The UK has the fifth highest number of Covid-19 cases in Europe
Bethan Staton in London writes:
Five more people in the UK tested positive for the virus, but no details were given on how they got infected, making Britain the fifth most affected country by Covid-19 in Europe .
The number of people infected has risen to 40 after 13,525 people have been tested for the virus, the health ministry said on Monday.
Most of those infected have traveled abroad, said Chris Whitty, chief medical officer of health, on Sunday. In the case of one patient, however, there was no recent travel history and it was unclear how they had caught the virus.
The “risk of prolonged and widespread transmission” of coronaviruses was “moderate to high”, in part due to such “community transmission”, the European Center for Disease Control said on Monday.
The United Kingdom has the fifth highest number of cases in Europe, behind Spain with 83 cases, Germany with 129, France with 130 and Italy where 1689 people tested positive.
Iata calls on aviation regulators to relax rules on airport slots
Airline industry body calls on regulators around the world to relax rules on take-off and landing airport slots as the effects of coronaviruses on the sector spread from Asia to the rest of the world .
The International Air Transport Association, based in Geneva, has asked aviation regulators to immediately suspend the rules governing the use of slots due to the virus that killed more than 3,000 people worldwide and extend to the whole year.
Almost half – 43% – of all passengers depart from more than 200 airports with coordinated slots. The rules oblige airlines to use at least 80% of the slots allocated to them or they lose their rights for the following season, which runs this year until October. In exceptional circumstances, regulators can relax this requirement, Iata said in a statement on Monday.
The health crisis requires the industry to be flexible in applying the 80% rule, the agency said.
By relaxing the rules, airlines will be able to meet market conditions with appropriate capacity levels, avoiding having to run empty services to maintain slots, Iata said. Regulators have departed from the rules for operations in China and Hong Kong.
“Traffic has collapsed on the main Asian roads,” said Alexandre de Juniac, director general and chief executive officer of Iata. “This has repercussions on the air transport network worldwide, even between countries without a major Covid-19 epidemic.”
NYT predicts ad revenue will be affected by virus uncertainty
The New York Times said it was experiencing a slowdown in domestic and foreign advertising bookings and attributed it to “the uncertainty and anxiety about the virus”.
The company expects total ad revenue to drop by mid-teens in the current quarter, as digital ad revenue is expected to drop 10%, the company said in a file with the Securities and Exchange Commission .
The NYT said that unlike other publishers, its business is “strongly subscription-oriented rather than advertising,” and added “we have seen no negative impact on subscription growth or increase. expected subscription revenue. “
European central bankers call for ‘cool heads’ in the face of the virus
Martin Arnold reports from Frankfurt:
Two of Europe’s largest central bankers have said they are closely monitoring the economic impact of the coronavirus and stand ready to act if necessary, while stressing the need to “be cool” and minimizing the chances of imminent action.
Luis de Guindos, vice president of the European Central Bank, said on Monday that the coronavirus had “added a new layer of uncertainty to global and euro area growth prospects” which could have a negative impact “on both supply and demand side. ” chains ”.
De Guindos said the ECB has remained “vigilant and will closely monitor all incoming data”, while underlining its standard guidelines that it “is ready to adjust all its instruments, if necessary, to ensure that the inflation is moving toward its goal in a sustainable manner. “
François Villeroy de Galhau, Governor of the Banque de France, said Monday in a radio interview that the time was “cold heads”, while adding: “We are vigilant, we are mobilized, but we will remain calm and proportionate in the responses to be provided.
Villeroy, a member of the ECB’s board of governors, said that monetary policy was the most effective in supporting demand and that the coronavirus has so far mainly affected supply on the economy side. “Today, on the demand side, it is limited to certain sectors, where the effect is very significant, [but] it is not yet a general slowdown in consumption, ”he said.
The Governing Council of the ECB is scheduled to meet to decide on monetary policy next week. Christine Lagarde, its president, told the FT last week that it was too early to determine whether the virus represented “a long-term shock” that would have an impact on inflation.
Read Martin’s full piece here
UK government approves virus action plan
The British government has accepted a “UK-wide action plan” to combat the spread of coronavirus, Laura Hughes written.
After the Cobra committee ministers’ emergency meeting on Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesperson said the proposals will be released in full on Tuesday.
The spokesperson told the government:
Stands ready to use all the levers at his disposal to ensure that we are as prepared as possible.
Government officials said emergency legislation to deal with any further outbreaks could not be passed before the end of the month, as it should be “months rather than weeks” before new powers become necessary.
Speaking after the Cobra meeting, Mr. Johnson said:
I think it is very important to stress that this is a problem which is likely to become more important for this country in the coming days and weeks.
We will make all possible preparations for this and this country is very, very well prepared. “
He added that “the most useful thing” that members of the public could do is to wash their hands “twice for Happy Birthday with hot water.”
10-year US margin yield around 1%
Joe Rennison’s report in London and Colby Smith in New York:
The 10-year US Treasury yield closed for less than 1% for the first time as fears about the long-term economic impact of the spread of the coronavirus intensified.
