January 30, 2018 Newsletter
Here’ s an interesting piece of news:
800-Year-Old ‘Knight’ Chess Piece Discovered in Norway
By Owen Jarus, Live Science Contributor | January 29, 2018
Chess fans today may not recognize this decorated thimble-shaped object, but a recently discovered 800-year-old game piece from Norway is actually a knight.
Archaeologists discovered the exquisitely-preserved chess piece in a 13th-century house in Tønsberg. The game piece, which is made mostly out of antler, would have been used to play what was called shatranj (called chess today). There is likely some lead inside the piece to help it “stand firmly on the chessboard,” a team of archaeologists from the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU) said in a statement.
Discovered just before Christmas 2017, “the piece is richly decorated with circles on the bottom, several dotted circles on the sides and at the top. The protruding snout on the top has two dotted circles,” archaeologists said in the statement. “By looking at the ancient form of chess, shatranj, the piece from Tønsberg appears to be a horse,” which is known today as a knight, they said. [The 25 Most Mysterious Archaeological Finds on Earth]
This knight is similar in design to chess pieces seen in Arabia, said Lars Haugesten, the project manager for the excavation.
“The game of chess was taken up in the Arab world after the conquest of Persia in the seventh century, and was introduced to Spain in the 10th century by the Moors. From Spain, the game spread rapidly northwards, and may have been known in Scandinavia shortly afterwards,” the archaeological team noted in the statement.
While the knight resembles chess pieces from Arabia, it doesn’t mean that it was actually made there. In fact, the archaeologists refer to it as an “Arabic-inspired chess piece.”
Though chess pieces with an Arabic design are rare in Scandinavia, this isn’t the only example from the region, the archaeologists said. Archaeologists found the oldest chess piece known in Scandinavia in Lund, Sweden. The piece dates to the last half of the 12th century and has a design that is similar to the one found at Tønsberg, Haugesten said.
The 13th-century house where the chess piece was found is in an area of Tønsberg known as Anders Madsens gate. Located near a medieval castle, excavations in this gate area started in autumn 2017 and have revealed several medieval streets and houses. A wide variety of artifacts, including combs, ceramics and antlers, were found during the excavations, the archaeologists said.
Original article on Live Science.
PHOTOS OF THE DAY
Snow formations in Riisitunturi National Park, Finland.
CREDIT: ANDREY BAZANOV/CATERS NEWS AGENCY
The banks of river Seine are flooded in Paris, France.
CREDIT: MICHEL EULER/AP
Market Closes for January 30th, 2018
|Bonds||% Yield||Previous % Yield|
10 Year Bond
30 Year Bond
10 Year Bond
30 Year Bond
|London Gold Fix||1344.90||1343.85|
|WTI Crude Future||64.50||65.56|
On this day in 2000, 17 dot-com companies run television ads during Super Bowl XXXIV. By the time Super Bowl XXXV rolls around, at least three have gone bankrupt.
By Kristine Owram
(Bloomberg) — Canadian stocks posted their biggest two-day losing streak since May amid a broader global selloff that pushed the benchmark’s year-to-date decline to 1.6 percent, the worst performance in the developed world.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index tumbled 139 points or 0.9 percent to 15,955.51, the lowest close in nearly eight weeks. All sectors but one fell, with health-care stocks posting the biggest decline, down 4.8 percent. Canopy Growth Corp. lost 7.9 percent.
The energy sector was the biggest weight, falling 2.4 percent as oil prices fell the most this year. Every stock in the energy index was down.
In other moves:
* Thomson Reuters Corp. bucked the broader selloff, rising 7.1 percent, the most since 2009. Blackstone Group LP is in talks to buy a 55 percent stake in the company’s financial data unit, according to people familiar with the matter
* Shaw Communications Inc. rose 0.9 percent. The company is offering buyouts to 6,500 employees
* Loblaw Cos. fell 3.2 percent, the most since September. The stock was downgraded to hold at Desjardins Securities
* Western Canada Select crude oil traded at a $28.40 discount to WTI, the widest gap since 2013
* Gold fell 0.4 percent to $1,335.40 an ounce
* The Canadian dollar strengthened 0.1 percent to $1.2329 per U.S. dollar
* The Canada 10-year government bond yield rose two basis points to 2.30 percent, the highest since mid-2014
By Sarah Ponczek and Kailey Leinz
(Bloomberg) — The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 362 points, helping to send U.S. stocks to the biggest two-day decline since May, while yields on benchmark government bonds touched April 2014 highs as caution crept into markets after one of the best starts to a year in recent history.
