Lundi 13 Juillet 2020

Coronavirus: le nombre de morts aux États-Unis atteint un nouveau record de 2 492 - comme cela s'est produit


Emma Boyde 14/04/2020, 23:53:14 PM

La distanciation physique pourrait être nécessaire au-delà de 2022 sans traitements, selon une étude de Harvard Clive Cookson à Londres
Le monde aura probablement besoin de programmes continus de distanciation sociale jusqu'en 2022 au moins, à moins que des traitements ou vaccins Covid-19 efficaces ne soient disponibles à grande échelle, selon une nouvelle modélisation publiée dans la revue Science par des épidémiologistes de l'Université de Harvard.
L'étude, dirigée par Marc Lipsitch, a combiné les données de saisonnalité, d'immunité et d'autres caractéristiques des coronavirus apparentés (qui ne provoquent rien de pire que le rhume) avec des hypothèses sur Sars-CoV-2, le virus responsable de Covid-19.
Bien que de nombreuses incertitudes demeurent quant à la force avec laquelle le système immunitaire humain réagira à l'infection par le nouveau virus - et combien de temps durera toute protection - l'étude «prévoit que des épidémies hivernales récurrentes de Sars-CoV-2 se produiront probablement après la première, la plupart grave vague pandémique.
Si tel est le cas, une distanciation sociale pourrait devoir être imposée à plusieurs reprises pour éviter que les systèmes de santé ne soient submergés par les patients de Covid-19.
Mark Woolhouse, professeur d'épidémiologie des maladies infectieuses à l'Université d'Édimbourg, a déclaré: «Il s'agit d'une excellente étude [but] il devrait être considéré comme suggérant des scénarios possibles plutôt que de faire des prévisions fermes. »

Coronavirus: le nombre de morts aux États-Unis atteint un nouveau record de 2 492 - comme cela s'est produit

Emma Boyde 15/04/2020, 00:08:37

Ouverture des sondages en Corée du Sud dans le cadre de mesures strictes contre les coronavirus Edward White à Wellington
Mercredi matin, les élections se sont ouvertes lors des élections législatives en Corée du Sud, avec des protections anti-coronavirus strictes en place dans tout le pays.
La Corée du Sud, qui a été félicitée pour son utilisation de tests de masse, de recherche de contacts de haute technologie et de mesures d'auto-isolement généralisées, a signalé mardi 27 nouveaux cas, contre un pic de plus de 900 fin février. Mais le vote pour l’Assemblée nationale du pays, qui compte 300 sièges, intervient alors que les responsables de la santé à Séoul continuent de recommander la prudence concernant le risque de nouvelles épidémies.
Les électeurs portant un masque entrant dans plus de 14 000 bureaux de vote doivent se tenir à au moins un mètre de leurs concitoyens, faire contrôler leur température et porter des gants en plastique.
Pour minimiser davantage le risque d'infections, des emplacements spéciaux ont été mis en place pour toute personne dont la température corporelle est supérieure à 37,5 degrés ou pour des problèmes respiratoires - symptômes de Covid-19 - ainsi que pour ceux qui sont déjà dans des établissements médicaux et en quarantaine pour jeter leur bulletin de vote à l'écart de le public général. Un vaste système de vote par anticipation a été organisé ces dernières semaines afin de maximiser la participation des électeurs parmi les personnes les plus touchées par le virus.
Les élections sont considérées par de nombreux experts comme un référendum sur le traitement de l'épidémie de coronavirus par Moon Jae-in, le président, son gouvernement et le parti démocrate qui détient actuellement la plus grande part des sièges à l'Assemblée nationale avec 120.
Un récent sondage a suggéré que le confinement par le gouvernement de ce qui était l'une des pires épidémies en dehors de la Chine, et les éloges internationaux ultérieurs, stimuleraient la gauche et les candidats progressistes affiliés à M. Moon et au parti démocrate.

Alice Woodhouse 15/04/2020, 00:15:04

Les actions de la région Asie-Pacifique perdent du terrain Les actions de la région Asie-Pacifique ont perdu de l’élan mercredi, reculant par rapport aux gains de la veille qui étaient dus à l’attention portée à l’assouplissement potentiel des blocages dans les pays les plus touchés par la pandémie de coronavirus.
Le Topix au Japon a perdu 0,4% en début de séance et le S & P / ASX 200 en Australie a légèrement augmenté de 0,1%.
Le S&P 500 a clôturé en hausse de 3,1% du jour au lendemain, car l'attention s'est tournée vers les perspectives d'une réouverture progressive des économies touchées par les virus, alors même que le FMI prévoyait que l'épidémie de coronavirus laisserait des séquelles durables sur la croissance mondiale.
Les actions JPMorgan Chase et Wells Fargo ont toutes deux glissé après que les deux banques ont signalé une forte baisse des bénéfices au premier trimestre alors que les prêteurs se préparaient aux effets de l'épidémie de coronavirus.
Les futures indiquent une baisse de 0,5% pour le S&P 500 lors de sa réouverture.

Emma Boyde 15/04/2020 00:46:48

Nouvelles que vous auriez pu manquer Donald Trump a dit qu'il "autoriserait" les gouverneurs pour rouvrir les États américains, un jour après avoir insisté sur le fait qu'il avait le pouvoir «total» en tant que président américain de lever les restrictions sur les coronavirus, même si la constitution américaine laisse de tels droits et responsabilités aux gouverneurs des États.
le Les États-Unis ont enregistré leur plus grand nombre des décès par coronavirus en une seule journée, avec près de 2 300 nouveaux décès poussant le total cumulé au-dessus de 25 000. Au cours des dernières 24 heures, 2 299 personnes supplémentaires sont décédées, selon les dernières données du Covid Tracking Project, ce qui porte le total à 25 668.
Un Un travailleur d'Amazon est décédé du coronavirus, la société a confirmé. L'employé était directeur au poste de livraison de l'entreprise à Hawthorne, Los Angeles. Il est décédé le 31 mars, le premier cas connu d'un travailleur d'Amazonie succombant au virus, bien qu'une chronologie de ses mouvements suggère qu'il n'a pas contracté Covid-19 dans l'établissement.
Le FMI a accédé à une demande de Le Salvador pour 389 millions de dollars d'aide d'urgence pour lutter contre la pandémie, son premier décaissement dans le cadre d'un accord de prêt au pays d'Amérique centrale en plus de trois décennies. Le fonds s'est déclaré prêt à fournir «un soutien supplémentaire selon les besoins».
Le département américain du Trésor a conclu un accord avec Compagnies aériennes américaines cela ouvre la voie pour que le secteur reçoive des milliards de dollars d'aide pour couvrir les coûts salariaux pendant la pandémie, selon une personne proche du dossier.
L'Afrique du Sud a coupé le financement de l'État pour le transporteur national battu, South African Airways, scellant efficacement le sort de la compagnie aérienne après que la pandémie eut immobilisé ses vols.
La France convoque Lu Shaye, ambassadeur de Chine à Paris, pour une réunion mardi pour protester contre les récents commentaires hostiles de l'ambassade et la propagande contre la pandémie de coronavirus.

Alice Woodhouse 15/04/2020, 1:26:46 AM

La Chine signale 8 nouveaux cas locaux de coronavirus dans la province frontalière de la Russie Les autorités sanitaires chinoises ont signalé 46 nouveaux cas de coronavirus à la fin de mardi, soit environ la moitié du décompte de la veille, dont huit cas transmis localement dans la province septentrionale du Heilongjiang.
Le Heilongjiang, qui borde la Russie, a signalé une augmentation des cas importés ces dernières semaines alors que les citoyens chinois reviennent dans le pays au-dessus de la frontière terrestre de la ville de Suifenhe, maintenant fermée, dans la province, soulignant le défi de prévenir une deuxième vague d'infections.
Près de 250 infections à coronavirus confirmées ont été détectées chez des personnes qui avaient volé de Moscou à Vladivostok, puis étaient entrées à Suifenhe par voie terrestre, selon une interview accordée à la télévision d'État par le maire par intérim de la ville. Il a déclaré qu'environ 15% de ceux qui ont utilisé la frontière terrestre depuis la mise en place de la quarantaine centralisée le 21 mars étaient porteurs du virus, un chiffre qui inclut les personnes testées positives pour le coronavirus mais ne présentant aucun symptôme.
La province méridionale de Guangdong a signalé deux infections transmises localement et les nouveaux cas restants ont été importés.
Le nombre de cas de coronavirus enregistrés en Chine s'élève désormais à 82 295. Il y a eu un nouveau décès de Covid-19 mardi, portant le nombre de morts à 3.342.

Alice Woodhouse 15/04/2020, 01:56:39 AM

Les pénuries de coronavirus poussent l'Australie à ramener la fabrication à domicile Jamie Smyth à Sydney
L'Australie a été obligée de repenser sa politique industrielle après qu'une grave pénurie de ventilateurs et d'équipements de protection a révélé ce que les critiques qualifiaient de sa «dépendance» à l'égard de la Chine.
Dans le cadre des efforts déployés par le pays pour lutter contre son épidémie de coronavirus, Canberra a promis de favoriser la fabrication locale afin de s’assurer qu’elle dépend moins des chaînes d’approvisionnement mondiales.
"Le commerce ouvert a été au cœur de notre prospérité au fil des siècles", a déclaré Scott Morrison, Premier ministre australien, au Parlement. "Mais également, nous devons également examiner attentivement notre souveraineté économique intérieure."
Canberra a resserré les restrictions sur les prises de contrôle étrangères et tente maintenant de s'assurer qu'elle peut s'approvisionner en matières premières critiques, fabriquer des composants vitaux et fabriquer les produits médicaux nécessaires pour accroître l'autosuffisance pendant les crises.
Lire le rapport complet ici.

Alice Woodhouse 15/04/2020, 02:32:19 AM

Singapour rend obligatoire le port du masque en public Mercedes Ruehl à Singapour
Singapour a rendu obligatoire le port du masque à tout moment en dehors de leur domicile, alors que la ville-État lutte contre une flambée de cas de coronavirus transmis localement.
Mardi, le gouvernement a introduit de nouvelles sanctions, notamment une première amende de 300 $ S (212 $) pour ceux qui ne portent pas de masques à l'extérieur, sauf s'ils ont moins de deux ans ou s'ils pratiquent des exercices intenses comme la course à pied.
La cité-état asiatique compte désormais 3 252 cas confirmés de virus et a annoncé mardi son 10e décès lié à Covid-19. Plus de 500 personnes ont été condamnées à une amende et 6 200 ont reçu des avertissements pour avoir bafoué des mesures de distance sûres depuis l'introduction de règles d'isolement plus strictes le 7 avril.

Le gouvernement de Singapour a initialement exhorté les personnes malades à porter des masques avec les chefs de gouvernement, affirmant en janvier que le grand public serait mieux protégé en se lavant régulièrement les mains avec du savon et de l'eau.
Ce changement fait également suite à la fuite d'un enregistrement audio du ministre du Commerce de Singapour se moquant de la dirigeante de Hong Kong Carrie Lam pour avoir porté un masque chirurgical lors d'une conférence de presse en février.
Singapour avait déjà commencé à recommander l'utilisation de masques et à la rendre obligatoire dans les transports en commun et les zones surpeuplées telles que les supermarchés plus tôt en avril, après que l'Organisation mondiale de la santé a également inversé le cap et encouragé les initiatives gouvernementales qui exigent ou encouragent le public à porter des masques.

Alice Woodhouse 15/04/2020, 03:05:28 AM

La Chine baisse son taux directeur à un niveau record Hudson Lockett à Hong Kong
La banque centrale de Chine a abaissé son taux directeur à un niveau record, les responsables politiques de Pékin cherchant à accroître la liquidité du système financier du pays alors qu'ils tentent de monter une reprise économique après le blocage induit par les coronavirus.
La Banque populaire de Chine a abaissé de 0,2 point de pourcentage son taux de la facilité de prêt à moyen terme d'un an à 2,95%, le niveau le plus bas depuis son introduction en 2014.
Le taux MLF est important car non seulement il injecte des liquidités sur le marché interbancaire chinois, mais il sert également de plancher pour le nouvel indice de référence des prêts introduit l'année dernière - le taux préférentiel du prêt.
Le LPR, qui est basé sur le taux de prêt moyen accordé aux meilleurs clients des banques commerciales, a généralement suivi le taux MLF après une baisse. Il est publié le 20 de chaque mois, avec la prochaine sortie prévue pour lundi.

Alice Woodhouse 15/04/2020, 03:21:43 AM

Les visiteurs étrangers au Japon baissent de 90% en mars en raison des restrictions de voyage Robin Harding à Tokyo
Le nombre d'étrangers entrant au Japon a chuté de plus de 90% en mars par rapport à l'année précédente, le coronavirus ayant stoppé les voyages internationaux, selon les chiffres préliminaires de l'Agence des services d'immigration.
Les entrées dans les ports et aéroports japonais sont tombées à 217671 contre près de 2,8 millions en mars 2019, mettant en évidence l'ampleur de la baisse des voyages et du tourisme. Le nombre d'arrivées chinoises est tombé à 12 272, contre 649 137 un an plus tôt.

Le Japon a commencé à imposer des restrictions de voyage à certaines parties de la Chine au début de février, mais en mars, il a également fermé ses frontières à certaines parties de la Corée, de l'Iran et de la zone de voyage Schengen de l'Union européenne. Il refuse désormais l'entrée aux voyageurs de 73 pays, dont les États-Unis.
Presque tout le trafic restant est passé par les aéroports de Haneda et Narita de Tokyo, avec des hubs régionaux populaires auprès des touristes asiatiques, tels que les aéroports de Kansai et de Fukuoka, ne voyant presque aucun trafic international.

Emma Boyde 15/04/2020 03:37:37

Le fabricant de papier hygiénique prévoit une augmentation de 65% de son bénéfice net au premier trimestre Primrose Riordan à Hong Kong
Vinda International Holdings, le fabricant de l'une des plus grandes marques de papier toilette en Chine, prévoit que son bénéfice net augmentera de 65% au premier trimestre par rapport à la même période l'an dernier.
Dans un communiqué publié mercredi à la Bourse de Hong Kong, la société a déclaré que l'amélioration des prévisions était principalement due à la baisse du coût de la pâte ainsi qu'à une amélioration de sa gamme de produits. Il a déclaré qu'il s'attendait à un bénéfice net de 377 M $ HK (48,6 M $) pour la période.
Hong Kong a été parmi les premiers endroits à signaler une fuite de papier hygiénique, qui a commencé après que les gens ont répandu des rumeurs sur les réseaux sociaux selon lesquelles les usines fabriquant le produit étaient en train de se transformer en usines de masques faciaux, suscitant des craintes de pénurie.

