The Singapore cases are still rising; Coils of the European economy: virus update

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(Bloomberg) – Singapore has again recorded more than 1,000 new cases of coronavirus, while China has reported no deaths for the eighth consecutive day. US President Donald Trump has said he does not agree with the Governor of Georgia’s decision to start easing social distancing measures this week, a marked change in tone.

The nationwide closings plunged the European economy into a record slump, while businesses continued to slow as Unilever downgraded and Credit Suisse Group hit a billion dollars. Earlier, WHO said that 83 vaccines are in development worldwide, six of which are in human trials.

Germany has agreed to an additional package of $ 10.8 billion and Chancellor Angela Merkel has requested that a European-wide stimulus package be funded from the European Union budget. US lawmakers plan to meet on Thursday to finalize a $ 484 billion interim bailout.

Virus Tracker: cases exceed 2.6 million; Death toll exceeds 183,000 Trump announces suspension of immigration to curb job competition ECB takes action to protect region’s most vulnerable economies Coronavirus leads to highest deaths in Europe for decades Temperature controls, a constant anxiety in the zero pandemic city

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President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the economic collapse has shaken voter confidence, with the percentage of undecided voters having more than doubled in the past two weeks. Former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumed Democratic candidate, also sees voters revisiting their support. With his campaign limited to a few live events per week, he has not been able to take advantage of Trump’s new weakness.

Three weeks ago, only 5% of total voters were undecided in the 2020 race. That number climbed to 12% and 16% in a Fox News poll, as voters seem to find the two candidates for research. of a national emergency.

The European economy suffered a severe blow in April when government restrictions on containing the coronavirus left companies fighting to stay afloat. An estimate of private sector activity in the eurozone plunged to just 13.5 from 29.7 in March, IHS Markit announced on Thursday. The decline was much sharper than economists had expected and marked a record low for the purchasing managers’ index.

Figures for Germany and France, the two largest economies in the euro area, also indicated unprecedented collapses at the start of the second quarter.

Merkel urges Germany to support EU stimulus measures (3:57 p.m. HK)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for a Europe-wide economic recovery program funded by the European Union budget, making a national appeal that helping partners would be good for Germany.

“A European growth program could support a recovery over the next two years and we will work for it,” said Merkel in a speech to the lower house of parliament in Berlin on Thursday. “We want to act quickly in Europe and of course we need the instruments to be able to respond quickly to the effects of the crisis in all the Member States.”

The Italian government predicts that its budget deficit will reach 10.4% of gross domestic product this year, while the economy, crippled by a nationwide blockage, is expected to decline by 8%. The government is expected to seek parliamentary approval to widen the budget deficit by 55 billion euros ($ 59.4 billion) to finance a new stimulus package, officials said who asked not to be identified during the fiscal year. the discussion of a draft economic and financial plan. The plan is still being worked on and details could change, they said. The cabinet could meet Thursday to approve the program.

Cruise ship that initiated a surge leaves Australia (3:43 p.m. HK)

A coronavirus cruise ship that has caused hundreds of cases and at least 20 deaths in Australia, leading to a criminal investigation, has started to sail from the country. On Thursday, the Ruby Princess, operated by Princess Cruises, left Port Kembla, in the state of New South Wales, and is scheduled to fly to the Philippines, where it will unload its crew, weeks after its passengers were cleared disembark in Sydney before the test results are known.

Cases in Russia fall again (3.30 p.m. HK)

Russia reported fewer new cases of coronavirus for the second day in a row. New infections increased by 4,774 in the past day, from 5,236, bringing the total to 62,773. The number of deaths increased from 42 to 555.

The number of new cases remained more than 4,000 for seven days, but the daily increase in the total number of cases slowed to 8.2% from over 14% a week ago.

Singapore has 1,000 new cases by day four (3:26 p.m. KT)

Singapore has confirmed an additional 1,037 cases of coronavirus cases, the majority from foreign workers’ dormitories. This compares to 1,016 cases the day before. Originally seen as a global model for controlling the pandemic, Singapore now has the most reported infections in Southeast Asia, as cases of foreign workers living in densely populated dormitories have increased.

The city-state is “very likely” to see a more pronounced drop in GDP, Commerce and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said on Thursday. “We really fear that around the world it will lead to a bigger problem than many had anticipated just a month ago.”

