Bill Gates Says Virus Death Toll May Not Reach Experts’ Worst Case

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The coronavirus death toll in the U.S. could be “well short” of recent estimates from top health officials if social distancing measures are done properly, billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates said Sunday.

The Microsoft Corp. co-founder has called in recent days for a national lockdown to control the spread of the Covid-19 virus, something the U.S. has fallen short of so far.

Gates spoke as experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, predicted a deadly week for the U.S., warned the pandemic isn’t yet under control, and suggested it could take on a seasonal nature.

Members of President Donald Trump’s health team last week suggested between 100,000 and 240,000 deaths over the next two months from the coronavirus pandemic. Gates said that wasn’t inevitable.

“If we get the testing fixed, we get all 50 states involved, we’ll be below that. Of course, we’ll pay a huge economic price,” added Gates, whose net worth is $97 billion, according to the Bloomberg billionaires list, making him the world’s second-richest person.

On CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Fauci joined Trump and Surgeon General Jerome Adams in predicting a rough week to two weeks for the U.S. as rising caseloads strain health resources in some areas and deaths continue to rise.

Bad Week

“This is going to be a bad week,” Fauci said. “Things are going to get bad and we need to be prepared for that. It is going to be shocking to some.”

Within a week or slightly more, the U.S. coronavirus curve should start to flatten, Fauci predicted.

Coronavirus cases in the U.S. surpassed 324,000 on Sunday, the world’s highest, with more than 9,000 deaths, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University.

Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, said the U.S. still lacks an “all-hands-on-deck approach” to vaccine or treatment development for Covid-19.

Absent that, there’s little hope for a “V-shaped recovery” or for the economy to rebound to more than 80% of potential, Gottlieb said on CBS.

“We need to prepare for what it looks like when you have a slower economy and more people unemployed in the fall,” said Gottlieb, special partner at New Enterprise Associates, a venture capital firm that invests in the health-care and biotech sectors.

“It is fair to say things won’t go back to truly normal until we have a vaccine,” Gates said on Fox.

— With assistance by Naomi Nix

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Virus Peril May Make April Cruelest Month for Emerging Markets

In this article

Emerging markets are about to find out just how much rougher April will be for them than developed economies.

The signals are in the price swings anticipated by traders.

The gap between a JPMorgan Chase & Co. gauge of expected fluctuations in developing-nation currencies and a similar Group-of-Seven measure has climbed to the highest since June, after evaporating in March. Likewise, the spread between the Cboe Emerging Markets Volatility Index and the VIX gauge for U.S. stocks has widened to 1.4 percentage points from a discount of as much as 10 basis points last month.

Oil’s newfound vigor also hangs in the balance as a row between Saudi Arabia and Russia threatens to scupper a possible deal among global producers to curb supply. The lack of such an accord would hit the world’s two largest crude exporters and other energy-dependent economies including Mexico, Colombia, Nigeria and Angola.






Developing-nation central banks, meanwhile, have already used up much of the monetary arsenal needed to support their currencies and economies in the face of the coronavirus. With interest rates in emerging economies at multi-year lows — and near zero in the case of nations such as South Korea and Israel — the carry returns that attract foreign funds are diminishing.

“Uncertainty around both the supply-side and demand-side for oil should continue to effect volatility,” said Marshall Stocker, a money manager at Eaton Vance Corp. in Boston, which oversees about $519 billion of assets. “Policy adventurism can be expected at the country level as there is no history from which to identify an orthodox policy response. Therefore there will be health, fiscal, and monetary policy mistakes and achievements made this coming and in future weeks.”

Government spending pledges in some emerging markets dwarf what’s ever come before. Even so, they pale in comparison with the trillions of dollars promised in Europe and America. That discrepancy threatens to set the asset class back years and is partly to blame for the record $83 billion sucked out of developing nations in March alone.