Alice Woodhouse 15/04/2020, 03:44:08 AM

La Thaïlande prolonge la fermeture de l'espace aérien pour les vols de passagers entrants John Reed à Bangkok
La Thaïlande a prolongé la fermeture de son espace aérien aux passagers commerciaux entrants jusqu'au 30 avril, la troisième extension de ce type d'une restriction imposée pour la première fois le 3 avril.
L'Autorité de l'aviation civile de Thaïlande a annoncé cette décision mercredi matin et l'interdiction actuelle des vols devait prendre fin le 18 avril.
Les vols de rapatriement pour le retour des Thaïlandais, les avions d'État ou militaires, les vols humanitaires et médicaux et les vols cargo seront toujours autorisés à atterrir, a indiqué le CAAT.
Bangkok est normalement l'une des villes les plus visitées au monde, mais les fermetures liées aux coronavirus dans le monde ont dévasté son industrie touristique et amené Thai Airways, la compagnie aérienne nationale déficitaire, au bord de l'effondrement.
Le Fonds monétaire international prévoit que l'économie thaïlandaise diminuera de 6,7% cette année, sa pire performance depuis 1998.

Emma Boyde 15/04/2020, 03:56:28 AM

Les parts des fournisseurs de produits de santé chutent de 25% à Hong Kong Primrose Riordan à Hong Kong
Les parts dans une entreprise se présentant comme un fournisseur de produits de santé à l'épreuve des pandémies ont chuté de plus de 25% mercredi à ses débuts à Hong Kong.
Tycoon Group Holdings, qui vend des désinfectants pour les mains, des masques chirurgicaux et des probiotiques qui, selon la société, renforceront l'immunité, a touché un creux de 1,11 $ HK à 10h00, heure de Hong Kong, 25,5% de moins que son prix d'offre de 1,49 $ HK. Ils s'étaient légèrement redressés pour s'échanger à 1,14 HK $ avant midi.
«Nos administrateurs estiment que le. . . [coronavirus-related] les ajouts à notre portefeuille de produits démontrent notre capacité à fournir des produits qui répondent aux besoins du marché en vigueur et témoignent de l'élasticité de nos opérations commerciales et de la résilience de notre modèle d'entreprise », a déclaré la société dans des documents à l'appui de son introduction en bourse.

Emma Boyde 15/04/2020, 04:09:23 AM

Les compagnies aériennes chinoises enregistrent une perte de 4,8 milliards de dollars au premier trimestre Nicolle Liu à Hong Kong
Les compagnies aériennes chinoises ont signalé une perte combinée de 33,62 milliards de Rmb (4,8 milliards de dollars) au premier trimestre, les fermetures nationales et mondiales ayant touché la demande, selon l'Administration de l'aviation civile de Chine.
Le nombre total de passagers a chuté de 53,9% au premier trimestre par rapport à la même période un an plus tôt pour atteindre 74 millions, a déclaré Xiong Jie, un responsable de la CAAC. Le volume de passagers en mars a été particulièrement touché, chutant de 71,7% par rapport au même mois l'an dernier, a-t-il ajouté.
Une grande partie de la Chine a été bloquée au cours du trimestre et de nombreux pays et régions ont imposé des restrictions de voyage au pays pour freiner la propagation du coronavirus.
Les autorités ont également imposé des restrictions sur les vols internationaux fin mars pour limiter un nombre croissant de cas importés d'outre-mer. Il y a maintenant moins de 20 vols internationaux et seulement 2 000 à 3 000 personnes atterrissent chaque jour, a déclaré Sun Shaohua, un autre responsable de la CAAC.

Alice Woodhouse 15/04/2020, 04:52:51 AM

La Chine étudiera l'étendue des infections à coronavirus dans 9 régions
Yuan Yang à Pékin
La Chine a lancé une importante enquête épidémiologique sur le nouveau coronavirus dans neuf régions du pays, ont rapporté mercredi les médias d'État. L'enquête sera la première au monde à couvrir une région géographique aussi vaste, bien que le nombre total de personnes à tester ne soit pas clair.
Les épidémiologistes du monde entier ont demandé des enquêtes aléatoires afin d'obtenir une vue plus représentative de la propagation du virus que les programmes de traitement des différents pays ne le proposent actuellement, étant donné que seule une fraction de la population infectée totale peut jamais se rendre à l'hôpital pour subir un test.
Le China Daily a rapporté que Wuhan, la ville où l'épidémie mondiale a commencé, testera les résidents au hasard. L'enquête nationale vise à "évaluer l'ampleur des infections asymptomatiques et les niveaux d'immunité dans la population", a déclaré le China Daily.
L'enquête comprendra des prélèvements de gorge pour tester la présence du virus, ainsi que des tests d'anticorps pour vérifier si les résidents ont eu des réponses immunitaires au virus.
Wuhan inscrira 11 000 de ses 11 millions d'habitants à l'enquête et devrait terminer la collecte des échantillons jeudi. La majorité des participants seront des résidents ordinaires, avec un petit nombre de "travailleurs anti-virus" tels que des agents de sécurité et des chauffeurs de taxi, a rapporté le China Daily.
Les neuf régions concernées par l'enquête transnationale sont les villes de Wuhan, Pékin, Shanghai et Chongqing, ainsi que les provinces du Liaoning au nord-est, Jiangsu et Zhejiang sur la côte est, Guangdong au sud et Sichuan au sud. Ouest.

Alice Woodhouse 15/04/2020, 05:25:39

Le café grimpe alors que les consommateurs enfermés cherchent une solution à la caféine Emiko Terazono à Londres et Andres Schipani à São Paulo
La pandémie de coronavirus a déclenché une ruée vers les grains de café le mois dernier alors que les torréfacteurs ont travaillé d'arrache-pied pour répondre à la demande des consommateurs de stockage tandis que les fermetures ont interrompu l'approvisionnement.
José Marcos Magalhães, chef de la deuxième plus grande coopérative de café du Brésil, Minasul, a vu les expéditions vers l'Europe et l'Amérique du Nord augmenter. Minasul s'attendait à expédier 400 000 sacs (chacun contenant 60 kg de haricots) pour l'ensemble de 2020, mais ses commandes ont dépassé ce niveau en mars.
M. Magalhães prévoit désormais que les ventes internationales de l’année dépasseront les 800 000 sacs, soit plus du double des 360 000 de l’année dernière. «Nous avons une demande très élevée, principalement en provenance d'Europe. . . la consommation a beaucoup augmenté dans les supermarchés aux États-Unis et ils veulent reconstituer leurs stocks », a-t-il déclaré.
Après avoir chuté au début de la crise alors que les cafés chinois fermaient leurs portes, les prix du café ont rebondi alors que de grands torréfacteurs tels que Nestlé, JAB et Lavazza se sont précipités pour obtenir des grains.
Lire l'histoire complète ici.

Emma Boyde 15/04/2020, 05: 43: 12 AM

Fujifilm stimule la fabrication d'un médicament contre la grippe utilisé pour les patients de Covid-19 Par Kana Inagaki à Tokyo
Fujifilm a déclaré qu'il prévoyait une augmentation de 2,5 fois la capacité de fabrication de son médicament anti-grippe Avigan, qui a été utilisé pour traiter les patients atteints de Covid-19, d'ici juillet.
Avigan, qui porte le nom générique de favipiravir, a attiré l'attention mondiale après que de récents essais cliniques en Chine aient suggéré qu'il pourrait être un traitement efficace pour le coronavirus. Des essais cliniques similaires sont actuellement en cours au Japon et aux États-Unis.
Dans un communiqué publié mercredi, la société a déclaré qu'elle prévoyait d'augmenter la production mensuelle des cours de traitement Avigan à 100 000 en juillet, environ 2,5 fois plus que le taux de production atteint début mars, et à 300 000 en septembre.
Le groupe japonais a déclaré que son unité pharmaceutique, Fujifilm Toyama Chemical, avait déjà commencé à étendre sa production et qu'il allouerait une capacité supplémentaire dans une installation de son unité chimique pour fabriquer des intermédiaires pharmaceutiques utilisés dans la fabrication d'Avigan.
Les régulateurs japonais ont approuvé Avigan en 2014, mais sa fabrication et sa distribution restent sous le contrôle des autorités japonaises en raison d'effets secondaires potentiels.
"Fujifilm continue de répondre aux demandes du gouvernement japonais et s'engagera également avec d'autres pays après consultation avec le gouvernement japonais", indique le communiqué.
Dans une interview accordée au Financial Times en mars, Junji Okada, président de Fujifilm Toyama Chemical, avait déclaré que la société avait fait des préparatifs d'urgence afin de pouvoir augmenter sa production si cela lui était demandé.

Philip Georgiadis 15/04/2020, 06:10:41 AM

Le Parti travailliste britannique appelle à une stratégie de sortie du verrouillage George Parker, rédacteur politique
Le leader travailliste Keir Starmer a exhorté le gouvernement à publier sa stratégie de sortie cette semaine, avertissant que "les pressions silencieuses exercées sur les familles et les communautés à travers le pays ne peuvent être sous-estimées".
Dans une lettre adressée au ministre des Affaires étrangères Dominic Raab, suppléant du Premier ministre, Sir Keir a déclaré que le parti travailliste soutiendrait la décision du gouvernement de prolonger le verrouillage, mais a appelé à la publication d'une stratégie visant à alléger les restrictions lorsque cela est possible.
Son appel intervient avant une réunion des ministres jeudi au cours de laquelle le verrouillage actuel sera prolongé jusqu'au mois prochain, avec un autre examen prévu vers le temps du week-end du jour férié du VE Day commençant le 8 mai.
Mais un responsable du gouvernement a déclaré: «Vous parlez d'une stratégie de sortie avant d'atteindre le sommet [of virus related deaths] risque de brouiller le message critique selon lequel les gens doivent rester à la maison pour protéger notre NHS et sauver des vies. »
Les ministres disent qu'ils ont besoin de plus de données pour décider comment et quand alléger les restrictions et n'ont pas encore convenu d'une politique sur les secteurs économiques et les parties de la société - comme les écoles - qui devraient être libérés en premier de la fermeture.

Philip Georgiadis 15/04/2020, 06:32:53 AM

Les actions européennes sont prêtes à être ouvertes La reprise des actions mondiales a fléchi avant la séance de négociation européenne, les principales bourses de la région étant toutes prévues pour des pertes modérées à l'ouverture.
Le commerce à terme a indiqué une baisse de 0,3 pour cent pour le FTSE 100 de Londres, tandis que les marchés en France et en Allemagne devraient enregistrer des baisses similaires.
L'indice composite européen Stoxx 600 a augmenté au cours de chacune des cinq dernières séances de négociation, les investisseurs se félicitant des signes indiquant que la propagation des infections à Covid-19 pourrait atteindre un pic, malgré les preuves que le virus a causé des dommages économiques importants.
Le FMI a déclaré mardi que le monde faisait face à sa plus forte contraction économique depuis les années 1930, tandis que le président américain Donald Trump a déclaré du jour au lendemain que les États-Unis retireraient des fonds de l'Organisation mondiale de la santé.
Les parts de l'Asie sont mitigées, le Hang Seng de Hong Kong reculant de 0,8%, le Topix flat du Japon et le Kospi de Corée du Sud en hausse de 1,7%. Le commerce à terme a indiqué une baisse de 0,8 pour cent pour le S&P 500 à Wall Street plus tard dans la session.

Philip Georgiadis 15/04/2020, 06:51:30 AM

Bill Gates: le monde a besoin de l'OMS «maintenant plus que jamais» Le fondateur de Microsoft, Bill Gates, a critiqué la décision du président Trump de suspendre le financement de l'Organisation mondiale de la santé.
"Arrêter le financement de l'Organisation mondiale de la santé pendant une crise sanitaire mondiale est aussi dangereux que cela puisse paraître", a déclaré l'éminent philanthrope de la santé et coprésident de la Fondation Bill & Melinda Gates dans un message publié sur Twitter.
Le président américain a accusé l'organisme de santé mondial de "sévèrement mal gérer" la pandémie de coronavirus et a déclaré que des centaines de millions de dollars de financement américain seraient suspendus pendant qu'un examen des travaux de l'OMS était mené.
Le FT a récemment interviewé M. Gates sur l'épidémie de coronavirus et la réponse mondiale à celle-ci. Voici la vidéo complète:

Philip Georgiadis 15/04/2020, 06:55:44 AM

Les actions indiennes augmentent alors que le gouvernement prévoit de faciliter le verrouillage Amy Kazmin, chef du bureau de l'Asie du Sud
Les actions indiennes ont augmenté après que le gouvernement du Premier ministre Narendra Modi a présenté un plan pour la réouverture progressive de l'économie du pays, qui est au point mort depuis l'imposition brutale d'un couvre-feu à l'échelle nationale le 24 mars.
L'indice de référence Nifty à la Bourse de Bombay a gagné jusqu'à 2,7%, même si d'autres indices en Asie-Pacifique ont été largement atténués.
Le gouvernement de M. Modi a été aux prises avec le défi de trouver un équilibre entre la nécessité de contrôler les mouvements publics pour ralentir la propagation de l'agent pathogène mortel et le besoin urgent de commencer à relancer une économie qui était presque complètement arrêtée depuis un certain temps. trois semaines, laissant des millions de personnes sans aucun revenu.
Dans le cadre du plan publié mercredi par le ministère de l'intérieur, certaines industries, travaux agricoles et autres activités économiques seront autorisés à reprendre sur une base limitée après le 20 avril, tant qu'ils se trouvent dans des zones non désignées coronavirus. points chauds. "
Tous les services de transport en commun resteront suspendus et les écoles et autres lieux de rassemblement publics resteront fermés jusqu'à la fin du verrouillage national actuel, le 3 mai.

Adam Samson 15/04/2020, 06:59:00 AM

Shiseido et Suntory vont commencer à fabriquer des produits désinfectants au Japon Kana Inagak à Tokyo
Shiseido et Suntory ont déclaré qu'ils prévoyaient de consacrer une partie de leurs installations de production au Japon à la fabrication de désinfectants pour les mains et d'alcool pour désinfectants afin de remédier à la grave pénurie causée par l'épidémie de coronavirus.
Les gouvernements du monde entier appellent diverses industries à aider à combler les lacunes des fournitures médicales clés causées par la propagation rapide de Covid-19.
Dans un communiqué publié mercredi, Shiseido a déclaré qu'il prévoyait de produire 200 000 bouteilles de désinfectants pour les mains par mois dans quatre de ses usines au Japon à partir de mai pour les distribuer aux institutions médicales en première ligne de la lutte contre la pandémie.
Le plus grand groupe de cosmétiques du Japon a déclaré qu'il avait récemment développé un désinfectant qui aide à prévenir le dessèchement des mains et commencera la production nationale à partir de ce vendredi.
L'entreprise produit déjà des désinfectants pour les mains dans ses usines de fabrication en France et aux États-Unis.
Par ailleurs, Suntory, le troisième fabricant mondial de spiritueux, a également annoncé qu'il commencerait à fournir de l'alcool pouvant être utilisé pour la désinfection des hôpitaux et autres établissements de santé à partir de fin avril.
Cette décision est intervenue après que les autorités japonaises ont assoupli la réglementation dans le cadre d'une mesure d'urgence pour permettre aux liquides à forte teneur en alcool d'être utilisés comme désinfectants dans les hôpitaux du pays.
Suntory, qui possède le fabricant américain de spiritueux Beam, produit déjà des désinfectants pour les mains dans sa distillerie Jim Beam au Kentucky.

