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US Joins Pacific Center As 7th Member, Provides $ 4 million | Instant News

The United States has joined the Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Center as the seventh donor member, and has subsequently made a contribution of $ 4.07 million. Announcement on

Several member states and donors of the Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Center announced at the time of the announcement of a new donor member, the United States, for the center, in Suva.

The United States has joined the Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Center as the seventh donor member, and has subsequently made a contribution of $ 4.07 million.

The announcement in Suva yesterday followed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the United States and the International Monetary Fund.

The US has signed the fifth phase of PFTAC operations (PFTAC).

Increase Participation
US Charge de Affairs, Tony Greubel, said the US is increasing its contribution to the South Pacific, and is looking at specific areas it will work on.

“This US $ 2 million is only part of the United States’ increasing contribution to the South Pacific,” he said.

The US joins other members and donors in supporting key regional entities in working towards the promotion of macro-economic stability and the development of its members in the Pacific Islands.

Reserve Bank of Fiji Deputy Governor Esala Masitabua said the importance of the event was supported by the role played by the center in capacity building.

The US has revealed by 2020 its plans to deliver more than $ 200 million in new programs under the Pacific Pledge, through the US Indo-Pacific Strategy.

Deputy Governor of PFTA Fijis RBF Esala Masitabua.

10 percent
PFTAC’s work to improve debt transparency and sustainability and help Pacific nations avoid debt difficulties is critical, the US embassy said.

The center was established in 1993 to promote macro financial stability in Pacific island countries through a focused technical assistance center program.

The central coordinator, David Kloeden, said PFTAC is the first of the International Monetary Fund’s regional technical assistance centers, which aim to strengthen the institutional capacities of Pacific nations.

“This is the first phase in which member states agree to voluntarily contribute 10 percent of the budget,” he said.

The Center designs and implements macroeconomic and financial policies.

PFTAC provides assistance to 16 Pacific island nations, including Fiji, Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Cook Islands.

Other member countries are Palau, Nauru, Kiribati, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Niue, Tokelau, Federated States of Micronesia, Vanuatu and Tuvalu.

The center’s operations are funded by the European Union, the Asian Development Bank, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Korea and now the United States.

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FOREX-Dollar fell as risk appetite increased, the kiwi was scrambled by the RBNZ | Instant News

    * Increase in risk appetite hurts dollar
    * Kiwi dips but then erases losses after RBNZ decision
    * Powell emphasises low rates here to stay