    South Korea, Israel, Poland Decide

    • South Korea will decide on its benchmark interest rate on Thursday, with Bloomberg Economics forecasting it will remain on hold following an emergency cut of 50 basis points in March
      • “The economy is set to contract and inflation is moving further away from the central bank’s 2% target,” Bloomberg Economics said in a note. “Even so, the Bank of Korea may conserve its policy ammunition at this meeting as it assesses the impact of emergency monetary and fiscal stimulus”

      Crude Wild Card

      • The Russian ruble and Peruvian sol outperformed other emerging-market peers last week as Brent crude rebounded 37% on hopes that global producers will decide to make historic output cuts. The OPEC+ meeting was initially expected for Monday, but got delayed to April 9 as Riyadh and Moscow trade barbs about who’s to blame for the collapse in oil prices. A failure to come to an agreement would likely cause prices to slide again.
      • Read more: Saudi, Russian Negotiators Talk Oil Deal Even as Leaders Snipe

      Inflation, Foreign Reserves

      • India reports March services PMI on Monday after most other Asian countries saw their gauges slide below 50 — the point dividing expansion and contraction — last week
      • The Philippines and Thailand will both publish inflation data Tuesday, with the former’s reading forecast to slow for a second month. Taiwan will report its inflation figures on Wednesday, while China’s headline rate is also expected to slow in Friday’s data
      • Inflation in Russia probably accelerated to 2.7% in March from 2.3% as the ruble declined along with oil prices. But price pressure will abate as the pandemic weighs on demand, creating room for the central bank to look through temporary ruble weakness and resume easing once financial markets stabilize, according to Bloomberg Economics
      • Indonesia, Taiwan, the Philippines, China and Malaysia are all due to report March foreign reserves on Tuesday. These will give an indication about the extent of local currency defenses across the region — after Korea’s reserves fell by the most since 2008 in March.
        • Still, Malaysia may be reluctant to show a number below $100 billion, making it likely that much of Bank Negara’s intervention to support the ringgit was undertaken through FX forwards
        • The same will be true of China’s more distant but psychologically important $3 trillion figure. Its central bank is also likely to use other means to defend the currency

        — With assistance by Paul Wallace

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    Sanitise your investing habits

    In these troubled times, when a pandemic is sweeping the world, investors need to be careful about their money

    In troubled times such as the present one, the urge to do ‘something’ to make your money work better is high. Here are some of the questions I received frequently, reflecting the above sentiment, and my corresponding suggestions.

    “I have some surplus to invest now, where should I invest for high returns?” Having some surplus does not automatically qualify it for risky, long-term investments in these hard times.

    The COVID-19 pandemic may take time to resolve; some of us may have pay cuts and worse, some may lose jobs. If that be the case, be happy that you have some surplus and earmark the same as a contingency fund.

    At least six to nine months of your expenses are best set aside in these extraordinary times. Stash much of this money in savings accounts and short-term bank deposits (of large scheduled banks) that you can break. Overnight or liquid funds should only be your next choices. Please stop bothering about the interest it earns, until such time we get over this current crisis. In other words, near-term survival and sustenance matter first.

    EMI payment

    “Should I stop paying my EMI and use the money to invest?” No, this is not a good idea. First, there is no free moratorium. Your interest will get added over the three-month period. If you have enough money for your daily needs, avoid skipping the EMI. Second, in such a dicey market, the last thing to do would be to ride the market on borrowed money hoping the market will generate quick returns.

    “[The] RBI is cutting the interest rate. Should I lock into higher-earning deposit options?” Higher earning options do not come without risk in normal times. They come with heightened risk in these risky times. Stay clear of any kind of credit risk if you are dependent on your investment for regular income. Good old small savings schemes will offer slightly better interest rates than bank FDs, especially for senior citizens, even after the recent rate cut. There are select, quality low-risk options in debt mutual funds that you can explore if you have other sources of income.

    “Markets have fallen sharply. Can I buy some stocks now?” If you are a seasoned stock investor, then you might find opportunities in quality stocks that you are already invested in and accumulate those.

