Mainland Chinese stocks were down by the early morning. The Shanghai Composite was down by 0.11% to 3,469.16. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was down about 0.14% to 28,600.75.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei average. Nikkei 225 is trading up 1.69 per cent at 29,002.06 on Thursday, while the Australian Index S&P / ASX 200 rose 0.24 per cent to 7,013.71. South Korea’s Kospi was up by 0.41% to 3185.91.
The FTSE MIB climbed up by 0.30% to 24,161.46 In the cash markets, the DAX futures Germany was trading 0.44% higher at 15,195.25. CAC 40 futures in France climbed up by 0.74% to 6,210.11, while the FTSE 100 futures in the U.K. rose by 0.52% to 6,895.08, at the time of writing.
In the U.S. on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.93% up at 34,137.30 the S&P 500 was up 0.93% to 4,173.94 and the Nasdaq 100 was up 1.19% at 13,950.22.
In the Forex market, GBPUSD rose 0.10% at 1.3944. The USDJPY was down 0.06% at 107.98. The USDCHF was down 0.11% at 0.9159. EURUSD was up 0.10% at 1.2045, EUR/GBP was down 0.01% at 0.8638, at the time of writing.
In the commodity market, U.S. Gold futures rose 0.04% at $1,793.70. Elsewhere, Silver futures fell 0.12% to $26.538 per ounce, Platinum fell 0.03% at $1,216.05 per ounce, and Palladium was up 0.08% at $2,879.50.
Brent crude oil was down 0.83% to $64.78 barrel while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (CLc1) fell 0.88% at $60.82.
In the Cryptocurrency Markets, BTCUSD is at $53,852 down 4.13%, Ethereum at 2,415.18 up 3.74%, Litecoin at 259.442 down 2.49%, at the time of writing.
TOP STOCKS TO WATCH OUT TODAY:
Daimler up 0.01% at 73.645, Apple Inc. up 0.29% at $133.50, Amazon up 0.82% at $ 3,334.44, TESLA Inc. up 0.61% at $718.99, Netflix down 7.40% at 508.90, Microsoft up 0.90% at $260.58 , SAP up 0.95% at 116.390.
President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced tax credits for certain businesses that pay employees who take time off to get COVID-19 shots, a new effort to involve corporate America in his vaccination campaign.
“I’m calling on every employer, large and small, in every state to give employees the time off they need with pay to get vaccinated,” the Democratic president said.
The tax credits will apply to businesses with fewer than 500 employees, he said.
In a speech, Biden also said he expects the United States to reach his 100-day goal of getting 200 million coronavirus vaccine shots in arms by the end of the day, even as the nation faces an increase in infections.
“Today we hit 200 million shots,” Biden said. “It’s an incredible achievement for the nation.”
Biden said the vaccine effort is entering a new phase with everyone over age 16 becoming eligible to be vaccinated. Biden said 80% of all seniors have received at least one shot, leading to a dramatic decline in the deaths of elderly Americans.
“If you’ve been waiting for your turn, wait no longer,” Biden said.
Biden administration officials said the government plans to reimburse businesses for the cost of giving workers as many as 80 hours in paid time off to get their shots or recover from any side effects.
The tax credit is for up to $511 per day for each worker, through September. Businesses with fewer than 500 employees employ roughly half of U.S. private-sector workers. The tax credits were authorized under Democratic-backed COVID-19 pandemic relief legislation passed by Congress and signed by Biden over Republican opposition.
The administration’s chief problem in its response to the pandemic is now shifting from securing enough vaccine supply to persuading enough Americans to seek out the available shots.
More than half of American adults have had at least one vaccine dose, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A third of U.S. adults are fully vaccinated, as well as 26% of the population overall.
The U.S. COVID-19 death toll of more than 568,000 leads the world. The coronavirus is still killing hundreds of Americans daily and many Americans have shown a reluctance to get vaccinated.
Countries around the world with less successful vaccination campaigns than the United States are dealing with a spike in infections.
Biden, who has loaned some unused vaccines to Canada and Mexico and donated funds to a multilateral vaccination effort for poor countries, said the White House is still looking at its options for eventually sending vaccines to Canada, Central America and elsewhere. Biden told reporters after his speech that he spoke with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau earlier on Wednesday.
“We don’t have enough to be confident to send it abroad now, but I expect we’re going to be able to do that,” Biden said.
“We’re looking at what is going to be done with some of the vaccines that we are not using. We’ve got to make sure they are safe to be sent.”
The Bank of England might strengthen its controls on cloud data providers and other technology firms to counter possible risks to the stability of the financial system from the rise of fintech, Deputy Governor Dave Ramsden said.
The Bank of England (BoE) has expressed concerns before about the reliance by financial firms, especially fintech startups, on third-party technology companies for key parts of their operations, and Ramsden said this scrutiny would intensify.
“We plan to analyse further whether we need even stronger tools to manage the risk that critical third parties, including potentially cloud and other major tech providers, may pose to the Bank’s … objectives,” Ramsden told the Innovate Finance conference on Wednesday.
Regulators globally have been tightening scrutiny of outsourced functions as they worry that core services financial firms provide to customers are vulnerable to outages at third parties.
Britain’s government is keen to promote fintech as an area of growth and hopes that nimbler regulation will enable it to steal a march over the European Union, where British financial firms now have reduced access due to Brexit.
The BoE has said it will not water down regulatory standards, but does see scope for more streamlined regulation of smaller banks and in some areas of insurance.
On Monday, finance minister Rishi Sunak asked the BoE to work with the finance ministry on whether the central bank should set up a digital version of sterling to compete with cryptocurrencies, which he dubbed ‘Britcoin’.
The government is also consulting over proposals to relax stock market listing rules due to a concern that Britain is less attractive than the United States as a listing venue, especially for tech companies whose founders want to keep an sizeable role.
Ramsden said the BoE had taken a step to make life easier for smaller financial companies on Monday by giving firms more direct ways to access its high-value payments system, which is dominated by major banks and processing companies.
Other steps included work standardising the identification of businesses involved in financial transactions, and looking at whether artificial intelligence could ease the burden of regulatory compliance.
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