Global stocks rally as COVID-19 vaccines lift hope, dollar eases

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The dollar weakened and world stock markets rallied on Monday on encouraging signs of progress in developing a COVID-19 vaccine, while several multi-billion dollar deals also helped lift the spirit of investors after the downdraft in the past two weeks.

FILE PHOTO: A street sign is seen in front of the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street in New York, February 10, 2009. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

Gold jumped almost 1% as the dollar slid and bond yields were stable as investors gauge how the U.S. Federal Reserve will put its new approach to monetary policy into practice and keep its dovish stance at this week’s policy meeting.

Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE on Saturday proposed expanding their Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trial to about 44,000 participants, while increasing the diversity of the trial population.

Drugmaker AstraZeneca also said on Saturday it has resumed British clinical trials of its COVID-19 vaccine, one of the most advanced in development, after getting the green light from safety watchdogs.

Enrollment of new patients and other trial procedures for AstraZeneca’s pivotal U.S. trial were being rescheduled until at least midweek and it was not clear how long it would take for a U.S. investigators to complete a probe, sources told Reuters.

“The market reacts positively to any vaccine news,” said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment strategist at Inverness Counsel in New York. “We’re going to see a lot more vaccines come out, and that is what really is helping the markets.”

The World Health Organization reported a record one-day increase in global coronavirus cases on Sunday, with the total rising by 307,930 in 24 hours. The biggest increases were from India, the United States and Brazil.

“There is still some caution in markets because U.S. virus numbers appear to be picking up again in some states,” said Seema Shah, chief strategist at Principal Global Investors.

“The vaccine news is positive but there is a lot of skepticism about when they become widely adopted,” Shah said.

Plans by Nvidia Corp to buy British-based chip designer Arm from Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp for as much as $40 billion, a deal expected to reshape the global semiconductor landscape, also drove sentiment. Nvidia shares, which have more than doubled this year, added 5.8%.

Oracle surged 4.3% as the cloud services company said it would team up with China’s ByteDance to keep TikTok operating in the United States, beating Microsoft Corp in a deal structured as a partnership rather than an outright sale.

MSCI’s benchmark for global equity markets rose 1.17% to 572.57. In Europe, the broad FTSEurofirst 300 index edged up 0.07% to 1,429 as losses in the energy sector offset surging travel and technology stocks that were boosted by the vaccine news.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.18%, the S&P 500 gained 1.27% and the Nasdaq Composite added 1.87% after plunging 10% into corrective territory on Friday from a record closing high on Sept. 2.

U.S. stocks had notched two straight weeks of losses as investors sold the technology shares that fueled the benchmark S&P 500 and Nasdaq to record highs in a dramatic recovery from March lows spawned by the pandemic-induced downturn.

Overnight in Asia, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.9% to its highest in almost a week. Japan’s Nikkei firmed 0.7% after Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga won a landslide victory in a ruling party leadership election, paving the way for him to succeed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The Fed starts a two-day policy meeting on Tuesday, the first since unveiling a landmark shift to a more tolerant stance on inflation in August. The Bank of Japan and the Bank of England announce their respective policy decisions on Thursday.

Sterling, which has been hurt by renewed Brexit turmoil, firmed before a vote on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan to break international law by breaching parts of the Brexit divorce treaty with the European Union.

Sterling was last trading at $1.2855, up 0.48% on the day, while the dollar index fell 0.22%.

The euro was up 0.15% to $1.1863, and the Japanese yen strengthened 0.48% versus the greenback at 105.70 per dollar.

Turkey’s lira set a record low against the U.S. dollar and its dollar bonds came under pressure after Moody’s cut the country’s sovereign rating and warned of the risk of a balance of payment crisis.

The 10-year U.S. Treasury note rose 0.7 basis points to 0.6739%.

Oil prices slipped slightly on concerns about a stalled global economic recovery as Libya is poised to resume production, and failed to get support from an impending storm that has disrupted U.S. oil output.

Brent crude futures settled down 22 cents at $39.61 a barrel. U.S. crude futures fell 7 cents to settle at $37.26 a barrel.

U.S. gold futures settled up 0.8% at $1,963.70 an ounce.

