Death toll in New York City is climbing faster than most other subnational regions, including Italy’s Lombardi region and Madrid.
Coronavirus Forex Updates: The curve has not yet flattened in several of the world’s biggest cities
Updated April 8, 2020
Chinese officials officially ended the 11-week lockdown on the Chinese province of Wuhan on Wednesday after officials believed that the threat of the virus had passed and that it was now safe to travel in and out of the region. Wuhan was the epicenter of the novel coronavirus when it was first discovered in December 2019. China confirmed no new deaths due to coronavirus for several days this week, giving its citizens yet another reason to rejoice and giving global leaders encouragement that they can also flatten the virus’s curve. There were 2 new coronavirus deaths on April 7.
Despite reasons to be optimistic, the curve has not yet flattened in several of the world’s biggest cities, including London, where UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson remains hospitalized in intensive care with coronavirus, and New York City, where the death toll on Tuesday surpassed that of 9/11, with over 3,202 deaths in the city. According to the Financial Times, the death toll in New York City is climbing faster than most other subnational regions, including Italy’s Lombardi region and Madrid.
U.S. President Donald Trump has taken aim at the World Health Organization (WHO) for not sounding the alarm early enough or diligent enough at the start of the pandemic’s outbreak. Trump’s comments went so far as to threaten withholding of funding from the WHO, though Congress has already authorized $122 million for the organization and it is unlikely to withdraw its commitment.
Updated April 7, 2020
Signs that the global fight against COVID-19 are working to slow the pandemic sent global stock markets higher on Monday afternoon in New York and Tuesday morning in Asia. The death toll continued to slow in Italy and Spain, but health officials have warned that there’s still a long way to go before the novel coronavirus stops its damage. Health officials also warn of interpreting trends too prematurely as U.S. numbers showed signs that the devastation may be slowing. Optimism out of the U.S. came even as the country’s death toll topped 10,000 on Monday. The warning from health officials came as some countries, like the Czech Republic, have started to mull easing the restrictions on their citizens. U.S. stock futures point to a lower open on Tuesday, indicating that like the virus, the volatility in the market is here to remain for some time.
On Monday, China reported its first day without coronavirus deaths since the discovery of the virus, but at the same time, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was hospitalized in the intensive care unit as he fights against the virus. He is the first world leader to contract COVID-19.
Updated April 6, 2020
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases across the globe continues to rise despite a decline in the daily number of new cases in several countries including Australia and South Korea. Many countries are still struggling to control the virus, including Japan, whose Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to declare a state of emergency in a briefing at 2 p.m. local time today, and the United States, whose death toll is expected to surpass 10,000 sometime on Monday. The number of global deaths was hovering around 70,000 as of Monday morning, with the total number of confirmed cases some 1,274,000, up more than 25 percent since hitting 1 million global cases last Friday.
A Malaysian tiger at the Bronx zoo has tested positive for COVID-19 after coming into contact with an infected zookeeper. This is the first confirmation of the virus in a tiger, though a dog had been diagnosed in China in late February. Researchers are still evaluating how the virus develops in animals, though they stress that there is no immediate concern that house pets will become spreaders of the virus.
Updated April 5, 2020:
Confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus have topped 1,200,000 worldwide, with the death toll nearing 65,000. U.S. President Donald Trump has warned of a deathly week ahead, though the death toll in hard-hit Italy hit its lowest in two weeks yesterday. Still, reports from Reuters indicate that the death toll in Italy may be substantially higher as the current metrics only measure hospital deaths, and many unfortunate people are left to die at home because the overburdened healthcare system in Italy cannot dispatch ambulances or provide safe assessments to the sick fast enough due to a lack of masks and protective gear. France’s death toll hit new highs on Saturday, as did the death toll in the U.S.
Jobs numbers out on Friday in the United States painted a grim picture, with 701,000 jobs lost last month, according to reports from the Labor Department, but analysts have argued that the numbers were gathered prematurely, and that the full extent of the layoffs has yet to be seen, even though Friday’s numbers were the bleakest that the U.S. has seen since the global financial crisis of 2008. Ironically, healthcare workers were among those hardest hit by unemployment as many practitioners, including dentists and all physicians not caring for coronavirus cases, were forced to close their offices, at least temporarily. The hospitality industry was, not surprisingly, the hardest hit. President Trump has said that he will ask for additional funding for small businesses if the initial allocations are not sufficient.
