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Tactile Analytics Announces Partnership with EQM Indexes to Support the EQM Tactile AR/VR Virtual Technology Index (ARVRIDX)

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Tactile Analytics Announces Partnership with EQM Indexes to Support the EQM Tactile AR/VR Virtual Technology Index (ARVRIDX)

Tactile Analytics is pleased to announce it has been chosen to help construct and provide ongoing analytical support to the new EQM Tactile AR/VR Virtual Technology Index (ARVRIDX).

The index will apply a quantitative screening methodology that will augment Tactile Analytics’ database of global companies that are expected to benefit from the increased adoption of augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) technologies.

Tactile Analytics believes AR/VR technologies are poised to hit an inflection point of declining costs and increasing consumer adoption, with the potential for wide ranging impacts across multiple sectors. Industry analysts believe the market for AR/VR could grow to over $200 billion by the early 2020s.

“With the increasing proliferation of AR and VR technology, we expect many markets and industries to be disrupted, creating substantial economic opportunity,” Mark Swaringen, Tactile Analytics Co-Founder, said. “Those companies that are investing in AR/VR, such as Facebook with Oculus, HTC with Vive, and start-ups like Magic Leap, stand to benefit from the wave of change ahead. We expect such technologies to fundamentally change the way society interacts with the digital universe, forever changing fields such as healthcare, engineering, and education.”

The index is designed to measure the performance of publicly listed equities and will be tracked by the first exchange traded fund (ETF) offering investors exposure to the AR/VR sector.

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Chipmakers in drought-hit Taiwan order water trucks to prepare for ‘the worst’

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Chipmakers in drought-hit Taiwan order water trucks to prepare for 'the worst' 1

TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan chipmakers are buying water by the truckload for some of their foundries as the island widens restrictions on water supply amid a drought that could exacerbate a chip supply crunch for the global auto industry.

Some auto makers have already been forced to trim production, and Taiwan had received requests for help to bridge the shortage of auto chips from countries including the United States and Germany.

Taiwan, a key hub in the global technology supply chain for giants such as Apple Inc, will begin on Thursday to further reduce water supply for factories in central and southern cities where major science parks are located.

Water levels in several reservoirs in the island’s central and southern region stand at below 20%, following months of scant rainfall and a rare typhoon-free summer.

“We have planned for the worst,” Taiwan Economy Minister Wang Mei-hua told reporters on Tuesday. “We hope companies can reduce water usage by 7% to 11%.”

With limited rainfall forecast for the months ahead, Taiwan Water Corporation this week said the island has entered the “toughest moment”.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC), the world’s largest contract chipmaker, this week started ordering small amounts of water by the truckload to supply some of its facilities across the island.

“We are making preparations for our future water demand,” TSMC told Reuters, describing the move as a “pressure test”. The chip giant said it has seen no impact on production. Both Vanguard International Semiconductor Corporation and United Microelectronics Corp signed contracts with water trucks and said there was no impact on production.

Vanguard said it has started a drill to truck water to its facilities in the northern city of Hsinchu.

Taiwanese technology companies have long complained about a chronic water shortage, which became more acute after factories expanded production following a Sino-U.S. trade war.

(Reporting By Yimou Lee; additional reporting by Jeanny Kao; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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Oil slips after U.S. crude stocks rise amid deep freeze hit to refiners

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Oil slips after U.S. crude stocks rise amid deep freeze hit to refiners 2

By Sonali Paul

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Oil prices fell in early trade on Wednesday after industry data showed U.S. crude inventories unexpectedly rose last week as a deep freeze in the southern states curbed demand from refineries that were forced to shut.

Crude stockpiles rose by 1 million barrels in the week to Feb. 19, the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported on Tuesday, against estimates for a draw of 5.2 million barrels in a Reuters poll.

API data showed refinery crude runs fell by 2.2 million bpd.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 55 cents or 0.9% at $61.12 a barrel at 0136 GMT, after slipping 3 cents on Tuesday.

Brent crude futures fell 38 cents, or 0.6%, to $64.99 a barrel, erasing Tuesday’s 13 cents gain.

Investors will be awaiting confirmation from the U.S. Energy Information Administration later on Wednesday that crude inventories rose last week, despite the hit to shale oil production amid the unprecedented icy spell in the U.S. south.

“The key question is how quickly does U.S. oil supply recover. It looks like supply will recover faster than refineries, and supply is going to outpace demand in the next few weeks. That will give negative weight to the market,” Commonwealth Bank analyst Vivek Dhar said.

The price retreat is being seen as a pause following a rally of more than 26% to 13-month highs in both Brent and WTI since the start of the year.

Prices have jumped due to the U.S. supply disruption and supply discipline by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, together called OPEC+, led by an extra 1 million bpd cut by Saudi Arabia.

At the same time stimulus spending to boost growth, investors rotating into commodities, and hopes that the rollout of vaccinations could lead to an easing of pandemic restrictions are all buoying oil prices.

(Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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Oil settles mixed amid post-storm uncertainty

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Oil settles mixed amid post-storm uncertainty 3

By Laura Sanicola

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil prices settled near year-long highs on Tuesday on signs that global coronavirus restrictions were being eased, although concerns about the pace of a U.S. economic recovery and the return of Texas oil production kept gains in check.

U.S. crude settled down 3 cents to $61.67 a barrel, still close to its highest levels since January 2020. Brent crude <LCOc1> settled up 13 cents, or 0.2%, to $65.37 a barrel.

Both contracts rose more than $1 earlier before retreating.

Shale oil producers and refiners in the southern United States are slowly resuming production after 2 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude output and nearly 20% of U.S. refining capacity shut down because of last week’s winter storm.

Traffic at the Houston ship channel was slowly returning to normal. Production, however, was not expected to fully restart soon and some shale producers forecast lower oil output in the first quarter.

Some oil production may never come back, commodities merchant Trafigura said on Tuesday.

After the cold snap, U.S. crude oil stockpiles were also seen falling for a fifth straight week, while the inventories of refined products also declined last week, an extended Reuters poll showed.

“It appears that last week’s severe cold spell and related Texas power outage could be affecting the weekly EIA data into the middle of next month,” said Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates in Galena, Illinois.

There were also concerns over the U.S. economic recovery, which the chair of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, said remained “uneven and far from complete.”

He said it would be “some time” before the central bank considered changing policies it had adopted to help the country back to full employment.

Commerzbank analyst Eugen Weinberg said the recent oil price rise was buoyed by upbeat price forecasts from U.S. brokers.

Goldman Sachs expects Brent prices to reach $70 per barrel in the second quarter from the $60 it predicted previously, and $75 in the third quarter from $65 forecast earlier.

Morgan Stanley, which expects Brent to reach $70 in the third quarter, said new COVID-19 cases were falling while “mobility statistics are bottoming out and are starting to improve”.

Bank of America said Brent prices could temporarily spike to $70 in the second quarter.

(Reporting by Laura Sanicola in New York; Additional reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin in London and Jessica Jaganathan in Singapore; Editing by Matthew Lewis and Mark Heinrich)

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