The yield, which is moving in the opposite direction to the price, on the 10-year Treasury fell to a low of 1.03% on Monday, before rising to 1.06%. The 10-year Treasury is one of the most important interest rates in global finance, supporting borrowing and savings rates around the world.
Other US government bond yields were in free fall on Monday. The two-year yield fell nearly 17 basis points to 0.74%, marking its largest one-day decline since March 2009, after falling below 1% on Friday.
The downward movements reflected fears of a slowdown in global growth and the consolidation of expectations that the Federal Reserve would be forced to lower interest rates in an attempt to support the financial markets, after falling more than 10% of the S&P 500 since the intensification of coronavirus problems at the beginning. from last week.
Learn more about this story here
Japanese cruise ship operator files bankruptcy protection
A struggling cruise company in Kobe, western Japan, filed for bankruptcy following the rapid spread of coronavirus in the Asian nation, Kana Inagaki in Tokyo written.
Luminous Cruising, which operates one of Japan’s largest restoration cruise ships and had previously suffered from the effects of natural disasters and typhoons, announced Monday that it has decided to file under the Business Rehabilitation Law, with total debt of 1.2 billion yen ($ 11 million).
This follows a wave of cancellations following the coronavirus epidemic in China.
Business dependent on foreign tourist business, but cruise ship industry hit hardest by case on cruise ship Diamond Princess, where more than 700 passengers were infected in a failed quarantine of two weeks .
Luminous Cruising’s decision came after an operator at a 64-year-old resort inn in central Japan announced last week that it would file for bankruptcy due to a sharp reduction in the number of Chinese tourists.
Spain warns against kissing religious images
As the number of cases in Spain rose to 120 – more than double Saturday’s level – Fernando Simón, the doctor coordinating the country’s response, suggested that the government could take action against the kissing of religious images, Daniel Dombey in Madrid written.
“This is one of the measures on the table,” said Dr Simón, director of the Ministry of Health’s coordination center in response to the epidemic. He added:
What I can guarantee you is that basic hygiene measures are fundamental to avoid transmission … Specific prohibitions are on the table.
It is a custom in parts of Spain, including Seville, to embrace images such as the hand of statues of the Virgin Mary during Easter week.
“The Virgin has immaculate hands; they are free from the virus, “said a worshiper on Spanish television this weekend.
But Dr Simón added that any particularly restrictive measure would only be applied in the most affected areas, saying:
About 90% of cases in Spain are imported; there are only two areas where there could be local transmission.
We have to understand that if we take a larger response in certain areas, the measures would have a greater economic impact than it would be easy for society to absorb.
He added that in the greater Madrid region, where there are more than 30 documented cases, the authorities were examining an evangelical group in which the virus had spread.
He also said that if Spain does not call for the cancellation of public events, people with respiratory symptoms should not attend large-scale events.
Eurex offers troubled traders flexibility in trading places
Philip Stafford in London reports:
Eurex has offered its traders some leeway if emergency measures linked to Covid-19 prevent them from trading in the German futures market from their normal approved locations.
The exchange said traders could participate outside of their notified and approved trading locations if caught in preventive measures such as quarantine. Normally, the location requires formal notification of any changes.
Eurex is home to some of the most actively traded derivative contracts in the world, including futures and options on the Euro Stoxx 50 stock index, as well as German bond futures.
“Eurex Deutschland has taken the appropriate emergency measures to ensure orderly trading conditions,” he said in a notice to clients.
In a separate move, the industry trade association, the World Trade Federation, also canceled its Clearing & Derivatives conference next month on coronavirus problems.
The event was to be held in Malta on March 26 and 27. It was only the second postponement in 37 years of history. He will return to Malta next year, the WFE told members and delegates on Monday.
Nandini Sukumar, Managing Director, told members that she was “extremely disappointed” but had “decided, with our host, the Malta Stock Exchange, that this was the most prudent approach to take”.
“Time to act” to restore confidence, says EU Gentiloni
Paolo Gentiloni of the EU warned of the health of the global economy, saying earlier forecasts may prove optimistic, Mehreen Khan reports in Brussels.
The bloc’s economic commissioner said that the idea of a “V” shaped economic recovery from the coronavirus, ie a strong recession and a strong recovery, because the growth of gross domestic product may turn out to be “optimistic”.
“Protecting health is the priority,” he said on Twitter.
He called for “all available policy options, if and when necessary”, to be deployed to safeguard growth and build confidence.
“Now is the time to act,” he said.
“Faced with the economic consequences [of coronavirus] I will work for the European Union to coordinate the response and use the necessary tools against the risks of growth and work. “
European stocks slide as economic picture gloomens
European stocks reversed this morning’s gains to fall once again as an increasingly bleak economic situation outweighs optimism about the prospect of a central bank easing.
The continent-wide Stoxx Europe 600 fell 1% after rising 2.3% earlier in the morning.