Updated April 2, 2020
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide topped 936,000 on Thursday morning, while the number of deaths crept closer to 50,000. Italy’s death toll from the coronavirus was the lowest its been in the past six days, but the country’s number of new infections continued to rise, and the government extended the current lockdown until at least mid-April. White House Health Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci announced that a coronavirus vaccine is on track for human testing, but that it’ll still take over a year for such a vaccine to be available to the public, if it even passes all the necessary testing.
Economic analysts worldwide have praised China’s ability to ‘get back to business’ in recent weeks, though data indicates that the country is not quite running business as usual; earlier this week it was reported that some 429,000 Chinese businesses have either closed completely or paused their operations for the year, with wholesale and retail businesses comprising the bulk of these closures. Leasing and business services comprised roughly 15 percent of the closed businesses, and manufacturing services accounted for 8 percent of the closures. Many businesses in the entertainment industry are eager to return to business but remain in forced closure by the Chinese government in the wake of the virus’ spread. U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday accused Chinese health officials of intentionally under-reporting the extent of the novel coronavirus’ spread in China, CNBC reported, after Trump received secret intelligence to support the claim.
Updated April 1, 2020:
Confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus are hovering near 860,000 as of Wednesday morning, with the number of global deaths counted as 42,322.
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he expects 100,000 to 240,000 deaths in the U.S. alone, and that the country should brace for a difficult two-week period ahead. The U.S. only has some 4,000 fatalities, which means that the country’s current dire situation may only be the tip of the iceberg. Makeshift hospitals have already been set up in New York as have makeshift morgues that have been established in refrigerated trucks to help New York City officials deal with the growing number of deaths.
Chinese officials announced that they would now be reporting the number of cases of those who tested positive but were asymptomatic, a number which has thus far remained classified. The number is thought to be well over 40,000 people. The concern about these cases comes as China’s factories continue their return to normal activity, with people scared that asymptomatic COVID-19 ‘carriers’ may be spreading the virus unbeknownst to healthy individuals. The possibility suggests that the number of new cases in China may pick up again after several weeks of decline.
Automakers are bracing for especially rough times ahead due to production slowdowns, global lockdowns, and the mounting economic crisis which is likely to prevent new car purchases for some time until the global economy rebounds. In the meanwhile, some automakers such as Ford are using their facilities to produce much-needed ventilators. Other automakers that have vowed to help are Fiat, which has pledged to produce 1 million masks per month in its China factory, as well as General Motors and Tesla.
Updated March 31, 2020:
As the number of new coronavirus cases declines in China and Italy daily, the death toll continues to rise, and the World Health Organization has warned that the pandemic is far from over, and that inevitably, every country in the world will be hit. David Nabarro, a special envoy on COVID-19 to the WHO, urged world leaders to take quick action to control the outbreak, saying that “trying to get in ahead of an exponential problem is much easier if you’re dealing with it early on.”
The Japanese government has warned its citizens from traveling to 73 countries, up from 20 in its last warning. The country is just one of dozens to recommend its citizens not travel, a move that has battered the air travel industry worldwide. Airlines have been seeking bailouts to help deal with canceled flights and grounded planes, and many companies have grounded their fleet through mid-April, with some announcing cancellations through May.
A new field hospital has been erected in New York City’s Central Park to treat coronavirus patients as the city’s number of new cases continues to soar. Some 3,000 Americans have succumbed to the virus already, and the country is poised to surpass China’s death toll by tomorrow. The U.S. now has the highest number of cases by far, with 164,253 cases as of Tuesday morning in Asia, more the number of cases in China, where the virus was discovered three months ago.
Updated March 30, 2020:
Global diagnoses of the novel coronavirus have surpassed 720,000, including UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was diagnosed over the weekend.
