Malaysia's central bank said on Friday the economy could shrink by as much as 2% or grow 0.5% this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, in what would be its worst economic performance in more than a decade. Malaysia, which has the highest number of reported coronavirus infections in Southeast Asia with more than 3,100 cases and 50 deaths, is in the middle of month-long restrictions on travel and non-essential business that have hit trade and tourism. "Overall, risks to the domestic growth outlook are tilted to the downside, mainly due the risk of a prolonged and wider spread of COVID-19 and its effects on the global and domestic economy," Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) said in documents released with its annual report.
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he had brokered a deal with top crude producers Russia and Saudi Arabia to cut output and arrest an oil price rout amid the global coronavirus pandemic, though details of how cuts would work were unclear. Trump said the two nations could cut output by 10 to 15 million barrels per day (bpd) - an unprecedented amount representing 10% to 15% of global supply, and one that would require the participation of nations outside of OPEC and its allies. Russia and Saudi Arabia have been at odds since early March, when they failed to agree on a deal curbing output as the coronavirus spread around the globe.
China's services sector struggled to get back on its feet in March after a brutal month of unprecedented shop closures and public lockdowns amid the coronavirus outbreak, a private survey showed on Friday. Export orders also slumped again as more countries imposed their own tough virus containment measures. The findings add to fears that consumer-facing services firms could be hit much harder and longer by the downturn than factories, which are slowly getting back to work, albeit at below normal levels.
The economic crisis spawned by the coronavirus pandemic has produced a wave of grim U.S. data, with likely more to come as millions lose jobs, businesses shutter and spending stops. Given how fast the situation has developed, judging when that happens in real time will prove challenging for economists who usually depend on monthly, quarterly or yearly trends in data to judge the state of the business cycle. The coronavirus outbreak is not a business cycle event but perhaps a once-in-a-century health crisis where normal choices about where to go and what to spend are influenced by a combination of fear and government edict.
Singapore's retail sales in February fell at the steepest pace in more than 12 years on a month-on-month basis as consumption fell across categories such as apparel and cosmetics due to the coronavirus pandemic. On a seasonally adjusted basis retail sales declined 8.9% in February from the previous month, data from the Singapore Department of Statistics showed, the biggest drop since July 2007. Retail sales fell 8.6% on a year-on-year basis.
A tug-of-war between Japan's banks and companies has erupted over replacing the widely used but tarnished Libor benchmark, illustrating the difficulty for lenders, borrowers and regulators in adopting a replacement for the $400 trillion benchmark. Libor, the London Interbank Offered Rate, underpinned the global market for loans, bonds and derivatives for decades. The crucial deadline is December 31, 2021, after which the U.K.'s Financial Conduct Authority, which regulates Libor, will not make banks submit the estimates from which it is calculated, meaning it will cease to exist.
European stock markets sank on Friday, erasing meagre gains for the week, as more companies flagged a hit to business from the coronavirus pandemic while oil prices extended their previous day's gains on hopes of a global supply cut. With virus-fighting lockdowns raising the risk of a prolonged global downturn, investors continued to seek the safety of the U.S. dollar and government bonds, pushing U.S. Treasury yields near their lowest in three weeks. With over a million people infected worldwide, there were more signs the pandemic would take a massive toll on economic growth.
Indian shares tracked broader Asia lower on Friday as coronavirus cases showed no signs of abating and doubts emerged over an oil price deal between Saudi Arabia and Russia that U.S. President Donald Trump said he had brokered. The broader NSE Nifty 50 index fell 1.27% to 8149.15 by 0440 GMT and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex was down 1.29% at 27,900.18. Global coronavirus cases surpassed 1 million on Thursday with more than 52,000 deaths.
International seat capacity has dropped by almost 80% from a year ago and half the world's airplanes are in storage, new data shows, suggesting the aviation industry may take years to recover from the coronavirus pandemic. Carriers including United Airlines Holdings Inc and Air New Zealand Ltd have warned they are likely to emerge from the crisis smaller, and there are fears others may not survive. "It is likely that when we get across to the other side of the pandemic, things won't return to the vibrant market conditions we had at the start of the year," said Olivier Ponti, vice president at data firm ForwardKeys.
President Donald Trump slammed 3M Co in a tweet late on Thursday after earlier announcing he was invoking the Defense Production Act to get the company to produce face masks. At a White House briefing on the coronavirus pandemic earlier on Thursday, Trump announced he had signed a Defense Production Act order for 3M to produce face masks.