UK to sell most of registered debt (2:57 p.m. HK)

The UK will increase its debt sales in four months almost as much as it did at the height of the global financial crisis, as the government intensifies its borrowing to fight the economic chaos caused by the coronavirus.

It will sell 180 billion pounds ($ 222 billion) from May to July. With the 45 billion pounds it plans to raise in April, this year’s deals are likely to overshadow the record 228 billion pounds in 2009-10. Last month, it estimated a total of £ 156.1 billion in sales for the year.

SNB reports record loss of $ 39 billion (2:47 p.m. HK)

The Swiss National Bank recorded a record loss of 38.2 billion francs in the first quarter ($ 39.3 billion) after its equity portfolio was hit by the market downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The SNB, which has legal status as a company, said on Thursday that weak equity markets in the first three months of the year had impacted its portfolio by CHF 31.9 billion. The appreciation of the franc against other currencies also contributed to the losses. A valuation gain on its holdings in gold and on fixed-income securities, as well as interest and dividend income helped to offset part of these losses.

German Coalition accepts package (2:43 p.m. HK)

The ruling coalition in Germany has agreed to a further package of € 10 billion ($ 10.8 billion) to mitigate the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis, while party leaders have settled the differences on how to deal with the next stage of the pandemic.

Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel and coalition leaders sealed an agreement to temporarily reduce value added tax for restaurants and increase the amount paid as state wage support as part of a plan in seven points to refine the government’s response to the crisis. The deal came after nearly eight hours of feuds at the Berlin Chancellery.

Unilever Withdraws Advice (2:16 p.m. HK)

Unilever has withdrawn its financial forecast for the year due to disruptions related to coronaviruses in the global activities of the food and household products giant. Like other consumer goods companies, Unilever benefits from strong sales of cleaning products – it owns the Cif and Domestos brands.

Credit Suisse Takes Over (2:15 p.m. HK)

Credit Suisse Group AG takes over $ 1 billion in impairments and bad debt provisions after the coronavirus, joining US banks to take a free kick as the epidemic hits economic activity around the world.

Hermes reopens its stores in mainland China (2:01 p.m. HK)

Hermes International announced lower first quarter sales than analysts expected. The company said it has reopened all of its stores in mainland China, preparing for a rebound in demand after the coronavirus epidemic has wiped out demand for luxury goods.

Hermes has gradually resumed its activities in its French workshops since April 14, after having closed them a month earlier. With the majority of products produced in-house in France, Hermès could be among the brands most exposed to supply constraints when the stores reopen.

Increase in cases in Germany (1:40 p.m. HK)

The number of coronavirus cases in Germany has increased for the second time in five days as the government considers how to approach the next stage of the crisis.

According to data from Johns Hopkins University, there were 2,195 new cases in the 24 hours and Thursday morning, bringing the total to 150,648. Deaths increased by 229 to 5,315. Mortality rate is now 3.53%, while the number of people who have recovered has increased to over 103,000.

Hyundai predicts results, Renault Profit plunges (13:33 HK)

Hyundai Motor Co. has predicted lower profitability for the quarter, as the coronavirus epidemic is weighing on demand for cars, after reporting a drop in net earnings for the first three months of the year. Renault SA recorded a drop in sales in the first quarter and said it was impossible to judge the impact of the coronavirus on the results as the pandemic hit the automotive industry. Daimler canceled the forecast earlier.

Renault’s acting CEO Clotilde Delbos said there were good reasons to seek billions of euros in state guaranteed loans “to be safe” during the global coronavirus pandemic.

Australia to close its borders (13:31 HK)

Australia will keep its international borders closed for at least three to four months to protect itself from the coronavirus pandemic that continues to worsen in other parts of the world. Border restrictions are likely to be the last measure lifted and remain in place even if other rules are relaxed, chief medical officer Brendan Murphy said, Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported on Thursday.

Six vaccines tested in humans, according to the WHO (12:12 HK)

The World Health Organization has said that 83 coronavirus vaccines are in development worldwide, and six candidates – half of them in China – are already in the human trials phase, while drug manufacturers are rush to find a cure for the deadly pathogen. This is an improvement from April 13, when the WHO said 70 vaccines were under development, with three candidates in human trials.