Harry Dempsey 15/04/2020, 07:07:19 AM

Nouvelles des entreprises britanniques ce matin Gestion de fonds Jupiter a subi des sorties nettes de 2,3 milliards de livres sterling et un impact de 5,5 milliards de livres sterling sur les mouvements du marché au premier trimestre, ce qui a réduit ses actifs sous gestion à 35 milliards de livres sterling en raison de «conditions de marché difficiles» causées par l'épidémie de coronavirus. Actifs sous gestion par Merian, que Jupiter a convenu d'acquérir en février, a diminué à 15,7 milliards de livres sterling après 2,6 milliards de livres sterling de sorties nettes et une baisse de 4,2 milliards de livres sterling de la valeur des actifs en raison des fluctuations du marché au cours des trois premiers mois de l'année.
le Autorité de conduite financière a envoyé une lettre aux assureurs soulignant qu'ils devraient évaluer et régler «rapidement» les réclamations des PME afin de s'assurer que «les pressions financières sur les assurés ne sont pas exacerbées par la lenteur des paiements». Elle a mis en place une petite unité commerciale pour coordonner le soutien du régulateur financier aux petites entreprises pendant la pandémie de coronavirus.
Smurfit Kappa Group, une société de papier et d'emballage, a retiré sa recommandation concernant un dividende final proposé de 80,9% par action. Au cours des trois premiers mois de l'année, le groupe a réalisé un ebitda de 380 millions d'euros avec une marge du groupe de 17,3%.
Le conseil d'administration du groupe de plomberie Ferguson a retiré le dividende intérimaire qui devait être payé le 30 avril 2020 et a suspendu son programme de rachat d'actions de 500 millions de dollars, dont 100 millions de dollars avaient été achevés fin mars. La société, qui réalise 85% de ses revenus aux États-Unis, a déclaré que «au cours des dix derniers jours, l'impact de Covid-19 a considérablement augmenté».

Anna Gross 15/04/2020, 07:27:32 AM

Les régulateurs britanniques font pression sur les assureurs pour payer les petites entreprises Oliver Ralph à Londres
Les régulateurs britanniques ont plongé dans le différend de plus en plus amer sur l'assurance contre les interruptions d'activité, avertissant les assureurs de payer rapidement les petites entreprises.
Depuis le début de la crise, les assureurs ont déclaré que la plupart des polices d’interruption d’activité des entreprises ne les couvriraient pas pour les pertes causées par la crise des coronavirus. Mais les avocats qui travaillent pour les assurés ont insisté sur le fait qu'il y avait de bonnes raisons de réclamer et que l'on craignait de plus en plus que le différend n'entraîne de longues batailles juridiques.
Mercredi, la Financial Conduct Authority a déclaré que, lorsque les petites entreprises sont couvertes, les assureurs doivent éviter tout retard de paiement.
"Il est important que les réclamations soient évaluées et réglées rapidement", a déclaré Christopher Woolard, directeur intérimaire de la FCA, dans une lettre adressée aux dirigeants de l'industrie.
Il a également déclaré que les assureurs devraient envisager d'effectuer des paiements intermédiaires aux clients. "Si vous n'êtes pas d'accord avec cela, nous aimerions que vous nous communiquiez les motifs pour prendre cette décision ... La décision de votre entreprise est susceptible de contribuer à éclairer notre évaluation de sa culture", a-t-il averti.
Mais M. Woolard n'a pas ordonné aux assureurs de payer les polices d'interruption d'activité lorsque le coronavirus n'est pas couvert. Aux États-Unis, les législateurs envisagent d'obliger les assureurs à payer toutes les polices d'interruption d'activité, quelles que soient les modalités. Les assureurs affirment qu'une telle décision paralyserait l'industrie.

Anna Gross 15/04/2020, 07:35:08

Le tourisme à Hong Kong chute de 99% pendant la quarantaine Primrose Riordan à Hong Kong
Les arrivées de visiteurs à Hong Kong ont chuté de 99% en mars par rapport au même mois l'an dernier, les mesures gouvernementales étant entrées en vigueur pour endiguer le flux du virus sur le territoire.
Les statistiques sont importantes car les régulateurs ont averti que l'impact économique de l'épidémie de coronavirus pourrait être plus grave pour Hong Kong que les épidémies précédentes car la ville est plus dépendante du tourisme qu'elle ne l'a été dans le passé.
L'Office du tourisme de Hong Kong a déclaré que 82 000 personnes au total sont arrivées en mars, principalement au début du mois, lorsque 3 000 à 4 000 personnes ont atterri quotidiennement. Mais à la mi-mars, le gouvernement a introduit une quarantaine obligatoire de deux semaines sur toutes les arrivées de l'étranger, un mouvement qui a vu les arrivées chuter à environ 1000 par jour, puis redescendre à 300 par jour à partir du 25 mars lorsque les non-résidents de Hong Kong étaient interdits. d'entrée sur le territoire.
Début avril, le conseil a indiqué que moins de 100 personnes arrivaient chaque jour.

Anna Gross 15/04/2020, 07:37:47 AM

Vidéo: comment un designer technologique de premier plan s'est tourné vers la fabrication de masques de chiffon Loren Brichter a inventé l'application Twitter pour iOS et le pull-to-refresh. Il explique au FT pourquoi il s'est concentré sur la recherche du masque de chiffon le plus simple et le plus efficace.

Adam Samson 15/04/2020, 07:49:04 AM

L'épidémie russe de Covid-19 s'aggrave avec un nombre total d'infections proche de 25 000 Henry Foy à Moscou
Mercredi, la Russie a enregistré un nouveau record de 3 388 nouveaux cas de coronavirus, dans une vague qui a porté son nombre total d'infections à près de 25 000.
Le bond de 16% marque une quatrième augmentation quotidienne consécutive record alors que le pays s'efforce d'endiguer la propagation de l'épidémie.
Vingt-huit personnes sont mortes du virus du jour au lendemain, faisant 198 morts en Russie. Les hauts responsables ont averti que le pays est encore loin de connaître le pic de la pandémie, qui semble se développer en Russie plus tard que dans les autres pays européens.

Adam Samson 15/04/2020, 07:52:34 AM

Keir Starmer accuse le gouvernement d'aller trop lentement sur le coronavirus Laura Hughes
Labour leader Keir Starmer has accused the government of moving "too slow" and not learning "quickly enough" from other countries' approach to slowing the spread of coronavirus.
Sir Keir, who is urging the government to publish its lockdown exit strategy this week, said there needs to be "transparency and openness."
He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I think that some of the decisions made in the last few weeks were too slow and didn't learn quickly enough from other countries, let's not repeat that."
Speaking earlier on ITV's Good Morning Britain, he said: "It's obvious that the lockdown is going to continue and we are going to support the government in that.
"But I do think the question therefore is what comes next? People are trusting the government ... but they do need to see light at the end of the tunnel.
"I'm not asking the government for timings, of course, I understand why they can't give us timings. But we do need the trust of the public as we go forward."

Harry Dempsey 4/15/2020, 7:55:46 AM

What you may have missed The US will suspend funding to the Organisation Mondiale de la Santé after Donald Trump accused the global health body of “severely mismanaging” the coronavirus pandemic. Bill Gates described the move as “dangerous”.
Ministers are to extend Britain’s lockdown into May on Thursday, with Boris Johnson’s allies warning that the country will have to get used to a “new normal” for months to come as it gradually edges out of the coronavirus crisis.
Rishi Sunak, the UK’s chancellor of the exchequer, said on Tuesday evening that he will keep the government’s much-criticised emergency loan scheme for small businesses “under review” as MPs and businesses call for extensions to state-backed guarantees.
China’s central bank cut its key lending rate to a record low, with policymakers in Beijing seeking to boost liquidity in the country’s financial system to help the economic bounceback from the coronavirus-induced lockdown.
The US Treasury department has reached an agreement with US airlines that paves the way for the sector to receive $25bn in funding to cover payroll costs during the coronavirus pandemic and opens up the possibility of the government emerging as a shareholder in several public companies.

Philip Georgiadis 4/15/2020, 7:58:55 AM

Merkel to discuss lockdown with state leaders Tobias Buck in Berlin
German chancellor Angela Merkel is due to meet the prime ministers of Germany's federal states later on Wednesday to discuss when and how to ease the country's lockdown measures.
Germany reported 2,486 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, taking the total to 127,584 since the pandemic started.
According to official data from the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin, the number of Covid-19 dead rose by 285 to 3,254. In absolute terms, it was the highest increase in fatalities since the start of the outbreak, though the daily number may have been inflated due to reporting delays over the Easter weekend.
The increase in detected coronavirus infections was again just 2 per cent, in line with recent days and a notable reduction compared to recent weeks.

Harry Dempsey 4/15/2020, 7:59:37 AM

Sajid Javid urges government to phase out the lockdown Laura Hughes in London
Sajid Javid, who resigned as chancellor in February, said the government should be trying to "phase out this lockdown as soon as we possibly can".
Referring to the lockdown, he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I think it is the right policy because it is based on scientific and medical advice.
"That said, we should be trying to phase out this lockdown as soon as we possibly can, based on that scientific and medical advice.
"Because that will make the biggest immediate difference to the economic pain the country is going through."

Adam Samson 4/15/2020, 8:00:14 AM

French retail sales tumble by nearly a quarter in March David Keohane in Paris
French retail sales plummeted 24 per cent in March with shops shut and people told to stay at home to slow the spread of coronavirus.
Sales of industrial goods almost halved, falling by 43 per cent compared to February said the Banque de France on Wednesday, while food sales were down just 0.9 per cent. Supermarkets and other food retailers have largely remained open and busy during the lockdown.
The sharp fall in March drove retail sales for the first quarter down 7.2 per cent compared to the previous three months, with industrial sales down 14.6 per cent, in part due to sales of new cars dropping by 20.7 per cent.
Small businesses saw sales fall 9.6 per cent in the quarter while that of large retailers rose by 1.7 per cent. There was a wide gap between the fortunes of supermarkets, which saw sales up 7.4 per cent, and department stores, which lost 19.3 per cent of their trade.
The retail sales data add weight to the central bank’s estimate from earlier this month that French economic output may have fallen in the first quarter by the sharpest rate since the Second World War.

Anna Gross 4/15/2020, 8:00:25 AM

Oil demand to fall by 9.3m barrels a day in 2020 Anjli Raval in London
Oil demand will fall by 9.3m barrels a day this year versus 2019 even if lockdowns and travel bans to reduce the spread of coronavirus are lifted, slashing a decade of growth as the global economy suffers in a way not seen since the Great Depression.
The forecast from the International Energy Agency comes after top officials at the energy body were involved in negotiations with Opec and G20 nations in recent days over supply curbs and other measures to help alleviate an unprecedented oil crisis.
Opec and Russia agreed to curb production by 9.7m b/d with other more market-driven contributions expected from rival producers outside the so-called Opec+ group, such as the US. Big consumers of oil are also anticipated to make large-scale purchases of oil for strategic storage that could amount to 200m barrels, the IEA said.
Demand in April alone could drop by as much as 29m b/d - nearly a third of pre-crisis demand of around 100m b/d - with a “gradual recovery” expected thereafter.
“There is no feasible agreement that could cut supply by enough to offset such near-term demand losses. However, the past week’s achievements are a solid start and have the potential to start to reverse the build-up in stocks as we move into the second half of the year,” the IEA said.
Although the measures announced by Opec+ and the G20 nations “won’t rebalance the market immediately” they will help to shrink a supply overhang to “help a complex system absorb the worst of this crisis,” the IEA said.
Although oil prices at under $30 a barrel are attractive for consumers, many are unable to benefit while under lockdown, the IEA said. A price crash is detrimental not only for those working in the oil sector but economies dependent on revenues from crude sales.

Charlotte Middlehurst 4/15/2020, 8:20:28 AM

Free to Read Analysis: The battle at the heart of British science over coronavirus In spring of 2001, Britain was wracked by its first large scale epidemic of foot-and-mouth disease since the late 1960s. 
Farmers faced the risk of curbs on animal sales, and the possible mass culling of their herds. Much depended on whether the government got on top of the outbreak fast. 
The independent modellers quickly exploded the government’s optimistic assumptions, showing the outbreak was on course to be far larger, and to spread faster, than officials expected. But the extent to which modelling helped remains disputed, with some scientists claiming the intervention led to unnecessary culling.
By Jonathan Ford in London
Read the full story here

Anna Gross 4/15/2020, 8:22:19 AM

EU forbids bailed out companies from paying dividends and bonuses Javier Espinoza in Brussels
Bailed out companies in receipt of equity injections from member states will not be allowed to pay out dividends, buy back shares or pay out bonuses, according to an official document seen by the Financial Times.
The terms and conditions emerged after the FT reported last week that the Commission was exploring a further relaxation of the bloc’s state aid rules to help ailing companies as a result of the pandemic.
Bailed out companies are also forbidden from taking “excessive risks” or even engaging in “aggressive commercial expansion”, a document that sets out amendments to the recent relaxation of the state aid rules said.
Firms will not be able to buy up rivals or other operators in the same sector as long as they have outstanding payments to the state, the document added.
The constraints are aimed at preventing “undue distortions of competition” and mirror similar restraints imposed on the banking sector at the height of the global financial crisis more than a decade ago.
European businesses that receive more than a 20 per cent equity injection from a member state will also be under obligation to set up a clear exit strategy to reduce that stake in the aftermath of the pandemic.
The document added: “If by [31 December 2024] the State’s stake under the Temporary Framework has not been reduced below [15] percent, a restructuring plan shall be notified to the Commission for approval."
"This is more flexible/lenient than the financial crisis principles where the requirement was generally to submit a restructuring plan within 6 months of the recapitalisation."