The decline follows a warning from the OECD, the Paris club of mostly wealthy countries, that global growth could be halved this year compared to its previous forecasts if the coronavirus epidemic persisted.
European stocks had initially recovered this morning, after a positive session in Asia, after the Bank of Japan followed the US Federal Reserve with the wish to fight against the coronavirus.
The FTSE 100 recently increased by 0.2%, while in Frankfurt, the Dax fell by 1.5% and the Cac40 in Paris by 1.4%.
Fear of virus prompts Goldman Sachs to cancel non-essential trips
Goldman Sachs has postponed non-essential international business travel, with restrictions to and from Italy, Iran, South Korea and mainland China.
“As we focus on maintaining the health and safety of our employees, we are closely monitoring new developments regarding Covid-19 and are calling to respond to the company’s global response,” said the bank. investment in a staff note.
“As a result, today we are adjusting our travel precautionary measures and our self-isolation policy,” said the note.
The bank said all employees or agency workers who traveled to, or were in contact with Iran and Italy, must register, isolate themselves and stay out of the office for 14 days .
Rival JPMorgan issued similar restrictions a few days ago.
Chinese authorities urge cities to maintain tight controls
Yuan Yang in Beijing reports:
The Chinese central government has stressed the need for local authorities to control the spread of the coronavirus, asking Beijing and other major cities to keep checks tight, state television reported on Monday.
Spread of the virus outside the Hubei epidemic center is still low and the trend is improving, the government said.
National television showed scenes of medical supplies and fresh vegetables sent by train to the city of Wuhan, where the new coronavirus originated.
In order to bring migrant workers back to the cities, the Sichuan Provincial Big Data Office requests workers to upload self-rated health data and arranges transportation for those deemed fit to travel.
Czech Republic Suspends Flights to South Korea and Northern Italy
James Shotter reports from Warsaw:
The Czech Republic must stop flights to South Korea and several cities in northern Italy as it struggles to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
Adam Vojtech, the country’s health minister, said the government had made the decision – which includes the cancellation of flights to Milan, Bergamo, Venice and Bologna – due to the rapid increase in cases in both countries .
He also said that the government had advised people to reduce visits to nursing homes and similar facilities, due to the vulnerability of elderly patients.
The central European country recorded its first three cases of coronavirus over the weekend, all of whom had been in northern Italy. Vojtech said 20 more people were being tested and the results would be available later today.
Meanwhile, the biathlon world cup, to be held in Nove Mesto in Moravia this week, will take place without spectators.
The Louvre in France remains closed in the middle of a confrontation with the workers
David Keohane returns from Paris:
The Louvre in Paris, the most visited museum in the world, will decide this afternoon whether it can open after staff have refused to work for a second day due to fear of coronavirus infection.
Museum staff and unions will meet with management later today to see if they can reopen, a Louvre spokesman said while angry tourists lined up in vain amid the pouring rain. ‘a gray Monday morning in Paris.
In a statement, the museum said the ongoing closure, which started on Sunday, was “not necessary” because the museum was following government guidelines to stop the spread of the virus, including a ban on gatherings of more than 5000 people.
The closure is just one of many in France after the government has stepped up precautions against the virus – 130 cases have been confirmed in France with two deaths. The Paris book fair, which should start in mid-March, has also recently been canceled.
Monday, Thierry Breton, the European commissioner for industry, declared to the French television channel BFM TV that the virus cost the tourism industry of the continent 1 billion euros per month in loss of income.
Brussels plans meeting of EU27 Minister of Health to discuss response
The European Commission is organizing a press conference in Brussels this morning to take stock of its planning for coronaviruses, Mehreen Khan reports in Brussels.
The EU has confirmed that there are 2,100 cases of the virus in 18 member states, with 36 dead.
The 27 EU health ministers plan to meet in Brussels on Friday to coordinate their responses. The block’s public health alert went from “low to moderate” to “moderate to high”.
Travelex owner Finablr predicts virus will hurt business
Finablr, the London-listed payment company and owner of Travelex currency exchange services, has become the latest travel agency to warn of the impact of the virus on its business, reports Nicholas Megaw, correspondent for the retail bank.
“There are currently indications of a sharp decline in the number of air passengers,” hitting activity in Asia and other markets “closely linked to overseas travel to Asia,” the company said on Monday.
Finablr said the full financial impact of the epidemic was difficult to predict, but warned that his non-travel activities could suffer.
The situation is changing rapidly around the world and could have repercussions on the volumes processed in other segments. The company’s cross-border payments segment could be affected, for example, since a significant part of the business takes place on physical sites.
UK manufacturing hit by supply chain disruption
Delivery times to the UK have slowed and pre-production stocks have decreased as the impact of the spread of the coronavirus has disrupted the global supply chain, reported Valentina Romei in London.
In February, figures that largely covered the time when the virus was mainly confined to Asia, the IHS Markit / Cips composite purchasing managers’ index for manufacturing rose.
However, British manufacturers have reported disturbances due to the impact of the coronavirus epidemic and measures taken by China to contain the infection, such as the 10-day closure of the most affected areas. This caused the largest monthly drop in the supplier delivery time index in almost three decades of data collection.
