Market Updates Amid the Pandemic


The Coronavirus has been front and centre since the first cases were reported in China in late 2019. Come 2020, it was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), and the financial markets have reacted accordingly.


Here, we will update you on just such market movements and stories as they unfold.

Annie Charalambous

May 28th, 2020

EU to raise €750 billion, and Japan a further $1.1 trillion in stimulus

  • As recorded cases approach 5.7 million; deaths total over 355k as the U.S. passes 100k. Source: Johns Hopkins University
  • Boeing to lay off 13k employees with more expected to come as over 100 jet orders are cancelled and no new ones made in April. Source: BBC
  • The Fed’s Beige Book shows that two thirds of businesses surveyed are pessimistic about seeing a recovery in 2020. Sources: The Fed, MarketWatch
  • European Commission shares plan to raise €750 billion to help EU countries that need it most. Sources: European Commission, Markets Insider
  • Japan to issue government bonds in a bid to pump another $1.1 trillion into its economy, bringing the total to $2.2 trillion. Source: CNN
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Annie Charalambous

May 27th, 2020

The tide has turned: travel stocks gain while Netflix and Blizzard down

  • Nearly 95k new cases are recorded, bringing the total confirmed number to almost 5.6m; deaths have surpassed 350k globally, while 2.29m people have recovered. Source: Johns Hopkins University
  • Latin America referred to as the new epicenter of the virus — a study says the death toll could reach 125k by August. . Source: BBC
  • Markets reopen after the Memorial Day weekend; airlines and cruise lines (United, Delta, Southwest, and then Carnival, Royal Caribbean) among the S&P’s highest gainers and Netflix and Activision Blizzard among biggest losers. Source: CNN
  • Tesla lowers its electric cars’ prices by as much as 6% to boost demand. Source: Reuters
  • Apple plan to reopen a further 100 stores in the US this week. Source: The Verge
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Annie Charalambous

May 26th, 2020

Lufthansa escapes collapse if €9 billion bailout is approved

  • Australian Prime Minister calls on the public to help revive its economy as the AU$250b stimulus spending starts to wind down. Source: Reuters
  • The travel ban on Brazil will be enforced two days ahead of schedule after Brazil recorded 807 deaths in 24 hours, compared to 620 in the U.S. Source: The Washington Post
  • WHO warns of a second peak of the virus, adding that even countries seeing a decline are susceptible. Source: CNN
  • Singapore cuts its forecast for 2020 for the third time, saying the economy is expected to shrink by 4-7% this year. Source: CNBC
  • Lufhansa agrees on a €9 billion bailout from the German government, giving them a 20% stake in the company. Source: BBC
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Annie Charalambous

May 25th, 2020

Trump bars entry of non-Americans from Brazil as cases soar

  • Reported cases globally reach 5.4 million, with deaths just over 345k. Of the total cases, 1.6m, or 30%, are out of the United States. On Sunday, The New York Times published the names of 1,000 of the nearly-100k lives lost to honour their memory. Source: Johns Hopkins University
  • Brazil now has the second-highest number of cases in the world, with 363k confirmed, prompting Trump to ban entry from Brazil into the U.S. Source: Bloomberg
  • Germany’s economy enters a recession after GDP fell by 2.2% in Q1, the second-largest slump since the Berlin Wall came down. Source: Reuters
  • South African President Ramaphosa warns that things will get worse before they get better as the country prepares to lift more of its restrictions next week. Source: BBC
  • The e-commerce boom gives Alibaba a 22% surge in revenue, and sales forecast of $91b for its next fiscal year. Source: CNN
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Annie Charalambous

May 22nd, 2020

Amazon postpones Prime Day at a reported cost of $100m+

  • UK Retail Sales fall 18% in April — the biggest drop on record, and the country posts its largest-ever budget deficit of £62.1 billion. Sources: ​BBC​ ,Bloomberg
  • China lowers its GDP target for the first time since, saying they would continue to increase stimulus. ​Source: Reuters
  • Brazil’s numbers continue to climb, with nearly 20k new confirmed cases Wednesday and, at time of writing, 310k total. Sources:​ CNN​ , ​Johns Hopkins University
  • Amazon’s Prime Day has been rescheduled for September; last year’s Prime Day event saw over 175 million items sold, and added more new Prime Members than ever. Sources: Forbes​ , ​ CNBC
  • Another 2.44 million Americans file for first-time unemployment benefits, bringing the tally to ~38.6 million in nine weeks. ​ Source: The Washington Post
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Annie Charalambous

