L’Espagne a établi des règles pour les personnes qui se promènent ou font de l’exercice en plein air dans le cadre de la dernière relaxation progressive du verrouillage du pays qui dure depuis près de sept semaines.

Jusqu’à présent, les adultes espagnols ont été interdits de sortir à l’extérieur pour le sport ou les loisirs à part entière. À partir de samedi, ils seront autorisés à le faire, mais uniquement par équipes.

Dernier Coronavirus : Boris Johnson dit que le Royaume-Uni a dépassé le pic de l'épidémie

Les personnes de moins de 70 ans seront autorisées à se promener et à faire de l’exercice une fois par jour, soit entre 6h et 10h, soit entre 20h et 23h. Les promenades peuvent se faire à 1 km maximum du domicile des personnes. Deux personnes vivant ensemble peuvent s’accompagner, mais ne peuvent pas rencontrer d’autres amis.

Les plus de 70 ans et les personnes accompagnées par des soignants peuvent quitter leur domicile entre 10h et midi ou entre 19h et 20h. Enfin, les enfants de moins de 14 ans, qui ont été autorisés à sortir le week-end dernier pour la première fois depuis le début du verrouillage de la mi-mars, pourront se promener entre 12h et 19h – mais devront toujours être accompagnés d’un adulte et ne peut pas aller plus loin que 1 km de la maison. Les plages horaires ne s’appliquent pas aux villages de moins de 5000 habitants, qui ne sont pas perçus comme étant exposés aux mêmes risques de foules et donc d’infections.

L’Espagne a présenté un plan complexe pour éliminer progressivement le verrouillage, composé de phases successives au cours desquelles les bars, restaurants et magasins seront progressivement autorisés à s’occuper de plus de clients. Le gouvernement espère que l’élimination sera terminée fin juin ou mi-juillet au plus tard, mais avertit que les gens seront toujours invités à porter des masques dans les transports publics et à pratiquer la distanciation sociale jusqu’à ce qu’un vaccin ou un traitement efficace contre coronavirus est en cours d’utilisation.

Matthew Rocco 30/04/2020, 16:58:09

Le Premier ministre russe diagnostiqué avec Covid-19

Max Seddon à New York

Le Premier ministre russe Mikhail Mishustin dit qu’il a été diagnostiqué avec Covid-19, l’infection causée par le coronavirus.

M. Mishustin a déclaré au président Vladimir Poutine dans un message vidéo télévisé qu’il avait été testé positif au virus et qu’il s’isolerait du cabinet.

« Les tests que j’ai soumis sont revenus positifs, donc […] Je dois m’isoler « , a déclaré M. Mishustin, ajoutant qu’il prévoyait de rester » en contact étroit « avec le cabinet.

M. Poutine a nommé Andrei Belousov, adjoint de M. Mishustin, Premier ministre par intérim.

Charlotte Middlehurst 30/04/2020, 16:52:32 PM

L’austérité ne sera « pas notre approche » pour reconstruire l’économie, déclare Johnson

George Parker à Londres

Boris Johnson a déclaré qu’il était convaincu que l’économie rebondirait fortement, mais a ajouté que l’austérité ne ferait « certainement pas partie de notre approche » quand il s’agirait de reconstruire les finances publiques, lors de la conférence de presse de Downing Street aujourd’hui.

Cela suggère que M. Johnson considère des impôts plus élevés – ou une dette à des niveaux élevés pendant une longue période – comme la réponse probable du gouvernement à l’accumulation d’emprunts, qui pourrait atteindre des centaines de milliards de livres au cours de la crise.

Le Premier ministre a ajouté que le gouvernement préconiserait l’utilisation de couvre-visages dans le cadre du plan visant à encourager les gens à retourner au travail et à essayer de ralentir la propagation de la maladie.

Peter Wells 30/04/2020, 16:49:01

New York fermera le métro de 1 heure à 5 heures du matin pour le nettoyage quotidien

Joshua Chaffin à New York

Le briefing quotidien d’Andrew Cuomo jeudi a présenté un nouvel événement dans la pandémie de coronavirus: une flambée d’admiration mutuelle entre le gouverneur de New York et son rival fréquent, le maire de New York, Bill de Blasio, alors qu’ils annonçaient un plan général de nettoyage des métros de la ville.

Le plan comprendra la fermeture du vaste système chaque jour de 1 h à 5 h afin que les équipes de travail puissent désinfecter toutes les voitures et stations de métro. Des bus, des fourgonnettes et des voitures de location privées seront fournis aux quelque 10 000 personnes qui prennent actuellement le train pendant ces heures. Étant donné la fermeture des bars et des restaurants de la ville, la plupart de ces cavaliers sont des travailleurs essentiels.

Le dévoilement du plan a représenté un rare moment d’harmonie entre le maire et le gouverneur, qui se sont affrontés à plusieurs reprises ces dernières semaines à propos des fermetures d’écoles et d’autres éléments de la réponse de New York à la pandémie.

« Le maire s’intensifie, et il intervient de façon considérable. Et je tiens à l’en féliciter », a déclaré M. Cuomo.

À son tour, M. de Blasio, apparaissant par liaison vidéo, a félicité M. Cuomo, qui détient une large influence sur la Metropolitan Transportation Authority, qui contrôle le métro.

M. de Blasio a également exprimé l’espoir que la fermeture quotidienne du système permettrait aux travailleurs humanitaires d’intervenir auprès des milliers de sans-abri qui se sont installés sous terre. Leur présence croissante a suscité des plaintes de la part des travailleurs du MTA au sujet de la sécurité de leur emploi, ainsi que de l’état d’encrassement de nombreux trains.

M. Cuomo a insisté pour que les travailleurs essentiels aient un transport propre et sûr vers et depuis leur travail. La situation s’est aggravée, a reconnu le gouverneur, en raison d’une pénurie de policiers et d’agents du MTA en raison d’une maladie.

Charlotte Middlehurst 30/04/2020, 16:44:08

Les voyages en avion pourraient chuter de plus de 70%, selon une agence des Nations Unies

Le nombre de passagers aériens pourrait chuter de 72% cette année alors que la pandémie de coronavirus continue de paralyser les voyages dans le monde, selon l’agence spéciale de l’aviation de l’OACI, l’OACI.

L’aviation pourrait subir des pertes pouvant atteindre 273 milliards de dollars par rapport aux revenus d’exploitation bruts prévus précédemment, car l’avenir des restrictions nationales sur les voyages et du commerce international reste incertain.

Les prévisions, publiées jeudi, prévoyaient que le nombre de passagers pourrait chuter de 1,5 milliard en 2020 par rapport aux niveaux précédemment prévus.

« Les projections sont importantes pour de nombreux pays qui planifient actuellement leurs scénarios de reprise Covid-19, compte tenu de l’importance du tourisme, des chaînes d’approvisionnement mondiales et de nombreux autres facteurs de connectivité aérienne pour la prospérité socio-économique locale », indique le rapport.

La recherche était basée sur un scénario de reprise en « U », qui suppose la voie la plus pessimiste – une contraction économique prolongée et une reprise en sourdine sans possibilité de revenir à une croissance normale.

L’Europe devrait connaître les chutes les plus graves, avec une baisse de 74% du nombre de passagers aériens par rapport aux niveaux d’exploitation réguliers, suivie par l’Afrique et l’Asie-Pacifique avec une baisse de 71%. L’Amérique du Nord verra une réduction de 65% des circulaires, selon les données.

Charlotte Middlehurst 30/04/2020, 16:13:10 PM

Johnson dit que le Royaume-Uni a dépassé le sommet du coronavirus

George Parker et Joshua Oliver à Londres

Boris Johnson a confirmé que la Grande-Bretagne a dépassé le pic de son épidémie de coronavirus, alors même que 674 décès supplémentaires ont été ajoutés au nombre de morts dans le pays.

« Je peux confirmer aujourd’hui que pour la première fois, nous avons dépassé le pic de cette maladie et que nous sommes sur une pente descendante », a déclaré le Premier ministre lors de sa première conférence de presse quotidienne depuis son rétablissement de Covid-19.

M. Johnson, lors de sa première conférence de presse décisive depuis qu’il a contracté un coronavirus, a déclaré qu’il présenterait la semaine prochaine un plan pour sortir le pays de son verrouillage. Mais il a insisté sur le fait qu’il ne risquerait pas que la Grande-Bretagne assouplisse ses restrictions trop tôt et risque un deuxième pic.

Le Premier ministre a déclaré que c’était comme si le pays traversait « un énorme tunnel alpin » et que « nous pouvons voir la lumière du soleil et les pâturages devant nous ». Il a ajouté: « Il est vital que nous ne perdions pas le contrôle et que nous nous enfoncions directement dans une deuxième montagne encore plus grande. »

M. Johnson a déclaré que le gouvernement serait guidé dans sa politique par le nombre R – la mesure du nombre de personnes infectées en moyenne par chaque victime de coronavirus. Il a déclaré que le nombre était désormais inférieur à un, ce qui signifiait que la maladie était en baisse.

Patrick Vallance, conseiller scientifique en chef, a déclaré que le taux de R était désormais compris entre 0,6-0,9. Il a dit qu’il était plus élevé à certains endroits, plus faible à d’autres, mais en moyenne, il était inférieur à un dans tout le pays.

Le Royaume-Uni a effectué 81 611 tests pour Covid-19 mercredi, avant la date butoir d’aujourd’hui, qui est de 100 000 par jour. Le taux de tests quotidiens a fortement augmenté par rapport à la veille, lorsque 52 429 tests ont été effectués.

Le nombre de morts dans le pays est passé à 26 711 le deuxième jour des chiffres qui incluent tous les décès après un test positif pour Covid-19.

Au total, 171 253 personnes ont été testées positives pour le coronavirus au Royaume-Uni, dont 6 032 hier.

Peter Wells 30/04/2020, 15:52:53 PM

Pemex annonce une perte nette plus importante au premier trimestre en raison de la faiblesse du peso

Jude Webber à Mexico

La compagnie pétrolière d’État mexicaine Pemex a annoncé des résultats écrasés par la chute du peso qui l’a poussé à une perte nette profonde au premier trimestre.

Pemex a enregistré une perte nette de 562,2 milliards de pesos (23,6 milliards de dollars) au premier trimestre, contre une perte de 169,8 milliards de pesos au quatrième trimestre et une variation par rapport au bénéfice de 35,7 milliards de pesos au premier trimestre de l’année dernière.

Pemex a souligné une augmentation de 2,8% de la production de brut, à 1,759 million de barils par jour. Cependant, la production de ses six raffineries a chuté de 2,7% pour s’établir à 542 000 b / j. .

Pemex a déclaré avoir exporté 66 000 b / j de moins au premier trimestre pour se concentrer sur le raffinage domestique. Les exportations se sont élevées à 1,166 million de b / j, selon le communiqué.

Avant que la perte de change de 469,2 milliards de pesos au premier trimestre, exacerbée par les fluctuations des marchés des changes du coronavirus, ne s’installe, Pemex a réalisé un bénéfice d’exploitation de 30,2 milliards de pesos. C’était en hausse par rapport à une perte de 112,2 milliards au quatrième trimestre mais à la moitié du bénéfice de 60,7 milliards de pesos au premier trimestre de l’année dernière.

Pemex a déclaré que le plongeon du peso n’avait pas d’incidence sur les flux de trésorerie pour l’entreprise, mais avait augmenté la valeur de sa dette de 24,2% par rapport à la fin de 2019. La dette totale à la fin du premier trimestre était de 104,8 milliards de dollars, a-t-il déclaré.

L’Ebitda était de 53 milliards de pesos, contre 62,2 milliards au quatrième trimestre, ce qui donne une marge d’Ebitda de 18,7% contre 21,7 au cours des trois mois précédents.

« Au premier trimestre, Petróleos Mexicanos continue de générer de la valeur, en contribuant 177,722 milliards de pesos au gouvernement fédéral via des contributions fiscales pour soutenir les dépenses publiques du Mexique », a-t-il déclaré.

Mamta Badkar 30/04/2020, 15:49:21

Tfl suggère des heures de travail étalées alors que Londres cherche à faciliter le verrouillage

Bethan Staton à Londres

Les Londoniens pourraient être encouragés à réorganiser leurs heures de travail et leurs habitudes de transport pour éviter de submerger le système de transport, alors que les autorités envisagent comment assouplir les mesures de verrouillage dans la capitale, a déclaré jeudi Transport for London.

TfL répondait aux questions soulevées par un rapport divulgué du groupe de coordination stratégique de Londres qui a déclaré que des règles de distanciation sociale exigeant que les gens se tiennent à deux mètres l’un de l’autre pendant leurs déplacements réduiraient probablement la capacité du réseau souterrain de Londres à environ 15%.

Le réseau a déclaré qu’il travaillait actuellement avec le gouvernement pour comprendre comment les mesures de verrouillage, qui, depuis la mi-mars, réservent les transports publics aux travailleurs essentiels, seront levées et quelles mesures de distanciation sociale seront mises en place.

« Cela dictera combien de personnes peuvent être transportées en toute sécurité sur nos services et dans quelle mesure des mesures d’atténuation, comme le re-chronométrage des trajets pour répartir la demande hors des heures de pointe et la gestion différente des stations, seront nécessaires », a déclaré TfL.

Les changements à long terme pourraient inclure des heures de début de travail stupéfiantes selon le secteur, des changements d’horaires scolaires et davantage de travail à domicile, ainsi qu’une augmentation de la marche et du vélo.

Joshua Oliver 30/04/2020, 15:26:15

Les services de renseignement américains disent que Covid-19 n’est pas d’origine humaine

Katrina Manson à Washington

La communauté du renseignement américaine a déclaré qu’elle était d’accord avec le large consensus scientifique selon lequel le coronavirus n’était ni d’origine humaine ni génétiquement modifié.

