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Cruise Lines Lobby Trump’s White House to End No-Sail Order

(Bloomberg) — The world’s biggest cruise lines have roughly doubled the number of lobbyists they’re dispatching to congressional offices and several federal agencies this year. But as they try to resume sailing from U.S. ports, one of their most effective targets has been the White House.A former adviser to the White House Coronavirus Task Force says she and other advisers fielded a stream of calls and emails from cruise line officials, including Carnival Corp.’s in-house lobbyist. Their message: Help lift a “no-sail” order from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that has banned passenger cruises from U.S. ports since March.“Whenever the no-sail order started to come up, the cruise lines would always engage,” said Olivia Troye, who was involved in the task force’s discussions of cruise lines before she left government in August. “The phone calls would start. They called all over.”Since her exit, Troye has endorsed Democratic … Read the rest

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‘Get Britain moving’ plea after Heathrow loses travel crown to Paris

Business leaders have urged the government to end the stagnation in British air travel after Heathrow lost its crown to its Parisian rival as the airport that handles the greatest number of passengers in Europe.

Bosses say the lack of activity at Heathrow makes it look like Britain is not open for business when other world-facing economies such as France, Germany and the Netherlands have introduced coronavirus testing regimes for their international hubs.

The need to retain Heathrow’s pre-eminence in European aviation was the main argument the airport used when trying to persuade successive governments of the need for a third runway, adding tens of millions of passengers to the 81 million that up to last year were passing through its terminals. Without a new runway, it was argued, Heathrow, which had already lost its status as the busiest international airport in the world to the superhubs in the Gulf … Read the rest

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Shares drop on profit taking amid uncertainties

By Denise A. Valdez, Senior Reporter

PHILIPPINE SHARES declined on Thursday as investors secured profits amid declining global markets.

The 30-member Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) erased 128.40 points or 2.01% to close at 6,249.39, while the broader all shares index cut 55.21 points or 1.45% to end at 3,753.08.

“Local shares saw one of its worst sell-offs in months amid rising COVID (coronavirus disease 2019) cases and jitters over the (US) election outcome,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan said in a mobile message.

More than 500,000 new coronavirus cases were recorded across the globe on Wednesday, with the majority coming from the United States (US), India, France, and other European countries.

This resulted in a second national lockdown declared in France and Germany, and the United Kingdom being expected to follow the same track.

The upcoming US election on Nov. 3 is also causing Read the rest

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J.P. Morgan Presents 3 Stocks With Double Digit-Upside

November 3 is fast-approaching, and Wall Street is bracing for a Biden win. But what would a Democrat-controlled White House mean for the markets?Even though some investors think a Biden presidency would be detrimental to stocks and put pressure on the markets, Marko Kolanovic, the global head of macro quantitative and derivatives strategy at J.P. Morgan, begs to differ. In a recent note to clients, he writes that regardless of the election’s outcome, its conclusion will remove significant uncertainty.Additionally, the strategist believes the release of a COVID-19 vaccine as well as the reopening of the economy could serve as catalysts that spur a rotation into value stocks. “We think those two catalysts will be catalysts for value, and we think it's going to have legs… The decline of COVID should be a powerful catalyst for value,” Kolanovic commented.Taking Kolanovic’s outlook to heart, J.P. Morgan analysts are offering up concrete recommendations, … Read the rest

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PHL stocks extend decline on increased selling

By Denise A. Valdez, Senior Reporter

THE MAIN INDEX continued to decline on Wednesday as selling pressure grew and overseas concerns over rising coronavirus cases loomed on the market.

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) lost 37.29 points or 0.58% to close at 6,377.79. The broader all shares index also gave up 9.82 points or 0.25% to end at 3,808.29.

“More investors are now securing profits from the recent rally, which is giving investors who have not been able to ride the rally a chance to pick up shares at lower prices,” AAA Southeast Equities, Inc. Research Head Christopher John Mangun said in an e-mail.

The PSEi is now on its second consecutive day of decline and has been down 113.4 points or 1.75% since its six-day rally ended.