May 21st, 2020

UK says as much as £1.5b may be lost in benefit fraud

  • Confirmed coronavirus cases break the 5 million mark after 106k new cases are reported in just 24 hours — the most in one day. Johns Hopkins University,, The Guardian
  • Oil prices see their highest gains since early March on production output. Source: Reuters
  • UK fears as much as £1.5b in benefits could be fraudulent claims. Source: BBC
  • The British government has begun emptying dormant bank accounts of £150m to help in tackling the effects of the pandemic. Source: MarketWatch
  • Apple and Google make their tracking technology available to public health agencies in 22 countries. Source: Business Insider
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Annie Charalambous

May 20th, 2020

Russia and Brazil rank alongside US as top-infected countries

  • UK inflation falls below 1% to its lowest levels since 2016. Source: Bloomberg
  • Both Brazil and India record their highest daily cases of the virus yet; Brazil’s death toll is also a new record — the country now has the third-highest count globally after only the US and Russia. Sources: BBC, CNN
  • Russia’s confirmed cases surpass 300,000 and raise suspicions over its comparatively low death toll of just under 3,000 at time of writing. Sources: Johns Hopkins University, CNBC
  • Walmart earnings reveal the company spent $900m on coronavirus-related expenses during the first quarter and expects the same over Q2. Source: MarketWatch
  • In more positive news, Captain Tom Moore, the retired British Army Officer who has raised $40 million for the NHS will be knighted by the Queen. Source: The New York Times
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Annie Charalambous

May 19th, 2020

EU superpowers propose half-trillion euro rescue package

  • Over two million people file for Jobless Claims in the UK over April; the claimant count rate increasing by almost 6% — the highest in two decades. Source: Bloomberg
  • Nasdaq plans to tighten regulations for listing on the exchange, making it more difficult for Chinese companies to list. Source: MarketWatch
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron propose a half-trillion euro “recovery fund” package for the EU. Source: BBC
  • Trump threatens to permanently cut off WHO funding. Source: Reuters
  • Chinese President Xi Jinping commits to provide $2 billion over the next two years to other countries impacted by coronavirus. Source: CNN
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Annie Charalambous

May 18th, 2020

House approves historical $3 trillion relief package

  • House approves historical $3 trillion relief package. ​ Source: Johns Hopkins University
  • Apple announces the reopening of 25 US stores this week with safety measures outlined. Source: CNBC
  • Japan has fallen into a recession after shrinking 0.9% and marking a second consecutive quarter of declines. ​ Source: CNN
  • Talking to CBS​ , Fed chairman Jerome Powell warns the economy could contract by up to 30% and that the downturn may last until ‘late 2021’. ​ Source: BBC
  • A further $3 trillion in aid has been approved — the largest rescue package in US history. Source: The New York Times
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Annie Charalambous

May 15th, 2020

Starbucks looks to counter nearly $1b in lost profit with lower rent prices

  • Confirmed cases climb to 4.4m as deaths surpass 300k globally and 86k in the US alone. Source: Johns Hopkins University
  • London’s transport network TfL secures £1.6b bailout which will mean increased fares for passengers; the Tube alone sees 1.35 billion passengers a year. Sources: BBC, Transport for London
  • Another 3 million Americans file for first-time unemployment benefits, bringing the total to 36.5 million over the past eight weeks. Source: The Wall Street Journal
  • Starbucks seeks lower rent over the next year for its shops to counter the estimated $915 million impact of the pandemic. Sources: The Motley Fool (for NASDAQ), CNBC
  • The WHO warns that we may not be able to get rid of Coronavirus entirely, and bid governments to consider more mental health efforts. Source: The Guardian
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Annie Charalambous

