|Day's range||17,802.62 - 18,672.26|
|52-week range||16,358.19 - 24,115.95|
(Bloomberg) -- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has called for a state of emergency as Covid-19 cases jump in Tokyo and worries mounted that Japan could be the next developed nation to see an explosive surge in infections. The declaration would cover seven regions including Tokyo and Osaka and last for about a month.The measure would hand power to local governments to try to contain the virus, including by urging residents to stay at home. It would be the first such declaration under a law revised last month, but will not result in a European-style “lockdown.” Due to civil liberties enshrined in Japan’s postwar constitution, the government cannot send police to clear people off the streets, as has happened in places including France, Italy and the U.K. The country’s strongest enforcement measure could be public obedience -- and it remains to be seen whether that will be enough.1\. What would an emergency declaration mean?The main effect will be to increase the powers of prefectural governors. The prevalence of the virus varies widely among the country’s 47 regions and prefectures, with Tokyo seeing a rapid surge and three regions yet to confirm any cases as of April 5. The seven regions Abe proposed are Tokyo and the surrounding prefectures of Kanagawa, Chiba and Saitama, as well as Osaka, Hyogo and Fukuoka. Under an emergency, a governor can urge local people to avoid unnecessary outings, but residents would have the right to ignore the request, and there are no penalties for disobedience. Police wouldn’t be involved in enforcement, according to lawyer Koju Nagai of Answer Law Office in Kobe.“I want to make clear once again that, even if an emergency is declared, we will not impose a lockdown as has been done overseas,” Abe said Monday. “It is the opinion of our experts that that isn’t necessary.”2\. What about businesses?Businesses could be asked to shut down, and ordered to do so if they don’t comply with the request, but again there are no penalties for non-compliance. Punishments are, however, specified for a small number of offenses, including hiding supplies that have been requisitioned by local authorities. Tokyo has already been urging people to work from home as far as possible -- something that’s caused consternation among many small businesses not set up for remote work. The emergency declaration also allows local authorities to control prices of daily essentials, provide loans through government-related financial institutions and make compulsory purchases of food and medicines.3\. Will people obey the requests?Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike has begun a PR campaign to get residents to stay home and many of the capital’s central shopping areas were nearly deserted at the weekend. Several large retail and amusement businesses have opted to close outlets voluntarily and the city’s main parks were closed. Some suburban shopping areas, however, were bustling and pachinko parlors continued to operate, indicating that people may be continuing their usual routines closer to home. Even as infection numbers have ticked up in big cities, trains were still packed with commuters heading to offices. Japan has had the fewest confirmed infection numbers of any Group of Seven countries at about 3,700 as of Monday.4\. What could be the economic hit?Companies including Starbucks Corp., retailing giant Aeon Co. and movie theater operator Toho Co. temporarily shut some outlets over the weekend. More businesses would likely follow suit if the request were made with the legal backing of an emergency declaration. But Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura has warned that something like a lockdown of Tokyo or Osaka could deal a blow to the economy. The Tokyo metropolitan area alone accounts for about one-third of the country’s gross domestic product, which would make it the world’s 11th largest economy. Banks are expected to remain open under any emergency declaration, and the Tokyo Stock Exchange said it will continue to operate.4\. Could Japan eventually take a harder line?While the U.K. has introduced a fine of about $75 for individuals breaching lockdown rules and Hong Kong warned residents of prosecution for violating quarantine measures, any attempt to add teeth to the Japanese law would raise hackles in the country, where painful memories of early 20th century authoritarianism linger. The Japan Federation of Bar Associations opposed the legislation under which an emergency can be declared, even though most of its stipulations cannot be enforced. “Emergency situations were misused a great deal in Japan before the war,” said lawyer Nagai. “Japan was hurt by that in the past. Freedoms were limited, and once those freedoms are limited, it’s hard to restore them.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
India's dominant services sector, the lifeblood for economic growth and jobs, contracted in March as new business and export demand fell sharply as the coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc globally, a private survey showed. Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered India's 1.3 billion people to stay home and shut shops and business selling non-essential goods for 21 days from March 25 to try and contain the virus spreading, suggesting April's downturn will be more severe. "Strong growth momentum seen so far in 2019 was halted in March as demand conditions deteriorated, particularly overseas, leading to a reduction in business activity," Joe Hayes, economist at IHS Markit, said in a release.
