Good morning.

Has the pandemic killed the office? No, say Diane Hoskins and Andy Cohen, co-CEOs of Gensler, the world’s largest architecture firm. But while the office may not be dead, it is going to be very different in the post-COVID future.

The firm’s research shows only 14% of workers want to stay home full time. “A majority are saying they want back. They have roommates, they have parents, they have dogs,” says Cohen. But the offices they return to will be more of “a hybrid kind of work environment, with some people at home, but many at the office. And it will be all about collaboration and innovation.”

“What’s the big AHA?“ asks Hoskins. “It’s that the ultimate value of the workplace is people. Why do people want to be there? At the end of the day we are there because of the other people that are there…Think of … Read the rest

Zoom, the video-conferencing app that has proved popular with people working from home during the coronavirus pandemic, suffered a partial failure that left thousands of people in the US, UK and across the world unable to connect to work meetings or classes.

The California-based company behind the app apologised to customers on Monday and said it was working hard to fix the problem that had left users “unable to start and join Zoom meetings and webinars”.

“We are in the process of deploying a fix across our cloud. Service has been restored already for some users. We are continuing to roll this out to complete the fix for any users still impacted,” Zoom Video Communications said on its website on Monday.

The company said later on Monday that the issue had been resolved: “We have resolved an issue that caused some users to be unable to start and join Zoom … Read the rest

Stocks rose to all-time highs on Monday, lifted by gains in tech and some reopening names, as sentiment around the coronavirus pandemic improved.

The Dow Jones Industrials popped 378.13 points, or 1.4%, to end Monday at 28,308.46.

The S&P 500 climbed to yet another all-time high, picking up 34.12 points, or 1%, to 3,431.28.

The NASDAQ Composite added 67.92 points to Friday’s all-time peak, at 11,379.72.

Apple shares rose 1.2% to lead other tech-related names higher. Facebook climbed 1.6% and Amazon advanced 0.7%. Alphabet rose 0.6%.

Shares of airlines and cruise operators gained amid positive coronavirus treatment developments. United Airlines rose by more than 9%

along with American. Delta gained 9.3%. Carnival advanced 10.2%. Norwegian Cruise Line added to 7.6%, and Royal Caribbean closed higher by 4.7%.

Monday’s early gains come as the number of new coronavirus cases continues to decline in the U.S. Since spiking by more than 64,000 … Read the rest

(Bloomberg) — Chinese buyers have not only stopped snapping up iconic overseas assets, the coronavirus pandemic is ravaging the targets of deals that defined a headier era.Whereas some prolific acquirers such as HNA Group Co. and Anbang Insurance Group Co. began falling into disarray before the recent crisis, the impact on investments in sectors hit hardest by the outbreak means healthier owners are now feeling the pain.Conglomerate Fosun International Ltd. could soon see its 2015 investment in Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group wiped out, while PizzaExpress, owned by private equity firm Hony Capital, said this month it’s likely to hand control of the British chain to creditors. Baggage handler Swissport International AG is also negotiating with investors over a rescue that could see HNA exit the cash-strapped firm it bought in 2015, Bloomberg News has reported. HNA is also among Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd. shareholders set to lose everything after … Read the rest

After a woman with the coronavirus visited a Starbucks cafe north of Seoul this month, more than two dozen patrons tested positive days later. But the four face mask-wearing employees escaped infection.

The Aug. 8 outbreak in the South Korean city of Paju is another example of how rapidly the SARS-CoV-2 virus can spread in confined, indoor spaces — as well as ways to minimize transmission. With health authorities around the world still debating the evidence around face masks, the 27-person cluster linked to the air-conditioned coffee outlet adds more support for their mandatory use to help limit the spread of the COVID-19-causing virus.

“This speaks volumes about the role masks can play,” said Ma Sang Hyuk, a pediatric infectious diseases physician at Changwon Fatima Hospital in South Korea. “Masks may not provide 100% protection, but there’s nothing out there that’s as effective.”

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The gold market finally hit a speedbump in its bull run. After reaching over US$2,000/oz last week, many investors seem to have decided on that being the sweet spot to cash their earnings out, sending the precious metal’s price on a plunge from the previously mentioned high to its current value of US$ 1,950/oz.

The beginning of the covid-19 pandemic was bound to bring a boon of occasional investors into the sector. As the world continues to find ways to adapt to the novel way of living it brought about, the fear and uncertainty that came with it feels less haunting. This likely led investors to close their positions in the “safe haven” asset once the price hit its new all-time-high.

This is no surprise for the informed gold investor. It’s the cycle of a crisis. However, for those who remains bullish on the noble metal, this could be the … Read the rest

Business activity is rebounding strongly but employers are still shedding workers amid fears about the economic outlook, according to a closely watched survey.

IHS Markit’s flash Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) hit 60.3 in August, up from 57 in July and close to a seven-year high. Any reading above 50 indicates that the economy is growing so the figures suggest that business activity across the economy is recovering sharply after hitting its floor in April.

The services and manufacturing sectors both registered an increase in new orders and a rise in output. IHS Markit’s business activity index for the services sector climbed from 56.5 in July to a three-year high of 60.1. The output index for the manufacturing sector rose from 59.3 to 61.6

A natural bounce back in economic activity was to be expected in the months after businesses reopened but economists fear that this recovery will soon peter out … Read the rest

(Bloomberg) — Tencent Holdings Ltd. jumped the most in a month after White House officials are said to have reassured American businesses that a ban on its WeChat app won’t be as broad as feared.The WeChat owner rallied 5.8% at the close in Hong Kong Monday, making it the best performer on the benchmark Hang Seng Index, after people familiar with matter said the Trump administration is privately seeking to reassure U.S. companies including Apple Inc. that they can still do business with Tencent’s WeChat messaging app in China. In recent days, senior administration officials have been reaching out to some companies, realizing that the impact of an all-out ban on the popular app could be devastating for U.S. technology, retail, gaming, telecommunications and other industries, according to the people.Read more: Trump Team Reassures Apple, Others on Using WeChat in ChinaCompany management earlier this month sought to reassure investors that … Read the rest