May 14th, 2020

European tourism set to resume by summer

  • Lloyd’s of London says it expects to pay out as much as $4.3 billion in Coronavirus-related claims, adding that insurers globally are set to lose over $200 billion. Source: BBC
  • Fed Chair Jerome Powell warns that more stimulus measures may need to be taken for an economic recovery to happen. Source: The Washington Post
  • Cisco earnings, while down YoY, beat forecasts with $12 billion in revenue. Infrastructure Platforms take the biggest hit from the pandemic. Source: CNBC
  • OPEC slash oil demand estimates by 3 million barrels per day. Source: Bloomberg
  • Europe commits to “reopening” to tourism by the summer. Source: CNN
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Annie Charalambous

May 13th, 2020

Grocery costs see the biggest one-month jump since the 1970s

  • UK GDP falls by 5.8% in March, and 2% over the first quarter, with only one full week of lockdown in that period. Source: BBC
  • New Zealand almost doubles its bond-buying program to NZ$60b. Source: Bloomberg
  • The House of Representatives have announced a $3 trillion relief package — if passed, it will be the largest in history. Sources: CNN, The Motley Fool
  • Brazil and Mexico confirm record number of deaths Tuesday; Brazil saw 881 fatalities over 24 hours, and Mexico 353. Source: The Guardian
  • As meat production slows in the US, grocery costs rose by 2.6% in April, making that the biggest one-month jump since 1974. Source: CNBC
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Annie Charalambous

May 12th, 2020

Wuhan to test its entire population after recording new cases

  • Germany records 933 new cases Tuesday, up significantly from Monday’s 357 confirmed. Source: CNN
  • Saudi Aramco reports a 25% drop in revenue for Q1 as oil prices tumble. Source: CNBC
  • Wuhan, the epicenter of the pandemic, records new cases for the first time since lifting lockdown and commits to testing its entire population of 11 million. Source: Bloomberg
  • Tesla defies orders and reopens its California factory. Source: The Washington Post
  • Over 7,000 come forward to be tested after a cluster outbreak in a Seoul nightclub district over the weekend sees 101 new confirmed cases. Source: BBC
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Annie Charalambous

May 11th, 2020

Elon Musk sues county and threatens to pull Tesla out of California

  • Confirmed cases globally now exceed 4.1m, with the death toll at 282k. The US accounts for 79.5k of those lives lost, and the UK just under 32k. Source: Johns Hopkins University
  • Boris Johnson addresses the UK public with new movement rules, allowing more people to go back to work this week and saying people can meet up with others, if done outdoors and from a 2m distance. Source: BBC
  • Elon Musk sues Alameda County and threatens to move Tesla’s HQ to Nevada or Texas after restrictions keep them from reopening their California plant. Sources: Sky News, Elon Musk’s Official Twitter
  • The US considers further stimulus relief amid dire unemployment data. Source: Reuters
  • Friday’s NFP shows an unprecedented ~20 million job cuts in April, and an unemployment rate of 14.7%. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Annie Charalambous

May 8th, 2020

UN warns of longer-term impact on Africa

  • With today’s jobs report looming, Reuters delves into why we still won’t yet see the true state of the U.S. economy. Read that here
  • Tesla plans to reopen its California plant as early as today. Source: Bloomberg
  • Roku Inc. posts earnings, reporting an increase in cancelled advertising and sending their share price down as much as 10% in after-hours trading, wiping out Thursday’s nearly-8% gain. Source: MarketWatch
  • Atlassian Corp, the company behind project management platforms Jira and Trello, is up 4% and at an all-time high. Source: Seeking Alpha
  • The UN warns deaths in Africa alone could reach almost 200k. Source: The Guardian
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Annie Charalambous

