Global Markets Rally as US Fed Hints July-September for Rate Hike Sputnik InternationalGlobal Markets Rally as US Fed Hints July-September for Rate Hike ? AP Photo Richard Drew12:55 07.04.2015(updated 13:44 07.04.2015) Get short URLSeveral Fed officials reassured investors of the coming monetary tightening, erasing the negative effects of last week’s soft US data and triggering a rally in equities around the globe.Kristian Rouz — Equity markets rallied worldwide during late Monday-early Tuesday trading after Dennis Lockhart, head of Atlanta, GA Fed, spoke out on the anticipated Fed raise in its base interest rate as coming after the next two policy meetings, meaning the new wave of monetary tightening would come within the July-September timespan. Lockhart’s comments came as the increasingly data-sensitive stock markets had been leaning in a bearish direction after last week’s soft US jobs report. This time around, the regulator’s rhetoric has proven a significant boost to the market once again, not only in America, but beyond. Consequently, the dollar erased last week’s losses Tuesday in Asia-Pacific trading, while oil retreated slightly. Asia-Pacific Tuesday trading ended in the green, with shares boosted by the strong performance of US equities on Monday due to the aforementioned Fed policy commentary. ? AFP 2015 YASSER AL-ZAYYATMideast Markets Rally as Investors Welcome Iranian ‘Nuclear Deal’The MSCI’s Asia-Pacific Index rose 0.2%, led by tech and consumer sector equities. The technology sector was also the driving force behind Wall Street’s gains during Monday trading in New York, with the S&P 500 Index having rallied 0.7%. Besides Mr. Lockhart’s policy remarks, another factor in investors’ optimism was a commentary by New York Fed President William C. Dudley, who said the looming Fed tightening, once arrived, will be characterized by ‘shallow’ interest rate hikes. That means, yields on US Treasuries will not rise as quickly as they are poised to in case of more significant one-time rate hikes, rendering the overall US economy more stable. Yet another factor in Wall Street’s bullishness this past Monday was the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) report by Markit, indicating the US services sector expanded in March at its fastest since August. The US services PMI stood at 59.2 in March compared to 57.1 in February (readings below 50 indicate recession, while anything above that is growth), suggesting a robust build-up, led by increased consumer spending. The actual figure of 59.2 has also surpassed the preliminary PMI reading for March, which stood at 58.6. Employment index for services also rose to 54.0 in March, up from 52.7 the previous month. Japanese stocks gained momentum on US optimism, with energy sector advancing the most. Inpex Corp., Japan’s prominent oil logistics and processing enterprise, rose 4.4% after oil futures added 6% in the US due to an increased demand from refineries (crude price retreated 1% later). Across other sectors, strong corporate data and firm credit ratings pushed tech and pharmaceutical companies up, resulting in the broader Topix Index rising 1.1% at the end of the day. The Nikkei 225 Index rose 1.3%, while the yen stood at 119.57 against the greenback, retreating 0.5%, a positive signal for Asian exporters. In Australia, the local currency advanced 1.3% against the US dollar to $0.7686, with equities rising some 0.4% on average. The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) decided to keep its stimulus in place, deciding to not yet hike its cash rate, currently at 2.25%. Australia’s main export, iron ore, has been depreciating recently, along with other commodities, hitting the nation’s balance of payments. The RBA has not ruled out a possible future monetary easing. Shares in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand rallied as well. Mainland China’s stocks posted a new seven-year high ahead of earnings season, investors expect the weak data will push the People’s Bank of China close to implementing a full-scale stimulus. In Europe, shares rallied in early Tuesday trading, driven by FedEx’s recent $4.81 bln bid to acquire Dutch delivery company, TNT Express, TNT equities skyrocketed by 31%, PostNL also added 16%. The UK’s Royal Mail rose 1.7% on the news. Consequently, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 Index rose 0.6%. ? AP Photo Alan Diaz, FileUS Jobs Growth Stalled, Prompting Retreat in Futures; Dollar Goes DownAlso on Tuesday, some reports suggested the British economy expanded at a faster pace in Q1, than it was anticipated, a positive sign for the markets. The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said the UK’s economy rose an annualized 0.7% in Q1, while official figures published last week showed the British economy grew 0.6% in Q4 2014. That means, the growth is gaining momentum in the UK, which is particularly important given the absence of a solid stimulus program in place. A stronger pound, however, prevents UK growth from picking up pace beyond the current estimates. In oil prices, Brent crude dropped 1% Tuesday after Goldman Sachs reported that US oil output might suffer a visible decline only in case the cheaper oil lasts for over several months. Brent now stands at $57.49 bbl, while US oil futures with May delivery dropped to $51.70 bbl. According to Goldman, if oil costs $40 bbl, US output would slide some 350,000 bpd in May-September, however, even a decreased US production would not allow for oil price to rise above $65 bbl in 2016. The US Energy Information Administration will publish its data Wednesday, but from what is already known, US oil inventories are still expanding, with Cushing stocks adding some 169,000 barrels in the week ending on 3 April. The US oil market is becoming more balanced, however, such a small rise in inventories might be a consequence of storages and refineries being filled with oil over 90% their capacity.