    By Stanley White
    TOKYO, Feb 24 (Reuters) - The dollar slipped to a three-year
low against the British pound and fell against commodities
currencies on Wednesday as investors increased bets that a
global economic recovery will boost riskier assets.
    The New Zealand dollar briefly fell but then quickly
stabilised after the country's central bank kept monetary policy
on hold and said inflation and employment will remain below its
targets in the medium term.
    U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell reiterated on
Tuesday that interest rates will remain low and the Fed will
keep buying bonds to support the U.S. economy, which many
traders say is a long-term negative factor for the dollar.
    At the same time, more money is flowing toward currencies
that are expected to benefit from a pick-up in global trade and
to countries that are bouncing back quickly from the coronavirus
pandemic, which is also weighing on the dollar.
    "Signs of economic recovery are lifting commodities prices,
which in turn supports currencies of commodities exporters,"
said Junichi Ishikawa, foreign exchange strategist at IG
    "Risk appetite has improved a lot, and this leaves the
dollar at a big disadvantage."
    The British pound rose to $1.4170, the highest
since April 2018.
    The outlook for sterling has brightened as investors cheer
Britain's rapid coronavirus vaccination programme and its plans
to ease lockdown restrictions on economic activity.
    The New Zealand dollar edged up to $0.7367, close
to a three-year high.
    The Reserve Bank of New Zealand expressed some caution about
the outlook, which may have disappointed some traders who
expected central bankers to acknowledge a recent improvement in
economic data.   
    The Australian dollar, which tends to benefits from
rising metal and energy prices, jumped to a three-year high of
    Against the euro, the dollar traded at $1.2158,
close to a six-week low.
    The dollar managed to rise to 105.40 Japanese yen
and hit an almost three-month high against the Swiss franc
, but overall sentiment was still negative on the
    Powell pushed back against suggestions that loose monetary
policy will lead to runaway inflation and financial bubbles,
which have emerged as two important themes this year, because
there is growing scepticism about the rapid pace of gains in
global stocks.
    For economies that have limited disruptions caused by the
coronavirus outbreak, their central bankers now face questions
of when to start tightening policy, which makes the dollar look
less attractive, some analysts say.
    The dollar index against a basket of six major
currencies fell to 90.025.
    In the cryptocurrency market, bitcoin halted its
plunge from a record high above $50,000 and stabilised at
$49,052. Square Inc has invested $170 million in the
digital asset, but some analysts still argue that bitcoin's
recent surge was excessive.
    Rival digital currency ether recovered from a
sharp sell-off to trade up slightly at $1,591.
    Currency bid prices at 0129 GMT
 Description      RIC         Last           U.S. Close  Pct Change     YTD Pct     High Bid    Low Bid
                                              Previous                   Change                 
 Euro/Dollar                  $1.2158        $1.2150     +0.07%         -0.49%      +1.2164     +1.2143
 Dollar/Yen                   105.4000       105.2600    +0.21%         +2.13%      +105.4800   +105.2400
 Euro/Yen                     128.15         127.86      +0.23%         +0.97%      +128.2300   +127.7800
 Dollar/Swiss                 0.9058         0.9054      +0.06%         +2.40%      +0.9064     +0.9048
 Sterling/Dollar              1.4190         1.4112      +0.55%         +3.86%      +1.4235     +1.4111
 Dollar/Canadian              1.2569         1.2590      -0.16%         -1.29%      +1.2596     +1.2560
 Aussie/Dollar                0.7938         0.7909      +0.37%         +3.19%      +0.7945     +0.7903
 NZ                           0.7367         0.7343      +0.33%         +2.59%      +0.7377     +0.7317
 Dollar/Dollar All spots
Tokyo spots
Europe spots 
Tokyo Forex market info from BOJ

 (Reporting by Stanley White; editing by Richard Pullin)


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The FOREX-Recovery bet pushed the dollar to fresh lows | Instant News

    * Aussie, kiwi make three-year peaks
    * Sterling gains as lockdown finish-line comes in to view
    * Rising U.S. yields drag on Japanese yen
    * Graphic: World FX rates tmsnrt.rs/2RBWI5E

