Posts belonging to Category Prices

New Oxford/AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine to cost just £2 per dose

Effective up to 90%

Britain could have 19million doses of Oxford and AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine by the end of the year after clinical trials showed it is up to 90 per cent effective at preventing infection and can be stored cheaply in a fridge. President of AstraZeneca, Tom Keith-Roach said today that, on top of the four million doses on standby for the UK, a further 15million could be ready to roll out by the end of next month. They will be given to healthcare workers and the elderly first, subject to approval by regulators.

The vaccine is expected to cost just £2 per dose and can be stored in ordinary equipment, unlike other jabs made by Pfizer and Moderna that showed similarly promising results last week but need to be kept in ultra-cold temperatures using expensive equipment.  It’s also a fraction of the price, with Pfizer’s costing around £15 per dose and Moderna’s priced at about £26 a shot.

Oxford’s trials found the jab has a nine in ten chance of working when administered as a half dose first and then a full dose a month later. Efficacy drops to 62 per cent when someone is given two full doses a month apart.

AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine produces an immune response in older people

Immunogenicity responses similar between older and younger adults

One of the world’s leading COVID-19 experimental vaccines produces a immune response in both old and young adults, raising hopes of a path out of the gloom and economic destruction wrought by the novel coronavirus.  The vaccine, developed by the University of Oxford, also triggers lower adverse responses among the elderly, British drug maker AstraZeneca Plc AZN.L, which is helping manufacture the vaccine, said on Monday.

A vaccine that works is seen as a game-changer in the battle against the novel coronavirus, which has killed more than 1.15 million people, shuttered swathes of the global economy and turned normal life upside down for billions of people. “It is encouraging to see immunogenicity responses were similar between older and younger adults and that reactogenicity was lower in older adults, where the COVID-19 disease severity is higher,” an AstraZeneca spokesman said.

Apple, Google, and Amazon respond to European tech taxes by passing on costs

Developers, ad buyers, and third-party sellers are all affected

For many years, Europe has been unhappy with the tax habits of US tech giants. As regulators and politicians have often noted, these firms make vast amounts of money from European citizens but pay a pittance in tax. In the absence of an overhaul of the global tax system, a number of European nations have introduced new taxes aimed specifically at these companies. And the tech giants are responding by passing on the costs.
Over the last month, for example, Apple, Google, and Amazon have all announced price changes for UK enterprise customers specifically designed to offset a new introduced by UK government. This increases tax on any revenue produced by “search engines, social media services and online marketplaces” by 2 percent.

In response, Apple is changing how it pays on the App Store in the UK. On top of the usual 20 percent VAT it pays to the government on each purchase it’s adding an extra two percent before splitting what remains between the developer and Apple, meaning less money for both. Google, meanwhile, is increasing fees for all advertising bought on Google Ads and YouTube in the UK by 2 percent.

U.S. Offshore Wind Industry To See Explosive Growth

 US$166 billion in offshore wind investment in the United States by 2035

Offshore wind has the potential to become a major industry in the United States over the next decade, unlocking billions of U.S. dollars of investment and creating thousands of jobs.

From California’s coast to the Atlantic Coast, the U.S. has the resources to support a large offshore wind industry, but so far, the United States has been lagging behind Europe and Asia in the development of offshore wind. The reasons for slower offshore wind development so far in America are not only the costs of technology. The regulatory and political background has also played a role in the U.S. having just 42 megawatts (MW) of installed offshore wind capacity as of today.

Smoother processes of leasing and permitting of offshore wind projects could facilitate up to US$166 billion in offshore wind investment in the United States by 2035, Wood Mackenzie said in recent research commissioned by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA), the New York Offshore Wind Alliance, and the University of Delaware’s Special Initiative on Offshore Wind.

Green Hydrogen Prices Are Set To Drop By 50% During The Next Decades

Three renewable power generation technologies

Hydrogen, the most abundant element in the universe, has been stealing the spotlight from EVs and renewables lately. From a sort of boutique car fuel a couple of decades ago, hydrogen has evolved into one of the clean energy priorities for the future. And this future may be quite bright for it as prices for its production from renewable sources of energy are set to halve. A study commissioned by the International Council on Clean Transportation has found that the average price for a kilo of hydrogen produced through electrolysis using solar or wind power will fall by about 50 percent between 2020 and 2050 in the United States and Europe.