Flight Controllers Attempting to Communicate With Troubled ISS Supply Craft Sputnik InternationalFlight Controllers Attempting to Communicate With Troubled ISS Supply Craft ? AFP 2015 NASA07:29 29.04.2015Get short URLNASA said Wednesday that flight controllers are continuing trying to communicate with the Progress M-27M cargo vessel which was set to dock with the International Space Station the previous day.MOSCOW (Sputnik) — After a successful launch of a Russian Soyuz rocket carrying the Progress vessel from the Baikonur Space Center in Kazakhstan on Tuesday, the cargo craft encountered problems when separating from the rocket. ? Flickr Bo InsognaNASA Takes Search for Extraterrestrial Life to the Next LevelThe spacecraft was initially set to dock with the ISS 13:07 GMT on Tuesday. Mission Control was unable to receive Progress’ telemetry, deciding to use a 48-hour docking regime. “Russian flight controllers are continuing attempts to communicate with and troubleshoot issues with the Russian Progress 59 cargo spacecraft as it makes additional passes tonight over Russian ground stations,” NASA said on its website. The cargo vessel carries more than three tons of food, fuel, oxygen and scientific equipment for the ISS crew. According to an earlier statement by the US space agency, the station continues operating as normal and the crew has enough supplies left to last well beyond the next resupply flight.
Human Trials Begin: Using Cloned Human Antibodies to Wipe Out HIV Sputnik InternationalHuman Trials Begin: Using Cloned Human Antibodies to Wipe Out HIV ? Flickr Sanofi Pasteur00:04 10.04.2015(updated 00:07 10.04.2015) Get short URLResearchers say the potentially groundbreaking treatment shows promise in cutting the amount of virus present in HIV-positive patients.Scientists from Rockefeller University in New York and the University of Cologne in Germany have injected a cloned human antibody, 3BNC111, into 29 volunteers, 17 of whom were infected with HIV and 12 of whom were free of the virus. The antibody, harvested from rare HIV-positive patients whose immune systems were able to attack multiple strains of the virus, was given in four different dosages. It allows the human immune system to naturally keep the disease under control. Eight HIV-infected subjects received the highest dose, which researchers found to cut the amount of virus in their blood between eight and 250 times, a week after they received the treatment and for more than 28 days, according to research published Wednesday in the journal Nature. ? East News Science Photo LibraryGMO Humans? Scientists Warn of Risks Researchers found the early-phase trial to be a success, as the antibody proved safe for use in humans, whether infected or not. "This represents potentially a new class of drugs with activity against HIV," study co-author Dr. Marina Caskey of Rockefeller University told AFP. "It is possible that 3BNC117 and antibodies like it will boost the patient’s own immune responses, leading to better control of their infection." Others identified the medical breakthrough here to be the fact that the human body itself began to produce these exact antibodies. "The common feature of these antibodies is that they’re not your normal antibodies and they have various uncommon features," said Stuart Turville, expert in HIV immunology and transmission at the Kirby Institute in Sydney. ? Flickr Trygve UtstumoHIV Outbreak Forces Indiana to Declare Public Health Emergency "[Researchers have] identified a very beautiful antibody that naturally exists and they’ve done a very beautiful study in the context of determining how much antibody you would need to give someone to see a protective effect." The down side is, the treatment has to be continuous. "It is temporal, you would need to keep on giving this to someone," Dr Turville said. "But I think in the context of vaccines, if we can teach our bodies to make one of these that would be the really exciting thing." Although HIV in treated patients can still mutate and get ahead of the new treatment, scientists are still hopeful the new approach could mean hope for some living with HIV.