The United States has the highest number of cases, nearing 140,000. President Donald Trump has announced that the protective measures in the country, which we meant to end before Easter in mid-April, will be extended until at least April 30. Argentina has also extended its quarantine until at least mid-April. Italian lawmakers are still considering whether to extend the countrywide lockdown which were originally slated to expire on Friday. Deaths in Italy are the third-highest in the world, despite the number of new diagnoses declining daily in the past few days. Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez of Spain increased restrictions in the hard-hit country, saying that all non-essential workers must stay home, and will be required to make up missed work at a later date in exchange for a full salary now. Coronavirus diagnoses in Spain surged more than 6,000 in a single day on Saturday.
Global stock markets are poised to trade lower on Monday, with Dow futures pointing to an open of more than 200 points lower. Asian markets were broadly lower on Monday afternoon, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 falling over 3 percent as of 1:46 pm. HK/SIN. Both of China’s benchmarks were lower, as was Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index which eased 0.54 percent.
Oil prices headed downward on Monday as well, as the April 1 deadline looms for a truce between Russia and Saudi Arabia, and none seems forthcoming. If no agreement is reached, production will be increased and prices are likely to continue falling, especially as demand declines due to coronavirus.
Updated March 29, 2020:
Worldwide coronavirus cases surged past 660,000 over the weekend, and the United States became the country with the highest number of confirmed cases. In Italy, the death toll surpassed 10,000, and reports indicate that the countrywide lockdown will continue past the original end date of April 3. In the meanwhile, Chinese officials have announced that the lockdown in the Wuhan province, the area where the virus was first detected, will end on April 8, Bloomberg reported. Despite dwindling cases in China and a slow but steady resume to a normal work routine, analysts question whether the Chinese economy will bounce back as quickly as hoped, especially considering the lockdowns in the rest of the world which will prevent consumption levels from returning their former glory.
According to reports by CNBC, satellite imagery from the U.S. shows that the country’s economy has come to a near standstill. Of specific note are photos of resorts that remain empty, airplanes that remain grounded, and highways that lack their normal traffic. Images of empty parking lots and beaches further contribute to the bleak picture. These images, coupled with the record 3.28 million unemployment claims last week, shows a dire picture for one of the world’s leading economies. President Trump has remained optimistic that the country will return to its normal levels of functioning by Easter, though health officials remain skeptical of this plan, and critical of Trump’s desire to put the economy above public health demands.
Updated March 26, 2020:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended higher for the second consecutive day on Wednesday, prompted by an agreement by U.S. lawmakers for a $2 trillion+ stimulus package. The S&P 500 also closed higher for the second straight day. The gains did not extend into the Asian markets which were broadly lower during Thursday’s trading session. The Nikkei 225 saw the steepest losses of 4.51 percent as of 2:34 p.m. HK/SIN. Likewise, futures were lower for both indexes overnight, indicating that the winning streak may not be back in full force. Specifically, traders are nervous to see the U.S. jobless reports which will be out later today and are expected to show record-breaking numbers. In California, Governor Gavin Newsom has said that the state saw 1 million unemployment claims in the past two weeks alone.
The global death toll surpassed 18,000 on Wednesday, with the number of total cases hovering near 415,000. The U.S. death toll surpassed 1,000, and Spain’s death toll saw its biggest daily surge, with the total number now surpassing the number of total deaths in China. Italy and Spain remain the worst hit thus far, though American officials warn citizens to brace for a second wave of cases.
Russia has suspended all international flights, with the exception of flights meant to return its citizens home. In India, the government has put the entire country on lockdown for 21 days starting yesterday to help contain the virus, but many of the country’s citizens are expected to struggle under the restrictions, both financially and with lack of resources. The government hasn’t yet addressed its plan to deal with these cases.
Updated March 25, 2020:
U.S. lawmakers struck a deal early Wednesday morning for a $2 trillion+ stimulus package to help staunch the economic devastation caused by shutdowns due to the spread of the novel coronavirus. The package will include direct payments up to $3,000 for millions of Americans, $350 billion in small business loans, $500 billion for specific hard-hit industries, and $75 billion for hospitals, among other allowances.
The stimulus comes after U.S. President Trump said that he would likely relax restrictions rather than increase them, despite the continued spread of the virus and the likelihood that New York will become COVID-19’s next epicenter. New cases in Italy have declined in the past few days thanks to strict lockdown measures, but Trump has been hesitant to impose such strict moves within the U.S., drawing harsh criticism from healthcare officials worldwide.
