Coronavirus on the rise again in Europe and the United States

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Recent news

US governors scramble to deal with sharp hikes across the country

More than 100 asymptomatic coronavirus cases have been discovered in Xinjiang, one of the most closely watched and controlled regions in China, signaling the largest cluster detected in the country since July.

Rapid testing, contact tracing and quarantine have successfully prevented a second wave of coronavirus cases in China, with infections typically detected in the asymptomatic stage.

The national daily count of cases had risen in the tens since a large-scale epidemic in Xinjiang, the predominantly Muslim region in western China that has been transformed into a safe state in recent years thanks to pervasive surveillance and to a strict maintenance of order. The suppression of information from the overcrowded camps has raised fears that the virus will spread easily.

There has been a resurgence of the coronavirus, meanwhile, in Europe and the United States. In France, the government’s chief medical adviser has warned of a “critical situation” while Italy and Spain announced sweeping measures on Sunday to deal with an increase in the number of new cases. U.S. healthcare workers fear the spike in the number of cases could overwhelm hospitals as governors rushed Sunday to deal with the surge in new infections across the country.

Sign of investor confidence in China’s continued growth, Group of ants is set to raise more than $ 34 billion after pricing the shares in its initial public offering, putting the payments group on track to top Saudi Aramco as the largest listing of history market.

The steps

The effect on the markets of a surge in liquidity, debt and deficits will be nuanced, warns Mohamed El-Erian. It will only support specific sectors, companies and countries. “Elsewhere, it will likely be insufficient to avoid the bankruptcies and debt rescheduling that accompany a global recovery that is too weak, too uneven and too uncertain.”

Wall Street has followed European stock markets lower, fearing that a growing number of coronavirus infections could trigger a new wave of social restrictions that will dampen business activity. The US benchmark S&P 500 fell 2% Monday morning in trading. The Vix Index, the so-called “fear gauge”, rose more than 4 points to 31.6, well above its long-term average of 20, a sign that investors are preparing for surges volatility in the coming month.

The boost provided by the EU’s Covid-linked borrowing is helping Italy lengthen the maturity of its public debt and protect it from a future rise in interest charges, said the debt chief of Rome. Davide Iacovoni, who oversees a debt pile worth over € 2.4 billion, said the burning demand for the EU’s inaugural Covid-linked debt sale last week – which has attracted a record 233 billion euros in orders – supported Italian bonds. .

Company

SAPEurope’s largest software publisher slashed its revenue and profit forecast for the year as a resurgence in coronavirus cases depressed corporate spending, pushing the group’s shares down to 20 % Monday. The German company has warned that its customers, which include many of the world’s largest businesses, are spending less as rising Covid-19 cases have affected business confidence.

It would be a crazy time for banks to resume dividends, says Patrick Jenkins, deputy editor of the FT. Claims that the worst is over ignore the reality of Wave 2 problems and the delayed impact on business and personal budgets that has been cushioned by government aid.

A vaccine under development by the University of Oxford, in collaboration with AstraZeneca, produced a robust immune response in the elderly, the group most at risk for the disease, according to two people familiar with the discovery. Matt Hancock, Britain’s Health Secretary, toned down expectations of an accelerated vaccine launch by year-end, but said he expected “the basics” deployment will take place in the first half of 2021.

Mondial economy

As Zambia heads towards Africa’s first sovereign default in a decade and pressure mounts on other indebted countries during the coronavirus pandemic, the crisis has exposed the scale and fragmented nature of Chinese loans as well. as Beijing’s reluctance to fully align with global debt relief plans. . The country’s share of bilateral debt owed by the world’s poorest countries to G20 members rose from 45 percent in 2015 to 63 percent last year, according to the World Bank.

EU member states affected by a pandemic have made it clear that they intend to fully exploit the € 390 billion in stimulus fund grants given by leaders in July. What is much less clear is to what extent they intend to avail of the cheap loans that the European Commission also offers.

According to the IMF, the world economy is expected to shrink 4.4% this year, the largest contraction in modern history – pushing millions of people into poverty. But the world’s billionaires got richer compared to 2019, according to data compiled by UBS. The trend, seen in parts of Brazil and China in the United States and Germany, is further indication that the pandemic could worsen inequalities.

Chart showing tech and healthcare billionaire wealth increased with pandemic

Get in touch

How is your workplace coping with the pandemic? How do you manage it as a professional or a manager? And what do you think business and markets – and our daily lives – will look like after we emerge? Also let us know what you think of this newsletter and how we can make it more useful for you. Write to us at [email protected]. We may publish your contribution in a future newsletter. Thank you.

In response to the coronavirus pandemic: FT readers respond, reader Light_1 wrote:

It should be remembered that the Swedish healthcare system ranks in the top three in the world, well ahead of the UK NHS. Thus, with better available capacity, Sweden can face peak demand.

The essentials

Unilever offered its staff a global day of thanks outside of work this month in recognition of their months of pandemic-induced productivity. Pilita Clark praises companies for giving more time off to staff, from Google to Chegg. Some groups have found that if you give employees time off on Fridays, they will just spend all day on Saturday catching up, but “the bottom line is to try, because the pioneers of the days off are learning.”

Final reflection

In his revolutionary post-apocalypse novel Station our, published in 2014, Emily St John Mandel envisioned a rather different outcome of a pandemic – a post-technological world. During lunch with the FT, she admits that her vision of “pandemic and then no technology” was upside down. But she believes that what is likely to link fiction and reality is the survival of art and the growth of reading. In his new book, Le Glass Hotel, it predicts a more decentralized world and many people embarking on the path of an alternative life.

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