L’évaluation, rendue publique dans une rare déclaration, vient au milieu des craintes que les enquêtes de la communauté du renseignement sur l’origine du coronavirus risquent d’être politisées, car l’administration Trump a accusé à plusieurs reprises la Chine de dissimuler les origines de la maladie et de refuser de partager des informations avec le NOUS.

Le communiqué, publié par le bureau du directeur du renseignement national, a déclaré que la communauté du renseignement « augmentait les ressources » mais travaillait toujours pour déterminer si l’épidémie « a commencé par le contact avec des animaux infectés ou si elle était le résultat d’un accident survenu dans un laboratoire de Wuhan « .

Le secrétaire d’État américain Mike Pompeo, ancien directeur de la CIA, a accusé la Chine de détruire des échantillons de virus, de ne pas avoir autorisé l’accès à l’Institut de virologie de Wuhan, qui étudiait les coronavirus de chauve-souris, et a évoqué la possibilité d’une libération accidentelle en laboratoire.

Mamta Badkar 30/04/2020, 15:14:11 PM

Satya Nadella: la crise nécessite une réponse numérique coordonnée

Les préoccupations les plus profondes de la société se fondent actuellement sur deux questions liées: comment protéger la santé publique et comment promouvoir une reprise économique inclusive ? Une troisième question devient plus importante parce que l’utilisation intensive de la technologie est devenue si centrale pour les deux autres: comment préserver la confidentialité et la cybersécurité nécessaires à une informatique fiable ?

Les deux derniers mois ont vu une progression de la numérisation qui prendrait normalement deux ans, générée par les exigences du travail à distance et le besoin de données et d’intelligence précises.

Ni le secteur public ni le secteur privé ne peuvent à eux seuls apporter les réponses. Les défis auxquels nous sommes confrontés exigent une alliance sans précédent entre les entreprises et le gouvernement. Trop souvent, nous célébrons l’idéal d’un franc-tireur travaillant seul dans un garage pour résoudre tous nos problèmes difficiles. Nous avons besoin de ces francs-tireurs, mais nous avons également besoin de combinaisons plus coordonnées de gouvernement et d’industrie qui réagissent et innovent. C’est vrai pour cette pandémie et c’est vrai pour le réchauffement climatique, le sans-abrisme et d’autres préoccupations urgentes.

Matthew Rocco 30/04/2020, 14:27:23

McDonald’s envisage de soulager davantage les franchisés en difficulté

Alistair Grey

McDonald’s a accordé un soulagement de 1 milliard de dollars à ses franchisés et évalue la santé financière de ceux qui sont particulièrement en difficulté alors qu’ils sont aux prises avec une forte baisse des ventes lors de la fermeture du coronavirus.

La chaîne de restauration rapide, qui compte plus de 38000 points de vente dans le monde, dont plus de 90% d’entre eux sont franchisés, a déclaré qu’elle avait différé le paiement des loyers et des redevances pour mars et avril et examinait l’opportunité de fournir une assistance supplémentaire aux plus touchés.

Lors d’un appel avec des analystes de Wall Street pour présenter ses résultats trimestriels, Kevin Ozan, directeur financier, a également déclaré que McDonald’s cherchait à « prioriser » son dividende, qu’il a augmenté chaque année depuis 1976, alors que ses revenus subissaient des pressions lors de la pandémie. .

Aux États-Unis, où les points de vente de McDonald’s restent ouverts à la circulation, les ventes à périmètre constant ont baissé de 13% en mars et devraient chuter d’environ 20% ce mois-ci.

Les opérations à l’étranger ont été plus durement touchées, les points de vente ayant été obligés de fermer entièrement dans plusieurs pays. Les ventes de la division « internationale » de McDonald’s – les marchés d’outre-mer où elle exploite ses restaurants, notamment le Royaume-Uni, la France et l’Italie – ont chuté de 35% en mars et devraient chuter de 70% ce mois-ci.

« Beaucoup de marchés entièrement fermés commencent à peine à rouvrir », a déclaré M. Ozan.

Les actions de McDonald’s ont baissé de 2,3% lors des négociations matinales à New York.

Myles McCormick 30/04/2020, 14:11:01

Airbus convertit des avions de passagers pour transporter du fret

Airbus propose de convertir les avions de passagers en navires purement porteurs de fret alors que les compagnies aériennes cherchent à s’adapter à l’effondrement du trafic provoqué par la pandémie de coronavirus.

L’avionneur a déclaré qu’il modifierait les avions gros porteurs A330 et A350 afin que les transporteurs puissent les utiliser pour transporter des marchandises dans le monde entier dans le but de compenser certains des dommages causés par la plus grande crise jamais rencontrée par le secteur.

Cette décision intervient un jour après que le directeur général d’Airbus, Guillaume Faury, a déclaré que l’industrie devrait apprendre à « coexister » avec le virus.

Les modifications impliquent l’éviscération des plans des sièges et des systèmes de divertissement en vol, et leur remplacement à la place par des palettes de chargement.

Airbus a déclaré que cette décision aiderait les compagnies aériennes à maintenir les avions en vol et à atténuer la pénurie mondiale de capacité de « fret du ventre », où les avions de passagers transportent une partie du fret en soute, qui est un sous-produit de l’échouement généralisé.

Comme son rival Boeing, Airbus a été durement touché par la pandémie. Il a réduit les taux de production d’un tiers et d’autres réductions devraient suivre, avec des milliers de pertes d’emplois attendues. Plus tôt cette semaine, M. Faury a averti le personnel que la survie de l’entreprise pourrait être en jeu.

Philip Georgiadis 30/04/2020, 14:04:50

La Fed élargit son éligibilité au programme de soutien aux entreprises de 600 milliards de dollars

James Politi à Washington et Colby Smith à New York

La Réserve fédérale a décidé d’élargir l’admissibilité à un nouveau plan de prêt de 600 milliards de dollars conçu pour aider les entreprises de taille moyenne de la « rue principale » à accéder à la liquidité pendant la pandémie de coronavirus, car les critères d’origine étaient trop limités.

La banque centrale américaine permettra désormais aux grandes et aux petites entreprises – et aux emprunteurs plus risqués – d’accéder au programme par rapport à ses précédentes orientations concernant le plan.

La Fed a déclaré que les entreprises comptant jusqu’à 15 000 employés ou dont les revenus annuels pouvaient atteindre 5 milliards de dollars sont désormais éligibles au programme. Initialement, la Fed a annoncé qu’elle achèterait jusqu’à 600 milliards de dollars de prêts d’une durée maximale de quatre ans pour les entreprises ne comptant pas plus de 10 000 employés ou ayant des revenus de 2,5 milliards de dollars ou moins. La banque centrale a également abaissé la taille minimale du prêt pour deux de ses projets, ramenant le montant à 500 000 $, contre 1 million de dollars.

La banque centrale a également dévoilé une troisième option de prêt pour mieux accompagner les emprunteurs plus risqués.

Les changements sont intervenus après que la Fed a reçu plus de 2 200 lettres de particuliers, d’entreprises et d’organisations à but non lucratif, ce qui a signalé des domaines d’amélioration potentiels pour garantir son efficacité. La banque centrale a ajouté qu’elle évaluait « une approche distincte » pour répondre aux « besoins uniques » des groupes à but non lucratif.

Charlotte Middlehurst 30/04/2020, 14:01:18 PM

Les bénéfices de Reliance souffrent de la baisse de la demande de pétrole

Benjamin Parkin à New Delhi

Reliance Industries, le conglomérat indien du pétrole vers les télécommunications, a annoncé que ses bénéfices avaient chuté de près de 40% au cours du dernier trimestre, son activité principale de raffinage ayant été frappée par une « destruction de la demande sans précédent ».

Reliance, détenue par l’homme le plus riche de l’Inde, Mukesh Ambani, a annoncé la semaine dernière qu’elle avait obtenu un investissement de 5,7 milliards de dollars de Facebook pour une participation de 10% dans son entreprise de télécommunications à croissance rapide Jio. La société possède également le plus grand commerce de détail en Inde.

Mais la croissance de Jio a été compensée par les tensions sur les marchés mondiaux du pétrole. Dans ses résultats pour le trimestre terminé en mars, Reliance a indiqué que son bénéfice net avait chuté de 37% à Rs65 milliards (870 millions de dollars) par rapport à la même période un an plus tôt.

La société a perdu de l’argent sur ses stocks de pétrole en raison de la baisse des prix, la demande pour ses produits s’effondrant également alors que l’Inde est entrée en lock-out pour arrêter la propagation du coronavirus en mars.

Joshua Oliver 30/04/2020, 13:56:17 PM

Greggs annule la réouverture du procès, craignant trop de clients

Chris Tighe à Newcastle

Greggs, le détaillant de boulangerie britannique, a abandonné son plan de rouvrir 20 magasins dans la région de Newcastle dans un « essai contrôlé » au début de la semaine prochaine, affirmant qu’il craint qu’un « nombre excessif de clients » pourrait affecter sa capacité à tester la distance sociale liée aux coronavirus mesures de sécurité.

Le chef de la direction, Roger Whiteside, a déclaré que Greggs exploiterait maintenant l’essai « à huis clos uniquement » avec des clients sans rendez-vous invités « uniquement lorsque nous pouvons être sûrs de le faire de la manière contrôlée que nous voulions ». Dans un e-mail adressé au personnel publié sur le site Web de la société, M. Whiteside a déclaré: « Nous n’avons jamais eu l’intention d’attirer des niveaux élevés de clients dans ces magasins d’essai. »

Greggs, qui emploie 25 000 personnes, a mis en disponibilité tout son personnel de vente au détail. Les 20 magasins d’essai, dotés de bénévoles, imposeront une distanciation sociale pour les travailleurs ainsi que pour les clients. Les employés recevront un EPI comprenant des gants et des visières. Aucune date révisée pour la date à laquelle Greggs commencera à servir le public n’a été donnée.

Harry Dempsey 30/04/2020, 13:24:20

Lancement du nouveau tournoi de cricket The Hundred reporté

Samuel Agini à Londres et Benjamin Parkin à Mumbai

L’Angleterre et le Pays de Galles Cricket Board a décidé de reporter le lancement d’une nouvelle compétition qui devait aider à raviver l’intérêt pour le sport avec un gameplay plus rapide et plus accessible.

Le Cent a été reporté à l’été 2021, a annoncé jeudi la BCE, qui devait initialement organiser son tournoi inaugural en juillet.

La décision intervient après que la semaine dernière, l’organe directeur a prolongé la suspension de la saison de cricket jusqu’à au moins fin juin.

Retarder le lancement du nouveau tournoi de 100 balles est un coup dur pour les ambitions de la BCE d’attirer une nouvelle génération de fans et de joueurs du jeu. Les mesures de distanciation sociale, les restrictions de voyage et la nécessité d’organiser des événements en l’absence de fans étaient parmi les raisons du retard mis en évidence par la BCE.

« Alors que nous sortons des retombées de Covid-19, le besoin de The Hundred sera encore plus grand », a déclaré Tom Harrison, directeur général de la BCE. « Notre survie en tant que jeu, à long terme, dépendra de notre la capacité de récupérer financièrement et de poursuivre notre ambition de s’appuyer sur la base grandissante de fans de cricket. Ce besoin n’a pas disparu de toute façon, il est maintenant plus critique. « 

M. Harrison a ajouté que les centaines aideraient également à générer des millions de livres de revenus à travers le jeu.

S’exprimant avant la confirmation du retard, Daniel Gidney, directeur général du Lancashire Cricket Club, qui sera représenté par Manchester Originals dans le nouveau tournoi, a déclaré:

The Hundred est très important pour le Royaume-Uni, pour le cricket mondial. C’est quelque chose de nouveau, quelque chose de frais, en particulier pour un public plus jeune et plus diversifié … Vous ne pouvez lancer qu’une seule fois, vous ne pouvez pas lancer un tournoi deux fois.

Harry Dempsey 30/04/2020, 13:09:27

Downing Street laisse entendre que le verrouillage du Royaume-Uni pourrait être prolongé jusqu’en juin

Laura Hughes à Londres

Downing Street a laissé entendre que le verrouillage pourrait être prolongé jusqu’en juin, car il a exhorté le public à être « réaliste » quant aux conséquences des mesures d’assouplissement.

Un porte-parole a averti jeudi que « la pire chose que nous puissions faire est de relâcher les mesures de distanciation sociale trop tôt » et de permettre au virus de se propager de manière exponentielle.

Interrogé sur la question de savoir si le verrouillage pourrait être prolongé jusqu’en juin, un porte-parole a déclaré: « Je pense que nous devrons attendre que l’examen ait lieu et je ne pense pas qu’il soit sage pour moi de devancer cela. »

Ce que vous avez évidemment entendu de Chris Whitty, c’est qu’il s’agit d’une maladie qui va exister pendant un temps considérable – il a dit que nous devons être réalistes, nous allons devoir faire beaucoup de choses pour longue période de temps … Ne préjugons pas de la révision mais, comme le Premier ministre lui-même l’a dit, la pire chose que nous puissions faire est de relâcher trop tôt les mesures de distanciation sociale et de gâcher tous les progrès réalisés grâce à le travail acharné et le sacrifice du public britannique.

N ° 10 a ajouté que les ministres « travaillaient dur » pour effectuer 100 000 tests de coronavirus d’ici la fin de la journée.

« L’objectif est de 100 000 tests aujourd’hui et le secrétaire à la Santé et toute son équipe travaillent dur pour l’atteindre », a déclaré le porte-parole.

À la veille de l’échéance de jeudi, le gouvernement n’était encore qu’à mi-chemin de la réalisation de l’objectif. Mercredi, la capacité journalière s’élevait à 73 000, mais seulement 52 429 tests avaient été effectués.

Mamta Badkar 30/04/2020, 12:47:26 PM

Les dépenses de consommation chutent le plus en record en mars

Les dépenses personnelles américaines en mars ont plongé le plus sur des records remontant à plus de six décennies, les données de jeudi ont montré que les blocages du cornavirus ont poussé les Américains à réduire leur consommation.