The stuffy examines three scenarios based on whether the electrolyzer—the installation that breaks down water into hydrogen and oxygen—is connected to the grid, to a renewable electricity generator, or is grid-connected but serves as a storage facility. It also looks into three renewable power generation technologies, including utility-scale solar, onshore wind, and offshore wind.

Global luxury sales down 30% in first quarter 2020

Contraction between 15% and 35% for the whole year

From the earliest stages of the pandemic, the luxury industry has been highly attuned to the spread of the coronavirus—and its massive implications for the sector. Luxury brand owners felt the first rumblings of the storm when Covid-19 spread through China, the country whose citizens accounted for 90% of global luxury market growth in 2019. When the virus reached Italy, where many brands are headquartered and have key suppliers, they faced the additional challenge of operating as and where possible amid a national lockdown.

The consulting company Bain  just released forecasts for the next months. In the first quarter of 2020, the report  predicts that global luxury sales will suffer a year-over-year decline of 25% to 30%, although there are signs of recovery in China. For the year as a whole, it modeled three scenarios for the likely performance of the market, involving contractions of 15% to 18%, 22% to 25%, and 30% to 35%.

China’s economy is quickly rebounding

Hermès Guangzhou flagship takes in 2.7 million dollars in one Saturday

In a sign that China’s economy is quickly rebounding from the coronavirus crisis, Hermès’ Guangzhou flagship, the second largest store in China, took in 2.7 million dollars in one Saturday. The news was reported by WWD. Saturday marked the reopening day of the flagship store after it had been on lockdown with most retail stores in China for several months. Guangzhou is the capital of the province of Guangdong, the wealthiest area in China.

The single day sales are believed to be a record for a single boutique in China. It also offers a ray of hope for a luxury goods industry that was beaten and battered by the economic fallout from coronavirus. China is a sign that rebound could happen quickly once countries begin to reopen their businesses.

Trump threatens imposing tariffs on ‘oil coming from outside’

“I have to do something to protect our tens of thousands of energy workers”

U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened imposing tariffs on crude imports “coming from outside” amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and the price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia.

“If I have to do tariffs on oil coming from outside or if I have to do something to protect our — tens of thousands of energy workers and our great companies that produce all these jobs, I’ll do whatever I have to do,” Trump told reporters during a COVID-19 briefing held Saturday.

Trump’s comments come a little more than a week after Alberta Premier Jason Kenney called for an aggressive approach from governments across North America, floating the possibility of imposing tariffs on foreign oil exports.

Could Oil Really Fall To $0?

Analysts are now watching global storage capacity

The outlook for U.S. shale continues to darken with WTI testing sub-$20 territory. The supply glut could grow worse as the contraction in demand continues to deepen. On Sunday, President Trump extended the social distancing guidelines through the end of April, retreating from his plan to “open up” the economy by Easter. And before the ink was even dry on the $2 trillion stimulus, Congress has already started preparing the fourth emergency coronavirus legislation.   As of now, 193 million people in the U.S. and a staggering 2.3 billion people worldwide are living under some sort of lockdown order, according to Raymond James.

In early March, a few forecasters suggested that oil demand may be slightly negative in 2020, dipping by a mere 220,000 bpd. The call was somewhat provocative at the time. By the middle of the month, some forecasters said the demand hit could be as large as 10 million barrels per day (mb/d) in the second quarter. A few days later, another set of analysts put it at 13-14 mb/d. By last week, the IEA warned demand could fall by 20 mb/d. The negative revisions could keep on coming. Oil prices dropped sharply during midday trading on Monday. “For us, this is simply reflecting the increasing awareness that oil demand is breaking away, probably by much more than the 20% we have currently in our books for April/May,” JBC Energy said.

The market has fallen apart rather quickly. Some areas are seeing catastrophically low pricing, including prices dipping into negative territory in areas far from takeaway infrastructure. “Estimates for the demand side are being revised downwards on an almost daily basis, while on the supply side there is still no sign of any reconciliation between Saudi Arabia and Russia,” Commerzbank said in a note on Monday. Analysts are now watching global storage capacity, which could fill up in weeks or months at most. The contango for Brent between May and November has widened to a record $13.45 per barrel, a reflection of the massive short-term glut.

Oil Demand To Plunge By 10 Million Barrels Per Day

The central bank will purchase  $500 billion in Treasury securities and $200 billion in mortgage-backed securities.