The survey of business leaders indicated that pre-production stocks had declined in February to the greatest extent since December 2012.
“However, disruptions in the supply chain were rapidly emerging, as the Covid-19 epidemic resulted in a substantial increase in supplier delivery times, shortages of raw materials, reduced input stocks, an increase input costs and lower export orders from Asia and China in particular, ”said Rob Dobson, director at IHS Markit.
Iranian death toll rises again
The Iranian Ministry of Health announced on Monday that the death toll rose to 66 from 54 on Sunday while the number of people tested positive reached 1,501 from 978, Najmeh Bozorgmehr in Tehran written.
Iranian authorities have predicted that the number of victims will reach its “main peak” this week. But at least three deputies have so far warned that official death figures are lower than the actual number of deaths. Health ministry officials deny any cover-ups.
At least one senior official in the Islamic Republic, Mohammad Mirmohammadi, a member of the National Expert Council that develops macroeconomic policies, was reported dead on Monday. A vice-president, a vice-minister of health and at least 20 members of parliament have been positive.
Government spokesman Ali Rabiei said Monday that Iran would welcome foreign aid to contain the spread of the virus. But he said the United States was not sincere in offering aid at a time when sanctions were in place. He added that closing borders with neighboring countries due to the disease was causing serious damage to the Iranian economy under sanctions.
He added that Iran has started negotiations with Iraq, Afghanistan, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates to help resume trade.
OECD warns virus could halve global growth prospects
Chris Giles, economic writer, reports:
The OECD became the first international organization to raise the alarm on the coronavirus on Monday, saying the global economy is “at risk” and warning of the possibility that global growth will be halved this year compared to his previous predictions.
The effect of the widespread shutdown of factories and businesses in China was likely to reduce global growth forecasts by 2020 by 0.5 percentage points, said the Paris-based international organization, lowering its forecast. an already low level of 2.9% to 2.4%. .
This puts the global economy on the brink of a recession, which has traditionally been defined as growth below 2.5%.
If there were a “longer-lasting and more intensive coronavirus outbreak, which would spread widely in the Asia-Pacific region, Europe and North America,” the outlook would decline further and global growth “could fall to 1.5% in 2020, half the rate previously forecast. to the virus epidemic, ”added the OECD.
Calling on governments to act “swiftly and forcefully” on health and economic effects, he called for supportive monetary and fiscal policies to restore confidence, even though he acknowledged that economic policies cannot offset the effects immediate closures of activities intended to slow the spread of the virus.
Italian manufacturing posted 17th monthly drop before virus struck
Italy suffered its 17th consecutive monthly decline in manufacturing activity in February, adding to signs that the deadly coronavirus epidemic is set to plunge the country into another recession, Martin Arnold written.
With more than 1,600 confirmed cases and 34 deaths, Italy is home to one of the largest coronavirus epidemics outside of Asia. The Italian government announced on Sunday that it will inject 3.6 billion euros into the economy, which contracted 0.3% in the last quarter of last year.
The disruption of the virus, which has resulted in the foreclosure of 11 cities in northern Italy, closed many schools and canceled sporting events, is expected to worsen the problems of Italian manufacturers.
The IHS Markit purchasing management index for the Italian manufacturing industry edged down 0.2 points to 48.7 February. A reading of less than 50 indicates that the majority of the companies questioned report a decrease in activity. The investigation ended on February 21, before the coronavirus outbreak intensified in Italy.
Indonesia confirms first cases of coronavirus
Indonesia has confirmed its first cases of coronavirus, a 64-year-old woman and her 31-year-old daughter, Mercedes Ruehl written.
The two patients had been in contact with a Japanese national who tested positive in Malaysia, President Joko Widodo told reporters on Monday. The two were hospitalized in Jakarta, he said.
Although these are the first confirmed cases in the fourth most populous country in the world, patients are not the first Indonesians to be diagnosed with the virus. A number of Indonesian crews aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Japan were also infected. An Indonesian domestic worker in Singapore was also tested positive for the virus last month.
Hyundai car sales plummet to decade-low as spillover worsens
Hyundai Motor’s monthly car sales fell to their lowest level in a decade after the coronavirus epidemic hit demand for new cars, Song Jung-a writes in Seoul.
Sales of the South Korean automaker fell 13% in February from a year earlier to 275,044 vehicles, the latest sign of the fallout from the virus in the global auto industry. The company is the first car maker in the world to report monthly sales.
Since the virus crossed China in January, Hyundai, the world’s fifth-largest automaker with its subsidiary Kia Motors, has been disrupted at its factories in China and South Korea due to labor shortages and the rooms.
The most recent disruption occurred on Friday after a worker at his factory in the southeastern city of Ulsan tested positive for the virus, prompting the company to close the plant for the first time. weekend. Its operations returned to normal on Monday, a spokesman said.
South Korean health officials reported on Monday that an additional 476 people are fighting the deadly virus, bringing the total to 4,212, the largest epidemic of any country outside of China.
