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200,000 businesses could shutter

WINNIPEG, Jan. 22 (MarketsFarm) – The following is a glance at the news moving markets in Canada and globally.

– The Canadian Federation of Independent Business released the results of a survey on Jan. 21, revealing as many as 181,000 businesses are considering closing their doors due to lockdowns and financial hardships brought on by the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey was conducted by CFIB amongst their business owners from Jan. 12 to 16, while Statistics Canada data showed that 58,000 businesses have already closed in 2020. CFIB’s own projections suggest between 71,000 and 222,000 businesses could close due to the pandemic, resulting in job losses ranging from 962,000 to 2.95 million. In the worst-case scenario, one-in-four businesses could shut down permanently, according to CFIB. Through the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, the federal government earlier this month increased the subsidy rate to 75 per cent on eligible employee pay from December to mid-March.

– The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) announced on Thursday the country will only receive 79,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine during the first week of February, only 20 per cent of what was previously announced. The PHAC had already announced that there would be no deliveries of the vaccine to Canada during the last week of January. The delays come from a slowdown in production due to the expansion of Pfizer’s plant in Belgium. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Twitter yesterday that after speaking with the company’s CEO Dr. Albert Bourla, Canada would be assured four million doses of the vaccine by the end of March.

– New pandemic restrictions in China have caused a drop in the price of oil earlier today, that saw Brent crude and West Texas Intermediate futures lose more than two per cent. Brent crude futures fell by US$1.28 or 2.3 per cent to US$54.82 per barrel, while WTI crude futures decreased US$1.37 or 2.6 per cent to $51.76 per barrel by 1:55 p.m. GMT (7:55 a.m. CST). “A rise in Chinese infection numbers is of particular concern … because China is among the world’s largest oil consumers and the market that helped oil prices recover the most”, Rystad Energy oil markets analyst Louise Dickson told Reuters. The United States Energy Information Administration will release its oil inventory data later today.

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