Anna Gross 4/15/2020, 8:25:49 AM

Corporate earnings will be a 'reality check' to market rally, says Barclays There will be "dire" corporate results coming out in the coming weeks and, though these should not be a shock to investors, they are likely to be a reality check after the latest rally, warned analysts at Barclays.
“We advise using potential dips to add exposure selectively and hold a neutral cyclical/defensive stance,” wrote Emmanuel Cau, head of European equity strategy at Barclays. “Rather than worrying about the uncertain guidance, investors should focus on the actions taken by companies to mitigate the collapse in their top lines,” he added.
With central banks ‘all in’, unprecedented government bailouts and signs of a slowing outbreak, a recovery in the second half of the year seems more likely than not, he said. But it will be “bumpy” and business activity and earnings will not return to normal overnight, he warned, adding that a second wave of infections is likely to add further headwinds.

Charlotte Middlehurst 4/15/2020, 8:32:14 AM

Germany calls for unity as Trump halts US funding to WHO Guy Chazan in Berlin
Heiko Maas, the German foreign minister, has reacted with dismay to US President Donald Trump's decision to stop payments to the World Health Organization.
"It doesn't help to apportion blame," he said on Twitter. "The virus knows no borders."
He said all countries must work together closely to stem the Covid-19 pandemic. "One of the best investments is to strengthen the UN, and above all the underfunded WHO, for example in the development and distribution of tests and vaccines," he said.
Steffen Seibert, spokesperson for Chancellor Angela Merkel, said: "The WHO is doing an incredibly important job at the moment and so the German government is convinced that it is important to support the organisation in its work and to provide adequate financing."
He added that during a global pandemic it was particularly important to maintain multilateral organisations.

Philip Georgiadis 4/15/2020, 8:32:31 AM

Stock sell-off accelerates European markets deepened their losses through the morning session, with energy shares falling sharply as the global demand for oil was forecast to plunge.
The FTSE 100 was recently 1.4 per cent lower, while the regional Stoxx 600 index was down 1.2 per cent.
Oil major including Total, BP and Shell each fell more than 5 per cent, while Brent crude was down more than 5 per cent to $28 per barrel.
Within the last hour the International Energy Agency has forecast oil demand will fall by 9.3m barrels a day this year versus 2019 even if lockdowns and travel bans to reduce the spread of coronavirus are lifted.

Anna Gross 4/15/2020, 8:35:30 AM

Global Covid-19 case count surpasses 2m Steve Bernard in London
Global cases of Covid-19 surpassed 2m on Wednesday, the latest figures from Worldometers show.
Johns Hopkins University has the figure at 1.98m. Newly confirmed cases stayed below 75,000 for the third consecutive day with 73,969 cases being added on Tuesday.
The daily death toll spiked on Tuesday to 6,983, likely due to late reporting over the long Easter weekend. The total loss of life of patients diagnosed with Covid-19 now stands at 121,186.
The UK was again the hardest-hit country outside of the US on Tuesday, with the death toll rising by 778 to 12,107. Turkey is struggling to contain the virus with 4,062 new cases confirmed on Tuesday, the seventh consecutive day with more than 4,000 cases.

Russia is in the acceleration phase of the virus with each day bringing significantly more cases than the previous one. Tuesday's record of 2,774 newly confirmed cases was eclipsed this morning as a further 3,388 people were diagnosed on Wednesday.
The number of global recovered cases rose by a record 33,883 yesterday, leaving a total of 478,594 free from the virus.

*This post has been amended after an editing error to clarify that it is the total number of cases that has reached 2m.

Harry Dempsey 4/15/2020, 8:41:33 AM

US military declares a public health emergency in Japan Robin Harding in Tokyo
The US military has declared a public health emergency across the whole of Japan in response to the growing number of coronavirus cases in the country.
Declaring an emergency gives military commanders the power to enforce public health measures on US bases. Having already declared an emergency in Tokyo last week, the new proclamation extends its reach to large facilities such as the Marine and Air Force bases on Okinawa.
The declaration highlights the unilateral authority of US forces on Japanese soil. Last week’s move in Tokyo pre-empted prime minister Shinzo Abe’s declaration of a state of emergency in seven prefectures including the capital. Most of Japan is still not covered by the state of emergency.
Among developed countries, Japan has had one of the fastest growing Covid-19 outbreaks in recent weeks, with the number of cases rising to 7,964. That prompted Mr Abe to declare the state of emergency, which allowed for a partial lockdown in some cities.

Charlotte Middlehurst 4/15/2020, 8:43:07 AM

Les États-Unis retardent le plan du FMI de relancer les finances des économies émergentes James Politi in Washington
The US Trump administration is resisting urgent appeals from European and African leaders for the International Monetary Fund to create additional reserve assets to help low-income emerging economies cope with the coronavirus pandemic, creating a fresh division in the global response to the crisis.
The expansion of the IMF’s “special drawing rights” has arisen as a point of friction in multilateral discussions ahead of the IMF and World Bank spring meetings, which are being held online this week.
Une nouvelle allocation de DTS offrirait un coup de pouce de liquidité à de nombreux pays confrontés à un épuisement soudain des réserves de change. Cette décision est considérée par de nombreux gouvernements comme un complément clé à un programme d'allégement de la dette destiné à soutenir les économies émergentes en difficulté que le G20 - y compris les États-Unis - devrait approuver dès mercredi.
Lire l'histoire complète ici.

Anna Gross 4/15/2020, 8:48:27 AM

Scotland makes £120m available in extra support for small businesses Mure Dickie in Edinburgh
The Scottish government has announced £120m in extra support for small and medium-sized businesses affected by the coronavirus crisis, bowing to pressure from some companies that had complained its emergency grants were less generous than those offered in other parts of the UK.
The UK government offers emergency grants of up to £25,000 for each property a small or medium-sized business operates in the hospitality, retail and leisure sectors. However, Scotland had restricted the grants to one per company, an approach critics said risked the collapse of some small chains.
Kate Forbes, Scotland’s finance secretary, said on Wednesday morning that “having listened carefully” she had made £120m available to pay up to 75 per cent of the grant on second and subsequent properties.
Ms Forbes also announced the creation of a new £100m fund to help newly self-employed people and viable small businesses that were ineligible for other previously announced Scottish or UK government schemes.

Harry Dempsey 4/15/2020, 9:05:43 AM

More than £1.1bn lent to 6,000 small UK businesses Daniel Thomas in London
More than £1.1bn has been lent to about 6,000 small firms under the UK’s emergency loans scheme as the government has sought to accelerate lending to businesses to help them survive the coronavirus crisis.
On Wednesday, UK Finance, the trade group for the banking sector, said state-backed lending to SMEs had risen by about £700m in the last week, and loan approvals had doubled in that time.
Lenders have received 28,460 applications from businesses. UK Finance said these are still being processed and many are expected to be approved over the coming days. La valeur moyenne d'un prêt est d'environ 185 000 £.
However, the overall slow takeup of the loans by struggling companies desperate for funds since it launched in March continues to raise questions over how the government designed the scheme.
The chancellor has guaranteed 80 per cent of loans of up to £5m to small businesses to encourage banks to keep lending to firms struggling to keep afloat during the pandemic.
The scheme has been dogged with problems since it was launched a month ago by Rishi Sunak. Companies have needed to meet strict criteria judged on pre-crisis commercial lending terms to access the bank loans, and with many companies also complaining that their applications were taking weeks to process at a time when they were burning through cash.
The government relaunched the scheme last week, removing the need for personal guarantees to access the loans and streamlining the process.

Charlotte Middlehurst 4/15/2020, 9:18:23 AM

Live Q&A: Coronavirus, Opec and shale — what is the future outlook? Alors que les gens restent à l'intérieur et que les entreprises ferment en réponse au coronavirus, la baisse mondiale de la consommation d'énergie a entraîné une chute des prix du pétrole et un secteur qui se prépare à une vague de faillites.
En réponse, l'Opec et ses partenaires, soutenus par le président américain Donald Trump, ont annoncé il y a quelques jours à peine les plus grandes réductions de l'offre de l'histoire - et pourtant le prix du pétrole continue de baisser.
Derek Brower, US energy editor, and Anjli Raval, senior energy correspondent, will today answer your questions relating to the global energy business, what the oil price collapse means and the Opec deal.
For more details click here.

Charlotte Middlehurst 4/15/2020, 9:24:48 AM

China releases retrospective count of asymptomatic cases Christian Shepherd in Beijing
China has for the first time released a cumulative count of asymptomatic coronavirus cases, after the government was criticised for not making the figures public.
From the start of the Covid-19 outbreak until April 14, a total of 6,764 infections that do not display clear clinical symptoms have been reported in China, the national health commission said on Wednesday.
That tally included 1,297 cases where patients later developed symptoms and 1,023 individuals under medical observation, while 4,444 people had been allowed to leave observation.
China began releasing a daily count of newly discovered asymptomatic cases on April 1, as fears mounted that infected individuals who did not display symptoms could spread coronavirus after travel restrictions on Hubei province, where the outbreak began, were lifted.
The health commission previously only reported asymptomatic cases currently held in observation, but did not include a retrospective count.

Harry Dempsey 4/15/2020, 9:37:44 AM

UK approves construction of contentious high-speed railway line HS2 Gill Plimmer in London
The Department for Transport has given the final go-ahead for contractors to start building the first part of Britain’s controversial HS2 high-speed railway line despite the coronavirus lockdown.
In an attempt to shore up the construction industry, the government issued a formal “notice to proceed” on Wednesday that allows contractors to start putting spades in the ground on the first phase of the railway line between London and Birmingham.
Companies will need to follow Public Health England’s guidance on social distancing at construction sites during the coronavirus outbreak, the Department for Transport said in its statement. Around half of construction sites have been closed amid confusion over whether work can continue safely within coronavirus guidelines.
Andrew Stephenson, the HS2 minister, said: ‘While the government’s top priority is rightly to combat the spread of coronavirus, protect the NHS and save lives, we cannot delay work on our long-term plan to level up the country.”
Preparatory and design work for HS2 started 11 years ago but today’s announcement will allow the contractors including Costain, Robert McAlpine and Kier to press ahead with design and construction.

Anna Gross 4/15/2020, 9:49:22 AM

EU to host digital 'pledging conference' to raise Covid-19 research funds Mehreen Khan in Brussels
The EU will host an online "pledging conference" to raise funds for research into Covid-19 on May 4.
Ursula von der Leyen, commission president, said on Wednesday that Brussels would host the donation drive in coordination with non-governmental organizations such as the Gates Trust, the Welcome Foundation and the World Health Organization.
"[The conference] will help address the immediate funding gaps to come up with innovative and equitable solutions," said Ms von der Leyen.
She was speaking as the commission laid out an exit plan "roadmap" for its members states to coordinate the lifting of containment measures across the EU's 27 economies. The spread of the virus and its severity mean any easing should remain "gradual", despite tentative plans to ease restrictions, Ms von der Leyen said.
"Public authorities have to assess very carefully the best time to lift the restrictive measures," she said.

This is an extremely difficult task. We must resist a one-size-fits-all, but it must be a tailor-made approach. This is not a signal that confinement can be lifted as of now.

The commission president promised "trillions" of euros in investment to fund the post-pandemic recovery from the EU's next long-term budget.
"We are working on the European budget...which with all its might is able to leverage the necessary money for a huge investment initiative that will be necessary to restart the economic process and rekindle the single market," said Ms von der Leyen. "The next budget has to be completely different than normal Europeans budgets have been."
EU leaders will convene a teleconference on April 23 to discuss how to design the budget which has been called a "Marshall Plan" for the EU.

Charlotte Middlehurst 4/15/2020, 10:01:17 AM

Greece issues seven-year bond to soften pandemic blow Kerin Hope in Athens
Greece has launched a seven-year bond issue aimed at reducing the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the country's finances.
A successful issue would also help cement Greece's credibility with international financial markets after it was included in the European Central Bank's €750bn pandemic emergency borrowing programme, even though its debt is still rated several notches below investment grade.
Greek borrowing costs have risen in recent days -- the country's 10-year yield was 1.6 per cent two weeks ago.
"We believe success in issuing a bond at a time that might be considered ‘difficult’ shows uninterrupted market access. And current yields are an attractive entry point for investors," said Alex Patelis, chief economic adviser to the Greek prime minister.
The new bond would be priced to yield around 2.2 per cent, a market analyst said.
Greece raised €2.5bn in January with a 15-year bond, its most recent issue.

Harry Dempsey 4/15/2020, 10:07:24 AM

Hitachi to restart railway manufacturing in Italy Kana Inagaki in Tokyo
Hitachi will resume manufacturing at its rail factories in Italy following a one-month shutdown caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
In a statement on Wednesday, Hitachi Rail said: “Having carried out in-depth assessments, we have put in place multiple safety measures in accordance with the latest government guidance. This allows us to start a phased and gradual return to production activity at our Italian sites from 15th April.”
The Japanese group, which has owned a controlling stake in Ansaldo STS since 2015, was forced to close its factories in Italy which make signalling equipment as the country entered a lockdown to tame the spread of Covid-19.
On Tuesday, the company also resumed manufacturing at its train assembly plant in north-east England, which had been on standby since March.
Hitachi, which makes everything from nuclear power plants to bullet trains, has been forced to delay the release of its earnings until May due to disruptions caused by the outbreak.
But in a recent interview, Alistair Dormer, head of the group’s rail and mobility businesses, said Hitachi’s sprawling set of businesses had helped cushion the blow from the pandemic. Last week, the company also sought to reassure investors that it has a $12.9bn financial buffer.

Charlotte Middlehurst 4/15/2020, 10:25:15 AM

Spain’s People’s party lambasts prime minister Daniel Dombey in Madrid
Spain’s opposition attacked the government over its management of the coronavirus crisis, even as Pedro Sánchez, prime minister, hailed the latest figures as an indication that its approach was working.
In a bad tempered parliamentary exchange on Wednesday, the centre-right opposition People’s party said Spain had the largest number of coronavirus deaths per capita in the world and alleged that official statistics concealed the true death toll.
“No-one trusts you any more,” Pablo Casado, PP leader, told Mr Sánchez. “You are only interested in power.”
Like many countries, Spain only includes proven, rather than probable cases, of coronavirus, in the death toll, although international pressure to change methodology may be building following decisions by New York state and Belgium to add presumed coronavirus cases to their own tallies.
Spain’s official figures on Wednesday were in line with recent days: 523 people died in the last 24 hours after contracting coronavirus, taking the accumulated death toll to 18,579. This represented a slight reduction on the previous day’s death toll and was far below the daily peak of 950 deaths at the start of the month.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases rose 3 per cent from the previous day to 177,633 — a slight uptick on Tuesday’s rate of increase but much below previous rates of growth.
"Le [month-long] lockdown is working: previously we had 35 per cent daily growth in infections and today we are at 3 per cent,” said Mr Sánchez. “The Spanish people are going to return to normality very soon, but the new normality is not going to be the same until we have a vaccine. If only it could be accompanied by a new form of politics.”
Mr Sánchez has convened cross-party talks this week on Spain’s future path after the crisis.