May 7th, 2020

Pandemic costs Bollywood $330 million

  • Total confirmed cases of COVID-19 are now over 3.7 million; recoveries sit at 1.2m and the death toll is just below 264k — the UK and US combined account for 40% of the tally. Source: Johns Hopkins University
  • Lyft sees a 15% gain in pre-market trading after posting earnings and reporting nearly $1 billion in revenue. Source: MarketWatch
  • The Bank of England forecasts UK GDP to fall by 14% in 2020; the biggest annual decline in over 300 years. Source: Sky News
  • Brazil confirms 615 deaths Wednesday, a new high from Tuesday’s 600, with the daily count of new recorded cases of over 10,500. Source: Reuters
  • India’s confirmed cases surpass 50,000 after recording 3,500 new ones Wednesday; the pandemic has also made a $330 million dent to Bollywood revenue. CNBC, , CNN
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Annie Charalambous

May 6th, 2020

Revenge of the fifth is right: Disney profit is down 91%

  • The UK’s death toll is now the second-highest globally. Source: Johns Hopkins University
  • Schools in Hubei Province reopen for the first time since the outbreak after 32 days with no new cases being reported. Source: BBC
  • Trump’s government will be scaling back their coronavirus task force, with the president going on to say that businesses need to reopen sooner rather than later. Economic advisor to the White House, Kevin Hassett, predicts Friday’s unemployment rate could be close to Great Depression levels (20-25%). Source: CNN
  • Disney earnings take a hit to the tune of around $1.4 billion from the pandemic in the first three months of 2020; with several if not most parks expected to remain closed over the next three months as well, things are looking dire for $DIS. Source: The New York Times
  • PayPal hits an all-time high ahead of posting earnings tonight as e-commerce surges; its stock price is up nearly 16% YTD, compared to Visa’s 6% drop and an almost 10% loss for Mastercard. Source: MarketWatch
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Annie Charalambous

May 5th, 2020

The UK now has the highest death toll in Europe

  • The UK’s death toll surpasses Italy’s as the highest in Europe with 32k fatalities recorded as of Tuesday morning. Source: Reuters
  • New Zealand’s Prime Minister says the country’s borders will be closed to countries other than Australia for “a long time”. Source: BBC
  • A US government report predicts the daily death count to reach 3,000 by June — doubling where it is now. Source: The Washington Post
  • The US Treasury Secretary announces plan to borrow $3 trillion. Source: Bloomberg
  • Five Eyes intel suggests the virus originated from a market and not a laboratory, as recently suggested by the US. Source: CNN
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Annie Charalambous

May 4th, 2020

Europe will start to ease lockdown after two months at home

  • Global reported cases sit above 3.5 million; the death toll nears the quarter-million mark at 247.5k, and recoveries are just under 1.13m. Source: Johns Hopkins University
  • As numbers rise in Brazil, Russia and Japan, European cities start to ease lockdown from today, with Italy being the most notable as the continent’s epicenter. Source: CNN
  • Gilead Sciences receive emergency use authorization from the FDA for drug remdesivir, donating their entire supply to the US government, and putting it into doctors’ hands as early as this week.Source: CNBC
  • Trump warns that as many as 100,000 Americans could die from the pandemic, with the country’s current toll near 68k (the highest globally), but added that he foresees a vaccine by year end. Source: Reuters
  • Apple beats lowered earnings forecast while Amazon misses as pandemic-related costs nearly wipe out profit. Over the past 30 days, AAPL is up almost 20% and AMZN, 30% at the time of writing. Sources: The Motley Fool, MarketWatch
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Annie Charalambous

April 30th, 2020

Has Gilead cracked it? Trial drug rumoured to get FDA approval

  • Facebook misses Q1 revenue and growth targets, while Microsoft said the pandemic had “minimal net impact” on revenue, sending shares up 10% and as much as 5% respectively in after-hours trading. Microsoft isn’t far off its record-high. Sources: MarketWatch, CNBC
  • Gilead’s experimental drug remdisivir, despite serious potential side effects, has shown an 11-day turnaround for patients in its initial trial. Sources say the FDA will announce an emergency-use authorization of the drug. Sources: The Washington Post, CNN
  • South Korea has recorded no new cases for the first time since mid-February, having had as many as 909 in a single day at the peak of the virus’ spread.Source: BBC
  • Lyft cuts close to 1,000 jobs — or 17% of its workforce — and furloughs hundreds more to cut costs. Source: The Wall Street Journal
  • The US economy shrinks by 4.8% in Q1, ending an eleven-year economic expansion — the longest on record — and signaling the start of what could be the “deepest recession in at least eight decades”. Source: Bloomberg
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Annie Charalambous

