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Cathie Wood’s ETF assets fall below $40bn, but loyal fans hang on | Financial Markets News



The founder of Ark Investment Management LLC now controls $39.7bn in her US exchange traded funds, down from more than $60bn at a peak in February, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

With tech’s recent pummeling, the cash Cathie Wood is managing in her ETF lineup has just dropped below $40 billion — but her loyal fan base is largely hanging on for the ride.

The founder of Ark Investment Management LLC now controls $39.7 billion in her U.S. exchange-traded funds, down from more than $60 billion at a peak in February, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The firm is now the 11th largest issuer in the U.S., compared with seventh place earlier this year.

A huge portion of the loss is due to the value of her holdings dropping sharply, as speculative tech names with soaring valuations and massive runs come back down to earth. Her flagship ARK Innovation ETF (ARKK) has fallen about 35% from its high. Still, the mass exodus some had anticipated during a period of underperformance hasn’t yet materialized, with traders pulling just $76 million from the fund in April and $301 million so far in May, compared to the $7.1 billion added in the first three months of the year.

“It appears that investors still believe in Cathie Wood’s philosophy and think possibly the pullback is short term,” said Mohit Bajaj, director of ETFs for WallachBeth Capital.

In fact, the firm’s ETFs have still taken in a net $15.3 billion so far in 2021. The eight-product lineup — six actively managed funds and two tracking indexes — has roughly only lost a net $800 million since the end of February.

While retail activity has declined in the broad market, it seems day traders are ready to stick with Ark. About $1.1 billion of the $28 billion added to the family of funds since November can be attributed to retail investors, according to a report from Vanda Research.

“In periods when Ark ETFs have seen large redemptions, retail investors have actually bought the dip, further highlighting the institutional-retail divide,” wrote analysts Ben Onatibia and Giacomo Pierantoni.

Throughout the downturn, Wood has said repeatedly that her strategies haven’t changed and that she invests with a five-year time horizon. She even added to her stakes in Twitter Inc., Roku Inc., Skillz Inc. and Peloton Interactive Inc. last week.

Some are now questioning just how long the funds’ drop will last, especially as dip buyers step in. ARKK rose in early trading before falling 3.3% as of 1 p.m. in New York.

Open interest in bullish call options on ARKK is at an all-time high, and even similarly elevated activity in bearish put contracts has historically come before a bounce, Chris Murphy at Susquehanna International Group wrote in a note.

“It has become oversold on a technical basis,” said Matt Maley, chief market strategist at Miller Tabak & Co. “The weak hands have already sold, so we’re now in the ‘wait and see’ mode. If Ark funds can bounce strongly, the all clear flag will be raised.”

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Israel allows limited Gaza exports, one month after truce | Gaza News




Israel has allowed a limited resumption of commercial exports from the besieged Gaza Strip in what it called a “conditional” measure, one month after a truce halted an 11-day offensive on the Strip.

“Following a security evaluation, a decision has been made for the first time since the end of (the fighting) to enable … (the) limited export of agricultural produce from the Gaza Strip,” COGAT, a branch of Israel’s Defence Ministry, said on Monday.

COGAT said the measure was approved by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s government and was “conditional upon the preservation of security stability”.

Palestinian officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to talk to the media, said 11 truckloads of clothes were exported through Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing for the first time in 40 days. On Sunday, Israel said it would allow limited agricultural exports from Gaza.

A Palestinian police officer searches a truck’s fabrics cargo slated for export at the Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, June 21, 2021. [Said Khatib/AFP]

The easing also included the resumption of mail service in and out of Gaza, according to Saleh al-Zeq, an official from the Palestinian Authority’s liaison committee. Thousands of passports and paperwork have been delayed since the fighting between Israel and Hamas, the Palestinian group that rules Gaza, broke out on May 10.

However, other restrictions by Israel remain in place and are taking a toll on different sectors in Gaza.

On Monday, a Pepsi bottling plant said it was closing and laying off 250 workers because raw materials needed to stay in business were being kept away. Instead, the company will import ready-made products from its factory in the occupied West Bank.

“The raw materials have not been allowed. We have been waiting for them for 60 days,” said Hammam Alyazji, development manager at the factory. The materials include carbon dioxide and syrup.