Airbnb was valued at $31 billion in its most recent private fund-raising round, the source said.With the coronavirus spreading across the globe, thousands of travellers have called off plans for vacations, work trips and family visits. Airbnb staff were informed of the new valuation by Chief Executive Officer Brian Chesky at a company-wide meeting on Thursday, according to the source. A source told Reuters last week that Airbnb held a phone meeting with bankers to discuss extending an existing $1 billion debt facility, and said that the startup's revenue in 2019 had exceeded $4.8 billion.
Neiman Marcus Group is stepping up preparations to seek bankruptcy protection, after the coronavirus pandemic forced the debt-laden U.S. luxury department store chain to close its stores, people familiar with the matter said on Thursday. Neiman began holding confidential discussions this week with bondholders about possible financing that would help the company continue operating while under bankruptcy protection, the sources said. Up until this week, Neiman had received inquiries from creditors about its next moves but had not commenced discussions about a possible bankruptcy, some of the sources said.
The Indian rupee will probably cut some of its losses against the dollar in the next year, according to strategists polled by Reuters, but it's likely to stay weak with other emerging-market currencies until the coronavirus pandemic subsides. The rupee's path will largely depend on how successful the Indian government's steps are in containing the spread of COVID-19 in a country of more than 1.3 billion people, the second-most-populous in the world. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ordered a 21-day national lockdown, which began on March 25.
Italy had the most deaths, more than 13,900, followed by Spain. The United States had the most confirmed cases of any country, more than 240,000, the data showed. Amid unprecedented government steps to prop up economies battered by the outbreak, U.S. weekly jobless claims jumped to a record 6.6 million, double the record from the previous week.
Developing Asia's already slowing economic growth is set to weaken even more sharply this year, hit by the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic before it bounces back strongly next year, the Asian Develpoment Bank (ADB) said on Friday. The Manila-based lender said its baseline forecast called for growth in developing Asia, a group of 45 economies that includes China and India, to slow to 2.2% in 2020 from a previous forecast of 5.2%, matching last year. "This will be the lowest growth that developing Asia will have seen in 22 years, or since the Asian financial crisis," said Abdul Abiad, director of ADB's macroeconomic research division.
Benchmark Brent crude oil futures reversed losses incurred during Asian hours in early European trading on Friday to rise above $30 a barrel, with hopes of a huge global supply cut deal to support prices still alive. Brent crude futures were up 7%, or $2.10, at $32.04 per barrel by 0748 GMT. Brent soared as much as 47% during Thursday's session, its highest intraday percentage gain ever, before closing 21% higher, but still at less than half the $66 it was trading at at the end of 2019.
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U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he was pressing ahead with the Friday launch of a $349 billion coronavirus rescue loan program for small businesses, after conceding to bank demands to fix aspects of the program that they said could cause participating lenders legal and financial risks. Mnuchin told a White House briefing on Thursday that the Treasury and the Small Business Administration had decided to double the interest rate on the loans to 1% from 0.5% previously so that small banks with higher deposit costs don't lose money.
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Yes, the Coronavirus or COVID-19 situation is unsettling (and increasingly making us all nervous) but we believe in looking for silver linings in troubled times. If you’ve been granted work from home (WFH) arrangements, you’d get what we mean. With more measures in place to […]The post The Real Cost Of Working From Home (WFH) May Surprise You appeared first on SingSaver Blog - We Compare, You Save.
'[If] you are an entrepreneur, if you’re a small business operator, you need to be cognizant and you need to apply ASAP,' Mark Cuban says.
Amazon did not confirm the authenticity of the notes, which Vice News reported were from a daily meeting with the company's Chief Executive Jeff Bezos and senior leadership team. David Zapolsky, Amazon's secretary and top lawyer, allegedly wrote that a worker who criticized Amazon's warehouse operation during the coronavirus pandemic was "not smart, or articulate" and suggested Amazon might "make him the face of the entire union/organizing movement." Amazon and other businesses have provided vital deliveries as nearly 90% of the United States has been told by their governments to stay home to slow the spread of coronavirus.
General Motors Co <GM.N> on Thursday rolled out a series of safety measures for workers in Indiana who will make ventilators, outlining what could be a blueprint for opening U.S. auto plants in the coming weeks. More than 1,000 GM workers will make the ventilators at GM's Kokomo, Indiana, plant. The automaker aims to begin mass production by mid-April and to make 10,000 ventilators a month by summer.
Disney had committed to full pay and benefits for all employees through April 18 despite the closure of theme parks, halting of film and TV production, and the shuttering of movie theaters. "However, with no clear indication of when we can restart our businesses, we’re forced to make the difficult decision to take the next step and furlough employees whose jobs aren’t necessary at this time," a Disney representative said in a statement. All impacted workers will remain Disney employees through the furlough period and will receive full healthcare benefits.
On Friday, banks across the country will begin accepting applications for low-interest and forgivable loans from small businesses under pressure due to COVID-19.