April 29th, 2020

US loses more people to the pandemic than in 20-year Vietnam War

  • WTI surges as crude inventories were lower than analysts’ forecasts. Source: Reuters
    *Traders, please note that in the event any oil contract’s price drops below $5.50, we will disable trading on oil. That means no new positions can be opened but existing positions can be closed.
  • The UK will start testing millions more people, including all NHS workers and patients, with or without symptoms. The country has at least 162k confirmed cases. Source: BBC
  • Google parent company, Alphabet, among the 100+ companies to post earnings Tuesday: despite a slowdown in ad sales, Q1 revenue beat expectations and sent GOOG shares up 7% in after-hours trading. Source: MarketWatch
  • The IMF approves $3.4 billion in emergency aid for Nigeria, Africa’s largest crude producer — the highest amount given to any one country amid the pandemic. Source: Bloomberg
  • The US surpasses 1,000,000 reported cases with a death toll of over 58.3k — more than those lost in combat in both WWI and the Vietnam War (from the US). Sources: Johns Hopkins University, Wikipedia
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Annie Charalambous

April 28th, 2020

Global airline revenue expected to take a $300b hit this year

  • Global confirmed cases surpass 3 million; the death toll hovers above 211k and recoveries are slightly under 895k as much of the world prepares for some normalcy to resume over the coming days and weeks. Source: Johns Hopkins University
  • With supply high and simply no demand, oil continues to plummet, falling under $11 per barrel. Source: CNN
  • Scandinavian Airlines cuts 5,000 jobs and Airbus furloughs 3,200 in Wales, warning 135k staff that the company may not make it through the pandemic as they continue “bleeding cash”. Boeing’s CEO foresees a slow recovery for the aviation industry, with lost revenue for airlines expected to exceed $300 billion in 2020. Sources: The New York Times, The Guardian, Reuters, MarketWatch
  • Trump’s small business lending program is seeing unprecedented demand already, having processed 100,000 loans on Monday alone. . Source: Bloomberg
  • Australia’s COVIDSafe app, used to track Coronavirus contact, has been downloaded by 2.4 million people already. The country has, at time of writing, fewer than 6,800 confirmed cases and has had 84 deaths from the virus. Source: BBC
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Annie Charalambous

April 27th, 2020

BoJo returns to Downing St and Italy to start lifting lockdown

  • Confirmed cases near the 3 million mark after the weekend, with fatalities sitting just below 207k and recoveries at 869k (globally). Source: Johns Hopkins University
  • Boris Johnson returns to No. 10 today, warning that it is too soon to start lifting any of the UK’s restrictions, calling this time “the moment of maximum risk”. Source: CNN
  • Italy, with the highest death toll in Europe, will start relaxing lockdown measures from next week. New Zealand, Spain, Greece and some US states look to follow suit. Source: BBC
  • According to Ernst & Young’s forecasting group, Item Club, it will take the UK three years to recover from the economic effects of Covid-19. Source: The Guardian
  • Trump signs in a further $484 billion in aid for small businesses. Source: Bloomberg
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Annie Charalambous

April 24th, 2020

South Africa shares plan to start lifting lockdown measures

  • The US death toll is up by a further 3,173 Thursday, bringing the total to just under 50,000 people — over 25% of total fatalities. Confirmed cases sit just over 869k at time of writing. Sources: The Washington Post, Johns Hopkins University
  • President Trump faces scrutiny for suggesting that injecting bleach directly into the body or exposing people to a “tremendous” amount of light may help fight the virus. Source: BBC
  • Beyonce joins the likes of big tech, pledging $6 million to help those impacted by the virus. Source: The Guardian
  • South Africa prepares to start lifting lockdown from May 1st, with the country moving into Alert Level 4, which will include reopening some businesses and reintroducing the sale of cigarettes to the public. Source: Bloomberg
  • Another 4.4 million Jobless Claims reported, bringing the tally up to 26.4 million people, equivalent to 15% of the US workforce. Source: MarketWatch
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Annie Charalambous

