Constance Hunter, chief economist and principal at KPMG, discusses the state of the U.S. economy and the impact of the pandemic on productivity.
Constance Hunter, chief economist and principal at KPMG, discusses the state of the U.S. economy and the impact of the pandemic on productivity.
(Bloomberg) -- Tesla Inc.’s Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said the electric-vehicle manufacturer is suspending purchases using Bitcoin, triggering a slide in the digital currency.In a post on Twitter Wednesday, Musk cited concerns about “rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions,” while signaling that Tesla might accept other cryptocurrencies if they are much less energy intensive. He also said the company won’t be selling any of the Bitcoin it holds.The largest cryptocurrency dropped as much as 15% to just above $46,000, before paring some of the retreat. It was down about 6% to $51,210 as of 7:03 a.m. in London on Thursday. Other tokens such Ether and Dogecoin also slid. The rush to sell briefly caused outages at some cryptocurrency exchanges. Bitcoin is still up more than fivefold in the past year.Musk’s move comes after Tesla disclosed in February that it had purchased $1.5 billion in Bitcoin and planned to accept it as a payment. That announcement added legitimacy to the cryptocurrency as an increasingly acceptable form of payment and an investment, especially coming from a large member of the S&P 500 with a high-profile CEO who commands a big following among retail investors and the general public.Tesla’s website, which had a support page dedicated to Bitcoin, noted that the token was the only cryptocurrency that Tesla accepts in the continental U.S. Musk has also tweeted frequently about Dogecoin, a cryptocurrency started as a joke in 2013 -- and he quipped about being the “Dogefather” before and during his stint hosting the “Saturday Night Live” show on May 8. He tweeted on Tuesday, “Do you want Tesla to accept Doge?”Tesla’s addition of Bitcoin to its balance sheet was the most visible catalyst during this year’s rally in the digital currency. Bitcoin jumped 16% that day, the biggest one-day gain since the Covid-19 induced financial markets volatility in March 2020.Optimism grew after Mastercard Inc., Bank of New York Mellon Corp. and other firms moved to make it easier for customers to use or invest in cryptocurrencies, fueling the mainstream resurgence that took Bitcoin from about $29,000 at the end of last year to as high as almost $65,000 in April.Bitcoin mining is consuming 66 times more electricity than it did back in late 2015, and the carbon emissions associated with it will likely face increasing scrutiny, according to a recent Citigroup Inc. report.Musk is no stranger to considering the issue of crypto’s environmental impact.Musk Splits From Cathie Wood’s Ark on Bitcoin Environmental CostCathie Wood’s Ark Investment Management LLC published a report last month saying cryptocurrency mining can drive investment in solar power and make more renewable energy available to the grid. Twitter Inc.’s Jack Dorsey retweeted a post on the white paper with the comment that Bitcoin “incentivizes renewable energy.” Musk replied to Dorsey’s tweet, saying simply, “True.”‘Confusing’Musk’s tweet on Wednesday took many in the cryptocurrency community by surprise, including Nic Carter, founding partner at Castle Island Ventures, and a leading voice among defenders of Bitcoin’s energy use.“Surely he would have done his diligence prior to accepting Bitcoin?” Carter said. “Very odd and confusing to see this quick reversal.”It’s unclear what prompted the decision and Musk and Zachary Kirkhorn, Tesla’s chief financial officer, didn’t immediately respond to an email inquiry for comment. Kirkhorn in March added the tongue-in-cheek title “Master of Coin,” according to a regulatory filing.Tesla’s first-quarter earnings were bolstered by the sale of 10% of its Bitcoin holdings. Musk said last month the disposal was intended to demonstrate the token’s liquidity, and added that he’s retained his personal investment in the cryptocurrency.Kirkhorn said on the firm’s earnings call in late April that Tesla believed in Bitcoin’s long-term value and planned to accumulate the tokens from transactions with customers.