(RTTNews) - Industrial production from France is due on Friday, headlining a light day for the European economic news. At 2.00 am ET, Statistics Norway publishes consumer and producer prices for June. Inflation is expected to rise slightly to 1.4 percent from 1.3 percent in May. In the meantime, foreign trade and consumer prices from Romania are due. At 2.45 am ET, France's statistical office Insee is slated to release industrial production for May. Economists forecast industrial output to grow 15.1 percent month-on-month in May, reversing a 20.1 percent fall in April. At 3.00 am ET, the Czech Statistical Office releases consumer prices for June. Inflation is forecast to remain unchanged at 2.9 percent. At 4.00 am ET, Italy's Istat publishes industrial production data for May. Economists forecast production to climb 22.8 percent on month, reversing a 19.1 percent drop in April. At 5.00 am ET, consumer prices and industrial output data is due from Greece.
East Coast And Illinois Have Highest Concentratons Of Housing Markets Vulnerable To Coronavirus Impact
IRVINE, Calif., July 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- ATTOM Data Solutions, curator of the nation's premier property database and first property data provider of Data-as-a-Service (DaaS), today released its second-quarter 2020 Special Report spotlighting county-level housing markets around the United States that are more or less vulnerable to the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. The report shows that areas most at risk in the second quarter sat on the East Coast and in northern Illinois - with clusters in the New York City, Chicago, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., areas - while the West had the fewest. The report reveals that a stretch of states running from Connecticut through Florida, plus Illinois, had 43 of the 50 counties most vulnerable to the economic impact of the pandemic. They included 11 suburban counties around New York City, seven in the Chicago, IL area, five around Washington, D.C. and four around Baltimore, MD. The only four western counties were in California, with none in other West Coast or southwestern states. The East Coast pattern continued a trend identified in the first-quarter 2020 report, with variations from state to state. The previous report found that New Jersey and Florida had 24 of the top 50
PARIS (AFP) - "We have lift-off, we have lift-off!" The summer race to land a space probe on Mars is off to a hot start. Three countries - The Hope Probe (United Arab Emirates), Tianwen-1 (China) and Mars 2020 (United States) - have all taken their positions, hoping to take advantage of the period of time when the Earth and Mars are nearest: a mere 55 million kilometres apart. The neighbouring planets only come this close once every 26 months - a narrow "launch window" based on their relative positions in space. Space agencies from all three nations plan to send rovers to the Red Planet to look for additional signs of past life and potentially pave the way to - someday - step foot on its surface. The journey will take about six months. The UAE's Hope Probe - the first interplanetary mission by an Arab country - launches on July 15. China plans to send its inaugural Mars probe, a small remote-controlled rover, between July 20 and July 25. By far the most ambitious project, the US Mars 2020, has a planned launch date of July 30. The probe - called Perseverance - is expected to spend one Mars year (or about 687 Earth days) on the planet's surface collecting rock and soil samples that scientists hope will shed light on past life forms that may have inhabited the faraway planet. The aim of subsequent missions will be to bring those samples back to Earth. A fourth planned launch, the EU-Russian ExoMars, was postponed until 2022 due to the Covid-19 public health crisis. TRACES OF LIFE Several dozen probes - most of them American - have set off for the Red Planet since the 1960s. Many never made it that far, or failed to land. The drive to explore Mars flagged until the confirmation less than 10 years ago that water once flowed on its surface. "It's the only planet where we've been able to detect past signs of life, and the more we learn about it more hope there is," Michel Viso, an astrobiologist at CNES, France's space agency, told AFP. "It feels like something exciting is happening, and people want to be a part of it." India and the European Union are also setting their sights on a Mars landing. In 2024, Japan plans to send a probe to explore the Martian moon Phobos. As with the moon missions, different countries have invested heavily - in reputation and cash - on Mars exploration, with each looking to find their specific niche, Viso noted. The holy grail, he added, is getting boots on the ground: "This represents the 'ultimate frontier' of space exploration." So far, only the US has done detailed feasibility studies, and in a best-case scenario achieving that goal will take at least 20 years. A swathe of Mars lander missions over the past five decades have met with varying degrees of success since the Soviet Mars 2 and 3 probes launched in 1971. Nasa's Curiosity lander, which arrived in 2012 and is designed to determine whether the planet's environment was ever able to support microbial life forms, remains operational on the surface - as does the Insight lander, which arrived in 2018. MARTIAN COLONIES The UAE is thinking even longer term. The oil-rich Gulf nation plan to establish a "science city" on Earth that will reproduce Mars' atmospheric conditions, with the goal of establishing a human colony on the Red Planet around 2117. Supporting human life on Mars presents a number of logistical challenges. Today's Mars is basically an immense, icy desert. About 3.5 billion years ago, it lost the dense atmospheric pressure that protected it from cosmic radiation. Scientists are still trying to determine whether the planet was ever inhabited by metabolic life forms. "Four billion years ago, the conditions on the planet's surface were very close to those which we had on Earth when life first appeared," including liquid water and a dense atmosphere, said Jorge Vago, the spokesperson for the European Space Agency's ExoMars initiative. Taking up the mantle of its robot forebears, Perseverance will explore an entirely uncharted environment, the Jezero crater - a 28-mile wide area that is believed to have been the site of an ancient river delta. It was chosen among 60 other potential landing sites, and may have sedimentary rocks that could include traces of past microbial life, liquid water and carbon. Perseverance will collect around 40 of these samples, 30 of which will be brought back to Earth to be studied. The results of the analysis - while not as far off as the UAE's proposed Mars colony - will nonetheless have to wait at least 10 years.