Cases are expected to increase after Seoul spurred public testing in response to the virus. More than 71,000 have tested negative for the virus while 34,000 tests are underway.
The epidemic is concentrated in Daegu, the country’s fourth city with 2.4 million inhabitants, and in the surrounding region, which is home to around a fifth of the country’s auto parts suppliers.
Kim Jin-woo, an analyst at Korea Investment & Securities, said the decline should continue until at least the second quarter.
Les actions Hyundai ont clôturé en baisse de 1,3% et sont en baisse de près de 10% depuis la fin janvier. L’indice de référence Kospi Composite a légèrement progressé de 0,8% par rapport aux attentes des mesures de relance gouvernementales.
Les commandes à l’exportation sud-coréennes ont chuté à leur rythme le plus rapide depuis plus de six ans en février, tandis que les fabricants ont réduit leur production et fermé des usines en réponse au coronavirus, a révélé lundi une enquête Nikkei-Markit.
L’Inde confirme les premiers cas de coronavirus depuis des semaines
Les autorités sanitaires indiennes ont confirmé les premiers nouveaux cas de coronavirus dans le pays depuis des semaines – à la fois chez des patients ayant des antécédents de voyages à l’étranger, Amy Kazmin à New Delhi écrit.
Le premier cas est survenu dans la capitale, New Delhi, chez un patient qui, selon les autorités, avait des antécédents de voyage en Italie, où la flambée épidémique est la plus importante d’Europe.
Le deuxième patient est situé dans l’État méridional de Telangana chez une personne ayant des antécédents de voyage à Dubaï, où de nombreux Indiens sont employés.
Le communiqué du ministère indien de la Santé indique que les deux patients sont stables et surveillés. Mais leur découverte est susceptible de soulever des inquiétudes quant au potentiel de propagation communautaire, malgré les efforts de l’Inde pour filtrer les voyageurs en provenance de l’étranger.
Jusqu’à lundi, l’Inde a signalé trois cas de coronavirus – tous chez des étudiants en médecine qui avaient étudié à Wuhan et sont retournés dans le sud de l’État du Kerala pour le nouvel an lunaire chinois porteur du virus.
Ces premiers patients se sont rétablis et depuis lors, aucun cas n’a été signalé au Kerala.
Les actions européennes suivent leurs homologues asiatiques à la hausse
Les actions européennes se sont inspirées de leurs homologues asiatiques pour rebondir ouvertement alors que les investisseurs placent leurs espoirs dans les banques centrales en lançant des mesures visant à amortir le coup économique de la flambée de coronavirus.
Le Stoxx 600 à l’échelle européenne a augmenté de 2% peu de temps après l’ouverture des marchés, tandis qu’à Londres, le FTSE 100 a augmenté de 2,3% et le Dax de Francfort a augmenté de 1,5%.
Dans le commerce asiatique, le CSI 300 chinois des actions cotées à Shanghai et à Shenzhen a clôturé en hausse de 3,3%, enregistrant sa meilleure performance sur une journée depuis mai. Le Topix japonais a grimpé de 1%.
Ces gains sont survenus après que la Banque du Japon a annoncé qu’elle injecterait des liquidités dans le système financier et a fait allusion à une augmentation des achats d’actifs.
La bonne humeur a également stimulé le pétrole brut, le prix du Brent grimpant de 3,7% à 51,54 $ le baril. Les rendements des bons du Trésor américain sont restés stables après avoir chuté de 11 points de base pour atteindre un record de 1,0347 pour cent.
Les banques européennes se préparent au trading hors site
Les banques et les gestionnaires d’actifs européens intensifient leurs préparatifs pour maintenir les équipes de trading en ligne face à l’épidémie de coronavirus, plusieurs étant prêts à déplacer leur personnel vers des sites hors site.
Comme le FT le rapporte ici, la propagation du virus menace la capacité des banques à maintenir de vastes parquets ouverts, qui hébergent souvent des centaines de traders et d’analystes à proximité les uns des autres.
L’AFME, un groupe de pression pour les institutions financières européennes, cherche à savoir si les principaux régulateurs nationaux exempteraient les banques des règles exigeant que certaines activités soient menées sur place, a déclaré au FT une personne proche de ces efforts.
Un clinicien britannique contracte un virus
Un clinicien du nord de Londres a été infecté par Covid-19, a indiqué le NHS.
La personne, qui n’a pas été identifiée plus loin, travaille dans un centre de cancérologie, Mount Vernon, à Northwood, Middlesex.
La déclaration du NHS a ajouté:
Nous sommes très bien préparés pour de tels incidents et le NHS et Public Health England prennent toutes les mesures nécessaires pour gérer la situation.
Toutes les personnes en contact avec le clinicien ont été identifiées et les mesures appropriées prises. Le risque pour les patients et le personnel du Mount Vernon Cancer Centre est très faible et nous travaillons avec des patients individuels pour gérer correctement leurs soins.
