- BoE Kept its Benchmark Interest Rate at All-time Low of 0.1%
- Biden Administration Will Limit U.S. Investments in Certain Chinese Companies
- Jeff Bezos Sold $2 Billion of Amazon Shares
BoE Kept its Benchmark Interest Rate at All-time Low of 0.1%
The Bank of England (BoE) did not change the benchmark interest rate and asset purchase program. According to the statement made after the Bank of England (BoE) Committee meeting, the interest rate was left as 0.1 % with the unanimous decision. There was also an expectation in the markets that the BOE would not change the interest rate.
BoE did not change its Asset Purchase Program in line with market expectations and announced it as £895 billion. The BoE raised its forecast for British economic growth in 2021 to 7.25% from February’s estimate of 5.0%. That will be the highest annual growth rate since 1941 when the United Kingdom was rearming.
Governor Andrew Bailey hailed the possibility of a better recovery than previously predicted as the country pushes forward with coronavirus vaccines and lower unemployment. However, he added that there was still a significant difference in how strong the economy would have been if the pandemic had not occurred.
“Let’s not get carried away,” Bailey said about the improved outlook. “It takes us back by the end of this year to the level of output that we had essentially at the end of 2019 pre-Covid.”
In terms of inflation, the BOE expects the consumer price index to briefly rise above its 2% target by the end of the year, owing primarily to changes in commodity prices. Inflation is expected to rebound to around 2% in the medium term, according to the forecast.
Biden Administration Will Limit U.S. Investments in Certain Chinese Companies
The U.S. President Joe Biden administration will continue the decision taken under former President Donald Trump to limit American investments in Chinese companies.
Officials from the Biden administration continue to consider Trump’s ban on investing in companies associated with the Chinese military, and no decision has been made so far. The report said Biden administration officials are still in preliminary talks about Trump-era investment bans on companies.
The U.S. Treasury Department and the National Security Council did not comment on the news. In November, the Trump administration announced a list of American companies and Chinese companies that their citizens could not invest in on the grounds that they were associated with the Chinese military.
The Biden administration is likely to find broad support in Congress for a tough stance on China.
«It is common sense that U.S. dollars should not flow to entities close to the Chinese Communist Party’s military, which is building weapons and capabilities designed to kill American service members,» said Marco Rubio, a Republican senator from Florida.
“The Biden administration should reject any efforts by the investor class to erode the Trump-era sanctions, and it should work with Congress to codify those penalties into law,” he added.
American depositary receipts for some of China’s most prominent companies touched session lows on the news. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. fell as much as 1.7%, while Baidu Inc. slid 2.8%. Tencent Holdings Ltd. dropped 1.2%.
Jeff Bezos Sold $2 Billion of Amazon Shares
Jeff Bezos sold 739,000 Amazon shares this week, worth about $2 billion, according to reports to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Bezos is expected to sell another 2 million shares this year.
Jeff Bezos sold roughly $684 million worth of Amazon shares on Tuesday, after selling approximately $1.27 billion of Amazon shares on Monday, and sold nearly $1.95 billion worth of Amazon shares in the past two days.
Transactions were made as part of a pre-arranged trade plan based on the applications. Sales came a week after Amazon reported first-quarter earnings results. Last week, Amazon reported it tripled profits in its first quarter, compared to a year ago, and forecast sales above $110 billion in the second quarter.
To be noted, Bezos continues to own more than 10% of Amazon.com despite sales. Amazon’s founder previously said he would sell about $1 billion in Amazon shares each year to fund Blue Origin, a growing space exploration company, and announced on Wednesday that it would launch its first astronaut team into space this summer.
Bezos also allocated additional capital to the Day One Fund, which he established in September 2018 to provide education and combat homelessness in low-income communities. Last November, the fund gave $ 98.5 million in grants to 32 groups..
Jeff Bezos’ rocket company, Blue Origin, plans to launch the first suborbital sightseeing mission on its New Shepard spacecraft on July 20, ushering in a new age of private commercial space travel.
Besides, Blue Origin announced that the winning bidder in a five-week online auction would receive a seat on the first flight, with the proceeds going to the space firm’s foundation.