May 22, 2019

The diamond market gets cloudy

Photo: David Talukdar/Getty Images

Aside from oil and lean hogs, 2019 has been a tough year for commodities. Coffee prices have fallen 9%, natural gas is 11% lower and soybean prices have fallen 7% to name just a few. The diamond industry is also in a slump, Bloomberg reports.

What's new: De Beers revealed Tuesday its diamond sales fell to a 2-year low, underlining a slump in the industry worldwide. Sales fell 25% from a year ago and were down 29% from an offering last month.

What's happening: "Diamond miners are struggling across the board, especially those producing cheaper and smaller gems where there is too much supply," writes Bloomberg's Thomas Biesheuvel.

  • Diamond miners also have been hit by a shortage of financing for buyers and stagnant end demand.
  • The Indian rupee's weakness against the dollar has made gems more expensive for Indian manufacturers, who cut or polish about 90% of the world’s stones.

Go deeper: 60% of wild coffee species are in danger of extinction

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Biden bets it all on South Carolina

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Most Joe Biden admirers Axios interviewed in South Carolina, where he's vowed to win today's primary, said they're unfazed by his embarrassing losses in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada.

Why it matters: Biden has bet it all on South Carolina to position himself as the best alternative to Bernie Sanders — his "good buddy," he tells voters before skewering Sanders' record and ideas.

Coronavirus updates: Market ends worst week since financial crisis

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The stock market ended its worst week since the financial crisis, prompting the Fed to release a statement. Meanwhile, the WHO warned that countries are losing their chance to contain the novel coronavirus and raised its global risk assessment to "very high" Friday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,860 people and infected more than 84,000 others in over 60 countries and territories outside the epicenter in mainland China. The number of new cases reported outside China now exceed those inside the country.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 12 hours ago - Health

California coronavirus: Latest case has no recent history of international travel

Gov. Gavin Newsom. Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

A new case of the novel coronavirus in California was announced on Friday after Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday that 33 people had tested positive for the virus, noting the risk to the public remains low.

What's new: An adult woman with chronic health conditions in Santa Clara County who "did not recently travel overseas" or come into contact with anyone known to be ill was confirmed to have contracted the coronavirus on Friday by CDC and California Department of Public Health officials.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 13 hours ago - Health