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Australian News

Poolwerx issues health warning to pool owners


Thousands of Victorians are at risk of serious illness – even death – as family pools go untreated since the start of lockdown and become “breeding grounds” for waterborne parasites.

Poolwerx chief executive John O’Brien warned the pool service industry remained shut throughout the stage four lockdown – meaning pool owners had not had access to qualified pool technicians in at least seven weeks.

And with a warm spell of weather this weekend, Mr O’Brien urged Victorians to be cautious.

“We have still had no clarification whether, as an industry, we can send a technician to fix a pool or even open for water testing in store, ultimately leaving our clients and franchise partners completely in the dark,” he said.

“The bacterial health risk is also only one side of it – the physical and mental health benefits for locked-down families to enjoy recreation in their own backyard pools, where they don’t even have to leave home, is ultimately just as important.”

Mr O’Brien said untreated pools turn green and are like “breeding grounds” for waterborne parasites such as Legionella, Cryptosporidium and Giardia which can cause gastroenteritis, ear infections and, in severe cases, death among the very young and elderly.

“Incredibly, the Premier has deemed dog washing more important than human health, with commercial dog washing approved from September 23rd but not pool maintenance – bodies of water that Victorian people submerse in,” he said.

“We have the support of local councils who are terrified of the public health risk to domestic, public and commercial pools if forced to go untreated by the Government’s refusal.

“The only reason the Andrews’ Government could continue the ban on pool maintenance is the belief that ‘only the rich have pools’, which has been indicated to us as political thinking. Around 155,000 working Victorian families have pools – it’s the great Aussie dream, and warmer spring weather is already upon us.”

Premier Daniel Andrews has defended the gradual opening of businesses, saying “ false hope is no hope”.

“I know people are disappointed. I‘m disappointed too that we cannot open up faster. But the key point here is to open and stay open,” he said.

Under the state government’s road map recovery plan pool service workers can operate again in late September, subject to official health advice.



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Business

Saudi energy minister sends a warning to oil market gamblers


The Saudi Energy Minister warned traders on Thursday (UK time) against betting heavily in the oil market saying he will try to make the market “jumpy” and promised those who gamble on the oil price would be hurt “like hell”.

The comments by Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, OPEC’s most influential minister, came after a virtual meeting of a key panel of OPEC and allies, led by Russia, known as OPEC+.

Anyone who thinks they will get a word from me on what we will do next, is absolutely living in a La La Land': Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman.

Anyone who thinks they will get a word from me on what we will do next, is absolutely living in a La La Land’: Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman.Credit:AP

Prince Abdulaziz told the gathering OPEC+ could hold an extraordinary meeting in October if the oil market soured because of weak demand and rising coronavirus cases, according to an OPEC+ source.

“Anyone who thinks they will get a word from me on what we will do next, is absolutely living in a La La Land… I’m going to make sure whoever gambles on this market will be ouching like hell,” Prince Abdulaziz told a news conference when asked about OPEC+ next steps.



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Local News - Victoria

Elective surgery resumes amid warning over post-op complications


Professor David Story, of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists, said he was concerned about elective surgery patients battling chronic health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and hypertension, who might have delayed seeing GPs and specialists.

“Our concern is a lot of the patients who are now coming in are often a bit older and often have diseases, which may have worsened because there have been delays in diagnosis or getting their surgery,” he said.

“Some of the flow-on effects for this may be greater need for unplanned critical care admissions, so more ICU admissions post-surgery. We still expect relatively small numbers, but it might mean there are more medical emergency team calls and re-admissions of patients with complications.”

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Victoria recorded 42 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday as Melbourne’s crucial 14-day case average fell below 50 for the first time since the second wave peaked, and the number of active cases dropped below 1000 for the first time in months.

The Premier has set an ambitious goal of 18,750 additional elective surgeries across private and public hospitals in October, and an extra 10,500 surgeries in November.

Elective procedures will go up from 50 per cent to 75 per cent of usual surgeries from Thursday as part of eased restrictions in country Victoria. In Melbourne, that is likely to increase to 75 per cent from September 28.

Mr Andrews said regional Victoria would increase to 85 per cent capacity by September 28 before going back to a normal elective surgery schedule by late October.

In Melbourne, as long as road map targets are met, surgery capacity will scale up to 85 per cent late in October with the introduction of stage two restrictions.