    By Stanley White and Tom Westbrook
    TOKYO/SINGAPORE, Feb 22 (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar was sold
to multi-year lows against sterling and the Australian and New
Zealand currencies on Monday, as investors cheered vaccine
progress and wagered on the pandemic recovery bringing a global
trade boom and an export windfall.
    The British pound hit $1.4043, its highest since
April 2018, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson charts a path out of
lockdowns on the back of rapid vaccinations.
    The Aussie rose as much as 0.5% to an almost
three-year high of $0.7908 and the kiwi hit $0.7338,
also its best since early 2018, helped by S&P's upgrade of New
Zealand's sovereign credit ratings by a notch.
    The euro was steady at $1.2119, while the yen
 was the only major to cede ground to the greenback as
rising U.S. Treasury yields drew investment flows from Japan. 
    Benchmark 10-year Treasury yields rose to
1.3940%, their highest since Feb. 2020 and the dollar was up
0.2% to buy 105.73 yen.
    With local yields anchored by the Bank of Japan, the yen
remains particularly sensitive to the U.S. bond market, and has
dropped 2% this year while U.S. ten-year yields have climbed
nearly 50 basis points.
    Sovereign yields elsewhere in Asia have gained in tandem, or
in the case of Australia and New Zealand far in excess of U.S.
rates, leaving little or no relative benefit for the dollar, as
investors begin to price in a pickup in global inflation.
    "There's a tide of higher rates across the board, and
whether the U.S. does an extra five basis points than Germany is
neither here nor there," said Jason Wong, senior market
strategist at BNZ in Wellington.
    "The bigger picture is (the United States) has got massive
debt issuance for stimulus and to find a buyer for that debt you
either need higher rates or a lower currency or both, and at the
moment we're getting both."
    The U.S. dollar index was steady at 90.355.
    Besides the U.S. budget deficit, a growing trade deficit has
also weighed on the dollar, as have the large gains that rising
commodity prices have delivered to exporters' currencies.
    Copper has gained roughly 8% for the year and hit a
nine-year peak on Monday, oil has gained more than 22% for the
year to date, iron ore about 10% and dairy prices nearly 7%.
    The Aussie dollar, which rose nearly 40% from last March's
trough through to the end of 2020 has added another 2% this
year, while the kiwi and Canadian dollar have added 1% or more
and analysts said the rallies might have further to run.
    "We are recommending a long AUD/USD trade idea," said
analysts at MUFG Bank in a note to clients. "The Aussie is
continuing to benefit from the outperformance from building
optimism over the global growth/reflation outlook which is
helping to improve Australia's terms of trade."
    The bank also recommends a long sterling position as
diminished Brexit uncertainty and solid progress in vaccinating
the British population herald a strong economic recovery.
    Ahead on Monday, British Prime Minister Johnson is expected
to outline a roadmap out of lockdowns, a German sentiment survey
is due and European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde is
expected to sound dovish in a speech beginning at 1345 GMT.
    Later in the week, the New Zealand central bank sets policy
on Wednesday and then U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome
Powell testifies before Congress, also on Wednesday.
    In the cryptocurrency market, bitcoin eased
slightly to $56,159, but was still near a record high as the
digital asset gains more mainstream acceptance.
    Ether, a rival cryptocurrency, fell to $1,871.
    Currency bid prices at 0415 GMT
 Description      RIC         Last           U.S. Close  Pct Change     YTD Pct     High Bid    Low Bid
                                              Previous                   Change                 
 Euro/Dollar                  $1.2121        $1.2118     +0.03%         -0.79%      +1.2135     +1.2110
 Dollar/Yen                   105.6400       105.4900    +0.14%         +2.28%      +105.7350   +105.5050
 Euro/Yen                     128.04         127.75      +0.23%         +0.88%      +128.1300   +127.7000
 Dollar/Swiss                 0.8975         0.8965      +0.16%         +1.49%      +0.8979     +0.8962
 Sterling/Dollar              1.4020         1.4001      +0.11%         +2.60%      +1.4051     +1.4012
 Dollar/Canadian              1.2607         1.2619      -0.09%         -0.99%      +1.2617     +1.2581
 Aussie/Dollar                0.7876         0.7868      +0.11%         +2.39%      +0.7908     +0.7864
 NZ                           0.7307         0.7297      +0.18%         +1.80%      +0.7337     +0.7292
 Dollar/Dollar All spots
Tokyo spots
Europe spots 
Tokyo Forex market info from BOJ

 (Reporting by Stanley White in Tokyo and tom Westbrook in
Singapore; Editing by Sam Holmes)


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Further testing found variants of British in five SM schools | Instant News

SURREY, BC – Students or staff at five public schools in British Columbia have tested positive for the faster-spreading variant of COVID-19 first seen in the UK, health officials said Sunday.

A statement from the Fraser Health authorities said it was working together to manage exposure at four schools in Surrey and one in the Delta School District.

A statement from the Surrey School District to parents said the strain originating from the UK in two schools was linked to positive cases since January 26 because testing for the variant took longer than standard testing for COVID-19.

The three-week delay is too long, says Sarah Otto, a professor of evolutionary biology at the University of BC

“We expect it to double every eight to 10 days, and for every eight to 10 day delay, there is potentially twice as many other people who have contracted it and don’t know it.”

The Fraser Health statement said it was working to identify more linked variant cases to ensure prompt isolation and case management to stop further transmission.

“This type of variant can be transmitted more quickly and easily but does not appear to cause more severe disease, or interfere with the effectiveness of the vaccine, or affect our ability to test for the virus,” the statement said.

The schools involved are Woodward Hill Elementary School, AHP Matthew Elementary School, Kwantlen Park High School, and Tamanawis Middle School in Surrey, as well as Hellings Elementary School in Delta.

The authority statement said only staff and students who had been identified as close contacts of the patient needed to be tested and they had been notified.

All schools remain open.

Jordan Tinney, the superintendent of the Surrey School District, tweeted Saturday night notices that had been sent to parents at schools saying two classes and more than 20 people had been told to stay at home on Woodward Hill.

It said three people each at Tamanawis High School and Matthew Elementary School had direct contact with the infected in each school and they had been directed to self-isolate and undergo testing.