(Updates markets in the third paragraph. An earlier version of this story corrected the company name in the 11th paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Oil snapped a four-day gain as a key U.S. pipeline restarted and China said that it would push back against elevated commodity prices.West Texas Intermediate lost 1.3%, after closing Wednesday at a two-month high, while Brent fell. The Colonial Pipeline Co. -- a key source of gasoline for the East Coast -- is returning to service after a cyberattack last Friday. That’ll bring relief to motorists after panic-buying emptied out some gas stations.China Premier Li Keqiang urged the country to deal effectively with the commodity price surge and its impact, according to a state television report, echoing previous comments from officials. Asia’s top economy is a key user of of raw materials, and copper and iron ore also lost ground on Thursday.Oil is a among commodities that have rallied hard this year as investors wager that the economic recovery from the coronavirus outbreak will spur consumption. The roll-out of vaccines in the U.S., Europe and China has allowed governments to pare back social-distancing measures, permitting a return to work and much greater mobility. Still, Covid-19 flare-ups in many parts of Asia, as well as pushback from China, have complicated the global picture.“The moves today feel like a consolidation phase, there may also be some investors removing bullish trades following the resumption of the Colonial pipeline,” said Daniel Hynes, senior commodities strategist at Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. “But ultimately, strong demand globally should keep the uptrend intact.”On Wednesday, a U.S. government report showed domestic oil inventories fell to the lowest since late February, adding to signs of market rebalancing. In addition, the International Energy Agency said the world has now largely worked off the surplus that accumulated when the pandemic routed demand.Separately, Yemen’s Shiite Houthi rebels claimed a drone and missile attack against targets in Saudi Arabia including oil facilities, according to a statement on a rebel-run television channel. Such attacks have risen this year, though they rarely cause much damage.Brent’s prompt timespread was 18 cents a barrel in backwardation. While that remains a bullish pattern -- with near-term prices above those further out -- it has dropped to the lowest level since late March.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
LONDON (Reuters) -BT said on Thursday it would extend its full-fibre broadband network to 25 million premises by the end of 2026, aiming to fund the 5 million additional homes and businesses through a joint venture with other parties. BT, Britain's biggest broadband and mobile provider, set the new target as it reported a 7% fall in revenue and a 6% fall in adjusted earnings for the year to end-March, reflecting the impact of COVID-19. Chief Executive Philip Jansen said changes in regulation and tax, along with a new agreement on the company's pension payments, had cleared the way to raise its fibre ambitions.
Political turmoil has returned to Nepal, which has had eight different governments in a decade and is experiencing its worst COVID-19 surge with acute shortages of health facilities and oxygen for patients. “The leaders have failed us again while people are dying in their homes, street and hospital parking lots while the politicians are fighting on who gets to be the prime minister,” said Hari Sah, a plumber who was trying to buy rice and lentils for his family in the two hours people are allowed to shop during an ongoing virus lockdown. Khadga Prasad Oli became prime minister in 2018 with strong support from two-thirds of Parliament, but two splits in his ruling party this year helped push him out of office Monday.
LONDON (Reuters) -British engineering company Rolls-Royce stuck to its guidance to turn free cash flow positive at some point during the second half of 2021 as vaccinations kick in and travellers return to the skies. In the year to date, the company said its operational and financial performance had been in line with expectations, suggesting the return of some stability after a torrid 2020 for one of the last vestiges of Britain's manufacturing industry. Over the first four months of 2021, Rolls-Royce said that large engine flying hours were around 40% of pre-pandemic levels, in line with its expectations.
