Bridge collapse in Taiwan sends oil tanker tumbling onto boats

This general view shows a bridge after it collapsed in the Nanfangao fishing harbor in Suao township on October 1, 2019. Getty

Taipei, Taiwan — A towering arch bridge over a bay in eastern Taiwan collapsed Tuesday, sending an oil tanker truck falling onto boats in the water below. The search for potential victims involved an air force helicopter and more than 60 army and naval personnel, including divers.

Six people were believed trapped on one of the boats, the National Fire Agency said in a statement. Interior Minister Hsu Kuo-yung told reporters about five people were feared to have been on the bridge when it collapsed. Ten people were sent to hospitals, six of them with serious injuries.

Fishing vessels were helping to search for the missing, Hsu told Formosa TV.

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The bridge collapsed about 9:30 a.m. in Nanfangao, a tiny but often-crowded Pacific coast fishing village.

The weather at the time of the collapse was sunny, hours after a typhoon swept across parts of the island. Disaster relief officials would not say if the storm had weakened the bridge or give other details on the potential cause. Government-run Central News Agency said a bridge pier may have collapsed.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said she hoped all government departments would do everything possible to save people and “keep the number of deaths and injuries as low as possible,” CNA reported.

National Fire Agency spokesperson Su Hong-wei said the tanker’s fall smashed three boats.

Typhoon Mitag had brought high winds and heavy rain to northern Taiwan on Monday night before moving northeast. Flights and ferry services had been canceled Monday.

The 460-feet Nanfangao Bridge is a tourist attraction in Yilan. It was opened in 1998 and was built to replace a lower bridge that prevented large fishing vessels from passing underneath.

According to the company that designed the 18-meter-high (nearly 60 feet) high bridge, MAA Consultants, it’s the only single-span arch bridge in Taiwan supported by cables and the second single arch-cable steel bridge in the world.

Video footage on Twitter showed a large truck almost getting across the bridge and then tumbling backward as the bridge collapsed into the water.

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Forex – Argentinian Peso Collapse Sends Shockwaves Through Markets

© Reuters.  © Reuters. – The dollar surged against higher-yielding currencies on Monday as a plummeting sent shockwaves through emerging markets.

The dollar rose by more than one-third against the peso after a weekend primary for presidential elections in the G20 member later this year showed incumbent Mauricio Macri far behind his biggest rival, the populist Alberto Fernandez.

Fernandez’ running mate is former president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, from whom Macri took over as President in 2015. Fernandez is viewed with suspicion by many investors, who remember the capital controls, high inflation and chronic economic problems of de Kirchner’s last administration.

The shock also weakened of other emerging currencies perceived as vulnerable, especially at a time of slowing global growth. The dollar rose by 1.3% against the and by 1.0% against the . Further afield, it also rose by 1.2% against the {{|Turkish lira}} and by 0.5% each against the and .

By 11:20 AM ET (1520 GMT), the peso had recouped some of its losses to trade at 53.50 to the dollar, compared to a rate of 45.25 before the poll.

Macri now faces little choice but to reinstate capital controls, abandoning one of the biggest achievements of his presidency, analysts said.

The peso’s collapse “makes things worse for Macri, as peso stability (was) supposed to arrest political costs of his IMF-supported austerity,” Daniela Gabor, a professor of economics at the University of the West of England, said via Twitter. “Difficult to see how Macri can hold onto power while inflicting such high social costs.”

ARG peso collapse makes things worse for Macri, as peso stability supposed to arrest political costs of his IMF-supported austerity.

ARG peso collapse makes things worse for Macri, as peso stability supposed to arrest political costs of his IMF-supported austerity.

makes things worse for Macri, as peso stability supposed to arrest political costs of his IMF-supported austerity.

Emerging market currencies have been caught this year between slowing global demand for the commodities they export, which puts downward pressure on them, and the promise of lower dollar interest rates, which relieves that pressure. While they have mostly held their own against the dollar so far this year, the Argentinian peso, ruble and lira have all been pulled lower in recent weeks by a weakening .

The yuan was fixed at a new 11-year low against the dollar by the Chinese central bank on Monday, allowing the mainland and offshore rates to weaken a little more.