Le Premier ministre Boris Johnson devrait présider une réunion du comité d’urgence Cobra plus tard lundi.
Le Royaume-Uni a enregistré jusqu’à présent 36 cas de virus.
La Chine signale des cas importés d’autres pays
Quatre provinces chinoises ont signalé ces derniers jours de nouveaux cas de coronavirus qui semblent avoir été importés de l’extérieur du pays, alors même que les données officielles de Pékin montrent que la propagation de la maladie ralentit à l’intérieur des frontières chinoises, rapporte Christian Shepherd à Pékin.
Une femme arrivée à Shanghai le 26 février en provenance de Milan a été confirmée infectée par le virus ce week-end, ont rapporté les médias officiels chinois.
Après l’atterrissage, elle s’est rendue chez elle dans une voiture partagée à Qingtian, dans le centre de fabrication côtier oriental du Zhejiang, où elle a été mise en quarantaine et testée.
Au cours de la croissance rapide des cas confirmés de virus en Corée du Sud, en Iran, en Italie et au Japon, le chef de la commission chinoise de la santé a averti la semaine dernière d’un risque croissant de retour des personnes infectées d’outre-mer à la réouverture des écoles et des entreprises.
Un patient confirmé par le virus au cours du week-end avait voyagé de Londres à Hong Kong, puis était entré à Shenzhen. Deux autres étaient des ressortissants chinois qui étaient revenus de l’étranger et ont été testés positifs.
One case confirmed in the remote western region of Ningxia had returned from Iran via Shanghai. Many cities across China, including the capital Beijing, have put in place strict two-week quarantines for all individuals returning from outside China, regardless of where they travelled from.
French economy will be hit by coronavirus – finance minister
Newswires are reporting comments by French finance minister Bruno La Maire that point to a weakening of the nation’s economic growth because of the coronavirus.
The hit to France’s GDP growth will be “much more significant” than the 0.1 per cent
forecast when the Covid-19 outbreak was restricted to mainland China, Bloomberg reports Mr Le Maire as saying.
G7 finance ministers will hold a teleconference this week to coordinate their response to the virus, he also revealed.
Global death toll exceeds 3,000
The number of people who have died after contracting the coronavirus has reached 3,048, according to this up-to-the-minute database from Johns Hopkins university.
There have been 2,803 deaths in Hubei, mainland China, where the virus originated, as well as 34 in Italy, 26 in South Korea and 54 in Iran.
But 45,095 people diagnosed with the virus have now recovered, according to Johns Hopkins. This includes 33,757 recoveries reported in Hubei.
Australia confirms first local transmission
Two Australians have contracted the coronavirus locally, health officials said.
One is 53-year-old clinician and the other is the sister of a man diagnosed with Covid-19 after returning from Iran.
There are 28 other Australian cases but all either travelled from China, Iran or were passengers of the Diamond Princess cruise ship, local media reported.
Chinese biotech company rebuked over coronavirus drug claims
Sue-Lin Wong reports from Hong Kong
The Shanghai Stock Exchange has reprimanded a Chinese biotech company that claimed it was manufacturing a drug to treat coronavirus.
BrightGene Bio-Medical Technology Co said last month that it had received approval to produce remdesivir, the only drug that is thought to be effective in treating coronavirus, according to an official at the World Health Organization.
But the Shanghai Stock Exchange said on Sunday that BrightGene had not received approval from China’s drug regulator to manufacture remdesivir and the company had not been licensed by the patent owner of remdesivir to make the drug.
The US drugmaker Gilead Sciences has been granted three patents in China for remdesivir.
BrightGene’s stock fell by the daily limit of 20 per cent on Monday after hitting a record high last month, rising almost 60 per cent after the company said it was mass-producing a drug to treat coronavirus.
Europe: what you might have missed
US Treasury yields slid to records in Asia while stock markets rebounded as investors pinned their hopes on central banks unleashing measures aimed at cushioning the economic hit from the coronavirus outbreak.
Read more here
The Bank of Japan has signalled it will inject liquidity into markets and hinted at greater asset purchases in an emergency statement on the coronavirus.
Activity in China’s manufacturing sector declined at the fastest rate on record in February, according to a private survey, as factories were shut down to control the spread of coronavirus.
The US has suffered its second death resulting from the coronavirus outbreak. Officials in Washington state said late on Sunday that a male in his 70s with underlying health conditions had passed away at the weekend.
South Korean export orders have fallen at their fastest pace in over six years as manufacturers cut production and closed factories in response to the coronavirus.
North Korea fires missiles despite rising concerns over virus
By Edward White in Seoul
North Korea launched its first missile tests of 2020 on Monday as Kim Jong Un, the country’s leader, resumed military provocations despite the risk of a health catastrophe facing his country from the coronavirus.
Pyongyang fired two “projectiles” into the Sea of Japan from near Wonsan, on the country’s east coast, according to a statement by the South Korean military.
South Korea was “maintaining a readiness posture” in case of potential additional launches, the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Seoul said. No further information on the tests was immediately available.
