Global Markets: Massive explosion devastates Beirut

Death toll reaches 100, expected to rise

By MarketsFarm

WINNIPEG, Aug. 5 (MarketsFarm) – The following is a glance at the news moving markets in Canada and globally.

– The death toll from the Aug. 4 blast that levelled Beirut’s port and parts of Lebanon’s capital city reached 100 as of Tuesday. There are more than 4,000 injured and a great many victims believed to be accounted for. The most likely cause of the explosion was 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored in a warehouse was set off by a fire. The cause of the blaze has yet to be determined. The enormous blast reportedly registered at 3.3 on the Richter scale. It has left approximately 300,000 people homeless and caused about US$5 billion in damages. Prior to the explosion, Lebanon was already contending with severe economic problems and civil strife.

– A record number of Canadian companies sought creditor protection in May and June due to pandemic lockdown measures, according to a CBC report. In May, 10 major companies filed for protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act with 12 more in June. That topped the nine corporations that sought protection in December 2011 and the eight in October 2009.

– Gold remained above US$2,000 per ounce on Tuesday morning as the markets fear the COVID-19 pandemic will plunge the global economy into chaos. The weakening the of the United States dollar triggered the rally in gold, as that country’s economy faces tremendous economic uncertainty due to the pandemic as well as greatly strained relations with China. One financial house predicted the precious metal could reach US$2,300 per ounce.

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