BBC News – London Bridge rail services resuming after disruption 9 March 2015 Last updated at 20:53 Share this page London Bridge rail services resuming after disruption Passengers at London Bridge faced delays of up to an hour on Monday morning Related Stories Some services at London Bridge railway station are starting to resume after delays of more than an hour due to a broken-down freight train. Thameslink trains are up and running again but Southern services are advising customers to stagger their journeys or use alternative routes. The disruption came after thousands of people were stranded last week during rush hour. Earlier, passengers said they were stuck on trains outside the station. One traveller, Ket Thiru, tweeted: "Cheers Southern. Currently one hour and counting into London Bridge. "Everyone calm at the moment, but you wait until our phone batteries expire." A Department for Transport spokesman said it was "extremely frustrating" thousands of commuters faced unscheduled disruption "once again". "It is vital that Network Rail and the operators keep passengers informed and we are urgently speaking to them to ensure this happens," he said. The delays added to disruption already caused by long-running engineering works.
BBC News – Media elated over India’s entry in cricket World Cup semi-finals 20 March 2015 Last updated at 07:29 Share this page Media elated over India’s entry in cricket World Cup semi-finals Rohit Sharma made well-crafted 137 runs against Bangladesh Papers are ecstatic after India’s thumping win over Bangladesh in the quarter-final match of the ongoing cricket World Cup in Australia. Not many pundits gave India a chance ahead of the tournament, but the defending champions have surprised them by keeping a clean slate. Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s team did not lose a single game in the group stage and their form was evident in the knockout game against Bangladesh on Thursday. Opener Rohit Sharma made a composed 137 from 126 balls and Suresh Raina 65 from 57 as India recovered from 115-3 to post 302-6 at a boisterous MCG. The Tigers lost two wickets in the seventh over of their reply and eventually limped to 193 all out in 45 overs as India’s bowlers dominated. Sharma’s innings has drawn special praise in the papers. "It wasn’t blind hitting at any stage. Rohit took 70 balls for his first fifty and 108 balls to complete the ton. But it was in the last 18 balls of his innings that he changed the complexion of the game, hitting 35 runs off it," says The Times of India. The Indian Express remembers how the stylish batsman’s slumping form had made pundits question his abilities. "India has watched Rohit Sharma grow in years, today they saw him grow in stature. Since making his international debut as a teenager, with the public gaze on him, he has gained weight, lost form, lost hair, gained ground… Today at MCG, the batsman known for his frustrating inconsistency, flashy strokes and fractionally-short-of-40 ODI average won the trust of fans and a semi-final spot for his team," the paper says. The Hindu says Sharma’s "137 was as measured and responsible as it was an aesthetic delight. Raina did not hold back either, making a rapid 65 as India registered a sizeable score". ‘Mother cow’ Rishi Kapoor is a popular Bollywood actor Meanwhile, Bollywood actor Rishi Kapoor is continuing to explain his tweet on beef consumption in India. Kapoor had tweeted that people should not mix religion with food choices. His tweet came days after the government in the western state of Maharashtra banned the slaughter of cows and the sale and consumption of beef in the state. The state government is run by the Hindu nationalist BJP party. The actor attracted a backlash from Hindu nationalist groups, who believe "cow slaughter" is against their religion. Kapoor has been tweeting since Sunday to defend his earlier statement. On Wednesday, he tweeted that he was against killing "gau maa" (mother cow): Monkey business Langurs are used to scare monkeys in many places across India And finally, railway officials in the northern city of Agra have hired black-faced langur monkeys to frighten red-faced macaque monkeys. Hundreds of macaque monkeys routinely attack passengers and disturb other services at platforms, rail offices say. "Monkeys were creating a big menace by climbing overhead railway cables. Often, they would get electrocuted and their bodies would get stuck on the cable, bringing railway operations to a halt. Due to the increase in the number of such incidents, the engineering department decided that it was best to hire six langurs," senior railway official Bhupinder Dhillon told The Times of India. The owners of the six langurs would earn a combined salary of close to 1m rupees (?10,000;$16,000) per year for their services. BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.