.S. has presented an opportunity for Beijing to seize global leadership during the pandemic.From China's perspective, looking "at the debacle of the U.S. domestic management of Covid-19 and the failure of the U.S. to provide global leadership and response to what is a global public health and economic crisis, then it's very difficult sitting in Beijing not to identify a leadership vacuum and to walk right into it," Rudd told CNBC's "Squawk Box Asia" on Monday.That also comes as the U.S. is criticizing and walking away from allies and multilateral institutions like the World Trade Organization and the World Health Organization, said Rudd, who is also a longtime China scholar.
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Trump claims golf is his ‘exercise’ as video of him driving a cart with his caddie hanging on the back goes viral
Business

According to Harvard Medical School, a golfer who rides in a cart ends up walking about one mile and burning some 400 calories over the course of a four-hour...
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Florida Breaks Record Daily Virus Cases in U.S. Outbreak
Business

Jul.12 -- U.S. virus cases rose to 3.27 million with almost 56,000 new infections with Florida reporting more than 15,000 cases, the biggest daily increase of any state since the coronavirus pandemic began. Meanwhile, Thailand is starting the clinical stage for its own Covid-19 vaccine, according to scientists in the study. Tom Mackenzie reports on "Bloomberg Daybreak: Australia."
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Oil slips as traders eye supply cut easing at OPEC meeting
Business

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Oil slipped in early Asian trade on Monday as traders eyed an OPEC technical meeting this week which is expected to recommend an easing in supply cuts that have been propping up crude prices. Brent crude LCOc1 fell 27 cents to $42.97 a barrel by 0114 GMT while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude CLc1 was at $40.27 a barrel, down 28 cents. Oil was little changed last week as a resurgence of coronavirus cases prompted several U.S. states to impose tighter travel restrictions that could dampen oil demand recovery at the world’s largest consumer. However, prices rose more than 2% on Friday after an upward revision by the International Energy Agency in its 2020 oil demand by 400,000 barrels per day.
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Pressley rips DeVos’s push to reopen schools: ‘I wouldn’t trust you to care for a house plant let alone my child’
Business

DeVos appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday morning calling for schools to reopen, despite surging coronavirus cases around the nation.
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‘The beginning of a horror movie’? Disney World slammed as doors reopen amid spiking coronavirus cases
Business

Florida on Sunday just broke the national record Sunday for the biggest single-day increase in positive coronavirus cases in any state since the beginning of...
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Coronavirus bringing record $1 trillion of new global corporate debt in 2020: report
Business

LONDON (Reuters) - Companies around the world will take on as much as $1 trillion of new debt in 2020, as they try to shore up their finances against the coronavirus, a new study of 900 top firms has estimated. The unprecedented increase will see total global corporate debt jump by 12% to around $9.3 trillion, adding to years of accumulation that has left the world’s most indebted firms owing as much as many medium-sized countries. Last year also saw a sharp 8% rise, driven by mergers and acquisitions, and by firms borrowing to fund share buybacks and dividends. But this year’s jump will be for an entirely different reason - preservation as the virus saps profits. “COVID has changed everything,” said Seth Meyer, a portfolio manager at Janus Henderson, the firm that compiled the analysis for a new corporate debt index. “Now it is about conserving capital and building a fortified balance sheet”.
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Indonesia’s Virus Cases Exceed 75,000 as Infections Accelerate
Business

Jul.12 -- Global infections are now approaching 13 million with fatalities above 565,000. One of the hotspots in Asia is Indonesia where cases have exceeded 75,000 after the government eased physical distancing curbs more than a month ago. Bloomberg’s Lisa Du reports on “Bloomberg Daybreak: Asia.”
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Dollar starts week on back foot ahead of data, earnings
Business

TOKYO (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar started the week with a soft tone on Monday as investors looked to looming economic data from around the world and U.S. corporate earnings to gauge whether the markets’ guarded optimism on the economic outlook is justified. The greenback ended its third week of losses on Friday as investors bought into risk-sensitive currencies on bets that the worst of the pandemic’s sweeping impact was over. The dollar index against a basket of currencies stood at 96.586 =USD, down slightly after having lost about 0.5% last week. U.S. coronavirus cases continued to surge over the weekend, as Florida reported an increase of more than 15,000 new cases of COVID-19 in 24 hours, a record for any state, surpassing a peak hit in New York in April.
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Asian shares extend rally, U.S. earnings to test optimism
Business

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Asian shares crept toward five-month peaks on Monday as investors wagered the U.S. earnings season would see most companies beat forecasts given expectations had been lowered so far by coronavirus lockdowns. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.15%, having climbed sharply last week on the back of surging Chinese stocks, which added another 1% on Monday.. Japan’s Nikkei gained 1.7% and South Korea 1.2%. E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 rose 0.5% even as some U.S. states reported record new cases of COVID-19, a divergence that shows no sign of stopping. EUROSTOXX 50 futures added 1.1% and FTSE futures 0.8%. “Ongoing grim U.S. COVID-19 infection news continues to be summarily ignored in favour of ongoing optimism regarding the time-line for the discovery and rapid roll-out of an effective vaccine and/or more policy support for asset prices and the U.S. economy,” said Ray Attrill, head of FX strategy at NAB.
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Australian Firms Need Targeted Support: Industry Group
Business