The , which is seen as a safe haven in times of market turmoil, rose to a new 15-month high of 105.05 before retreating a little to 105.31, a gain of 0.3% on the day.

The , which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, fell 0.1% to 97.192.

The euro, meanwhile, rose a little as Italy’s political parties tried to stop a push for snap elections that opinion polls suggest would hand power to the populist right-wing Lega party of Matteo Salvini. rose 0.2% to 1.1218. rebounded 0.5% to 1.2092.

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Dijsselbloem sends tweet congratulating Georgieva

Earlier reports said the vote was deadlocked

Sounds like he conceded the job:

I congratulate Kristalina Georgieva with the outcome of todays European votes. I wish her the utmost success.

The game of musical chairs now continues with Georgieva now set to leave her post as the CEO of the World Bank.

Georgieva was always in the mix for the IMF job but was seen as a less-likely candidate earlier in the process because she’s over the 65-year age limit (she turns 66 this month). Those rules will need to be changed but if she can win the vote, she can surely win a change to the rules.


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Forexlive Americas FX news wrap: U of Michigan consumer sentiment sends the USD higher

Forex news for NY trading on May 17, 2019.

In other markets:

  • Spot gold $ -9 or -0.70% at $ 1277.75. For the second day in a row, the USD rise, hurt investors in gold
  • WTI crude oil futures fell $ -.18 or -0.29% at $ 62.69
  • Bitcoin on Coibase fell $ 592 to $ 7075. The digital currency fell to a low price of $ 6600 earlier in the day session. In one fell swoop, that retraced over 50% of the move up from the April 26th low.  The price ended up rebounding to back above the $ 7000, but it put a sour taste in the mouths of the bulls who – prior to today – were looking at a low for the Monday to Friday week at $ 6864 (on Monday) and a high at $ 8377.77.  All of that gain had disappeard on the run to the low today.

The data today in the US came in better than expectation and higher vs last month, and that helped to propel the USD to the strongest of the major currencies today.  The AUD was the weakest on the day.

Bitcoin tumbled in trading today.

The USD was the strongest of the majors for the 2nd day in a row today (see ranking of the major currencies below). There were three main catalysts fundamentally that helped the greenback. 

The USD was the strongest of the major currencies for the 2nd day in a row

One was the surge in the Univ. of Michigan consumer sentiment (expectations and current conditions also rose nicely. For the headline number it soared from 97.2 last month to 102.4. That took the index to the highest level in 15 years. The expectations componen also soared 96.0 from 87.4 last month. It too was a 15 year high.

The 2nd main catalyst, was reports throughout the day that the US/Canada/Mexico would abolish the steel and aluminum tariffs along with other retaliatory tariffs including Kentucky bourbon and dairy products. They also pledged to finally work to ratify the USMCA trade agreement which has been in limbo for a number of months, largely due to the tariffs which remained (now that wasn’t hard, was it). 

The third catalyst was that the White House will postpone tariffs on EU and Japan auto cars and parts for 180 days.  

Now it was not all rainbows and unicorns. The day started on a weak note with concerns about the US/China and ended the day with same concerns. 

In the Asian session, Xinhua and People’s Daily carried pieces saying China may have no interest in continuing trade negotiations for now.  Later in the day, Hu Xijin of the Global Times tweeted that 

China will certainly retaliate for barbaric suppression Huawei received. It’s a unanimous attitude of officials and ordinary people. I believe Beijing is selecting retaliation targets and approaches, minimizing damage to itself and not weakening confidence in China’s opening up.

And CNBC had, their own tweet saying:

Scheduling for the next round of talks is “in flux” because it is unclear what the two sides would negotiate, two sources said. China has not signaled it is willing to revisit past promises on which it reneged earlier this month.

The last tweet, sent US stocks lower. The major indices ended the session lower on the day and nearer the session lows. Below are the low to high trading ranges and the close levels.

The US stocks are ending near the session lows for the day.

That fall, took some of the bull out of the USDJPY, USDCHF. The US and Canada trade news, also benefitted the CAD more than the USD and helped to weaken the USD a bit in the NY afternoon session.  

