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Weekly News Summary for February 7-13, 2020

Friday, Feb 7, 2020: US Nonfarm Payrolls Climb to 225,000 in January

The US labor market rose further to 225,000 in January, as the unexpectedly solid rate of job growth continued in the month.

Data released by the Labor Department on Friday showed unemployment also inched up by 3.6% in January, but for the right reason, as employment improved by 0.2 percentage points to 63.4%, matching its highest level since June 2013.

Monday, February 10, 2020: Coronavirus Death Toll Rises to 910

The death toll from the Chinese coronavirus continued to grow on Monday and now surpasses the fatalities caused by the SARS virus in 2003.

After several days of declining infection rates, the death toll from the new virus outbreak reached 910, with the World Health Organization warning that that could be just the tip of the iceberg and one senior local scientist saying the incubation period could take as much as 24 days instead of 14 days.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020: Lyft Q4 Revenue Beats Forecasts but Shares Drops

Lyft’s fourth quarter earnings of 2019 managed to beat analysts’ expectations in terms of revenue and active users, although its shares dropped by 5.5% in after-hours trading, after the ride-hailing company stick to its later date of projected profitability.

Lyft reported on Tuesday a revenue of $1.02 billion, which surpassed forecasts of $984 million, while its active rider customer base grew to 22.9 million at the end of 2019, compared to analysts’ estimate of 22.8 million, but its loss per share of $1.19 ended lower than the expected $1.39.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020: Vision Fund Losses Knock Down SoftBank Q3 Profit

SoftBank Group’s latest quarterly profit came close to getting wiped out, as the Japanese tech firm suffered its second quarterly loss at its $100 billion Vision Fund.

The company’s third-quarter operating income fell 99% to 2.59 million yen, with the Vision Fund leading the declines, recording an operating loss of 225 billion yen for the quarter against the 176 billion yen profit generated in the same period a year earlier.

Thursday, February 13, 2020: Stock Rally Pauses as New Coronavirus Cases Grew

Stock rally in Asia took a breather on Thursday, while bonds climbed and trade-exposed currencies dropped, as the sharp increase of fatalities due to the new coronavirus and infections weakened the possibility that the outbreak was slowing.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.2% to snap two days of 1% gains, while the 10-year US Treasuries declined 1.6%, and the Japanese yen rose past 110 per dollar.

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