Les dépenses de consommation personnelle, ou dépenses des ménages, ont chuté de 7,5% en mars par rapport au mois précédent, a indiqué le département du Commerce. Il s’agit de la baisse mensuelle la plus prononcée depuis 1959 et par rapport aux prévisions des économistes d’une baisse de 5%.

Cela s’est produit alors que les revenus avaient baissé de 2% en glissement mensuel en mars par rapport au mois précédent, a déclaré le département du Commerce. Cela par rapport aux attentes des économistes d’une baisse de 1,5%.

Myles McCormick 30/04/2020, 12:46:04 PM

Lagarde affirme que l’ampleur de la contraction de la zone euro « sans précédent en temps de paix »

Christine Lagarde, la présidente de la Banque centrale européenne, a déclaré que la rapidité et l’ampleur de l’effondrement de la production économique que connaît actuellement la zone euro était « sans précédent en temps de paix ».

S’exprimant après que la BCE a lancé une nouvelle impulsion pour prêter aux banques à des taux ultra bas, Mme Lagarde a déclaré:

Les mesures visant à contenir la propagation du coronavirus Covid-19 ont largement interrompu l’activité économique dans tous les pays de la zone euro et dans l’ensemble du groupe.

Mme Lagarde a déclaré que la modélisation suggérait que le PIB de la zone euro chuterait de 5 à 12% cette année et que, alors que les pays commençaient à rouvrir, la vitesse et l’ampleur de la reprise restaient très incertaines.

Ses commentaires interviennent après que des données plus tôt jeudi ont montré que l’économie de la zone euro avait reculé au rythme le plus rapide jamais enregistré au premier trimestre.

Philip Georgiadis 30/04/2020, 12:45:22 PM

Le G7 vise une réponse coordonnée lorsque les blocages sont levés

James Politi à Washington

Les ministres des Finances du G7 ont discuté des « stratégies pour accélérer l’activité économique une fois que nos économies commenceront à rouvrir » lors d’un appel organisé jeudi matin, a déclaré le département américain du Trésor.

La lecture de l’appel organisé par Steven Mnuchin, le secrétaire américain au Trésor, indique une tentative des économies avancées de coordonner les politiques alors que les pays sortent du pire de l’épidémie de coronavirus et commencent à lever les restrictions après les fermetures continues qui ont déjà conduit à de fortes contractions en sortie.

Les États-Unis ont la direction tournante du G7 cette année. « Comme indiqué par les dirigeants du G7, les ministères des Finances du G7 sont en contact régulier pour coordonner les actions opportunes et efficaces en réponse aux retombées économiques de la pandémie de Covid-19 », a déclaré le Trésor américain dans un communiqué.

Les ministres des finances ont discuté des réponses économiques nationales et internationales en cours, des stratégies pour accélérer l’activité économique une fois que nos économies commenceront à rouvrir, conformément aux mesures de santé et de sécurité nécessaires.

De plus, les ministres des finances ont semblé faire pression pour augmenter les investissements transfrontaliers au sein du groupe. « Les ministres des finances ont également discuté de l’importance des investissements directs étrangers et de l’utilisation de mécanismes de filtrage des investissements pour identifier les risques pour la sécurité nationale », a déclaré le Trésor américain.

Charlotte Middlehurst 30/04/2020, 12:44:10 PM

Le gouvernement britannique accusé d’enterrer de mauvaises nouvelles sur l’apprentissage

Jonathan Moules, correspondant éducation commerciale

Les fournisseurs d’apprentissage ont accusé le gouvernement britannique d’essayer d’enterrer de mauvaises nouvelles après que le ministère de l’Éducation a annoncé qu’il annulait les mises à jour mensuelles sur le nombre de personnes commençant des programmes de formation en milieu de travail.

Les derniers chiffres, publiés jeudi, montrent qu’au cours de la période de six mois se terminant en janvier, le nombre de nouveaux apprentis a chuté de 12,1% chez les moins de 19 ans, passant à 58 100 par rapport à l’année précédente.

Les chiffres futurs, qui couvriront la période de verrouillage du coronavirus, devraient être bien pires, car les entreprises ont du mal à maintenir le nombre d’employés existants et encore moins à embaucher de nouvelles recrues.

Le nombre d’apprentis a chuté après que le gouvernement a introduit un nouveau système de financement pour la formation en milieu de travail, en utilisant un prélèvement sur les employeurs dont la masse salariale est supérieure à 3 millions de livres sterling, soit 0,5% de leur masse salariale annuelle.

Il y a eu 26 pour cent de début d’apprentissage en moins au cours de la première année suivant l’introduction du prélèvement en avril 2017 par rapport à la même période entre 2015-2016. Les chiffres ont à peine repris depuis.

La décision de remplacer les statistiques mensuelles par des mises à jour moins fréquentes a été condamnée par les prestataires de formation en apprentissage et les députés de l’opposition.

« J’ai du mal à comprendre quelle est l’énorme tâche bureaucratique qui les empêche de continuer à publier ces données tous les mois », a déclaré Toby Perkins, ministre de l’Éducation fantôme.

« De nouveaux débuts d’apprentissage tombent d’une falaise et plus le gouvernement hésite sur les directives de Covid-19, plus cela va empirer », a déclaré Mark Dawe, directeur général de l’Association of Employment and Learning Providers.

Un porte-parole du ministère de l’Éducation a déclaré que l’annulation des chiffres mensuels était une « mesure temporaire » en réponse à la pandémie de coronavirus.

« Nous continuerons à publier les statistiques de titre, y compris sur les débuts d’apprentissage, mais pas aux dates annoncées précédemment », a ajouté le porte-parole.

Pendant cette période, nous continuerons de publier les communiqués de fin d’année comme d’habitude, ce qui permettra d’avoir une image plus complète de la période affectée par la pandémie.

Joshua Oliver 30/04/2020, 12:40:25 PM

Les ventes de Kellogg augmentent alors que les consommateurs se tournent vers les céréales

Alistair Grey

Une forte augmentation de la demande de céréales pour le petit-déjeuner dans le cadre de la fermeture du coronavirus a fait bondir les ventes chez Kellogg, fabricant de Special K, Rice Crispies et All-Bran.

Kellogg a estimé que plus de la moitié de la hausse de 8% des ventes de produits biologiques enregistrée au cours des trois mois se terminant fin mars était attribuable au changement de comportement des consommateurs pendant la pandémie.

La demande a considérablement augmenté en mars, et Kellogg a déclaré que la consommation s’était accélérée dans ses principales catégories et marques, qui incluent également les Pop-Tarts, les Froot Loops et les Apple Jacks. La société a affiché un bénéfice net de 347 millions de dollars, en hausse par rapport à 282 millions de dollars l’an dernier, sur un chiffre d’affaires de 3,4 milliards de dollars.

Charlotte Middlehurst 30/04/2020, 12:39:32 PM

Amériques: ce que vous auriez pu manquer

Pour nos lecteurs qui viennent de se connecter

Actions bancaires européennes a chuté à la suite de la décision de la Banque centrale européenne de renforcer le système financier de la région, entraînant les marchés boursiers à leurs plus bas de la journée. La BCE a lancé un taux d’emprunt ultra-bas de moins 1%, dans le but de renforcer l’accès du système bancaire européen aux fonds et d’éviter un tarissement du crédit.

Twitter a rejoint Google et Facebook en affichant une performance résiliente en mars, avec des revenus du premier trimestre augmentant de 3% en glissement annuel à 808 millions de dollars, alors que l’utilisation de la plate-forme de médias sociaux augmentait pendant la pandémie.

L’économie du Mexique le premier trimestre a diminué de 1,6%, signalant ce que les analystes prévoyaient être la récession la plus brutale en un siècle pour la deuxième économie d’Amérique latine.

Compagnies pétrolières a annoncé 1,6 million de barils par jour de fermetures de production depuis le mois dernier, lorsque les prix du brut ont chuté de plus de 50 dollars le baril, signe précoce de la dévastation à venir.

L’économie de la zone euro a plongé dans sa plus forte contraction jamais enregistrée alors que les pays membres ont fermé leurs portes pour contenir la pandémie. Eurozone GDP fell 3.8 per cent in the first quarter with many countries reporting record contractions.

Harry Dempsey 4/30/2020, 12:38:34 PM

McDonald’s in Singapore chooses to extend its closure indefinitely

Stefania Palma in Singapore

McDonald’s has extended the closure of its Singapore operations indefinitely after suspending business activity earlier this month as per government directives.

Singapore’s health ministry earlier this month directed McDonald’s to suspend all operations after seven workers infected with coronavirus had worked at nine different outlets. The company at the time said it was following the ministry’s preventive instructions with safety as a « top priority ».

The health ministry said it told McDonald’s it could resume operations on May 4 if no new coronavirus cases had emerged among its staff up to May 3. « Upon resuming operations, McDonald’s will have to ensure they implement health and safe distancing measures at all outlets, » it added.

McDonald’s said that all seven employees were recovering and that no other staff had tested positive.

Competitors such as Burger King or KFC remain open for take out and delivery services under Singapore’s near total lockdown, which will run to June 1 and under which dining in is prohibited.

Mamta Badkar 4/30/2020, 12:34:11 PM

US jobless claims hit 30m on cornavirus lockdowns

Demetri Sevastopulo in Washington and Mamta Badkar in New York

More than 3.8m Americans filed new unemployment benefit claims last week, bringing the six-week total since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic to nearly 30m, as companies struggle with lockdowns and feeble consumer demand.

The labour department on Thursday said the number of initial claims had fallen from 4.44m the previous week. But the figure underscored the collapse in the economy sparked as states try to curb the spread of the virus by implementing stay-at-home orders across the US and companies lay off, or furlough, their workers in response.

The growing numbers of unemployed came one day after the government said the economy had shrunk at an annualised 4.8 per cent in the first three months of the year, the sharpest fall since the end of 2008. Illustrating the harsh jobs landscape, Boeing on Wednesday said it would cut its 160,000-strong workforce by 10 per cent.

Kevin Hassett, a White House economic adviser, this week said the unemployment rate would rise steeply to as much as 20 per cent by June, which would be the highest figure since the Great Depression nine decades ago.

The latest jobless report comes as states across the country attempt to balance health and economic risks as they debate when they should start re-opening their economies.

Mamta Badkar 4/30/2020, 12:23:35 PM

Tapestry to start reopening North American stores in May

Tapestry, the company behind Coach and Kate Spade said it will begin reopening stores in North America in May as it reported quarterly sales fell by a fifth and warned that « consumer behaviours are changing ».

The luxury handbag and accessories company said 90 per cent of its stores were either closed or operating on reduced hours during its fiscal third quarter ending March 28. Tapestry said beginning on May 1, the company will reopen about 40 stores in North America for contactless curbside or storefront pickup service. The company has already reopened five locations in Germany and Austria and is planning a phased reopening in Europe.

Earlier this month, Tapestry said it would cut 2,100 part time jobs effective April 25 and expected to furlough more in-store staff in North America if stores didn’t re-open by the end of May. On Thursday, the company announced it « is taking additional actions to further streamline its organisation, including reductions in its corporate and retail workforce », which will result in pre-tax charges of about $55m to $70m, primarily related to cash severance costs, which will be reflected in the beginning of the fourth quarter.

Net sales fell nearly 20 per cent from a year ago to $1.07bn. The company swung to a net loss of $677m or $2.45 a share, from a profit of $117m or 40 cents a share in the year ago quarter.

« We entered the calendar year with strong underlying momentum. As the novel coronavirus expanded across the globe, our results materially weakened, » chief executive Jide Zeitlin, said.

Looking ahead however, the company cautioned that « the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic transcends near-term results » and said « consumer behaviours are changing ».

Philip Georgiadis 4/30/2020, 12:08:17 PM

European stocks fall following ECB

European banking stocks fell in the aftermath of the European Central Bank’s move to bolster the region’s financial system, dragging stock markets to their lows of the day.

The regional benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 index was 1 per cent lower, with the sector tracking the banking industry accelerating losses and down more than 4 per cent.

Among individual lenders, Société Générale fell 9 per cent, having already been under pressure following weak results, while Credit Agricole lost 7 per cent and Commerzbank was 2.5 per cent down.

The central bank will inject money into the financial system by lending at minus 1 per cent to banks. It held rates at minus 0.5 per cent and stuck to its plans to buy more than €1tn of assets this year.

The euro was little changed, down 0.1 per cent against the US dollar.

Joshua Oliver 4/30/2020, 12:08:03 PM

American Airlines reports $2.2bn loss

American Airlines reported a $2

Analysts polled by FactSet had predicted a net loss of just $406m, down from last year’s first quarter net income of $185m. Instead, earnings per share of $0.41 in the first quarter of 2019 fell to a loss per share of $5.26. Operating revenue tumbled nearly 21 per cent to $7.7bn. The airline said its cash burn should decline to $50m per day for the month of June.

The losses for the largest US airline come as Covid-19 has hit the travel industry particularly hard, with United, Delta and Southwest airlines all reporting quarterly losses.

“Never before has our airline, or our industry, faced such a significant challenge,” said chief executive Doug Parker. “We have moved quickly and aggressively to reduce our costs and bolster our liquidity.”

Mr Parker said in a memo that almost 39,000 employees had chosen to take early retirement, paid leave or reduce their work hours. The airline also plans to retire older, less fuel-efficient aircraft this quarter.

American is slated to receive about $10.6bn from the US Treasury, including $5.8bn to support payroll and $4.8bn in collateral-backed loans. The airline said it will end the second quarter with $11bn in liquidity.

Myles McCormick 4/30/2020, 12:03:56 PM

UK fashion chains Oasis and Warehouse collapse

Patricia Nilsson in London

Over 1,800 employees at high street chains Oasis and Warehouse will lose their jobs, after administrators failed to find another buyer for the business.

