Natural gas prices hit a two-year high yesterday due to weather-related supply disruptions and as cold weather approaches.
The WTI crude price was at $39.99/bbl in early trading today, while the Brent was at $42.12/bbl. Natural gas was at $2.86/MMBtu.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that global natural gas demand will see a drop of 3% in 2020, its biggest on record, and more than twice the demand slump after the 2008 recession.
In a shift from its historic focus on fossil fuels, the IEA is promoting an aggressive shift to renewable energy to address global warming, warning that expenditures on alternative sources must rise substantially to adequately reduce carbon emissions.
A Nevada man contracted COVID-19 a second time within two months while testing negative in between, adding to concern about the immunity developed after a first infection. In the U.K., a re-infected victim required hospitalization when his second infection proved more severe than the first.
Home sales in August rose to their highest level since 2006, with year-over-year sales of existing homes up 10.5% and sales of new homes 4.8% higher.
The unemployment rate in the hospitality industry is more than double the national level. Without further government assistance, industry leaders fear more than half of hotels will close within six months.
Disney is restructuring its media and entertainment divisions to focus on streaming services. The company will create a single media organization responsible for content distribution, ad sales and Disney+.
Personal computer shipments in the U.S. grew 11.4% in the third quarter, the first double-digit increase in a decade. Chromebook shipments increased 90%, driven by distance learning needs.
At an online event today, Apple is set to reveal a 5G iPhone that is expected to deliver markedly faster internet speeds.
Delta said the airline industry may not recover for two years or more as it posted a third-quarter loss of $5.4 billion.
Southwest Airlines is taking advantage of the COVID-19 airline slump to expand into two of the U.S.’s biggest airports: Chicago’s O’Hare and Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental. The move will put greater competitive pressure on United Airlines and American Airlines.
The COVID-19 pandemic is splitting the restaurant industry in two: on one side, large corporate chains using their size and expertise to gain customers and add stores; on the other side, local eateries struggling to remain open.
A former U.S. treasury secretary estimates that the cost to the U.S. economy from COVID-19 will be four times worse than from the Great Recession. Half of the projected $16 trillion toll will come from lost gross domestic product, while half will come from physical and mental health losses.
Fed up with foggy glasses from mask wearing and irritated eyes from contact lenses after long hours of videoconferencing, people are turning to Lasik surgery, which is enjoying a spike in demand as the pandemic persists.
China is testing 9 million residents in the coastal city of Qingdao after the country’s first locally transmitted COVID-19 infections in two months showed up there over the weekend. Nine cases were reported in the city Monday.
The Netherlands has emerged as a COVID-19 hotspot with among the world’s highest infection rates. The Dutch government plans to impose restrictions, including the possible closing of restaurants, beginning this evening.
Health experts in Europe are bracing for a surge in hospitalizations, which abated during the summer as COVID-19 migrated to younger people, due to the second wave of infections and inter-generational spread.
The pace of job losses in the U.K. set a record high in the three months ended August 31 and were five times analyst expectations due to the expiration of furlough protections and a faltering economic recovery.
Automobile sales in China rose 12.8% in September compared with the year-ago period, the fifth straight month of rising sales.
China’s exports rose a higher-than-expected 9.9% in September year-over-year, driven by medical equipment and work-from-home electronic products. Imports rose 13.2%.
Retail sales in the U.K. rose 5.6% in September from the same time last year. The increase is attributed to COVID-19 stockpiling, early Christmas shopping and the reopening of schools.
The Bank of England has initiated a “structured engagement” with commercial banks to gauge their preparedness for possible negative interest rates.
Major central banks are printing money at high rates to counter the economic effects of the pandemic; assets purchased topped 13% in 2020 in the U.S., 12% in the European Community, 14% in the U.K., and 8% in Japan.
Investor confidence in Germany fell to the lowest level in five months in September, plunging from 77.4 to 56.1, according to the widely followed ZEW index that measures the sentiments of top analysts and economists.
Last week’s webinar sponsored by M. Holland and Braskem reviewed polypropylene advancements in 3D printing. Watch the recording here.
Stop by M. Holland’s virtual booth at IWCS to meet our team of Wire & Cable experts. The M. Holland team is exhibiting October 15-16 from 8 am to 1 pm ET. Click here to learn more.
Global Healthcare Manager Josh Blackmore will be a featured speaker at the Plastics in Healthcare Virtual Edition, sponsored by Plastics News, October 26-30. The title of his talk: Applying the Lessons from the First Wave of COVID-19 to Successfully Navigate the Second.
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