Where are oil prices now? In late afternoon European deals, international benchmark London Brent North Sea oil stood at $31.04 per barrel, compared with $34.36 last Thursday before talks began.US benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude meanwhile traded at $21.81 a barrel on Tuesday, down from $26.80.Both contracts had crashed late last month on virus-linked demand fears and a Saudi-Russia crude price war. Global oil traders have shrugged off Sunday’s historic output-cutting deal by OPEC and its allies, with prices languishing not far from recent two-decade lows.The market failed to win traction from the deal, which fell short of expectations and resulted from Easter weekend video-conference talks led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. WTI had slumped as low as just $19.27 per barrel on March 30, when Brent had also nosedived to $21.65 per barrel. Those levels were last witnessed in 2002.The collapse prompted top producers to tighten the taps to stop hemorrhaging precious oil revenues. Are the cuts enough? OPEC producers dominated by Riyadh, and their allies led by Moscow, thrashed out a compromise deal on Sunday to cut production by 9.7 million barrels per day from May.Yet traders remain doubtful over the impact because the cuts nevertheless fell short of expectations, amid fears over plunging demand on COVID-19 fallout.”The OPEC+ deal has received the underwhelming reception it deserves, frankly, with producers delivering right at the bottom end of expectations after days of talks,” said OANDA analyst Craig Erlam.”This may be the largest ever cut but we are living through an unprecedented event and demand has fallen off a cliff.”Futures briefly bounced Tuesday after US President Donald Trump tweeted producers were considering cutting 20 million barrels per day.Influential Saudi energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman also indicated cutbacks by OPEC and its allies, together with pledges from other G20 nations and purchases by strategic reserves, could remove 19.5 mbpd from the market.”There is still a lot uncertainty over whether the reduction in output will be enough,” said Markets.com analyst Neil Wilson.”Most think OPEC and allies have not done enough to prop up prices in the near term, albeit they do seem to have shown a willingness to prevent a complete collapse.” What is market outlook ? Global oil supplies are currently outstripping global demand by as much as 30 million barrels per day, according to Alfa Energy chairman John Hall. “What we have to remember is that the supply-demand imbalance could be as high as 30 mbpd,” Hall told AFP.”A recent figure from OPEC has warned of a figure of 14.7 mbpd, so this cut — although the largest ever — is probably not even half way to what is actually needed to supposedly re-balance the market.”Rystad Energy predicts oil demand will hit 28 million barrels per day (mbpd) in April and 21 mbpd in May.That is far below “normal” demand of 100 mbpd, according to Rystad.The IMF meanwhile forecast Tuesday that oil prices will likely remain below $43 throughout 2023 due to “persistently weak demand” in a deep global recession sparked by coronavirus.However, the IMF did also admit that the rapidly falling cost of oil — which greases the wheels of the global economy — should nevertheless give a big boost to consumer nations. Will OPEC deal be respected? Compliance among OPEC member nations over the cartel’s production quotas has long been a controversial topic, analysts agree.”We should not forget how difficult OPEC found it to comply with the production quotas in the past three years,” said Commerzbank analyst Eugen Weinberg.”In fact, compliance was achieved mainly thanks to involuntary production outages and over-compliance on the part of Saudi Arabia.”ING analyst Warren Patterson added: “The group has agreed on historic cuts, and now we have to see whether they will stick to them.”Unlike previous deals, it is hard to see the likes of Saudi Arabia cutting output by more than their quota, in order to make up for shortfalls from others, given the scale that they have already agreed to cut.” What next? Many industry experts expect the global oil market will remain caught between plentiful crude and virus-ravaged demand for the foreseeable future.”With the coronavirus-led slowdown taking a toll on the global oil demand, the supply side news could be rapidly forgotten,” said Swissquote Bank analyst Ipek Ozkardeskaya.”The historic cut did not spark the market reaction that oil producers were hoping for.”Wide controversies among oil producer nations hinted that a further action is probably unlikely.” Topics :