It’s risk-on early in the day, with COVID-19 numbers supporting riskier assets. Updated figures and news from OPEC will influence later, however.
(Bloomberg) -- U.S. stocks slumped for the week and the dollar gained after a plunge in hiring last month hinted at the extent of the pandemic’s toll on the world’s largest economy. Oil rallied on expected output curbs.The S&P 500 fell for the third time in four days as investors digested the abysmal jobs report that captured data in the period largely before government-mandated shutdowns went into widespread effect. As with record claims for unemployment, the latest numbers bear little information on the current state of the economy, making it difficult for investors to value financial assets.“No one has ever experienced anything like this,” Bruce Bittles, chief investment strategist at Baird, said by phone. “We’re getting the shock numbers out and the markets tend to front-run bad news. In other words, a lot of the bad news is already built into the market.”The S&P 500 fell 2.1% for the week, largely holding a rally that propelled it 18% higher in three days last week. That came after the fastest 30% plunge on record as the pandemic forced the economy into a virtual standstill. While volatility has eased somewhat, stocks are still regularly notching daily moves that until recently would have been considered huge.Oil surged following reports large producers are ready to cut output. Crude jumped another 13% Friday after a record jump on news the OPEC+ coalition will hold a virtual meeting on Monday and that Russia is ready to cut production. Trump held a meeting with U.S. energy company executives Friday. In Europe, data showing an unprecedented slump in the region’s economy last month pushed the Stoxx 600 Index lower, though it also trimmed its retreat. Asian equities saw modest losses in most markets to cap a third weekly decline in four. The yen weakened alongside the euro, pound and Swiss franc. Treasuries drifted.With lockdowns for many economies around the world expected to go on for longer, data are showing the severity of the impact. Nearly 10 million people in the U.S. have lost their jobs in the past two weeks, while the virus continues to pressure corporate balance sheets. American Airlines Group Inc. will slash international flying as far out as the end of August as the pandemic batters travel demand through the normally busy summer season.“We are not going to have the real recovery in the market until what we think is the peak in the amount of infections and deaths,” Stephen Dover, head of equities at Franklin Templeton, said on Bloomberg TV. “We are going to continue to have very wide volatility until we can get over this uncertainty.”These are the main moves in markets:StocksThe S&P 500 Index fell 1.5% as of 4 p.m. New York time.The Stoxx Europe 600 Index dipped 1%.The MSCI Asia Pacific Index decreased 0.8%.CurrenciesThe Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index advanced 0.6%.The euro dipped 0.4% to $1.081.The British pound fell 1.1% to $1.2266.The Japanese yen decreased 0.5% to 108.41 per dollar.BondsThe yield on 10-year Treasuries rose one basis point to 0.61%.Germany’s 10-year yield decreased one basis point to -0.44%.Britain’s 10-year yield dipped one basis point to 0.31%.CommoditiesGold advanced 0.6% to $1,648.10 an ounce.West Texas Intermediate crude climbed 13% to $28.80 a barrel.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Global stock markets sank on Friday following more signs that the COVID-19 pandemic would take a massive toll on economic growth, while oil prices continued to rally on hopes of a cut to global supply. Investors sought safe havens in the U.S. dollar and government bonds, pushing U.S. Treasury yields near their lowest in three weeks. Morgan Stanley said the U.S. economy will shrink 5.5% in 2020, the steepest drop since 1946, with a 38% contraction predicted for the second quarter.