The fashion group operating the brands has sold some stock and intellectual property to retail restructuring group Hilco Capital, but its 92 stores across the UK will close.

“Covid-19 has presented extraordinary challenges which have devastated the retail industry, » said Rob Harding, joint administrator at Deloitte.

It is with great sadness that we have to announce a sale of the business has not been possible and that we are announcing so many redundancies today.

Oasis, which includes Warehouse, is owned by Kaupthing, the “bad bank” running off the assets acquired by Icelandic banks and other investors before the global financial crisis. Last year, it sold the Karen Millen and Coast brands to Boohoo, the online retailer, via a “pre-pack” administration.

Mamta Badkar 4/30/2020, 12:03:55 PM

ConocoPhillips announces second output cut in under two weeks

Derek Brower in London

ConocoPhillips, the US oil producer, on Thursday announced its second cut to production in less than two weeks, saying its output in June would drop by 4603m b/d and greater than the amount most Opec countries pledged to remove in the cartel’s historic supply deal earlier this month.

The announcement came as the US’s largest independent oil producer by market capitalisation reported a $1.7bn loss for the first quarter of 2020, compared with $1.8bn earnings a year earlier. Falling crude prices triggered by the collapse in oil demand as economies locked down to prevent the spread of the coronavirus hit the company, including lowering the value of its near-17 per cent stake in Cenovus Energy, the Canadian oil sands producers.

The company, with a presence across North America’s big oil-producing regions, said it would voluntarily curtail 265,000 b/d in May, including 100,000 b/d from its Surmont oil sands project in Canada. In June, the cuts would increase to 460,000 b/d, with 260,000 b/d of cuts to be made in the Lower 48 and the rest in Canada and Alaska. The output reductions in June are more than double the volume announced by Conoco two weeks ago.

“Future voluntary curtailment decisions across our areas of operations will be made on a month-by-month basis,” the company said, adding that it expected “some level of additional curtailments from infrastructure constraints, actions from partner-operated assets or government mandates”. Authorities in Texas and North Dakota are considering imposing cuts on producers in their states.

While the company’s first-quarter loss exceeded analysts’ expectations, adjusted earnings of $500m yielded earnings per share of $0.45, more than double the consensus forecast. Cash from operations of $1.6bn was slightly beneath expectations. The company kept its dividend of $0.42 per share. Total distributions to shareholders, including $700m in share buybacks, amounted to $1.2bn.

Charlotte Middlehurst 4/30/2020, 12:01:07 PM

Most Britons think government was ‘too late’ to act, says survey

As many as two-thirds of people in the UK believe the government has acted too slowly in responding to coronavirus, according to a poll that came as ministers prepared their guidance on how the lockdown might be safely lifted.

Over 65 per cent of respondents said they thought Westminster had not moved fast enough to implement the shutdown measures announced on March 23, said the Ipsos Mori survey, as the national lockdown dragged into its sixth week.

These measures included orders for individuals to stay at home, except for exercise, medical trips, essential shopping and work, forcing large parts of the UK economy to close.

Just 2 per cent of respondents said the strict measures had come too soon, while 26 per cent believed the government had got the timing right.

This week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the public that the infection rate of the virus is being driven down, but any easing of restrictions will be gradual to avoid the health and economic risks of a second big peak.

Myles McCormick 4/30/2020, 11:56:55 AM

Altria withdraws guidance and suspends share buybacks

Altria, the tobacco group behind Marlboro cigarettes, has become the latest company to scrap its full-year earnings guidance and halt share buybacks as the coronavirus pandemic leaves it unsure of how demand will pan out for the year.

The cigarette maker withdrew its outlook for 2020 and also ditched targets for earnings growth in the coming years, pointing to “the uncertainties related to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic”.

It also said that in light of the pandemic it would rescind a $1bn share repurchase programme that had a balance of $500m remaining, but retained plans to pay a dividend.

Altria reported a 13 per cent rise in revenue during the first quarter of the year to $6.3bn, driven by a jump in demand and prices of cigarettes. Net earnings were up 39 per cent at $1.5bn.

Adam Samson 4/30/2020, 11:56:11 AM

ECB seeks to loosen lending conditions with fresh measures

Martin Arnold in Frankfurt

The European Central Bank has launched a fresh push to lend to banks at ultra-low rates, after data published earlier on Thursday showed that the eurozone’s economy shrank by the fastest rate on record in the first quarter.

In a move to bolster the European banking system’s access to funds and to avoid a drying up of credit, the ECB said it would lend money at minus 1 per cent to banks and it launched a fresh round of unconditional repurchase operations to inject liquidity into the financial system.

The ECB kept its main deposit rate on hold at an all-time low of minus 0.5 per cent and stuck to its plans to buy more than €1tn of assets this year to shore up financial markets and keep borrowing costs low for households, businesses and governments.

La décision fait suite à une décision similaire prise par la Réserve fédérale américaine mercredi, et indique que les principales banques centrales ont décidé de faire une pause et de faire le point sur les nombreuses mesures de politique monétaire ultra-lâches qu’elles ont lancées en réponse à la crise des coronavirus.

Harry Dempsey 4/30/2020, 11:54:10 AM

Coors Light owner sinks to a loss as sales drop 8.4 per cent

Molson Coors, the brewer behind Coors Light and Carling, posted an 8.4 per cent decline in revenue in the first quarter, as the shutdown of bars and pubs reduced almost a quarter of its sales to near-zero.

The company said that it does not expect sales of its drinks in shops to fully offset the loss from on-site consumption in restaurants and bars, despite performing strongly as consumers stocked up their pantries.

The North American brewer said that it made a GAAP net loss of $117m in the first three months of the year, adding that the board was weighing up whether to suspend, lower or temporarily eliminate its dividend.

It expects negative trends in volume, net sales and mix to continue at least through the end of the year and negative trends for drinking in bars to continue as long as social distancing continues to be practised.

Molson Coors chief executive Gavin Hattersley said that: “Like everyone else, the full impact and what our new normal looks like going forward is still uncertain, but coronavirus has had, and will have, a material impact on our business.”

Mamta Badkar 4/30/2020, 11:46:22 AM

Kraft Heinz posts biggest sales growth since group’s creation in 2015

Alistair Gray

Kraft Heinz has produced its biggest rise in quarterly sales since the mega-deal that created it, after consumers who have turned away from its processed foods in favour of fresher and healthier alternatives turned back to its products during the pandemic.

The group behind Kraft macaroni and cheese, Oscar Mayer meats and Heinz ketchup has long been grappling with changing customer tastes and its deteriorating finances were highlighted earlier this year when its credit rating was downgraded to junk status.

However, Kraft Heinz said on Thursday that it produced net sales of $6.2bn in the three months ended March, a rise of 6.2 per cent from a year ago on an organic basis. It was the biggest quarterly rise since the group was formed in 2015 by the combination of Kraft and Heinz, a deal engineered by Warren Buffett and investment firm 3G. Demand accelerated in March across all categories in the US, the company said.

Kraft Heinz said it expected net sales to rise by a « low to mid-single-digit » percentage in the second quarter, but cautioned that the impact of the pandemic on full-year results was uncertain.

Net income fell from $405m in the year ago quarter to $381m, in part because the figures a year ago were supported by a disposal.

Mamta Badkar 4/30/2020, 11:40:57 AM

Twitter usage surges during pandemic and revenues top forecasts

Tim Bradshaw in London

Twitter joined Google and Facebook in posting a resilient performance despite advertisers slashing their budgets in March, with first-quarter revenues increasing 3 per cent year on year to $808m even as it swung to a narrow loss.

Like its Silicon Valley rivals, Twitter is benefiting from a surge in usage during the coronavirus pandemic. Twitter’s audience jumped by 24 per cent, with average monetisable daily active users hitting 166m in the first quarter. Twitter attracted more users both in the US and overseas.

Twitter said that its advertising revenue fell 27 per cent between March 11, when lockdowns began in the US, and March 31, when the quarter ended. « The downturn we saw in March was particularly pronounced in the US, and advertising weakness in Asia began to subside as work and travel restrictions were gradually lifted, » Twitter said in Thursday’s letter to shareholders.

Nonetheless50, even after closing up 8 per cent on Wednesday.

“We’ve delivered our strongest ever year over year mDAU growth,” said Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s chief executive. « En ces temps difficiles, l’objectif de Twitter s’avère plus vital que jamais. We are helping the world stay informed, and providing a unique way for people to come together to help or simply entertain and remind one another of our connections.”

Twitter said it saw a “significant acceleration” in usage in March, with audience numbers stabilising by the end of the month. That increase in usage helped to offset falling ad prices, with cost per engagement falling 19 per cent year on year.

However, Twitter also posted its first quarterly net loss in more than two years at $8.4m, down from net income of $190.8m in the same period a year ago. Costs and expenses increased 18 per cent to $815m.

Twitter said that it had shifted internal resources towards its advertising products, while also reducing hiring.

Charlotte Middlehurst 4/30/2020, 11:28:48 AM

Coronavirus hits ethnic minorities harder, says London NHS study

Clive Cookson in London

Further evidence that black and minority ethnic groups are suffering disproportionately from Covid-19 in the UK comes from analysis of 520 coronavirus patients in three London hospitals run by Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.

The study by Imperial’s infectious disease modelling centre found that, of those patients whose ethnicity was known, 52 per cent were non-white. The comparable figure for last year’s pre-Covid emergency admissions was 45 per cent non-white.

Pablo Perez-Guzman, one of the study’s authors, said:

People of BAME groups in our population were younger and overall had fewer known comorbidities than those of white ethnicity. Despite this, we identified a trend suggesting higher odds of hospital mortality amongst those of black compared to white ethnicity.

Harry Dempsey 4/30/2020, 11:21:14 AM

Mexico’s economy shrinks signalling a potentially brutal recession ahead

Jude Webber in Mexico City

Mexico’s economy contracted 1.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2020 compared with the previous three months, and 2.4 per cent year-on-year. This reflects the start of what analysts forecast could be the most brutal recession in a century for Latin America’s second biggest economy sparked by the coronavirus pandemic.

Market analysts had forecast a 1.7 per cent contraction compared with the fourth-quarter of 2019. Mexico’s economic fortunes are closely entwined with those of the US, where gross domestic product fell by a bigger-than-expected 4.8 per cent in the first three months of this year.

Mexico has shut down most of its economy since mid-March and although it hopes to reopen key supply chains soon, quarantine is expected to last until the end of May for most of the country. As a result of the shutdown and lack of demand, economists see GDP contracting by as much as 12 per cent this year.

But even before coronavirus, Mexico’s economy was on the ropes. It shrank 0.1 per cent in each of the first, second and fourth quarters of 2019 and in the third quarter, growth was zero. Overall, the economy contracted 0.1 per cent last year.

The government, which is betting on social programmes and small loans to help businesses and people weather the Covid-19 downturn, sees a contraction of as much as 3.9 per cent this year. But President Andrés Manuel López Obrador insists Mexico has “tamed” coronavirus and flattened the infections curve, and that the crisis will be temporary before the economy rebounds.

Mamta Badkar 4/30/2020, 11:18:37 AM

Private equity group Carlyle reports $1.2bn investment loss

Mark Vandevelde in New York

The Carlyle Group recorded a $1.2bn investment loss and said it was withdrawing all prior financial guidance, as the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic « reduces our ability to accurately forecast near-term financial results ».

Les pertes ont été suffisamment importantes pour effacer complètement le « report » accumulé sur trois fonds, ce qui signifie que Carlyle et ses dirigeants recevraient des commissions de performance minimales ou d’autres édulcorants si les investissements étaient réalisés aux évaluations actuelles.

« Le monde entier se débrouille à travers cette période sans précédent et le bilan humain est réel », ont déclaré les co-directeurs généraux de Carlyle, Kewsong Lee et Glenn Youngkin.

Les investisseurs paient généralement une redevance annuelle sur leurs investissements dans des fonds de capital-investissement et reversent une part des bénéfices si certains seuils de performance sont atteints.

Carlyle a généré 356 millions de dollars de frais de gestion au premier trimestre, confortablement en avance sur ses coûts décaissés, et a déclaré:[s] to effectively manage and operate our business with sufficient liquidity”.

But setbacks on its investment portfolio mean that Carlyle is no longer recognising future performance revenue from three of its funds, and reducing accrued performance revenues across the firm by 34 per cent.

The results provide an early sign of how Carlyle’s $143bn balance sheet, one of the biggest in America’s fast-growing private capital sector, could be impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and an associated shutdown. Des dommages économiques similaires sont susceptibles d’être causés à la grande partie du portefeuille d’investissement de Carlyle qui appartient à ses clients.

Still, the setback reflects a writedown of assets that could yet recover in value and often do not have to be sold for years.

Myles McCormick 4/30/2020, 11:16:54 AM

Comcast boosted by jump in internet usage as people stay home

Anna Nicolaou in New York

Comcast benefited from a surge in demand for high speed internet as millions of people began working from home, yielding its fastest quarterly broadband growth in 12 years.

But the Philadelphia cable giant’s media business weighed on results, as revenues plunged in the double digits for its shuttered Universal theme parks and a film studio with no cinemas to debut its movies.

In the first three months of the year, Comcast added 477,000 high-speed internet customers but lost 409,000 pay-TV customers, as people continued to cancel their cable boxes in favour of online alternatives. This was more than triple its losses a year ago, when Comcast bled 121,000 pay-TV customers.

Comcast said that web traffic on its broadband internet connections jumped 33 per cent in the quarter, as more people worked from home and conducted video calls on Zoom. The company made $5bn in sales from residential internet subscribers, up more than 9 per cent from last year.

However, this was offset by heavy losses at NBCUniversal, the media group that owns the Universal film studio and theme parks, as well its broadcast and cable channels.

