Economy, Finance & Business News Headlines: 27th March 2020

Economy, Finance & Business News Headlines: 27th March 2020

COVID-19 Update:

The coronavirus pandemic has sickened more than 523,700 people, according to official counts. As of Friday morning, at least 23,908 people have died, and the virus has been detected in at least 171 countries.

The number of known coronavirus cases in the United States continues to grow quickly. As of Thursday morning, there have been at least 85,381 cases of coronavirus confirmed by lab tests and 1,271 deaths, according to a New York Times database.

Oil Market Update:

Fatih Birol, a Turkish economist, energy expert and Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, said on Thursday during a press briefing that global oil demand could fall by about 20 million barrels per day.

This is imminent as close to 3 billion people across continents may be confined to their homes, as a result activity around the world will fall, demand for energy will continue to fall and price of oil along with it.

Yesterday, S & P downgraded the sovereign ratings of oil-exporting nations, including Nigeria, Mexico, Angola, Ecuador and Oman. Nigeria was downgraded to B-, ‘junk’ territory. Mexico down to BBB while Angola and Ecuador were both lowered into the CCC default zone.

Stock Market Update:

Sentiments are currently negative as most markets are down. FTSE 100 (UK) is down by 4.82%, Dax (Germany) down by 3.05% and CAC 40 of France down by 4.02%. Nigeria’s ASI is currently up by 0.42%.

Headlines:
Nigeria in lockdown
NIGERIA has been shut down as states make frantic efforts to curtail the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The confirmed positive cases rose to 65 on Thursday from 51 the day before. Most of the states on Thursday shut their entry and exit points. The Federal Government also said it is likely to ban travels within and between states. Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said more “aggressive” measures will be announced soon. Read more
CBN, Dangote plan N120bn COVID-19 fund, Elumelu, Rabiu donate N6bn
The Central Bank of Nigeria and the private sector, led by Aliko Dangote Foundation and Access Bank, have set up a coalition aimed at raising N120bn towards the fight against COVID-19 in Nigeria. The Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, said at a press briefing in Lagos on Thursday that the Nigerian Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 was created out of the urgent need to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in the country. Read more
COVID-19: Operators move to avert food supply crisis
Farmers and agri-business operators have commenced moves aimed at averting food supply crisis that may arise from the current lockdown in states following the outbreak of coronavirus. Operators under the aegis of Agric Bureau Association of Nigeria stated that it was time for all stakeholders in the country’s agricultural sector to think about how to avert a looming food crisis in Nigeria. Read more
Asia shares rise on more stimulus hopes but dollar loses steam
Asian stocks rose on Friday as investors wagered policymakers will roll out more stimulus measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic after U.S. unemployment filings surged to a record. Read more
G20 leaders to inject $5 trillion into global economy in fight against coronavirus
Leaders of the Group of 20 major economies pledged on Thursday to inject over $5 trillion into the global economy to limit job and income losses from the coronavirus and “do whatever it takes to overcome the pandemic.” “The G20 is committed to do whatever it takes to overcome the pandemic,” along with the World Health Organization and other international institutions, they said. Read more
U.S. has most coronavirus cases in world, next wave aimed at Louisiana
The number of U.S. coronavirus infections climbed above 82,000 on Thursday, surpassing the national tallies of China and Italy, as New York, New Orleans and other hot spots faced a surge in hospitalizations and looming shortages of supplies, staff and sick beds. With medical facilities running low on ventilators and protective masks and hampered by limited diagnostic testing capacity, the U.S. death toll from COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus, rose beyond 1,200. Read more
Dollar pulls back as panic selling eases, on course for biggest loss in decade
The dollar was on track for its biggest weekly fall in more than a decade on Friday as a series of stimulus measures around the world, including a $2.2 trillion U.S. package, helped temper a rout in global markets triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. The dollar fell more than 1% to 108.35 yen, due largely to Japanese repatriating funds ahead of their fiscal year end on March, after having shed 1.44% overnight. The euro also stayed firm at $1.1041 after a jump of 1.40% on Thursday. Read more
Fraudsters creating websites to defraud Nigerians, says NITDA
The National Information Technology Development Agency on Thursday announced that Internet fraudsters were creating websites to defraud unsuspecting citizens as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. According to the agency, the fraudsters had deployed various phishing tricks to attract internet users. The Head of Media, NITDA, Hadiza Umar, however, stated that the agency was doing everything possible to shut down the identified websites and bring those behind them to book. Read more

Billionaires’ list: Dangote loses $2.5bn in one month
The President/Chief Executive, Dangote Industries Limited, Aliko Dangote, saw its total net worth drop by $2.5bn in the last 30 days, according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The index, which is a ranking of the world’s 500 richest people, showed that his wealth fell from $15.9bn as of February 25, 2020, to $13.4bn on March 26. It had risen to a high of $16.5bn on January 27. The share price of Dangote Cement Plc, the biggest listed company on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, fell by 23.71 per cent to N129.70 on Thursday from N170 on February 25, 2020. Read more
Air France-KLM evacuates European nationals from Nigeria
An aircraft operated by Air-France KLM on Thursday arrived at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos to evacuate some European nationals from Nigeria. It was gathered that the flight, which also left the same day, got special approval from the Ministry of Aviation for the exercise. The ministry however ordered the airline to operate strictly based on the protocol guiding such operations under COVID-19. Read more

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