Reporting by Herb Lash; additional reproting by Dhara Ranasinghe; Editing by Dan Grebler, Nick Zieminski and Will Dunham


‘Shocking’: Blair, Major chide UK plan to breach international law

LONDON (Reuters) – Former prime ministers Tony Blair and John Major said on Sunday Britain must drop a “shocking” plan to pass legislation that breaks its divorce treaty with the European Union, in a breach of international law.

FILE PHOTO: Former British prime ministers John Major (L) and Tony Blair speak as they walk across the Peace Bridge, before a news conference on the EU referendum, in Londonderry, Northern Ireland June 9, 2016. REUTERS/Jeff J Mitchell/Pool

The British government said explicitly last week that it plans to break international law by breaching parts of the Withdrawal Agreement treaty that it signed in January, when it formally left the EU.

“What is being proposed now is shocking,” Major and Blair, who were adversaries in the 1990s as Conservative and Labour leaders, wrote in a joint letter published by the Sunday Times newspaper.

“How can it be compatible with the codes of conduct that bind ministers, law officers and civil servants deliberately to break treaty obligations?”

Theresa May, the predecessor of current Prime Minister Boris Johnson, has also questioned whether international partners would be able to trust Britain in future.

Johnson’s Internal Market Bill is aimed at ensuring Britain’s four constituent nations can trade freely with one another after leaving the EU, but the government says that requires overriding part of the withdrawal treaty it signed with Brussels.

British ministers say the bill is a “safety net” in the event there is no trade deal reached with the bloc, but top EU officials say it undermines both the withdrawal treaty and trust in future talks.


EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier said on Sunday that the Withdrawal Agreement on Northern Ireland “is not a threat to the integrity of the UK”, and had been agreed by the two sides to protect peace on the island of Ireland.

“We could not have been clearer about the consequences of Brexit,” Barnier said on Twitter.

His British counterpart David Frost responded by saying London had to reserve powers in the new bill in order to keep the peace in Ireland.

Keir Starmer, leader of the opposition Labour Party, described the legislation as wrong on Sunday.

“We have broken the trust of our international partners,” Starmer wrote in the Sunday Telegraph newspaper, adding that his party would oppose the bill in parliament unless changes were made.

European lawmakers have warned they would not approve any new trade deal unless the withdrawal agreement was fully implemented, while there is also talk of possible legal action.

“The reputation of the UK … as a trusted negotiating partner on important issues like this is being damaged in a very serious way,” Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney told the BBC on Sunday.

Reporting by Andy Bruce, additional reporting by Kate Abnett in Brussels; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise


MARKET POINT-Slight downturn in sight in Europe after the new decline in US “techs” (updated)

 (Actualisé avec futures sur le CAC, clôture de Tokyo, marché obligataire en
Europe et propos de Lane)
    * Les indices européens attendus en repli autour de 0,3%
    * A Wall Street, les géants de la "tech" sont repartis à la baisse
    * Les futures US en hausse, possible soutien pour l'Europe boursière
    * Le pétrole recule encore