The resumption of exports does not include fish, said Nezzar Ayyash of the fishermen’s union. He said Israel reduced the fishing by more than half, keeping it at six nautical miles (11kilometres) instead of 20 miles (37km), as agreed upon in the Oslo Accords.

“This is very bad for the livelihood of fishermen; buying power is low in Gaza and the fishermen barely make up their fuel expenses,” he said.

Other restrictions include a limit on the number of medical patients who can get treatment in Israel or the occupied West Bank.

Head of the political wing of the Palestinian Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip, Yahya Sinwar, speaks to reporters during a press conference in Gaza City on June 21, 2021. [Mohammed Abed/ AFP]

‘No intentions to solve humanitarian crisis’

Following a meeting with United Nations mediators, Hamas’s leader in Gaza Yahya al-Sinwar said the easing of Israeli restrictions was not enough and did nothing to change the situation in Gaza, pointing out that Israel continues to block international aid, as well as critical fuel deliveries needed for the electricity plant.

“The meeting was bad, it was not at all positive,” he told reporters.

“They listened to us attentively, but there are no signs that there are intentions towards solving the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip,” Sinwar added.

He added that Israel was “blackmailing” Hamas in exchange for further lifting of restrictions.

Sinwar was apparently referring to Israel’s position that a major improvement in Gaza hinged on Hamas releasing two Israelis and the bodies of two soldiers it holds captive. Sinwar said he told the UN’s top regional envoy, Tor Wennesland, that Hamas “will not accept that”.

Israel keeps tight controls on Gaza crossings, with support from neighbouring Egypt, citing threats from Hamas. The Israeli restrictions were intensified during the May fighting, effectively halting all exports.

Sinwar also accused Israel of keeping out aid from Qatar, which in recent years has bankrolled Gaza reconstruction projects worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

“It seems the occupation (Israel) didn’t understand our message, and that we maybe need to carry out popular resistance to put pressure on the occupation,” Sinwar said.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s office did not provide comment on Sinwar’s remarks.

At a memorial service on Sunday for Israeli soldiers killed in the 2014 Gaza war, Bennett, who was sworn in last week and replaced longtime prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said Israel would not tolerate any resumption of hostilities.

“(We) will not tolerate even a few rockets. We will not show forbearance nor exercise containment towards splinter factions,” he said, alluding to past attacks by armed groups other than Hamas.

“Our patience has run out.”

Egypt and the United Nations stepped up mediation last week after Israeli air raids pounded the Gaza Strip, challenging the fragile ceasefire.

The war killed 257 Palestinians including 66 children. Thirteen people were killed in Israel, including two children.

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Japan begins workplace vaccination as Uganda records lowest deaths in a week




Employees of the beverage maker Suntory register to receive shots of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at their office building as the company began its workplace vaccination

Employees of the beverage maker Suntory register to receive shots of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at their office building as the company began its workplace vaccination

Thousands of Japanese companies began the rollout of their workplace vaccine programs Monday, inoculating company workers and their families.

Some of the companies had been critical of what they said was the government’s slow pace of Japan’s COVID-19 inoculation campaign. Toyota and Suntory are among the companies participating in the workplace program with vaccines provided by the government.

Thousands of people are expected to receive shots through the workplace initiative. The start of the workplace program comes just weeks before the opening of the Tokyo Olympics.

Meanwhile, Uganda’s coronavirus deaths increased by 20 to 680 on Monday according to test results recorded on June 19. The 20 daily deaths is the lowest daily total recorded in a week after 34, 42, 42, 34, 49, 25 deaths were recorded on June 18, June 17, June 16, June 15, June 15, June 14 respectively   

In India, the Health ministry reported 53,256 new COVID cases Monday in the previous 24-hour period, the lowest daily number in 88 days, or about 3 months. Taiwan recorded its lowest number of new COVID-19 infections since May 15. Health officials announced 75 new infections Monday. Sunday Taiwan received 2.5 million COVID-19 vaccines from the United States.

There are more than 178 million global COVID infections as of Monday, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. The U.S. has the most with 33.5 million, while Brazil has 18 million.

Brazil became the second country, behind the United States, to record more than half a million COVID-19 deaths, a Health ministry official said Saturday.