*This information was sourced from the government’s Covid-19: Support for Businesses guide and the British Business Bank. Coronavirus Business Interruption LoanWhat is it?This temporary loan scheme is designed to give SMEs access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5m for up to six years.The government will make a business interruption payment to cover 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees, so SMEs benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments.Who is eligible? UK-based businesses with an annual turnover of no more than £45m. To qualify, you must also have a borrowing proposal the lender would consider viable were it not for the current pandemic and be able to self-certify that you have been adversely impacted by coronavirus.What’s the process?1. Firstly, find a lender. More than 40 accredited lenders across the UK are involved in the scheme and you can view them here.2. Secondly, approach the lender. You should do this yourself, ideally via the lender’s website. Keep in mind there is likely to be high demand for these facilities so phone lines will be busy and branches may not be able to handle queries in person.To apply for the business loan, you will need the following information:The amount you would like to borrowWhat the money is forThe period over which you will make the repayments.You will also need to provide supporting documents to prove you can afford to repay the loan. This is likely to include the following, although it might vary from lender to lender.Management accountsCashflow forecastBusiness planHistoric accountsDetails of assets.3. The lender will then make a decision. If they turn you down, you can approach other lenders within the scheme. Future Fund What is it? A £500m investment fund for high-growth companies impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, made up of funding from both the government and the private sector. Launching in May and delivered in partnership with the British Business Bank, the fund will provide UK-based companies with convertible loans of between £125k and £5m from the government, subject to at least equal match funding from private investors.The loans will then convert into equity – at a 20% discount – on the company’s next funding round or at the end of the loan if it hasn’t been repaid. Who is eligible?The scheme is open to “innovative” companies in sectors ranging from tech to life sciences, to ensure they can continue to drive growth. It is also a suitable option for businesses that rely on equity investment and cannot access the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.Business registered in the UK must have raised at least £250k in equity investment from third party investors within the last five years to be elegible.If the business is part of a corporate group, only the ultimate parent company can receive the loan. What’s the process?As the scheme has not yet launched, more details will be published by the government in “due course”. What is clear at the moment is that a business needs to be able to secure private investment to qualify. Bounce Back Loan SchemeWhat is is?The government’s latest scheme providing small businesses with micro-loans of between £2k and £50k – up to 25% of turnover – with the cash made available within days.The loans will be 100% government-backed, so lenders will not have to take on any risk in case of default. Interest is free for the first 12 months. During the first year, there will also not be any repayments due.Who is eligible?You can apply for a Bounce Back loan if your business is based in the UK, has been negatively affected by coronavirus and was not an “undertaking in difficulty” on 31 December 2019.You cannot apply if you have already received funding under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.What’s the process?The scheme is due to launch on 4 May and the government has vowed it will be easy and straight forward to apply for the loans, through a short, standardised online application to one of the accredited lenders. More details will be released in “due course”. Guide to SMEs_Article image_long,This is the first in our free series, Guide for SMEs which aims to provide practical, actionable advice for small food and drink brands impacted by the coronavirus crisisThe government has announced a broad package of measures to support UK businesses through the coronavirus crisis. So what financial help can food and drink SMEs get? And what do they need to do?Chancellor Rushi Sunak has unveiled a number of schemes and services to help SMEs battle their way through the disruption caused by the coronavirus crisis.They range from a job retention scheme allowing businesses to ‘furlough’ employees until the crisis is over, to delayed tax payments, sick pay relief, business grants and loans.To find out exactly what’s on offer, who is eligible and how to apply, just follow the links below:The Coronavirus Job Retention SchemeDeferring VAT paymentsDeferring Self-Assessment payments on accountTime to Pay serviceStatutory Sick Pay relief package for small and medium sized businesses Small Business Grant SchemeCoronavirus Business Interruption Loan SchemeProtection from eviction for commercial tenantsFuture FundBounce Back Loan SchemeThe coronavirus job retention schemeWhat is it?This temporary scheme is to support employers whose