Asian markets on Friday looked to latch onto Wall Street's overnight gains after crude prices notched their biggest one-day surge on record, helping offset concerns about the depth of a global recession. Despite the rally in stocks, investors still sought the safety of the U.S. dollar and government bonds as an unprecedented number of Americans - 6.6 million - filed jobless claims due to coronavirus-induced lockdowns, as economic concerns stayed front and center. U.S. stocks rallied after U.S. President Donald Trump said he expects Russia and Saudi Arabia to announce an oil production cut of up to 10 million to 15 million barrels as the two countries signaled willingness to make a deal.
(Bloomberg) -- U.S. stocks rallied, boosted by energy shares as oil surged after President Donald Trump said Russia and Saudi Arabia would cut production. Treasuries fell and the dollar rose.The S&P 500 advanced for the first time in three days, with Chevron Corp and Exxon Mobil Corp. among the top gainers. Shares rebounded after falling 6% over the past two days. Consumer discretionary stocks weighed on the benchmark after jobless claims doubled from last week to 6.6 million.West Texas crude gained 22% after Trump said he expects the two countries to cut output following a conversation with Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman on Thursday. But oil came off its highs after officials from both sides watered down expectations. The commodity is still down around 60% for the year. After enduring their worst quarter since 2008, stocks are struggling for traction as companies move to slash dividends and more U.S. states enact severe restrictions on movement to curb the Covid-19 pandemic. Initial jobless claims Thursday that showed record high numbers emphasized the uncertainties surrounding the economic toll. However, rebounding oil prices could help damp the impact by buoying a beaten up sector of the economy.“The reality is, there’s no amount of stimulus to spur demand growth until the population is back outside of their homes interacting with society,” said Jeff Klingelhofer, co-head of investments and portfolio manager at Thornburg Investment Management, which has about $37 billion in assets. “I think that we’re in for a period of high volatility for quite some time to come.”These are the main moves in markets:StocksThe S&P 500 Index rose 2.3% of 4 p.m. New York time.The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 1.7%.The Stoxx Europe 600 Index gained 0.4%.The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.6%.CurrenciesThe Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index climbed 0.5%.The euro declined 1% to $1.0852.The British pound rose 0.2% at $1.2399.The Japanese yen fell 0.7% to 107.92 per dollar.BondsThe yield on 10-year Treasuries increased three basis point to 0.61%.Germany’s 10-year yield rose three basis points to -0.43%.Britain’s 10-year yield climbed two basis point to 0.33%.CommoditiesGold rose 3.1% to $1,640.80 an ounce.West Texas Intermediate crude increased 22% to $24.72 a barrel.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
The Australian share market finished lower on Thursday with most of the selling pressure coming from weakness in the major banks. Traders said the sell-off was fueled by comments from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), calling for governments to enact wartime measures to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
US indices ended Wednesday with a 4.4% loss on S&P500; and Dow Jones. Trump’s warning of horrors to come caused pressure on the markets and became an unexpected pressure factor for the market.
India's manufacturing activity expanded at its slowest pace in four months in March and is likely to get worse as demand and output take a hit from the coronavirus outbreak, putting a severe dent in business optimism, a private survey found. A 21-day nationwide lockdown, which started on March 25 in the world's second most populous country, is expected to deliver a heavy shock to the economy despite massive fiscal and monetary support packages by the government and the Reserve Bank of India last week. The Nikkei Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index, compiled by IHS Markit, declined to 51.8 last month from February's 54.5, its lowest since November but still above the 50-mark that separates growth from contraction for a 32nd month.
A quiet day on the economic calendar leaves the majors in the hands of government chatter and news updates on the coronavirus once more…
World equity markets climbed on Thursday on a surge in risky assets like oil, offsetting concerns over an increasing death toll from the coronavirus pandemic that is expected to push the global economy into recession. Investors sought the safety of the U.S. dollar and government bonds. Stocks and oil futures were among the few risk assets that advanced, with oil benchmarks surging 20% after U.S. President Donald Trump said he expected Saudi Arabia and Russia to reach a deal soon to end their oil price war.
