India reports 40,120 new COVID-19 cases in last 24 hours
MUMBAI (Reuters) – India reported 40,120 new coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours, a government statement said on Friday.
U.S. private equity firm takes $3.5 billion bet on pets with Zooplus deal
Germany's Zooplus has accepted a takeover offer worth around 3 billion euros ($3.5 billion) from U.S. private equity firm Hellman & Friedman, the pet supplies retailer said on Friday.
Both the management and supervisory boards welcome the takeover and intend to recommend shareholders accept it, the company said.
The offer, a premium of 40% to its Thursday closing price of 278 euros, is for a cash consideration of 390 euros per Zooplus share.
Zooplus, one of the largest online pet supplies retailers in Europe, has benefitted from higher online demand during the pandemic.
Hellman & Friedman has already acquired several stakes in German companies in the past, including Axel Springer and AutoScout24.
Zooplus said Hellman & Friedman had signed irrevocable tender commitments for around 17% of Zooplus' share capital.
In case of a successful closing of the offer, Hellman & Friedman intends to delist Zooplus, the company said.
Zooplus shares were up 38% to 385 euros per share as of 0640 GMT in early Frankfurt trade, topping the German small-cap index.
Gold On Track For Weekly Fall
Gold inched higher on Friday but was set for a weekly loss after last week’s U.S. jobs report boosted expectations the Federal Reserve could begin tapering its economic support sooner than previously anticipated.
Spot gold rose 0.3 percent to $1,758.28 per ounce, but was down 0.3 percent for the week. U.S. gold futures were up half a percent at $1,759.75.
The dollar held firm near its highest level in four months against a basket of currencies as investors fretted about the potential for new regulatory crackdowns in China and the fallout from the surging Delta variant of the new coronavirus in the United States and elsewhere.
Fed’s monetary tightening debate continues despite U.S. consumer inflation moderating for the first time in several months.
Bond yields hold steady following a busy week for new auctions, as well as a mixed bag of inflation data.
U.S. wholesale prices jumped 1 percent last month, a government report showed Thursday while economists had forecast a 0.6 percent rise.
Gold is seen as a hedge against inflation, but a Fed rate hike will increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene Ripped For Her Most Callous Coronavirus Claims Yet
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) believes the impact of coronavirus in hospitals is limited to crowding in the waiting rooms rather than the ERs and ICUs.
As for those who die?
“We’re human, we can’t live forever,” the conspiracy theorist lawmaker said on Real America’s Voice, which describes itself as a “platform for patriots all across America who care about traditional values”:
Greene also cast doubt on the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines and even the pandemic itself.
“It doesn’t seem to be that effective, especially with COVID-19 raging across the country ― at least, that’s what the media tells us every single day,” she said.
But it was Greene’s comments about hospitals that really drew attention on social media, where she claimed the facilities weren’t overwhelmed by coronavirus patients.
“Everyone needs to get back to common sense and remember that we’re human, we can’t live forever, we are going to catch all kinds of diseases and illnesses and other viruses and we get hurt sometimes,” she said.
Twitter users let her have it:
Oil Extends Declines On Demand Concerns
Oil prices were declining for the second day running on Friday amid concerns that the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant will curtail oil demand growth as the year progresses.
Benchmark Brent crude futures slipped 0.2 percent to $71.19 per barrel, while WTI crude futures were down 0.3 percent at $68.91.
Increasing demand for crude ground to a halt in July and is set to rise at a slower pace over the rest of 2021 because of the surge in infections from the Delta variant of the coronavirus, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Thursday.
A monthly report from OPEC on Thursday suggested that the cartel was sticking to its recent forecast for a rebound in oil demand globally this year and further growth in 2022, despite surging COVID-19 infections worldwide.
Goldman Sachs has reduced its estimate for the global oil deficit to 1 million bpd from 2.3 million bpd in the short-term given the threat to demand from Delta.
“We don’t see the recent White House statement as threatening the current market deficit nor the pace of the rebalancing in 2H21,” the U.S. investment bank said.
This is How Many People Have Died From COVID-19 in Each State
Since the first death attributable to COVID-19 was reported in the United States on Feb. 29, 2020, an estimated 612,973 Americans have died — and as the delta variant spreads, that number continues to grow.
Adjusting for population, no state has reported more coronavirus deaths than New Jersey. Since the pandemic began, New Jersey has reported a total of 26,650 deaths — or 299 for every 100,000 people. Per capita deaths attributable to the virus are also high in New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Mississippi. In each of these places, the death rate stands at at least 257 per 100,000 people.
For context, the national COVID-19 death rate stands at 187 deaths for every 100,000 people.
To date, Hawaii has reported the fewest coronavirus deaths on a per capita basis. There have been an estimated 38 COVID-19 deaths across the state for every 100,000 people since the pandemic began.
Though it is not always the case, states with higher than average COVID-19 deaths per capita are often also home to larger high-risk populations. One such group is retirement-age Americans, who are at least 90 times more likely to die from the virus if infected than those in the 18 to 29 age group. Nationwide, 16.5% of the population fall into that age group.
All COVID-19 data used in the story is current as of August 11, 2021.