Fast Food Companies are moving towards New Strategies to Sell Prepared Food

Increasingly spreading coronavirus in China have forced fast-food companies including McDonald’s, Starbucks, and others to provide customers with contactless pickup and delivery services, in order to keep their workers and customers safe. McDonald’s has, recently, announced a new strategy of contactless pickup and delivery of some menu items across China.

McDonald’s said on its website that the strategy will allow customers who are ordering remotely, on mobile phones, or computers in store will receive a seal meals in bags in a special pickup spot without any human contact.

For more precaution, the drivers will drop their McDonald’s meal packages at building entrances, wash their hands more frequently, and disinfect their delivery bags. Also, the drivers carrying delivery orders will have an ID cards with full information showing that they and the people involved in the process of preparing and packaging their food had their body temperature scanned already to eliminate infection.

Starbucks also stepped up to take necessary precaution against the outbreak by suggesting customers to order via its app. Once the order is the customer has to wait outside its cafés till they get a pick-up notice and their orders will be placed on tables inside café entrances.

Even if a customer do enter Starbucks locations, he or she will have their body temperature taken at the door and baristas wear masks. They will also use regularly sterilizes containers for delivery and the delivery people will have their temperature taken daily. Also, in all its cafes the indoors staff must wash their hands every 30 minutes and public areas will be sterilized every 2 hours.

These measurements are proof, how companies are quickly adapting to the new challenges of selling prepared food while keeping people safe.


Trump’s Budget Focuses on Funding Defence and Infrastructure Projects

On Monday, the American President Trump will be proposing a 21% cut in foreign aid and social safety-net programs in his budget proposal of $4.8 trillion for fiscal 2021. According to some officials, the budget money will be focused towards funding defence and infrastructure projects. Additionally, the money will also be used to raise funds by targeting $2 trillion in savings from mandatory program spending.

It is highly unlikely that the latest budget blueprint for spending proposals will be passed by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives.

President Trump, who promised to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border in 2016, will seek $2 billion in funding for further construction, substantially less that the requested amount of $8.6 billion from the previous year. After Congress refused the initial request for funding Wall the administration shifted resources from the military. However, they will not seek any funds from the military and instead raise its spending by 0.3% to $740.5 billion for fiscal-year 2021. It will also propose higher outlays for defence veterans.

In the budget, administration is seeking money to fund the U.S. infrastructure overhaul as a priority, agreed by both sides. However, Mike Mullen, former Joint Chief’s Chairman, has raised concerns on how the foreign aid cuts would affect the U.S. civilian footprint.

In a letter, he wrote that, today, in the world of great power competition, cutting these critical investments would be out of touch with the reality around the world. This moment will require more investment in diplomacy and development. In the upcoming fiscal year, Trump’s foreign aid proposal will seek $44.1 billion compared with $55.7 billion enacted in fiscal 2020. The White House has proposes to slash spending by $4.4 trillion over 10 years.


Five New Data Centres Added to Oracle’s Cloud Computing

On Monday, Oracle Corp has said that they have added new cloud computing data centres in five countries as the company tries to compete with players like Microsoft Corp and for market share. Further, by the end of 2020, they are aiming to set them in 36 locations.

The company saw a rocky start in its initial years of the cloud business but not the California based manufacturers are rolling out its second generation of cloud systems. They will be both operating data centres and customers rent capacity through it.

The executive vice president of engineering, Clay Magouyrk, said that under the new data privacy regulations and guidelines across the globe has meant that the businesses must retain data in the country of its origin. This has made its very crucial to offer them cloud data centres.

He further said the company’s goal is to at least have two regions where it operates in each country. This will help them provide customers with one primary region and another as a backup in case of disaster. Their strategy is to have lots of regions around the world to expand its data centre footprint.

On Monday, the company have added regions in Saudi Arabia; Osaka, Japan; Melbourne, Jeddah, Australia; Montreal, Canada; and Amsterdam in the Netherlands. They are planning to add another region in Saudi Arabia by this year along with two in the UAE.

A research director at IDC, Deepak Mohan, said that the aim for geographical reach is a solid strategy in the wake of new data regulations providing customer base of large businesses. Over the last couple of years, the company has taken a bad rap, however, some of those things are taking their own sweet time to get the ship righted.

Currencycloud Looks for Expansion in Asia after Significantly Investing in America

Visa has recently raised $80 million to fund Currencycloud, a financial technology start-up. Visa’s investment in Currencycloud comes after $5.3 billion acquisition of Plaid. This startup gained popularity for cross-border payments for a number of popular finance apps. The U.K. based startup, sells payment software to process their international transactions for banks and fintech firms.

