COVID-19: EU Economy Could Shrink 15% This Year; China Cuts Rates
42 minutes ago (Apr 24, 2020 02:06AM ET)
The EU agreed in principle to set up a post-crisis recovery fund, but couldn’t agree on how big it should be, or whether it should provide grants as well as loans. Sovereign bond spreads widened in disappointment.
China cut its targeted medium-term lending facility interest rate to 2.95%. That follows a similar cut to its key one-year rate.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a $484 billion stimulus package, the country’s fourth bill to fight the Covid-19 virus.
Stocks fell as an experimental drug developed by Gilead Sciences showed disappointing test results as a treatment for the virus.
EU The bloc’s economy could shrink by as much as 15% this year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde is reported to have told Europe’s leaders during a videoconference meeting Thursday.
EU The region’s leaders signed off on a pre-agreed €500 billion euro emergency financial package and on guidelines for lifting Covid-19 restrictions.Discussions about a recovery plan for European economies after the health crisis, and how to pay for it, were left for another day.
U.K. British consumer confidence remained at very low levels in early April, as the country remained in coronavirus lockdown and on track for a deep recession, a survey showed on Friday.
GfK, a polling firm, said its consumer confidence index held at -34 during the April 1-14 survey period, unchanged from the last survey for March 16-27 but still down very sharply from -9 earlier that month.
Switzerland Swiss food giant Nestle reported a 4.3% rise in organic sales growth for the first quarter as consumers filled cupboards with Purina pet food and Poland Spring water to prepare for lockdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
China The central bank cut its targeted medium-term lending facility interest rate by 20 basis points to 2.95%. This follows similar reductions to borrowing costs on other liquidity tools in the past few weeks to support the economy.
Japan The central bank said it is contemplating replacing its government bond-purchase target to allow unlimited buying. The country is also considering extending its state of emergency during the upcoming Golden Week holiday.
Japan The new $1.1 trillion economic stimulus package in response to the coronavirus pandemic is estimated to boost real gross domestic product by about 4.4%, Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said on Friday.
Philippines The lockdown in the capital city of Manila has been extended until May 15, but restrictions in lower-risk regions of the country will be eased.
Hong Kong Thousands of students were among the first in the world to take their final secondary school exams on Friday, all wearing face masks and having their temperatures checked after being stuck at home for months due to the coronavirus.
U.S. The House of Representatives passed a $484 billion stimulus package, its fourth bill to address the economic woes unleashed by the Covid-19 outbreak.
U.S. Doubts surround the efficacy of Gilead (NASDAQ:GILD)’s antiviral drug remdesivir in treating the Covid-19 virus, after the Financial Times reported overnight that it had failed its first randomized clinical trials.
Gilead disputes the report, saying the study was “terminated early due to low enrollment,” and thus “the study results are inconclusive.” However, this is still disappointing given the drug was previously thought to be one of the best prospects for treating the virus.