April 23rd, 2020

Study reveals China cases could be 4x higher than official figure

  • Trump’s immigration order is signed in, suspending the approval of some green cards over the next 60 days and barring anyone without valid documentation from entering the US. Source: BBC
  • The ECB agrees to allow banks to use “junk” bonds as collateral when borrowing. Source: Reuters
  • According to a study from Hong Kong University, China’s initial wave of coronavirus cases could be four times as high as the official 55k figure. Sources: The Guardian, The Lancet
  • Mark Zuckerberg shares Facebook’s plans to cancel all offline events with 50+ in attendance through to June 2021. Source: CNN
  • Oil climbs for a second day running with OPEC set to cut production by 9.7 million barrels per day from May 1st. MarketWatch published the below charts to highlight Monday's negative drop. Source: CNBC
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Annie Charalambous

April 22nd, 2020

Oil prices hit lowest levels ever captured on record

  • Since our previous update, cases globally have surpassed 2.5 million, with 825k of those in the US alone. The total death toll is at 177k and recoveries sit near 687k. Source: Johns Hopkins University
  • South Africa unveils a R500 billion (or $26 billion) package to boost the economy and help vulnerable people. This equates to roughly 10% of the country’s GDP. Source: FT
  • Netflix reports earnings, doubling both profit from the previous quarter, and their target by adding 16 million new subscribers in Q1, with another 7.5 forecasted for Q2. Source: CNN
  • The UN warns that a famine “of biblical proportions” is on the horizon, with South Sudan, Nigeria and Haiti among the most at risk. Source: BBC
  • Oil continues to plunge amidst a lack of storage; WTI falling into a negative value Monday before the contract’s expiry — its lowest level on record. Sources: Bloomberg, CNBC
    *Please note that as a result of these unprecedented levels, we have increased margin requirements on oil contracts to 3%, effective April 24th, 8pm server time
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Annie Charalambous

April 16th, 2020

Death tolls rise as previously-unrecorded fatalities over Easter come in

  • Confirmed cases pass 2 million, as France records its worst daily death toll yet and Spain and Portugal also see an increase. Sources: Johns Hopkins University , France24
  • The IMF predicts growth in Asia will stall entirely this year for the first time since the 1960s, calling the virus’ impact “severe and unprecedented”. Source: Official IMF Blog
  • The Fed’s Beige Book report delves into how economic activity has contracted “sharply and abruptly”. Source: CNBC
  • G20 nations agree to suspend debt payments owed to them from 77 of the world’s poorest countries amid the pandemic. Source: FT
  • Oil prices continue to fall as the International Energy Agency projects demand in April to fall by 29 million barrels a day, levels not seen since 1995. Source: WSJ
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Annie Charalambous

April 15th, 2020

Big banks’ earnings reflect economic fears

  • US deaths continue to rise, hitting a new record of 2,228 on Tuesday. Source: Reuters
  • Trump follows through on threats, temporarily halting WHO funding. Source: The Guardian
  • Amazon gains 5% Tuesday, closing at a record high as e-commerce booms. Its largest brick and mortar rival, Walmart, hits its own all-time high Tuesday. Source: MarketWatch
  • Boeing loses more orders of its 747 MAX, seeing the highest cancellations in decades. YTD, shares are down almost 57% (at the time of writing). Source: WSJ
  • JP Morgan and Wells Fargo post highest loan-loss provisions in a decade, setting aside $12 B as they gear up for clients defaulting on their borrowing. Source: Bloomberg
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Annie Charalambous

April 14th, 2020

Trump maintains that America has done everything right

  • Earnings season kicks off today; Johnson & Johnson report pre-market. Source: NASDAQ
  • Gold soars past $1,700 Monday, closing at a 7-year high. Source: MarketWatch
  • Trump asserts his “total” authority while maintaining the US government’s handling of the pandemic has been sufficient. Source: CNN
  • Macron extends France’s lockdown by another month to May 11th. Source: The Guardian
  • The IMF approves debt relief to 25 member countries under its Catastrophe Containment and Relief Fund. Source: IMF
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Annie Charalambous