Anna Gross 4/15/2020, 10:47:09 AM

Zambia threatens to strip Glencore of copper mining licence Neil Hume in London
Zambia has escalated its conflict with Glencore, threatening to strip the miner and commodity trader of its license to operate in the southern Africa country.
Glencore said last week it was closing its Mopani copper business in Zambia for three months because of the coronavirus pandemic and low commodity prices.
The announcement drew a furious response from the government led by Edgar Lungu, which slammed the move as unjustified and illegal.
In a letter addressed to Mopani’s chief executive officer Nathan Bullock, Zambia’s Mining Licensing Committee said it planned to revoke the company’s licence in seven days unless it could show why the move should not be cancelled.

Charlotte Middlehurst 4/15/2020, 10:54:07 AM

Iran reports ‘declining trend’ in coronavirus cases Najmeh Bozorgmehr in Tehran
Iran says the number of fatalities from the coronavirus outbreak shows a “slow declining trend” while warning that it could reverse if social distancing is relaxed.
Ali Rabiei, a government spokesman, said that the number of deaths in Tehran, the capital city, was falling and that no deaths were reported in the province of Isfahan on Monday.
But deputy health minister, Iraj Harirchi, warned that people started commuting in cities “unnecessarily” this week which could lead to a rise in casualties over the next two weeks.
Iran’s death toll reached 4,777 on Wednesday from 4,683 a day before out of 76,389 individuals who tested positive.

Philip Georgiadis 4/15/2020, 11:01:26 AM

Live Q&A: What is the outlook for the UK housing market? The traditional “spring selling season” in the UK housing market has turned into a period of extended hibernation as the government’s measures to limit the spread of coronavirus put the market into lockdown. 
FT Money deputy editor, James Pickford, will be online between 12 and 1pm and 5pm and 6pm UK time to answer your questions about the UK property market.
We want to hear about your property worries, tips and conundrums. You can post comments and read James's thoughts here.

Adam Samson 4/15/2020, 11:03:19 AM

Bank of America profits drop as it prepares for sharp jolt in loan losses Laura Noonan in New York
Bank of America set aside almost $5bn for loan losses in the first quarter, close to five times the amount it set aside a year earlier, battening down the hatches for a recession and halving its quarterly profits. 
America’s second biggest bank by assets reported net income of $4bn for the three months ended March, down 45 per cent year-on-year and missing analysts expectations. The biggest driver of the poorer results was higher provisions for loan losses, as seen in Tuesday’s results from JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo. 
“Despite increasing our loan loss reserves, we earned $4bn this quarter, maintained a significant buffer against our most stringent capital requirement, and ended the quarter with more liquidity than when we began,” BofA chief executive Brian Moynihan said. 
Provisions for credit losses jumped from $1bn in the first quarter of 2019 to $4.8bn in the most recent period. They rose the most in BofA’s consumer bank, which set aside almost $2.3bn to deal with losses from America’s soaring numbers of unemployed.
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Charlotte Middlehurst 4/15/2020, 11:37:47 AM

Coronavirus accounts for a third of deaths in Scotland Mure Dickie in Edinburgh
Coronavirus was mentioned in the death certificate of 608 people in Scotland in the week to April 12, more than double the 282 recorded the previous week and accounting for nearly a third of all deaths registered.
A quarter of all deaths involving Covid-19 occurred in care homes, compared with 62 per cent in hospitals and 13 per cent at home or non-institutional settings, according to new weekly data on Wednesday from the National Records of Scotland.
The NRS death toll is considerably higher than the daily number released by the government which only included deaths of people who had a laboratory-confirmed coronavirus infection. By April 14, such deaths had reached a total of 615, while the NRS total had reached 962 by April 12.
Wednesday’s data also suggested higher deaths than normal even where coronavirus was not mentioned in the death certificate.The total number of deaths registered in Scotland in the week to April 12 reached 1,969 compared with an average for the week of 1,100 over the last five years, an increase only partially explained by the 608 deaths involving Covid-19.
Doctors have expressed concern that some patients may not be seeking treatment for other medical problems.

Mamta Badkar 4/15/2020, 11:40:00 AM

Emirates to step up virus screening for passengers Tanya Powley in London
Emirates has stepped up its health screening measures as it looks to become one of the first airlines to conduct rapid coronavirus tests for passengers.
The Gulf carrier is working with Dubai Health Authority to do quick blood tests on passengers, with the results available within 10 minutes. The test was done on Wednesday on passengers flying from Dubai to Tunisia and took place at the check-in area of Dubai International Airport Terminal 3.
The carrier said it is working on plans to scale up testing capabilities in the future and extend it to other flights.
The move comes as airlines and airports around the world are looking at how to improve safety when travel restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic are lifted.
Emirates said its check-in and boarding procedures have also been adapted with social distancing in mind. Gloves, masks and hand sanitisers have been made mandatory for all employees at the airport. Meanwhile, passengers are required to wear their own masks when at the airport and on board the aircraft.

Anna Gross 4/15/2020, 11:42:51 AM

New Zealand's premier and cabinet to cut their pay by a fifth New Zealand's prime minister and her cabinet will take a 20 per cent pay cut for the next six months to show solidarity with citizens struggling financially due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"We acknowledge New Zealanders who are reliant on wage subsidies, taking pay cuts, and losing their jobs as a result of the Covid-19 global pandemic," Jacinda Ardern said a few hours ago in her daily briefing.

Today, I can confirm that myself and government ministers and public service chief executives will take a 20 per cent pay cut for the next six months.

Ms Ardern added that the pay cut will not affect her government's fiscal policies, but is intended to show leadership that her cabinet has taken.

We feel acutely the struggle that many New Zealanders are facing and so too do the people I work with on a daily basis. It is about leadership.
If there were ever a time to close the gap between different people in different positions in New Zealand, it is now.

New Zealand has diagnosed 1,386 cases as of April 14 and nine people have died with Covid-19.

Adam Samson 4/15/2020, 11:50:20 AM

Goldman Sachs lifts loan loss reserves as it braces for pain among clients Laura Noonan in New York
Goldman Sachs first quarter results were dragged down by big provisions for loan losses to clients at its investment bank, underscoring how the Wall Street firm is not immune to the credit losses that are battering America’s main street lenders. 
Goldman, which is in the early days of a historic reshaping under chief executive David Solomon, reported net earnings of $1.21bn for the quarter ended in March, down 46 per cent year on a year, a decline roughly in line with Bank of America, which reported a 45 per cent fall in first quarter net income earlier on Wednesday morning. 
The biggest driver of Goldman’s reduced profits was $937m of provisions for loan losses, $622m of which fell in Goldman’s investment banking book. Total loan loss reserves were $224m in the first quarter of 2019.
“Our quarterly profitability was inevitably affected by the economic dislocation,” Mr  Solomon said. “As public policy measures to stem the pandemic take root, I am firmly convinced that our firm will emerge well-positioned to help our clients and communities recover.”
Goldman's large bond, currency and commodity trading unit generated quarterly net revenues of $2.97bn, its highest quarterly performance in five years, reflecting strong client activity in both intermediation and financing.
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Anna Gross 4/15/2020, 11:51:00 AM

Guardian furloughs 100 staff and forecasts £20m hit from coronavirus Mark Di Stefano in London
The Guardian predicts the coronavirus outbreak will cost the publication £20m over the next six months as it becomes the latest UK news outlet to use the government’s retention scheme to put staff on paid leave.
In an internal note on Wednesday, the Guardian said up to 100 non-editorial staff would be furloughed, while management and board members planned to take pay cuts of 20 and 30 per cent respectively over the next six months.
The furloughed staff will mostly come from the advertising department, with the outlet promising to top up their pay while they are on leave.
Despite huge spikes in traffic in recent weeks, The Guardian expects the total decline in revenue from advertising and newspaper sales to cost £20m - the equivalent of 15 per cent of revenue.
“While we are well placed to weather difficulties thanks to the strategy implemented over the last four years, it is clear that we will need to adapt as we always have, in order to serve Guardian readers and meet the challenges and opportunities ahead,” the Guardian said in a statement.

Mamta Badkar 4/15/2020, 12:22:21 PM

Citi lifts loan loss provisions while market volatility boosts revenues Robert Armstrong in New York
The return of market volatility drove Citigroup’s first quarter revenue up 12 per cent from the year before, despite the global economic slowdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, Citi followed other big banks in significantly increasing provisions for loan losses, preparing for the stress the outbreak will cause borrowers in months to come. Loan loss reserves increased by $4.9bn from the quarter before, pushing net income down by 46 per cent, to $2.5bn, or $1.05 per share. Wall Street analysts had expected $1.68 a share. 
Revenue of $20.7bn, beat analysts' expectations by $1.7bn, as frenetic markets drove both fixed income and equity trading revenue up by 39 per cent. Trading contributed $6bn in total revenue.
Like JPMorgan, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America, Citi also saw significant increases in both deposits and loans, which rose by 15 per cent and 6 per cent, respectively. The bank said corporate clients had drawn down their credit lines by $25bn in the quarter.
While provisions rose sharply, actual credit losses rose by just 8 per cent from the year before, to $2.1bn. The bank said it was “operating from position of strength from capital, liquidity and balance sheet perspective”.
Citigroup shares have fallen by over 40 per cent since fears about the coronavirus fist hit markets in late February. The shares fell 3.5 per cent in pre-market trading Wednesday morning.

Harry Dempsey 4/15/2020, 12:34:12 PM

Tour de France postponed to the end of August Samuel Agini in London
The organisers of the Tour de France have rescheduled the men’s cycling race for the end of August, as the sporting world seeks to get back on track after a string of cancellations due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The elite cycling contest will start in Nice on August 29 and end in Paris on September 20, the Tour de France said.
“We all hope that the 2020 Tour de France will help to turn the page on the difficult period that we are currently experiencing,” the Tour said.
The event had been scheduled to run from June 27 to July 19, but French President Emmanuel Macron has extended the ban on public gatherings until the middle of July. The new date for the women’s version of the event, which had been scheduled for July 19, has yet to be confirmed.

Joshua Oliver 4/15/2020, 12:43:33 PM

Gupta's Liberty Steel appoints new interim European boss Michael Pooler in London
Sanjeev Gupta's Liberty House has recruited the former chairman of British Steel to temporarily lead its European and UK steelmaking operations, as the conglomerate grapples with the impact of coronavirus on heavy industry.
The privately-owned company appointed Roland Junck, who was also once chief executive of ArcelorMittal, alongside a new board of directors that will include two independent non-executive appointees "to operate to international best practice of corporate governance".
Liberty said the immediate focus would be to "weather the economic storm" brought about by the coronavirus pandemic and ensure its steel business, which employs 30,000 people, is prepared for when the recovery begins.
Manufacturers have been hard hit by the Covid-19 crisis, which has led to the shutdown of car factories and engineering plants.

Mamta Badkar 4/15/2020, 12:45:21 PM

US retail sales post record 8.7% drop in March US consumer spending retrenched in March falling by the most on record as non-essential businesses across America shuttered as part of an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Retail sales fell 8.7 per cent in March, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday. That marked the biggest one-month decline since records began in 1992 and surpassed economists' expectations for an 8 per cent decline.
So-called control sales, which strip out volatile items like food, energy and building materials, unexpectedly climbed 1.7 per cent, against expectations for a 2 per cent drop.
"Due to recent events surrounding Covid-19, many businesses are operating on a limited capacity or have ceased operations completely," the Commerce Department said in a release.
Overall retail sales declined as social distancing measures took effect across the US by mid-March. Clothing stores were particularly hard hit with sales tumbling more than 50 per cent. Sales at furniture and home furnishing stores, as well as motor vehicle parts and dealers, fell by more than 25 per cent each.
However, stockpiling by consumers ahead of the lockdowns helped boost sales at food and beverage stores, where sales climbed 25.6 per cent.

Mamta Badkar 4/15/2020, 1:06:22 PM

New York manufacturing gauge tumbles to record low A gauge of business activity in the New York state plunged to a record low in April, highlighting the blow from the coronavirus pandemic.
The general business conditions index of the Empire State manufacturing survey fell 57 points to minus 78.2 this month, according to the New York Federal Reserve, worse than economists’ expectations for a reading of minus 35, according to a Reuters survey.
That marked the lowest reading since records began in 2001 and broke below the previous low of minus 34.3 reached in February 2009 during the Great Recession.
Le rapport montre que les nouvelles commandes, les livraisons, les niveaux d'emploi et la semaine de travail moyenne se sont tous contractés à un rythme record.
"Severely depressed demand, supply disruptions and extremely high uncertainty will keep manufacturing on an extremely weak trajectory in the near term," said Oren Klachkin, economist at Oxford Economics. "We believe the economy will gradually start to return to normal in Q3, we note that the risk of an extended lockdown could make for a very slow and uneven recovery."

Anna Gross 4/15/2020, 1:09:35 PM

Dollar edges higher as dreary US data spook investors Eva Szalay in London
The optimistic mood that saw the dollar trading lower on Wednesday morning has been reversed by dreary US data, propelling the haven currency higher in the afternoon.
Emerging markets currencies slumped after worse-than-expected manufacturing data, with the South African rand losing nearly 3 per cent of its value while the Turkish lira slipped 1.3 per cent.
Sterling and the Australian and New Zealand dollar also declined sharply against the dollar, with the pound weakening 1.3 per cent and the Antipodean currencies trading 2.3 per cent lower.
"The market mood has soured in the blink of an eye," said Mark McCormick, global head of FX strategy at TD Securities.
Futures tied to the S&P 500 fell 2.7 per cent ahead of the opening bell, deepening their declines through the session on rising economic concerns. Les actions européennes ont glissé à la suite d'une séance baissière en Asie, laissant l'indice Stoxx 600 sur la bonne voie pour mettre fin à une séquence de victoires de cinq séances.

Sarah Provan 4/15/2020, 1:28:47 PM

England records more than 600 coronavirus daily deaths England has recorded another 651 Covid-19 patients have died, bringing the total confirmed reported deaths in hospitals in England to 11,656.
NHS England said the patients were aged between 20 and 101-years-old, while 20 had no known underlying health conditions. London, the worst affected region, recorded 153 deaths in the timeframe.
The deaths are registered against the date of death rather than when the deaths were reported, NHS England said. The total by date of death, particularly for most recent days, are likely to be updated in future releases. The figures include confirmed cases reported at 5pm on Tuesday.