A notice sent to parents on Saturday by the Delta School District said it received additional information that someone who attended Hellings primary school between February 2 and 4 had tested positive for a variant.

There have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at school since exposure, he said.

“Although more than 14 days have passed since that exposure, due to abundant caution, Fraser Health made direct contact with an individual’s close contact with instructions for them to self-isolate and undergo a COVID-19 test,” the statement said.

A statement from the BC Teachers Federation said governments and health officials needed to fight new threats to school safety.

The union says school districts need authority to go beyond established health and safety guidelines when necessary.

“This will help keep people safe in schools, but also prevent a variant of the concern from spreading to vulnerable adults living in student homes,” said a statement from president Teri Mooring.

“We also need to see widespread rapid testing as the COVID-19 variant of concern emerges in schools. This is no time to be conservative with testing. “

Otto said the discovery of the variant was an appeal to the community and residents around the school to increase their protection.

This will be a time to limit shop visits, double masks, outdoor masks and maintain a high level of vigilance, he said.

“It is possible that we could stop the formation of variants in British Columbia and that means in this area we all need to be more vigilant.”



He said every week that the variant that remains isolated in that community pocket is another week of vaccinations and saves lives.

Some health officials have warned that a third wave could overshadow if a more contagious variant occurs.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on February 21, 2021.


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Press, Rapinoe scores, US beat Brazil 2-0 in SheBelieves Cup | Instant News

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – Christen Press scores in the 11th minute, Megan Rapinoe adds a late goal and the US woman beat Brazil 2-0 in the SheBelieves Cup on Sunday.

The US sits at the top of the SheBelieves Cup standings with two wins. Canada and Argentina will compete Sunday night in a round-robin tournament.

The United States, winners of the last two World Cups, is now unbeaten in 36 consecutive games overall and 52 consecutive games at home.

“One thing I learned playing in the US women’s national team is that you have to prepare for each match as if it were the most important game of your life,” said Press. “So that’s the approach I’m taking.”

The Americans have won five in a row over Brazil and are unbeaten in the last seven. The team is 20-0-2 against Brazil on American soil.

“I was disappointed at the start of the match, of course. We conceded a goal. “But it wasn’t just the goal, the way we played our attack in the first 20 minutes,” said Brazil coach Pia Sundhage. “That’s room for improvement, for sure. But then in the second half, and the fact that we created quite a few chances, I was happy with that. “

Press took a pass from Lindsey Horan and darted forward, fooling a defender before hitting a hard shot into the far corner of the net. It was Press’s 10th goal in the national team’s last 13 games and an international’s 59.

“Lindsey gives me a good ball diagonally, so I’m not in a crossing situation, I can really cut and open the corner,” said Press. “And that’s what I wanted to do, this is my signature shot and my signature style, so it’s great to see him in goal.”

Moments later, Crystal Dunn’s sliding tackle prevented Debinha from breaking away. Brazil had a good chance in the 82nd minute when Marta found Debinha in the box, but his shot went wide.

It was US goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher’s 10th straight finish.

Alex Morgan made his first start for the national team since giving birth to daughter Charlie last year. Morgan and Press were replaced in the 71st minute and were replaced by Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd.

Horan puts the ball in the box for Rapinoe, who scores in the 88th minute. After he scored the goal, Rapinoe make a baby-rocking motion in honor of teammates Ali Krieger and Ashlynn Harris, who recently adopted daughter Sloane.

“I am very happy we created opportunities and the fact that we did it in a very creative way with some good games makes me very happy and tells me we are moving in the right direction,” said AS coach Vlatko Andonovski. “Now the fact that we haven’t finished it doesn’t disappoint, but it’s something we need to work on.”

Sundhage, who coached the US from 2008-12, took over Brazil last summer and has an 8-2-3 record.

The US beat Canada 1-0 in their SheBelieves Cup opener on Thursday, while Brazil beat rivals Argentina 4-1. Brazil made their second overall appearance at the tournament, now in its sixth year.

For the first time this year, all US players stand up for the anthem before the game.

“I think those who kneel together feel like we are kneeling to draw attention to police brutality and systemic racism,” said Dunn. “Going forward, we decided not to feel the need to kneel anymore because we were doing behind-the-scenes work. We fight systemic racism. We never felt like we were going to be on our knees forever. “


More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports


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