    If you are new to stock markets, then trying to buy when markets fall can be like catching a falling knife. Instead, add more to your mutual funds or simply use index funds or ETFs and keep accumulating in 6-8 small instalments and slowly deploy every week. Make sure this is money you don’t need for 3-5 years at least and you have enough debt allocation in place. Avoid wasting your time asking friends or even experts whether this is the correct time to buy. Nobody really knows.

    “Small-caps have been hit badly. So, they may bounce back fast. Should I shift to smaller companies?” This is not the kind of correction where stocks that fall the most bounce back the highest. The present crisis will lead to a question of survival of the fittest as stressed working capital and poor sales would threaten companies with weak finances.

    Also, previous market falls have taught us that some stocks and sectors go out of fancy when a new rally starts after such major corrections. This may mean that stocks that you eyed in the earlier rally may completely lose out and fade into oblivion, at times. Unless you track smaller companies and their financial strength closely, stay with quality companies that are cash rich, are known to emerge from downturns and are currently at a double-digit discount to the prices they were in a bull market.

    Equity investment

    “All my equity investments are below my cost after 5 years of investing now. What is the point in investing in equities?”

    Social media comments on 5-year SIPs turning negative, 5-year FD returns or liquid funds being better than equity at present… are all true. But just 2.5 months ago, there would have been no case to make. Also, nobody speaks of the bounce-back that happens not far after the hit. My point is, get to know how you could have mitigated it. The answer is asset allocation. Some equity, some debt, some gold and so on. If you had done this, then please a look at your portfolio in its entirety and not just your equity. You will still be better off.

    When you have asset allocation in place, an annual check will tell you whether the allocation needs to be rebalanced — that is, bringing your asset proportion back to your original allocation if an asset class swells. For example, if your 60:40 equity: debt portfolio has grown to 70:30, you need not know anything about the markets. You simply need to know your equity allocation is inflated and bring it back to 60:40. Such re-balancing will indirectly help you book profit in the inflated asset and redeploy in the deflated asset class (debt, in our example).

    This way, in steep falls, your portfolio is better protected, and you would already have reaped some profit and shifted it out, without knowing whether markets may rise or fall.

    Stay safe, invest right!

    (The author is co-founder, Primeinvestor.in)

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    Panicked shoppers. Empty shelves. Meet the workers keeping you stocked

    New York (CNN Business)America’s grocery stores, retail chains and warehouses staying open during the coronavirus crisis can’t seem to agree on how exactly to keep their millions of workers safe at the height of a pandemic.

    Walmart (WMT) and Amazon (AMZN) announced last week that they plan to start taking employees’ temperatures before they come into work and provide masks and gloves if workers want to wear them.
    Target (TGT) said it will provide workers with masks and gloves and will “strongly encourage that they be worn while working.” But it’s not taking workers’ temperatures.

      Home Depot (HD) will give thermometers to workers and ask them to check their own temperatures before showing up, but it’s not providing workers with masks. Lowe’s (LOW), its top rival, is doing the opposite: The hardware chain will give masks to workers who want them, but it’s not offering them thermometers or taking their temperatures before they come in.
      Meanwhile, Dollar General (DG), Dollar Tree (DLTR) and CVS (CVS) have not announced new measures on personal protective equipment for employees or taking workers’ temperatures before they show up.

      The National Retail Federation, which represents the industry, defended its members, saying they’re following government guidance guidance and recommendations. “Health and safety are priority number one for retailers during this crisis,” a spokesperson for the group said.
      But the federal government lacks uniform directions for all retailers and grocery stores to protect workers during the pandemic. In the absence of enforceable federal standards, retailers have created a patchwork system as the outbreak worsens and workers’ fears of contracting the virus on the job intensify.
      This has hamstrung worker protection efforts, public health experts and union leaders say. Retailers are not health care experts and the mix of policies are a safety risk for shoppers because these stores are one of the few public spaces still open. Millions of Americans are still visiting them every day and coming into close contact with workers who may be exposed to the virus.