operations have been “severely affected by coronavirus”.It allows employees to furlough staff who can’t do their jobs during the crisis – which essentially means keeping them on the payroll even though they aren’t working.Businesses can claim 80% of their employees’ wages back from the government, up to a maximum of £2,500 per person, per month before tax.The scheme is open from 1 March 2020 until June, and businesses can claim at any time during that period. It may be extended further if necessary.Who can apply?The scheme is open to all UK businesses that created and started a PAYE payroll scheme by 28 February 2020.Employees can be on any type of contact – including full-time, part-time, agency, flexible or zero-hour contracts.However, you can only claim for furloughed employees that were on your payroll on or before 28 February 2020 – so you wouldn’t be able to claim for a new member of staff who joined the business after that date, for example.Employees must be furloughed for a minimum period of three consecutive weeks. They can be furloughed multiple times, but each separate instance must be for a minimum period of three consecutive weeks.When considering who to offer furlough to, remember that equality and discrimination laws will apply in the usual way.What is the process? 1. Firstly, you should discuss any changes with your staff, and then confirm in writing to employees that have been furloughed (keep a record of that communication for five years).2. Next, gather the information you need to apply:Your ePAYE reference numberThe number of employees being furloughedThe claim period (start and end date)Amount claimed (per the minimum length of furloughing of three consecutive weeks)Your bank account number and sort codeYour contact nameYour phone number.3. Calculate the amount you are claiming – bearing in mind HMRC has the right to audit all aspects of your claim.4. Make a claim through the government’s online service. This is not available yet but should be functional by the end of April 2020, the government claims.Keep an eye on the government’s online portal – which also has more detailed information on the scheme. Any claims can be backdated to 1 March 2020 where employees have already been furloughed.5. Once HMRC has checked your claim it will be paid by BACS into your UK bank account. You must then pay the employee the entire grant you receive for their gross pay.What happens when the scheme ends?You’ll have to make a decision – depending on your current circumstances – as to whether employees can return to their normal duties.If not, it may be necessary to consider redundancy – or transferring them to a new or different role. Deferring VAT paymentsWhat does it mean?The government is allowing businesses to defer value-added tax (VAT) payments for three months.In other words, if you have a VAT payment due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020, you have the option to defer the payment until a later date. However, you will still need to submit your VAT returns to HMRC on time.Who is eligible?Any UK VAT-registered business can choose to either defer their payments or continue paying VAT as normal. The scheme doesn’t cover payments for VAT MOSS or import VAT.What’s the process?You don’t need to tell HMRC that you are deferring your VAT payment. If you normally pay by direct debit, simply contact your bank to cancel the direct debit.What happens when it ends? If you choose to defer your VAT payment because of coronavirus, you must pay the VAT due by 31 March 2021. The government has yet to confirm how to repay the VAT you’ve deferred, so keep an eye on its online portal for the latest advice.VAT payments due from the end of the deferral period will have to be paid as normal. Time to Pay serviceWhat is it? This is additional government support for businesses struggling to pay outstanding taxes as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.Who is eligible? Any business in financial distress due to coronavirus that pays taxes to the UK government and has outstanding tax liabilities can apply. However, decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis depending on your individual circumstances and liabilities.What’s the process? If you’ve already missed a payment, or you are worried about your next payment, just call HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 024 1222. Statutory sick pay relief package for small and medium-sized businesses What is it?Under this scheme, SMEs can reclaim their employees’ coronavirus-related statutory sick pay.Who is eligible?Businesses with fewer than 250 employees with a payroll scheme that was created and started before 28 February 2020.The repayment will cover the current rate of SSP for up to two weeks starting from the first day of sickness for any employees that either have coronavirus or cannot work because they are self-isolating at home. They don’t need to give you a doctor’s note to make a claim.The scheme covers part-time and full-time staff as well as those