(Bloomberg) -- A pivotal United Nations climate summit was postponed, dealing a blow to international efforts to fight climate change. U.S. intelligence officials concluded that China concealed the extent of the coronavirus outbreak there.Florida Governor Ron DeSantis ordered Floridians to stay home after weeks of rejecting calls to do so, with Pennsylvania and Mississippi issuing similar rules. The Pentagon is seeking to provide as many as 100,000 military-style body bags for potential civilian use. Wimbledon was canceled. France and Spain reported another increase in fatalities, while Italy and Germany moved to extend lockdown measures. Stocks fell globally.Key Developments:Global cases top 920,000; more than 46,000 dead: Johns HopkinsYoung age of many N.Y. patients surprises doctorsChina concealed the extent of its outbreak: classified U.S. reportAmerica’s South, already unhealthy, falls prey to virusQuarantined in Berlin, pressure rises on Merkel to save EuropeSubscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis team here.Click VRUS on the terminal for news and data on the coronavirus and here for maps and charts. For analysis of the impact from Bloomberg Economics, click here. For BNEF’s view of the impact on energy, click here.Pentagon Seeks 100,000 Body Bags for Civilians (5:21 p.m. NY)The Pentagon is seeking to provide as many as 100,000 military-style body bags for potential civilian use as the U.S. warns that deaths could soar in the coming weeks.The Federal Emergency Management Agency has requested 100,000 body bags, known as Human Remains Pouches, through an interagency group that directed it to the Defense Department. The Pentagon is looking into buying more bags and will draw some initially from a stockpile of 50,000 it maintains, according to two people familiar with the request.Read the full story hereUN Climate Conference Postponed (4:36 p.m. NY)A United Nations climate conference scheduled for November in Scotland has been postponed as the virus spreads and lockdowns make it difficult to hold talks leading up to the event. The summit, called COP26, had more than 26,000 expected attendees.Putting off the conference is another setback for climate diplomacy after last year’s gathering in Madrid ended without an agreement on a framework for a global carbon market. This year, countries were due to present updated and more ambitious greenhouse-gas emission goals for the first time since the 2015 Paris Agreement.N.Y., N.J. Deaths Double Since Sunday (3:45 p.m. NY)The Covid-19 mortality rate in New York rose to 2.3% and 1.5% for New Jersey. Fatalities in New York reached almost 2,000 and passed 350 in New Jersey, where the numbers of infected are rapidly increasing.New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy warned his state would need more space for the dead soon, and New York has begun moving patients from overtaxed New York City hospitals upstate. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said that even after the state passes the expected apex in April, deaths will continue to be high well into July.Read more hereWHO Says Countries Need Strong Leadership (3:14 p.m. NY)Countries must set comprehensive strategies to fight the coronavirus, communicate them clearly and stick to them, Mike Ryan, head of the World Health Organization’s health emergencies program, said at a press briefing Wednesday in Geneva.Medical workers and the population need consistency, which requires commitment and guidance from politicians, businesses and religious leaders, he said.“We need to be very careful not to knee jerk,” he said. “We need to be very careful not to be changing policies every single day.”WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he is deeply concerned about the rapid escalation of Covid-19 cases, as the death toll has doubled in a week. WHO is evaluating broadening the use of masks even among those who aren’t ill. It currently recommends masks be worn by sick people and their caretakers.France Reports Deadliest Day, Continued Rise in Cases (2:45 p.m. NY)France reported 4,032 hospital deaths from Covid-19 on Wednesday, up 509 from Tuesday and its biggest increase since the outbreak began. The country is working on a system to report both deaths in hospitals as well as those in other places like retirement and nursing homes. Confirmed cases rose 9.3% to 56,989.Florida, Pennsylvania Issue Stay-at-Home Orders (1:38 p.m. NY)Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said he is signing a stay-at-home order for the state. DeSantis said the order would go into effect Thursday night, and that it would be similar to guidelines in Miami-Dade County.Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf also expanded a stay-at-home order to cover the entire state. Separately, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice postponed the state’s Democratic primary to June 9 from May 12. Fifteen states and Puerto Rico have also delayed primaries due to the virus.South Africa’s Restrictions Slow New Cases (1:20 p.m. NY)South Africa’s early attempts to curb the spread of the coronavirus, including travel restrictions, enforced quarantines and a ban on large gatherings, appear to be have paid off, according to Health Minister Zweli Mkhize.The number of confirmed infections in the country rose to 1,380 on Wednesday, an increase of 27 from the day before. There have been an average of just 42 new cases a day over the past five days.Mkhize warned that the country may not have a true picture of the size of the problem -- it has conducted just 47,541 tests on the population of 59 million -- which was not nearly enough. South Africa, which has instituted a 21-day lockdown, plans to ramp this up using 67 mobile testing units, he said.China’s Jia County in Lockdown After New Cases Reported (12:40 p.m. NY)Jia County in Henan province is under lockdown from April 1, with all residents required to wear masks and have temperatures checked when entering and leavind compounds. Henan had gone 30 days with no new cases of Covid-19 until three doctors in Pingdingshan, in Jia County, were diagnosed with the virus though they were asymptomatic.China Concealed Extent of Virus Outbreak, U.S. Says (12:15 p.m. NY)China has concealed the extent of the coronavirus outbreak there, under-reporting both total cases and deaths it’s suffered from the disease, the U.S. intelligence community concluded in a classified report to the White House, according to three U.S. officials.China’s public reporting on cases and deaths is intentionally incomplete, they said. Two of the officials said the report concludes that China’s numbers are fake.Wimbledon Tournament Canceled (12 p.m. NY)The Championships 2020 will be canceled due to public-health concerns linked to the coronavirus epidemic, according to a statement Wednesday by the All England Club and the Committee of Management of The Championships. It will instead be held from June 28 to July 11, 2021.After extensively considering all scenarios, the tennis tournament’s organizers “believe that it is a measure of this global crisis that it is ultimately the right decision to cancel this year’s Championships.”Read more hereNew York’s Coronavirus Patients Skew Young (11:55 a.m. NY)Younger adults in New York City are being hospitalized with Covid-19 infections at surprisingly high rates, said doctors treating them, undermining assumptions about who’s most at risk from the coronavirus.For months, the message from authorities had been that older people were at the highest risk. It was a belief so strongly held that health officials took to chastising people in their 20s and 30s to stay home — not to protect themselves, but to avoid transmitting the disease to older populations.Germany Extends Lockdown By Two Weeks (11 a.m. NY)Germany will extend the nationwide lockdown aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus for another two weeks until April 19.A little over a week after banning gatherings of more than two people, the government continues to ask Germans to avoid contact with people outside their own households, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday.“It’s far too early to now begin considering loosening contact restrictions – we’re still far from where we want to be,” Merkel said, adding that the government wants to revisit those measures after Easter.Fear Grip U.S. Health Workers As Supplies Run Low (10:56 a.m. NY)U.S. Health-care workers essential to the Covid-19 fight are increasingly frustrated that they’re being sent into a deadly battle without protective gear for themselves and their patients.Tensions are particularly high in New York, where coronavirus deaths have passed 1,000. Seven members of District Council 37, which represents city hospital workers, have died from the virus, according to the union.