Jul.12 -- Innes Willox, chief executive officer of Australian Industry Group, an association that represents more than 60,000 businesses employing more than 1 million staff in industries such as manufacturing and construction, talks about the country’s second-most populous state's decision to impose a four-week lockdown across areas of Melbourne, and how the coronavirus outbreak is affecting businesses across the country. He speaks on "Bloomberg Daybreak: Australia."
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While America Looks Away, Autocrats Crack Down on Digital News Sites
Business

Like many American media types, I spent a lot of time last week reading heated arguments about free speech. I was wondering if I, too, could count myself as a “veteran of the Twitter wars” when Steven Gan distracted me by telling me about his car.Mr. Gan, the co-founder and editor in chief of Malaysia’s most important political news site, is leaving his hatchback at home on Monday morning and catching a ride to court with a colleague. That’s because Mr. Gan thinks there’s a good chance he’ll be going straight from the courthouse to jail.The nominal charge against him is contempt of court, a charge brought because his site, Malaysiakini, briefly hosted user comments insulting the judiciary. But his real crime, in the eyes of the government, appears to be his years of straightforward journalism, often chronicling the corruption of the faction that recently retook power in Malaysia.
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U.S. stock futures rise amid troubling coronavirus numbers
Business

U.S. stock index futures shot higher late Sunday, despite a record surge in coronavirus cases. As of 6:30 p.m., Dow Jones Industrial Average futures...
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Property developers rush to attract Hong Kong residents amid uncertainty over new law
Business

Real estate investment firms around the world are increasingly targeting Hong Kong investors through social media ads and events.Last year, the Chinese territory entered its first recession in years — initially triggered by months of pro-democracy unrest and the impact of the U.S.-China trade war, then exacerbated by the coronavirus outbreak which forced the city to shut its borders.Most recently, a new national security law which is said to be aimed at restoring order, is creating anxiety among some. Some Hong Kong residents have also expressed concerns that freedoms like an open internet could be slowly stripped away.  For instance, demand in Hong Kong for virtual private networks surged shortly after Beijing introduced the law. Meanwhile, social media app, Tik Tok quickly left the Hong Kong market citing "recent events" and Facebook said it has stopped processing government requests in the city.
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Asian shares firm, hope for best from U.S. earnings
Business

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Asian shares got off to a firm start on Monday as investors wagered U.S. earnings season would see most companies beat forecasts given expectations had been lowered so far by coronavirus lockdowns. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.15%, having climbed sharply to a five-month peak last week on the back of surging Chinese stocks. Japan’s Nikkei gained 1.3% and South Korea 0.9%. E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 rose 0.2% even as some U.S. states reported record new cases of COVID-19, a divergence that shows no sign of stopping. “Ongoing grim U.S. COVID-19 infection news continues to be summarily ignored in favour of ongoing optimism regarding the time-line for the discovery and rapid roll-out of an effective vaccine and/or more policy support for asset prices and the U.S. economy,” said Ray Attrill, head of FX strategy at NAB.
DailyHum News
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China's export slump to ease in June as economies reopen, imports fall less: Reuters poll
Business

BEIJING (Reuters) - The slump in China’s exports likely eased in June as some countries reopened their economies, while imports contracted less sharply on higher crude oil and commodities purchases, a Reuters poll showed on Monday. June exports from the world’s second-largest economy are expected to have contracted 1.5% from a year earlier, according to a median estimate from the survey of 32 economists, easing from a decline of 3.3% in May. Imports likely fell 10.0% on year, the poll showed, compared with a steep drop of 16.7% the previous month, due to higher purchases of crude oil and orders for infrastructure materials. Official and private factory surveys for June have shown the manufacturing sector recovery gathering more momentum.
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Analog Devices in talks to buy Maxim Integrated for about $20B
Business

Semiconductor maker Analog Devices Inc. is in talks to buy rival Maxim Integrated Products Inc. for roughly $20 billion in what would be one of the largest merger deals of the year, according to people familiar with the matter.Analog and Maxim are discussing an all-stock deal that could be finalized as soon as Monday, though it isn’t guaranteed and discussions could still fall apart.Maxim’s current market value is roughly $17 billion.Should a deal come together, Maxim shareholders would own about 30% of the combined company, which would be valued at just under $70 billion including debt, one of the people said.There has been a flurry of activity in the semiconductor industry as chip makers seek scale and expand their product portfolios in a world in which everyday items from cars to washing machines are increasingly incorporating chips to link to the internet.
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