      Target will provide workers with masks and gloves and "strongly encourage that they be worn while working."
      “Without overarching guidelines from the federal government, this has been a story of each state, each city, and each business doing it their own way,” said Leonard Marcus, co-director of the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative at the Harvard School of Public Health.
      However, during a pandemic, “uniformity is your strength” to limit weak spots and contain the virus’ spread, he said. Federal standards are the best way to achieve that goal.
      The example of whether retailers should take customers’ temperatures before they enter stores highlights their uncertainty on how to respond without action from public leaders.
      Walmart executive vice president of corporate affairs Dan Bartlett told reporters on a call Tuesday that the government would have to step in for that to happen. “That’s not for us to solve in my opinion. That’s something that we would have to be given clear guidance from the government.

      ‘Missing in action’

      The federal government isn’t completely devoid of advice for worker safety during coronavirus. President Donald Trump said Friday his administration was now recommending Americans wear “non-medical cloth” face coverings, a reversal of previous guidance that suggested masks were unnecessary for people who weren’t sick.
      The Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which enforces workplace safety law, has issued guidance on preparing for coronavirus. But the guidance from OSHA is “not a standard or regulation and it creates no new legal obligations” for companies to fulfill. The recommendations OSHA provides are “advisory in nature.”
      OSHA has issued limited guidance to retailers and grocery stores. It says that workers in “some high-volume retail settings” have “medium exposure risk” and should employers should “consider offering face masks to ill employees and customers.” Additionally, workers with medium exposure risk “may need to wear some combination of gloves, a gown, a face mask, and/or a face shield or goggles.”
      In a statement to CNN, a spokesperson for the Department of Labor said OSHA is “using a risk-based approach to assess and prioritize our field work, and is employing all inspection protocols available to support the mission of protecting worker safety and health.”
      “OSHA is providing robust compliance assistance to employers and workers during this challenging time,” the spokesperson added. “The agency’s proactive measures are focused on getting workers the protections they need — this balanced with OSHA’s enforcement tools.” If OSHA found “flagrant violations of the law, the agency would use all enforcement tools available.”
      Walmart will start taking employees' temperatures and let them wear masks
      House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday that OSHA should adopt an emergency standard with regulations for essential workers like pharmacists and grocery store workers.
      Former OSHA leaders believe the agency should more aggressively enforce requirements, not just providing voluntary guidance to companies. The number of federal and state safety inspections of workplaces has fallen by more than 50% since the mid-March start of coronavirus restrictions, Bloomberg reported.
      “OSHA is missing in action,” said David Michaels, who ran OSHA during the Obama administration. “This administration has decided that OSHA should not be actively involved in the response,” he said.
      Debbie Berkowitz, a senior official for OSHA under President Obama and now a worker safety expert with the National Employment Law Project, said the agency was “leaving it up to employers” to decide on their own policies, jeopardizing both worker and public safety. “Worker health is public health,” she said. “If we don’t protect workers, it will spread and endanger the public.”
      Berkowitz believes the agency should require and enforce that all retail and grocery chains provide masks to workers and require that they remain six feet apart at all times. “This is all guidance now, not enforceable,” she said. “Employers can ignore it.”
      Marc Perrone, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers union representing 1.3 million grocery and food processing workers, said “the government really should take a position as it relates to people in these essential positions.” UFCW represents workers at Kroger and Albertsons and has pushed for more stringent safety measures to protect workers in contracts with these companies.

        The lack of uniform standards from federal officials “does in fact jeopardize public safety” because of the increase in customers visiting stores and also makes it more difficult for companies to craft responses, he said.
        “The companies have, in fact, been trying to get ahead of it. They don’t have a central notice about what they should do from OSHA.”
        Source: Read Full Article

        Oil prices rally on talk of supply cut

        A version of this story first appeared in CNN Business’ Before the Bell newsletter. Not a subscriber? You can sign up right here.

        New York (CNN Business)OPEC has portrayed itself as a source of stability in a chaotic world.

        But the cartel undercut that argument last month by adding to the considerable market mayhem. OPEC leader Saudi Arabia and oil ally Russia duked it out in a price war that eventually helped send crude crashing to 18-year lows.
        Now OPEC has an opportunity to restore calm to oil markets experiencing historic levels of volatility. But it won’t be easy.