With cinemas shuttering across the world during the quarter, revenues at Universal’s movie studio dropped 22 per cent from a year ago to $1.4bn. Its theme parks, which have also been closed due to health concerns, saw sales dive 32 per cent to $869m, while adjusted earnings shrunk to $76m, a small fraction of the $498m they earned in the same period a year ago.

Overall, Comcast delivered a year-on-year decline in both net income and revenues. The company reported $3.3bn in net income on $26.6bn in revenues in the quarter ending in March.

Charlotte Middlehurst 4/30/2020, 10:32:39 AM

Italy’s GDP falls by sharpest pace on record

Valentina Romei in London

Italy’s economy shrank at its fastest pace in nearly 20 years as output was choked by the government’s stringent measures to contain the spread of coronavirus.

The country’s GDP fell by 4.7 per cent in the first quarter compared with the previous quarter, according to Italy’s Office for National Statistics (Istat), marking the largest contraction since records began in 1996. This is steeper than the contraction seen in the early months of 2009 during the financial crisis.

Italy’s economy, the eurozone’s third-largest, contracted 0.3 per cent in the last quarter of 2019, which means Italy is now in recession

Italy was the first western country to be hit by the pandemic and its lockdown was more stringent and introduced earlier than in most other European countries.

Last week, the cabinet approved a deficit of 10.4 per cent of GDP this year, more than double its peak during the global financial crisis, prompting the credit agency Fitch to cut Italy’s credit rating to just above junk.

Istat said there were risks to data quality as the pandemic continued to pose “obstacles” around data collection.

Harry Dempsey 4/30/2020, 10:23:23 AM

Oil companies announce 1.6m b/d of production closures since March

Oil companies have announced 1.6m barrels per day of production closures since March when crude prices crashed from above $50 per barrel, in an early sign of the devastation that lower demand due to measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus will wreak on the industry.

The data from energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie comes a day ahead of the official start of 10m b/d in production cuts agreed by Opec and fellow producers including Russia coming into force.

The voluntary curbs on output are an attempt to rebalance the 100m b/d oil market but they are widely thought to be insufficient to counteract the 30 per cent fall in consumption without a pick-up in economic activity or mass closure of production wells.

The 1.6m b/d figure is conservative since it is based only on company guidance and it excludes national oil companies that do not disclose information and smaller-scale producers. A further 0.4m b/d of production development activity has been deferred for this year, Wood Mackenzie estimates.

Capital expenditure across the industry has been slashed by about a quarter for 2020, lowering the level of future supply, data from the group shows. Its data is yet to include the latest cuts to production and capex announced this week.

Philip Georgiadis 4/30/2020, 10:03:04 AM

Britain’s largest car factory to stay closed until at least June

Peter Campbell, Global Motor Industry Correspondent

Nissan will not reopen its Sunderland car plant until at least June, several weeks after other UK sites will have restarted production.

The site is Britain’s largest car factory, employing about 6,000 people.

“We are currently planning a phased resumption of production in early June,” the Japanese carmaker told staff on Thursday.

« During this period the majority of plant employees will remain furloughed, and we are grateful for the government support that has enabled us to take this action,” it added.

Several of Britain’s plants are planning to re-open next month, with Mini and Jaguar Land Rover re-opening some facilities on May 18. Rolls-Royce will open its plant this coming Monday, while Aston Martin will re-start its St Athan site on Tuesday.

Some of Europe’s largest plants — include Volkswagen’s flagship site at Wolfsberg — have already re-started production, though at lower levels than before the lockdown.

Philip Georgiadis 4/30/2020, 9:59:32 AM

20 suitors for collapsed Virgin Australia

Jamie Smyth à Sydney

The administrator of Virgin Australia said 20 parties had expressed an interest in investing in the airline, which collapsed earlier this month when Canberra rebuffed its request for a A$1.4bn (US$920m) bail out.

Deloitte told an online creditors’ meeting that eight parties had signed non-disclosure agreements and already had access to an information memorandum and a data room. Negotiations were continuing with the remaining parties, it said.

Local media have named private equity group BGH Capital and Australian billionaire Andrew Forrest, founder of Fortescue, among the potential bidders for the nation’s second-largest airline. Virgin owes A$6.8bn to an estimated 12,000 creditors.

Vaughan Strawbridge, Deloitte partner, said he was encouraged by the level of sophisticated party interest in the sale of Virgin. He said he was confident the target of achieving a sale by the end of June was achievable.

Deloitte has appointed Morgan Stanley, alongside Houlihan Lokey, to run the sale process.

Myles McCormick 4/30/2020, 9:39:18 AM

Taiwan hit by economic slowdown

Kathrin Hille in Taipei

Growth in Taiwan’s economy slowed sharply in the first quarter as the coronavirus pandemic took its toll.

Gross domestic product increased by 1.54 per cent in the three months to March 31 compared with the same period last year, when it grew 1.84 per cent, the government said on Thursday in its advance estimate of quarterly GDP. The latest figure was about 0.3 percentage points less than forecast.

Exports dropped by 2.89 per cent, and imports were down by 4.87 per cent. The cabinet’s statistics agency pointed to a 0.97 per cent drop year-on-year in private consumption particularly in the service sector as people were going out less.

Taiwan has avoided the strict lockdowns applied in China, the US and many European countries as its early border closures and elaborate quarantine and contact tracing programmes have succeeded in containing the outbreak.

The country counts a total of just 429 confirmed cases and six deaths from the disease, and has not registered new infections for the last five days.

Harry Dempsey 4/30/2020, 9:37:40 AM

Janus Henderson’s assets fall a fifth as it keeps dividend intact

Owen Walker in London

Janus Henderson’s assets dropped by a fifth in the first three months of the year, as the coronavirus pandemic took its toll on the global active fund manager.

The group, which has suffered a steady tide of outflows since it was formed through a mega-merger three years ago, saw its assets under management fall from $375bn to $294bn in the first quarter due to a combination of market moves and client withdrawals. This led Janus Henderson to make an operating loss of £332m.

But the company, which is listed in New York and Sydney, and headquartered in London, maintained its $0.36 dividend and completed $31m of share buybacks in the year to March 31.

“We are managing our expenses carefully and the focus we have had on cost discipline will also support our positioning through this period,” said Dick Weil, Janus Henderson’s chief executive.

Charlotte Middlehurst 4/30/2020, 9:36:49 AM

Spain’s daily death toll falls to six-week low

Daniel Dombey in Madrid

Spain has reported its lowest coronavirus death toll in almost six weeks, as the country prepares to ease its harsh lockdown and slowly transition to a “new normal” at the end of June or mid-July.

The true figure is almost certainly significantly higher, as the official numbers contain only proven and not probable coronavirus cases. The UK has now overtaken Spain as the country with the third highest number of coronavirus deaths after the US and Italy.

The spread of the virus remains low, with a 0.6 per cent increase on the previous day in the number of people who had positive results in PCR tests, taking the total of confirmed cases to 213,435. However, this does not include positive results in less reliable antibody tests. The ministry said 112

Spain’s government has outlined a complicated, benchmark-based system to phase out the lockdown, with step by step opening of shops, restaurants, hotels and other establishments.

However, travel outside people’s home provinces will not be permitted until the end of the transition period, and people will be urged to wear masks in public places and have to practise social distance even after the transition is complete. The government hopes the transition will be completed in eight to 10 weeks after it starts on May 11.

Myles McCormick 4/30/2020, 9:36:34 AM

UK businesses still trading report slump in revenues

Delphine Strauss in London

A quarter of UK businesses that are still trading have lost more than half their turnover since the start of the coronavirus lockdown, the Office for National Statistics said on Thursday.

A fortnightly survey, tracking the effects of the pandemic on the UK, illustrates how difficult it will be for the government to withdraw its support for businesses, even when it becomes possible to ease social distancing measures and reopen some parts of the economy.

About a quarter of businesses have been forced to close temporarily as a result of the lockdown. But even among those that are still doing business, about 14 per cent said their sales had fallen by up to 20 per cent, one in five had lost between 20 and 50 per cent of sales, and a quarter said sales were down by more than 50 per cent. Only about a third said turnover was unaffected or higher.

Two thirds of all businesses responding to the survey – conducted between April 20 and 26 – said they had applied for support to pay workers placed on furlough through the government’s job retention scheme. This proportion rose to 82 per cent among businesses that had paused trading.

Charlotte Middlehurst 4/30/2020, 9:17:32 AM

Eurozone economy contracts most on record

Valentina Romei in London

The coronavirus pandemic plunged the eurozone economy into the largest contraction on record as its member countries shut businesses to contain the virus.

Eurozone GDP fell 3.8 per cent in the first quarter compared with the previous quarter, according to preliminary estimates from Eurostat. This is the largest drop since the series began, and is larger than the hit during the financial crisis.

The fall was greater than that experienced by the US economy, which contracted 1.2 per cent, or 4.8 per cent on an annualised rate.

The eurozone’s economic contraction in the first quarter “will pale in comparison with the complete collapse that will surely be recorded in the second quarter,” said Jessica Hinds, European economist at Capital Economics, as restrictions will have been in place for longer than in the first three months of the year.

National figures are available for a number of countries, including Spain and France, which both contracted by more than 5 per cent, the fastest pace on record.

Data for Germany will be released on May 15, but the German Labour Statistics Office said on Thursday that “the corona crisis is likely to lead to the worst recession in postwar history in Germany”.

Across the eurozone, joblessness rose marginally to 7.4 per cent in March, from 7.3 per cent the previous month, marking the first increase in unemployment since 2013, according to Eurostat data also released on Thursday.

Anna Gross 4/30/2020, 9:00:13 AM

Seafox makes takeover approach for Gulf Marine Services

Nathalie Thomas in Edinburgh

Dutch oil services company Seafox International has made a takeover approach for its London-listed rival Gulf Marine Services in one of the first potential signs of consolidation in a sector that is coming under severe strain from depressed oil prices.

Seafox, which already holds a stake of more than 13 per cent in Gulf Marine Services, said on Thursday that it had approached the board of its London-listed rival with a possible cash offer valued at $0.09 a share98p ($0.08).

Its shares had fallen nearly 55 per cent since the start of the year as the energy services sector came under significant pressure from oil and gas explorers and producers reining in their activities and cutting expenditure in response to weak prices.

Gulf Marine Services owns jack-up vessels used in the offshore energy industry and was founded in the United Arab Emirates in the 1970s. It confirmed receipt of the unsolicited non-binding approach and advised shareholders on Thursday to take no action at present.

Myles McCormick 4/30/2020, 8:48:19 AM

German companies put 10m workers on state subsidised leave

Martin Arnold in Frankfurt

More than 10m German workers have been registered to have part of their wages subsidised by the state while they are idled by their employers in response to the coronavirus crisis.

The figure, which was announced by the Federal Employment Agency on Thursday, means that almost a quarter of all German workers have been sent home or put on partial hours during the pandemic.

That is far higher than most forecasts and is equal to almost seven times the number of people who joined Germany’s short-term leave scheme, known as Kurzarbeit, after the 2008 financial crisis.

Despite the vast number of people being put on short-term leave by their companies, Germany still suffered a jump in the number of people losing their jobs. The German unemployed figures rose by 308,000 between March and April to reach 2.64m. That translates into a rise in the country’s unemployment rate from 5.1 per cent in March to 5.8 per cent in April.

The new figures for the number of people registered for Kurzarbeit in Germany match the figures for applicants to a similar scheme in France. They mean that in Europe’s five largest economies more than 35m people are on short-term leave programmes — over a fifth of those countries’ total workforces.

Meanwhile, in Italy, the number of people looking for work dropped 11 per cent in March compared with the previous month. The proportion of people outside Italy’s labour force rose to 35.7 per cent in March from 34.9 per cent in the previous month, and the share of people in employment declined to 58.8 per cent in March from a peak of 59.2 in June.

Myles McCormick 4/30/2020, 8:27:00 AM

Japan Airlines posts first loss since bankruptcy exit

Kana Inagaki in Tokyo

Japan Airlines has cancelled its year-end dividend after posting its first quarterly loss since it emerged out of bankruptcy protection and relisted its shares in 2012.

For the January to March quarter, Japan’s second largest carrier posted a net loss of ¥22.9bn ($219bn) as the coronavirus outbreak led to a shutdown of international travel. That compared with a profit of ¥44.2bn a year earlier.

In a statement on Thursday, JAL said it cancelled its fiscal second-half dividend “to secure liquidity at hand.”

The unforeseeable coronavirus effect in the new fiscal year ending March 2021 makes cash flow management based on various scenarios with continuous low demand essential.

In addition to the suspension of international routes, a collapse in domestic travel is set to continue, with the Japanese government expected to extend the state of emergency until at least the end of May.

Still, the company boasts one of the strongest balance sheets among global carriers with an equity ratio — a measure of financial strength — of 59 per cent at the end of March.

Anna Gross 4/30/2020, 8:21:18 AM

Lord Chancellor admits the UK is unlikely to meet 100,000 test target

Laura Hughes in London

Robert Buckland, the Lord Chancellor, has admitted the government expects to fail in its pledge to carry out 100,000 coronavirus tests a day by the end of April.

On Wednesday, the government was still only halfway towards meeting the target set for Thursday. Speaking on the eve of the deadline, the foreign secretary Dominic Raab said daily capacity now stood at 73,000 but just 52,429 tests were carried out.

« Even if we don’t hit it, and it’s probable that we won’t, we will in the next few days hit that target. We’re up to 52,000 people being tested, the capacity is rising.

I think it was right to set an ambitious target. And you know, sometimes even if you don’t hit the target on the due date the direction of travel is the most important thing.

I believe we’re going to get there and then move beyond it, because we need more.

Anna Gross 4/30/2020, 8:05:36 AM

Russia’s death toll rises above 1,000 as it reports record new cases

Henry Foy in Moscow

Russia reported a new record daily increase in coronavirus cases on Thursday, dealing a blow to hopes that the country’s outbreak was beginning to plateau.

