LBLV provides an overview of economic news.
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The main economic news for Tuesday, April 7:
1. U.K. PM Johnson moves to an intensive care unit
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was fighting worsening coronavirus symptoms in an intensive care unit on Tuesday, leaving his foreign minister to lead the government’s response to the accelerating outbreak. Johnson’s personal battle with the virus has shaken the British government just as the United Kingdom enters what scientists say is likely to be one of the most deadly weeks of the pandemic. Prime minister was admitted to St Thomas’ Hospital late on Sunday after suffering persistent coronavirus symptoms for more than 10 days. His condition rapidly deteriorated over the next 24 hours, and he was moved to an intensive care unit, where the most serious cases are treated. Although he had received oxygen, his office said he was still conscious and was moved to intensive care in case he needed to be put on a ventilator.
2. China closes borders; no new deaths in Wuhan
Mainland China reported on Tuesday a drop in new coronavirus cases after closing its borders to virtually all foreigners to curb imported infections, while the central city of Wuhan, epicenter of the outbreak, saw no new deaths for the first time. According to the National Health Commission, China had 32 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus on Monday, and all of them involved travelers arriving from overseas. The overall number of imported infections so far stands at 983, the health authority said. China has shut its borders to foreigners, though most imported cases have involved Chinese nationals returning from overseas. The number of inbound travelers to China through airports has fallen to under 3,000 per day from around 25,000 in late March, before China slashed the number of international flights. The country also started testing all international arrivals for the virus this month.
3. Stock markets rise amid easing in COVID-19 cases
Global stock markets rose for a second day on Tuesday after the reported death tolls in some of the world’s coronavirus hot spots showed signs of easing. FTSE futures gained 3.08% and EuroSTOXX 50 futures climbed 0.61%, pointing to a steady open in Europe. The U.S. benchmark S&P 500 Index closed the previous session with 7% gain, marking the highest level since March 13. The Dow Jones Industrial Average also jumped 7.7% and Nasdaq Composite Index soared 7.3% during last session, showing the largest climb in almost two weeks. Japan’s Nikkei added 2% and has recovered most of last week’s losses after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe promised a massive $991 billion economic stimulus package, while MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 1.4%.
4. Toshiba’s investor will sell its 40% stake
Argyle Street Management Ltd has asked Toshiba Corp to sell its entire stake in Kioxia Holdings when the flash memory chip firm is listed in an IPO that could raise up to $32 billion. A Hong Kong-based activist investor in the Japanese conglomerate, a hedge fund with over $1.5 billion under management, sent the letter to CEO Nobuaki Kurumatani in late March urging the company to sell its 40% stake and distribute proceeds back to shareholders. The initial public offering of Kioxia, the world’s second-largest flash memory chip maker, could be Japan’s biggest listing this year. Domestic media reports estimates that the market valuation could reach $32 billion. However, the coronavirus outbreak has created uncertainty over the timing of the IPO and valuation of the shares, given that the market for flash memory chips, used in smartphones and data storage servers, is highly volatile.