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En hausse, Wall Street entraîne les bourses européennes dans son sillage

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L’indice Dow Jones gagne 123,81 points, soit 0,54 %, à 23 262,63 points.

Le Standard & Poor’s 500 progresse de 0,49 % à 2501,11 points, tandis que le NASDAQ Composite avance de 36,41 points (0,55 %) à 6615,90 points.

Un marché volatil

La dernière semaine de 2018 aura vu la Bourse de New York subir de brutales fluctuations et l’indice de volatilité du CBOE, aussi appelé indice de la peur, a atteint un sommet depuis début février avant de se tasser.

L’indice S&P 500 a sombré à son plus bas depuis 20 mois au cours de la semaine avant que les trois indices principaux ne remontent brutalement et n’enregistrent leur plus forte progression depuis près de 10 ans mercredi dernier.

Le S&P a perdu jusqu’à 2,8 % jeudi, mais a pu terminer en hausse de 0,8 % avec une remontée de la cote dans la dernière demi-heure d’échanges.

Les trois indices sont bien partis pour terminer la semaine sur des gains de plus de 3 % chacun, rompant avec trois semaines consécutives dans le rouge.

Mais ils restent en recul de plus de 9 % sur le mois de décembre et risquent d’accuser leur plus forte perte annuelle en pourcentage depuis 2008.

Les investisseurs vont aborder 2019 en abordant plusieurs sujets de préoccupation, que ce soit les tensions commerciales sino-américaines, la hausse des taux d’intérêt, le ralentissement économique mondial ou encore la paralysie de l’administration fédérale américaine, qui en est à son sixième jour.

En Europe aussi

Les bourses européennes ont repris du mieux vendredi dans le sillage de Wall Street et de la hausse des cours du pétrole, au lendemain d’un décrochage entre les deux réveillons.

Le marché, qui reste toujours empreint de volatilité, « a couru après les indices américains », a signalé à l’AFP Franklin Pichard, directeur général de Kiplink Finance.

Mais, pour cette fin d’année, « les incertitudes et les interrogations sont toujours bel et bien présentes », ont noté pour leur part les analystes de Mirabaud Securities Genève.

L’Eurostoxx 50 a gagné 1,67 %. À Paris, le CAC 40 a terminé en nette hausse de 1,74 %. Les valeurs pétrolières ont profité du dynamisme des cours du brut : Total a progressé de 1,62 % et TechnipFMC de 3,25 %. Le secteur automobile a regagné du terrain, avec Valeo en hausse de 2,85 %, Peugeot de 0,91 % ou Michelin de 1,68 %.

À Francfort, le Dax a gagné 1,71 %. Wirecard, spécialiste des paiements électroniques, a fini en tête de l’indice (+4,32 %). Deutsche Bank a pris 3,21 %, mais le titre a perdu 56,11 % au cours de l’année.

À Londres, l’indice FTSE-100 a rebondi de 2,27 %. Là encore, le secteur pétrolier a été en vedette : BP a pris 3,47 % et Royal Dutch Shell 2,62 %. Le secteur minier a également été recherché, BHP gagnant 1,59 % et Rio Tinto 1,36 %.

Ailleurs en Europe, la Bourse de Milan a terminé en hausse de 1,44 %, celle de Madrid de 1,40 %, l’indice PSI 20 de Lisbonne de 1,06 %, la Bourse suisse de 2,85 %, celle d’Amsterdam de 1,71 % et enfin Bruxelles de 1,39 %.

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Students call on University of Ottawa to implement pass/fail grading amid pandemic

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OTTAWA — The University of Ottawa Students’ Union (UOSU) is calling on the university to introduce optional, one-course-only pass/fail grading for the Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 semesters amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The students’ union said nearly 5,000 uOttawa students have signed its petition supporting the grading system.

In a letter to the university, the UOSU said it is asking the school to make changes to the grading structure, including allowing one course per semester to be converted to the “pass” or “satisfactory” designation.

The UOSU also made recommendations regarding a reduction of workload and course delivery.

“The adaptation to online learning during the pandemic for students has created unique challenges and disruptions that could not have been anticipated,” wrote Tim Gulliver, the UOSU’s Advocacy Commissioner. 

“The use of flexible compassionate grading options has been introduced in other universities, such as Carleton University which includes a use of Pass/Fail which we feel could be implemented at the University of Ottawa.”

Carleton University approved the use of flexible and compassionate grading for the Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 terms in early November.

The UOSU also called for all grades that constitute a fail to appear as “Not Satisfactory” on their transcript, which would not be included in grade point average calculations. 

The union represents more than 38,000 undergraduate students at the University of Ottawa.

In a response to CTV News, the University of Ottawa said it is aware of the petition.

“Last spring a decision was made by the (University) Senate to allow the Satisfactory/Non Satisfactory mark to be used, given the unique circumstances of the pandemic, which hit us close to the end of the Winter 2020 semester. The University is aware of the petition and is looking into the matter.”

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OPP warn of phone scams in Ottawa Valley

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Upper Ottawa Valley OPP warn residents of a phone scam that’s been making its way through the region recently. 

Police say a scammer pretends to be from a local business and tells the person their credit card didn’t work on a recent purchase before asking the person on the phone to confirm their credit card number. 

The victim may not have even used the card at the store, but police said the scammer creates a sense of urgency. 

Police remind residents to verify the legitimacy of any caller before providing any personal information over the phone. 

Similar scams have been reported recently in the region, according to police, with scammers posing as police officers, Revenue Canada or other government agencies demanding payment for a variety of reasons. A Social Insurance Number scam has also been reported recently, where a victim is asked for their SIN number under threat of being arrested. 
 
If a scam artist contacts you or if you have been defrauded, you’re asked to contact police or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or visit their website at www.antifraudcentre.ca.

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The human history of Ottawa Valley is thousands of years old. Archeologists may have found a piece of it on Parliament Hill

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OTTAWA—Archeologists working on Parliament Hill have discovered a relic of Indigenous life that one Algonquin leader sees as a symbol of his people’s long history in what is now the heart of Canadian political power.

The jagged stone point was unearthed last year on the east side of Centre Block, but its discovery was not publicized as officials worked with Algonquin communities to authenticate the object, the Star has learned.

Stephen Jarrett, the lead archeologist for the ongoing renovation of Parliament’s Centre Block, said this week that while such an object is “not an uncommon find,” the stone point joins just a small handful of Indigenous artifacts ever discovered on Parliament Hill.

“It’s about the size of my palm, and it could be used as a knife or a projectile,” Jarrett said this week in response to inquiries from the Star.

He said the point is made of chert, a type of sedimentary stone most often used for implements of this type. And while the point was unearthed in what Jarrett calls “disturbed soil” — earth that has been dug up and moved, most likely during construction of Parliament — the soil it was in “is natural to the site.”

That means “it came from a source nearby, but finding exactly where it came from is impossible,” Jarrett said.

For Douglas Odjick, a band council member responsible for education and culture with the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg, this artifact of “an original world” is a testament to the longevity of his Algonquin nation in an area they still claim as unceded and unsurrendered territory. Based on the assessment of Ian Badgley, the top archeologist with the National Capital Commission, Odjick said the stone point is likely 4,000 years old and dates to a time when the confluence of the Ottawa, Gatineau and Rideau Rivers — along with all their tributaries that stretch out into the surrounding area — served as a great hub of regional trade activity.

“It symbolizes who we are and how long we’ve been here,” Odjick said, comparing the area to an ancient version of a busy hub like New York’s busy Grand Central Station.

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