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Wall Street Retreats Amid Fears of Rise of China’s Tighter COVID Restrictions By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Raindrops hang on a Wall Street sign outside the New York Stock Exchange in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S. October 26, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo

Written by Carolina Mandel

(Reuters) – Wall Street’s major indices closed nearly lower on Monday amid fears that China may resume tougher measures to combat COVID-19 after saying it was facing the most severe test of the pandemic.

Beijing said on Monday it would close businesses and schools in the hardest-hit areas and tighten rules for entering the city, as the number of infections soared.

“There is this fear that China may re-impose some of the COVID restrictions that they are allegedly just beginning to lift,” said Carol Schliffe, deputy chief investment officer at BMO Family Office.

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US casino operators with businesses in China including Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:) Ltd, Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: Corp.) and MGM Resorts (NYSE: International) and Melco Resorts & Entertainment (NASDAQ: Ltd) all fell at least 2%.

It fell 45.41 points, or 0.13%, to 33,700.28, and lost 15.4 points, or 0.39%, to 3,949.94, and fell 121.55 points, or 1.09%, to 11,024.51.

Volume was low on Monday and is likely to ease as the Thanksgiving holiday approaches on Thursday, making the markets more vulnerable to volatility.

Trading volume on US exchanges reached 9.43 billion shares, compared to an average of 11.88 billion for the full session over the last 20 trading days.

“If you want to blame profit-taking a little bit on some of the concerns about the sudden spike in COVID cases, that’s fine,” said Jack Janasevic, senior portfolio analyst and portfolio manager at Natixis Investment Managers Solutions. “It gets really difficult because of the size.”

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Stocks pared losses in the early afternoon after San Francisco Federal Reserve Chair Mary Daley commented that officials needed to be careful to avoid a “painful deflation.”

Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester echoed Daley, saying she supports a December rate hike.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 energy sector index fell nearly 3% on Monday to a four-week low as oil prices fell more than 5% after a report that Saudi Arabia and other OPEC oil producers are discussing increasing production. But the index cut its losses after Saudi Arabia denied holding talks about it.

The energy sector has been the main S&P 500 sector chasing gains this year, up about 63%.

Walt Disney (NYSE:) The company’s stock jumped 6.30% after Bob Iger returned as CEO of the entertainment giant.

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The S&P 500 extended its decline from the previous week when several Fed officials reiterated the central bank’s pledge to raise interest rates until inflation is brought under control, as investors now await the release of minutes from the November Federal Reserve meeting on Wednesday.

Traders are widely betting on a 50 basis point rate hike at the December meeting, with interest rates peaking in June expected.

Among other stocks, Tesla (NASDAQ:: Inc) fell 6.84% after the electric car maker said it would recall vehicles in the United States over an issue that could cause taillights to fail to illuminate intermittently.

Gay dating app Grindr fell 46.00% amid broader market weakness, after skyrocketing in its New York Stock Exchange debut in the previous session.

Low issues outnumbered high issues on the NYSE by a ratio of 1.27 to 1; On the Nasdaq, the ratio was 1.60 to 1 in favor of declining stocks.

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S&P 500 records 9 new 52-week highs and 2 new lows; The Nasdaq Index posted 96 new highs and 220 new lows.

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BP doubles down on hydrogen as the fuel of the future by Reuters

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© Reuters. The BP logo is seen at a BP gas station in Manhattan, New York City, US, November 24, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/Files

2/2

Written by Ron Bousso

LONDON (Reuters) – Bernard Looney, chief executive of British Petroleum (NYSE), is betting on hydrogen to power the low-carbon companies of the future as governments in major economies raise money to develop fuels for decarbonization.

Low-carbon hydrogen already has a large fan base and is expected to play a major role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from heavy industry and some forms of transportation.

But it is expensive to produce and often needs government subsidies to compete against fossil fuels.

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The US, for example, offers significant incentives to produce them under President Joe Biden’s $430 billion Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

BP has been responsive and is in the early planning stages of developing a large, low-carbon hydrogen center around its refinery in Whiting, Indiana, Tomica McLeod, BP’s newly appointed head of US hydrogen, told Reuters.

When Looney took office nearly three years ago, he pledged to reshape BP and cut carbon emissions by reducing oil and gas production and developing renewables. He is preparing to brief investors on February 7 on the current situation.

BP sources told Reuters that hydrogen will play a starring role alongside offshore wind.

BP has reformed its structure to create a dedicated hydrogen division led by Philippe Arbelaez which has 150 employees. It has also made several investments in large hydrogen projects, including in Australia, Europe and Britain.

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The company told Reuters that it is also studying the potential for developing green hydrogen in Oman, and is also studying projects in Mauritania.

Company sources said BP’s spending on low-carbon hydrogen remains modest but is expected to grow into the hundreds of millions by the end of the decade as projects start.

BP spent nearly a quarter of its $15.5 billion budget in 2022 on the low-carbon business, when it included the $4.1 billion acquisition of US biogas producer Arkea, according to Reuters calculations.