Moscow said 7,099 new confirmed cases had been recorded, bringing its total to 106,498. Overnight, 101 people died of the virus, taking its total death toll to 1,073.

Russia’s president Vladimir Putin this week extended a national lockdown until mid-May and warned that the country was yet to experience the worst of the pandemic, even as other major European countries such as France seek to ease lockdowns.

Moscow, the capital, accounts for roughly 50 per cent of the country’s infections, down from around 80 per cent in the initial weeks of the outbreak, as the virus has spread to almost all of Russia’s regions.

Harry Dempsey 4/30/2020, 8:05:31 AM

What you may have missed

The French and Spanish economies shrank by the fastest rate on record in the first quarter of 2020 as lockdown measures resulted in an unprecedented freeze in economic activity.

China’s services sector showed stronger-than-expected signs of recovery in April but demand for Chinese products abroad continued to contract.

Royal Dutch Shell cut its dividend for the first time since the second world war as the drop in oil prices and demand triggered by the coronavirus pandemic nearly halved its quarterly earnings.

European and Asian banks recorded hefty loan loss provisions due to coronavirus, as Lloyds Banking Group, Danske Bank, Société Générale, BBVA and Singapore’s DBS suffered a hit to earnings in the first quarter.

Corée du Sud has reported zero new locally transmitted coronavirus cases for the first time in months, in the latest sign that Seoul’s focus on mass testing and intensive contact tracing provides a model for other governments to follow.

UK retailers are increasingly falling between the cracks of various government support schemes, with large companies facing stringent credit rating criteria and banks still reluctant to lend to smaller ones.

The coronavirus outbreak has caused a staggering drop in global energy demand, equivalent to India’s total annual consumption.

Harry Dempsey 4/30/2020, 8:02:46 AM

US records highest daily Covid-19 deaths, as global total nears 210,000

Steve Bernard in London

The worldwide death toll rose by 6,593 on Wednesday, bringing the total to 209,063.

The global number of newly confirmed Covid-19 cases rose by a further 81,678 yesterday, the total now stands at more than 3.1m.

The US recorded its highest ever death toll in a single day yesterday adding 2,700 fatalities. Thirteen states reported 50 or more deaths bringing the total in the country to 55,225, according to data from the Covid Tracking Project.

The UK continues to report high numbers of daily confirmed cases as a further 4,076 people were diagnosed yesterday. The death toll rose by 795 to 26,097, a figure that now includes an additional 3,811 deaths in England reported since the start of the outbreak.

Brazil continues to be firmly in the acceleration phase as it added a further 6,462 cases, the highest total outside of the US. The Brazilian death toll rose by 448 bringing the number of fatalities to 5,511.

Philip Georgiadis 4/30/2020, 8:02:02 AM

Stocks on track for best months since 1980s

Global stock markets are on track for their best month in decades, after positive results from the trial of a possible coronavirus treatment reinforced investor optimism over the reopening of major economies.

European markets were largely flat in subdued morning trading, with London’s FTSE 100 down by less than 0.1 per cent and the regional benchmark Stoxx 600 index gaining by a similar margin.

Asian shares rose overnight, while futures tied to the S&P 500 pointed to modest gains of around 0.2 per cent later in the session.

The benchmark US index S&P 500 rallied 2.7 per cent after Gilead Sciences, the California-based biotechnology company, said that its potential Covid-19 drug remdesivir had produced positive results in a US study. Les résultats ont été provisoirement approuvés par Anthony Fauci, le principal combattant des maladies infectieuses du gouvernement américain.

The burst of investor optimism caps a month that has seen traders disregard historically poor economic data and tremors in the oil markets, juiced by global stimulus the IMF puts at $14tn.

The MSCI All-World Index, a broad measure of developed and emerging market shares, is up 11.7 per cent this month and on track for its best month since records began in the late 1980s.

Philip Georgiadis 4/30/2020, 7:42:37 AM

St James’s Place cuts dividend as assets under management fall

Madison Darbyshire in London

UK wealth manager St James’s Place cut its dividend on Thursday, as assets under management fell during the coronavirus-induced market volatility.

Preliminary results showed assets under management fell nearly 2 per cent to £101.7bn, while net investment returns were down almost 18 per cent over the quarter.

The wealth manager cited market uncertainty in its decision to slice its proposed final dividend by one-third to 20p per share, despite what it called a strong cash position.

SJP said clients had continued to pour money into the market in the first three months of the year, with net inflows of £2.3bn from the start of the year to the end of March 2020, an almost 9 per cent increase from the same time the previous year.

Chief executive Andrew Croft said:

We are not immune to how the unprecedented level of uncertainty may impact the operating environment for the business and our clients for the foreseeable future.

Harry Dempsey 4/30/2020, 7:23:18 AM

Swiss Re estimates $776m cost from claims and investment losses

Oliver Ralph in London

Reinsurance group Swiss Re said that the coronavirus crisis will cost it at least $776m as it counts the cost of rising claims and turbulence in the investment markets.

The company said on Thursday that it had taken a $476m charge to pay claims relating to Covid-19, mostly for event cancellations, including the Tokyo Olympics.

It also said that market volatility had wiped $300m off the value of the investments it holds to pay claims, although it added that without equity and credit hedging the loss would have been much worse. The figures came as Swiss Re reported a $225m first quarter loss.

“Swiss Re’s business remains resilient despite the financial impact of the crisis on our results,” said chief executive Christian Mumenthaler, adding that “we will weather this situation as a strong partner for our clients.”

Separately, London-listed insurer Lancashire Holdings said that it expected about $35m of claims relating to Covid-19.

Philip Georgiadis 4/30/2020, 7:15:45 AM

Spanish economy shrinks at faster pace than during 2008-09 crisis

Valentina Romei in London

The Spanish economy shrank at the fastest rate on record in the first quarter, as the coronavirus lockdown resulted in an unprecedented blow to the economy.

Spain’s gross domestic output shrank 5.2 per cent in the first quarter compared with the previous one, according to preliminary estimates from the country’s Office for National Statistics (INE). This is the largest fall since the series began in 1995.

The contraction — which was larger than the 4 most of which was well above the eurozone average.

Spain introduced a more stringent lockdown than many other European countries on March 14 but has now relaxed some of its restrictions. Its economy is more vulnerable to the Covid-19 pandemic because a significant proportion comes from tourism, which has been severely hit.

Spain’s economy fell more than Belgium’s, with a 3.9 per cent contraction, but slightly less than that of France, where output shrank at an unprecedented rate of 5.8 per cent.

Together with the historical plunge for France, Spain’s output contraction anticipates a large blow to the economy across the eurozone, for which data will be published later today.

Harry Dempsey 4/30/2020, 7:10:30 AM

Nokia knocks down full-year outlook due to supply chain issues

Richard Milne, Nordic and Baltic Correspondent

Nokia cut its full-year outlook as coronavirus causes problems in its supply chain and delivery of telecoms equipment to customers as well as pushing some operators to postpone investment in 5G networks.

The Finnish telecoms equipment maker said on Thursday that revenues in the first quarter decreased by €200m due to Covid-19, mostly due to supply chain issues in China. Revenues fell 2 per cent compared with a year earlier to €4.9bn, just below the average analyst forecast.

Nokia, which has struggled in the early days of 5G against Chinese rival Huawei and Ericsson of Sweden, said it made a small underlying profit of €0.01 per share, up from a loss a year earlier of €0.02. It now expects its full-year earnings per share to be about €0.23, down from a previous forecast of €0.25.

The Finnish group has struggled to convert the increasing scepticism towards Huawei in the US and Europe into strong business performance as telecoms operators around the world start to invest in 5G networks.

Rajeev Suri, Nokia’s chief executive who will step down in September, said the telecoms group had not seen a drop in demand for its products and services in the first quarter. But he added:

As the Covid-19 situation develops, however, an increase in supply and delivery challenges in a number of countries is possible and some customers may reassess their spending plans… We expect the majority of this Covid-19 impact to be in the second quarter and believe that our industry is fairly resilient to the crisis, although not immune.

Myles McCormick 4/30/2020, 7:09:32 AM

German infections rise by 1,478

Guy Chazan in Berlin

Germany reported 1,478 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, a slight increase on the previous day’s tally.

According to official data from the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin, the number of people who died of Covid-19 over the past 24 hours rose by 191 to 6,288.

The total number of detected infections increased to 159,119, though 123,500 of them have already made a full recovery.

Harry Dempsey 4/30/2020, 7:03:59 AM

Danske Bank cuts annual profit forecast after heavy loan losses

Richard Milne, Nordic and Baltic Correspondent

Danske Bank slashed its profit forecast for this year as Denmark’s biggest lender plunged to a net loss in the first quarter on a 10-fold increase in loan impairments due to coronavirus and lower oil prices.

Danske said on Thursday that it made a net loss of DKr1.3bn ($190m) in the first quarter against a profit of DKr3bn a year earlier as loan impairments jumped from DKr357m to DKr4.3bn due to the economic downturn and decline in oil prices.

It added that it was aiming for a net profit this year of at least DKr3bn, down from its initial forecast in February of DKr8bn-DKr10bn.

Danske, which last week proposed no dividend would be paid for last year, said that visibility for 2020 was low due to the coronavirus pandemic but that it remained well capitalised with a core equity tier 1 ratio of 17.6 per cent, above its target of 16 per cent.

Chief executive Chris Vogelzang said Danske had performed well in the first two months before coronavirus hit the business in March. Il ajouta:

The key drivers were impairments made mainly because of the assumptions of a worsened macroeconomic scenario, the decline in oil prices and charges against exposure to certain sectors. We also saw the highly turbulent markets result in extraordinarily low trading income.

Philip Georgiadis 4/30/2020, 7:02:23 AM

AstraZeneca and Oxford University combine on potential vaccine

Donato Paolo Mancini in London

AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford are teaming up to develop and distribute a vaccine aimed at preventing infection from coronavirus.

Under the agreement, the company would be responsible for the development and worldwide manufacturing and distribution of the vaccine, known as ChAdOx1 nCov-19, currently being developed by the University of Oxford.

Observers have repeatedly warned that the development of a vaccine alone will not be enough — there will also need to be sufficient manufacturing capacity to deliver it to billions of people around the world.

On Wednesday, GlaxoSmithKline chief executive Emma Walmsley said it would be necessary to have more than one vaccine to meet demand. The company is also developing a potential vaccine candidate with Sanofi of France.

Financial terms for the Oxford-AstraZeneca partnership were not disclosed.

Harry Dempsey 4/30/2020, 6:59:53 AM

Royal Dutch Shell cut its dividend for the first time since the second world war as the drop in oil prices and demand triggered by the coronavirus pandemic nearly halved its quarterly earnings.

Sales growth at Reckitt Benckiser shot up in the first quarter as the pandemic pushed up demand for its products such as Dettol and Lysol disinfectants and medicines.

Lloyds Banking Group’s first-quarter profits were almost entirely wiped out by the impact of coronavirus, as it announced a 420 per cent increase in provisions for bad loans.

Société Générale’s investment bank was “penalised heavily” by volatile market conditions in the first quarter as the French lender fell to a loss and raised provisions to deal with bad loans.

BBVA, the Spanish-based bank, has recorded a €1.79bn loss in the first quarter after taking €1.43bn in provisions related to the coronavirus crisis and a €2.08bn goodwill impairment charge at its US arm.

Danske Bank slashed its profit forecast for this year as Denmark’s biggest lender plunged to a net loss in the first quarter on a 10-fold increase in loan impairments due to coronavirus and lower oil prices.

J Sainsbury said that the uncertainty around the trajectory of the coronavirus pandemic meant it would defer a decision on its dividend until later in the financial year.

Swiss-based miner Glencore has slashed its 2020 capital expenditure forecast as the pandemic forced the company to suspend production and activity at several of its mines.

Danish brewer Carlsberg said that organic sales declined 7.4 per cent in the first quarter, as it warned that continuing social-distancing requirements would impact consumer behaviour and that volumes would decline further in the next quarter.

Myles McCormick 4/30/2020, 6:50:22 AM

Spanish lender BBVA reports €1.8bn loss

Daniel Dombey in Madrid

BBVA, the Spanish-based bank, has recorded a €1.79bn loss in the first quarter after taking €1.43bn in provisions related to the coronavirus crisis and a €2.08bn goodwill impairment charge at its US arm.

The goodwill charge — also due to the implications of the crisis — follows an impairment test at its US unit, BBVA Compass, which the bank has built up over years, most notably with a purchase in 2007, and which has over $80bn in assets and operates 657 branches.

BBVA said operating income for the quarter was up 14 per cent at €3.57bn, its highest for 10 years, while net interest income was up 3.6 per cent at €4.56bn.

Carlos Torres, executive chairman, said:

The recurrence of our pre-provision profit and our solid capital and liquidity position have allowed us to face this crisis from a position of strength and frontload provisions related to the pandemic in this quarter.

Harry Dempsey 4/30/2020, 6:38:19 AM

Glencore slashes 2020 capex forecast after temporary mine closures

Neil Hume in London

Glencore has slashed its 2020 capital expenditure forecast as the coronavirus pandemic forced the company to suspend production at several of its mines

In a quarterly production update, the Swiss-based miner and commodity trader said it planned to reduce capex to $4.0bn-$4.5bn this year, down from previous guidance of $5.5bn. Analysts had been expected a smaller reduction.

Glencore has been forced to curtail or halt production in a number of countries including Zambia, where its Mopani copper business has been temporarily closed.

It has also pushed back first production from its new Zhairem zinc mine in Kazakhstan until 2021 because of the uncertain outlook.

In Wednesday’s update, Glencore also revised down its cost guidance for its key commodities due to cheaper oil prices, the weakness of key producer currencies against the US dollar and by-product credits.

The company said “volatile and complex” markets had provided opportunities for its trading arm, which was on course to generate earnings within its $2.2bn-$3.3bn long-term guidance range.

