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Global Markets: Retail sales rise in June

WINNIPEG – The following is a glance at the news moving markets in Canada and globally.

– Statistics Canada reported on Friday that retail sales increased 4.2 per cent to C$56.2 billion in June, mainly due to COVID-19 restrictions being eased. Clothing and clothing accessory stores reported a 49.1 per cent gain in sales during the month, while seven of 10 other subsectors also reported increases in sales. Retail sales in volume went up 4.1 per cent in June. However, the national data agency also estimated that sales declined 1.7 per cent in July.

– The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on Friday it has extended restrictions on non-essential travel at border and ferry crossings until Sept. 21. DHS said the measures will remain in place to combat the COVID-19 Delta variant while also ensuring “the flow of essential trade and travel.” The restrictions have been in place since March 2020, while Canada has opened their borders to fully vaccinated Americans earlier this month.

– For the second straight day on Thursday, which also marked Afghanistan’s independence day holiday, the Taliban disrupted protests against the new government. In Khost province, Taliban authorities implemented a 24-hour curfew after they dispersed a protest there. The Taliban has also tried to express moderation from its hardline views in order to gain more acceptance from the international community, but an official from the United Nations warned on Thursday the country won’t likely receive international aid which could lead to food shortages.

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