    par Blandine Henault
    PARIS, 11 septembre (Reuters) - Les principales Bourses européennes sont
attendues en légère baisse vendredi après le nouveau recul des grandes valeurs
technologiques américaines la veille à Wall Street. 
    Les contrats à terme signalent pour l'ouverture une baisse de 0,25% pour le
CAC 40 parisien, un repli de 0,31% pour le Dax à Francfort et
de 0,28% pour le FTSE à Londres.
    Après leur rebond en Bourse mercredi, les géants américains de la "tech",
poids lourds des marchés d'actions mondiaux, sont de nouveau repartis à la
baisse jeudi, un mouvement qui alimente la nervosité des investisseurs sur fond
d'interrogations sur les perspectives économiques. 
    Les futures sur les indices américains évoluent pour l'instant en hausse de
0,6% à 1%, ce qui pourrait venir soutenir la tendance en Europe.
    La Bourse de New York a fini en baisse jeudi au terme d'une séance agitée,
marquée par le recul des géants de la technologie et l'annonce de chiffres du
chômage aux Etats-Unis qui confirment le manque de vigueur de la reprise.
    L'indice Dow Jones a cédé 1,45% à 27.534,58 points et le S&P-500
 a perdu 1,76%, à 3.339,19 points. Le Nasdaq Composite, à forte composante
technologique, a reculé de son côté de 1,99% à 10.919,59 points.
    Les grands noms de la "tech" tels qu'Apple (-3,32%), Microsoft
 (-2,8%) et (-2,86%), ont tous fini en net recul
après leur rebond de la veille.
    Seul Tesla Inc a gagné 1,38%, ce qui a permis au Nasdaq de résister
brièvement avant de passer dans le rouge.
    EN ASIE 
    La Bourse de Tokyo a gagné 0,74%, encouragée par la hausse des
futures de Wall Street et l'abaissement d'un cran de l'alerte sanitaire au
coronavirus dans la capitale Tokyo. 
    Les Bourses chinoises sont pour leur part orientées en hausse après
l'annonce d'un accord entre la Chine et l'Inde sur un désengaement de leurs
troupes à leur frontière commune.
    Le CSI 300 des grandes capitalisations de Chine continentale gagne
    Le dollar est pratiquement inchangé face à un panier de devises de référence
 mais s'apprête à signer sa deuxième semaine de hausse consécutive depuis
mai alors que la nervosité observée sur les marchés d'actions nourrit l'appétit
pour les actifs jugés plus sûrs. 
    L'euro évolue à 1,1834 dollar, après avoir bondi jusqu'à 1,1916 la
veille à la suite de la réunion de politique monétaire de la Banque centrale
européenne (BCE) qui a dit prévoir une récession un peu moins forte en 2020.