on flexible or zero-hour contracts and agency staff.What’s the process?First, keep a record of all statutory sick payments you want to claim from HMRC, including:The reason why an employee could not workDetails of each sickness period when an employee could not work including start and end datesThe National Insurance numbers of all employees who you have paid SSP to.You will have to keep these records for at least three years following your claim.To make a claim, you’ll need to use the government’s SSP online service. However, it’s not available yet, so keep an eye on HMRC’s guidance for more details. Deferring self-assessment payments on accountWhat is it?If you were due to pay a self-assessment payment on account by 31 July 2020 but the impact of coronavirus is making that difficult, you can defer payment until January 2021.Who is eligible?You are eligible if you were due to pay your second self-assessment payment on account on 31 July.What’s the process?This is an automatic scheme, so there is no need to apply. Simply make the payment by January 2021. Small business grant schemeWhat is it?A one-off grant of £10,000 for small businesses to help meet ongoing costs.Who is eligible?Any business based in England that occupies a property and was receiving small business rates relief or rural rates relief as of 11 March.What’s the process?Contact your relevant local authority. If you are eligible, they should contact you – but some local authorities have decided to operate an online application process. Protection from eviction for commercial tenantsWhat is it?Under this scheme, commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of coronavirus will be protected from eviction.It’s not a rental holiday – commercial tenants will still be liable for the rent – however, they will be protected from eviction if they miss a payment up until 30 June. The government will extend this period if needed.Who is eligible?All commercial tenants in England, Wales and Northern IrelandWhat’s the process? No action is required – the change will come into force when the Coronavirus Bill receives Royal Assent
New figures from the ABS shows first home buyers are growing. Picture: iStock.THE number of first home buyers in the nation’s housing market has hit a six-year high, with Queensland recording one of the biggest jumps in owner-occupier loans.New home lending figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveal the share of first home buyers rose from 26.8 per cent to 27.1 per cent in February.Not including refinancing, the number of owner-occupier home loans rose the most in the Northern Territory (14.2 per cent), followed by the ACT (7.4 per cent), Tasmania (6.2 per cent) and Queensland (4.1 per cent). New home lending figures show the share of first home buyers in the market has risen.Commsec chief economist Craig James said the lift in home lending in February was encouraging.“The softer home prices are certainly bringing more first home buyers into the market,” Mr James said.“And lower home prices give cashed-up buyers more choice if loan size doesn’t change.”Prime Minister Scott Morrison took to Twitter to welcome the figures, tweeting: “New economic data shows 110,000 first home buyers in the past year. More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus13 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market13 hours ago“Over 275,000 since the last election.“First home buyers as a share of the market up 5 percentage points since the last election. #BuildingOurEconomy” New figures show first home buyers are at a six-year high.Property Investment Professionals of Australia chairman Peter Koulizos said the figures showed federal Labor’s proposed changes to negative gearing and capital gains tax concessions to help first home buyers get in to the market were not needed.“The proposed changes may have the desired effect in improving housingaffordability — but at what cost?” Mr Koulizos said.“Housing will become more affordable because house prices will drop.“Why does the ALP want to make housing more affordable for potential first home buyers by causing residential property prices to fall all over the country?”But Suburbanite chief executive Anna Porter said there should have been more financial stimulus in the federal budget to help first home buyers.“They have somewhat tried to address this indirectly by focusing on a proposal of the fast trains linking major CBDs to more affordable satellite cities,” she said.“One would imagine this will be attractive for first home buyers to get into more affordable housing where they can still access employment. “However, this proposal to put in a fast train from Wollongong to Sydney, Geelong to Melbourne, Brisbane to Sunshine Coast and a few other regional hubs could in fact have the opposite effect and boost prices in these areas, thus further pricing out first home buyers.“It will be a boost to those economies and in turn the real estate market, but we certainly won’t see an immediate impact of this.”