The move came despite North Korean state media in recent days reporting as many as 7,000 people are being monitored for symptoms of the coronavirus which has swept through neighbouring China and is now hitting South Korea.
Ankit Panda, a North Korea expert at the Federation of American Scientists, said the missile test might be a demonstration of leadership by Mr Kim to his country.
“Kim Jong Un is determined to show that his commitment to national defence is unwavering, even as North Korea is treating Covid-19 seriously,” he said.
Pyongyang in January acted before many other countries to sharply reduce trade and travel from China, and strictly enforced quarantines for recent arrivals, including foreign diplomats.
While no coronavirus cases have been confirmed in North Korea, analysts have warned that the country is particularly vulnerable given its poor public health system.
Australia tells healthcare staff returning from Italy, S Korea to avoid work
Jamie Smyth reports from Sydney
Australia has told people returning from Italy or South Korea who are employed in the healthcare and aged care sectors not to return to work for a fortnight as a precaution against the coronavirus.
The changes are part of upgraded travel advice issued by the government for both countries, which are experiencing a surge in coronavirus cases. Australians have been advised to exercise “a high degree of caution” in Italy and South Korea but no travel bans have been put in place for people travelling from those countries to Australia.
Australian authorities said an extra degree of caution was required for some professions, particularly due to the nature of the virus.
“We do believe that there are some people whose symptoms are so mild that they may be almost unaware that they are infected, particularly just as they become infectious,” said Brendan Murphy, Australia’s chief medical officer.
Australia has imposed travel bans on non nationals, who have begun their journeys from Iran and China. So far 29 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus in Australia, one of whom died over the weekend.
Houston energy conference cancelled on virus outbreak
One of the largest US energy conferences has been cancelled after rising concern over the global spread of the coronavirus.
CERAWeek had been expected to run next week but IHS Markit pulled the event on Sunday after pointing to “an increasing number of … travel bans and restrictions”.
In a statement, IHS Markit said its number one concern was “the health and safety of delegates and speakers, our colleagues and vendors”:
“We have spent the last several weeks focused on this question, established a medical partnership with Houston Methodist Hospital, have been in continuing dialogue with experts on infectious disease, and established an extensive protocol. But the spread of COVID-19 is moving quickly around the world”.
Caixin manufacturing PMI falls to record low
Activity in China’s manufacturing sector declined at the fastest rate on record in February, according to a private survey, as factories were shut down to control the spread of coronavirus.
The Caixin-Markit manufacturing purchasing managers’ index dropped to 40.3, its lowest since the survey began in April 2004. That was down from 51.1 in January. A figure below 50 indicates a contraction in activity compared to the previous month.
Production fell at the sharpest rate on record as companies were unable to restart factories after the lunar new year, with the government restricting the movement of people to stem the spread of coronavirus. New work and staffing levels both fell at the quickest rate since the survey began.
“The supply and demand sides both weakened, supply chains became stagnant, and there was a big backlog of previous orders,” said Zhengsheng Zhong, chairman and chief economist at CEBM Group.
The Caixin figure follows the official survey from the National Bureau of Statistics, which fell to a record low of 35.7 in February. The official reading examines larger, state-owned enterprises while the Caixin survey examines smaller, private companies.
“The epidemic may have passed the turning point within China, and the government is moving to restore economic order outside Hubei. The poor data may accelerate policy interventions to repair the economy,” economists at Citi said after the official reading. However, they cautioned that as the outbreak worsens outside China it may cripple supply chains and that “it remains to be seen whether they can return to expansionary territory in a month”.
US records second coronavirus death
James Politi reports from Washington
The US has suffered its second death resulting from the coronavirus outbreak after officials in King County, Washington state, said late on Sunday that a male in his 70s with underlying health conditions had passed away at the weekend.
On Saturday, a man in his 50s also died in the Seattle area, making the Pacific Northwest a primary hub of the outbreak in the US. As well as reporting a second death linked to the disease, local health officials said three additional patients were in critical condition due to coronavirus – all of them residents of the same nursing home facility in Kirkland, Washington, a Seattle suburb.
The update from Washington followed confirmation of new coronavirus cases on Sunday in Illinois, Rhode Island, and New York, on top of earlier reports of new cases in Oregon and California.
There are more than 70 patients with coronavirus in the US. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to release a full tally at a briefing on Monday.
On Monday, the Florida Department of Health confirmed two cases of the virus in Florida, saying that both individuals are “isolated and being appropriately cared for”.
S Korean export orders fall at fastest pace in 6 years on virus worries
Edward White reports from Seoul
South Korean export orders have fallen at their fastest pace in over six years as manufacturers cut production and closed factories in response to the coronavirus.
According to a Nikkei-Markit survey of South Korean manufacturers released on Monday new export sales last month declined at the sharpest rate since August 2013 on the back of falling demand as China saw sweeping industrial shutdowns in an urgent bid to stop the virus spreading.
“The South Korean manufacturing sector was hit by a dual-pronged negative shock to the demand- and supply-side of the economy in February amid the Covid-19 outbreak,” said Joe Hayes, an economist at IHS Markit.
