The traditional mass return to the workplace failed to materialise in London on Tuesday, with passenger numbers on the tube and buses rising more slowly than usual for the end of summer.

Transport for London reported 8% more tube entries and exits, and 6% more bus journeys, in the morning rush hour compared with a week ago.

But with traffic normally rising sharply in September, London Underground passenger numbers were 72% below pre-Covid levels – a worse proportion than the 70% drop last week – while bus usage were 53% below 2019 levels.

Figures for national rail passengers were yet to be collated, with some operators anecdotally reporting slight rises but no step-change.

Rail operators are planning to add more trains to the timetable next week, and will be looking nervously at the figures. Industry sources said there was frustration that ministers had not unequivocally asked people to travel and … Read the rest

Owing to COVID-19 shuttering businesses worldwide and heightening awareness about public venues and the spread of germs, tens of millions of people are turning to ecommerce for their everyday shopping. It was a trend that was already accelerating when coronavirus provided dramatic tailwinds. This is clearly evidenced through the latest report from CCInsights.org showing 129% year-over-year growth in eCommerce orders in the U.S. and Canada as of April 21, 2020.

Even when COVID-19 is finally a thing of the past, the effect on shopping habits will remain forever changed. The new age of consumer spending and advertising is before us today. Obtrusive ads annoy potential shoppers, who now take their cues from influencer campaigns that create a more personal attachment and commitment to brand loyalty.

Against this backdrop, savvy companies are getting in front of the movement. There may not be a company that is more aggressive in growing its … Read the rest

(Bloomberg Opinion) — Imagine you and I own half each of a $100,000 sports car that has another $50,000 locked in the trunk. The problem is that I have the car keys, so you can neither drive it nor access that money. I offer to buy you out for about $50,000. Fair deal?You’d doubtless feel hard done by. Yet Oliver Samwer, chief executive officer and founder of Germany’s Rocket Internet SE, is making a similar proposition to his fellow shareholders. He wants to take the web-investment company private again, and he’s offering to buy out other investors in a way that would let him and his family keep that nice little stash in the trunk. Samwer and his brothers own 45% of Rocket, but they’d like to own all of it so they want to use the company’s cash to acquire the rest of the shares. First off, they’re doing … Read the rest

Nearly one in four home purchases this year will be backed by the “bank of mum and dad” – up from fewer than one in five in 2019 – as buyers struggle with the economic fallout from the Covid-19 crisis.

Financial help provided by the bank of mum and dad, encompassing parents, grandparents, other family and friends, will be a driving force behind the recovery of Britain’s housing market. Those able to assist will lend an average of £20,000 towards a deposit on a home, said researchers from insurer Legal & General (L&G) and economics consultancy Cebr.

The coronavirus pandemic has compounded some of the challenges that first-time buyers were already facing.

Not only are many of them potentially facing an uncertain economic future, but mortgage lenders – worried about house prices and borrowers possibly falling into negative equity – have been withdrawing their low-deposit home loans. These are the … Read the rest

It was a negative way to end a mostly positive month, but markets in Toronto did pump higher during August, though weakness in energy and consumer stocks did weigh on the index Monday.

The TSX got pummelled 191.35 points, or 1.2%, to finish Monday at 16,514.44.

The Canadian dollar gained 0.25 cents to 76.69 cents U.S.

Despite the daily drop, the TSX had a bonanza of a month, gaining more than 345 points, or 2.13%, in August.

Most of the weight imposed on the market was by energy issues, most notably, Enerplus, losing 19 cents, or 5.2%, to $3.47, while Vermilion Energy doffed 23 cents, or 4.3%, to $5.17.

In consumer discretionary stocks, Great Canadian Gaming came up snake eyes, dropping $1.30, or 4.6%, to $26.74, while Gildan Activewear shed $1.10, or 4.2%, to $25.40.

In real-estate, InterRent REIT slipped 57 cents, or 4.4%, to $12.47, whjile Dream Office REIT … Read the rest

(Bloomberg) — Apple Inc. has asked suppliers to build at least 75 million 5G iPhones for later this year, roughly in line with last year’s launch, in a sign that demand for the company’s most important product is holding up in the midst of the global pandemic and recession.The Cupertino, California-based technology giant anticipates shipments of these next-generation iPhones may reach as high as 80 million units in 2020, according to people familiar with the situation. Apple plans to launch four new models in October with fifth-generation wireless speeds, a different design and a wider choice of screen sizes, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing unannounced products.Among a comprehensive product refresh in the fall, Apple is also preparing a new iPad Air with an edge-to-edge iPad Pro-like screen, two new Apple Watch versions and its first over-ear headphones outside the Beats brand. A smaller HomePod speaker … Read the rest

Pret a Manger is to cut nearly 2,900 jobs after the desertion of high streets due to the coronavirus pandemic sent its sales plummeting, fuelling concerns about the economic impact of sustained remote working.

Hours after the business lobby group the Confederation of British Industry warned that cities could become “ghost towns” unless the government acts, the sandwich chain said it had been ravaged by the loss of passing trade.

The group reopened 367 of its 410 UK shops last month but sales have been 60% lower than last year, leading to the expansion of a programme of cuts that was previously expected to affect 1,000 people, with 30 branches set to close.

Pret’s chief executive, Pano Christou, said: “I’m gutted that we’ve had to lose so many colleagues. Although we’re now starting to see a steady but slow recovery, the pandemic has taken away almost a decade of … Read the rest

Nevada Sunrise Gold Corporation. (V.NEV) hit a new 52-week high of 26.5 cents on Friday. Nevada Sunrise Gold announced a private placement of up to $630,000, consisting of 3,500,000 units at a price of $0.18 per Unit, each Unit consisting of one common share of the Company and one-half of one common share purchase warrant. Each Warrant will entitle the holder to purchase one common share at a price of $0.30 for a period expiring two years following the closing date of the Offering.

Seahawk Ventures Inc (C.SHV) hit a new 52-week high of 62 cents on Friday. Seahawk Ventures announces that it will change its name to Seahawk Gold Corp. effective September 1. The Company’s shares will continue to be listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the stock symbol “SHV” and a new CUSIP number (81202L109) and ISIN number (ISIN: CA81202L1094) have been assigned to the Company’s shares. … Read the rest