Global Markets: U.S. Congress makes a $900 billion deal

Includes US$600 weekly payments to most Americans

By MarketsFarm

WINNIPEG, Dec. 21 (MarketsFarm) – The following is a glance at the news moving markets in Canada and globally.

– After months of negotiations United States Congressional leaders announced on Sunday a US$900 billion pandemic economic stimulus package. Among the plan’s provisions are payments to most Americans of US$600 per week and US$300/week in enhanced unemployment benefits. Also, US$284 billion will be allocated to the Paycheck Protection Program that provides forgivable loans to small businesses. Plus there is financial assistance for transportation companies including airlines. Political support for the package is coming from Republicans and Democrats as well as the White House.

– Canada joined more than two dozen European countries on Sunday in banning all passenger flights from the United Kingdom to help stem the spread of a new strain of COVID-19. The move comes the day after the U.K. confirmed the presence of the potentially more deadly strain of the contagious disease. Canadian officials said there will be additional screening restrictions on travelers who recently arrived from the U.K. The flight ban excludes cargo flights and emergency landings.

– Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a surprise visit to a Sikh temple on Sunday, in an effort to counter growing protests against his government’s farm deregulations policies. Modi prayed at a Sikh temple, met with religious leaders, and posed for photos with visitors. Widespread protests throughout India and by numerous Diasporas around the world have denounced Modi’s plans to dismantle price supports for Indian agriculture. Demonstrators from the Sikh-dominated Punjab and Haryana regions have repeatedly blocked highways in pushing for the deregulation to be stopped.

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