(Bloomberg) -- Asian stocks weakened Thursday after a rise in U.S. inflation sent the S&P 500 tumbling and drove bond yields higher on concerns that price pressures could stifle the economic recovery.A regional equities gauge erased this year’s gain, with equities declining from Japan to Australia. U.S. futures fluctuated and European contracts fell. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 both shed more than 2% in a third-straight day of losses, with the energy sector among the only winners as commodity prices continued their advance.Treasury yields steadied from a climb in U.S. hours, which shrugged off strong demand at the auction of new 10-year notes. The recent cheapening may have stoked similar appetite for the 30-year bonds in Thursday’s sale. Asia investment-grade bonds dipped, while the dollar held an advance.Meanwhile, Bitcoin slumped as much as 15% to trade briefly below $50,000 after Elon Musk tweeted that Tesla Inc. has was no longer accepting the digital currency for vehicle purchases due to environmental concerns. He added that the company won’t be selling any Bitcoin.The latest U.S. consumer prices data showed the biggest monthly rise since 2009, adding fuel to the debate over whether inflation will be persistent enough to force the Federal Reserve to tighten policy sooner than thought. The surprise reading included broad-based price pressures, and a market gauge of inflation expectations over the next five years touched its highest level since 2005 before easing.Fed Vice Chair Richard Clarida said he was surprised by the jump, but that it should prove largely transitory.“Markets have lost a little bit of confidence that the Fed has control of inflation; I don’t think it’s necessarily the level,” but the concern that the central bank might wait too long to address the rise, Victoria Fernandez, Crossmark Global Investments chief market strategist, said on Bloomberg TV. “I am not sure the market is extremely comfortable with that at this point.”The momentum in the commodity market appears to have slowed for now. Searing rallies in iron ore and copper have stalled amid concerns about inflation’s impact on the global growth outlook. Oil retreated back toward $65 a barrel, as the biggest U.S. gasoline pipeline reopens after a cyberattack that sparked fuel shortages.Have your say on MLIV’s Question of the Day. Which Assets Hurt If CPI Isn’t Transitory?These are some of the main moves in markets:StocksS&P 500 futures rose 0.1% as of 7:02 a.m. London. The S&P 500 fell 2.1%Nasdaq 100 contracts added 0.3%. The Nasdaq 100 slid 2.6%Japan’s Topix index fell 1.5%Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index lost 1.1%South Korea’s Kospi index declined 1.4%Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 1.4%Shanghai Composite Index fell 1%Euro Stoxx 50 futures fell 0.8%CurrenciesThe Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changedThe yen steadied from losses to trade at 109.73 per dollarThe offshore yuan was at 6.4567 per dollarThe euro traded at $1.2078BondsThe yield on 10-year Treasuries dipped to 1.68% after jumping seven basis pointsAustralia’s 10-year bond yield rose four basis points to 1.82%CommoditiesWest Texas Intermediate crude fell 1.3% to $65.20 a barrelGold rose 0.2% to $1,818.53 an ounceFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
The parents of Bradley Lowery, the football mascot whose battle with childhood cancer touched millions of people, have announced they are expecting a third child. Gemma Lowery said she and husband Carl had decided in January to try for another baby, with the child expected to arrive in November. Mrs Lowery announced the pregnancy in a post on the Facebook page for The Bradley Lowery Foundation – the charity she established in his name to help other sick children.
On Tuesday, the hottest names in music arrived on the 2021 BRIT Awards red carpet to celebrate each other’s accomplishments — and boy, did they do so in style. Dua Lipa, who took home prizes for British Album for Future Nostalgia and British Female Solo Artist, arrived in a Bridgerton-esque yellow-and-purple corset mini dress with a cowl neckline. The Vivienne Westwood look — which also included black, thigh-high stockings and sky-high croc-print heels — was inspired by a yellow Preen dress worn by the late Amy Winehouse at the 2007 BRIT Awards. (Her performance look, featuring a mini dress printed with the Union Jack, was a nod to Spice Girl Geri Halliwell.) Of course, Lipa wasn’t the only stunner on the carpet Tuesday night. The HAIM sisters showed up in more casual, though nonetheless chic, tailored ensembles from The Row’s spring ‘21 collection. Taylor Swift, who was given the Global Icon award at the show, brought back the two-piece red-carpet trend in a beaded set by Miu Miu. And Harry Styles stole the show in a brown, patterned Gucci suit that appeared straight out of the '70s… with sneakers. Ahead, find out what Celeste, Griff, Olivia Rodrigo, and more chose for the BRIT Awards red carpet. Harry Styles in GucciFor once, we truly cannot find the words to describe how perfect this suit — pulled from Gucci's Aria show — is on Harry Styles. Big props to his stylist Harry Lambert. Photo: JMEnternational/Getty Images.AJ Odudu in Reem JuanThe