The Dow surged more than 11 percent on Tuesday, it’s biggest one-day spike since 1933, on optimism regarding the stimulus package, and the S&P 500 closed up over 9 percent, its steepest gains since 2008. Asian markets followed Wall Street higher on Wednesday, with the Nikkei 225 advancing 8.06 percent by 2:17 p.m. HK/SIN. South Korea’s Kospi and Australia’s ASX 200 were both up 5.54 percent, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was up 3.11 percent. Analysts have begun to debate whether the bottom to the declines has been hit, though many believe that until the virus is completely under control there may still be more selloffs ahead.
Updated March 24, 2020:
The coronavirus pandemic is spreading faster and faster, the World Health Organization warned on Monday. The WHO cited frightening statistics: “It took 67 days from the first case to reach 100,000 cases, 11 days for second 100,000 cases, and just four days for the third 100,000 cases,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. In his address, he also mentioned the need for better protection for healthcare workers, many of whom have fallen ill or come into contact with ill patients, requiring quarantine and making them unavailable to do their important work, a result which will cause healthcare systems worldwide to deteriorate further.
In the meanwhile, while the WHO was sounding the alarm, U.S. President Donald Trump took a step back from the mayhem, downplaying the threat of COIV-19, and commenting that he expects to bring the U.S. economy back to operations “soon” despite health officials calling for stricter closures. “At some point we’re going to open up our country, and it will be fairly soon,” Trump said, ignoring the fact that deaths in the U.S. surpassed 500, and cases exceeded 43,000 on Monday. Trump’s comments were prompted by his theory that economic ruin will destroy more lives than the novel coronavirus. He also mentioned that there are other factors that cause far more deaths, such as traffic accidents and the flu, comparisons that have been discredited by global health agencies.
The U.S. government’s proposed $1-trillion+ bailout failed to pass in the Senate on Monday, as lawmakers continue to haggle over the terms of the agreement. European leaders are also still struggling to form the proper stimulus packages. The latest idea is to propose ‘corona-bonds’, a new financial instrument that would merge securities from different European countries. The idea is welcomed by many EU policymakers, but faces many challenges before it can be passed and properly implemented, leaving analysts worried if it’s a truly plausible plan.
Updated March 23, 2020:
Reports out from Italy on Monday show the death toll from the novel coronavirus at nearly 5,500, nearly two thousand casualties more than those in China, largely due to the weak health system in Italy which remains overburdened. Despite the continued spread of the virus around the world, U.S. President Donald Trump has announced that “we cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself.” Though he didn’t elaborate, many members of the media and market analysts assume he was referring to the economic consequences of imposing further lockdowns in the United States. Though the U.S. has implemented lockdowns in some areas, it hasn’t made the full precautions necessary to stop the virus from spreading across state or international lines.
Additional lockdown restrictions were implemented in the United Arab Emirates, Australia and New Zealand, banning all essential services and travel. Canada has become the first country to officially withdraw from the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had announced earlier on Sunday that it was not considering canceling the event, though a postponement may be necessary. A decision is expected within four weeks.
Updated March 22, 2020
There have now been more than 300,000 recorded cases of the COVID-19 virus in the world, and the United States has now become one of the countries with the highest number of cases, following only China, Italy, and Spain.
Updated March 20, 2020
The global death count resulting from the coronavirus has now topped 10,000, according to the latest reports from Johns Hopkins University in Maryland. Travel restrictions continue, with Malaysia closing its borders and Vietnam announcing visa reductions. Asia-based airline Cathay Pacific Airlines announcing that it will cut its passenger capacity by 96 percent through May.
The U.S. state of California has announced a widespread lock down, though most U.S. states have not implemented such sweeping policies, leaving the virus with the potential to continue spreading throughout the country. There have been over 200 deaths in the U.S. and nearly 15,000 cases reported.
Updated March 19, 2020:
Border closings continue across the globe, with the U.S.-Canadian border closed to all non-essential traffic. New Zealand, Australia, and Israel have become the latest countries to close their borders to all non-residents, moves which will likely constrict the travel industry further. The United Arab Emirates is also barring entry to valid resident visa holders for the next two weeks.