As major economies go into lockdown, oil demand continues to fall off a cliff. On Monday, WTI fell into the $20s.

“The additional quarantine measures imposed in France, Spain and elsewhere over the weekend has spurred a ‘world championship’ in demand loss forecasting this morning,” Bjoernar Tonhaugen, Rystad Energy’s head of Oil Markets, said in a statement.

A week ago, the U.S. was doing very little. In just a few days’ time, there has been a proliferation of school cancellations, mass gathering prohibitions and mandatory telework orders. Restaurant closures are next. Pretty soon much of the country will be on some form of a lockdown.

The Federal Reserve slashed rates to near zero over the weekend, using up all of its ammo to head off as economic recession and financial crisis. The central bank also said that it would purchase “at least $500 billion” in Treasury securities and “at least $200 billion” in mortgage-backed securities.

Oil Prices Crash 25%

Oil War Begins

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Sunday that present oil prices were sustainable for the Russian economy. Adding that Russia had the tools to react to any adverse results of the spread of the coronavirus on the global financial climate.

“I want to stress that for the Russian budget, for our economy, the current oil prices level is acceptable,” Putin explained in a meeting with Russian energy officials.

Now some oil analysts are anticipating barrel prices as low as $20 within the year. Some experts have suggested that Russia’s move is intended to counter U.S. shale producers and hit back against the U.S. for targeting the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline connecting Russia and Germany.

Saudi Arabia blasted back, in kind. Sunday morning, Saudi Arabia dropped its own oil weapon. Its latest plans will not only reduce its unrefined price to Chinese consumers by as much as $6 or $7 per barrel, but it is also reportedly looking to increase its daily unrefined output by as much of as 2 million barrels per day into an increasingly oversupplied international market.

The shocking move by the Saudis is both a market share grab as well as a loud signal to Moscow that it is finished playing games.

Walmart Tests Grocery-Picking Robots

Fast-growing online grocery pickup (OGP) service

There could be a future where robots will do most of your grocery shopping for you. And for some Walmart shoppers, that future is getting even closer.

Walmart (WMT), the world’s largest seller of groceries, will begin piloting a robotics system for its fast-growing online grocery pickup (OGP) service in one of its stores. The retailer has teamed up with Massachusetts-based Alert Innovation to deploy its Alphabot, a first-of-its-kind technology, in its supercenter store in Salem, New Hampshire just off of Interstate 93.

“This is about the evolution of retail,” Alert Innovation CEO John Lert told Yahoo Finance. “So, we believe that this really marks the dawn of a new era and in which robots are going to increasingly pick orders for customers and relieve them of that burden.”

Alphabot is supposed to make the job of the customer and the associate easier. Its aim is to allow associates to complete more orders faster than they would by simply walking up and down the aisles in search of goods. It also frees up time for associates to carefully select fresh produce and meat while the robots do the other work behind the scenes. For the customer, it saves time and keeps prices low.

Iran attacks bases housing US troops

Uunequivocal warning to Iran not to attack Israel

Iraq received “an official verbal message” from Iran shortly after midnight and prior to the missile attacks, according to a statement from Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi.

Benjamin Netanyahu issued an unequivocal warning to Iran not to attack Israel.

He said he spoke for many of Israel’s neighbors in reiterating his strong support for the US killing of Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani, a man the Israeli Prime Minister described as Iran’s “terrorist-in-chief.”

Addressing a conference in Jerusalem Wednesday morning, just hours after Iran launched a missile attack on military bases in Iraq housing US troops — and amid renewed Iranian threats to hit Israeli cities — the Israeli Prime Minister said, “Anyone who tries to attack us will suffer the most devastating blow.”

11 best-performing S&P 500 stocks of 2019

The S&P 500 index has  jumped 29% in 2019

The S&P 500 is on track to post its biggest yearly gain in two decades, soaring 29% as the December rally caps a winning year for nearly all investments.

The index closed at a new record on Thursday, fueled by Amazon’srecord-breaking” holiday sales and rising tech stocks. Stocks have rallied through the end of the year as the “phase-one” US-China trade deal and greater Brexit clarity eliminated key sources of market uncertainty.

The future of Hydrogen

Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe

As the world pays more and more attention to reducing emissions and mitigating climate change, analysts believe that the most abundant element in the universe—hydrogen—has the potential to become a mainstream energy technology and a key clean fuel source in the future that could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In some industries, including oil refining, ammonia production, and methanol production, hydrogen is already widely used.