The EU rejects Trump’s threat against WHO; Singapore reopening: virus update

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(Bloomberg) – The European Union has criticized President Donald Trump’s threat to permanently freeze US funding to the World Health Organization, saying that the fight against the coronavirus requires global cooperation. China may consider targeting Australia’s exports on calls for an investigation into the origin of Covid-19.

Brazil is now the world’s fastest growing coronavirus hotspot, accounting for 13% of new cases worldwide in the past week, while cases in India have grown at the fastest rate in Asia to reach 100,000. Deaths from the virus in Britain have exceeded 40,000, making it the first country in Europe to reach this threshold.

Singapore plans to reopen more businesses because the virus is under control there.

The Prime Minister returned to office three weeks after being tested positive – a period that saw the total number of cases in the country almost triple to just under 300,000. Earlier, Trump said he was taking hydroxychloroquine, despite warnings of serious side effects.

Virus Tracker: 4.8 million cases; deaths exceed 318,000 cases in the first 100,000 in India, nearly 300,000 in Russia, the unemployment rate in HK is skyrocketing; Number of unemployed workers who test positive after recovery is not contagious Moderna will raise up to $ 1.3 billion to fund the vaccine

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Singapore will allow more businesses to reopen on June 2, bringing the working proportion of the economy to three-quarters. Restrictions will be introduced in three phases, provided that “community” infection rates remain low during the current foreclosure ending June 1 and health workers are protected, officials said at a media availability Tuesday.

The government will provide more support to businesses and their workers, with priority on businesses that remain closed on June 1, said National Development Minister Lawrence Wong. Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat is expected to announce details of a fourth stimulus package in Parliament on Tuesday.

EasyJet Says Hackers Accessed 9 Million Data (7:50 a.m. NY)

EasyJet Plc. the email addresses and travel data of approximately 9 million customers were accessed in a “highly sophisticated” cyber attack. Credit card details from 2,208 customers were also viewed, EasyJet said in a statement on Tuesday. He said he has closed unauthorized access and will contact customers in the coming days.

Cyber ​​attacks on businesses and their employees have increased this year as hackers take advantage of the disruption caused by the pandemic.

A disputed Jerusalem site, holy to Jews and Muslims, will reopen next week after being closed for almost two months. Waqf, an Islamic trust that administers the site, said it will open the Al-Aqsa complex immediately after Eid al-Fitr, the holiday that marks the end of Ramadan. There are 16,650 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Israel.

The health ministry also said it would allow wedding halls and other venues to reopen from June 14 under certain restrictions. The ministry also temporarily lifted the requirement to wear masks in public spaces during heat waves, and school children were temporarily excluded from wearing them in classrooms.

The European Union has criticized Trump’s threat to permanently cut US funding for the World Health Organization, saying that the fight against the coronavirus requires global cooperation and institutions.

“It’s time for solidarity; Now is not the time to point the finger or undermine multilateral cooperation, “said Virginie Battu-Henriksson, spokesperson for the European Commission, the executive body of 27 countries, to the press. She expressed the hope that the governing body of WHO, the World Health Assembly, would approve “within the next few hours” a resolution on coronaviruses proposed by the EU.

The billionaire founder of the Fosun group hopes to soon obtain approvals to test a vaccine against the new coronavirus in his country of origin, China. In March, Guo’s Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group Co. partnered with German partner BioNTech SE, which has already conducted human clinical trials on the vaccine in Germany. The first results should be available soon, said the tycoon.

Guo declined to say when Fosun Pharmaceutical will obtain all of the required approvals. The group has also worked with foreign partners to try to find an effective drug for the virus, but so far has found none, he said.

Walmart sales skyrocket (7:08 a.m. NY time)

Walmart Inc. posted solid quarterly sales, fueled by coronavirus storage, showing how it is one of the few retailers that thrives even amid unprecedented carnage in the US retail industry. Comparable store sales, a key measure of retail, increased 10% for Walmart stores in the United States during the period, compared with the Consensus Metrix estimate of 8.6%. It’s the fastest growing rate in almost two decades. Profits for the quarter also exceeded expectations.

Significant uncertainty surrounding the duration and intensity of the coronavirus impact prompted the retailer to withdraw its full-year forecast, released just three months ago. Yet Walmart said its “business fundamentals are solid.”

Earlier, The Home Depot also suspended its full-year forecasts citing uncertainty about the length of COVID-19 and its impact on the economy in general, while Kohl suspended its dividend and redemption of ‘actions.

Singapore to announce fourth stimulus package (6:45 am NY)

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat will make a statement to Parliament on May 26 on plans to help businesses and individuals in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, the Straits Times reported. The press release should contain a fourth round of Covid-19 support since February, the newspaper said.