The announcement came as Victoria’s total active cases of coronavirus dropped to 991.

“That is very, very significant – it’s been a long time since we’ve had less than 1000 active cases,” Mr Andrews said.

Mr Andrews said every patient would be tested for coronavirus before scheduled elective surgery. However, he said it was not always possible to screen patients for COVID-19 when they needed emergency surgery. “Obviously, in some situations that is not always possible. People come in and need to be operated on immediately.”

Professor Story said stringent screening of patients for coronavirus before and after surgery was critical, amid growing global evidence those infected with the virus were at heightened risk of dying or complications.

“We are concerned about patients who may have coronavirus, but we have really good testing and screening happening for that at the moment,” the medical college’s safety and quality committee chair said.

“The really important thing is that it is gradually increased so it can be closely monitored and that it is done on the basis of need for patients.”

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A major global study of more than 1000 elective surgery patients, including those who underwent minor procedures, across 24 countries between January 1 and March 31 found the death rate for patients with COVID-19 was almost 19 per cent.

Between 5 and 10 per cent of patients experience complications post-operatively, but Professor Story predicts this will rise as a result of the pandemic.

The announcement was also welcomed by Australian Dental Association Victoria chief executive officer Matthew Hopcraft who said dentists had been inundated by patients presenting for emergency treatment for broken teeth, swollen gums and infected wisdom teeth.

“The main thing is being able to give certainty to patients around when they can receive treatment,” Professor Hopcraft said. “The delays in treatment have caused a lot of angst among dentists and patients who have had their treatment delayed on and off since March.”

Among them is Jennifer Dorell, who has been anxiously waiting for upper and lower jaw surgery to fix an overbite so she could get her braces off this year.

Ms Dorell was scheduled to have her jaw surgery in April, but it was cancelled as coronavirus infections soared.

“I am very over it,” she said. “Anyone who has had braces knows how they cut into your gums and the pain you get with them as well. The uncertainty has been really difficult.”

Ms Dorell expects she will still have to wait up to six months to have her surgery.

“They will likely put patients needing more urgent care ahead of me, which I completely understand,” she said. “I will have to keep my braces for another six months after surgery. That will mean I will have had my braces for almost five years. It has all been pretty disheartening.”

Melbourne man Terry Brown underwent a hip replacement earlier this year, but his rehabilitation has been hindered while he awaits a knee surgery.

“My recovery has plateaued at the moment because both my knees are gone,” the 65-year-old Pascoe Vale man said.

“One of them is really bad and causes me a lot of pain. It makes your life very difficult because you don’t sleep well because of the pain. I try to walk every day, but I come home and my knees are killing me after that.”

Mr Brown is hopeful the resumption of elective surgeries will mean he is able to get his left knee replaced before Christmas.

“It is a big relief,” he said.

Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said anyone awaiting category two or three surgery could have their case reviewed to determine their priority.

She dismissed claims by the state opposition that the number of patients waiting had ballooned to more than 100,000 as “made up”.

Category two surgeries are procedures that need to happen within 90 days and that cause pain or disability, but are unlikely to escalate to an emergency. This could be something like a standard heart valve replacement. Category three surgeries include procedures such as hysterectomies and hip and knee replacements.

Australian Medical Association Victorian vice-president Roderick McRae said the process must be monitored closely and regularly audited.

“Broadly we are supportive of a staged increase of medical and dental procedures, but it needs to be a slow and sensible ramp up of work,” Dr McRae said.

He added said the resumption of elective surgery must not impede on public hospital capacity to deal with respiratory emergencies.

“The key is we need to keep an operational eye on everything that’s going on,” he said. “If there is a sudden outbreak, then we need to be able to jump on that in a targeted way that does not mean shutting down Victoria.”

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Australian News

TikTok video warning as children lured into watching dangerous clip among puppy footage


Warning: Graphic content.

Parents have been warned about a sick video circulating on various social media platforms, including TikTok, that is luring children through the use of cute puppy footage.

While it looks innocent on the surface, embedded within the video is graphic imagery of a man taking his own life.

Several Australian schools have emailed parents warning them of the nature of the video, which was livestreamed on Facebook and is now being widely circulated on other platforms including TikTok and Instagram.

