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Global Markets: Robinhood eases trading restrictions

WINNIPEG, Jan. 29 (MarketsFarm) – The following is a glance at the news moving markets in Canada and globally.

– Just one day after online brokers such as Robinhood placed buying halts on shorted stocks such as GameStop (GME) and AMC (AMC) causing them to fall, those stocks were rising again today as Robinhood eased trading restrictions. Yesterday, the platform only allowed its users to close out their positions on GME and 12 other companies. Today, Robinhood is allowing shares in those stocks to be traded, but not purchased. There are also limits as to how many shares from those companies an account can have. Other online brokers still allowed buying and trading those stocks. Yesterday, the share prices of GME and AMC dropped by 44 per cent and 57 per cent, respectively, but still at a much higher value than in past weeks. The rallies in those stocks have hit short sellers hard as losses from short positions in U.S. firms have exceeded more than US$70 billion this year alone, according to financial data analytics firm Ortex.

– Johnson & Johnson released data today from its COVID-19 single-dose vaccine trial touting it as 66 per cent effective overall after it was tested on three continents and against multiple variants of the virus. The vaccine was also 85 per cent effective in preventing moderate to severe disease which, in turn, would prevent hospitalizations and deaths. However, the percentage dropped in Latin America (66) and South Africa (57) where variants have circulated. The United States Food and Drug Administration may grant emergency use authorization of the vaccine next week. Canada has already ordered as many as 38 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine.

– Kevin Chan, global director and head of public policy for Facebook Canada, and Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault will testify in front of the House of Commons heritage committee today about the relationship between the social media giant and the government. Chan told CBC that he would welcome more regulation on the platform in terms of removing offensive content and combating hate speech, but does not believe the government should force Facebook to pay news media for content shared on the platform, like in Australia.

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