Health minister Marcelo Queiroga tweeted, “500,000 lives lost due to the pandemic that affects our Brazil and the world,” according to an the Agence France-Presse.

“The third wave is arriving; there’s already a change in the case and death curves,” Ethel Maciel, an epidemiologist from Espirito Santo University, told AFP. “Our vaccination (program), which could make a difference, is slow and there are no signs of restrictive measures; quite the contrary.”

Britain held its first full music festival since all mass events were canceled in March of last year, the start of the pandemic.

About 10,000 fans attended a three-day Download Festival held at Donington Park in central England. The event, which ended on Sunday, featured 40 U.K.-based bands.

All of those who attended, which was only about a tenth of the festival’s pre-pandemic audience, were required to take COVID-19 tests before the event. Neither masks nor social distancing protocols was required, event organizers said.

Britain has recorded nearly 128,000 COVID-19-related deaths, the fourth most in the world and the worst in Europe. It also ranks seventh in the number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus, with 4.6 million.

Last week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson delayed by four weeks a planned lifting of coronavirus-related restrictions. The restrictions were set to be lifted Monday but will now run through July 19. Britain is battling the highly contagious Delta variant of the virus, which was first identified in India.

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White House’s global COVID jab distribution plan hits a snag | Coronavirus pandemic News




The remaining 55 million COVID vaccine doses will be distributed, but not in time to meet President Biden’s deadline.

The Biden administration on Monday revealed allocation plans for 55 million coronavirus vaccination doses, amid what officials say are logistical challenges that have delayed a commitment to share 80 million with other countries by the end of June.

In a fact sheet released Monday, the White House said the majority of the 55 million shots will be shared through the COVAX global sharing mechanism. Some 14 million doses will go to countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, including Brazil, Argentina and Colombia, while 16 million will go to countries in Asia, including India. About 10 million doses will go to Africa, with countries selected in coordination with the African Union.

The remaining doses, some 25 percent, will be shared directly with countries in Latin America, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and in Europe.

Ground crew unloading a shipment of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine from South Africa at Toronto Pearson Airport in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada [File: Carlos Osorio/Reuters]

“Sharing millions of U.S. vaccines with other countries signals a major commitment by the U.S. Government,” the White House said in the fact sheet.

“Just like we have in our domestic response, we will move as expeditiously as possible, while abiding by U.S. and host country regulatory and legal requirements, to facilitate the safe and secure transport of vaccines across international borders.”

But President Joe Biden is expected to fall short of his commitment to ship 80 million COVID-19 vaccine doses abroad by the end of June.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the US-produced doses are ready, and the delays were due to regulatory and logistical hurdles.

“What we’ve found to be the biggest challenge is not actually the supply — we have plenty of doses to share with the world – but this is a Herculean logistical challenge,” Psaki said during a regular news conference on Monday.

A woman receiving a COVID-19 vaccination shot at a pharmacy in Schwenksville, Pennsylvania [File: Hannah Beier/Reuters]

So far, fewer than 10 million doses have been shipped from the US to the other countries, including 2.5 million doses delivered to Taiwan over the weekend, and about 1 million doses delivered to Mexico, Canada and South Korea earlier this month.

Psaki said shipments will go out as soon as countries are ready to receive the doses and the administration sorts out logistical complexities, including vaccination supplies like syringes and alcohol prep pads, cold storage for the doses, customs procedures and even language barriers.

Psaki said she was not aware of how many doses would be shipped by the end of the month.

The US has been shipping “excess” doses – shots that are not needed in the US – amid plummeting demand for vaccinations in recent weeks. More than 177 million Americans have received at least one shot.

Earlier this month, Biden announced that on top of the 80 million doses his administration would share globally, the US was purchasing 500 million doses from Pfizer to donate around the world over the coming year, with the first deliveries expected in August.

Workers in Taiwan unloading Moderna vaccines shipped from the US in Taoyuan, Taiwan [Ann Wang/Reuters]

The White House earlier this month also unveiled plans for the first 25 million doses for export from existing federal stockpiles of Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines and some have already begun shipping.

Biden initially committed to providing other nations with all 60 million US-produced doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which has yet to be authorised for use in the US but is widely approved around the world. The AstraZeneca doses have been held up for export by a weeks-long safety review by the Food and Drug Administration.

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