The video was reportedly made by a Mississippi man last week, and has been on Chinese video-sharing app TikTok since Sunday. A spokeswoman told Buzzfeed News it was looking into the matter.

RELATED: TikTok could be banned in Australia

“We are banning accounts that repeatedly try to upload clips,” spokeswoman Hilary McQuaide told the publication.

“Our systems have been automatically detecting and flagging these clips for violating our policies against content that displays, praises, glorifies, or promotes suicide.”

Safe on Social CEO Kirra Pendergast sent an alert to 7000 schools on Tuesday, telling ABC News such treatment of videos on social media was not uncommon.

“It’s like what we called Elsagate — which was when Elsa from Frozen got some full-on treatment with people posting two minutes into a video some obscene things happening to Elsa,” Ms Pendergast said.

“It’s a kind of trolling. They’re luring kids in with videos of kittens and puppies, then it goes to this very, very graphic video.”

RELATED: TikTok video exposes bizarre Australian habits

Australian charity Acts for Kids urged parents to monitor their children’s social media use.

A statement by Executive Director Public Affairs Stephen Beckett said the video could cause “extreme distress” for children who see it.

“Act for Kids encourages parents to talk to their children to determine if they have viewed this content, and limit social media usage until the video has been removed,” Mr Beckett said in a statement.

As of Tuesday night there was no reports on whether TikTok had managed to remove the video.

ADVICE FOR PARENTS*

1. Secure household devices by setting passcodes and restrictions on all devices

2. Supervise children online and monitor the material they are accessing

3. Sit down and have an open conversation with your child about the material they may see online

*Courtesy of Act for Kids



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Australian News

Jessica Lindsay Muay Thai death prompts WA coroner’s warning over culture of combat sport


Western Australia’s coroner has recommended the state’s Combat Sports Commission be given more powers to regulate training after the death of an 18-year-old woman as she prepared for a Muay Thai fight.

Jessica Lindsay died in hospital in November 2017, four days after she collapsed while training outside a Forrestdale gym.

The inquest was told she had undertaken an extreme “weight cutting” program before she was due to weigh in for an amateur fight.

Coroner Sarah Linton said that included not drinking any water on the day, sitting in a sauna and hot car and running in a “sweat suit”, even though the temperature outside was about 30 degrees Celsius.

She said Ms Lindsay’s death was “tragic” and highlighted the need for cultural change in the sport.

Two girls in turquoise and grey jumpers hug as they pose for a photo.
Ms Lindsay (right), pictured with her sister Grace, died four days after she collapsed during training.(Facebook: Jessica Lindsay Legacy)

“It is clear that Jess believed she was in control of the situation and did not appreciate she was in mortal danger, right up until the moment she collapsed and died,” Ms Linton said.

“She adhered to the general belief in the sport that it is disrespectful to an opponent to fail to make weight.

Ms Linton said the focus should be on “creating a culture that encourages fighters to safely manage their training and weight loss”.

‘No longer acceptable to turn a blind eye’

While the Commission implemented some changes after Ms Lindsay’s death, Ms Linton said she hoped the inquest provided an opportunity for the sport to reflect on “the need for change”.

She said the dangers of weight cutting were well-known “but generally disregarded in the sport as the practice is so common”.

“It is no longer acceptable for people to turn a blind eye to these practices,” she said.

A woman wearing kickboxing gear stands in a ring with other people flashing a thumb's up.
The coroner said the death of Ms Lindsay (second from right) was “tragic” and change was needed.(Supplied: Hitman Photography)

Among her recommendations were for the Commission to take a greater role in regulating training outside of competition, and for competitors to provide their weight at least seven days before any contest, before they are allowed to compete.

She said these changes were necessary until the sport’s culture was changed.

“The bringing about of cultural change requires a concerted effort by all those involved, from a grassroots participant level all the way up to the governing bodies,” she said.

“However, until cultural change is effected, there needs to be an effort made to detect people who engage in dangerous practices at an early stage.”

Commission in process of change

Ms Linton said the Commission’s role prior to Ms Lindsay’s death was “focused on ensuring the contestant came under the set weight for the fight”, without any attention on how they made that weight.

Two girls pose with their mother at a beach for a family photo shoot.
Ms Lindsay (right), pictured with mother Sharron and sister Grace, had not drunk any water on the day she collapsed.(Facebook: Jessica Lindsay Legacy)

She acknowledged the Commission was in the process of implementing a strategy to discourage the practice of weight cutting by dehydration within the sport, but said legislative change was also needed.