The United Kingdom remains behind the rest of the world in closing its services. It has announced a shutdown of the school system starting Friday and only partial closures of its underground transportation system. Boris Johnson has been largely criticized for being too lax by not demanding stricter closures despite seeing over 100 deaths in the kingdom.
Australia's central bank cut interest rates on Thursday for the second time this month, putting the benchmark cash rate at an all-time low of 0.25 percent. The country's Qantas Airlines announced a full suspension of all international flights until May 2020.
Updated March 18, 2020
Chinese health officials reported only 13 new coronavirus diagnoses on Tuesday, and 11 new deaths. The country has seen a continued decline in new cases just as new cases have been surging throughout the world. Italy's death toll rose over 2,500 on Tuesday and the global death toll is hovering just under 8,000 deaths.
Taiwanese government officials have announced that its borders will be closed to foreigners. The announcement came as the number of cases climbed in Asia, with spikes in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
Policymakers around the globe continue to debate about how to best handle the economic fallout of the coronavirus as businesses continue to be closed and new travel restrictions are announced on a near daily basis. U.S. President Donald Trump has requested an $850 billion to $1 trillion bailout package, which analysts say may not even be enough to boost the country's economy. Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda has pledged additional stimulus plans if the current measures prove insufficient. The Reserve Bank of Australia has announced another policy announcement for Thursday.
Updated March 17, 2020:
Restrictions on people around the globe continue to tighten as world leaders race to contain the dangerous COVID-19 virus. Malaysia has announced a closure of its borders, while Hong Kong has announced a 14-day quarantine for all visitors.
U.S. stock markets saw their third-worst day in history on Monday, despite efforts by the Federal Reserve to temper the economic blow. Microsoft and Nordstrom joined dozens of other global brands in closing its stores to help prevent the spread of the disease.
China has reported only 20 new cases on Monday and 13 new deaths. There remains spikes in the number of cases in other countries including South Korea, Italy, and the United States. Washington policymakers have thus far refrained from implementing blanket corona-based policies in the U.S., leaving local lawmakers to decide how their states should respond. U.S. citizens remain concerned that without a widespread policy, the virus will not be contained properly in the U.S.
Updated on March 16, 2020
Global leaders are desperately trying to contain the novel coronavirus that has been spreading like wildfire around the world. Heads of state have announced widespread closures of leisure activities including bars, restaurants, theaters, and gyms, and have urged their citizens to stay home. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has encouraged all events over 50 people to be canceled. In Israel, no gatherings of over 10 people are permitted. Over 350 people died from the disease in Italy on Sunday, the biggest daily jump, as the country faces the biggest health crisis outside of China.
Central banks have taken swift emergency measures to counterbalance the economic decline that is certain to result from the sweeping closures. The U.S. Federal Reserve cut interest rates to zero on Sunday in an emergency measure, and was met with similar moves by the European Central Bank, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, and the Bank of Japan. Australia's central bank also announced new stimulus policies and said that it will announce details on Thursday.
Updated March 15, 2020:
Countries around the world continue to shutter businesses as the coronavirus continues to spread. Over 142,000 people have been infected worldwide, and 5,393 people have died. Among the countries closing all non-essential businesses are Italy, Israel, France, and Spain. The United States announced additional bans on travel from Europe including arrivals from the UK and Ireland. Australia has also announced a mandatory 14-day self quarantine for all international arrivals.
In the U.S., many retailers have announced self-imposed closures while the country races to contain the virus. Among the companies closing stores are Apple, which announced closures of all stores outside of China, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Urban Outfitters. Other retailers announced that they were remaining open in an attempt to float their businesses during this trying time.
Updated March 12, 2020:
Global markets fell dramatically on Thursday after U.S. President Donald Trump announced a travel ban on 26 European countries to be in effect for 30 days. Traders were also skittish after the World Health Organization classified the COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic, though many news outlets are reporting that this classification has no practical implications.
The virus's death toll in Italy spiked above 30 percent on Wednesday, prompting Prime Minister Giuseppe Conti to announce closures on all bars, restaurants, and stores with the exception of pharmacies and grocery stores. At this time government offices and factories have remained open in Italy. There are over 110,000 cases reported worldwide, and over 4,200 deaths.