“We are the richest country in the world and yet we can’t protect our health-care providers when fighting the deadliest virus we’ve dealt with in most of our lifetimes,” said Ryan Stanton, an American College of Emergency Physicians board member.White House May Recommend Masks, CNN Says (10:25 a.m. NY)Most members of the White House coronavirus task force agree that Americans should begin wearing face masks in public and could issue formal guidance soon, CNN reported Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.President Donald Trump signaled he was open to the idea during a briefing Tuesday.Drugs Trump Touted Added to Shortage List (10 a.m. NY)Drugs for malaria and certain autoimmune diseases that President Donald Trump touted as Covid-19 treatments have been added to the Food and Drug Administration’s shortage website.Some patients who took the medications for rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and other disorders before the coronavirus pandemic are now unable to fill prescriptions. Demand surged after doctors overseas said they had seen some signs that the drugs could be used to treat Covid-19, the respiratory illness caused by the new coronavirus.U.K. to ‘Significantly’ Increase Testing (9:25 a.m. NY)The number of coronavirus deaths in the U.K. rose about 31% to 2,352 from 1,789 on Tuesday. The rate of increase is roughly in line with recent days. Cases climbed to 29,474 from 25,150.The U.K. plans to “significantly” increase testing, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman, James Slack, told reporters on Wednesday. The government has faced criticism over why the U.K. is lagging behind countries including Germany on testing.“A clear instruction has been sent to all NHS hospital trusts that where there is capacity available, it should be used on frontline NHS staff,” Slack said. “It is our intention to significantly increase the number of tests that we’re carrying out.”Meanwhile, the U.K.’s lockdown measures may have already reduced the spread of the coronavirus, according to a study. A survey of 1,300 people showed that the number of interactions they’d had with others in a single day was 70% lower than the average from a study done in 2005-2006, researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine said in the report.That suggests that each person infected with the virus is passing it on to an average of 0.6 others, compared with 2.6 average transmissions before the measures were imposed. The authors cautioned that the study hasn’t gone through the peer review process that normally precedes publication in a journal.Dutch Measures Appear to Show First Effects (8:07 a.m. NY)Lockdown steps taken in the Netherlands, which have been extended until April 28, seem to be having an effect as the number of fatalities and hospital admissions is increasing slower than would be expected without such measures, the RIVM National Institute for Public Health and the Environment said in its daily update.Total confirmed cases rose 8% to 13,614. Fatalities climbed 13% to 1,173. Both rates are in line with previous days.Putin Holds Remote Meetings After Handshake With Doctor (8:05 a.m. NY)Russian President Vladimir Putin has begun holding meetings remotely from his residence outside Moscow after being exposed to a doctor who was later diagnosed with coronavirus, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday on a conference call. Peskov said on Tuesday that Putin is regularly tested and is fine.Putin on March 24 shook hands and chatted with the doctor, Denis Protsenko, who is the chief of Moscow’s main coronavirus facility.Foxconn Assures Investors 5G IPhone Can Still Launch This Fall (7:53 a.m. NY)Apple Inc.’s most important manufacturing partner reassured investors it can still get the latest 5G-enabled iPhones ready for an autumn debut. Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., which makes most of the world’s iPhones, told investors it’s lost time to travel restrictions and other disruptions caused by the pandemic. But with months to go before the first trial assembly lines start in June, Hon Hai can still make the deadline, investor relations chief Alex Yang said on a private conference call hosted by Goldman Sachs.Portugal Confirmed Cases Rise (7:45 a.m. NY)The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Portugal rose to 8,251 as of 11 a.m. on Wednesday, an 11% increase from 7,443 on Tuesday morning, the government’s Directorate-General of Health said. That’s slower than a 16% rise on Tuesday, which followed a 7.5% increase on Monday.The total number of deaths increased to 187 on Wednesday from 160.One Million Singaporeans Tap Contact-Tracing App (7:44 a.m. NY)The mobile-phone app boosts authorities’ ability to undertake contact tracing. It taps Bluetooth technology to collect data on people that users have been in close proximity with, if they have also have the service.Deutsche Bank Reviewing Bonuses (7:29 a.m. NY)Deutsche Bank AG is reviewing bonuses as part of an internal discussion how to respond to pressure from regulators to preserve capital and keep lending through the pandemic. The scope of the deliberations is broad and the lender is also looking at alternative measures that wouldn’t involve bonuses, according to a person familiar with the matter. A decision could be announced as early as this week.Edinburgh Fringe Festival Canceled (7:21 a.m. NY)The Edinburgh Fringe, which bills itself