A shortage of sales stock on the Coast is forcing buyers, like Brooke McMurray, to take matters into their own hands. Picture: Jerad WilliamsA SHORTAGE of sales stock on the Gold Coast is forcing desperate buyers to take matters into their own hands as they struggle to find a property to call home.While buyer activity on the Coast has bounced back strongly post COVID-19, sellers have been slower to return to the comeback party.For the past three months Brooke McMurray has been searching for a family home within the Palm Beach-Currumbin State High School catchment without success. MORE: New boutique estate just 200m from beach MORE: Developer lists luxe riverfront residence With her former Sydney home already on the market and her Palm Beach rental lease up in August, the pressure is mounting. “I honestly didn’t think it would be this hard,” Ms McMurray said. “The next step is to do a letterbox drop in a few of the streets we’d like to live on and see what comes of that.”Other frustrated house hunters are turning to buyers’ agents for help, including Robin Hughes who has been house hunting for six months after moving from London.Buyers’ agents are licensed real estate agents who specialise in searching, evaluating and negotiating the purchase of a property on behalf of a buyer. Inside the Gold Coast’s biggest sale of the week Rundown deceased estate fetches $1.48m in hectic auction More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa7 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag1 day agoThat investment paid off for Mr Hughes who this week signed a contract on his dream home at Mermaid Waters.“After six months of putting our names down with agents and looking at so many properties every week, we had just had enough,” he said.“The buyers’ agent turned it all around within a week. It’s the best thing we did. We would never have been able to handle the negotiations the way he did. He cut through all the crap.”REIQ Gold Coast zone chair Andrew Henderson said COVID-19 restrictions and health concerns were holding back sellers who were then faced with the same issue as buyers.“One of the biggest factors limiting sales stock is that those who do sell need to move to something else and those properties may not be there,” he said.“For months now owners have also had their own health concerns about COVID-19 and restrictions on movement.”
This is not fiction! It’s the real story of a man who identified as a woman but who now identifies as a female dragon.
Provincial planning and development officer Juliana Cepe said on May 21 that the sugar migrants, or locally known as sacadas, have been allowed to return home after this province shifted to general community quarantine.“We are still expecting more than 900 residents to arrive in the coming days from Negros Occidental. Antique is expecting a total of 2,223 returnees,” she added. “The local finance committee of the provincial government of Antique is now in the process of preparing the cash assistance that would be given to the sugar migrants,” said Cepe. The sacadas are currently undergoing mandatory 14-day quarantine in the COVID-19 patient care centers set up by their respective local government units.The first batch, composed of 578 sugar migrants arrived on May 19 while another 646 followed the next day. All of them came home via Dumangas port in Dumangas, Iloilo. Cepe said the contractors arranged the transport and paid for the fare of the Atiqueño sacadas.The provincial government, through its Sacada Desk, coordinated with the provincial disaster risk reduction and management office to pick up the sugar migrants, she added. Some sacadas might still be contemplating on going back to Negros Occidental when work is available once again, she added.(With a report from PNA/PN) After being stranded in Negros Occidental due to the enhanced community quarantine caused by coronavirus disease 2019, sugar migrants return to Antique on May 19 via roll-on, roll-off vessels that docked at the Dumangas port in Dumangas, Iloilo. So far, a total of 1,224 sugar migrants already returned to the province. PDRRMO ANTIQUE SAN JOSE, Antique – A total of 1,224 sugar migrants in this province who were stranded in Negros Occidental due to travel restrictions amid coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic finally returned home. According to Cepe, the sugar migrants will be receiving financial assistance from the provincial government to sustain their daily needs.
Tom Izzo is the head basketball coach at Michigan State University. His team was the 2000 NCAA Champion. Believe it or not, that is the last time the Big Ten has won the championship. His team was in the 2009 title game as well, but did not win. Izzo’s teams have been Big Ten champs 7 times in his tenure. They were in the Final Four again this year.Not many people knew of Izzo when he replaced Jud Heathcote. Heathcote led Michigan State to many Big Ten wins including a team led by Magic Johnson. Heathcote, who is a North Dakota native, is now 88 years old. Izzo’s teams always seem to improve as much as or more than most college teams do in a single season. Those of you who root for IU or Purdue hope this string comes to an end this season.
March 16, 2018 Police Blotter031618 Decatur County Law Report031618 Decatur County EMS Report031618 Decatur County Fire Report031618 Decatur County Jail Report031618 Batesville Police Blotter
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It is the first big holiday of the summer season! Today is Memorial Day! Even though a lot of schools still have a week left on their schedule, everybody considers this the beginning of summer.The high school spring sports are either in their last week of the tournament (such as track) or just in the beginning (such as girls softball). It used to be the biggest day in auto racing, but when the weather cooperates the Indy 500 and the Coco-Cola 600 now take place on Sunday. It used to be double-header day for major league baseball. Now you are lucky if your team even plays one game on Memorial Day.Enjoy the day and the beginning of summer!