Some fundamental/technical/price action highlights:

  • The GBPUSD is closing at the day and week lows and trading at the lowest level since January 15th.  PM May is on life support and the UK government is not making any progress on a Brexit deal  The GBPUSD was down each day this week and 9 of the last 10 days.  
  • The EURUSD is also closing near the low for the day/low for the week. It’s high was on Monday at 1.12628 and low was today at 1.1155 (we are closing just above that level).  The low from May 3 is at 1.11345 and is the next target for the pair.
  • The USDJPY was able to extend above a swing area at 110.02-04 when stocks were moving higher today, but came off on the late day sell off and is trading right around that swing area at the end of the week. Next week, it will be a barometer for bulls and bears.
  • The USDCAD continued its up and down runs this week. Today, the pair moved above 1.3500 level (a key ceiling area) and continued to a high of 1.35128. However, the US/Canada/Mexico deal helped to push the CAD higher (USDCAD lower) and the pair tumbled back lower.   The pair is up on the week (1.3411 to 1.3460) but it was not without ups and downs from start to finish.  

The NZDUSD and AUDUSD are also ending at the lows for the week. Each were hurt by the breakdown of US/China talks. For the AUDUSD this week, the jobs report showed unemployment rising to 5.2% from 5.0%. That sent analysts to calll for a cut at the next RBA meeting on June 4. Time will tell. 

Wishing you all a great weekend. Thank you for your support. 

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Forexlive Americas FX news wrap: Canada weak GDP sends the loonie tumbling

Forex news for NY trading on March 1, 2019.

In other market, end of week levels are showing:

  • Sppt gold tumbled $ 20.29 or -1.54% to $ 1293.00. The high reached $ 1315.30. The low extended to $ 1290.23. The higher dollar today (the USD was the strongest) was the catalyst for the steady selling today.   Technically, support at the $ 1298-$ 1303 tried to hold but ultimately gave way in late NY trading.   What was support is not resistance. 
  • WTI crude oil futures are trading down -$ 1.50 or -2.60% at $ 55.74. The price is closing below its 100 day MA after trading above and below that MA this week only to lose upside momentum today. The MA comes in at $ 56.05 and will be a barometer for the bulls and bears next week
  • Bitcoin on Coinbase is trading up $ 27.44 today at $ 3829.98. The price is closing above its 100 day MA at $ 3692.77. The price has closed above its 100 day MA for 11 days now but the high over that period (from last Sunday) reached $ 4188.  The price during this week traded in a narrow range of $ 3655 to $ 3910.

Stocks in the US, Canada all closed higher today with the exception of the Spainish Ibex. The Nasdaq led the charge with a 0.83% gain.

Forex news for NY trading on March 1, 2019.For the week, the Nasdaq closed higher for the 10th straight week. The Dows string of higher week closes was snapped at 9 with the -0.02% decline this week. Oh so close.


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Queen sends a Brexit message to UK politicians: end your bickering

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Britain's Queen Elizabeth tours a gold vault during a visit to the Bank of England in the City of London © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Britain’s Queen Elizabeth tours a gold vault during a visit to the Bank of England in the City of London

By Guy Faulconbridge and Kate Holton

LONDON (Reuters) – Queen Elizabeth has sent a delicately coded message to Britain’s fractious political class over Brexit, urging lawmakers to seek common ground and keep their eyes on the big picture to resolve the crisis.

With the clock ticking down to March 29, the date set in law for Britain to leave the European Union, the United Kingdom is in the deepest political crisis in half a century as it grapples with how, or even whether, to exit the European project it joined in 1973.

While Elizabeth, 92, did not mention Brexit explicitly in an annual speech to her local Women’s Institute in Norfolk, the monarch said every generation faced "fresh challenges and opportunities."

"As we look for new answers in the modern age, I for one prefer the tried and tested recipes, like speaking well of each other and respecting different points of view; coming together to seek out the common ground; and never losing sight of the bigger picture," the queen said.

