The Royal Mint will not produce any new £2 or 2p coins for at least a decade, as its stocks remain high because of the slump in use of cash, a trend that has accelerated during the coronavirus pandemic.

The rapid decline in demand for coins has left the Mint, which has been producing coins in Britain for more than 1,000 years, with a mountain of excess stock.

It reported in March 2020 that it had stocks of £2 coins 26 times over its target, and was eight times over target for 2p coins.

The fall in the use of cash has been detailed by a report from the National Audit Office (NAO), which monitors the effectiveness of public bodies.

A decade ago, cash was used in six out of 10 transactions, but by 2019 that had fallen to less than three in 10, and some forecasts suggest it may … Read the rest

Stocks limped to the finish on Friday, with uncertainty over how well North American markets were going to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, or how soon.

The TSX toppled 49.94 points, to close Friday and the week at 16,197.78. On the week, the index fell 24.68 points.

The Canadian dollar fell 0.26 cents to 75.78 cents U.S.

Gold stocks led the downfall Friday, with OceanaGold sliding 16 cents, or 5.8%, to $2.60, while Wesdome Gold Mines dropped 59 cents, or 4.5%, to $12.57.

Among communications issues, Corus Entertainment slumped 26 cents, or 8.2%, to $2.91, while Rogers Communications backpedaled 86 cents, or 1.6%, to $51.86.

In real-estate, Artis REIT gave back 24 cents, or 2.7%, to $8.58, while Allied Properties REIT lost 88 cents, or 2.3%, to $37.26.

Tech stocks led the brief parade of winners, as Absolute Sofware picked up 95 cents, or 7%, to $14.61, while Sierra Wireless … Read the rest

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Disney’s long-awaited and controversial live-action film Mulan hit theaters in Hong Kong on Thursday after a disappointing debut in mainland China on Sept. 11.

The film generated $23.2 million in its opening weekend at the mainland China box office, sinking below analysts’ estimates that it would rake in $30 million to $40 million. Early indications suggest the movie’s reception in Hong Kong will be underwhelming too.

The film’s mainland China debut was considered a failure not just because it missed analysts’ expectations, but also because Disney had poured five years and $200 million into the film, in part, to ensure it appealed to a Chinese audience. Disney cast actors popular in China, hired Chinese consultants, shared the script with Chinese authorities, and cut scenes that Chinese … Read the rest

(Bloomberg) — Oracle Corp. and Walmart Inc. plan an minority investment in TikTok Global, giving companies that have little experience in social media a stake in a fast growing music and video-sharing app that became the focal point of a trade standoff between the U.S. and China.Oracle and Walmart together could end up with as much as 20% of the entity, purchased in a round of financing that would precede an initial public offering, the companies said Saturday. Sequoia Capital and General Altantic, current investors in TikTok parent ByteDance Ltd., could also pursue stakes in the fundraising round, a person with knowledge of the matter said. ByteDance will retain majority control.ByteDance commenced a search for investors in TikTok’s U.S. operations after Trump proclaimed that TikTok was a threat to U.S. national security, and ordered the app be sold to an American business or shut down by Sept. 20. The president … Read the rest

Ministers are considering a half-term lockdown as they scramble for a plan to stem rising infection rates.

Boris Johnson has been told that he has little more than a week to find a plan B if the “rule of six” does not bring the epidemic under control. He has accepted advice from the chief medical officer, Chris Whitty, that rising case numbers must be reversed in the coming weeks but has not decided how to do this.

Matt Hancock, the health secretary, this morning refused to rule out a second national lockdown, saying that it was “the last line of defence” but one that was proven to work.

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies is understood to have modelled a two-week “circuit breaker” lockdown to break chains of infection and prevent a return to rapid exponential growth.

It came as further restrictions are due to be announced across the North … Read the rest

Stocks fell on Friday to end a volatile week as investors continued to dump shares of high-flying tech companies.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted 244.56 points to 27,657.42.

The S&P 500 dipped 37.54 points, or 1.1%, to 3,310.47.

The NASDAQ ditched 117 points, or 1.1%, to 10,793.28.

The major averages fell for a third straight week, notching their longest weekly losing streaks since last year. The Dow posted a slight week-to-date loss. The S&P 500 lost 0.7% and the NASDAQ dropped 0.6% over that time period.

Shares of Apple dropped more than 3% on Friday. Microsoft dropped 1.2%, and Alphabet pulled back 2.4%. Netflix dipped 0.1%. Facebook fell 0.9%.

Big Tech was also down broadly week to date. Facebook and Amazon have each dropped more than 5% this week. Alphabet, Netflix, Apple and Microsoft are also down sharply over that time period.

For the month, all six stocks are … Read the rest

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The reception area at the Aston Martin Red Bull Formula 1 Racing team’s headquarters in the English city of Milton Keynes, a commuter-belt town about 55 miles north of London, features a soaring two-story display case packed with silver, gold, and glittering glass cups, tombstones, and trophies—a visual, in-your-face reminder of the team’s prowess since the energy-drinks company took over the team in late 2004.

Last season, the team’s top driver, the brash 22-year-old Dutchman Max Verstappen, finished third overall, behind Mercedes’s two drivers, Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton—who, for most of the past decade, has dominated his sport the way Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods once dominated theirs.

The Red Bull team thought they were coming into this season with a shot at displacing Mercedes … Read the rest

There has been lots of talk this year of the COVID-19 benefits reaped by streaming services. As a result of the stay-at-home culture, OTT leader Roku (ROKU) has been a prime beneficiary, experiencing large account growth.But according to Rosenblatt analyst Mark Zgutowicz, Roku is particularly well placed to benefit from another trend: the move from linear to connected TV (CTV).Following discussions within OTT/CTV programmatic venues, the 5-star analyst notes there is clear indication “the demand picture for Roku will soon climb to new heights.” Zgutowicz believes the big 5 Ad agencies are “making a concerted effort to negotiate volume commitments for OTT/CTV inventory.”Importantly, Zgutowicz adds, the budgets for these advertising needs will come from “long-standing linear spend.”In other words, the agencies are realizing the untapped potential of CTV, as consumers move from the “decades old model” of linear TV to more flexible CTV services. This is great for CTV services … Read the rest