          What’s happening: OPEC+ plans to hold a meeting via video conference Thursday where the group could finally make the production cuts that were badly needed weeks ago to make up for the collapse in demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
          President Donald Trump dramatically raised expectations for significant output cuts. Trump said last Thursday he hopes and expects Saudi Arabia and Russia will slash production by 10 million to 15 million barrels per day.

          Even though no deal has been announced — and analysts immediately cast doubt on Trump’s claim — oil prices spiked Wednesday by the most on record. For the week, US crude surged 32% — the best week since oil futures began trading on NYMEX in 1983.
          “Given that the oil market is now expecting a large reduction in output, anything less could send prices into freefall,” Caroline Bain, chief commodities economist at Capital Economics.
          Oil producers are racing against time. The supply glut is so massive that the world will soon run out of space to store all those barrels. And that could send prices crashing into single-digits, exacerbating what will likely be a wave of bankruptcies in the US oil industry.
          But no one wants to be the first to blink in this battle.
          Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, tired of being the one taking the brunt of production cuts, wants other countries to join in. And there are reports that the United States, Canada and Mexico could be invited to this week’s meeting.
          Output will naturally drop in the United States as high-cost drillers respond to the crash. And regulators in Texas are being urged to consider production limits — something that hasn’t happened in more than 40 years. But it’s unclear how such oil output could be limited at the national level.
          Russia may finally agree to production cuts, with Vladimir Putin reportedly proposing Friday that global production get cut by 10 million barrels per day.
          However, in exchange Moscow may insist on sanctions relief from Washington.
          “There is a price for getting Russia back to the table. And it’s unclear Washington is willing to pay that price,” said Helima Croft, global head of commodity strategy at RBC Capital Markets.
          In the end, even if all the pieces fall into place and a grand bargain is reached, it’s possible it will be too little, too late.
          Demand is collapsing at an unprecedented rate and there’s little Putin, MBS and Trump can do about that.

          Delta’s financial report could show airlines’ troubled fate

          It’s been a terrible past few weeks for airlines. Wednesday investors will start to see just how bad.
          Delta Air Lines (DAL) is scheduled to be the first major airline to report first-quarter results. It is expected to report a loss for the first time in years.
          The loss will be narrower than some might expect: Travel was little affected in January and still strong domestically in February. But March, traffic ground to a near halt.
          On Friday CEO Ed Bastian told airline employees that it expects revenue to be down 90% in the second quarter and that the industry has yet to see a bottom of the crisis.

          Up next

          Monday: German industrial orders report
          Tuesday: Levi Strauss (LEVI) earnings
          Wednesday: Delta Air Lines earnings

            Thursday: US initial unemployment claims and University of Michigan consumer sentiment report for April
            Friday: US Consumer Price Index inflation report
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            Hancock Threatens Tighter U.K. Lockdown to Halt Virus Spread

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            The U.K. will tighten a nationwide lockdown if needed to halt the spread of the new coronavirus, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said, even as pressure builds on the government to explain how it will eventually ease economically devastating measures.

            Speaking to the BBC on Sunday, Hancock criticized what he described as a “minority” who are ignoring social-distancing rules to sunbathe or gather in parks, and said the government would not hesitate to ban all outdoor exercise if current rules prove insufficient to reduce the infection rate.

            “I don’t want to have to take that action, of course I don’t, but we have already demonstrated that we are prepared to take the action that’s necessary to get this virus under control,” he said. “Let’s not have a minority spoiling it for everybody.”

            Officials stepped up warnings for the public to adhere to lockdown rules ahead of a weekend of good weather in much of the U.K., which comes about a week before scientists expect the virus outbreak to begin to peak. But some parks closed on Sunday after a surge in visitors, who Hancock said risked partly undoing progress made on suppressing infections.

            The U.K. on Saturday reported an increase of 708 coronavirus deaths, the highest daily toll so far, bringing the total to 4,313. There have been 41,903 positive tests, the Department of Health and Social Care said, though the government has acknowledged it doesn’t know the total number of infections.