Mamta Badkar 4/15/2020, 1:28:52 PM

US factory output falls by most since 1946 US industrial output fell by the most in more than 70 years, driven by manufacturing as the coronavirus pandemic prompted many factories to suspend operations.
Industrial production, the broadest gauge of industrial output from factories, mines and utilities, fell 5.4 per cent in March from the previous month, the Federal Reserve said on Wednesday.
That marked the biggest monthly decline since January 1946 and was worse than economists’ expectations for a 4 per cent decline, according to a Reuters survey of economists.
Manufacturing output tumbled 6.3 per cent, the biggest such drop since February 1946, with the largest decline registered by motor vehicles and parts makers.
Meanwhile, the indices for utilities and mining fell 3.9 per cent and 2 per cent respectively.

Anna Gross 4/15/2020, 1:28:58 PM

Les gouvernements font face à une augmentation «massive» de la dette publique, prévient le FMI Chris Giles in London
L'augmentation des emprunts des gouvernements du monde entier à la suite de la pandémie de coronavirus sera "massive", a déclaré mercredi le FMI, prévoyant que les fermetures de population et les contractions économiques pousseraient les déficits budgétaires bien au-dessus des niveaux de pointe pendant la crise financière.
À l'échelle mondiale, la dette publique nette passera de 69,4% du revenu national l'an dernier à 85,3% en 2020, a déclaré le FMI, s'inquiétant de la volonté du secteur privé de financer les gouvernements avec des bilans dans le service de leurs emprunts.
In its first attempt to quantify the scale of the damage caused to public finances by coronavirus, the fund provisionally forecast that global public deficits will climb 6.2 percentage points this year to reach 9.9 per cent of national income, topping levels seen in 2008-09.
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Charlotte Middlehurst 4/15/2020, 1:29:47 PM

Americas: here is what you might have missed US retail sales fell 8.7 per cent in March, the biggest one-month decline since records began in 1992. The slump followed the closure of non-essential businesses, part of national efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus.
The return of market volatility drove Citigroup’s first quarter revenue up 12 per cent from last year, despite the global economic slowdown caused by the pandemic.
Goldman Sachs first quarter results were dragged down by big provisions for loan losses to clients at its investment bank, underscoring how Wall Street is not immune to the credit losses facing lenders.
Nouvelle-Zélande's prime minister and her cabinet will take a 20 per cent pay cut for the next six months to show solidarity with citizens struggling financially.
Coronavirus accounted for a third of 608 weekly deaths in Écosse, according to new figures. A quarter of all deaths involving Covid-19 occurred in care homes.
Banque d'Amérique set aside almost $5bn for loan losses in the first quarter, close to five times the amount it set aside a year earlier.
Global cases of Covid-19 surpassed 2m on Wednesday, the latest figures from Worldometers show.
European stocks slipped following a downbeat session in Asia, with US stocks set to follow them at open.

Philip Georgiadis 4/15/2020, 1:39:57 PM

US shares slide in early trading Global stocks fell sharply on Wednesday, as new figures showed US economic activity has plunged and there were signs of trouble in Wall Street earnings.
The S&P 500 and Dow Jones both fell 2.3 per cent at the opening bell in New York, while the tech-weighted Nasdaq was 1.9 per cent lower.
Futures had deepened their declines through the session after data illustrated the scale of the economic slump in the US.

Harry Dempsey 4/15/2020, 1:48:50 PM

Takeaway food chains to reopen partially in the UK Alice Hancock in London
Burger King, KFC and Pret A Manger have all announced tentative reopening programmes in the UK as companies begin to look beyond the end of the coronavirus lockdown.
Pret, the coffee and sandwich chain, will reopen 10 sites near to hospitals or doctor's practices from 8am on Thursday, while Burger King said it would reopen four sites: two in Bristol, one in Coventry and one in Swindon. KFC has steadily opened 11 restaurants over the past week. All are for delivery or takeaway only.
The three are the first major restaurant chains to announce any reopenings since the government declared that all had to shut in late March to stop the spread of the disease.
They are all offering limited menus in order to ensure that social distancing rules can be followed within kitchens and employees are only required to work if they feel comfortable.

Anna Gross 4/15/2020, 1:56:45 PM

Opinion: A better society can emerge from the lockdowns Amartya Sen, Nobel laureate, Thomas W Lamont University Professor at Harvard
«Nous nous reverrons», a déclaré la reine Elizabeth récemment, en invoquant une chanson de 1939. C'était une pensée inspirante et exactement ce dont nous avions besoin. Mais à quel genre de monde pouvons-nous nous attendre après la pandémie? Gagnerons-nous quelque chose de l'expérience de résistance conjointe à la crise?
Le monde était plein de graves problèmes avant le coronavirus. Les inégalités sévissaient à la fois entre les pays et en leur sein. Aux États-Unis, le pays le plus riche du monde, des millions de personnes n’ont pas de couverture médicale, ce qui contribue à des maladies inutiles. Une austérité mal calculée a affaibli la capacité de l'UE à fournir un soutien public aux personnes vulnérables. La politique anti-démocratique était en augmentation, du Brésil et de la Bolivie à la Pologne et la Hongrie.
Est-il possible que l'expérience partagée de la pandémie aide à atténuer ces problèmes préexistants?
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Charlotte Middlehurst 4/15/2020, 2:03:37 PM

UK coronavirus fatality count remains stable Britain’s daily death count has risen by 761 cases, showing the tally of fatalities in hospitals has remained broadly stable from the previous day.
A total of 12,868 deaths from Covid-19 were reported by the Department of Health and Social Care on Wednesday, up from Tuesday’s count of 12,107.
The daily tally of deaths reported on Wednesday fell only slightly from the previous day's of 778.
As of 5pm on Tuesday, 313,769 people in the UK had been tested for coronavirus, of whom 98,476 were found positive.

Anna Gross 4/15/2020, 2:04:27 PM

Russia announces stimulus as lifeline to businesses and unemployed Max Seddon in New York
Vladimir Putin announced Russia would introduce new stimulus measures to stem unemployment and support businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.
In a televised cabinet meeting held via video conference on Wednesday, Mr Putin said that small and medium-sized enterprises from hard-hit sectors would receive up to Rbs12,100 ($162) per employee – equivalent to minimum wage – to cover salary payments on the condition that they retain at least 90 per cent of staff.
Other measures included a further Rbs200bn in subsidies for Russia’s regions, government-backed loans for essential businesses at near-zero interest rates, and Rbs23bn to support the airline industry.
“Obviously, we will need [more] solutions for the economy as a whole and for specific sectors. We need to prepare these solutions immediately,” Mr Putin said.

Joshua Oliver 4/15/2020, 2:41:10 PM

Funding Circle shares rise after it joins US business loan scheme Nicholas Megaw in London
Shares in Funding Circle, the UK-listed business lender, jumped by a quarter on Wednesday after it was approved to join the US government’s rescue plan for small businesses.
The Paycheck Protection Program offers loans of up to $10m to small businesses, which will be forgiven after two months if the money is used for payroll, mortgage rent or utility payments.
The programme relies on banks and other lenders to disburse the loans, but its rollout suffered from operational difficulties and concerns about whether cash would reach affected businesses quickly enough. New lenders such as Funding Circle have been joining the scheme in recent days in an attempt to help deal with the logjam of applicants.
Funding Circle, which has long argued that it can approve loans more quickly and efficiently than traditional banks, is also applying to join a similar programme in the UK known as the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme. Several people close to the programme said they expected several more non-bank lenders to join it later this week.
Shares in Funding Circle were up 25 per cent in mid-afternoon trading, at 69p a share, but were still down more than 20 per cent since the start of the year.

Charlotte Middlehurst 4/15/2020, 2:50:53 PM

G20 agree to suspend government debt payments for poorest countries Andrew England and Jonathan Wheatley in London and James Politi in Washington
G20 nations have agreed to offer a moratorium on bilateral government debt repayments for low-income countries until the end of the year, as part of a plan to combat the Covid-19 pandemic and prevent an emerging markets debt crisis.
The grouping also called on private creditors “to participate in the initiative on comparable terms” and requested multilateral development banks, such as the IMF and World Bank, “to further explore the options for the suspension of debt service payments over the suspension period”.
“We support a time-bound suspension of debt service payments for the poorest countries that request forbearance,” the G20 said in a statement after a finance ministers’ meeting on Wednesday.

We agreed on a coordinated approach with a common term sheet providing the key features for this debt service suspension initiative, which is also agreed by the Paris Club.

All bilateral official creditors “will participate in this initiative, consistent with their national laws and internal procedures,” the statement said. “We call on private creditors, working through the Institute of International Finance, to participate in the initiative on comparable terms.”
The debt deal will apply to the 76 countries eligible for assistance through the World Bank’s International Development Association that are “current” on any debt service to the IMF and the bank, as well as least developed countries as defined by the UN.

Peter Wells 4/15/2020, 3:04:15 PM

Singapore reports record daily rise in cases to bring total to almost 3,700 Stefania Palma in Singapore
Singapore reported a record jump in daily confirmed cases, with 447 new patients taking the country's total to 3,699.
The city state is battling a new wave of locally transmitted infections driven by an outbreak among its migrant worker community.
Foreign workers accounted for 409 new cases, 404 of whom reside in dormitories where individuals often live in crowded quarters.
The number of new migrant worker cases has jumped to a daily average of 260 in the past week from 48 the week prior.
About one-third of Wednesday's new cases have yet to be linked to known patients.

Charlotte Middlehurst 4/15/2020, 3:09:12 PM

Global case count breaches 2m, says Johns Hopkins University
Steve Bernard in London
Three in 10 of the 2m cases confirmed from Johns Hopkins University on Wednesday are in the US, where the Covid-19 count has soared in recent weeks with the addition of at least 20,000 diagnosed over a 24-hour period for the past 17 days.
Signs, however, have emerged over the past few days that the number of new cases is starting to plateau. This is true in Italy and Spain, the former hotspots of Europe. Many countries, however, are still in the early acceleration phase.
The global case count has doubled in the past 13 days from the 1m that was recorded on April 2.

Joshua Oliver 4/15/2020, 3:12:51 PM

UK and EU plan further rounds of post-Brexit transition talks Jim Brunsden in Brussels
Britain and the EU have announced plans for three negotiating rounds on their future relationship between now and the beginning of June, as they seek to reinvigorate talks that were disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.
EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier and his UK counterpart David Frost took the decision during a video-call on Wednesday, their first official contact since Mr Barnier announced on March 19 that he had contracted Covid-19.
The coronavirus pandemic has threatened to derail the tight timetable for the future-relationship talks, which began in March. Mr Barnier warned even before the health crisis began that it will be extremely difficult to reach a comprehensive deal before Britain’s post-Brexit transition period expires at the end of this year.
Officials said that Mr Frost and Mr Barnier spoke for almost an hour. They agreed that the upcoming negotiating rounds would take place by videoconference — a format that officials had previously doubted would be viable for such a large negotiation.
The three negotiating rounds are planned for the weeks starting April 20, May 11, and June 1.

Joshua Oliver 4/15/2020, 3:27:06 PM

Best Buy furloughs 51,000 workers Alistair Gray
Best Buy is furloughing 51,000 workers after the US electronics retailer’s sales dropped by almost a third.
While the early stages of the coronavirus lockdown boosted Best Buy's sales as consumers rushed for equipment to allow them to work from home, revenues have since slumped 30 per cent as its stores have been restricted to pick-up only.
Best Buy, which has about 125,000 employees, said on Wednesday it was furloughing nearly all part-time workers from this weekend. Most full-time staff are being kept on.
Corie Barry, chief executive, is taking a 50 per cent cut to her base salary. The company is also suspending staff pension contributions.

Anna Gross 4/15/2020, 3:31:41 PM

Hit to US manufacturing is the biggest since 1946, says Jefferies US monthly manufacturing production faced its biggest drop since the post-second world war slump, suggesting industry may be facing a similarly slow and volatile recovery, according to an analysis by Jefferies.
The consensus call was for production to fall 4 per cent in March, so the 5.4 per cent decline announced by the Federal Reserve on Wednesday was significantly weaker than expectations. The manufacturing component of production in particular fell 6.3 per cent, the biggest drop since February 1946.
“There isn't any way to sugar coat the data this month. Simply put, the report is terribly discouraging,” the analysts noted.
The end of the war in 1945 and the end of wartime manufacturing efforts generated some of the worst economic data in modern history in the US, with industrial production falling 12.1 per cent in August 1945.
The Jefferies analysts noted:

After the war, manufacturers retooled their lines to meet the needs of the postwar consumer economy which produced extremely wide swings in industrial production.

A 6.4 per cent decline in production in February 1946 was followed by a 12.6 per cent increase in March, according to records.
“It looks as though 2020 is going to be just as volatile,” the analysts warned.

Charlotte Middlehurst 4/15/2020, 3:46:13 PM

All options are on the table, says IMF chief By James Politi in Washington
Kristalina Georgieva, IMF managing director, said no options had been ruled out in the global response to the economic downturn triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, suggesting the allocation of new reserve assets to help emerging markets remained on the table despite US scepticism.
Ms Georgieva said the “world under the pressure of necessity always comes together”, pointing to the experience of the global financial crisis, at the opening of the virtual IMF and World Bank spring meeting.
“What we are concentrating on is to act decisively with what we have and where there is full consensus among our members [but] we recognise that there are other options to be explored and we will continue to do so,” she said.
Ms Georgieva praised a standstill on debt payments for the poorest countries that was separately endorsed by the G20 on Wednesday, and had been pushed heavily by the IMF and the World Bank, saying that gave her “confidence that whatever is necessary we will collectively do in the face of this tremendous crisis”.
The US has so far failed to embrace calls from European and African leaders for the IMF to allocate new “special drawing rights”, a reserve asset created by the IMF based on a pool of currencies, to developing economies to help them maintain liquidity during the crisis. But it has boosted its emerging lending facilities to help countries cope with the pandemic, receiving interest from 102 members, Ms Georgieva said.

Peter Wells 4/15/2020, 3:49:51 PM

Northern Ireland's lockdown extended until May 5 Arthur Beesley in Dublin
The coronavirus lockdown in Northern Ireland will be extended until May 5 in a move that aligns the duration of restrictions in the UK region with the Irish republic.
“We have decided restrictions will remain in place for another three weeks and we will review that coming up to that time,” said Arlene Foster, first minister in Northern Ireland’s powersharing executive.
The devolved executive at Stormont outside Belfast and the Irish government have pledged to deepen co-operation in the face of the pandemic. The move comes five days after Leo Varadkar, Ireland’s prime minister, prolonged the country’s lockdown until May 5.
Official figures show the virus has so far claimed 140 lives in Northern Ireland hospitals with 2,088 infections. However, new data to be released on Friday will update the number of fatalities to include cases where doctors completing death certificates diagnosed suspected Covid-19 cases but did not carry out a test.
Only essential travel will be permitted as the lockdown continues. Robin Swann, the region’s health minister, urged people to stay at home to curtail Covid-19 from spreading as the authorities try to build up supplies of protective gear for health workers.