Foreign investors have also returned to selling, ending five straight days of bullishness, after it posted P442.88 million worth of … Read the rest

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White House Ditches Pre-Election Stimulus Hope, Sees Weeks to Go

(Bloomberg) — The White House on Tuesday appeared resigned to what most observers of the fiscal-stimulus negotiations had long concluded: there won’t be a pre-election package.“We’re confident that we can get something in the coming weeks,” White House spokeswoman Alyssa Farah said Tuesday. When pressed on Fox News about whether that means not this week, she said, “We’re hoping within weeks, I don’t want to get too ahead of any announcements.”The departure of U.S. senators from the Capitol for a pre-election break on Monday had already made the logistics for passing a bill by Election Day practically impossible.The failure of the months-long talks leaves the economy more vulnerable to damage from a resurgent coronavirus pandemic. The shape of any post-Nov. 3 package is also unclear and will likely be influenced by the results.After the latest call between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Monday, there was … Read the rest

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High street sales slump at fastest pace on record as restrictions tighten

Retail sales fell at their fastest pace in four months in October as households reined in their spending in the face of fresh coronavirus restrictions.

The CBI’s latest monthly distributive trades survey fell from 11 per cent to -23 per cent in October. Only 36 per cent of respondents said that sales were up, which was more than offset by the 59 per cent who reported a slump.

It comes after a period of robust growth for the retail sector, which rebounded strongly when the lockdown was first lifted in the summer. Retail sales grew at their fastest pace in 18 months in September but the latest economic data suggest that the recovery is losing momentum as restrictions are tightened in parts of the country.

Ben Jones, principal economist at the CBI, said: “It’s no surprise that sales have dipped despite no new direct restrictions on retail in England, as … Read the rest

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Peso climbs on BoP surplus, vaccine news

THE PESO strengthened against the dollar on Tuesday as the country logged a balance of payments (BoP) surplus last month and on news that patients in the clinical trials of drug company AstraZeneca Plc showed a positive response to its coronavirus vaccines.

The local unit closed at P48.375 versus the dollar on Tuesday, rising by two centavos from its P48.395 finish on Monday, data from the Bankers Association of the Philippines showed.

The peso opened Tuesday’s session at P48.40 against the greenback. It reached a peak of P48.37 while its weakest showing was at P48.48 per dollar.

Dollars traded rose to $838.87 million on Tuesday from $671.25 million on Monday.

Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said the peso rose after the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported a BoP surplus in September.

“The peso was stronger after stronger BoP surplus data as the highest in four … Read the rest

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Stocks lose momentum as market pockets gains

By Denise A. Valdez, Senior Reporter

LOCAL SHARES started to lose momentum on Monday as investors began to pocket gains from the recent rally, resulting in flattish trading.

The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) inched up 7.13 points or 0.11% to close Monday’s session at 6,491.19. The wider all shares index fell 0.59 point or 0.01% to 3,859.36.

“We saw some profit taking in early trading; however, investors were quick to pick up issues that pulled back,” AAA Southeast Equities, Inc. Research Head Christopher John Mangun said in an e-mail.

The PSEi opened at 6,496.19 and reached a low of 6,453.20 intraday. It started picking up during the last minutes of trading, peaking at 6,517.26 but eventually falling to close at 6,491.19.

“Philippine shares initially continued to struggle for direction. bouncing around the break-even line, as several uncertainties loomed large,” Regina Capital Development Corp. Head of Sales Luis A. Limlingan Read the rest

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Hotel Chocolat demands landlord cuts its rent

A row has broken out between Hotel Chocolat, the upmarket chocolatier, and Great Portland Estates, the London property company, souring hopes of a ceasefire between retailers and landlords.

Hotel Chocolat is locked in a stalemate with Great Portland Estates over its Regent Street store, where trading is 60 per cent below last year’s levels because tourists and office workers have stayed at home. The chocolatier, founded in 1993 and listed four years ago, has reached compromises with most of its other landlords.

The dispute is the latest in a series between retail companies and their landlords during the pandemic, which has forced store chains to demand rent reductions, waivers or a switch to rents linked with turnover to cushion them from the high street downturn. The value of property companies has tumbled in tandem with the issue, with Shaftesbury, another London landlord, last week tapping investors for £300 million.

Hotel … Read the rest