Japan May Ease Entry Bans; Asian PMIs Show Fallout: Virus Update

Japan May Ease Entry Bans; Asian PMIs Show Fallout: Virus Update
Japan May Ease Entry Bans; Asian PMIs Show Fallout: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) — Japan is considering easing entry restrictions on people from four countries in Asia-Pacific that have had success in taming coronavirus outbreaks, according to a newspaper report. Asia’s factory managers remained downbeat in May, even as economies start to reopen.

Wuhan, where the novel coronavirus was first reported, reported no asymptomatic cases on Sunday for the first time since the city started publishing the data. Britain’s government is reported to be working on a stimulus package to lessen the depth of an economic downturn.

U.S. stock futures fell as investors weighed violent protests that have stoked concerns about new infection outbreaks, while Asian equities were largely mixed in early Monday trading.

Key Developments:

  • Virus Tracker: Cases top 6.1 million; deaths exceed 371,000
  • China Is Trying to Salvage Its Bruised Electric-Car Industry
  • Bodies Left on Hospital Beds as Virus Overwhelms Mumbai
  • How China Tested 11 Million People for Virus in Just Two Weeks
  • Protests hammer U.S. cities struggling to open after lockdown
  • Testing on kids is a nervous next step on way to vaccine
  • Lockdowns push baby boombers to embrace online banking

Subscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis team here. Click VRUS on the terminal for news and data on the coronavirus. For a look back at this week’s top stories from QuickTake, click here.

Weak PMIs Show Continued Virus Fallout (9:30 a.m. HK)

Purchasing managers indexes for South Korea, Japan and Taiwan fell, according to data released by IHS Markit on Monday. Readings for Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines improved but remain below 50, the dividing line between contraction and expansion.

The reports add to gloomy data from China, where the official manufacturing PMI published Sunday slipped to a worse-than-expected 50.6.

Japan Weighs Eased Entry Limits: Yomiuri (7:52 a.m. HK)

Japan’s government may relax entry restrictions on people from Thailand, Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand amid signs that coronavirus infections have fallen in those countries, Yomiuri said, citing government officials.

Entry limits may be relaxed as early as in summer, the newspaper reported Sunday. The visitors would be required to carry documentation showing that they had tested negative for the virus before leaving their countries, and would need to be re-tested when they arrive in Japan, according to the report.

U.K. Mulls New Stimulus: FT (6:30 a.m. HK)

The U.K. government is preparing an economic stimulus package to be unveiled in July as it steps up attempts to lessen the depth of the recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the Financial Times reported, citing unidentified officials.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak is working on proposals to invest in training programs, infrastructure and help for technology firms, it said. He will also encourage people back to work as the lockdown to limit the virus leads to a surge in unemployment.

The Treasury on Friday announced an incremental tapering of its job support program in a bid to avert a mass wave of unemployment.

World Bank Says Virus Hurt Palestinians (6:10 a.m. HK)

The Palestinians will need outside help to overcome a poor economic outlook and widening budget deficit made far worse by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a new World Bank report.

Facing a growth slowdown and sizable deficit, the West Bank and Gaza Strip could see output shrink between 7.6% and 11%, depending on how fast the economy recovers from the virus, the World Bank said. In total, more than 430 cases were reported across the West Bank and Gaza, with three deaths.

Cuomo Links Covid, Protests (5:55 p.m. NY)

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo made a connection between the lockdown triggered by Covid-19 and the eruption of violence over the death of a black man in police custody as he reported the fewest news deaths since the outbreak’s peak in April.

“It’s not a coincidence that the unrest happens in the middle of the pandemic, right?” Cuomo told reporters in Albany. “Those are not separate situations. There’s tremendous stress on everyone.”

Cuomo said the actions of individual New Yorkers in wearing masks and practicing social distancing had brought the daily death toll down from nearly 800 at the peak. “Who changed society to deal with this virus? The people did it,” he said.

EU Tests Business Tax for Virus Fund (5:30 p.m. NY)

The European Union’s budget commissioner wants member states to back new taxes, including a levy on big companies for access to the single market, to help fund the recovery from the economic effects of the coronavirus, the Financial Times reported.

In an interview, Commissioner Johannes Hahn said the tax would be part of a package to cover the EU’s proposed 750 billion euro ($675 billion) fund to help with rebuilding. Hahn said there was no alternative but to give the European Commission new measures of collecting revenue to service debt it would take on under the recovery plan.

Among the obstacles to be overcome is opposition among so-called frugal countries — Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden, the newspaper said. Hahn is from Austria.

U.S. Sends Brazil Drug Touted by Trump (4:30 p.m. NY)

The U.S. is sending Brazil 2 million doses of hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug touted by President Donald Trump, and 1,000 ventilators, the White House said.

The drug will be used by Brazil’s nurses, doctors, and health-care professionals to fight Covid-19 and to treat Brazilians who become infected. The Food and Drug Administration said the drug should be used in a hospital setting.

