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Netflix to Include Mobile Games for Subscribers



Netflix to Include Mobile Games for Subscribers

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Movie streaming platform, Netflix has confirmed that it will include video games as part of subscription packages at no extra cost.

In a letter to investors, it said it was in the early stages of expanding into games and those games for mobile would be added to the platform first.

“The time is right to learn more about how our members value games,” it said
But Netflix shares dipped in after-hours trading after it missed a target on subscriptions.

The California-based company said it expects to sign up 3.5 million new customers in the three months to the end of September – less than the 5.86 million analysts had estimated.

“Covid has created some lumpiness in our membership growth (higher growth in 2020, slower growth this year), which is working its way through,” it said in its latest financial update.

“We continue to focus on improving our service for our members and bringing them the best stories from around the world.”

It now counts more than 209 million paid-up members in total, having seen a surge in sign-ups when consumers were spending more time at home during coronavirus-related lockdowns.



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AstraZeneca vaccine

Thailand considering limits on AstraZeneca vaccine export



Thailand considering limits on AstraZeneca vaccine export


Thailand is considering imposing limits on exports of locally manufactured AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines to fight its own crisis, an official said on Wednesday, a move likely to impact neighbours and stir concerns of vaccine protectionism.

Any attempt to regulate exports could further slow vaccine rollout to Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia, which are also battling spikes in infections and supply disruptions caused by earlier export curbs imposed by India.

Nakorn Premsri, a key member of the National Vaccine Committee, told reporters when asked about a plan to place a quota on vaccine exports that the committee had “agreed in principle” on such a draft order.

“Right now, the order has not been issued yet,” Nakorn said, adding that various agencies will need to review it and consider its impacts.

He did not address at what levels export quotas might be set. AstraZeneca Thailand said in late June that its partner Siam Bioscience, owned by King Maha Vajiralongkorn, will produce 180 million doses this year, just over a third for Thailand and two thirds for elsewhere in Southeast Asia.

Thailand is suffering its worst coronavirus outbreak yet, with hundreds of deaths in recent weeks and more than 8,000 new cases reported on many days this month – and only about 5% of its population of more than 66 million vaccinated.

Thailand has been producing the AstraZeneca vaccine since June and is slated to export it to several other countries in Southeast Asia, as well as Taiwan. The Philippines and Malaysia are among countries that have experienced delivery delays.

AstraZeneca delivered 6 million doses, as promised, to Thailand in June when the country’s mass vaccine rollout started and a Thai official last month said a similar volume would be delivered in July, short of the previously announced 10 million monthly doses.

Thailand has recorded nearly 363,000 COVID-19 cases and 2,934 fatalities overall, the vast majority of those since early April, in an outbreak fueled by both Alpha and Delta coronavirus variants.


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Thailand imposes stricter measures to slow COVID spread



Thailand imposes stricter measures to slow COVID spread


Thailand announced tighter restrictions in the capital Bangkok and nine provinces on Friday in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus, including travel curbs, mall closures, a curfew and limits on the size of gatherings.

Some measures will take effect from Saturday, others from Monday, and come as Thailand reported one of its highest daily infection tallies at 9,276, with 72 new deaths, amid a battle against its longest-running and most severe outbreak so far.

“In the 10 provinces there will be restrictions on unnecessary travel and people cannot leave their home between 9 p.m. and 4 a.m. unless necessary,” Apisamai Srirangsan, spokeswoman for the government’s COVID-19 taskforce told a televised news briefing.

Malls, beauty clinics, spas and massage shops in Bangkok and five surrounding provinces must close from Monday, while COVID-19 testing facilities will be expanded to better detect and isolate clusters, Apisamai said.

Gatherings will be capped at five people, although there will be some exceptions. The government also discouraged inter-provincial travel.

Thailand on Friday took delivery of AstraZeneca vaccines donated by Japan.

Apisamai said the AstraZeneca vaccine and that of Pfizer  and BioNTech would be used for elderly people and those with medical complications, plus foreign residents over 60, diplomats and athletes competing overseas.

She also said medical personeel would be offered Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA booster shots.

Most Thai medical workers were administered the vaccine of China’s Sinovac, which some experts say may be less effective against more transmissible coronavirus variants.


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Oil prices dip amid coronavirus resurgence



Oil prices dip amid coronavirus resurgence

Oil Rig


Oil edged lower as the coronavirus resurgence raised concerns about demand ahead of an OPEC+ meeting this week that could see the alliance boost some halted output.

Futures in New York slipped 0.2% after falling back below $73 a barrel on Monday. The more infectious delta variant of the virus has resulted in a spike in U.K. cases and led to renewed restrictions and lockdowns in other regions.
While the crude market has tightened, the latest flare-up may feature in talks when OPEC+ gathers Thursday to decide on adding more supply in August.

Oil slips back below $73 as investors weigh demand concerns

Oil is still up around 10% this month as a rebound from the Covid-19 pandemic accelerated in key regions including the U.S. and China, underpinning a surge in fuel consumption and helping to drain bloated stockpiles. Futures and swaps in leading pricing locations are in a bullish backwardation structure, although the spread is narrowing in what could be early signs of some weakness.

“Oil prices are trimming back because of rising concerns about the spread of the Covid-19 Delta variant,” said Victor Shum, vice president of energy consulting at IHS Markit. However, demand is spiking, driven by countries including the U.S., China and the Middle East, he added.


West Texas Intermediate for August fell 0.2% to $72.75 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 7:36 a.m. in London.
Brent for August settlement slid 0.3% to $74.48 on the ICE Futures Europe exchange after falling 2% on Monday.
The prompt timespread for Brent was 52 cents in backwardation, compared with 73 cents a week earlier.

The U.K. on Monday reported the most new Covid-19 cases since January, and Hong Kong, Spain and Portugal all imposed new restrictions to visitors from the nation. Authorities are also racing to contain outbreaks in Australia. The virus flare-up may lead to export-focused refiners in Asia trimming processing rates.

Meanwhile, OPEC+ expects that the market will remain in deficit this year if it keeps production steady, according to data that technical experts will review on Tuesday ahead of the coalition’s main meeting. The group may boost daily output by 500,000-to-1 million barrels, RBC Capital Markets said in a note.

Indian pump prices are in unchartered territory as ever-increasing government levies coincide with crude’s recovery from the depths of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The physical oil market, in which millions of barrels of crude are bought and sold each day, is screaming for more supply in the run-up to a pivotal meeting of OPEC+ producers this week.

Saudi Aramco is expected to increase its official selling price of Arab Light crude by 65 cents month-on-month for August sales to Asian customers, according to a survey.



Bloomberg/Hauwa Abu

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