“Output volumes fell sharply as production was suspended and, in some cases, factories were closed in response to the widespread disruption to China, South Korea’s most important trade partner,” he added.
The Nikkei-Markit manufacturing purchasing managers’ index fell to 48.87 last month from 49.8 last month, and remaining below the 50-point marker separating contraction from expansion.
In recent days a rising number of stoppages at South Korean factories has prompted international concern over potential collateral damage to not only Asia’s fourth-largest economy but the entire global technology supply chain.
Exports represent 45 per cent of South Korea’s GDP. In several key technologies, including the memory chips used in countless electronic devices, South Korean companies control more than half the global market.
South Korean health officials on Monday reported 476 additional people are now battling the deadly virus, bringing the total to 4,212 — the largest outbreak of any country outside China. The death toll is now 22, up from 18 on Sunday. And the number of cases are expected to continue to rise after Seoul ramped up mass public testing in response to the virus. More than 71,000 people have tested negative for the virus while 34,000 new tests are under way.
Treasury yields fall to record low as odds of Fed rate cut rise
Hudson Lockett reports from Hong Kong
Bond yields tumbled as investors dumped stocks again on Monday after a reading of Chinese manufacturing activity plunged to a record low over the weekend and the US Federal Reserve signalled interest rates could be cut to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus.
Yields on benchmark 10-year US Treasuries dropped 11 basis points to 1.0347 per cent, a new record low, as market expectations of a rate cut at this month’s Fed meeting rose after Fed chair Jay Powell said the central bank was “closely monitoring” developments.
Goldman Sachs also adjusted its forecast, predicting a 0.5 percentage point cut in March followed by another 0.5 percentage point cut in the second quarter in light of “exceptionally weak” China business activity readings released on Saturday.
“We are also forecasting rate cuts by most other G10 (and some emerging markets) central banks, including a cumulative 100 basis points of cuts in Canada, 50bp in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, India and South Korea, and 10bp in the Euro area and Switzerland,” Goldman analysts wrote.
The chances of a 0.5 percentage point cut on March 18 were 100 per cent on Monday morning, according to Fed funds futures.
Bank of Japan signals support for markets in coronavirus statement
Robin Harding reports from Japan
The Bank of Japan has signaled it will inject liquidity into markets and hinted at greater asset purchases in an emergency statement on the coronavirus.
Haruhiko Kuroda, governor of the central bank, said: “The Bank of Japan will closely monitor future developments, and will strive to provide ample liquidity and ensure stability in financial markets through appropriate market operations and asset purchases.“
There is an important difference between liquidity operations – basically, short-term loans to banks to make sure they can handle any increased demand for cash – and stepped up asset purchases with the aim of driving down long-term interest rates or supporting stock prices.
It was not immediately clear how Mr Kuroda’s words will translate to BoJ action. After a massive monetary easing programme since 2013, which has seen overnight interest rates cut to minus 0.1 per cent and a cap on ten-year bond yields at zero, Japan’s central bank had been reluctant to ease monetary policy further for fear of damaging the financial system.
China coronavirus cases pass 80,000
Health authorities in China reported 202 new cases of coronavirus in the mainland to the end of Sunday, down from 573 the previous day. A total of 80,026 cases of the virus have been recorded.
There were 42 new deaths linked to the virus, all of which were in Hubei, the centre of the outbreak, taking the total number of deaths to 2,912.
Asia stocks, US futures fall after China manufacturing data show contraction
Asia-Pacific equities started the week lower and US stock futures slipped after a gauge of Chinese factory activity fell to its lowest on record and central bankers noted the risks to economies from coronavirus.
The Topix in Japan was down 1 per cent, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 shed 2.8 per cent. South Korea’s Kospi was down 0.7 per cent. S&P 500 futures were down 1.3 per cent.
The falls follow the worst week for US stocks since 2008 as the spread of coronavirus outside China shook investors.
The yield on the 10-year US Treasury note was down 2 basis points at a new record low. Yields fall as prices rise. The Japanese yen, which is seen as a haven in times of uncertainty, was 0.4 per cent stronger at ¥107.70 to the dollar, while gold was flat.
China’s official PMI fell to 35.7 in February, an all time low, and down from 50 in January. A figure below 50 indicates a contraction in activity. Efforts to contain the spread of the virus have meant that factories and other businesses have struggled to restart as migrant workers have been required to undergo quarantine or have been unable to return to their place of work after the lunar new year holiday.
“The worse the economic data are right now, the more aggressive policy responses will be. Given the current development, we think an infrastructure stimulus is almost certain and the question is just how much,” said Wei Yao, chief Asia economist at Société Générale. She estimates the Chinese economy was running at half of its capacity last week.
US stocks pared losses before the close on Friday after Jay Powell, Federal Reserve chairman signalled the central bank was considering cutting interest rates, in response to the risk posed by the spread of coronavirus. The S&P 500 ended Friday down 0.8 per cent.