Lockdown on Malaysia’s Top Glove facilities lifted as first worker death reported

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysian authorities lifted a month-long lockdown on dormitories housing Top Glove Corp workers on Monday, even as the firm reported the first death among its employees from COVID-19.

FILE PHOTO: Workers leave a Top Glove factory after their shifts in Klang, Malaysia December 7, 2020. Picture taken December 7, 2020. REUTERS/Lim Huey Teng/File Photo

Last month the government put in place strict movement controls and ordered Top Glove, the world’s largest glove maker, to shut its factories in stages after more than 5,000 employees tested positive for COVID-19.

Security Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said in a statement the lockdown could now be lifted as there were no more pending test results, while workers who had tested negative had already completed two rounds of quarantine.

The government has also allowed 14 Top Glove factories to resume operations, while 14 others will be reopened in stages, Ismail Sabri

Read More

Huntington Bancshares to buy Detroit-based TCF National Bank in $6 billion stock deal

Huntington Bancshares of Columbus is buying the Detroit-based parent of TCF National Bank in all-stock, $6 billion deal that will extend Huntington’s footprint into new markets as far west as Colorado.

a large tower in a city: Huntington Bancshares of Columbus is acquiring TCF National Bank, based in Detroit.

© Dispatch file photo
Huntington Bancshares of Columbus is acquiring TCF National Bank, based in Detroit.

The acquisition announced Sunday night will be the biggest in Huntington’s 154-year-old history and nearly twice the size of Huntington’s last big acquisition, the $3.4 billion purchase of Akron-based FirstMerit in 2016.

With a market value of $13.1 billion, Huntington is more than twice the size of TCF, which had a market capitalization of $5.4 billion as of Friday. The deal calls for TCF Financial shareholders to get about three Huntington shares for each of their TCF shares, worth about $38.83 for each of their TCF shares, which closed at $34.78 on Friday.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Huntington Bancshares CEO and Chairman Steve Steinour

© Huntington Bancshares
Huntington Bancshares CEO and Chairman Steve

Read More

Historic stock market volume is likely this week as Tesla goes into the S&P 500

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, stands on the construction site of the Tesla Gigafactory in Grünheide near Berlin, September 3, 2020.

Patrick Pleul | picture alliance | Getty Images

The addition of Tesla into the S&P 500 at the close this Friday will be one of the biggest trading days in history, but it is only the most recent example of an ongoing trend: index managers who make the decisions of what goes in and out of these indexes are becoming increasingly influential.

“Rebalancings have become major trading events because more investors are tied to indexes, so the volume of trading during rebalances has gone way up,” Harry Whitton from market maker Old Mission told me.

Whitton noted that the heaviest days of trading are now typically on major index rebalancings.  The S&P 500 will rebalance on Friday, one of four days a year it does so.  Friday’s rebalance will

Read More

Chinese Regulations Begin to Hit Internet Stocks. Why This Could Be Just the Start.

Text size

Alain Jocard/AFP via Getty Images

China fined

Alibaba Group Holding

and two

Tencent Holdings

-backed companies on Monday, the latest indication that Chinese internet companies may face heightened regulatory scrutiny that could loom over their stocks in the near-term.

China’s State Administration for Market Regulation levied fines of 500,000 yuan (about $76,500)—small, but the maximum allowed under antimonopoly laws—against Alibaba (ticker: BABA) and China Literature and Shenzhen Hive Box Technology, both backed by Tencent (700.Hong Kong). Regulators said the companies didn’t submit the proper disclosures for past acquisitions. The regulators also said that they would investigate other deals.

The fines come weeks after Chinese regulators unveiled draft antitrust guidelines that analysts said were aimed at the country’s large internet behemoths. Analysts expect more regulatory moves ahead.

“The [Communist] Party has realized that fintech has prospered in the regulatory gray area between finance and technology,” says Rory Green, an

Read More

Fed to weigh further options for aiding US economy in peril

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve’s policymakers face an unusual conundrum as they meet this week: A short-term economic outlook that is worsening even while the longer-term picture is brightening thanks to the emergence of coronavirus vaccines.

When its meeting concludes Wednesday, the Fed could announce steps to try to offset the pandemic’s increasing drag on growth. Or it could choose to mostly watch and wait, for now.

The central bank’s policy meeting coincides with a record-shattering resurgence of the coronavirus, which has caused an increase in business restrictions and made more Americans reluctant to shop, travel and dine out. Some analysts say the economy could shrink in early 2021 before recovering as vaccines combat the virus.