Dimon says pandemic is a revival (6 a.m. NY)

Jamie Dimon said he hoped that policymakers would use the Covid-19 crisis as a catalyst to rebuild a more inclusive economy as the pandemic reveals large inequalities among Americans.

“This crisis should serve as a wake-up call and a call to action for businesses and government to think, act and invest for the common good and tackle the structural obstacles that have hindered inclusive economic growth for years” , said the general manager of JPMorgan Chase & Co. wrote in a note to employees before the bank’s annual shareholders meeting on Tuesday.

Prime Minister of Russia resumes office (5:39 p.m. HK)

Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin returned to his post almost three weeks after being tested positive for the coronavirus. President Vladimir Putin signed a decree canceling a temporary transfer of authority from Mishustin to First Deputy Prime Minister Andrey Belousov, who was appointed acting Prime Minister on April 30.

After his diagnosis, Mishustin, 54, reappeared on state television on May 8 and has participated in videoconferences with Putin and other ministers on several occasions since then. Mishustin, three government ministers and at least five deputies in the Duma were diagnosed with the virus, as well as Putin’s spokesman, Dmitri Peskov.

Mishustin returns to power with Russian cases of just under 300,000, having almost tripled since he tested positive late last month. After a sharp increase in recent weeks, the number of new diagnoses is now starting to decrease.

Watch out for Chinese mergers and acquisitions, according to Vestager (5:25 p.m. HK)

The European Union must be “vigilant” over Chinese takeovers if the economic recovery of the bloc after the Covid-19 pandemic lags behind, warned competition chief Margrethe Vestager.

“It is very important to be vigilant, especially in a situation where they can be sort of a phased recovery, where some parts of the world are recovering faster than others,” Vestager said in an interview with Bloomberg. TV Tuesday. potential threat from China.

Pakistan opens after court intervention (5:10 p.m. HK)

After being closed for almost two months, shopping centers in Pakistan were allowed to open following a Supreme Court ruling.

The Pakistani government authorized the opening of some domestic flights and the opening of neighborhood stores last week, but has decided not to reopen the malls.

The court order came as Pakistan added 3,815 new cases, the largest single-day increase, bringing its total to 43,966 with 939 deaths, according to data compiled by John Hopkins University.

German investor confidence is growing (5:06 p.m. HK)

Investors are increasingly convinced that the German economy will recover from its worst post-war recession in the second half, with businesses resuming operations after the restrictions were lifted by the government. A ZEW gauge measuring investor expectations for the next six months climbed to 51.0, the highest level in five years and most importantly estimates from a Bloomberg survey.

At the same time, concerns about the current state of Europe’s largest economy are deep in a context of rising unemployment and bankruptcies. Leading business lobby said German gross domestic product would shrink by 10% in 2020. Europe’s largest economy would then rebound with an expansion of 5% next year, said the Association of German Chambers of industry and commerce, or DIHK.

The group’s outlook for 2020 is worse than the government’s forecast of 6.3% contraction this year.

The number of virus-related deaths in the UK is over 40,000 (4:51 p.m. HK)

The number of coronavirus-related deaths in the UK has exceeded 40,000, making it the first country in Europe to reach this threshold. Nearly 43,000 deaths have mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate until May 16, according to the latest data from national statistical offices. Mortality is stabilizing in countries, England and Wales reporting a decrease in the number of deaths from the virus in the previous week.

The government is facing calls to be more open about its strategy to fight the pandemic, some lawmakers having called for the publication of scientific advice on Britain’s response to the virus.

Increase in virus reproduction rate in Austria (4:45 p.m. HK)

Austria’s so-called reproductive factor has once again risen above 1 after an epidemic grouped around a temporary work agency in and around the capital Vienna. The reproductive factor, calculated on the basis of 13 days of new infections, was less than 1 since April 4 and amounted to 1.07 to May 15, according to the health agency AGES, which publishes the factor to different intervals.

A rate greater than one indicates that each infected person passes it statistically to more than one other person. Austria was among the first European countries to facilitate the blocking of coronaviruses from April 14 after quickly and quickly controlling infections. An outbreak of infections in Vienna and the surrounding province this month increased the average of new daily infections to 55 days to 55, the highest since May 2.

Hong Kong unemployment rate hits highest since 2009 (16:39 HK)

The unemployment rate in Hong Kong has risen for the seventh consecutive month to reach its highest level in more than a decade, as the economy remains in recession amid the coronavirus pandemic and prepares for the prospect of a resumption of political unrest.

The unemployment rate for the period February to April rose to 5.2%, worse than the median estimate of 4.6% among economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The level is the highest since October 2009, according to the data. The increase extended the longest period of increase since the aftermath of the global financial crisis.