WASHINGTON (AFP) - Joe Biden unveiled a US$700 billion (S$976 billion) plan on Thursday (July 10) to create millions of jobs and invest in new technologies in an aggressive challenge to President Donald Trump on economic policy, a critical campaign issue ahead of November's election. Biden presented the sweeping "Build Back Better" proposal, a contrast to Trump's "America first" agenda, during a speech at a metal works plant in Pennsylvania, a battleground state seen as critical to either candidate's election victory. The Democratic challenger's manufacturing and innovation plan aims to bring back jobs lost during the coronavirus pandemic, and create more than five million new jobs by investing in domestic production and research and shrinking foreign supply chains. The multi-pronged approach also tightens "Buy America" guidelines, promotes new tax rules including hiking the country's corporate tax rate to 28 per cent from 21 per cent, and supports expanding union access to empower American workers. "That's what my plan is, to build back better," Biden said in his speech after touring a 101-year-old factory outside Scranton, the blue-collar city where Biden grew up. The goal, said the former vice president, is "to sharpen America's competitive edge" in new industries like battery technology, artificial intelligence, biotechnologies and clean energy. "That's the future." Biden said he rejects the "defeatist view" that automation and globalisation will render Americans helpless to retain well-paid union jobs. "American manufacturing was the functioning arsenal of democracy in World War II, and has to be part of the engine of new prosperity in America now," he said. Biden's plan to protect American workers underscores a recognition that, despite Trump's poor job approval numbers, voters still see him as stronger than Biden on handling the US economy. Trump won in 2016 largely on the promise of bringing back lost manufacturing jobs. But while the president repeatedly invokes American business as a leading force in reviving the economy, Biden's plan relies on the federal government to "bolster American industrial and technological strength." It proposes a US$400 billion investment in domestic product procurement, and US$300 billion for research and development as well as breakthrough technologies including reusable energy and electric vehicles. "All told, this will be a mobilisation of R&D and procurement investment in ways not seen since the Great Depression and World War II," Biden said. He also savaged Trump for being woefully unprepared to respond to the coronavirus pandemic which has killed 132,000 Americans so far; failing to adequately address the "deep wound of systemic racism" in the country; and ignoring the plight of working-class families. "Trump has simply given up," Biden said, adding that America's working families are "paying the price for this administration's incompetence." "He's exactly the wrong person to lead in this moment," according to Biden. Biden's presentation came as Vice President Mike Pence also visited Pennsylvania, where he hosted a roundtable discussion on reopening America. The Trump campaign meanwhile accused Biden of aligning with his progressive former presidential rival Bernie Sanders, whose supporters worked with Biden's campaign to unveil joint policy proposals Wednesday that were seen as more liberal than Biden's more moderate original positions. "Biden's wilful attack on our jobs, our families, and the American way of life will reverse all the gains we've made together and plunge us into economic catastrophe," Trump campaign spokesman Hogan Gidley said. With polls showing Trump trailing Biden on virtually all issues except the economy, the president has focused his efforts on reopening and reviving businesses ravaged by the pandemic, even as new infections surge. Biden holds a sizeable 8.8 per cent lead over Trump nationally, according to a RealClearPolitics poll aggregate. Biden also leads in polling in swing states that Trump won in 2016, including Florida, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.
(RTTNews) - Indian shares may open lower on Friday as investors react to weak global cues and disappointing corporate updates. Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS) reported a 13.8 percent fall in fiscal-first quarter profit from a year earlier, but said the recovery trajectory will be faster than what was seen during the global financial crisis. Tata Steel said its consolidated sales fell an annual 22.8 percent to 5.28 million tonnes (MT) during the April-June quarter, as the Covid-19 outbreak and ensuing mobility restrictions impacted industrial activity and consumer sentiment across all geographies. Tata Motors said that Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) retail sales for June fell 24.9 percent from a year earlier, but improved month-on-month through the quarter. India's GDP will contract by 3 percent in FY21 because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, assuming the economy will open up fully from mid-August, foreign brokerage Bank of America said. The brokerage said the contraction may go up to 5 percent if the crisis prolongs. Benchmark indexes Sensex and the Nifty rose over 1 percent on Thursday, while the rupee rose by two paise to close at 74.99 against the dollar. Asian markets are moving lower this morning amid growth concerns