April 13th, 2020

UK criticised for its response as deaths surpass 10k

  • Confirmed cases approach 2 million; deaths up by almost 15% over the Easter weekend. Source: Johns Hopkins University
  • China reports its highest daily cases in weeks after reopening borders. Source: France24
  • Boris Johnson is discharged from the hospital after a week. Source: BBC
  • US Senators butt heads with Saudis over the oil price-war Saturday. Source: CNN
  • As of 5 pm BST Saturday, the UK death toll sits at 10,612, making them the fifth country to have Coronavirus fatalities surpass 10k. Source: DHSC Official Twitter
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Annie Charalambous

April 10th, 2020

Extraordinary measures in extraordinary times

  • Confirmed cases surpass 1.6 million globally, the death toll nears 100k and recoveries sit just above 360k. Source: Johns Hopkins University
  • The EU has reluctantly put together a €500 billion package of their own for countries hit hardest by the pandemic. Source: The Guardian
  • OPEC tentatively agree to cut 10 million barrels of oil per day over May and June. Source: Bloomberg
  • Boris Johnson is out of Intensive Care but remains in the hospital. Source: BBC
  • The Fed announces a further $2.3 trillion round in economic aid. Source: CNN
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Annie Charalambous

April 9th, 2020

One hundred days in — death tolls up, while the spread slows

  • Japan confirms 503 new cases, it’s highest one-day jump. ​Source: Reuters
  • According to Wall St, the global economy is set to take a $5 trillion hit. ​Source: Bloomberg
  • UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak says Boris Johnson’s condition is improving after having spent a second night in the ICU. ​Source: BBC
  • Zoom’s privacy saga continues as they face a lawsuit from a shareholder over the alleged hiding of security flaws. ​Source: Business Insider
  • On the 100th day of 2020, ​The Guardian looks at how the virus has changed our lives:
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Annie Charalambous

April 8th, 2020

Twitter founder pledges quarter of his wealth to fighting the pandemic

  • Confirmed cases globally are fast approaching the 1.5million mark. Source: Johns Hopkins University
  • As the BoE warns against dividends, Tesco goes against the grain, committing to paying shareholders despite the virus costing the company up to £925m. Source: The Guardian
  • China lifts the lockdown on Wuhan in Hubei, where the pandemic began, after eleven weeks. Source: BBC
  • Twitter founder Jack Dorsey joins the likes of Jeff Bezos with an unprecedented donation of 28% of his wealth, or $1 billion, to aid COVID-19 relief. Source: Jack Dorsey’s official Twitter account
  • S&P500 constituents are a mixed bag at Tuesday’s market close; Kohl’s being the day’s biggest gainer (+20%) and MSCI the biggest loser (-5.4%). Source: CNN
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Annie Charalambous

April 7th, 2020

Nasdaq, Dow Jones, and S&P skyrocket 7%

  • Boris Johnson is now in an intensive care unit as his symptoms worse. Source: BBC
  • China reports no new deaths for the first time since January. Source: The Guardian
  • Japan declares state of emergency, while Prime Minister Abe announces $1 trillion relief package for its economy. Source: CNN
  • The RBA leaves interest rates unchanged but warns that the virus is expected to impact the economy in a big way. Source: MarketWatch
  • Global indices gain after the virus’ impact starts to slow. Source: Business Insider
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Annie Charalambous

April 6th, 2020

Big tech takes on Coronavirus in a big way

  • Japanese Prime Minister Abe is expected to declare a state of emergency from as early as Tuesday. Source: Reuters
  • Fatalities have started to slow down in Italy, Spain, and France after weeks in lockdown. Source: Bloomberg
  • UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been admitted to the hospital as his symptoms persist 10 days on from testing positive for the virus. Source: CNN
  • Friday’s nonfarm payroll showed employment falling by 701k jobs during March, with the unemployment rate up to 4.4%. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • Big tech steps up: Jeff Bezos donates $100m to help food banks facing shortages, and Apple commit to producing one million masks a week after recently donating 20 million masks. Sources: Business Insider, MarketWatch
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Annie Charalambous

