Companies burn coal, lignite, and even oil to keep lights on

Rev 6:3-4 NCV When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!”4 Then another horse came out, a red one. Its rider was given power to take away peace (prosperity, rest) from the earth and to make people kill each other (butcher, slaughter, to maim violently, in streets), and he was given a big sword (assassins sword, terrorist, loud, mighty, sore afraid).

Important Takeaways:

  • Europe has never paid so much for power as costs soar more than 200% to record
  • The average cost of power for delivery in the short-term is on track to end the year at record levels, rising over 200 per cent in Germany, France, Spain and the U.K.
  • In the Nordic region — where vast supplies of hydro power tend to cap prices — costs surged 470 per cent from a year earlier.
  • Europe’s energy crunch was a result of shortages of natural gas just as demand rebounded following 2020’s lockdowns. The crisis was also aggravated by lower than normal wind speeds and nuclear power outages that have strained power grids, forcing the region’s energy companies to burn polluting fossil fuels.
  • Companies burned coal, lignite and even oil to keep the lights on, the cost of buying permits to pollute surged.

Read the original article by clicking here.

COVID cases break records across Europe as winter takes hold

By Krisztina Than and Nikolaj Skydsgaard

BUDAPEST (Reuters) – Coronavirus infections are hitting record levels in many countries across Europe as winter takes hold, prompting a call for action from the World Health Organization which described the new wave as a “grave concern.”

Soaring numbers of cases, especially in Eastern Europe, have prompted debate on whether to reintroduce curbs on movement before the Christmas holiday season and on how to persuade more people to get vaccinated.

That conversation comes as some countries in Asia, with the notable exception of China, reopen their tourism sectors to the rest of the world.

“The current pace of transmission across the 53 countries of the European Region is of grave concern,” regional WHO head Hans Kluge said, adding that the spread was exacerbated by the more transmissible Delta variant.

The virus spreads faster in the winter months when people gather indoors.

Kluge warned earlier that if Europe followed its current trajectory, there could be 500,000 COVID-related deaths in the region by February.

“We must change our tactics, from reacting to surges of COVID-19, to preventing them from happening in the first place,” he said.

The region saw a 6% increase in new cases last week, with nearly 1.8 million new cases, compared to the week before. The number of deaths rose 12% in the same period.

Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, reported 33,949 new infections, the highest daily increase since the start of the pandemic last year. Cases in Russia and Ukraine are soaring.

Austria’s daily new coronavirus infections surged towards a record set a year ago, making a lockdown for the unvaccinated ever more likely.

COVID-19 prevalence in England rose to its highest level on record in October, Imperial College London said, led by a high numbers of cases in children and a surge in the southwest.

Slovakia reported 6,713 new cases, also a record, while daily new cases in Hungary more than doubled from last week to 6,268. Poland, Eastern Europe’s biggest economy, reported 15,515 daily cases on Thursday, the highest figure since April. Croatia and Slovenia on Thursday both reported record daily infections.


China is also on high alert at ports of entry to reduce the risk of COVID-19 cases entering from abroad, and has stepped up restrictions amid a growing outbreak less than 100 days before the Beijing Winter Olympics.

Authorities have also tightened curbs in the capital ahead of a major gathering of the top members of the Communist Party next week.

Since mid-October, over 700 locally transmitted cases with confirmed symptoms have been reported in China. While the number is tiny compared with other countries, it has led to a growing wave of restrictions under Beijing’s zero-tolerance policy.

In Central Europe, Hungary has trimmed its 2021 GDP growth projection to 6.8% from 7.0-7.5% due to a rise in inflation, energy prices, and the risks stemming from COVID-19, the finance minister said, flagging the possibility of some new restrictions in a country where there are currently hardly any curbs in place.

Slovakia’s Finance Ministry cut its forecasts for 2021 and 2022 growth in September, saying a new wave of COVID-19 cases will hit consumer demand and the labor market at the end of the year although the impact will not be as strong as earlier in the pandemic. Poland’s central bank left its projections unchanged.


