Dubai begins building ‘world’s tallest’ tower

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, prime minister and vice-president of UAE and ruler of Dubai, claps during a groundbreaking to start building The Tower, that would be the world's tallest tower, in Dubai. (Reuters)
Updated 10 October 2016

Dubai begins building ‘world’s tallest’ tower

DUBAI: Dubai began construction work Monday on a tower that will stand higher than its Burj Khalifa, which is currently the world’s tallest skyscraper.
Dubai Ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, marked the groundbreaking of The Tower at Dubai Creek Harbor as construction workers laid foundations for the skyscraper at a vast patch of sand.
The structure “will be the world’s tallest tower when completed in 2020,” said a statement issued at the ceremony.
Dubai’s developer giant Emaar Properties announced plans to build the viewing tower in April, saying it will be “a notch” higher than Burj Khalifa, which stands 828 meters (2,700 feet) high.
Emaar has not revealed the exact final height of the tower.
It said in April that the structure will cost around $1 billion (900 million euros).
Designed by Spanish-Swiss architect Santiago Calatrava Valls, the tower will have observation decks providing 360-degree views of the coastal city.
Emaar Chairman Mohamed Alabbar said the tower will completed before the Expo 2020 trade fair which Dubai is preparing to host.
In April, Emaar said the tower will be slender, evoking the image of a minaret, and will be anchored to the ground with sturdy cables.
Dubai has established a reputation for building dozens of futuristic skyscrapers, which have transformed its skyline.
Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Holding is building a tower in Jeddah that is planned to surpass the Burj Khalifa, rising more than a kilometer.


S&P 500 inches closer to record high

Updated 12 August 2020

S&P 500 inches closer to record high

  • US stock market index returns to levels last seen before the onset of coronavirus crisis

NEW YORK: The S&P 500 on Tuesday closed in on its February record high, returning to levels last seen before the onset of the coronavirus crisis that caused one of Wall Street’s most dramatic crashes in history.

The benchmark index was about half a percent below its peak hit on Feb. 19, when investors started dumping shares in anticipation of what proved to be the biggest slump in the US economy since the Great Depression.

Ultra-low interest rates, trillions of dollars in stimulus and, more recently, a better-than-feared second quarter earnings season have allowed all three of Wall Street’s main indexes to recover.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq has led the charge, boosted by “stay-at-home winners” Amazon.com Inc., Netflix Inc. and Apple Inc. The index was down about 0.4 percent.

The blue chip Dow surged 1.2 percent, coming within 5 percent of its February peak.

“You’ve got to admit that this is a market that wants to go up, despite tensions between US-China, despite news of the coronavirus not being particularly encouraging,” said Andrea Cicione, a strategist at TS Lombard.

“We’re facing an emergency from the health, economy and employment point of view — the outlook is a lot less rosy. There’s a disconnect between valuation and the actual outlook even though lower rates to some degree justify high valuation.”

Aiding sentiment, President Vladimir Putin claimed Russia had become the first country in the world to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine. But the approval’s speed has concerned some experts as the vaccine still must complete final trials.

Investors are now hoping Republicans and Democrats will resolve their differences and agree on another relief program to support about 30 million unemployed Americans, as the battle with the virus outbreak was far from over with US cases surpassing 5 million last week.

Also in focus are Sino-US tensions ahead of high-stakes trade talks in the coming weekend.

“Certainly the rhetoric from Washington has been negative with regards to China ... there’s plenty of things to worry about, but markets are really focused more on the very easy fiscal and monetary policies at this point,” said Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management in Chicago.

Financials, energy and industrial sectors, that have lagged the benchmark index this year, provided the biggest boost to the S&P 500 on Tuesday.

The S&P 500 was set to rise for the eighth straight session, its longest streak of gains since April 2019.

The S&P 500 was up 15.39 points, or 0.46 percent, at 3,375.86, about 18 points shy of its high of 3,393.52. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 341.41 points, or 1.23 percent, at 28,132.85, and the Nasdaq Composite was down 48.37 points, or 0.44 percent, at 10,919.99.

Royal Caribbean Group jumped 4.6 percent after it hinted at new safety measures aimed at getting sailing going again after months of cancellations. Peers Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. and Carnival Corp. also rose.

US mall owner Simon Property Group Inc. gained 4.1 percent despite posting a disappointing second quarter profit, as its CEO expressed some hope over a recovery in retail as lockdown measures in some regions eased.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners 3.44-to-1 on the NYSE and 1.44-to-1 on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 35 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 50 new highs and four new lows.