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Netflix eyes foray into video games
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings once said Netflix competes with the video game Fortnite more than HBO.
Now, Netflix plans to take Fortnite head-on. The streamer has hired Mike Verdu, a veteran of the gaming companies Electronic Arts, Kabam and Zynga, to be vice president of game development, a company spokesperson said Wednesday, confirming a Bloomberg News report.
Hastings’ statement points to just how broad the company considers its competition. Netflix doesn’t just compete with other streaming services. It competes with almost everything consumers do and just about everything that has a claim on their time — and, increasingly, consumers are spending more time playing video games.
Dollar rise dominates even as kiwi hops higher with inflation
The dollar was headed for its best weekly gain in about a month on Friday, supported by investors’ drift toward safety as rising COVID-19 infections loomed over the pandemic recovery, while a hot inflation reading sharply lifted the New Zealand dollar.
The kiwi was the biggest mover amongst majors in the Asia session, and was last up 0.6% at $0.7020, after consumer prices rose far faster than expected, bringingforward markets’ rate hike expectations to August.
The dollar’s recent strength, though, has been so irresistible that even the startling prospect of New Zealand leading developed markets out of emergency-level rates in a matter of weeks hasn’t broken the kiwi from narrow ranges.
The kiwi is up just 0.3% for the week and is below its 200-day moving average. Tapering of bond purchases in Canada has also done little to lift the loonie, which has struggled with soft oil prices and is off about 1% on the week.
ECB Seen Changing Words Now, Bond-Buying Later With New Strategy
The European Central Bank is likely to limit changes to its monetary policy to words at next week’s meeting, leaving decisions on future bond-buying until the economic outlook clears, according to a Bloomberg survey of economists.
Policy makers will have to adapt their language on interest rates, asset purchases and other tools to a new inflation strategy that allows prices to grow moderately faster than 2% — the goal going forward — for some time. Economists including ING’s Carsten Brzeski and Rabobank’s Bas van Geffen expect a signal that substantial monetary stimulus may remain in place for longer.
The implementation of the ECB’s new strategy “should confirm that an exit from unconventional policies is still very distant,” said Kristian Toedtmann, an economist at DekaBank.
Some 52% of respondents predict the ECB will spend the entirety of its 1.85 trillion-euro ($2.2 trillion) pandemic program, up from 40% in June. Economists see monthly purchases falling by 5 billion euros to 75 billion euros in August, when there’s less liquidity on financial markets, before buying will slow more significantly in October.
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