Philip Georgiadis 4/30/2020, 6:36:27 AM

Sainsbury’s reporte le dividende et annule les bonus

Jonathan Eley in London

J Sainsbury said that the uncertainty around the trajectory of the coronavirus pandemic meant it would defer a decision on its dividend until later in the financial year.

It also said it would not pay any bonuses to its executive team this year, resulting in an effective pay cut of 13 per cent.

The UK’s second-largest supermarket group said that based on a scenario that saw the UK lockdown ending by June but business disruption continuing until September, it would expect underlying pre-tax profit to be at a similar level to the £586m reported on Thursday for the year to March 7 2020.

This includes the impact of about £500m of additional costs, reduced demand for fuel and general merchandise and weaker profits from its banking arm, partially offset by the business rates holiday that lasts until March next year.

Sainsbury’s stressed that this was not a forecast but a guide based on a set of assumptions.

In the seven weeks to April 25, a period that included the ‘panic buying’ spree, Sainsbury’s said grocery sales were up 12 per cent while general merchandise sales were 3 per cent higher.

Myles McCormick 4/30/2020, 6:31:10 AM

Lloyds profits collapse as it ramps up loan provisions

Nicholas Megaw in London

Lloyds Banking Group’s first-quarter profits were almost entirely wiped out by the impact of the coronavirus, as it announced a 420 per cent increase in provisions for bad loans.

Pre-tax profit fell 95 per cent year-on-year, to £74m.

The drop was mainly caused by £1.4bn of charges to cover expected credit losses, of which about £1.1bn was directly attributable to the pandemic.

Revenue, which was already under pressure before the crisis thanks to intense competition in the mortgage sector, dropped 11 per cent to £3.9bn.

The company cautioned that “the impact of lower rates, lower levels of activity and higher impairment on the group’s business will continue into the second quarter, but remains difficult to quantify”.

Investors have been braced for big increases in loan provisions across the European banking sector this week, but there has been a wide variation in results as lenders grapple with new accounting rules that require them to book expected losses further in advance than previously. Increases in impairment charges have ranged from 80 per cent at Santander to more than 1,000 per cent at Standard Chartered.

Harry Dempsey 4/30/2020, 6:27:57 AM

German retail sales record steepest decline in a decade

Valentina Romei in London

German retail sales fell at the fastest pace in more than a decade despite a strong performance for purchases online and food, as non-essential shops shut during the coronavirus pandemic.

The volume of Germany’s retail sales fell 5.6 per cent in March compared with the previous month, the largest decline since 2007, according to the country’s Office for National Statistics (Destatis).

Retail sales contracted despite spending for food and beverages rising 9 per cent and internet spending increasing 13.4 per cent, as shoppers stockpiled food and shifted to online purchases. Sales in pharmacies also went up sharply by 7 per cent.

“Due to the business closings in the Corona crisis, sales in individual retail sectors plummeted in March 2020,” said Destatis. “At the same time, the strong demand for everyday goods led to increased sales in other areas, such as supermarkets and pharmacies”.

Non-food retail sales contracted 10 per cent, marking the largest drop since 1994, while sales of clothing and shoes halved.

Philip Georgiadis 4/30/2020, 6:22:44 AM

Shell cuts dividend for first time since 1940s

Anjli Raval, Senior Energy Correspondent

Royal Dutch Shell cut its dividend for the first time since the second world war as the drop in oil prices and demand triggered by the coronavirus pandemic nearly halved its quarterly earnings.

Oil companies are in crisis mode as lower energy prices and a collapse in demand for fuels and chemicals puts intense pressure on their finances, with severe lockdowns and travel bans in place across much of the world.

Shell, which will still be one of the FTSE 100’s biggest dividend payers, said it would reduce its quarterly payout to 16 cents per share, from 47 cents per share.

Shell was already under pressure before the coronavirus outbreak, with weaker refining and chemical margins and challenging economic conditions forcing the Anglo-Dutch company to slow shareholder distributions, and announce at the start of the year it would probably miss its debt reduction targets.

Since then, Shell has said it would suspend its share buyback programme altogether and announced that capital expenditure would fall to $20bn or less this year, from initial plans for $25bn, in response to the pandemic. It said its operating costs would also decline by $3bn to $4bn.

Harry Dempsey 4/30/2020, 6:21:17 AM

Reckitt Benckiser sales rise on high demand for Dettol and medicines

Judith Evans in London

Sales growth at Reckitt Benckiser shot up in the first quarter as the pandemic pushed up demand for its products such as Dettol and Lysol disinfectants, Mucinex cold medicine and Nurofen painkillers.

Like-for-like net revenue growth, a key metric for consumer goods groups, reached 13.3 per cent in the first quarter compared with 1 per cent a year earlier. Sales rose 12.3 per cent to £3.5bn, while the group said its performance for the year was set to be “better than original expectations”.

Laxman Narasimhan, chief executive of Reckitt Benckiser, said:

“The exceptional demand has resulted in some customers and consumers facing shortages for some of our products. RB has responded with its typical can-do attitude, ramping up production, streamlining our SKUs [stock-keeping units] and working with customers and suppliers to overcome significant barriers, while incurring additional cost.”

Demand for Dettol and vitamin and mineral supplements pushed up growth in the group’s wellness and health hygiene division to 17 per cent.

Harry Dempsey 4/30/2020, 6:02:02 AM

Société Générale falls to a loss and raises provisions for soured loans

David Keohane in Paris

Société Générale’s investment bank was “penalised heavily by” volatile market conditions in the first quarter as the French lender fell to a loss and raised provisions to deal with bad loans.

After pulling the release of its results forward by one week5 per cent to €5.2bn.

The bank increased its bad loan provisions to €820m, a three-fold increase over the €264m in the same quarter last year. The increase comes “in the context of the Covid-19 crisis and some specific files, including two exceptional fraud files”.

“These activities performed well in January and February,” said the bank of its equity business, but “revenues from structured products activities were severely impacted by the equity markets dislocation in March.”

So far this year, SocGen’s share price has dropped by 50 per cent.

Alice Woodhouse 4/30/2020, 5:58:31 AM

French economy shrinks at fastest rate since 1949

Valentina Romei in London

The French economy shrank by the fastest rate on record in the first quarter as measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic resulted in an unprecedented freeze in activity.

France’s gross domestic product dropped by 5.8 per cent in the first quarter compared to the previous quarter, according to preliminary estimates from the Office for National Statistics (Insee), the biggest fall since records began in 1949.

“GDP’s negative evolution in Q1 2020 is primarily linked to the shut-down of ‘non-essential’ activities in the context of the implementation of the lockdown since mid-March” said Insee.

The drop was driven by an “unprecedented” 6.1 per cent contraction in household consumption and an 11.8 per cent fall in investment. Exports and imports also contracted by about 6 per cent.

Plus tôt cette semaine, Edouard Philippe, Premier ministre de la France, a annoncé son intention de rouvrir une partie de l’économie à partir du 11 mai pour éviter le risque d’effondrement économique.

La deuxième économie de la zone euro s’était contractée de 0,1% au dernier trimestre 2019, ce qui signifie que l’économie française est déjà entrée en récession.

La baisse de la production française au premier trimestre est supérieure à la baisse de 1,6% enregistrée au premier trimestre 2009 lors de la crise financière mondiale.

Emma Boyde 4/30/2020, 5:47:43 AM

War-torn Yemen reports first deaths from Covid-19

Simeon Kerr in Dubai

Yemen has reported its first two deaths from Covid-19 amid fears the virus is spreading through the war-ravaged country.

The deaths came as the authorities reported five new cases in the southern port city of Aden, bringing the national total to six, according to Yemen TV reports late on Wednesday.

The UN has described Yemen as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, where millions rely on aid. The country is already at risk of another cholera outbreak because of flooding as the rainy season starts.

The degraded healthcare system and the population’s weak immune systems could see coronavirus spreading faster and with more deadly consequences than other countries, the UN has warned.

Aid agencies say fighting has escalated despite the Saudi-led coalition’s ceasefire in its war against Iran-allied Houthi rebels that ousted the internationally-recognised government five years ago.

Emma Boyde 4/30/2020, 5:16:45 AM

Amundi’s assets fall to €1.53tn as markets tumble

Attracta Mooney in London

Amundi, Europe’s largest fund manager, showed more resilience to the crisis in the first quarter than most listed rivals, but still reported an 8 per cent fall in assets under management to €1.53tn.

Fund houses including GAM, Jupiter and Ashmore, which have also been hit hard by the coronavirus market rout, suffered asset falls of between 15 and 30 per cent during the opening quarter of 2020. BlackRock reported a 12 per cent decline to $6.5tn earlier this month, while assets fell almost 9 per cent to €700bn at Germany’s DWS.

The drop in Amundi’s assets from €1.65tn at the end of 2019 was driven by market and foreign exchange movements.

Yves Perrier, Amundi chief executive, said the company had “adapted quickly” to the crisis. But he cautioned: “The duration of the crisis and its impact on the business remain difficult to assess.”

Adjusted net revenue rose 7 per cent compared with the same quarter last year thanks to higher management fees and a doubling of performance fees.However, net income fell 18 per cent to €193m after negative financial income of €61m arising from the mark-to-market valuation in March of Amundi’s investment portfolio and seed money.

Mr Perrier this month became the first asset management chief to announce he was giving up part of his pay to support the coronavirus relief effort, donating half of his €2m bonus for 2019 to a Covid-19 solidarity fund.

Alice Woodhouse 4/30/2020, 5:09:36 AM

Online>

Qianer Liu in Shenzhen and Yuan Yang in Beijing

When China closed its schools in February, teachers were told to move>

But in Guangxi, one of China’s poorest provinces, Lu Canfeng’s secondary school had to abort their online>

But, Ms Lu admitted, “even I have no idea how to make technology and the internet truly related to my teaching”. Instead, she personally delivered textbooks to the students’ homes and hoped for the best.

As Chinese schools start to reopen across the country, rural children will be at an even greater disadvantage as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, warned teachers, parents and analysts.

Lire le rapport complet ici.

Alice Woodhouse 4/30/2020, 4:59:39 AM

China to exempt South Korean business people from travel restrictions

Edward White in Wellington

South Korea has secured an agreement with authorities in China to help South Korean business people gain exemptions from Beijing’s strict coronavirus travel restrictions.

The South Korean foreign ministry said five Chinese cities and provinces will start allowing fast-tracked entry for some South Korean business people from next month.

China, which initially lobbied governments to keep borders open when the Covid-19 outbreak emerged from Wuhan in January, has since implemented tough border controls blocking most foreigners from entering the country.

And despite South Korea’s success in containing the outbreak and government support to keep airlines afloat, travel restrictions imposed on Koreans by more than 100 countries have severed companies’ access to their sites around the world.

The restrictions have caused headaches for South Korean companies which have a heavy dependence on China as a supplier of intermediary electronic and industrial products used by its tech, car and shipping manufacturers. The restrictions affect both South Korean companies with manufacturing bases in China, and those companies for which China is their biggest export market.

The announcement of improved access for South Koreans comes as the country has reported zero new locally transmitted coronavirus cases for the first time in months.

All arrivals into South Korea are subject to a 14-day quarantine.

However, Ben Cowling, a professor in epidemiology at the University of Hong Kong, expected South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore might find any relaxation of virus control measures, including some border restrictions, may have to be re-imposed.

“When we relax too quickly there is a significant risk of a resurgence … we are going to have periods of time when measures are stricter and periods that are a bit looser,” he said.

Alice Woodhouse 4/30/2020, 4:40:22 AM

China’s Cnooc cuts output target after oil prices tumble

Christian Shepherd in Beijing

China’s main offshore oil producer Cnooc has slashed its output and spending targets for 2020, as the state-backed company attempts to stem the impact of a global price rout.

Cnooc intends to produce 505m-515m barrels of oil, 15m fewer than the previous range, and lowered capital expenditure targets by Rmb10bn ($1.4bn) to Rmb75bn-85bn, it said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange on Wednesday evening.

“Under the current low oil price environment, the company has…implemented more prudent investment decision making to ensure its long-term sustainable development,” it said.

In the first quarter of 2020, as demand in China slumped due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the company produced 131.5m barrels, a 9.5 per cent year-on-year increase.

Its revenues fell by 5.5 per cent Rmb39.95bn ($5.6bn) over the same period, mainly due to the global price fall, Cnooc said.

Alice Woodhouse 4/30/2020, 3:23:44 AM

DBS profit falls on coronavirus loan loss provisions

Stefania Palma in Singapore

DBS has reported a 29 per cent fall in net profit in the first quarter of 2020 from a year ago as south-east Asia’s largest bank set aside more than S$1bn ($708m) in loan loss provisions to help counter the fallout from coronavirus.

Net profit fell to S$1.17bn while the lender set aside a total of S$1.09bn in loan loss provisions, S$703m of which were earmarked for « risks arising from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic ». The balance aimed to counter new non-performing exposures reported this quarter.

Piyush Gupta, DBS chief executive, said in a statement that the « economic outlook remains uncertain and credit risks have increased », but digital investments have helped strengthen the bank. « We will maintain a solid balance sheet with ample capital, liquidity and loss allowance reserves that give us strong buffers to absorb external shocks.”

DBS is the first bank to report results in the city state. Singapore faces a recession as travel restrictions, a fall in global demand and supply chain disruptions brought by the coronavirus pandemic hit the small, open south-east Asian economy.

The bank said it had a S$46bn exposure to eight sectors particularly hit by the economic slowdown, including the oil and gas industry, which accounts for S$23bn of loans.

DBS is among the more than 20 banks with exposure to Hin Leong, the Singapore-based oil trader seeking to restructure almost $4bn of debt after admitting to $800m of undisclosed losses.

Mr Gupta added that credit costs were set to rise to between S$3bn and S$5bn in the next two years, with results comparable to the recession in 2002-03 and the global financial crisis.