The two countries will cooperate on controlled clinical trials to help evaluate the safety and efficacy of the drug for both prophylaxis and the early treatment of the coronavirus, the White House said.

U.S. Cases Rose 1.1%, Slowest Since May 26 (4 p.m. NY)

U.S. cases increased 1.1% from the same time Saturday, to 1.78 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. The national increase was below the average daily increase of 1.3% over the past week, and the lowest since May 26. Deaths rose 0.7% to 104,081.

  • New York reported 1,110 new cases, for a total of 370,770, with 57 new deaths, to total 23,905. The state had 299 daily deaths on May 2 and 799 in early April.
  • New Jersey had 868 new cases for a total of 160,445 and 66 deaths, raising the total to 11,698, Governor Phil Murphy said.
  • California reported 3,705 new cases, the biggest one-day rise, to reach a total of 110,583, while new deaths fell for a third day, to 57, for a total of 4,213.
  • Pennsylvania had 511 new cases, bringing the statewide total to 71,926, and 18 new deaths for a total of 5,555.
  • Maryland reported 763 new cases, for a total of 52,778, with 21 deaths, for a total of 2,411, as Governor Larry Hogan said the rate of positive cases fell to 10.9% from a 26.9% peak on April 17.

Chicago Mulls Delay of Reopening (3:15 p.m. NY)

Chicago may postpone its partial easing of the Covid-19 shutdowns this week after violent protests over the death of George Floyd left devastating wreckage, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Sunday.

The city was set to start reopening on Wednesday then add more city services and some parks on June 8, but Lightfoot said she’s consulting with the commissioner of public health, police superintendent and others to make a determination on the plan.

Access to Chicago’s downtown and central business district is restricted, and public transit into the loop has been suspended.

Europe’s Hot Spots Ease Lockdowns (2 p.m. NY)

As coronavirus death tolls stabilize in some European countries such as Italy, new cases continue to rise steadily elsewhere, particularly in the U.K. Still, governments are under pressure to let shops, factories and services reopen as the European Commission predicts the virus will wipe out 7.7% of the economy this year.

The U.K. will let some schools, outdoor markets and car showrooms open on Monday under social-distancing guidelines, along with some competitive sports, including horse racing. Italy, with the world’s third-highest death toll, is also moving with caution after protests supporting the lifting of restrictions erupted in Rome and Milan.

Europe’s biggest economy, Germany, is only beginning to ease curbs but is planning on holding the world’s largest book fair in October under a strict hygienic regime. Greece will allow visitors from more nations to visit the country from June 15.

Israel Starts Antibody Testing (1:50 p.m. NY)

Israel began serological testing for coronavirus, health ministry officials said, amid concerns a new wave of the outbreak may be starting. The first tests were conducted on foreign workers, and will soon expand to the general population, the officials said. The tests determine how much of the population has already been infected.

The country reported 53 new cases, bringing the total to 17,071, including 285 fatalities. New infections rose following the recent easing of lockdown restrictions.

China Sends Masks, Tests to Africa (12:51 p.m. NY)

China will supply as many as 30 million coronavirus test kits, 10,000 ventilators and 80 million masks a month to Africa to help deal with the pandemic, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a briefing to reporters broadcast on online Sunday.

Ramaphosa held talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping about securing the supplies last week, he said. State-owned carriers South African Airways, Ethiopian Airlines Group and Kenya Airways Plc will deliver the shipments.

N.Y. Daily Deaths Fall to 56 (12:20 p.m. NY)

New York reported 56 new deaths, Governor Andrew Cuomo said Sunday at a press briefing. It’s the sixth straight day with under 75 fatalities.

“This reduction in the number of deaths is tremendous progress from where we were,” Cuomo said in Albany. “We have gone through hell and back, but we are on the other side.”

The governor noted daily deaths peaked at almost 800 in early April.

Italy Extends Trend of Fewer Cases (12:05 p.m. NY)

Italy’s new cases remained on a declining trend on Sunday, with 355 more people affected, down from 416 a day earlier. Daily deaths were 75, down from 111 on Saturday. A total of 33,415 fatalities have been reported, with 16,112 — 48% — in Lombardy, the region around Milan that was one of the original virus epicenters in Europe.

The government has said improving data means it will be possible to open borders and lift a ban on inter-regional travel on Wednesday. Some regional authorities vow to keep borders closed to people from regions with high case levels, like Lombardy, the area around Milan, which accounts for 38% of total cases in Italy.

NYC Finance Jobs Tested (11:30 a.m. NY)

New York City’s finance industry won’t recover from the devastation wrought by Covid-19 until 2026, according to an analysis by software firm ThinkIQ that ranks U.S. employment markets.

The region lost about 8% of its finance jobs this year, down from a peak of more than 800,000 in August. Coronavirus isn’t the culprit in all of the cuts. But the lockdown to stem the sppread caused a domino effect on everything from rents to mortgage payments.

ThinkIQ predicts employment will be almost back to 2019 levels in six years. Employment in the leisure and hospitality arena is to reach about 90% of its 2019 level by 2026, the latest year in the forecast.

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