crossover neckline! The corset bodice! The high slit! This Reem Juan gown on AJ Odudu is everything we want in a red carpet look.Photo: JMEnternational/JMEnternational for BRIT Awards/Getty Images.Olivia Rodrigo in Christian DiorWhat do you wear when you meet your idol (Taylor Swift)? Apparently, neon Christian Dior. Photo: JMEnternational/JMEnternational for BRIT Awards/Getty Images.Billy Porter in ThreeASFOURBilly Porter always brings it on the red carpet, and this ThreeASFOUR look (paired with an Oscar de la Renta bag and Rick Owens shoes) is no different. Photo: JMEnternational/JMEnternational for BRIT Awards/Getty Images.Lianne La Havas in Schiaparelli Haute CoutureThis is the only animal print we want to see on the red carpet, ever. Rina Sawayama in BalmainWhat'd we say about daring looks? Photo: JMEnternational/JMEnternational for BRIT Awards/Getty Images.Dua Lipa in Vivienne WestwoodHow perfect is Dua Lipa in this Vivienne Westwood look?Photo: JMEnternational/JMEnternational for BRIT Awards/Getty Images.HAIM in The RowIt's impossible not to love a coordinating The Row moment on the red carpet. Photo: JMEnternational/JMEnternational for BRIT Awards/Getty Images.Taylor Swift in Miu MiuTaylor Swift is the queen of two-piece red carpet looks.Photo: JMEnternational/JMEnternational for BRIT Awards/Getty Images.Celeste in archive GucciMore feathered Gucci on the red carpet, please! Photo: JMEnternational/JMEnternational for BRIT Awards/Getty Images.GriffNot pictured: Griff's 10/10 Simone Rocha look from later in the evening that featured a pearl-embellished harness (yes!). Photo: JMEnternational/JMEnternational for BRIT Awards/Getty Images.Leigh-Anne Pinnock in Maison Margiela, Jade Thirlwall in Vivienne Westwood, and Perrie Edwards in David KomaLittle Mix mixed it up with their red carpet styling in Maison Margiela, Vivienne Westwood, and David Koma.Photo: JMEnternational/JMEnternational for BRIT Awards/Getty Images.Arlo Parks in GucciThere's something so classic and chic about wearing a suit on the red carpet. Photo: JMEnternational/JMEnternational for BRIT Awards/Getty Images.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Every Winning Fashion Moment From The 2021 OscarsMara Roszak Launches First Hair ProductStyle Picks: Everything On Our May Wish List
The Hawks will be involved in the post-season for the first time since 2017.
Muslims around the world will celebrate Eid al-Fitr on Thursday.
The Seattle Mariners' future arrives Thursday. The Mariners will call up touted outfield prospect Jarred Kelenic and promising right-hander Logan Gilbert before Seattle's home series opener against Cleveland, manager Scott Servais confirmed Wednesday night after a 7-1 loss to the Dodgers. Gilbert will be on the mound at T-Mobile Park on Thursday to make his major league debut.
The Ellen DeGeneres Show will come to an end in 2022.
(Bloomberg) -- The largest gasoline pipeline in the U.S. is returning to service, recovering from a cyberattack late Friday that sent pump prices surging and triggered shortages across the Eastern U.S.Colonial Pipeline Co. -- a critical source of gasoline and diesel for the New York area and the rest of the East Coast -- said it began to resume fuel shipments around 5 p.m. Eastern time Wednesday. In a further effort to provide relief, the Biden administration temporarily waived century-old shipping restrictions to allow foreign tankers to transport fuel to areas with shortages.It’s unclear how long it will take for supplies to come back to normal, though. U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said Tuesday it would take days to fully restore supplies after the pipeline’s restart, while Colonial indicated it will get its physical operations up and running ahead of its business systems. It also could take up to a week for foreign-flagged tankers to fill the supply gap.“Resumption of flows is the start, but the race to logistically replenish retail gas stations is the next step,” said Michael Tran, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets. “The restarting of the Colonial pipeline is the beginning of the end of the crisis, not the end.”The developments came as gasoline stations were running dry from Florida to Virginia after Colonial was forced to take systems offline on May 7. In parts of the U.S. South, three in every four gas stations had no fuel as of Wednesday, while in Washington, D.C., cars were lining up for blocks as they waited to fill up.Optimism that the situation will start returning to normal sent benchmark gasoline futures down as much as 1.6%, after pump prices soared above $3 a gallon for the first time in six years.The White House said Colonial’s announcement “means there’s an end in sight for the supply disruptions.” President Joe Biden is also urging Americans “to just purchase what they need, and not hoard fuel, as supply is restored,” Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement Thursday.Jones ActThe administration temporarily issued a waiver for a single company to the 101-year-old Jones Act, which stipulates goods transported between U.S. ports be carried on ships built in the U.S. and crewed by American workers.Waiving the requirements could allow foreign-flagged tankers to fill the supply gap left by the