The bank’s total income in the first quarter grew 13 per cent from a year ago to S$4.03bn. It reported a quarterly dividend of 33 cents per share, which remained unchanged from the previous quarter. Its core tier one equity ratio sits above regulatory requirements at 13.9 per cent.

Emma Boyde 4/30/2020, 3:07:58 AM

Japan’s 3.7% March industrial production decline points to delayed impact

Robin Harding in Tokyo

Japan’s industrial production fell by 3.7 per cent in March, significantly better than consensus forecasts of a 5.2 per cent decline, showing the relatively muted impact of the early stages of the coronavirus epidemic.

Japan did not impose a state of emergency until April, with the economy operating largely as usual, so the main impact in March came from the shutdown in China.

Analysts expect a much greater impact from April, with production at many automobile plants suspended.

The decline was most pronounced in Japan’s production machinery sector, down by 10.2 per cent, which sells much of its output to Chinese factories. The chemicals sector recorded an 11 per cent decline.

By contrast, sectors tied to domestic consumption were less affected, with plastic products down by 2.6 per cent and pharmaceuticals off by 0.6 per cent.

Emma Boyde 4/30/2020, 2:29:42 AM

China services sector shows strength, but export outlook is bleak

Don Weinland in Beijing

China’s services sector showed stronger-than-expected signs of recovery in April but demand for Chinese products abroad continued to contract as the global economy is ravaged by the coronavirus outbreak.

The country’s non-manufacturing purchasing managers index, a gauge on service sector activity, rose to 53.2 in April, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday. The reading beat analysts’ expectations of 52.5. A reading over 50 indicates expansion; below 50 is a signal of contraction.

Manufacturing PMI expanded slightly at 50.8. The composite PMI that includes manufacturing and services hit 53.4, up from 53 in March.

But the reading on new export orders was 33.5, a sign that global demand for Chinese products had been hit by the outbreak in Europe and the US.

“Global demand is likely to remain weak due to high unemployment rates in major economies,” Iris Pang at ING said in a note to investors on Thursday.

Economic activity collapsed in China during February and March, when the outbreak stopped hundreds of millions of people from leaving their homes. The stall in activity caused China’s economic growth in the first quarter of the year to contract for the first time since the 1970s.

Alice Woodhouse 4/30/2020, 2:17:25 AM

S Korea reports no new local coronavirus cases for first time since February

Edward White in Wellington

South Korea has reported zero new locally transmitted coronavirus cases for the first time in months, in the latest sign that Seoul’s focus on mass testing and intensive contact tracing provides a model for other governments to follow.

The country reported four new cases of Covid-19 on Thursday, all of which are attributed to people who had recently arrived into the country. The number marked the lowest increase since the outbreak worsened in February and down from a peak of more than 900.

A further 137 people were>

Despite the success, health officials in Seoul continue to urge caution over the possibility of new waves of the virus. An extended public holiday, starting on Thursday, has raised concern that adherence to preventative public health measures might be increasingly lax.

Responding quickly to potential new clusters remains a central pillar of the country’s exit strategy.

Hundreds of private epidemiologists are contracted to bolster public health officials as they investigate contacts of confirmed cases. A rapid response team within the Korea Centers for Disease Control is deployed whenever there is a risk of a new cluster emerging, accelerating the tracing process to suppress new outbreaks.

And as the country moves to ease its social distancing requirements, detailed guidelines have been released to ensure continued caution in all social interactions.

Still, the country is on track to ease its social distancing requirements in early May with schools and workplaces expected to return to mostly normal.

Emma Boyde 4/30/2020, 2:11:47 AM

Colombian authorities hold Venezuelan migrants in Bogotá

Gideon Long in Bogotá

Hundreds of Venezuelan migrants who are trying to leave Colombia and get back to their homeland are stuck on the outskirts of Bogotá because the Colombian authorities will not let them travel due to coronavirus.

The migrants are stranded on buses at a toll booth on the northern edge of the city. They were stopped as they tried to leave for the border city of Cúcuta, 550km away.

The Colombians say Venezuela is only allowing 300 migrants to cross back in to Venezuela each day, so authorities are holding migrants close to Bogotá to avoid a build-up of people in Cúcuta.

Hundreds of Venezuelan migrants are trying to return having lost their work due to the virus lockdown. Many say they cannot pay their rent in Colombia whereas at least in Venezuela they have family and a roof over their heads.

With flights and buses grounded, some Venezuelans are walking to the border, creating a potential health hazard in the towns and villages they pass.

In recent years, the exodus of migrants from Venezuela has been the biggest on the planet, eclipsing even the flow of Syrians through the Mediterranean, which has slowed after a decade of war. The UN and national migration agencies say 5m people have left Venezuela since 2015, dwarfing the exodus of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar or migration from war-torn South Sudan.

Over a third – 1.8m – have come to Colombia, and 1m do not have permission to stay. Many eke out a living in the informal labour market, selling sweets and snacks on the streets or working cash-in-hand in odd jobs.

Emma Boyde 4/30/2020, 12:56:45 AM

le Réserve fédérale kept its main interest rate close to zero on Wednesday, as officials weighed up the impact of the heavy dose of liquidity and stimulus already delivered to the US economy in the past two months.

Twitter has said it is allowing developers and researchers to study conversations on the social media platform around disinformation about the coronavirus, the spread of the disease and emergency response to the pandemic.

The World Health Organization has defended Sweden’s approach to tackling Covid-19, saying it had implemented “strong measures” to tackle the virus. The Swedish government has been criticised for not imposing a formal lockdown, unlike the majority of countries in Europe.

le UK has become the country with the highest coronavirus death toll after the US and Italy as it records in its daily national figures those who have died in care homes and the wider community.

The IMF has approved Costa Rica’s request for $504m in assistance to deal with health expenses and staunch balance of payments needs amid the coronavirus crisis.

Floride will allow restaurants and stores in all but three counties to reopen next week, as the state begins the process of restarting its economy.

Emma Boyde 4/30/2020, 12:55:59 AM

Corporate round up

Tesla eked out an unexpected after-tax profit in the first quarter of the year despite a hit to its production and vehicle deliveries from the coronavirus crisis, lifting its shares 8 per cent in after-market trading on Wednesday.

Facebook said it had seen “signs of stability” in its business this month following a sharp fall in advertising revenues in March because of the coronavirus crisis

Microsoft shrugged off the effects of the coronavirus crisis with surprisingly strong results in the latest quarter, as a jump in cloud-related business more than offset a hit to some of its traditional software sales.

, the company said, but lockdowns have been a drag on other areas of its business. eBay reported first quarter revenues of $2.4bn, a 2 per cent decline on the same period last year, though above Wall Street estimates.

Boeing’s credit rating has been downgraded by S&P Global Ratings on lower earnings and cash flow. The largest global ratings agency dropped the aerospace manufacturer one notch to BBB-/A-3 from BBB/A-2, which remains investment grade.

Alice Woodhouse 4/30/2020, 12:45:15 AM

ANZ suspend son dividende alors que le bénéfice baisse

Jamie Smyth à Sydney

ANZ Bank suspended its dividend and reported a 51 per cent fall in interim profit to A$1.55bn ($1bn) on Thursday as the coronavirus crisis caused a rise in credit impairment charges.

The bank said it would incur credit impairment charges of A$1.67bn for the six months to the end of March, of which A$1bn were provisions related to the impact of Covid-19. ANZ a déprécié la valeur de ses associés asiatiques de 815 millions de dollars australiens, en grande partie en raison des dommages causés par le virus sur ces marchés.

ANZ said 14 per cent of mortgage holders with A$36bn in loans had so far requested assistance under a scheme that provides up to six months’ suspension on repayments.

David Gonski, président d’ANZ, a déclaré que la banque reporterait sa décision sur le dividende intérimaire 2020 jusqu’à ce qu’il y ait plus de clarté concernant l’impact économique de Covid-19.

“This decision is not about our current financial position and ANZ has not received any concerns from APRA [Australia’s banking supervisor] regarding our level of capital,” he said.

“The board agrees with the regulator’s guidance that deferring a decision on the 2020 interim dividend is prudent given the present economic uncertainty and that making a decision at this time would not have been appropriate.”

ANZ a versé un acompte sur dividende de 80 cents par action au cours de la même période l’an dernier.

Le régulateur prudentiel australien a demandé ce mois-ci aux prêteurs de limiter les paiements et de préserver le capital pour soutenir leurs clients pendant la récession, mais a laissé la décision finale aux banques. Cependant, cette semaine, la National Australia Bank a versé un dividende de 30 cents par action, même si elle a levé de nouveaux capitaux, arguant que de nombreux actionnaires comptaient sur les dividendes pour générer des revenus.

Les coussins de fonds propres d’ANZ étaient inférieurs à ce que les analystes avaient prévu avec un ratio de fonds propres de première catégorie de 10,8%, se situant juste au-dessus de l’indice de référence « incontestablement solide » fixé par les régulateurs.

UBS said the market would probably focus on the weaker than expected capital numbers.

« Le report du dividende semble prudent jusqu’à ce qu’il y ait plus de certitude sur les perspectives de l’économie et de la qualité des actifs », a déclaré Jonathan Mott, analyste chez UBS.

Alice Woodhouse 4/30/2020, 12:36:21 AM

China reports 4 new coronavirus cases, no new deaths

Chinese health authorities reported four new coronavirus cases to the end of Wednesday, all of which were found in people who had returned from overseas.

Authorities in China have sought to limit a potential second wave of Covid-19 cases in citizens returning to the country from abroad by introducing travel restrictions and tightening checks at land borders.

The new cases take the total tally to 82,862 in mainland China, with 4,633 reported deaths linked to Covid-19.

There were 33 new cases of people found to be infected with coronavirus but not showing any symptoms.

Emma Boyde 4/30/2020, 12:28:29 AM

Mexico’s Interjet suspends membership of IATA clearing house

Jude Webber in Mexico City

Mexican airline Interjet said it had “temporarily suspended” its membership of IATA’s clearing house, which provides settlement services for the airline industry, because of a cash crunch, but added that did not mean it had been grounded.

The airline’s troubles began before the coronavirus crisis but the collapse of air travel has intensified pressure.

Interjet has 65 aircraft in total but it was not immediately clear how many were leased.

“Because of the need to meet payments to a supplier who was seeking to make payments through the IATA Clearing House (ICH), Interjet took the decision to temporarily suspend its participation in that clearing house,” the airline said in a statement. It said it remained a member of IATA.

A source close to the company said Interjet was suffering “because of the coronavirus contingency”, which was also affecting its peers, and that faced with the abrupt decline in tourism and travel, it had decided to return leased planes to avoid continuing to pay for them while they were grounded.

It was not immediately possible to verify this information nor to ascertain how big a cash crunch Interjet was facing. An Interjet spokesman declined to comment.Interjet, which was founded in 2005, said in the statement that for its first 10 years it had operated without being an IATA member without any problems.“The company is continuing national operations,” it added.

Emma Boyde 4/30/2020, 12:18:39 AM

UK car plant production falls by a third in March

Peter Campbell in London

Production at Britain’s car plants fell by more than a third in March as shutdowns halted output at every major site.

In response to the figures, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders on Thursday called for a “package of measures”, including stimulating demand, to help plants restart.

So far Aston Martin, BMW and Jaguar Land Rover have announced limited re-openings during May, but most of the UK’s plants have not announced a restart date.

Output in March fell 37.6 per cent compared with a year earlier to 78,767 vehicles, according to SMMT figures published on Thursday.

Shipments to China rose by 2.3 per cent as the world’s largest car market re-opened, but exports to all other regions, as well as production for sales at home, fell sharply.

The SMMT calculates the industry will have lost £8.2bn in revenues if factories remain closed until the middle of May. Some plants across Europe, including Volkswagen’s flagship facility at Wolfsberg, have already reopened.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes called for a “package of measures” including a “demand-side measure to help encourage customers back into the market”.

Alice Woodhouse 4/30/2020, 12:15:35 AM

Asia-Pacific stocks gain as coronavirus drug trial stokes optimism

Asia-Pacific stock markets climbed on Thursday following Wall Street gains on optimism over a potential drug treatment for coronavirus, even as the US revealed its worst economic decline since 2008.

Japan’s benchmark Topix was up 2 per cent and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.8 per cent.

The S&P 500 rallied 2.7 per cent after Gilead Sciences said it had been notified of “positive” data from a trial of its potential coronavirus treatment drug, remdesivir. Anthony Fauci, a leading member of the White House coronavirus task force praised the findings.

S&P 500 futures pointed to a 0.1 per cent gain later on Thursday.

Figures released on Wednesday showed the US economy shrank at a 4.8 per cent annualised rate in the first three months of the year, its sharpest drop since the global financial crisis and a larger contraction than forecast by economists, as the coronavirus pandemic stalled growth.

The Federal Reserve warned of lasting “medium-term” economic damage from the pandemic as it said it was prepared to take additional steps to support the US economy, but left its main interest rate unchanged.

West Texas Intermediate, the US crude benchmark, which has been hit by wild swings as the pandemic curbs demand, was up 6.3 per cent at $16.01 a barrel in Asia trading.

Emma Boyde 4/29/2020, 11:54:34 PM

Record daily increase takes US death toll above 55,000

Peter Wells in New York

A record number of people died from coronavirus in the US over the past 24 hours, taking the nation’s death toll over 55,000.

The daily death rate was 2,700, according to data compiled by the Covid Tracking Project on Wednesday afternoon.

That represents a relatively quick increase in recent days. The daily increase of 1,095 on Sunday was the lowest since April 2.

Deaths in New York, the hardest-hit state overall, increased by 377 over the past day to 18,015 overall. That has brought its daily rate close to New Jersey’s, which increased by 328 over the past 24 hours, from a record 398 on Tuesday, and to 6,770 overall.

A total of 55,225 people in the US have died since the outbreak began. Covid Tracking Project does not count so-called presumptive deaths in New York City, which is why its overall tally is lower than the often-cited data from Johns Hopkins University.