Mike Laven, CEO of Currencycloud, said in an interview that they are probably the most crucial business that is never talked about much but that’s conscientious on their part. He also added that they do not have a single strategy with which they can compete with customers.

SAP’s venture arms Visa and Sapphire co-led the firm’s latest series of funding and also attracted some backing from the investment arm of the World Bank, Google, Japanese bank SBI, and French lender BNP Paribas.

Laven has further said that Currencycloud is counting Visa as a strategic investor and has already partnered with many payment networks to provide its clients access to this technology. The firm also works with a number of banks in the U.K., who have racked up millions of users with them by using only an app and debit card including Monzo, Starling, and Revolut.

Currently, Europe is the largest market for the company, they have also been increasingly investing in North America and are now aiming for expansion in Asia. As the region has seen significant adoption rates, said Lave. For example, In China, similar to mobile wallets including Alipay and WeChat Pay many Chinese consumers are using their phones to pay for things.

Since its foundation in 2012, the company claims to have processed a worth of $50 billion in global payments after raising over $140 million from investors. However, they have declined to disclose their valuation.


Oil Prices Have Jumped as Libya Shutdown from Pipeline Closure

On Monday, Asian shares neared a 20-month top as Wall Street recorded peaks on the U.S. economic data and lashes of liquidity from the Federal Reserve. Oil prices have jumped due to oilfields shutdown in southwest Libya after a pipeline closure, which will potentially reduce national output to a fraction.

After notching highest close since June 2018, Asia-Pacific’s MSCI broadest index for shares outside of Japan firmed 0.1%. Japan’s Nikkei near its highest in 15 months by adding 0.2%. As the Chinese shares opened firm with the blue-chip CSI300 index up 0.2%.

As South Korea neared its best level since October 2018, Australian index scored another peak. E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 edged up 0.1%.

The main focus of the market to remain on the U.S. top corporate companies including Intel Corp, Netflix Inc., and Texas Instruments Inc. that are set to present their reports this week, while central banks in Canada, European Union, and Japan hold policy meetings.

Only three weeks into the new year and relentless run of record highs on Wall Street the S&P 500 has gained just over 3% and the NASDAQ almost 5%.

Ray Attrill, head of foreign exchange strategy at National Australia Bank said that the relationship between the size of the Fed’s balance sheet and performance of the U.S. risk assets is uncanny is some 11% bigger than that in late September.

After British economic news fanned speculation about interest rates cut the euro was stuck at $1.1095 and sterling at $1.3000. The dollar in the other hand was flat at 97.616 moving from recent trough of 96.355.

Wall Street Rose after the Dismissal of Report by Peter Navarro

On Monday, the U.S. stocks climbed owing to the gains in Apple, Merck & Co, and Microsoft, after investors in the U.S.-China trade war set aside worries.

After Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said that the sales of new iPhones were off to a strong start, the shares of Apple rose by 2.4%. However, amid tepid global demand for smartphones, Apple is struggling to reverse shrinking sales.

In addition, Microsoft Corp. rose by 0.9%, while the S&P 500 technology index added 1.0%.

Wall Street got an additional boost as Peter Navarro, White House trade adviser, dismissed reports of delisting Chinese companies from the U.S. stock exchanges as fake news. On Friday, these reports had sent the NASDAQ and the S&P 500 to a three week low.

Chinese firms whose stocks are listed in the U.S. such as Baidu Inc. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd rose 1.5% and 0.8% respectively.

The S&P 500 gained 0.50% to 2,976.73, and the industrial average of Dow Jones rose to 0.36% to end at 26,916.83, and Nasdaq Composite added 0.75% to 7,999.34.

For its third quarter, the NASDAQ dipped 0.1%., while Dow and the S&P 500 moved up by 1.2%.

Merck & Co Inc. presented promising data for its cancer drug to gain 1.5%. Newell Brands Inc. rose by 2.9% after the SunTrust Robinson Humphrey upgrade.

The focus of the investors this week will be on economic reports, which will include the September ISM purchasing managers index (PMI) data and key jobs report. The PMI data in the manufacturing sector has shown a contraction in August.

The Nasdaq Composite recorded 117 new lows and 31 new highs while the S&P 500 posted only 1 new low and 18 new 52-week highs.

On the U.S. exchange, the volume of the shares was 6.2 billion, on the other hand, the volume of a full session over the last 20 trading days was 7.2 billion.