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Google To Close Internal Stadia Game Development Studio

Gold Prices Ease As Vaccine Pace Picks Up

Gold prices eased on Tuesday amid signs that the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines is picking up speed.

Spot gold dropped 0.7 percent to $1,847.05 an ounce, while U.S. gold futures were down 0.8 percent at $1,848.70.

Vaccination drives picked up pace across the world, with millions having already received their doses.

Everyone in Germany should have been offered a coronavirus vaccine by the end of September, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Monday.

The number of new coronavirus cases globally has fallen for the third week in a row, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported on Monday, but urged countries not to let up efforts to defeat the disease.

“There are still many countries with increasing numbers of cases, but at the global level, this is encouraging news,” said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

“It shows this virus can be controlled, even with the new variants in circulation. And it shows that if we keep going with the same proven public health measures, we can prevent infections and save lives”.

Meanwhile, India slashed import duties on gold and silver on Monday in a surprise move that industry officials say could bring down smuggling of the precious metal.

Presenting the Union Budget for 2021-22, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has slashed the import duties on gold and silver to 7.5 percent from 12.5 percent.

India, the world’s second-biggest gold consumer, imports bulk of its gold and silver requirements.

M.D.C Holdings Q4 Profit Rises – Quick Facts

M.D.C Holdings Inc. (MDC) reported that its fourth-quarter net income was $147.5 million or $2.19 per share, up from $92.6 million or $1.42 per share in the previous year. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report earnings of $1.73 per share. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items.

Home sale revenues increased 10% to $1.18 billion from $1.07 billion in the prior year. Analysts expected revenue of $1.22 billion for the quarter.

Looking ahead for the 2021 first quarter, the company expects home deliveries to be between 2,200 units and 2,400 units.

For full year 2021, the company projects home deliveries to be between 10,000 units and 11,000 units.

Oil Rises On Hopes For Improved Energy Demand

Oil prices hit their highest level in more than a year on Tuesday amid expectations that oil demand will recover in 2021.

Benchmark Brent crude jumped 97 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $57.30 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were up 98 cents, or 1.9 percent, at $54.56.

Analysts said an uptick in economic and travel activity fueled by Covid-19 vaccines could accelerate in the second half.

Goldman Sachs expects global oil demand to recover to pre-pandemic levels of 100 million bpd by August this year, while prices are expected to rise to $65 a barrel by July amid a tight oil market and slow rebound in demand.

On the supply side, a survey by Reuters found major producers were restraining output growth “roughly in line with their commitments.”

The number of new coronavirus cases globally has fallen for the third week in a row, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported on Monday, but urged countries not to let up efforts to defeat the disease.

“There are still many countries with increasing numbers of cases, but at the global level, this is encouraging news,” said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

“It shows this virus can be controlled, even with the new variants in circulation. And it shows that if we keep going with the same proven public health measures, we can prevent infections and save lives”.

United Parcel Service Q4 adjusted earnings Beat Estimates

Below are the earnings highlights for United Parcel Service (UPS):

-EPS: -$3.75 in Q4 vs. -$0.12 in the same period last year.
-Excluding items, United Parcel Service reported adjusted earnings of $2.33 billion or $2.66 per share for the period.
-Analysts projected $2.14 per share
-Revenue: $24.90 billion in Q4 vs. $20.57 billion in the same period last year.

Viagogo must sell StubHub's international business, CMA says

(Reuters) – Britain’s competition watchdog said on Tuesday that Viagogo would need to sell all of StubHub’s business outside North America after its probe found the deal would reduce competition in the secondary ticketing market in UK.

The Competition and Markets Authority said the international business of StubHub would need to be independently owned and run by a separate company. Viagogo bought StubHub in a $4.05 billion deal from eBay last year. (bit.ly/3cwPAVu)

Google To Close Internal Stadia Game Development Studio

Alphabet Inc’s Google said it will not invest further for bringing exclusive content from its internal development studio SG&E for Stadia games, beyond any near-term planned games.

The company will instead focus on further developing Stadia’s streaming platform and technology and will continue to bring new game titles for Stadia and Stadia Pro from third parties.

In a blog post, Phil Harrison, Vice President and GM, Google Stadia, said that the company expects to help game developers and publishers to take advantage of its platform technology and deliver games directly to their players.

While launching Stadia in 2019, the company’s aim was to make games available instantly from its internal development team. However, the company now said that creating best-in-class games from the ground up takes many years and significant investment, and the cost is going up exponentially.

The latest decision to close down its internal development team reflects the recent successful launch of Cyberpunk 2077 on Stadia, gameplay on all types of devices, including iOS, growing its slate of YouTube integrations, and its global expansions.

The company sees that games streamed to any screen is the future of this industry.

Google also announced that Jade Raymond, who was in charge of Stadia Games, has decided to leave the company to pursue other opportunities. Over the coming months, most of the SG&E team will be moving on to new roles.