Economists are divided on whether the Fed will announce any new actions this week. One option the policymakers could take would be to announce a shift in the Fed’s bond purchases. The Fed

Read More

COVID-19 restricts keel ceremony for submarine USS Massachusetts

Dec. 14 (UPI) — A keel authentication was held virtually this weekend for the under-construction fast-attack submarine USS Massachusetts in Newport News, Va., Huntington Ingalls Industries announced.

The ceremonial welding of a sponsor’s initials onto the new vessel’s keel had a reduced audience because of the COVID-19 pandemic, HII said in a press release.

Jennifer Boykin, president of Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding division, noted at the ceremony that the event on Friday was “smaller in scope but not in importance.”

Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg, the sponsor of the vessel, currently known as SSN 798, etched her initials onto a metal plate to be welded to the keel in a pre-recorded video message.

HHI master shipbuilder Ronnie Payne then traced Sandberg’s initials with a welding torch on Friday.

“This year has been difficult for so many, and I am extra grateful for moments like this one when we can

Read More

Moscow Hobbles Into New Year With Fresh Financial Scandal

Another year, another scandal involving major brand name firms and well-known investors. If they’re not in jail for alleged tax evasion and fraud, they’re probably being investigated for it.

The latest? BBDO Group in Moscow, which happens to be owned by Manhattan based (and publicly traded) Omnicom

Like many corporate scandals in Russia, it starts with an “insider”. A whistleblower named Nikolai Evgenievich Krasko sent a letter to the Russian version of the Internal Revenue Service, which was revealed by the government on November 26, saying “I have first-hand knowledge that that company specifically was used to illegally shelter over 3 billion rubles (around $45 million),” he wrote. He went on to list financial transactions dating from 2015 to 2019. None of

Read More

Gold prices skid lower to start week as U.S. coronavirus vaccine rolls out

a hand holding a piece of paper

© mohd rasfan/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images


Gold futures on Monday were under selling pressure as a rollout of the experimental coronavirus cure began in the U.S. and as some uncertainty centered on another round of COVID-19 relief aid out of Congress hurt the yellow metal’s bullish thesis.

However, weakness in the dollar, off 0.5%, as measured by the ICE U.S. Dollar Index was capping downside for bullion and other precious metals priced in the U.S. unit.

Gold’s slide comes ahead of the last meeting of the Federal Reserve, which could also serve as a catalyst for commodities and financial markets broadly.

“Gold is struggling again today and broken back below $1,830 this morning where it had been seeing some support over the last week or so,” wrote Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda, in a daily note.

Video: The two things that would make Federated’s top strategist put

Read More

RWE sells stake in U.S. wind farms to Algonquin Power for $600 mln

Sells 51% stake in four wind farms

Stake corresponds to 439 megawatts of capacity

RWE will remain operator of farms

Recasts, adds details on deal, context

FRANKFURT, Dec 14 (Reuters)RWE RWEG.DE, Europe’s third-largest renewables company, agreed to sell onshore wind assets in Texas worth $600 million to Canada’s Algonquin Power & Utilities AQN.TO, freeing up more cash to expand its business in other clean energy areas.

The sale of a 51% stake in four onshore wind farms — two in operation and two under construction — equates to 439 megawatts of capacity, RWE said, adding the deal was expected to close in the first quarter of 2021.

“The transaction with Algonquin demonstrates the attractiveness of RWE’s portfolio in North America. The U.S. play a key role in RWE’s strategy to grow its renewables business and to become carbon neutral by 2040,” RWE said.


Read More

Dollar falls; sterling up 1.5% as Brexit deal hopes lift risk appetite

LONDON (Reuters) – The dollar fell close to two-year lows on Monday as renewed hopes for a Brexit deal and fiscal stimulus in the United States, as well as progress on Covid-19 vaccines, lifted riskier currencies.

FILE PHOTO: Pound and U.S. dollar bills are seen in this illustration taken January 6, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

The pound gained after the UK and European Union agreed on Sunday to continue Brexit talks and the EU’s chief negotiator said a deal was still possible.

At 1220 GMT, the pound was up 1.5% versus the dollar, at $1.3423 – a jump from its low point of $1.3135 on Friday. Versus the euro, it was up around 1.1% at 90.535 pence.

“Despite being a very close call at this stage, we still think a deal is the most likely scenario and therefore expect a GBP rally to materialise in the next two weeks,” ING strategists

Read More