    La livre sterling se stabilise face au dollar et à l'euro
après avoir souffert tout au long de la semaine des vives tensions entre Londres
et Bruxelles sur leur accord de libre-échange post-Brexit.
    La devise britannique se dirige vers un repli hebdomadaire de 3,4% face au
dollar et à l'euro, sa plus mauvaise semaine depuis mars.
    Le rendement du Bund allemand à dix ans perd près de trois
points de base dans les premiers échanges, à -0,459%, après les propos de
l'économiste en chef de la BCE, Philip Lane qui a déclaré que la banque centrale
ne pouvait se permettre d'être "complaisante" au regard de la faiblesse de
l'inflation en zone euro.
    Les données définitives de l'inflation allemande ont confirmé vendredi une
baisse des prix à la consommation en août.
    De son côté, le rendement des Treasuries à dix ans est stable, à
0,6854%, mais pourrait réagir à la publication, à 12h30 GMT, des chiffres de
l'inflation aux Etats-Unis. 
    Le marché pétrolier poursuit son repli vendredi après l'annonce par l'Energy
Information Administration (EIA) américaine d'une hausse inattendue de deux
millions de barils des stocks de brut aux Etats-Unis la semaine dernière.
    Le baril de Brent abandonne 0,3% à moins de 40 dollars et celui du
brut léger américain (West Texas Intermediate, WTI) perd 0,1% à 37,26
    Les deux contrats de référence se dirigent vers une baisse de plus de 6% sur
la semaine, leur deuxième repli hebdomadaire consécutif sur fond de craintes
d'une deuxième vague épidémique susceptible de menacer la reprise économique. 
 USA     12h30  Prix à la consommation         août        +0,3%         +0,6%
                - sur un an                                +1,2%         +1,0%
                Indice "core CPI"                          +0,2%         +0,6%
 * 1re estimation
    (Certaines données peuvent accuser un léger décalage)
 Indices       Dernier    Var.       Var. %     YTD                 
 Nikkei-225    23406,49   +171,02    +0,74%     -1,06%              
 Topix         1636,64    +11,78     +0,72%     -4,92%              
 Hong Kong     24475,85   +162,31    +0,67%     -13,17%             
 Taiwan        12675,95   -15,80     -0,12%     +5,66%              
 Séoul         2396,69    +0,21      +0,01%     +9,06%              
 Singapour     2485,78    -6,31      -0,25%     -22,87%             
 Shanghaï      3258,43    +23,61     +0,73%     +6,83%              
 Sydney        5859,40    -49,10     -0,83%     -12,34%             
 La clôture à Tokyo : WALL STREET                                                       
  La clôture précédente                                             
 Indices       Dernier    Var.       Var. %     YTD                 
 Dow Jones     27534,58   -405,89    -1,45%     -3,52%              
 S&P-500       3339,19    -59,77     -1,76%     +3,36%              
 Nasdaq        10919,59   -221,97    -1,99%     +21,70%             
 Nasdaq 100    11154,12   -241,72    -2,12%     +27,72% Détail de la séance à Wall Street                                 
 "The Day Ahead" - Le point sur la prochaine                        
 séance à Wall Street MARCHES                                                           
 Les futures sur le CAC 40          et sur                          
 l'EuroStoxx50 Les valeurs à suivre à Paris et                                   
 en Europe :                                               
  La séance précédente :                                            
 Indices       Clôture    Var.       Var. %     YTD                 
 Eurofirst     1425,72    -8,59      -0,60%     -12,21%             
 Eurostoxx 50  3312,77    -12,06     -0,36%     -11,55%             
 CAC 40        5023,93    -19,05     -0,38%     -15,96%             
 Dax 30        13208,89   -28,32     -0,21%     -0,30%              
 FTSE          6003,32    -9,52      -0,16%     -20,41%             
 SMI           10387,44   -19,13     -0,18%     -2,16%              
               Cours      Veille     Var. %     YTD                 
 Euro/Dlr      1,1836     1,1813     +0,19%     +5,58%              
 Dlr/Yen       106,16     106,13     +0,03%     -2,48%              
 Euro/Yen      125,66     125,37     +0,23%     +3,04%              
 Dlr/CHF       0,9102     0,9104     -0,02%     -5,95%              
 Euro/CHF      1,0775     1,0758     +0,16%     -0,71%              
 Stg/Dlr       1,2812     1,2803     +0,07%     -3,37%              
 Indice $      93,2780    93,3360    -0,06%     -3,01% TAUX                                                              
                          Dernier    Var.       Spread/Bund
 Bund 10 ans              -0,4580    -0,0320                        
 Bund 2 ans               -0,6750    -0,0110                        
 OAT 10 ans               -0,1662    -0,0320    +29,18              
 Treasury 10 ans          0,6854     +0,0010                        
 Treasury 2 ans           0,1389     -0,0020 PETROLE                                                           
 (en dollars)  Cours      Précédent  Var        Var.%      YTD
 Brut léger    37,25      37,30      -0,05      -0,13%     -39,14%
 Brent         39,93      40,06      -0,13      -0,32%     -39,53% (Édité par Patrick Vignal)


COVID-19 may erase decades of health care advances: WHO

Two people wear masks at a community workstation in Paris. August 31, 2020. REUTERS / Christian Hartmann

GENEVA, Aug 31 (Reuters) – More than 90% of countries have seen ordinary health services disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving decades-long healthcare advances vulnerable to disappearing in a short time. period, showed a survey by the World Health Organization.

The Geneva-based body has frequently warned of other vital programs that have been affected by the pandemic and sent mitigation advice to countries, but the survey yielded the first WHO data so far on the scale of the disruptions. .

“The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on essential health services is a source of great concern,” the agency said in a report on the study released Monday. “The main advances in health achieved in the last two decades can disappear in a short period of time (…)”.

The survey includes responses from May to July from more than 100 countries. Routine immunizations (70%), family planning (68%), and cancer diagnosis and treatment (55%) are among the most affected services, while emergency services were disrupted in nearly a quarter of the countries that responded.

The eastern Mediterranean region, which includes Afghanistan, Syria and Yemen, was hit the hardest, followed by regions in Africa and Southeast Asia, it showed. America was not part of the survey.

Since COVID-19 cases were first identified in December last year, the virus is believed to have killed nearly 850,000 people, according to the latest Reuters tally.

Reporting by Emma Farge. Edited in Spanish by Gabriela Donoso


British government faces mounting pressure over exam row

LONDON (Reuters) – The British government faced the threat of legal action and criticism from its own lawmakers on Sunday after it sparked anger by mishandling English exam grades during the pandemic.

