What Moved Global Markets
– Global cases: More than 2.0 million
– Global deaths: At least 119,500
– U.S. deaths topped 23,500
- World Health Organization officials warned against easing coronavirus restrictions too early. For example, construction and factory workers in Spain return to work on Monday as the government lifts some of the most stringent lockdown measures, but opposition parties caution against an “imprudent” relaxation of the rules.
- WHO also said that not all people who recover from the coronavirus have the antibodies to fight a second infection, raising questions as to whether or not patients develop immunity after surviving COVID-19.
- Stocks fell, giving back some of the sharp gains from the previous week, as investors continued to weigh the coronavirus outlook along with a historic oil production cut.
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 505 points, or 2.1%. The S&P 500 fell 1.8% while the Nasdaq Composite pulled back 0.7%.
- Gold soared over 1.5% to its highest in more than seven years on Monday, as panicked investors scurried towards the safe-haven metal on fears of a coronavirus blow to the global economy and U.S. corporate earnings.
What Moved Crypto Markets (i.e. digital assets)
- Crypto exchange Binance has rolled out trading in bitcoin options. Binance said its options product provides a shorter time frame compared to traditional options, ranging from 10 minutes to 1 day. There is also only one strike price, which is equivalent to the contract price on Binance Futures when traders exercise their rights.
- Huobi Global has launched Star Atlas, an on-chain analytics tool to monitor illicit cryptocurrency transactions – to identify and detect crimes like fraud, money laundering and other problematic activities.
Fintech: Amid the pandemic, financial giants also go digital: American Express has moved just about all customer service and travel operations to virtual, home-based operations and committed to no COVID-19-related layoffs in 2020. The company is offering special discounts to cardholders for home essentials, food delivery and takeout, digital entertainment, wellness and business services.
Healthtech: MIT launched its new Solve Health Security and Pandemics Challenge, which is designed to produce both short-term solutions to the impact of the current pandemic as well as longer-term strategies for future crises. There are several rounds of review in the Solve selection process, with 50 to 60 experts from both inside and outside MIT reading every application. In addition to the new health challenge, Solve issued its 2020 Global Challenges earlier this year related to jobs and entrepreneurship among marginalized populations, sustainable food systems, maternal and newborn health, and access to education for marginalized girls and women.
AI: Google today released a natural language processing systems benchmark — Xtreme — with nine tasks that require reasoning about semantics across 40 languages and 12 language families. Researchers at the tech giant assert it can evaluate whether AI models capture knowledge shared across languages, which can be useful for a growing number of natural language applications. The goal is to spur on research in the AI multilingual learning domain, where the bulk of recent work has investigated whether the structure of data-sparse languages might be leveraged to train robust machine learning models.
Smart cities: In Spain, energy companies are launching a platform called Positive Energy+ to support start-ups in the development of projects to deal with the impact of COVID-19 through innovation. Positive Energy + wants to attract start-ups and scale-ups that have innovative projects that can be launched immediately and developed and implemented in the maximum term of one year.
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