as the world’s largest arts festival, became the latest event to be canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. Organizers said in a statement on their website that the event, due to be held Aug. 7-31, would not be held.Earlier, the Financial Times said the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club will hold an emergency board meeting on Wednesday where they will likely call off the Wimbledon tournament for the first time since World War II.Cases May Have Peaked in Italy’s Lombardy Region (7:02 a.m. NY)The peak of new coronavirus cases in Lombardy may have been reached, the region’s governor Attilio Fontana told a press conference on Wednesday, citing statistics experts and epidemiologists.The number of new cases in Italy leveled off at a two-week low on Tuesday, a sign the outbreak may be coming under control. Still, the government plans to extend the nationwide lockdown to April 13, as relaxing rules too early would negate efforts to counter the spread, Health Minister Roberto Speranza said on Wednesday. The country is also considering postponing regional elections.EU Unveils Plan to Stop Firms Firing Workers (6:59 a.m. NY)The European Union announced a plan to discourage businesses in the countries worst hit by the coronavirus from firing workers as they struggle. Amid criticism that the EU has done too little to mitigate the economic impact, the European Commission signaled on Wednesday that it will use central funds to pay companies to keep workers in jobs.“It is intended to help Italy, Spain and all other countries that have been hard hit,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said.Mallinckrodt, Novoteris Get Canada Clearance on Trial (6:51 a.m. NY)Mallinckrodt and Novoteris say they have received Health Canada clearance to start a pilot trial of high-dose inhaled nitric oxide therapy for Covid-19 infection and associated lung complications.Austria Plans Moratorium for Consumer Loans (6:31 a.m. NY)Austria is planning to impose a three-month repayment moratorium on about 162 billion euros ($177 billion) of consumer loans to ease the economic impact of the coronavirus. The moratorium would pause interest and capital repayments for borrowers, while also allowing them to opt out, according to people with knowledge of the matter.Unemployment in the country has soared by two thirds to more than half a million people in March as the country clamped down on public life to halt the spread of the virus. That’s more than 12% of the workforce, the highest level since the end of World War II.Vaccine Race Gets Unlikely Partner in Big Tobacco (6:08 a.m. NY)Philip Morris International Inc. and British American Tobacco Plc are trying to devise a defense against the coronavirus from the tobacco leaf. BAT said it’s in pre-clinical testing of a plant-based vaccine via a U.S. biotech subsidiary Kentucky BioProcessing. Philip Morris has said its partially owned Canadian unit Medicago expects to start human trials for a potential vaccine this summer.“We believe we have made a significant breakthrough,” said David O’Reilly, BAT’s director of scientific research. “We stand ready to work with governments and all stakeholders to help win the war against Covid-19.” BAT’s Kentucky BioProcessing was involved in developing ZMapp, an Ebola drug, with Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc. in 2014 -- but that treatment never made it out of the lab.Japan to Seek to Quarantine All Overseas Arrivals (6:05 a.m. NY)Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Japan would ask all arrivals from overseas to undergo 14 days’ quarantine. Speaking at a meeting of his coronavirus task force, Abe said Japan would also ban foreign visitors from 49 countries and regions.Abe had said earlier the government is unable to introduce a lockdown like other countries. He also told a parliamentary committee Japan was not in a situation to declare an emergency at this point, but said circumstances are changing rapidly.Coronavirus numbers in Japan have been ticking up, sparking alarm that it could be the next major country to see an explosive jump in infections. It’s also raising questions about whether Tokyo, where cases have tripled over the past 10 days, is about to go into a European-style lockdown.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- U.S. stocks fell for the third time in four days as investors braced for a longer economic shutdown that’s likely to devastate corporate profits and dividends. The dollar rose with Treasuries.The S&P 500 dropped the most in two weeks, with sentiment souring after U.S. officials gave sobering assessments of the pandemic’s potential impact. President Donald Trump warned of a “painful” upcoming period for the country, while New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said a model showed the Covid-19 outbreak may not peak in the state until the end of April. Italy also said Wednesday it would extend its lockdown.