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Stocks bounce back on virus news

February 24, 2021: European and US stocks were boosted Wednesday by news that several million doses of a new coronavirus vaccine could be on the way.

After spending much of the day in negative territory, the London stock index closed with a gain of 0.5 percent.

Frankfurt was up by 0.8 percent and Paris added 0.3 percent, while in midday New York trades, the Dow Jones index showed a gain of 0.9 percent.

Interest rates for benchmark government debt declined, suggesting that "financial markets are much more optimistic about the economy" than the US Federal Reserve, according to Edward Moya, a senior market analyst at the online broker OANDA.

He referred to testimony by Fed chairman Jerome Powell before US lawmakers that showed "Powell is strongly optimistic about the economic outlook for the second half of the year, while the Treasury market seems to indicate that the recovery could take off in the second quarter".

Financial markets bounced higher after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) appeared ready to approve a single-shot Covid-19 vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson.

If so, a White House official said the administration planned to distribute at least three million vaccine doses next week.

Documents released by the FDA indicated the vaccine had proven highly effective against severe cases of Covid-19 in Brazil, South Africa and the US.

"Basic refrigeration and the fact that it is a single dose vaccine could be a game-changer in the global fight against COVID," Moya noted.

Oil prices climbed well beyond the 13-month peaks reached Tuesday, and bitcoin rose to almost $50,000 after sliding the previous day on negative remarks from US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

- Key figures around 1715 GMT -

  • New York - Dow: UP 0.9 percent at 31,826.14 points
  • EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.5 percent at 3,705.99
  • London - FTSE 100: UP 0.5 percent at 6,658.97 (close)
  • Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 0.8 percent at 13,976.00 (close)
  • Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.3 percent at 5,797.98 (close)
  • Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 1.6 percent at 29,671.70 (close)
  • Hong Kong - Hang Seng: DOWN 3.0 percent at 29,718.24 (close)
  • Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 2.0 percent at 3,564.08 (close)
  • Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.2144 from $1.2150 at 2200 GMT
  • Pound/dollar: UP at $1.4114 from $1.4113
  • Euro/pound: DOWN at 86.04 pence from 86.09 pence
  • Dollar/yen: UP at 105.90 yen from 105.25 yen
  • Brent North Sea crude: UP 2.6 percent at $67.09 per barrel
  • West Texas Intermediate: UP 2.5 percent at $63.22 per barrel

AFP/APP

NCOC removes conditions on work from home and commercial...

February 24, 2021: National Command and Operation Center(NCOC) on Wednesday, keeping in view current COVID-19 situation, had removed condition of 50 percent work from home in all government institutions.

NCOC also lifted time-limit from commercial activities and amusement parks.

The decisions, in that regards, were taken after comprehensive review of existing Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs) in NCOC meeting held here Wednesday.

NCOC further stated that the decisions can be reviewed in view of increased disease prevalence, whenever deemed necessary.

As per NCOC meeting details, provinces can, however, enforce targeted NPIs where required depending upon disease prevalence in a given area or sector.

It was furthered that indoor wedding ceremonies will be allowed from 15th March 2021 with stringent COVID SOPs.

The Indoor dining allowed from 15th March subject to the review on 10th March, the forum added.

The Forum said that opening of cinemas and shrines allowed with stringent COVID SOPs with effect from 15th March.

NCOC decided that wearing of mask, Social distancing, Smart Lock downs will continue and will be ensured.

From Health perspective, the forum decided that the conduct of local bodies and Cantt board elections may be planned by Election Commission of Pakistan by end May / early Jun 2021.

While taking further decisions, NCOC allowed that spectators attendance in PSL Pool matches be increased to 50 percent instead of presently allowed 20%. Whereas, full attendance will be allowed for play-offs with stringent COVID SOPs.

APP

Auction Result: SBP Sells T-Bills worth Rs.791.51 Billion

February 24, 2021 (MLN): The State Bank fo Pakistan(SBP) conducted an auction on Wednesday in which it sold Market Treasury Bills (MTBs) worth Rs.791.51 billion for 3 and 6 months.

Auction target was Rs.850.00 billion against a maturing amount of Rs.810.00 billion.

Cut off yield for 3 and 6 months were 7.2486 and 7.5498 percent.

Total amount offered was Rs.1,095.20 billion out of which the SBP accepted Rs.759.90 billion. The SBP received bids worth Rs.256.61 billion for 3 months and Rs.765.09 for 6 months out of which it accepted Rs.241.61 billion and Rs. 518.29 billion respectively. All bids for the 12 month T-Bill were rejected.

In addition the SBP picked up Rs.31.61 billion from the non-competitive auction, making the total amount accepted Rs.791.51 billion.

 

Copyright Mettis Link News

NEPRA reduces tariff of nuclear power plants

Feb 24, 2021: National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) in a landmark decision has reduced the Return on Equity (ROE) component of three Nuclear Power Generation Plants including the C-2, C-3 and C-4 have a cumulative net capacity of 931 MW.

It would result in a saving of Rs 2.05 Billion per year (average Rs 0.2515/unit) for the remaining life of the Nuclear Power Plants i.e. 25-37 years approximately, said a press release issued here Wednesday.

It is apprised that the above Nuclear Power Generation Plants in line with the Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCOE) decision of August 27, 2020, have filed petitions with NEPRA for a reduction in their ROE components on account of reduced ROE rate and freezing exchange rate to Rs 148/Dollar.

The NEPRA Authority under the prevailing rules and regulations has accordingly admitted the same and conducted a hearing on January 13, 2021, and subsequently decided to freeze the exchange rate at Rs.148/ dollar and reduce the ROE from 15% to 14.5% for the remaining life of these projects.

APP

Chairman SECP reaffirms commitment to facilitate Businesses

Posted on: 2021-02-24T18:34:00+05:00 39903

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