Sarah Provan 4/15/2020, 4:00:11 PM

UK womenswear group Oasis goes into administration High street fashion chain Oasis has appointed administrators, joining the list of retailers hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
The womenswear group, which includes the Warehouse fashion chain, has appointed Rob Harding and Richard Hawes, restructuring partners at Deloitte, as administrators, Oasis said in a statement on Wednesday.
“Covid-19 has had a devastating effect on the entire retail industry and not least the Oasis Warehouse group," said Mr Harding. “Despite management’s best efforts over recent weeks, and significant interest from potential buyers, it has not been possible to save the business in its current form."
The move follows the recent appointment of administrators at Laura Ashley and department store group Debenhams.
The decision will mean 202 redundancies, while 41 head office roles will be retained to assist the administrators and 1,801 employees will be furloughed across head office, stores and concessions.
Oasis, Warehouse and Idle Man will trade online in the short term, the statement said.
“This is a situation that none of us could have predicted a month ago, and comes as shocking and difficult news for all of us," chief executive Hash Ladha said.

Charlotte Middlehurst 4/15/2020, 4:00:22 PM

Italy's daily death count continues to fall Davide Ghiglione in Rome
Italy recorded 578 deaths from coronavirus on Wednesday, a lower daily tally than the 602 seen the day before.
The total death toll in one of the countries hardest hit by the Covid-19 outbreak has risen to 21,645, the Civil Protection Agency reported, while confirmed cases increased by 2,667 to 165,155.
While Italy has been under strict social distancing measures since March 9, its measures are set to continue until May 3, despite the rate of new cases slowing.
The lockdown, which has shut non-essential Italian businesses and prevented people from leaving their homes except for emergencies or essential work, was originally due to end on April 13.
The total number of Covid-19 patients in Italy who have recovered increased by 962 to 38,092.

Joshua Oliver 4/15/2020, 4:07:42 PM

EU Commission backs WHO after Trump cuts funding Michael Peel in Brussels
The World Health Organisation and the European Commission have both expressed regret at President Donald Trump’s decision to halt US funding to the global health body.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general, said on Wednesday that his organisation was now assessing the impact and how to fill any funding gaps.
“This is a time for all of us to be united in our common struggle against a common threat, a dangerous enemy,” he told reporters. “When we are divided, the virus exploits the cracks between us.”
The European Commission said the EU-backed WHO efforts to contain the pandemic had already provided additional funding and was looking into what it and its member states could do in response to the US move.
“This is the time for solidarity, not for finger-pointing or undermining multilateral co-operation,” the commission said. “Politicisation of the current crisis will only prolong it and distracts us from our main task: to save lives and contain this pandemic.”
Ursula von der Leyen, European Commission president, is due to host an online pledging conference on May 4 that will look at immediate funding gaps in combating the pandemic.

Sarah Provan 4/15/2020, 4:09:32 PM

Belgium extends lockdown to at least May 3 Jim Brunsden in Brussels
Belgium’s prime minister has said the national lockdown will be extended until at least May 3.
“It is very clear that this crisis is not yet over,” Sophie Wilmès said at a news briefing following a meeting of the National Security Council on Wednesday."The number of people in intensive care unfortunately remains high."
The government agreed last month that the lockdown could continue until May 3 if needed, while giving itself the option to end it on April 19.
Ms Wilmès announced the relaxation of some specific aspects of the lockdown. She said garden centres and DIY shops would be allowed to reopen.
People will be able to visit elderly and disabled relatives, subject to some conditions, she said.

Joshua Oliver 4/15/2020, 4:13:10 PM

Bank of Canada to start $43bn bond-buying programme Canada's central bank will launch a C$60bn (US$43bn) bond-buying programme while holding interest rates at 0.25 per cent as it braces itself for a significant economic hit from Covid-19.
The Bank of Canada, responding to strains in the market for provincial government debt, will buy up to C$50bn in provincial bonds, as well as C$10bn in investment grade corporate bonds. The programme will begin “in the coming weeks”, the bank said.
“The outlook is too uncertain at this point to provide a complete forecast,” the bank said, but its analysis suggests activity will slump 15-30 per cent in the second quarter, compared with the end of 2019.
The central bank will continue to buy at least C$5bn in Canadian federal government securities each week, and has extended its term repo facility for up to 24 months. The bank also said it would temporarily boost the amount of US Treasury bills it buys at auctions to up to 40 per cent.
The bank said it has already deployed C$200bn in asset purchases and lending to financial institutions in response to the pandemic, and cut rates over the past three weeks by 150 basis points to what it calls the “effective lower bound”.

Peter Wells 4/15/2020, 4:19:20 PM

Barrick Gold buys more than 800,000 antibody tests Neil Hume in London
Barrick Gold has purchased more than 800,000 finger-prick antibody testing kits to screen workers and the communities living close to its mines.
Chief executive Mark Bristow said the company had invested a lot of money in the kits, which can be used to detect if a person’s immune system has Covid-19 or has recovered from it.
“We have had some very good successes,” Mr Bristow said in an interview with the FT. “It’s not a definitive test but it's good enough for screening."
“We’ve got 300,000 kits on on their way. We’ve got about 150,000 already and another 400,000 that we have just finalised,” he added. “We buy them from all over the place. South Korea, China. We’ve bought some from the UK.”
Canada-based Barrick is one of the biggest mining companies in the world with assets spread around the globe from Papua New Guinea to Nevada.
Mr Bristow said its operations had suffered minimal disruption because of the virus and production was in line with its full year guidance of 4.8m to 5.2m ounces.

Sarah Provan 4/15/2020, 4:35:24 PM

UK to give families 'right to say goodbye' to dying relatives Robert Shrimsley in London
The UK health secretary at the government's daily briefing announced a “right to say goodbye” to a dying relative infected with Covid-19.
After weeks in which families of coronavirus patients have been unable to see their loved ones in their final hours, Matt Hancock said he was changing the regulations so that where possible and within the bounds of safety, people would be able to visit relatives before they died.
“Wanting to be with someone you love is one of the deepest human instincts,” Mr Hancock said at Wednesday's briefing.
Reports of the solitary death of Ishmail Mohamed Abdulwahab, in hospital without his parents, “made me weep”, he added.
The hospital death toll may rise in the UK on Thursday after successive days in which the number of daily deaths seem to have stabilised below 800. Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer, said the number, which does lag behind, often rises after a weekend and that it might do so again after the Easter break.

Peter Wells 4/15/2020, 4:49:42 PM

Paris airport operator ADP reports traffic falling by half in March David Keohane in Paris
French airport operator ADP saw overall traffic plunge by more than a half in March over the same month last year as flights around the world were grounded because of the coronavirus pandemic.
ADP, which has already temporarily shut Orly airport to the south of Paris and reduced capacity at Charles de Gaulle to the north, said traffic into the French capital fell 58.5 per cent in March compared with the same month last year. International flights from outside Europe fell 52.6 per cent, while European flights fell 64.4 per cent and those within France fell 58.3 per cent.
ADP said overall traffic around the world fell 28.2 per cent in March from the same period last year, if the group's recent 49 per cent acquisition of India's GMR Airports in February is included in the figures.
Global airport operators are suffering because of the impact of the virus, which has seen flight volumes plummeting by as much as 90 per cent across Europe following the lockdowns. ADP chief executive Augustin de Romanet, who contracted the virus in March, said this month it was costing the company €3m a day in lost sales.
The group, which reports first quarter revenues next week, has seen its shares fall 50 per cent so far this year. It is 50.6 per cent owned by the French state, which has shelved plans to sell its stake because of the violent moves in stock prices.

Sarah Provan 4/15/2020, 4:51:12 PM

UK to test new care home residents for coronavirus Robert Shrimsley in London
A sharp rise in coronavirus deaths in residential care homes has prompted the UK to set out a number of initiatives, such as testing for new residents before they are admitted into the home.
Tests will be available to symptomatic residents, social care staff and household members who showed symptoms, the health secretary said at a daily briefing on Wednesday.
Officials are working to create a supply network for protective equipment, with an online delivery system that will ship kit directly to the homes. However, for the next three weeks priority drops will continue until the regime is in place.
Matt Hancock announced steps to raise the status of care workers and rejected the suggestion that they are regarded as a lesser or cinderella service. This would include the creation of a single brand for social care to symbolise the profession.
Businesses and supermarkets will be asked to show the same support and preferential treatment for care workers displaying the brand badge. A national recruitment campaign will be launched, Mr Hancock said, with the government paying for the initial training.

Mamta Badkar 4/15/2020, 5:26:28 PM

Tyson Foods extends closure of pork processing plant Emiko Terazono in London
Tyson Foods, a US meat packer that suspended one of its key pork processing plants in Columbus Junction, Iowa, this month, said it would extend the closure by another week.
The prolonged closure of the plant, which accounts for about 2 per cent of the country's pork processing capacity, comes after meat processor Smithfield Foods announced an indefinite shutdown of its plant in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, after 238 workers contracted the virus. The Sioux Falls plant accounts for 4-5 per cent of US pork production in normal times and the stoppage has raised supply worries among food industry executives.
Tyson said it was continuing to pay its Columbus Junction staff during the closure and that it had implemented safety measures, including temperature scanning and social distancing, at its other plants.
The closure of the processing plants is a blow to US pig farmers. The National Pork Producers Council, representing pork producing farmers, has warned the industry faces a “dire situation that threatens the livelihoods of thousands of farm families”.
The closures, along with the loss of demand from restaurants as well as falling exports has led to a plunge in the price of pigs, said the NPPC. The council cited estimates from agricultural economists that pig farmers would lose an average $10 a pig, or a total of $5bn for pigs marketed for the rest of the year.

Peter Wells 4/15/2020, 5:37:03 PM

Recovery from pandemic will be big test for Ireland's next government' Arthur Beesley in Dublin
Dublin reported 38 further coronavirus deaths, taking the total to 444, as Ireland’s traditional ruling parties said recovering from the pandemic will be the primary challenge facing the country’s next government.
The long process of forming a new coalition after inconclusive February elections moved a step forward on Wednesday as Leo Varadkar’s ruling Fine Gael and the opposition Fianna Fáil published a joint 22-page plan to guide talks with smaller parties.
“The immediate challenge for us is to recover and rebuild in the aftermath of the Covid-19 emergency and the havoc that it has brought to the lives of people and to the social and economic security of families,” they said.
The two parties, historic rivals who have never ruled together, lack a parliamentary majority. They will therefore need a deal with smaller parties or independent MPs to form a stable government. Saying coronavirus has presented “the crisis of a lifetime”, the document called for a government with a “clear majority that is strong enough to develop and deliver a programme of national recovery across its lifetime”.
Health officials in Dublin reported an additional 1,068 Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, bringing the total number of infections in the Irish republic to 12,547.
With infections on the rise in nursing homes for vulnerable elderly people, the government struck a deal on Wednesday to redeploy nurses and healthcare staff to private nursing homes from hospitals.

Peter Wells 4/15/2020, 5:43:21 PM

Cuomo lays out plans to reopen New York economy in next 18 months Joshua Chaffin in New York
New Yorkers will be required to wear masks when in crowded public areas, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced as he set out plans to begin to reopen the state's economy over the next 18 months.
Mr Cuomo said New York had succeeded in stabilising its healthcare system and avoiding the worst outcomes forecast by public health experts. Even though about 2,000 people are still being diagnosed each day with coronavirus, the net number of hospitalisations has begun to decline steadily.
In one sign of the state's improved fortunes, New York will send 100 ventilators to Michigan and 50 to Maryland.
Mr Cuomo set out an 18-month timeline to increase economic activity gradually while awaiting the arrival of a vaccine that would conclusively end the pandemic. Businesses will be evaluated based on how essential their products and services are, and the risks they pose of further spreading the virus.
The resumption of economic activity will be calibrated based on public health risks. A key part of the reopening, the governor argued, was to launch testing and tracing of the public on a mass scale, something that was still beyond the state's capacity.
"We can't do it yet. That is the unvarnished truth," Mr Cuomo said, pointing to shortages of laboratories and supplies.
He appealed to the federal government for help, saying that the race for testing and testing equipment was now akin to what the race for ventilators had been a few weeks ago. He urged the states and the federal government not to repeat that experience, in which parties competed against one another for scarce supplies.
"The answer on testing is not to repeat the mistakes of ventilators, which is 50 states competing against each other to buy testing capacity from private companies. And the federal government ... also competing," Mr Cuomo said.

Mamta Badkar 4/15/2020, 6:02:57 PM

UK politicians call for better treatment of bank business customers Matthew Vincent in London
UK politicians have demanded assurances that small businesses will not suffer at the hands of banks during coronavirus disruption as many did during the financial crisis.
At a meeting of the Treasury select committee on Wednesday, MPs asked the heads of banking body UK Finance and City regulator the Financial Conduct Authority how they could prevent lenders - and their staff - putting their own interests ahead of their customers.
Steve Baker, the prominent Tory Brexit supporter, expressed concerns over a repeat of the scandal surrounding Royal Bank of Scotland’s Global Restructuring Group, which was accused of pushing customers into emergency refinancing after the 2008 crisis and profiting from the process.
Fellow committee member Alison Thewliss also raised “the potential for a GRG type situation emerging and concerns that commercial lending remains outside the regulatory perimeter”.
FCA boss Chris Woolard admitted that almost all UK business lending was still unregulated, but said that since the financial crisis its senior managers regime now made bank executives responsible for all lending conduct.
He said the FCA had set up a new small business unit to gather intelligence about the treatment of small businesses by financial services firms during the crisis and ensure the regulator responds to any issues identified.

Peter Wells 4/15/2020, 6:08:57 PM

Coronavirus numbers in French hospitals fall for the first time David Keohane in Paris
The number of people in hospital in France owing to coronavirus fell for the first time since the start of the epidemic, but the country has now had more than 17,000 people die of the infection.
France had 31,779 people in hospital with the virus, as of Wednesday evening, 513 fewer than the day before.
"This is the first drop," French health official Jerome Salomon said. "We must salute it while remaining very careful and awaiting further developments."
For the seventh day in a row the number of people in intensive care beds in France also fell, down by another 273 to 6,457. France had just 5,000 intensive care beds before the crisis but increased that number to 10,000 and has plans to raise it to 14,000.
A total of 17,167 people have now died of the virus in France, including 10,643 in hospitals, an increase of 514 over the past day.
6,524 have now died in other institutions, with the majority in nursing homes, an increase of 924. However, that jump in deaths in nursing homes recorded on Wednesday was, Mr Salomon said, in part owing to delays in reporting the data over the long weekend.