The changes currently being introduced include allowing each participant only one chance to weigh in — to “avoid encouraging contestants to lose more weight in a short period” — and prohibiting the use of sweat suits, saunas and other devices that can dehydrate contestants.

But during the inquest, the Commission’s chair Bob Kucera admitted the governing body could not enforce the policy as it did not have any inspectors.

Ms Linton recommended Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray consider amending the law to extend the Commission’s powers to regulating the training of combat sport contestants.

She also urged the State Government to provide funding for the additional resources needed to carry out those powers.



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Local News - Victoria

Boiled water warning lifted for 26 suburbs after contamination scare


A quarter of the nearly 100 Melbourne suburbs cautioned to boil their water due to a contamination scare have been given the all clear.

Late on Saturday night Melbourne Water, South East Water and Yarra Valley Water in consultation with the Department of Health and Human Services, lifted the Boiled Water Advisory Notice issued on Friday for the following suburbs:

Jacqui Agostinello and 4 year old Kobe from Boronia collecting clean drinking water from a water tanker set up by South East Water at Ferntree Gully on Saturday.

Jacqui Agostinello and 4 year old Kobe from Boronia collecting clean drinking water from a water tanker set up by South East Water at Ferntree Gully on Saturday.Credit:Scott McNaughton

  • Attwood
  • Blackburn South
  • Box Hill North
  • Broadmeadows
  • Burwood
  • Campbellfield
  • Coolaroo
  • Craigieburn
  • Dallas
  • Doreen
  • Greenvale
  • Kalorama
  • Meadow Heights
  • Melbourne Airport
  • Mernda
  • Monbulk
  • Mont Albert North
  • Mount Dandenong
  • Olinda
  • Research
  • Roxburgh Park
  • Somerton
  • South Morang
  • Westmeadows
  • Wollert
  • Yarrambat

Customers whose suburb is not listed will need to continue to boil their water for drinking and food preparation for now, a Yarra Valley spokeswoman said.

Customers who can’t access boiled or bottled water can call Yarra Valley Water’s emergency hotline on 13 27 62 and South East Water’s customer line on 13 28 12.



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Australian News

Sydney news: Severe weather warning for ‘vigorous cold front’, Brad Hazzard slams Annastacia Palaszczuk’s hospital comments


Here’s what you need to know this morning.

Wild weather on the way

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has issued a severe weather warning for a vigorous cold front which is sweeping across western NSW and is set to reach the east coast this afternoon.

The BOM urged residents of the following places to be on high alert until Thursday morning: Newcastle, Wollongong, Nowra, Batemans Bay, Goulburn, Broken Hill and Thredbo Top.

For alpine areas above 1,900 metres around Thredbo, winds could exceed 120 kilometres per hour this morning, while areas on the coast are set to receive winds of up to 90 kph this afternoon.

NSW Health Minister slams Qld Government

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard says Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s comments that “in Queensland, we have Queensland hospitals for our people” were “astonishing”.

Mr Hazzard said patients in northern NSW who required renal transplants were being denied access to the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane and were being “forced to drive themselves 12 or more hours to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney”.

He said more than 6,000 Queensland citizens sought treatment last year at Tweed Hospital, near the border, representing 20 per cent of all in-patients.

He urged the Queensland Premier to review her border arrangements to “ensure patients receive the health care they need”.

Casino gambler arrested

A composite image of evidence in two plastic bags, one cash and one chips
Police will allege the man purchased chips with the proceeds of crime.(Supplied: NSW Police)

A 30-year-old man has been charged following a police investigation into suspicious transactions at Sydney’s The Star casino in July.

On July 21, a search of the man at the casino, and of his vehicle nearby, led to the seizure of more than $10,000 in cash, $50,000 in casino chips, two mobile phones and documentation.

A second search warrant at his Auburn home resulted in police seizing a further $70,000 in cash, a CCTV system and documentation.

Police will allege he purchased chips with money believed to be the proceeds of crime at least twice.

Pub patron guilty of assault after bottom slap

A woman smiling in sunlight.
Annabel Bassil says she hopes her message influences people’s behaviour.(ABC News: Mridula Amin)

A Sydney pub manager brought criminal proceedings against a patron after he slapped her bottom when she walked past him at work.