FILE PHOTO: Students wearing protective face masks hold placards as they protest outside the department of education, amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in London, Britain, August 15, 2020. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

After a nationwide lockdown forced exams to be cancelled, the government used an algorithm to assess grade predictions made by teachers, and lowered those grades for almost 40% of students taking their main school-leaving exams.

That process led many students to lose places at top universities.

To compound the issue, results show that grades were less likely to be lowered for students who attended fee-paying private schools, while bright students at traditionally poorly performing schools could have results downgraded.

On Saturday night the exams regulator published guidance on an appeals process, only to withdraw it hours later because it needed further review.

Barrister Jo Maugham said his Good Law Project had appointed solicitors to pursue litigation on behalf of students, and urged the government to launch a suitable appeals system in time for students to go to college in September.

Robert Halfon, chairman of the cross-party education select committee in parliament and a lawmaker in Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s ruling Conservative Party, described the removal of the appeals guidance as farcical.

“It sows confusion among pupils, head teachers and school teachers and it’s the last thing we need at this time,” he told the BBC.

Conservative lawmaker Robert Syms said the government risked Conservative lawmakers “going on warpath”.

Johnson’s government has been criticised for its handling of the pandemic, with the country recording the highest death toll in Europe and the most severe economic contraction of any major economy so far.

Having won an electoral landslide in December with a pledge to “level up” struggling parts of the country, Johnson’s Conservatives have retained a solid lead over the opposition Labour Party in opinion polls despite the problems.

That could change however over issues, including hastily-introduced quarantines that have forced the cancellation of holidays and the looming end of a successful job support scheme, as well as the chaos surrounding exam results.

Labour leader Keir Starmer said the prime minister needed to take charge and fix the problem before results were released on Thursday for exams taken by 16-year-olds.

The government has said pupils will not have to pay to appeal grades and most students will have received the correct results. Exams regulator Ofqual said some of the predicted grades given by teachers were “implausibly high”.

While France published the methodology for how it would award grades months in advance of results day, Britain announced changes to its process the day before results were released.

Reporting by Kate Holton; Editing by Toby Chopra and Barbara Lewis


The new, old anti-Germanism

German is the first foreign language to be lost in Europe, there is a struggle for German as a second foreign language: How dealing with the EU languages ​​undermines the European idea. And how the Germanists try to save cultural identities. .

Greta Thunberg claims to have coronavirus and to isolate herself from her father

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg says on social media that she believes she has recovered from mild COVID-19 symptoms experienced during a quarantine period following a trip to Europe.

Swedish environmentalist Greta Thunberg arrives for a meeting at the Europa building in Brussels on March 5. Image: AFP
media_cameraSwedish environmentalist Greta Thunberg arrives for a meeting at the Europa building in Brussels on March 5. Image: AFP

The teenager said it appeared to have been infected with his father, actor Svante Thunberg.

They both started having symptoms and have been isolated in the past few weeks, he said.

They traveled to Europe before the imposition of blocks.

Greta said in a video for New scientist that his symptoms are mild.

“In the past two weeks I have been isolated and then I have had the virus. I came home from Central Europe and then I cut myself off from the start, because I thought I could, besides being on the trains, and therefore I don’t want to put anyone else at risk. But then I started feeling some symptoms after a few days. But the important thing is that basically I didn’t feel ill, he said. “At the same time, my father was experiencing much more intense symptoms.”

Greta says her mild symptoms are “what makes it much more dangerous” because of the risk of passing the virus without knowing it.

Greta Thunberg named Time's Person of the Year 2019. Photo: Time magazine
media_cameraGreta Thunberg named Time’s Person of the Year 2019. Photo: Time magazine
Greta Thunberg speaks during the United Nations climate action summit. Image: AFP
media_cameraGreta Thunberg speaks during the United Nations climate action summit. Image: AFP

“If I wouldn’t have been for my dad to get it at the same time and much more intense than me, maybe I wouldn’t have even noticed that I was sick,” he said. “It’s something I want to communicate, that many people don’t experience very mild symptoms or symptoms at all, but they can still be contagious. So you really have to practice social distancing if you feel bad or not.”

media_cameraSwedish climate activist Greta Thunberg observes while participating in a “Youth Strike 4 Climate” protest march on March 6. Photo: AFP

Sweden tests patients for coronavirus only if they need hospital treatment. Others are invited to isolate themselves and rest.