April 3rd, 2020

Record-high 6.6 million U.S. workers file for unemployment

  • Confirmed Coronavirus cases surpass one million — the death toll sits above 50,000 and recoveries around 211k. Source: Johns Hopkins University
  • Tesla shares soar 17% in after-hours trading after reporting “best-ever Q1 performance”, producing 102k vehicles and delivering 88k. Source: Investing.com
  • With New York rationing a ventilator supply said to last only days, Trump invokes the Defence Production Act, a law passed amid the Korean War to have more companies securing supplies to build more. Source: WSJ
  • Oil sees its biggest one-day gain as Trump alludes to a price war resolution between the Saudis and Russians. Source: The Financial Times
  • Over 6.6 million people filed for first-time unemployment benefits since the previous week, according to Thursday’s Initial Jobless Claims. Source: CNN
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Annie Charalambous

April 2nd, 2020

Banks cut billions in investor dividends

  • Confirmed cases start to near the one-million mark. Source: Johns Hopkins University
  • Oil demand is at an 18-year low while supply is on the up, creating a storage capacity issue for millions of barrels a day. Source: CNN
  • UK banks scrap dividends to hold onto the cash; between them, HSBC, Barclays, RBS,Lloyds and Standard Chartered were due to pay out £15.6 billion. Source: BBC
  • FTSE100 suffers its worst quarter since 1987. Source: The Guardian
  • The Federal Reserve sets up FIMA repurchasing facility to meet the foreign demand for USD. Source: The Motley Fool
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Annie Charalambous

March 31st, 2020

Tokyo 2020 postponed to summer of 2021

  • China’s Manufacturing PMI in at 52, defying analysts’ expectations and indicative of expansion, compared to a record-low 35.7 a month before. Source: CNBC
  • Global COVID-19 cases surpass three quarters to a million, with 785.9k at time of writing. Source: Worldometers
  • Zoom is under investigation for data privacy and security threats as usage is on the rise. Source: New York Times
  • UK companies, Brighthouse and Carluccio’s, both go into administration, putting ~4,000 jobs at stake. Source: The Guardian
  • The Tokyo Olympics have been postponed to August 2021. Source: BBC
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Annie Charalambous

March 30th, 2020

U.S. Senate passes $2 trillion Coronavirus stimulus bill

  • Oil prices drop to levels unseen since 2002; Goldman Sachs predict that oil companies may have to shut down production, while budget carrier EasyJet grounds its entire fleet
  • People’s Bank of China cuts their repo rate by 20bps, injecting ¥50m into the economy
  • The Fed announces purchase of $350 billion in treasuries, taking its balance sheet to $5 trillion, or ~25% of US GDP
  • Trump extends social distancing guidelines as the country leads in total confirmed cases globally
  • Washington signed in the $2 trillion CARES bill Friday, giving most adults ~$1,200 cash
  • Uncertainty in the market can work for you — Peter Petrou elaborates:

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Annie Charalambous

March 24th, 2020

New York accounts for 5% of worldwide COVID-19 cases

  • We await a decision on the proposed multi-trillion-dollar package out of Washington
  • NYSE closes its trading floor as the virus continues to spread with the count at 15k cases in New York State alone, 5% of the worldwide total
  • In Asian markets, Australia’s ASX200 closes -5.6% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index -3.5% while Japan’s Nikkei225 climbs slightly
  • U.S. futures limit down again overnight, trading ~3.5% down now
  • More investment banks’ GDP forecasts in — Goldman Sachs expect -24% for Q2 and Morgan Stanley anticipate it in the range of -30%, with Deutsche Bank foreseeing the impact being the worst declines on record since WWII
  • In case you missed it, here are some of the positives and their subsequent opportunities
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Annie Charalambous

March 20th, 2020

Every cloud has a silver lining

  • Our own Nima Siar delves into some of the positives of the current climate, as well as opportunities in the market
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