Annabel Bassil, 22, of south Sydney, said she wanted to send a message that the behaviour was unacceptable.

“I’m a female manager, I work with so many girls and I would hate for them to be in a position where something happened to them and they were like, ‘But Annabel didn’t press charges when it happened to her,'” Ms Bassil said.

The man faced court last week and pleaded guilty to common assault over the incident, which left Ms Bassil feeling “shaken” and “violated” when it took place last August.

Celebrated restaurateur ‘devastated’

Joseph Bekele was just about to open the doors for a busy night at his Ethiopian restaurant in Sydney’s inner west when the phone rang.

It was NSW Health telling him a positive COVID-19 case had dined in his restaurant four days before.

He says the call ended up costing him $35,000.

GPS winter sports suspended

Winter sports at several Sydney schools have been suspended following the tightening of coronavirus rules.

The Athletic Association of the Great Public Schools of NSW on Tuesday said it was in the “best interest of the safety and welfare” of staff, students and its community that all winter sport competitions and fixtures be suspended immediately.

Schools affected include the Scots College, St Joseph’s College and Kings.

On August 14, NSW Health banned the mixing of students from different areas of Sydney, as well as movement between rural and metropolitan areas.



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Last-minute ban on crowds at English racecourse carries warning for Victoria’s Spring Carnival amid coronavirus


The last day of England’s Goodwood Races, affectionately known as ‘Glorious Goodwood’, was supposed to be the start of fans returning to sport in the UK.

The start of some kind of normal, after weeks of behind-closed-doors competition and even the unthinkable crowning of Liverpool as Premier League champions for the first time in 30 years without anyone there to see it. Goodwood was the start, a test organised as part of a government pilot program.

Just 5,000 members were supposed to attend the course on August 1. The race had been divided into zones, ensuring attendees couldn’t mix.

But the night before the event, spooked by a growing number of cases in the UK, the Government pulled the pin.

“It would probably have cost a six-figure sum to put on the event for Saturday, and sadly that wasn’t able to happen at the last minute due to a government change of plan,” Hermione Fitzgerald of OTI Racing said.

“For it to be stopped at the 11th hour was a real dent in everyone’s confidence moving forward — for all sports, not just racing.”

It also serves as a cautionary tale to racing administrators in Australia.

The race that made Winx famous, the Cox Plate, is celebrating the 100th running of the race. What was supposed to be a celebration of former champions in front of thousands of people will most likely happen without any crowds at all.

Jockey Hugh Bowman salutes the crowd on Winx after winning the Cox Plate
The Cox Plate is due to be run on October 24, but getting any fans in at all will be a challenge.(AAP: Julian Smith)

The Cox Plate is still more than two months away but Melbourne’s Stage 4 lockdown means administrators’ ambitions for crowds are modest.

“There’s a 70 per cent chance there will be no crowds, 25 per chance chance we could have up to 1,000 people and a slim chance we could have more than 1,000,” Michael Browell, chief executive of Moonee Valley Racing Club, said.

Browell is very aware of Goodwood’s experience and that the Government or COVID-19 could scupper any event plans at any time, even if Melbourne is in a better position by the time the Cox Plate is run on October 24.

Since the pandemic began, there have been more than 200 race meetings and 1,700 races in Victoria without a positive case in the industry — and, of course, without spectators.

“If we had a racing-related outbreak, say in the 24 hours beforehand, we’d have to postpone the Cox Plate — whether it’s 24 hours or 48 hours — but we would still run the event,” Browell said.

“We’re not really hung up on having crowds here. It would be a good outcome if we could have 1,000 or even up to 5,000 but our focus at the moment is just making sure we can deliver the event.”

A jockey in green and white silks pumps his fist while riding a horse.
Lys Gracieux won the 2019 Cox Plate.(AAP: Michael Dodge)

Racing Victoria is hopeful that if Stage 4 restrictions ease as planned in September, the Spring Carnival might have a chance of welcoming patrons to the only sport in Victoria that has continued throughout the crisis.

“We have no idea what the world looks like in two months’ time in the middle of Spring,” Racing Victoria chief executive Giles Thompson said.

“We remain optimistic, we’re planning for the best and we’re planning for the worst.”

