Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day
Good morning. The U.S. now has more coronavirus cases than China, European leaders aren’t quite agreeing on the best economic response strategy and a three-day rise for stocks could end. Here’s what’s moving markets.
U.S. Cases Top China’s
The U.S. overtook China for the most coronavirus cases worldwide, fueled by a large jump in infections in New York, which is struggling with a shortage of ventilators, like much of the world. China, where the illness began, said the death toll rose by just five in 24 hours, as it attempts to limit new cases being imported from abroad. In this region, Italian health officials reported 6,153 new infections on Thursday, the most in five days. Here’s the latest as global deaths from the pandemic surpass 24,000.
Containment isn’t the only aspect of the Covid-19 response that may be stumbling, as European leaders struggle to agree on a strategy to contain the economic fallout. A video call was expected to give the green light for the creation of credit lines from the region’s bailout fund to keep borrowing costs low while governments ramp up spending. But efforts to agree on exact wording ended without success after six hours, as a group of member states including France, Italy and Spain pushed for more radical steps, such as the prospect of issuing so-called coronabonds.
European equity futures are lower this morning after shares in the region on Thursday recorded a third straight days of gains for the first time in three weeks. Weirdly enough, a rebound for U.S. stocks saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average enter a technical bull market, despite remaining down about 21% year-to-date. Outside of stocks, gold slipped overnight, but is on course for its biggest weekly rise since 2008 amid a wave of global monetary stimulus, with the Reserve Bank of India joining other central banks in cutting interest rates.
Banks Slow Job Cuts
Deutsche Bank AG became the latest big lender to hit the pause button on job cuts due to the spread of the coronavirus. The company, which aims to eliminate 18,000 jobs by the end of 2022, hopes to avoid additional emotional distress for employees amid the pandemic, it said in a memo to staff. The announcement follows similar statements from rivals like HSBC Holdings Plc, Credit Suisse Group AG and Morgan Stanley. Most cited the current economic hardship as at least one reason to slow or pause headcount reduction programs.
Data are expected to show a plunge in consumer confidence in both Italy and France as the countries tackle their respective stages of the virus crisis. China industrial profits slumped the most on record in the first two months of this year, statistics revealed overnight. There’s not much on the European earnings slate, but watch sports apparel stocks after U.S. athleisure company Lululemon Athletica Inc. reported an acceleration of sales growth in the latest quarter, but refrained from offering an outlook for the current year due to virus uncertainty.
What We’ve Been Reading
This is what’s caught our eye over the past 24 hours.
©2020 Bloomberg L.P.