“So obviously I’m not 100% sure I got it. But it would have been very strange if it had been something else, because it suited a lot … especially with my father’s reaction, it suited exactly the symptoms,” he said.


The United States could become the next epicenter of the coronavirus, says WHO

GENEVA / TOKYO (Reuters) – The World Health Organization said Tuesday that the United States could become the global epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, which eventually forced reluctant organizers to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics.

Britain joined the ranks of bloc countries to try to detain the virus, and data showed that commercial activity collapsed from Australia, Japan and Western Europe at a record pace in March, with the United States expecting it to be equally terrible.

“The coronavirus epidemic represents a serious external shock to the macro outlook, similar to a large-scale natural disaster,” said analysts at the BlackRock Investment Institute.

But amid the sadness of the harvest, the Chinese province of Hubei, where the virus was first identified in December, said it would lift travel restrictions for people leaving the region as the epidemic subsides.

Confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide exceeded 377,000 in 194 countries and territories earlier Tuesday, according to a Reuters count, over 16,500 of them fatal.

In Geneva, WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris told reporters that there has been a “big acceleration” in infections in the United States.

In the previous 24 hours, 85% of new cases were in Europe and the United States, and of these, 40% were in the United States.

As of Monday, the virus had infected over 42,000 people there, killing at least 559.

Asked if the United States could become the new epicenter, Harris said, “We are now seeing a very large acceleration in cases in the United States, so it has that potential.”

US state and local officials have denounced the lack of coordinated federal action, claiming that taking action on their own has put them in competition for supplies.

President Donald Trump acknowledged the difficulty.

“The world market for masks and fans is crazy. We’re helping states get equipment, but it’s not easy, “he tweeted.


The organizers of the Olympic Games and the Japanese government had clung to the hope that the biggest sporting event in the world could go on, but in the end they bowed to the inevitable to make Tokyo 2020 the last and greatest victim of a calendar. devastated sportsman.

FILE PHOTO: A lonely person walks in the rain in a mostly deserted Times Square after the outbreak of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in the Manhattan neighborhood of New York City, New York, USA, March 23, 2020. REUTERS / Carlo Allegri

After a phone call with the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Thomas Bach, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on July 24th. Event 9 will be rescheduled for the summer of 2021 at the latest, as proof of victory over the coronavirus.

“President Bach has said he agrees, 100%.”

It was the first time in the 124-year history of the Olympics that they had been postponed, although they had been canceled three times during the two world wars of the 20th century.

Of the top 10 countries by number of cases, Italy reported the highest mortality rate, around 10%, which at least partially reflects its elderly population. The global mortality rate – the ratio of confirmed deaths to infections – is around 4.3%, although national data may vary widely based on how many tests are performed.

Britain, believed by experts about two weeks behind Italy in the epidemic cycle, began to curb unprecedented peacetime movements on Tuesday after Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered the country to stay home.

The streets of the capital were strangely silent since all but the essential shops closed and people only went to work if it was inevitable.

Johnson had resisted the pressure to impose a complete blockade even if other European countries had done so, but he was forced to change course as projections showed that the health system could be overwhelmed.

Meanwhile, the Chinese province of Hubei, the original center of the epidemic, will raise the sidewalks on people leaving the area, but other regions will strengthen controls as new cases will double due to imported infections.

Presentation (7 images)

The capital of Wuhan province, which has been completely blocked since January 23, lifted travel restrictions on April 8.

However, the risk of infections abroad appears to be on the rise, prompting more stringent screening and quarantine measures in major cities such as the capital Beijing.