            Positive Signs

            There are “some signs” the lockdown is helping to slow the outbreak, Neil Ferguson, an epidemiologist at Imperial College London who advises the government, told the BBC. He expects the peak in about 7-10 days.

            “What is critically important then is how quickly case numbers go down,” Ferguson said. “Do we see a long, flat peak or do we, as we hope, see a much faster decline?”

            It was modeling done by Ferguson’s team that ultimately led Prime Minister Boris Johnson to impose the lockdown measures because it showed the National Health Service would be overwhelmed unless the speed of infections was slowed. NHS England Medical Director Stephen Powis said last week there is “early” academic evidence that the transmission rate has fallen below one, meaning each infected person is no longer passing the virus to multiple others.

            With swathes of the economy shut down, positive comments about infection rates are adding to pressure on the government to reveal its plan for exiting the lockdown. Ferguson said the “precise strategy” would be formulated in the next week, but would “almost certainly” include scaled-up testing and contact-tracing.

            Keir Starmer, the new leader of the opposition Labour Party, urged the government to publish its plans to end the lockdown.

            Too Soon

            But Hancock pushed back, saying it’s too early to talk about when and how lockdown measures could be eased.

            Johnson’s government has been battling criticism over its handling of the pandemic, especially its failure to conduct widespread testing and a shortage of protective equipment for NHS workers and ventilators for patients. Hancock last week said the U.K. would scale up to 100,000 tests a day by the end of April.

            On Sunday, the health secretary said the NHS has enough critical care capacity based on current data, but indicated his target for 18,000 ventilators would not be reached by the projected peak. Current capacity in the NHS is about 10,000, he said, with about 1,500 coming by the end of the week.

            In addition, the U.K. is building out emergency field hospitals, including at the ExCeL exhibition center in east London.

            ‘As Strong as Any’

            Later Sunday, Queen Elizabeth II will strike an optimistic note about Britain’s response to the crisis, according to excerpts from the speech reported by the BBC.

            “I hope in the years to come everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge,” the Queen will say in a pre-recorded address to the U.K. and Commonwealth nations. “And those who come after us will say that the Britons of this generation were as strong as any.”

            Meanwhile Johnson, who Hancock said is in “good spirits” but still self-isolating with a temperature after contracting Covid-19 more than a week ago, urged people to continue staying at home over the weekend. “I know it’s tough, but if we all work together and follow the guidance we will beat coronavirus,” Johnson said on Twitter.

            Source: Read Full Article

            Waiting for the Next Historic Number: Global Economy Week Ahead

            As the true economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic becomes clear, economists seeing unprecedented data releases on an almost daily basis are gearing up for even worse to come.

            In the U.S. and the rest of the world, reports showing historic spikes in joblessness and declines in activity have been accompanied with warnings that even more concerning data will follow once the full impact of the lockdown in much of the world becomes clear.

            This week the focus will once again rest on the U.S. labor markets, and the weekly release of jobless claims data that has jumped by almost 10 million across the last two reports. The Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank are also both scheduled to release minutes which may include details of their thought process as they injected waves of emergency stimulus into the economy.

            Here’s what happened last week and below is our wrap of what else is coming up in the world economy.






            33,264 in U.S.Most new cases today

            -26% Change in MSCI World Index of global stocks since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23

            -1.​138 Change in U.S. treasury bond yield since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23


              Asia

              Central banks in Australia and South Korea meet, though after their emergency actions in mid March, it’ll be a quieter affair. On the data front, China consumer and factory prices for March will be scrutinized for any signs of how the coronavirus is impacting supply chains and demand.

              • For more, read Bloomberg Economics’ full Week Ahead for Asia

              Europe, Middle East and Africa

              After dismal PMIs last week, the Bank of France’s business sentiment index on Wednesday is predicted to fall to the lowest since the financial crisis. Meanwhile, industrial production numbers for Germany, France and Italy for February will provide pre-pandemic data and the U.K. is also due to release growth figures from February, which will give a sense of the strength of the economy going into the lockdown.