Victorian sporting fans, starved of any live sporting events to attend, are hoping for the former.

“We do need to keep things in perspective here. There’s a much bigger issue that Victorians are dealing with other than crowds attending race meetings,” Browell said.

Indeed there is, but the prospect of live sport to watch — not just on TV — is a tantalising hope.



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NRL and Peter V’Landys issue final warning to players breaking coronavirus bubble laws with ‘competition at stake’


The NRL’s coronavirus biosecurity bubble has been burst nine times in just four days, forcing the code’s bosses to offer a stern and final warning to misbehaving players and coaches.

Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V’Landys said harsher punishments were on the way for those breaking the rules, while warning the league’s arrangement with the Queensland Government “could be withdrawn any day”.

“We will increase financial penalties to act as a deterrent because these people are being selfish,” V’Landys said.

“It’s concerning because the whole competition is at stake.”

Acting NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo said the league would take “the strongest action possible” against any offending member of the bubble.

Those found to be breaking the rules are placed into lockdown for 14 days and could face fines.

The currently banished includes two Newcastle Knights players under investigation, Bronco Tevita Pangai Jr, who visited a barbershop, Broncos coach Anthony Seibold and three Broncos officials, including club great Alfie Langer.

Souths coach Wayne Bennett and Paul Vaughan were also issued $20,000 and $10,000 fines respectively for dining out at a restaurant.

Bennett is on the Project Apollo board, which created the biosecurity protocols.

South Sydney Rabbitohs coach Wayne Bennett walks through the red and yellow seats at Suncorp Stadium.
Wayne Bennett was fined $20,000 for his bubble breach.(AAP: Darren England)

“It’s not ideal to lose your coach for a couple of weeks but he [Bennett] knows now that what he did was wrong,” Souths player Campbell Graham said.

“Everyone is in the same boat and the rules are clear now, but it does get a bit confusing with the chopping and changing of rules.”

The rules were somewhat relaxed in June, but more strict restrictions were reinstated in July when cases rose in the eastern states.

Despite some alleged confusion, the NRL insists the majority are doing the right thing.

Queensland has been the life-raft for the NRL during the pandemic. The Queensland Government has hosted the Melbourne Storm for months, and has given players exemptions to travel interstate.

But this recent spate of errors threatens to derail that agreement.

“I’m satisfied that management is dealing with this very, very seriously — I am not satisfied that the players understand the seriousness,” Dr Jeanette Young, Queensland’s Chief Health Officer, said on Monday.

Rugby League isn’t forgetting that goodwill is strictly conditional.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the breaches were “incredibly frustrating because Queenslanders are doing the right thing and this puts at risk all that great work”.

There are still seven rounds to go before finals in this irregular season.



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BlackRock sends inflation warning amid virus fight


“While there is little likelihood of material near-term inflation, once we look out further into this decade, the co-ordination of monetary and fiscal policy that we have seen – a blurring of the traditional boundaries -could bring about upside inflation risks globally,” Vivek Paul, BlackRock’s chief investment strategist for the UK, said in emailed comments. Investors “should consider global inflation-linked bonds.”

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Inflation can wreck even the safest portfolio by eroding investment value for decades. But the younger generation of investors, within developed markets at least, has rarely faced it in any meaningful way – the last major episode was back in the 1970s and ’80s. Still, the world-altering impact of the pandemic is fuelling fears of a comeback.

The US five-year-forward inflation swap rate, a key gauge of long-term price expectations, has climbed to 1.9 per cent from a record low of 0.97 per cent in March. Similar measures have also risen in the euro area and the UK.

A blistering rally in the price gold, a traditional hedge against inflation, also signals rising demand for protection against a potential pickup in prices. Pictet Asset Management’s chief strategist, Luca Paolini, said this week that the fund has an overweight position in bullion given risks including that of “liquidity-induced inflation.”

BlackRock added that the BOE could choose to boost its quantitative easing program again by the end of the year, while traders in money markets are pricing negative interest rates in 2021. Governor Andrew Bailey said after Thursday’s decision that negative rates “are part of our toolbox, but at the moment we don’t have a plan to use them.”

UK 10-year real yields, which strip out inflation, are hovering close to record lows at around minus 3 per cent. The rate on similar-maturity conventional bonds is currently at around 0.11 per cent.

Bloomberg

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