Screens flashed red across most asset classes, with investors on edge ahead of a slew of earnings, a U.S. rate decision, the president’s address to Congress and major economic data. All major U.S. equity indexes sank a second day, with investors pocketing profits from a four-week rally that greeted 2018. The 10-year Treasury yield pushed above 2.73 percent, the highest since April 2014. Commodities retreated, led by crude and industrial metals. Gold turned lower, while the dollar fluctuated.
Equities took a series of blows that added to the selling. MetLife Inc. headlined a series of disappointing earnings, dampening enthusiasm over tax cuts. News that Amazon.com, JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway plan a joint unit that may redefine health-care jolted that sector to the steepest drop in more than a year. Apple Inc., the world’s largest company by market value, sank to a three-month low amid reports of a government inquiry and as concern mounts that its latest iPhone isn’t selling briskly. Energy producers slumped with the price of crude.
“We’ve just had such a huge move in one month, it’s scared people. We had huge flows into equities at the beginning of this year,” said Carmel Wellso, director of research at Janus Henderson. “Some people might be saying ’Wow, I just made 10 percent, that’s what I wanted to make for this whole year. Maybe I’ll take some money off the table.’”
Investors are weighing whether stronger corporate earnings, a pick-up in economic growth and optimism over U.S. tax cuts can continue driving up prices in markets that recently touched their highest on record; Goldman Sachs Group Inc. predicts a correction is on the horizon, but says any such pullback would be a buying opportunity.
The anxiety spread to Asia and Europe, with euro-zone stocks falling the most since November and Japan’s Topix wiping out gains for the year. Emerging-market stocks tumbled 1.7 percent, the most in two months. Gold futures lost 0.3 percent and even Bitcoin joined the selloff, sinking as much as 12 percent to fall below $10,000 before recovering from the lows of the day.
Here are some important things to watch out for this week:
* Fed policy makers gather for Chair Janet Yellen’s final meeting on interest rates Wednesday before her term ends.
* President Trump delivers his first State of the Union address.
* Tech giants Microsoft Corp., Facebook Inc., SAP SE, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., Apple Inc., Alphabet Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. will announce earnings. Large-caps Exxon Mobil Corp., Merck & Co. Inc., Roche Holding AG, Daimler AG, Deutsche Bank AG and Boeing Co. also report.
* U.S. employers probably added more jobs in January than a month earlier, economists forecast before the Friday report.
* Bank of England Governor Mark Carney will speak before the U.K. Parliament’s Economic Affairs Committee in London Tuesday.
* Gauges of Chinese manufacturing and services industries are due Wednesday.
* On Wednesday, the core euro-zone inflation report may show an uptick from a year ago to 1 percent this month.
And these are the main moves in markets:
* The S&P 500 Index sank 1.1 percent, bringing the two-day decline in the benchmark index to 1.89 percent, the most since May 17. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1.4 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index was down 0.9 percent as of 4:01 p.m. New York time.
* The Stoxx Europe 600 Index dipped 0.9 percent, the largest decline in at least six weeks.
* The MSCI Asia Pacific Index decreased 1.3 percent on the largest slide in almost eight weeks.
* The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index dipped 1.1 percent.
* The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed.
* The euro rose 0.1 percent to $1.2396, but fell back after reaching the highest level in more than three years.
* The British pound increased 0.5 percent to $1.4141.
* The Japanese yen gained 0.1 percent to 108.84 per dollar.
* The yield on 10-year Treasuries increased three basis points to 2.73 percent, the highest in almost four years.
* Germany’s 10-year yield fell one basis point to 0.68 percent and the largest drop in two weeks.
* Britain’s 10-year yield rose one basis point to 1.46 percent.
* West Texas Intermediate crude fell 1.2 percent to $64.37 a barrel.
* Gold fell 0.3 percent to $1,336.79 an ounce.
Have a wonderful evening everyone.
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