South Korea prepares for second wave (11:13 a.m.KT)

The country will prepare for a second wave of new coronaviruses in the fall and winter, as many experts have warned, said Yoon Tae-ho, director general of the health ministry. There is a good chance that it will spread again quickly because there is no vaccine or treatment yet and immunity in the population has not been created.

NZ to Explore Economic Stimulation Options (9:55 a.m.KT)

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will not rule out any stimulus options.

Asked about the possibility of the government making direct payments to households, she said, “We are exploring the range of options to ensure we continue to help our economy recover. We haven’t ruled out anything at this point. We are focusing on what will help our economy recover the quickest. ”

Panic buying in North Korea (9 h 37 HK)

According to a news service specializing in the country, consumers in the capital of North Korea have “panicked” in staple foods this week, causing some shelves to be empty.

The purchases could be due to tougher measures against coronaviruses on the way to Pyongyang and do not appear to be linked to reports this week that leader Kim Jong Un may be seriously ill, NK News reported, citing people living in Pyongyang and were able to communicate outside. the country. The shortages were initially limited to imported fruits and vegetables, and then moved to other products, he added.

Mexico Numbers Jump (9:26 a.m. HK)

The number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Mexico increased by more than 1,000 in one day for the first time Wednesday, signaling that the country’s curve is advancing sharply.

Confirmed cases increased 11% to 10,544, said Deputy Minister of Health Hugo Lopez-Gatell. The number of deaths increased by 13% to 970. The Ministry of Health estimates that eight times more people have contracted the virus than the official data show.

NYSE May Reopen in Several Phases (9:16 a.m. HK)

The New York Stock Exchange may reopen in May, CNN reporter Shimon Prokupecz said in a tweet, citing two unidentified people who know the subject. There will be a downsizing on the NYSE floor when it is opened and guidelines on social distancing will be in place. A NYSE spokesperson declined to comment on Bloomberg on the CNN report.

China reports no deaths (8:45 a.m.KT)

China has not reported any deaths from coronavirus for the eighth day in a row. Confirmed cases have increased by 10, including six from abroad, according to the country’s National Health Commission. The country also reported 27 asymptomatic cases, the least since it started reporting these cases earlier this month. China has 984 cases of asymptomatic coronaviruses under medical observation as of April 22.

The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases is 82,798, while the death toll is 4,632.

Shanghai has allowed city businesses and individuals to book nucleic acid tests at designated hospitals, according to a statement in the city’s official microblog.

South Korea’s economy has shrunk the most since 2008 (7:21 a.m.KT)

South Korea’s economy suffered its worst contraction since the global financial crisis in the first quarter, with the spread of the coronavirus having affected consumer spending and business activity.

Gross domestic product fell 1.4% in the three months ending in March compared with the previous quarter. Economists had forecast a contraction of 1.5%. South Korea was one of the first countries affected by the epidemic, with the second highest number of cases in the world in February. He has since managed to flatten the infection curve without forcing stops.

Trump says he disagrees with Georgia’s plans to reopen (6:42 a.m.KT)

President Trump said he spoke to Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and told him that he did not agree with the decision to relax some of the state restrictions. Tattoo studios, manicure salons and massage parlors are among the companies licensed to open in Georgia as of Friday.

“I don’t agree with what he’s doing,” said Trump during his daily briefing. “I think it’s too early. “

CDC director denies second wave could be worse (6:30 a.m.KT)

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Robert Redfield, denied telling the Washington Post that a second wave of coronaviruses in the United States this winter could be worse than the country had previously experienced.

“I didn’t say it was going to be worse,” Redfield said Wednesday at a White House press conference. “I said it was going to be more difficult and potentially complicated” because of the flu and the coronavirus circulating at the same time.

Redfield was quoted in the newspaper on Tuesday as saying that a resurgence of the virus could coincide with flu season and strain the health care system. He said Wednesday that he was quoted with precision in the article, but that the title lacked context.

Official Expelled for Interviewing Trump-Touted Drug (6:04 a.m.KT)

Rick Bright, who stepped down as director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority this week, said he had been removed from office because he insisted on limiting the use of a drug that President Trump had proposed as a Covid-19 treatment despite few clinical signs. proof that it works.

The drugs Trump touted, hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, “clearly lack scientific value,” Bright said in a statement released by his lawyers on Wednesday.

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