Sweden predicts record jump in borrowing 30 times (4:38 HK)

The National Debt Office estimates that net borrowing requirements will reach 402 billion crowns ($ 41.5 billion) this year, up from a previous forecast of just 14 billion crowns. As a result, the largest economy in Scandinavia will have to depend much more on the debt markets than in previous years.

Sweden has taken a more lax approach to tackling Covid-19 than many other countries, with much of the economy remaining open. Instead, the government relied on citizens by following the social distancing guidelines. So far, there is no indication that the Swedish economy is doing much better than the rest.

China rejects Trump comments on WHO (3:54 p.m. HK)

The latest complaints from US President Donald Trump for patronage by the World Health Organization are “futile,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Tuesday. The comments come after Trump stepped up his threats against the international body over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, saying he would permanently cut US funding if he did not make sweeping reforms.

In a four-page letter detailing his many grievances with the WHO, Trump called on the group to “demonstrate its independence from China”, renewing a complaint that led it to temporarily suspend funding in April American. He posted the letter Monday night on Twitter.

European Bank watchdogs further suspend relief (3:45 p.m. HK)

European banking regulators plan to wait until the end of the third quarter before deciding to give more relief or to start gradually going back to more stringent requirements, according to people familiar with the matter.

Having offered banks unprecedented flexibility to help keep credit in the economy, euro area supervisors on the European Central Bank’s supervisory board now want to see how hard lenders will be affected by fallout from the virus, said the people, who asked to be named discussing private conversations. The ECB could still act quickly if needed sooner, they said.

Hong Kong limits public gatherings to continue (3:33 p.m. HK)

Hong Kong will expand social distancing measures, despite objections from pro-democracy groups that a ban on large rallies was used to quell protests. Food and Health Secretary Sophia Chan confirmed in a Tuesday afternoon briefing that the city would extend restrictions, including banning gatherings of more than eight people, for another two weeks until June 4.

Earlier, CEO Carrie Lam said Hong Kong should “stay alert” after new coronavirus infections interrupted a 23-day streak with no local cases. She denied the desire to prevent the rallies, as an annual vigil on June 4 commemorating the 1989 crackdown on militants in Tiananmen Square weighed on the decision.

“There are no political considerations at certain anniversaries or political gatherings, etc. Lam told reporters before a regular meeting of his advisory committee to the Executive Council. “Our only consideration is public safety and public health concerns.

Spain will strive to improve the German and French proposal (3:29 p.m. HK)

The German and French proposal for a 500 billion euro aid package “is a really important deal,” said Spanish Economy Minister Nadia Calvino. “This is an important step in the right direction,” and is in line with what Spain and Italy have asked for, said Calvino.

“It is important that the four main countries of the Union agree and have a common vision on how to overcome the crisis”, but the proposal still needs wider support and “we will work for it improve, ”she said. Germany and France agreed on Monday to support the package, which would be funded by additional EU borrowing and would return subsidies to member states hardest hit by the virus.

Indian cases pass 100,000 (2:11 p.m. HK)

Infections in India are increasing at the fastest rate in Asia, just as Prime Minister Narendra Modi has further loosened a nationwide lockdown to stimulate economic activity. The number of infections in the South Asian nation of 1.3 billion people on Tuesday was 100,328, including 3,156 deaths. No fewer than 5,242 new cases were added on Tuesday.

India is now one of the nations hardest hit by the epidemic, with a 28% increase in cases since last week. A neighbor and nuclear rival, Pakistan has 42,125 cases, including 903 deaths. Its business increased by 19% over the same period.

Increased unemployment claims in the UK (2:10 p.m. HK)

The number of Britons looking for unemployment benefits rose the most last month as the foreclosure sent shock waves through the UK economy. Unemployment claims rose 856,500 to more than 2 million in April, the National Statistics Office said. The provider count rate climbed to 5.8%, the highest in more than two decades.

Europe Lockdowns Pummel Car Sales (2 p.m. HK)

European car sales have fallen the most since the coronavirus stopped production and closed dealerships in Spain in Germany. Passenger car registrations in the European Union, the European Free Trade Association and the United Kingdom fell 78% year-over-year. Companies sold only 292,182 cars – the lowest number since data collection began in 1990.

China Mulls targeting Australia (1:47 p.m. HK)

Australian exports of wine, seafood, oatmeal, fruit and dairy products may be targeted by China if Beijing decides to escalate dispute over Canberra’s calls for investigation origin of Covid-19, according to people familiar with the matter.

Chinese authorities have compiled a list of potential goods it could target by implementing stricter quality controls, probes or anti-dumping tariffs, adding measures or delaying customs clearance, or by using the media. State to encourage boycott of consumers, people said, not asking to be identified as discussions are private.

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