Updated March 11, 2020
The Bank of England announced an emergency interest rate cut of 50 basis points to help counteract the damage caused to the country’s economy by the coronavirus, now called COVID-19. The bank also announced a new funding plan to help small and medium-sized businesses and to enable banks to lend more.
Chinese health officials announced only 24 new virus diagnoses and 22 new deaths, marking a dramatic decline in cases in the region. Nevertheless, cases around the world have spiked, causing widespread panic about the death rate and the virus’s impact on the economy. Chinese factories have been gradually reopening, but a full-out closure in Italy has stoked the panic.
U.S. President Trump announced the possibility of tax cuts to help temper economic losses, and the announcement sent U.S. benchmarks broadly higher on Tuesday. Gains were capped by a failure to announce an actual plan, and futures point to a lower open on Wednesday.
Updated March 10, 2020
The number of people infected with coronavirus surpassed 110,000 worldwide, with nearly 4,000 deaths globally. The number of new cases outside of China now far surpasses the number of new cases in China on a daily basis.
After announcing a quarantine on approximately one quarter of the Italian population over the weekend, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conti announced that the entire country would be subject to a widespread lock down, and that people could leave their houses only for work and emergencies. Conti's stricter measures follow an order from the Israeli Ministry of Health that all people coming into the country must be quarantined for 14 days.
All three Wall Street benchmarks closed more than 7 percent lower on Monday, but Asian markets turned positive as traders remained optimistic that global central banks would be implementing stimulus packages in the near term.
Updated March 9, 2020:
China has closed 11 of its 14 emergency hospitals that were designated to care for coronavirus patients in the wake of a decline in both the death tolls and new diagnoses of cases in the country. Only 40 new diagnoses were reported in China on Sunday, with 22 deaths, prompting health officials, Chinese residents, and spectators worldwide to consider whether the virus truly has peaked in its epicenter.
But despite a decline in cases in China in recent days, there has been an uptick in cases worldwide, with the number of cases in the United States surging past 500 over the weekend. Likewise, the decline in cases did little to help Asian stocks recover, as benchmarks barreled lower thanks to the drama between Russia and OPEC and its impacts on the oil market.
Updated March 8, 2020:
Italian Prime Minister Guiseppe Conti announced today that nearly one quarter of his country's population will be on government-mandated lockdown until at least April 3. The country saw a dramatic spike in cases on Saturday, with 1,247 new diagnoses. The death toll in Italy currently sits at 233.
The first coronavirus death was announced in Latin America, with a patient in Argentina dying on Saturday. There are also confirmed cases in Peru, Chile, Colombia, and Paraguay, though no deaths have been reported in those regions.
China reported only 44 new diagnoses on Saturday and 27 new deaths, as health officials wonder whether the imminent threat is passing, and skeptics question whether not enough people are being tested in China and throughout the world.
Updated March 5, 2020
China reported 139 new cases and 31 new deaths on Wednesday, all of which were centered within the Wuhan province, the epicenter of the disease. South Korea reported 438 new cases and 3 new deaths, while the U.S. state of California declared a state of emergency following its first death and a total of 53 cases in the state thus far. A second death was reported in Australia. Health officials are quick to point out that the majority of deaths have been in people who are older and those who suffered from compromised health before contracting the virus. These consolations have done little to contain the panic that is rapidly spreading worldwide. The mortality rate for the virus now stands at 3.4 percent but the World Health Organization has warned that there may be many asymptomatic cases lurking, and a sudden spike in diagnoses could impact this number significantly.
Governments of 96 countries have banned travelers from South Korea, and airlines including Jet Blue and United have announced that additional cutbacks in service and hiring will be made in order to help manage the financial decline caused by fear of travel.
Updated March 4, 2020
Central banks around the world, including the Federal Reserve, have lowered interest rates in an effort to stimulate the economy in the face of widespread damage caused by the coronavirus. Still, analysts are concerned that many countries aren’t equipped to handle the crisis fully, as they don’t have enough funds to launch the massive stimulus needed to mitigate the damage.
Hong Kong’s business activity hit a record low in February, reports showed, with the region’s Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) hitting 33.1, the lowest level since 1998. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority slashed its base rate by 50 basis points to 1.5 percent, following the Fed’s move.