Though steeped in the conventional language the queen has made her hallmark, the remarks in the context of Britain’s crisis are a signal to politicians to sort out the turmoil that has pushed the world’s fifth largest economy to the brink.

"She’s been a gold standard monarch for very nearly 67 years now and this is a particularly gilt-edged moment, I think it’s very important what she said and how she said it," historian Peter Hennessy said.

Buckingham Palace declined to comment though the British media was clear about the significance of her remarks. The Times’ headline read: "End Brexit feud, Queen tells warring politicians".

As head of state, the queen is expected to be neutral on politics in public and is unable to vote, though ahead of the 2014 referendum on Scottish independence she made a delicately crafted plea for Scots to think carefully about their future.


The future of Brexit remains unpredictable with options ranging from a disorderly exit that would spook investors across the world to a new referendum that could reverse the process.

Prime Minister Theresa May is engaged in a last-ditch bid to win support for a tweaked divorce deal after parliament this month crushed the original plan, defeating the government by the biggest margin in modern British history.

May has been meeting lawmakers to discuss options on how to address concerns on the Irish "backstop", a contentious policy to avoid a hard border in Ireland by keeping some EU rules in place should the two sides fail to agree any other solution.

"Work is ongoing, as to what we may eventually bring forward and potentially discuss with Brussels, we are not there yet," her spokesman said.

The Northern Irish party which props up May’s minority government has decided to back her new deal if it includes a time limit to the backstop, The Sun newspaper reported.

Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) deputy leader Nigel Dodds said the party wanted to reach consensus on a deal and saw paths to avoid the backstop.

Sterling scaled a high of $ 1.3176 and was poised for its biggest weekly rise in more than a year as traders bet Brexit will be delayed. Options markets indicated sterling could rise to the mid-$ 1.30s.

But in a sign of the turmoil at the heart of government, finance minister Philip Hammond declined to say if he would quit if Britain left the EU without a deal, a scenario he predicted would lead to short-term disruption and hurt the economy.

France and other European powers said they were preparing for the worst.

Goldman Sachs (NYSE:) will invest less in the United Kingdom if there is a difficult or hard Brexit, Chief Executive Officer David Solomon said.

"Our headcount in the UK over the last couple of years has not gone down but it hasn’t gone up either – we have added head count you know on the continent," Solomon told the BBC in Davos.

"But I would say that, over time, if this is resolved in a difficult way or a hard way, it’ll have an impact on where we invest and where we put people," he said.

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'Ugly' mistake sends Google data to China

Google data for search and cloud services went astray for more than an hour on Monday thanks to an “ugly” mistake by an African ISP.

The data was sent the wrong way when MainOne Cable, in Nigeria, updated address books for key network hardware.

The update saw it claim to be the best way to reach millions of Google net addresses.

The mistake spread to other networks and led to Google traffic travelling via China and Russia.

New routes

In a tweet, MainOne said the mistake had been made during a “planned network upgrade”.

It added: “The error was corrected within 74 minutes and processes put in place to avoid reoccurrence.”

All the different networks that make up the internet constantly swap information about the best way to reach other parts of the global system.

Mistakes on one network can mean traffic is re-routed the wrong way.

Google said it had spotted the error and blamed it on “incorrect routing” of data.

A spokesman for the search giant told technology news website Ars Technica that all traffic sent the wrong way was encrypted, which should “limit” any damage caused by it being misdirected.

Later on Monday web company Cloudflare was hit by a second MainOne Cable mistake that also saw much of its traffic re-routed.

In a statement, Matthew Prince, chief executive of Cloudflare, said the mistake had probably been made as a result of a network meeting in Nigeria in early November.

Typically, he told Ars Technica, the meetings prompt ISPs to set up more data-sharing agreements with each other.

The mistake that re-routed data had been made while a new data-sharing link had been being created, he said.

“This was a big, ugly screw-up,” he said. “Intentional route leaks we’ve seen to do things like steal crypto-currency are typically far more targeted.”

Mr Prince’s explanation defused earlier claims that the re-routing had been an attempt to steal data.

Ameet Naik from net security company ThousandEyes had characterised the incident to The Register as “grand theft internet” and said it was “unlikely” to be accidental.

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