The Hungarian government has urged people to take up vaccines and last week announced mandatory vaccinations at state institutions, also empowering private companies to make jabs mandatory for employees if they believe that is necessary.

Romania – where hospitals cannot cope with a surge in COVID-19 patients – the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland have all tightened rules on mask wearing and introduced measures to curb infections.

The Czech Republic has introduced a requirement for restaurant customers to show proof of vaccination or a test. It also has tough mask regulations and some children are again being tested in schools in areas where cases are higher.

In Poland, mask wearing is mandatory in enclosed public spaces while cinemas, theatres and hotels have a 75% capacity limit. The Hungarian government has not replied to Reuters questions on potential measures.

(Reporting by Krisztina Than in Budapest and Nicolaj Skydsgaard in Copenhagen; Additional reporting by Jason Hovet, Alan Charlish and bureaux worldwide; Writing by Nick Macfie; Editing by Frances Kerry)

Tech leads Wall Street higher; jobs data falls short

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S.,June 2, 2017.REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. stocks closed at record levels for a second consecutive session on Friday, as gains in technology and industrial stocks more than offset a lukewarm jobs report.

Nonfarm payrolls increased by 138,000 in May, well short of the 185,000 expected by economists. The prior two months were revised lower by 66,000 jobs than previously reported.

Average hourly earnings rose 0.2 percent in May, following a similar gain in April, but the unemployment rate fell to a 16-year low of 4.3 percent.

Despite the disappointing data, market participants still largely anticipate the Federal Reserve to raise rates at its June 13-14 meeting, with traders expecting a 90.7-percent chance of a quarter-point hike, according to Thomson Reuters data.

“It’s certainly surprising. It doesn’t really correlate well with virtually all the other data on the labor market that we’re seeing,” said Russell Price, senior economist at Ameriprise Financial Services Inc in Troy, Michigan.

The modest increase, however, could raise concerns about the economy’s health after gross domestic product growth slowed in the first quarter and a string of softening data this week, including reports on housing and auto sales.

The economy needs to create 75,000 to 100,000 jobs per month to keep up with growth in the working-age population. Job gains are slowing as the labor market nears full employment.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> rose 62.11 points, or 0.29 percent, to 21,206.29, the S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 9.01 points, or 0.37 percent, to 2,439.07 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 58.97 points, or 0.94 percent, to 6,305.80.

For the week, the S&P rose 0.95 percent, the Dow added 0.59 percent and the Nasdaq gained 1.54 percent.

Industrials <.SPLRCI>, up 0.49 percent, and technology <.SPLRCT>, up 1.04 percent, were the best performing sectors. The tech sector has been the top performer among the major S&P sectors, with a 2017 gain of 21.26 percent.

The tech sector was led by Broadcom <AVGO.O>, which rose more than 8 percent to hit an all-time high of $253.76, after the chipmaker’s quarterly results beat analysts’ expectations.

Shares of financials <.SPSY>, which benefit from higher interest rates, fell as much as 0.9 percent after the jobs data sparked some worry the Fed could become cautious after the June meeting, and closed down 0.37 percent.

Energy <.SPNY> was the worst-performing sector, down 1.18 percent. Brent oil tumbled below $50 a barrel on worries that President Donald Trump’s decision to abandon a climate pact could spark more crude drilling in the United States and worsen a global glut.

Lululemon Athletica <LULU.O> jumped 11.5 percent to $54.29 after the athletic apparel maker’s quarterly profit beat estimates.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.34-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.07-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 28 new 52-week highs and 11 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 82 new highs and 70 new lows.

About 6.37 billion shares changed hands in U.S. exchanges, compared with the 6.65 billion daily average over the last 20 sessions.

(Additional reporting by Herb Lash; Editing by Nick Zieminski)