On Tuesday, Chinese health official confirmed 119 new cases and 38 deaths. South Korea had 516 new cases as of Wednesday morning. Three new deaths were reported in Washington state, and new diagnoses were made in New York state, and in North Carolina, raising concerns further that the virus is not sufficiently contained. A new case of coronavirus was also diagnosed in New Zealand.
Updated March 3, 2020
China recently reported its lowest number in a month of coronavirus cases, leaving the number of new infections at 125 and the death toll in the last 24 hours at 31. Nevertheless, the epidemic continues spreading to the rest of the world, being South Korea, Italy, and Iran the countries that lead in terms of the number of infections.
Markets are expecting a coordinated action from the main Central Banks against the effects of the outbreak. President Donald Trump called the Federal Reserve to join the Reserve Bank of Australia on its effort to face the epidemic through monetary policy easing, aiding the market's expectations.
Updated March 2, 2020:
Though the death toll related to coronavirus cases in China remained fairly low over the weekend, new cases were reported in countries previously unaffected by the virus, widening concern that the containment efforts are failing. Among the new regions to report coronavirus infections are Indonesia with two cases, and New York City, which saw its first case over the weekend, a woman who recently traveled to Iran. The United States also reported its second death from the virus on Sunday. 476 additional cases were reported in South Korea, along with four additional deaths, bringing the country’s death toll to 22.
Gold prices soared on Monday in response to the new cases, with gold futures up 2.477 percent in the mid-afternoon in Asia.
Updated: March 1, 2020
Both Thailand and Australia reported their first deaths from the coronavirus over the weekend. On Saturday, 35 people died from the virus in China, down from 47 deaths on Friday. Many people are hopeful that the continued decline of daily deaths in China points to a peak in the virus, though a daily increase of new cases across the globe remains troubling, even though there have been only isolated deaths in other regions. Several airlines have canceled flights to Milan after the virus was though to have spread there. Elal Israel Airlines and American Airlines are two of those who have paused service to Milan.
The U.S. government has raised its travel advisory for South Korea, Iran, and Italy. The S&P 500 slumped 11 percent last week, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average eased 12 percent, largely thanks to profit taking and selloffs due to concern surrounding how the coronavirus will continue to impact the global economy.
Updated on February 27, 2020
The Dow Jones Industrial Average looks poised to fall some 450 points on Thursday after the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) announced the first diagnosis of coronavirus in a patient that has not traveled recently. The Dow dropped more than 100 points on Wednesday, and has plunged over 2,000 points this week. The index is on target to see its worst weekly performance since 2008.
In China there were 433 new cases and 26 deaths reported on Wednesday, down significantly from the peaks, which may offer some optimism that the virus is under control. Still, a slew of new cases across the globe has traders concerned that the worst may still be yet to come.
Updated on February 26, 2020
U.S. stocks sold off strongly on Tuesday for the second consecutive day as traders remained fearful that the coronavirus would become a pandemic. Asian indexes were broadly lower on Wednesday, though without the severe losses seen on Wall Street.
Several countries have started to ban travelers from South Korea due to the increase in cases in the country. Among the countries barring entry to people who have been in South Korea are Vietnam, the Philippines, and Singapore. The United Arab Emirates has announced that it will be carefully monitoring all people entering the country, after its neighbor, Iran, announced upwards of 90 cases, and 16 deaths, the highest numbers outside of China to date.
Early Wednesday morning Chinese health officials reported 406 new diagnoses of the virus and 52 new deaths on Tuesday, February 25. 401 of the new cases were in the Hubei province.
Hong Kong reported a record budget deficit on Wednesday and renewed its commitment to helping residents with financial stimulus. The deficit was caused largely by the protests in the region as well as coronavirus fears and the slow of business in the area. The stimulus is expected to help companies and private households, but is not expected to stop the economic downturn, which is expected to get worse before a real recovery begins.
Updated February 25, 2020
Global markets were broadly lower on Tuesday, February 24, after a slew of new cases of coronavirus was announced around the world. Iran reported that 61 people have been infected, and that 12 have died from the lethal virus. South Korea reported 60 new cases, bringing the total of infections in the country to 893. China reported 71 new deaths and 508 new infections on Monday. The virus was found to have infected passengers on a Korean Air flight, and health officials are now trying to track those who may have also been infected.