US Briefing - Thursday 13.02
Headlines
  • China Reports 15,152 New COVID-19 Cases For Feb 12, Deaths Rise By 254 To 1,367
  • New Party Boss Of China’s Hubei Province: COVID-19 Virus Situation Still Very Severe
  • Singapore: Biggest Jump In New COVID-19 Cases By 8 To 58; Japan Reports 1st Death
  • Sun: UK Chancellor Javid Has Apparently Resigned; Rishi Sunak Tipped For Role
  • UK PM Sacks: Leadsom, McVey, Cox, Villiers, Julian Smith, Ghani, Freeman, Skidmore
  • EU Commission Keeps EU 2020 GDP Forecast Unchanged; Sees Virus Peaking In 1Q
  • ECB’s De Cos: Virus Keeps Risks To Downside, Stand Ready To Adjust All Instruments
  • German Jan CPIH Confirmed At 1.6% Y/Y; French Q4 Unemployment At 11 Year Low
  • IEA: 1Q20 Global Oil Demand To See 1st Quarterly Decline In Over 10 Years
  • Algeria EnergyMin: OPEC+ May Decide On New Cut To June; Russia Still Undecided
  • Gold Gains; WTI Rally Hindered By Coronavirus Fears As New Cases In Hubei Spike
  • Pepsico Q4 Rev Beat, Alibaba Tops Q3 Rev Estimates; Kraft Heinz Q4 Net Sales Miss
  • Semi-Conductor Firm Applied Materials Forecasts Q2 Revenue, Profit Above Estimates
  • Airbus Posts 2019 EUR1.36B Net Loss; Slows Growth Rate Of Commercial Deliveries
  • Barclays -2.5%; CEO Probed By FCA On Epstein Ties, Overshadows FY Profit Beat
  • Credit Suisse Falls On Q4 Net Income Miss; Commerzbank +3% On Q4 Revenue Beat
Commentary
China Ousts Officials As New Coronavirus Cases Soar by 15,000

Two top Chinese officials at the center of the coronavirus outbreak were ousted, while new cases jumped by 15,000 as Hubei province revised its method for counting infections.

 

The Communist Party secretaries for Hubei and the city of Wuhan were removed in the biggest political fallout so far from the epidemic. Fatalities in Hubei climbed by 242, with total deaths in China rising to 1,367. The number of infections in Hubei jumped by 14,840, sending the total number of cases in China toward 60,000. Read more on how Hubei is changing how it counts cases.

 

 Japan confirmed 44 more cases on a quarantined cruise ship. Hong Kong extended the closure of schools until at least March 16, while the wireless industry scrapped its biggest annual showcase. (Bloomberg - Continue Reading)

EU Leaves EZ 2020 Growth Forecast Unchanged

The European Commission on Thursday kept its economic forecast for moderate euro zone growth for this year and 2021 but raised slightly its projection for inflation, noting the spread of the coronavirus was the key downside risk.

 

In an interim outlook for gross domestic product (GDP) growth and consumer inflation for the 19 countries sharing the euro for 2020 and 2021, the Commission said growth in the euro zone would remain at 1.2% this year and next, as in 2019.

 

“The outlook for 2020 and 2021 is unchanged ... as more positive developments are counterbalanced by negative events elsewhere,” the Commission, the EU’s executive, said. Inflation is likely to accelerate slightly, the Commission said, because of the likelihood of higher oil prices and the effect of higher wages passing through to core prices. The Commission raised its forecast for consumer price growth to 1.3% in 2020 and 1.4% in 2021 from 1.2% and 1.3% respectively predicted last November. (Reuters - Continue Reading)

UK Reshuffle: Sajid Javid Quits as Chancellor of the Exchequer

Sajid Javid quit as Chancellor of the Exchequer, according to a person a familiar with the matter, as Boris Johnson reshuffled his top team. The prime minister had earlier fired a clutch of senior ministers including Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom -- a former rival for the Conservative Party leadership -- in a dramatic cabinet cull on Thursday.

 

After winning a big majority in December’s election, the British prime minister is stamping his authority on his top team to bring in new blood and prepare the U.K. for life after Brexit.

 

Attorney General Geoffrey Cox, Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers, Northern Ireland Secretary Julian Smith, and housing minister Esther McVey have also confirmed their dismissals. (Bloomberg - Continue Reading)

IEA: Oil Demand To See First Quarter Decline In Over 10 Years

Global oil demand is now expected to see its first quarterly contraction in over a decade, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), as the new coronavirus and widespread shutdown of China’s economy hits demand for crude.

 

Demand is now expected to fall by 435,000 barrels a day (b/d) in the first quarter of 2020, down from the same period a year ago, and marking the first quarterly contraction in more than 10 years, the IEA said in its monthly oil market report Thursday. The expected decline in demand prompted the agency to cut its 2020 growth forecast by 365,000 b/d to 825,000 barrels a day, the lowest since 2011. Lower-than-expected consumption in the OECD countries trimmed 2019 growth to 885,000 b/d, it also said.

 

The forecast downgrade comes as the coronavirus, which has infected over 59,000 worldwide and killed over 1,300 people, continues to weigh on global market sentiment and China’s economic activity with factories and businesses closing and travel restricted both to and from China and within the country. (CNBC - Continue Reading)

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