interruption to the pipeline. It would take roughly six to seven days for a tanker to carry fuel from the Gulf Coast to New York Harbor.Earlier this week, the White House announced several other measures to blunt the growing crisis, including waiving some gasoline requirements and empowering 10 states to allow heavier-than-normal truck loads of fuels.Despite the improved outlook, the disruption underscores just how vulnerable America’s fuel supply system has become in the wake of increased attacks on energy infrastructure by hackers over the past few years. Colonial is only the latest example of critical infrastructure being targeted by ransomware. Hackers are increasingly attempting to infiltrate essential services such as electric grids and hospitals.The attack on Colonial also came just as the nation’s energy industry is preparing for summer travel and as fuel demand rebounds from pandemic-related lockdowns. It was reminiscent of a 2018 cyberattack that brought down a third-party communications system used by several natural gas pipelines operators across the U.S.Colonial, which each day normally ships about 2.5 million barrels (105 million gallons) -- an amount that exceeds the entire oil consumption of Germany -- warned the line may go down again from time to time while it’s in the process of restarting.In a separate bulletin to its shippers, it said the company was physically starting operations even before its business systems — which process nominations for space on the pipeline and schedule them — are back up and running. As a result, it’ll be using schedules that were set five days ago until its systems are back in service, the notice shows.Feeling ReliefAs the pipeline resumes operations, the states suffering from the most acute shortages may start to feel relief this weekend.In North Carolina, some fuel supply should appear right away, said Gary Harris, executive director of the North Carolina Petroleum & Convenience Marketers, a trade association. “People will have to be running trucks a lot to just catch up because so much is out at this time,” he said.Major branded stations will get fuel first as they are under contract with suppliers, said Harris. Fuel may still be scarce for independent stations that are not under contract.Royal Dutch Shell Plc said it was pursuing alternative supply points, where possible, and working in close coordination with wholesalers to address supply and logistical challenges.In Virginia, consumers should be able to see a difference by Monday, said Michael O’Connor, president of the Virginia Petroleum & Convenience Marketers Association.This isn’t the first time Colonial has been forced to shut down. In 2016, an explosion kept the system offline for days, raising gasoline prices and forcing the New York Harbor market to become more dependent on imports of fuel from overseas.The Federal Bureau of Investigation attributed the attack on Colonial to ransomware created by a group called DarkSide. Some evidence emerged linking DarkSide to Russia or elsewhere in Eastern Europe. Biden said Russia has “some responsibility” to address the attack but stopped short of blaming the Kremlin, saying “there’s evidence” the hackers or the software they used are “in Russia.”(Updates with waiver of Jones Act beginning in second paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
U.S. Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines visited the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) along the border with North Korea as part of a visit to South Korea on Thursday, the Yonhap news agency reported. Haines' visit comes a week ahead of South Korean President Moon Jae-in's first summit with new U.S. President Joe Biden in Washington.
No doubt about it.
Confusion and fear as Australia’s aged care workers wait to be vaccinated with winter loomingWarning comes as most people in disability homes, who are also in the highest-priority group, yet to receive their Covid vaccinations Almost 2.9m Australians have been vaccinated, but many workers in aged care and disability, as well as disability group home residents, have been left out in the cold. The federal health department says it has yet to finalise a plan to vaccinate younger Australians in disability care. Photograph: Ina Fassbender/AFP/Getty Images
The country added 362,727 new COVID-19 infections over the last 24 hours while deaths climbed by 4,120, taking the toll to 258,317, according to the health ministry.
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon was the first late-night show to bring back a live studio audience. The NBC series, which has also had a number of in-studio guests since its return to 30 Rock, is now bringing back musical guests, previously such a staple of late-night talkshows, with its first live performance since […]
The shelves are bare at the Panacea pharmacy north of Beirut. Its owner, Rita El Khoury, has spent the past few weeks packing up her career, apartment and belongings before leaving Lebanon for a new life abroad. For the 35-year-old pharmacist and her husband, and countless others feeling trapped in a country hammered by multiple crises, Lebanon has become unlivable.
Simply Essential is a budget-friendly collection of pillows, bedding, towels, kitchen tools and more.