Mamta Badkar 4/15/2020, 6:21:31 PM

Fed Beige Book shows US activity contracted 'sharply and abruptly' Brendan Greeley in Washington
The US economy has contracted “sharply and abruptly” since March, with steep employment drops and flat or declining wages, according to a Federal Reserve report released on Wednesday, in a blunt description of the damage done to growth over the past month.
In the Fed’s Beige Book, a collection of conversations with local contacts, several Fed districts also reported high demand for loans, both from businesses and consumers.
“All districts reported highly uncertain outlooks among business contacts, with most expecting conditions to worsen in the next several months,” according to the report.
Reports from the Fed districts on employment showed “severe” cuts at restaurants, hotels and retail shops. But steep job losses weren’t limited to those sectors and had spread to manufacturing and energy as well. Businesses anticipated more cuts to come over the near term, though many had furloughed or laid off workers temporarily and hoped to bring them back.

Peter Wells 4/15/2020, 6:32:39 PM

One-third of French aircraft carrier's crew test positive for Covid-19 David Keohane in Paris
One third of the crew on board the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier, the flagship of the French fleet, have tested positive for the coronavirus, the French defence ministry said on Wednesday evening.
Last week, the nuclear-powered Charles de Gaulle was recalled early to port in Toulon in the south of France owing to a suspected outbreak of the coronavirus.
Some 668 of the 1760 crew on board the ship have now tested positive for coronavirus and 31 have been hospitalised, with one in intensive care. The French defence ministry said testing was continuing.
The French navy has launched an investigation into how the outbreak has been handled.
The outbreak on the Charles de Gaulle follows controversy surrounding a coronavirus outbreak on board the US aircraft carrier Theordore Roosevelt, in which the commander was fired after he sent a letter to Navy officials pleading for help.
The letter was leaked to the media, causing the US navy's top official to say he had lost confidence in the captain for not adhering to the chain of command in raising his concerns.

Peter Wells 4/15/2020, 6:37:53 PM

Democrats step up calls for cost transparency from drugmakers Hannah Kuchler in New York
Progressive Democrats are lobbying for pharmaceutical companies to be stripped of exclusivity and forced to be transparent on the costs for drugs and vaccines to fight Covid-19 in Congress’ next response package.
Representative Jan Schakowsky said Congress must take action against “pandemic profiteering”, saying they had good reason to be sceptical about drugmakers because, before the crisis, many people in the US had died for lack of access to drugs.
The group, which also includes congressmen Doggett and DeFazio and Congresswoman DeLauro, set out three principles for the drugs:- First, no single company should be granted exclusivity that would hamper access or control who manufactures the drug.- Second, no drug should be sold at an “unreasonable” price.- Third, companies should have to detail all the costs that went into the development and production of the drug.

Peter Wells 4/15/2020, 7:23:36 PM

Retailer JCPenney to miss an interest payment to bondholders Alistair Gray
JCPenney warned it will miss an interest payment to bondholders by the due date as the heavily indebted US department store chain heads for a possible default.
In the latest sign that the coronavirus shutdown is threatening to push already distressed retailers over the edge, JCPenney said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it will not pay $12m that had been due on Wednesday.
The New York-listed company has almost 850 department stores across the US and employed about 90,000 people as of February.
Under the terms of the bond the retailer has a 30-day grace period to make the payment before it is deemed to have defaulted. JCPenney said it would "evaluate certain strategic alternatives, none of which have been implemented at this time".

Peter Wells 4/15/2020, 7:35:23 PM

S Korea’s ruling party set for election landslide after virus response Edward White in Wellington and Song Jung-a in Seoul
South Korea’s ruling party is heading for a landslide victory in legislative elections, in a resounding endorsement of the government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis.
The polls for the 300-seat National Assembly, held with heightened safety measures in the midst of the global pandemic, were seen as a referendum on the response to the outbreak by the government of Moon Jae-in, the president.
With more than 90 per cent of the votes counted as of 3am in Seoul, Mr Moon’s ruling Democratic party was headed for an outright majority for the first time in 16 years, according to preliminary results reported by Yonhap, the state news agency.
The polls marked a sharp turnround in public sentiment from late last year when Mr Moon’s popularity was dented by slow economic growth and a series of protests and scandals linked to allegations of corruption involving officials.
The Democratic party was on track to increase its share of National Assembly seats to 161, up from 120. Combined with affiliated groups, the leftwing, progressive parties looked set to win 180 seats.
The United Future party, the main opposition, was tracking to hold 86 seats, down from 92, reflecting a failure to properly reform after the 2016 impeachment and later jailing of former president Park Geun-hye, experts said. The estimated turnout was 66.2 per cent. the highest in 28 years.
The election is set to hand Mr Moon and his Democratic party a stronger mandate for the second half of the five-year presidential tenure, potentially clearing some of the legislative bottlenecks that have marred progress since he took office in 2017.
However, with the country now facing an economic crisis, two of Mr Moon’s most important legacy ambitions — reforming the chaebol, the family-owned companies that have long-dominated South Korea’s economy and rapprochement with Kim Jong Un, the North Korean leader — will struggle to be realised, according to political insiders and analysts.

Peter Wells 4/15/2020, 8:11:38 PM

Ortega to deliver televised address after lengthy public absence Jude Webber in Mexico City
After more than a month’s absence from view, Nicaraguan strongman Daniel Ortega will make a televised address to the nation this afternoon – his first since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
The broadcast was due to take place at the end of a transmission that began at 2pm local time (3pm ET).
The 74-year-old former revolutionary, who has ruled the Central American country since 2007 and for 24 of the past 41 years, was last seen in public on February 21, although he took part in a video conference with regional leaders on March 12.

Mamta Badkar 4/15/2020, 8:12:36 PM

US stocks fall on grim economic data Wall Street declined on Wednesday as investors digested a string of disappointing US economic data and bank earnings.
The S&P 500 retreated from a one-month high to end the day 2.2 per cent lower, with the energy, materials and financials sectors particularly hard hit. However, the benchmark index trimmed losses of as much as 3 per cent earlier in the day.The Nasdaq Composite fell 1.4 per cent.
Meanwhile, Treasuries rallied with the yield on the US 10-year down 0.12 percentage points to 0.6332 per cent. Yields move inversely to price.
Investors digested a string of ugly data that underscored the extent of the blow to the US economy from the coronavirus pandemic.
Industrial production posted its biggest monthly drop since the end of the second world war, while retail sales dropped by the most since the data started being collected in 1992.
Weak earnings from Bank of America, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs also highlighted the hit from coronavirus lockdowns.

Peter Wells 4/15/2020, 9:45:49 PM

US death toll tops 28,000 after record daily increase The US has reported its highest number of coronavirus deaths in a single day, frustrating hopes a peak in the outbreak had been reached last week and pushing the total since the pandemic began above 28,000.
Over the past 24 hours, a further 2,492 people died, according to the latest data from the Covid Tracking Project. About 30 per cent of those - or 752 - were in New York, the hardest-hit US state.
Wednesday's tally was the first time fatalities have risen above 2,000 for two consecutive days, following the 2,299 reported on Tuesday.
Deborah Birx, the head of the White House's coronavirus task force, said that despite the high fatality figures, the rate of death among Covid-19 patients remains comparatively low.
"Over the last five to six days, we've seen declines in cases across the country, and this has been very reassuring for us," Dr Birx said at the daily White House news conference. "At the same time, we know that mortality and the fatalities that we're facing across the US continue."
The new fatalities took the total number of US coronavirus deaths since the first was recorded a month ago to 28,160, about 6,500 more than Italy, the second-most affected country. About 41 per cent of US deaths have been in New York.
On a day when the cumulative number of reported infections worldwide topped 2m for the first time, the tally for the US sat at 632,656.
"We do have nine states that have less than 1,000 cases and less than 30 new cases per day," Dr Birx said.

Peter Wells 4/15/2020, 10:10:18 PM

Trump dévoilera jeudi ses directives pour la réouverture de l'économie américaine Demetri Sevastopulo à Washington
Le président Donald Trump a déclaré que la bataille contre le coronavirus se poursuivait, mais a souligné que des données récentes suggéraient que les États-Unis avaient dépassé le pic, alors qu'il signalait qu'il dévoilerait jeudi de nouvelles directives sur la réouverture de l'économie.
"Les données suggèrent que dans tout le pays, nous avons dépassé le pic ... espérons que cela continuera et que nous continuerons à faire de grands progrès", a déclaré M. Trump lors de sa conférence de presse quotidienne.
Le président américain a ajouté que "les développements encourageants nous ont placés dans une position très forte pour finaliser les directives pour les États sur la réouverture du pays". Il a dit qu'il tiendrait une conférence de presse jeudi après-midi pour révéler les nouvelles lignes directrices, qui, selon lui, viseraient certains, mais pas tous les États.
M. Trump avait précédemment suggéré qu'il voulait rouvrir l'économie en mai, mais certains de ses conseillers, dont Anthony Fauci, l'un des meilleurs scientifiques du groupe de travail sur les coronavirus de la Maison Blanche, ont suggéré que le calendrier n'était pas réaliste, en particulier compte tenu de l'impossibilité de tester assez de gens à travers les États-Unis.
"Nous pensons que certains États peuvent réellement s'ouvrir avant la date limite du 1er mai. Et je pense que ce sera vraiment une période très excitante", a déclaré M. Trump au White Garden Rose Garden. "Les gouverneurs sont ... pour y aller. "
"Nous aurons des ouvertures qui dépasseront nos attentes et ils seront en sécurité. Ils seront forts, mais nous voulons récupérer notre pays. Nous voulons récupérer notre pays. Et nous allons le faire, et nous allons le faire bientôt », a-t-il déclaré.
Cependant, de nombreux gouverneurs ont clairement indiqué que le président n'avait pas le pouvoir constitutionnel de leur ordonner d'assouplir les ordres de verrouillage, ce qui soulève des questions quant à savoir si M. Trump peut annoncer quelque chose de significatif.
M. Trump a parlé alors que le nombre de morts aux États-Unis dépassait les 28 000, tandis que le nombre de cas de coronavirus dépassait 630 000.
Un nombre record de 2 492 décès dus à un coronavirus au cours des 24 dernières heures, la première fois que de nouveaux décès ont dépassé 2 000 pendant deux jours consécutifs.
M. Trump s'est déchaîné contre les démocrates, affirmant qu'ils l'empêchaient de nommer des fonctionnaires qui nécessitent une confirmation du Sénat. Il a déclaré qu'il envisagerait d'utiliser son «pouvoir constitutionnel d'ajourner les deux chambres du Congrès», ce qui, selon lui, lui permettrait de nommer des candidats dans le cadre d'un processus connu sous le nom de «nominations pendant les vacances».

Peter Wells 4/15/2020, 10:28:26 PM

Fitch cuts Mexico's credit rating on forecast for 'severe recession' Jude Webber in Mexico City
Fitch Ratings has cut Mexico’s sovereign debt to BBB-, one notch above junk, as coronavirus triggers a “severe recession” this year while “weak governance and ad hoc government policy interventions” as well as a deteriorating business climate will hamper recovery.
Fitch, which kept the outlook on Mexico’s long-term foreign-currency debt at stable as it downgraded from BBB, called the contingent liability represented by the debt of state oil company, Pemex, a “key factor”. Fitch last year cut Pemex to junk; the company has $105bn in debt, or 9 per cent of GDP.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has refused to line up a stimulus package funded by debt - which Fitch said could "delay the recovery". It nonetheless saw debt to GDP levels increasing to their highest level since the 1980s and said "returning debt/GDP to a sustainable path will prove challenging.”
The agency forecasts GDP to contract 4 per cent this year but said that could change. It also pencilled in a widening of Mexico's general government deficit by 2.5 percentage points of GDP to 4.4 per cent of GDP, higher than implied by the most recent budget review.

Peter Wells 4/15/2020, 10:32:59 PM

IMF approves new liquidity line for emerging markets James Politi in Washington
The IMF board approved a short-term liquidity line to help some emerging economies grapple with the coronavirus outbreak, as the multilateral lender ramps up its efforts to help developing countries limit the fallout from the pandemic.
The move by the IMF came in the midst of the institution’s spring meetings, held virtually, which have been dominated by efforts to coordinate the global response to the crisis.
The IMF has boosted its emergency lending facilities to help struggling members and said it would offer grants for countries to temporarily cover debt payments to the multilateral lender. Together with the World Bank, it also pushed the G20 to offer broader debt relief to the poorest nations in the world.
The short-term liquidity line set up by the Fund on Wednesday night was developed to help countries cope with the depletion of foreign reserves unfolding amid high levels of capital flight from emerging markets. The IMF said the facility would “ further strengthen the global financial safety net as part of the Fund’s COVID-19 response” and would be “ a revolving and renewable backstop for member countries with very strong policies and fundamentals in need of short-term moderate balance of payments support”.
The liquidity support is particularly important because the countries failed to agree on an allocation of IMF special drawing rights – the Fund’s international reserve asset based on a basket of leading currencies – amid opposition from the US. The IMF said the facility would offer countries access worth 145 per cent of their quota at the Fund.
“Complementing other instruments during the current crisis, the facility will fill a critical gap in the Fund’s toolkit and help to facilitate a more efficient allocation of resources,” he said.

Peter Wells 4/15/2020, 11:21:01 PM

US manufacturing body calls for health equipment makers to be spared from Mexican restrictions Jude Webber in Mexico City
The biggest association of US manufacturers appealed to the Mexican government to exempt manufacturers of medical equipment from a decree that has halted non-essential activity in a bid to halt the spread of coronavirus, saying the shutdown was “potentially weakening our response to the Covid-19 pandemic”.
“At a time when we need to ramp up the production of personal protective equipment, lifesaving equipment and medicines, we cannot afford to have any of these critical supply chains shut down if Mexico does not issue guidance that expands and clarifies the industries that are essential,” National Asscociation of Manufacturers President Jay Timmons said in a letter to Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
“Across North America, our health care sectors depend on the many products that we make—from medicines, sanitation supplies and inputs used to produce respirators and masks to the grains used to make bread and critical parts that ensure trucks can deliver groceries,” he said.
He urged Mexico to harmonise its definition of “essential and critical” with guidelines from the US Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).
Several companies have already successfully lobbied to be left out of the Mexican industrial shutdown. The government passed a decree earlier this month exempting steel, cement and glass producers with contracts for the government’s priority rail, refinery and airport infrastructure projects, or with the state oil or utilities companies, to be exempted.