Global interactive spread of graphical tracing of coronavirus: open in an external browser – here

Additional reports by Emma Farge, Stephanie Nebehay, Karolos Grohmann, Leika Kihara, Sakura Murakami, Lusha Zhang and Huizhong Wu; Written by Nick Macfie; Editing by Jon Boyle and Angus MacSwan

Our standards:Thomson Reuters’ principles of trust.


The Tokyo 2020 postponement decision “within a few days”, sources said

ATHENS / TOKYO (Reuters) – The final decision to postpone the Tokyo Olympics due to the coronavirus pandemic will be made in the next few days, sources inside the Olympic movement reported to Reuters on Tuesday, while the United States joined together for a delay.

With increasing pressure every day, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach scheduled a conference call on Tuesday 1100 GMT, the Japanese government said.

The Japanese newspaper Sankei reported Tuesday that the government was negotiating with the IOC to postpone the Games for up to a year in what would be the first in modern 124-year Olympics history.

The IOC and the Japanese government had announced that they would undertake a month-long consultation before making a final decision, but there seems to have been an afterthought as more and more voices joined the chorus of referral requests.

Former IOC board member Dick Pound said on Monday that the Swiss-based entity appears to have decided to delay the event, probably for a year, due to the virus.

The outbreak has now infected over 377,000 of 194 according to a Reuters count on Tuesday morning, with over 16,500 virus-related deaths.

Efforts to contain it have led to major travel, commercial and social restrictions, which have also hampered the ability of many athletes to prepare for the Games.

Canada and Australia have already stated that they will not send teams to Tokyo if the Games go ahead as planned this year, while Britain has said it will likely follow suit after meeting with representatives of sports organizations on Tuesday.

The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee said it had listened to the feedback from athletes and was encouraged by a clearer path to referral.

“While current major health concerns could be alleviated by the end of the summer, the huge disruptions in the training environment, doping controls and the qualification process cannot be satisfactorily overcome,” said the USOPC Monday.

The United States is by far the most successful nation in the history of the modern Summer Games, while the rights agreement with the American broadcaster NBC to broadcast the Olympics represents 50% to 70% of the IOC’s total annual revenue.


Tony Estanguet, head of the organizing committee of the 2024 Paris Olympics and member of the IOC, said that a delay in the 2020 Olympics is likely.

“Today the Games are not the priority, the priority is health, and this is how the world of sport contributes to that international solidarity,” Estanguet told France Info radio.

Japan and the IOC have said that canceling the Games entirely is not an option, but a delay would present serious logistical difficulties, given the busy global sports calendar and other commercial considerations.

World Athletics on Monday said it would be willing to move their 2021 world championships, scheduled for August 6-15 in Eugene, Oregon, to pave the way for the 2021 Olympics.

A source of concern for athletes – who are already struggling to train while gyms, stadiums and swimming pools are closing all over the world – seems to be shifting the balance towards that result.

“I have ridden not only the roller coaster, but the whole emotion theme park,” Keesja Gofers, part of the Australian women’s water polo team, said on Instagram.

“I am relieved. Athletes from all over the world will now have the opportunity for adequate preparation and the Olympics will, at any date, continue to meet at the best in the world.”

A postponement of the Olympics would be a major blow to the host country, Japan, which has invested over $ 12 billion in investments and huge sums are up for sponsors and broadcasters.

The banner for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is displayed in front of Fukushima station in Fukushima, Japan, on March 24, 2020, in this photo taken by Kyodo. Mandatory credit Kyodo / via REUTERS

A poll showed that around 70% of Japanese people think it is appropriate to delay the Olympics, Sankei said.

The Olympics were never delayed, although they were canceled altogether in 1916, 1940 and 1944 during the two world wars. Important boycotts of the Cold War also stopped the Moscow and Los Angeles Games in 1980 and 1984.

Additional reports from Reuters offices around the world; Written by Lincoln Feast and Nick Mulvenney; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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BRIEF-Mortgage Advice Bureau delays the data, halves the dividend

March 24 (Reuters) – Mortgage Advice Bureau (Holdings) PLC:



* We now intend to propose a final dividend of 6.4 pence per share, with the intention of paying an additional 6.4 pence per share if the Board deems it prudent. Original text for Eikon: Further corporate coverage: (Sinead Cruise reports)

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