              The Swiss National Bank said last month it was stepping up currency interventions to stem the franc’s advance and data on Tuesday will provide insight into how much the it spent to keep that pledge.

              Israel’s central bank may cut its benchmark interest rate to 0.1% from 0.25% on Monday, its latest move to respond to the economic havoc wreaked by the coronavirus pandemic, after earlier committing to purchasing 50 billion shekels ($13.8 billion) of government bonds from the secondary market. Serbia and Poland also have rate decisions and Czech lawmakers are expected to approve a new law on the central bank, which will give it an option to start asset purchases.

              In South Africa, Wednesday’s data will probably show business confidence deteriorated in March, a picture that’s likely to get worse due to the nationwide lockdown in April. Car sales data from Russia on Monday will be one of the first indications of how hard consumers there have been hit by the virus fallout and the ruble’s crash.

              • For more, read Bloomberg Economics’ full Week Ahead for EMEA

              U.S. and Canada

              Expect investors to focus Wednesday on the release by the Fed of meeting minutes -- which are expected to include details on their decisions to slash interest rates and support the economy. On Thursday, eyes will turn to the latest data on jobless claims, which have surged to record levels as the public health crisis intensified.

              Meanwhile, Canada’s jobs report on Thursday will will be the first data point on how deeply the pandemic has impacted the nation’s labor market.

              • For more, read Bloomberg Economics’ full Week Ahead for the U.S.

              Latin America

              Mexico has so far been Latin America’s odd man out compared to the spending packages other governments are rolling out against the coronavirus pandemic. Adamantly opposed to any response that adds to government debt, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Sunday is slated to release his plan to address the crisis. If Lopez Obrador keeps a lid on fiscal stimulus, data out Tuesday showing inflation well within the target range and slowing would give the central bank room for additional monetary stimulus.

              • For more, read Bloomberg Economics’ full Week Ahead for Latin America

              — With assistance by Benjamin Harvey, Malcolm Scott, Peggy Collins, Michael Winfrey, Robert Jameson, and Theophilos Argitis

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              Gov. Andrew Cuomo Warns New York ‘Not Yet Ready’ For Coming Coronavirus Peak

              New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a warning Saturday, saying the state has about seven days to prepare for the “apex” of the coronavirus outbreak.

              “Our reading of the projections is, we are somewhere in the seven-day range, four, five, six, seven, eight-day range,” Cuomo said at his daily briefing on the COVID-19 crisis.

              He cautioned that the state is not yet ready for the coming surge in cases.

              “Part of me would like to beat the apex, and just let’s do it,” he said. “But there’s part of me that says it’s good that we’re not at the apex because we’re not yet ready for the apex, either.”

              Cuomo said like many other parts of the country, the state faces critical shortages of medical equipment, including masks and ventilators.

              Related Story

              Coronavirus In L.A. County: 28 More Deaths And 711 New Cases Confirmed

              “The more time we have to improve the capacity of the city, the better,” he stated.

              Despite his concerns, there was some good news. In a Saturday press release, Cuomo announced that 1,000 ventilators from China were to arrive today at Kennedy Airport.

              The donation was made possible by the Joseph and Clara Tsai Foundation, and facilitated by the Chinese Government and China’s Consul General in New York, Huang Ping. Along with the ventilators, the Joseph and Clara Tsai Foundation also donated one million surgical masks, a million N95 Masks and more than 100,000 pairs of goggles.

              Among other donations announced by Cuomo’s office in the release — the NBA contributed one million surgical masks in collaboration with the New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets. Additionally, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown offered New York 140 ventilators

              Cuomo promised to repay the favor to Oregon.

              “We are so grateful to @OregonGovBrown and the people of Oregon,” he tweeted. “On behalf of the people of NY, I thank you and rest assured that NY will repay the favor when Oregon needs it.”

              Saturday figures showed the number of people infected with COVID-19 in the U.S. has topped 300,000, with the death toll at more than 8,400. In New York state, 3,565 deaths have been reported, including more than 1,900 in New York City.

              Source: Read Full Article