Company sources said that in February Anja Isabel Dutzenrath, head of renewables at Looney and BP will unveil its clean hydrogen production target for the first time, aiming for a 10% share of hydrogen in “core markets” by 2030.

“Hydrogen is going to be a huge focus, and it’s moving much faster than we ever thought,” CFO Murray Auchinclose told Reuters last month.

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Most hydrogen is currently used in oil refining and fertilizer making and is usually made by heating, a highly polluting process known as gray hydrogen.

But gray hydrogen becomes “blue hydrogen” if polluting emissions are captured. There’s also “green hydrogen,” which is produced by splitting water using electrolysis that’s powered by renewable energy.

To expand its blue hydrogen business, BP is drawing on its expertise in oil and gas to build carbon capture and storage facilities, where carbon is injected into depleted reservoirs.

It also plans to boost its renewable energy generation capacity to 50 gigawatts by 2030, which will be partially used for electric power generation.

BP declined to comment on whether it would set a hydrogen production target or its hydrogen spending plans.

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tax credits

McLeod said BP’s project at the Whiting refinery would initially replace about 200,000 tonnes of gray hydrogen used by the refinery each year with blue hydrogen. The project could start operating by 2026-2027 and expand to green hydrogen.

“Our focus in the US, and it’s similar around the world, is how do we decarbonize and reimagine our own assets,” she said.

The low-carbon fuel in the second phase will be used by other heavy industries in the region to reduce about 36 million tons of carbon dioxide emitted there each year.

The project will rely on subsidies, highlighting the challenge hydrogen faces in competing with low-cost fossil fuels.

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The IRA is offering a $3 per kilogram tax credit for clean hydrogen, which makes green hydrogen equal to or even less than the cost of gray and blue hydrogen, according to analysts.

“With the hydrogen production tax credits now in place … it has allowed green hydrogen to be more competitive,” McLeod said.

McLeod said the subsidies would initially allow green and blue hydrogen to compete with gray hydrogen, allowing consumers to switch to cleaner fuels.

“Demand growth for new hydrogen applications will be a function of cost competitiveness,” said Andy Brogan, global head of oil and gas at EY.

“There are physical components to energy demand where hydrogen is the only clear technologically viable alternative to carbon intensive options,” Brogan said. “However, these are often price sensitive, so rapid acceleration will depend on cost.”

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BP is already one of the largest investors in hydrogen projects among the world’s largest oil and gas companies, including Shell (LON:), TotalEnergies, Repsol (OTC:) and Italy’s Eni, according to Globaldata, a data provider.

BP in June acquired a 40.5% stake in a 26-gigawatt renewable energy project in Australia that could produce green hydrogen. It is developing two projects in Britain where it aims to produce 1.5 gigawatts of blue and green hydrogen by 2030.

Hydrogen production by technology https://www.reuters.com/graphics/HYDROGEN-PRODUCTION/gkvlwgymlpb/chart.png

BP Spending Plans https://www.reuters.com/graphics/OIL-MAJORS/ENERGY-TRANSITION/gkvlgnoxdpb/chart.png

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After 23 Royal Caribbean Cruises, What I Learned About Tipping

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Tipping has always been a mostly voluntary practice that is supposed to revolve around customers rewarding service staff for good service. The problem is that restaurants generally consider tips as part of their wages and don’t pay minimum wages to waiters (which is legal in most places). This makes tipping, while usually optional, very demanding.

That’s kind of how tipping works at Royal Caribbean (RCL) – Get a free report and Carnival Cruise Line (CCL) – Get a free report ships. It’s still technically optional, but opting out of daily tips—what cruise lines call the fee added to your onboard account each day for each person in your room—literally takes money out of the hands of the lowest-level workers on cruise ships.



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Foxconn expects coronavirus-hit China factory to return to full production in late December – early January – Source via Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A picture of the Foxconn logo atop a corporate building in Taipei, Taiwan on October 31, 2022. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rollins/File Photo

TAIPEI (Reuters) – Apple supplier Foxconn expects its coronavirus-hit factory in Zhengzhou, China, to resume full production in late December and early January after worker unrest disrupted the country’s largest iPhone factory, a Foxconn source said on Monday. the scientist.

The Zhengzhou factory is grappling with severe novel coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions that have workers unhappy about conditions at the factory. Apple (NASDAQ:) device production was disrupted ahead of Christmas and the Lunar New Year holidays in January, with many workers either forced to isolate to combat the spread of the virus or flee the factory.

“The capacity is now gradually resuming,” said the person with first-hand knowledge of the matter, as new staff start to be hired. The person declined to be named because the information was private.

“If the hiring process goes smoothly, it may take about three to four weeks to fully resume production,” the person said, referring to a period from late December to early January.

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Foxconn and the local government are working hard on the recruitment campaign but there are still many uncertainties, according to the source. The person referred to “concerns” some workers might have about working for the company after the factory was hit by protests last month that sometimes turned violent.

“We are firing on all cylinders in the recruiting process,” said the person.

Foxconn declined to comment.

Foxconn shares were up 0.5% Monday morning, in line with the 0.6% gain in the broader market.

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