Endless stimulus pitted against economic reality
In its latest drastic step, the U.S. Fed offered to buy unlimited
amounts of assets to steady financial markets and expanded its
mandate to include corporate and municipal bonds.
The promise eased some strains in markets in Asia although Wall
Street seemed unimpressed. Analysts cautioned it would do little to
offset the near-term economic damage done by mass lockdowns and
Business surveys scheduled to be issued on Tuesday are expected to
demonstrate the devastation on the global economy of the virus. In
Japan, the services sector shrank at its fastest pace on record this
month, and similarly grim forecasts are expected from the euro zone
and the United States later on Tuesday.
Confirmed coronavirus cases crossed 377,000 across 194 countries and
territories as of 0200 GMT on Tuesday, according to a Reuters tally,
with over 16,500 deaths linked to the virus.
Almost 40,000 cases and over 1,800 deaths were reported in the past
day. It took exactly 30 days for the first 40,000 cases to be
reported, and then 15 days for the second 40,000.
Of the top 10 countries by case numbers, Italy has reported the
highest fatality rate, at around 10%, which is reflective of its
older population. The fatality rate globally is around 4.3%.
While new infections remain low in China, the country has seen a
noticeable rebound in cases over the past week, largely from people
returning the country. On Tuesday it reported 78 new cases, roughly
double the number reported on Monday, as restrictions ease.
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Grounded planes look for a parking space
Taxiways, maintenance hangars and even runways at major airports are being
transformed into giant parking lots for more than 2,500 airliners, the biggest
of which takes up about as much room as an eight-storey building with a
footprint 3/4 the size of an American football field.
The number of planes in storage has doubled to more than 5,000 since the start
of the year, according to Cirium data, with more expected to be parked in the
coming weeks as carriers like Australia's Qantas Airways and Singapore Airlines
cut flight schedules.
All around the world, leaders urge 'go home, stay home'
Police in Britain have the power to disperse gatherings, and overseas Britons
have been advised to return home immediately. In Canada, officials have said
that people ignoring advice to self-isolate could be fined or arrested, and on
Tuesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appealed to New Zealanders for their
"This plan will only work if you help us," she said in an interview to state
broadcaster TVNZ. "You may feel resilient and well, but it's not just about you.
It's about everyone around you."
(Reporting by Catherine Cadell; Compiled by Karishma Singh)
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