Amazon steps up British investment

Updated 18 August 2016

Amazon steps up British investment

LONDON: Online retailer Amazon said it would create 1,500 new jobs in 2017 when it opens a new distribution center in Tilbury, south east England, maintaining its surge of investment in Britain.
News of the investment follows Friday’s announcement that it will create 500 jobs when it opens a fulfilment center in Doncaster, northern England, next year.
The new jobs in Doncaster and Tilbury are in addition to the 3,500 Amazon has announced it expects to create in Britain in 2016, spanning head office, research and development centers, customer service centers, a fashion photography studio, Amazon Web Services and distribution centers.
Those jobs will take Amazon’s total full-time permanent employees to over 15,500 by the end of 2016.
Amazon said it needs more distribution centers to meet increasing demand, to expand its product selection of more than 150 million items and support a growing number of independent small businesses who sell on Amazon Marketplace and use Amazon’s warehousing and delivery services.
The Tilbury warehouse will be the firm’s 13th in Britain.
Amazon’s new UK manager Doug Gurr said in July Britain’s decision to leave the European Union had not affected its investment plans for the country.

Oil slides 4% on fears demand will drop

Updated 24 February 2020

Oil slides 4% on fears demand will drop

  • Rise in global coronavirus infections adds to investor concerns

LONDON: Oil prices slumped by 4 percent on Monday as the rapid spread of the coronavirus in countries outside China added to investor concerns over the impact on demand for crude.

Global equities also extended losses as worries about the impact of the virus grew, with the number of cases jumping in Iran, Italy and South Korea.

Brent crude was down 4 percent, at $56.16 barrel in afternoon trade in London. US crude futures fell by a similar measure.

“The weekend’s developments provided us with a stark reminder that the coronavirus is currently an unstoppable force,” said Tamas Varga, an analyst at oil brokerage PVM.

South Korea’s fourth-largest city, Daegu, was increasingly isolated as the number of infections there rose rapidly. The country reported its seventh death after raising its infectious disease alert to its highest level.

Italy reported a fifth death from the flu-like virus and 150 infections.

Meanwhile, Iran said that it had confirmed 61 cases and 12 deaths. Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Turkey imposed travel and immigration curbs on the Islamic Republic.

“We should not underestimate the economic disruption, as a super spreader could trigger a massive drop in business activity around the globe of proportions the world has never dealt with before,” Stephen Innes, chief market strategist at AxiCorp, said in a note.

Oil prices received some support after local health officials in China said on Monday that four provinces had lowered their virus emergency response measures.

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday said that the world’s largest energy consumer will adjust policy to help to cushion the economic impact from the virus outbreak.

Goldman Sachs said commodity prices could fall sharply before any rebound on the back of Chinese stimulus efforts.

“The promise of stimulus has made commodity markets act like equity markets, building up risks of a sharp correction,” the bank said in a note.

In the US, the oil rig count rose for a third week running. Drillers added one oil rig last week, bringing the total count to 679, the highest since the week of Dec. 20, said energy services company Baker Hughes.