“Investor pessimism today is as bad as it has been,” said Dennis DeBusschere of Evercore ISI. “All estimates of when this will end are being pushed out, which means even harder hits to GDP/earnings.”U.S. equities found no relief after enduring the worst quarter since 2008 as the pandemic shut down large swaths of the economy. Losses from the S&P 500’s February record reached 34% before an unprecedented government spending plan sparked a furious three-day rally of 18%. Since then, the index is down almost 5% as signs mount that the downturn will be longer than previously thought.Banks suffered on speculation the largest will be forced to cut dividends after European lenders including HSBC Holdings Plc and Standard Chartered Plc halted payouts and share buybacks. The region’s Stoxx 600 index sank, even after the European Union unveiled plans to save jobs during the crisis. The euro extended its drop as manufacturing data from the single-currency region painted a bleak picture, with Italy’s purchasing managers’ index posting a record drop.Investors disappointed with the loss of dividend income could spark a fresh wave of selling, knowing that analysts are dashing to update earnings forecasts to take into account the looming global recession and the slump in stock prices.“Markets are looking at global equities in a new light, one with no buyback support and no dividends,” said Chris Weston, head of research at Pepperstone Financial Pty Ltd. The earnings season is likely to trigger a decline in consensus S&P 500 profit expectations which “are far too high relative to dividend futures,” he said.READ: Rogers, Gundlach Say the Worst of the Rout Has Yet to ComeElsewhere, West Texas oil fluctuated around $20 a barrel after Trump’s pledge to meet with feuding producers Saudi Arabia and Russia to support the market failed to bolster prices substantially.These are the main moves in markets:StocksThe S&P 500 Index fell 4.4% as of 4 p.m. New York time.The Stoxx Europe 600 Index decreased 2.9%.The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 2%.CurrenciesThe Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index increased 0.7%.The euro fell 0.7% to $1.0949.The British pound dropped 0.2% at $1.2393.The Japanese yen rose 0.4% at 107.07 per dollar.BondsThe yield on 10-year Treasuries dipped five basis points to 0.62%.Germany’s 10-year yield fell three basis points to -0.48%.Britain’s 10-year yield decreased five basis points to 0.31%.CommoditiesGold rose 0.3% to $1,601 an ounce.West Texas Intermediate crude rpse 2.2% at $20.93 a barrel.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
World equity markets began the new quarter with steep losses on Wednesday as evidence mounted that the coronavirus pandemic was sending the global economy into a deep recession. Traders headed for the safety of government bonds, the dollar [USD/] and gold [GOL/] following sharp slowdowns in manufacturing activity in Japan and Germany, one day after data showed U.S. consumer confidence fell to three-year lows. On Wall Street, major benchmarks were sharply lower after President Donald Trump warned late Tuesday that maintaining social distancing guidelines for the next 30 days would be a "matter of life and death."
Asian shares faced another leg lower on Wednesday as the coronavirus sharply slows global growth, leading a gauge of world stocks to post its biggest quarterly decline in more than a decade and oil prices to trade near lows last seen in 2002. Shares on Wall Street tumbled on Tuesday, with the Dow registering its biggest quarterly fall since 1987 and the S&P 500 its steepest quarterly drop since a decade ago on growing evidence of the massive downturn the pandemic will incur. FTSE China A50 futures in Singapore were down 0.85% and Japan's Nikkei fell 1.86% in early trade.
Australian shares finished lower on Tuesday after giving back earlier gains. Early in the session, the Aussie market extended its gains from the previous session, helped by quarter-end balancing and on measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus outbreak and contain its economic impact.
HONG KONG/SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Asia's dealmakers are looking to distressed sales and a pick-up in take-private deals after fallout from the coronavirus outbreak sent first-quarter M&A activity to a seven-year low. Deal value across the Asia-Pacific region, at $177.4 billion (144.02 billion pounds), was down 20% in the first three months of 2020 versus the same period a year earlier, showed data from Refinitiv.