U.S. Payrolls Fall 701,000 in March Ahead of Surge in Layoffs
“U.S. employment plummeted last month in the first decline since 2010, offering an initial look at the widespread devastation the coronavirus pandemic has already begun to wreak on the once-strong labor market. Payrolls fell 701,000 from the prior month — compared with the median forecast of economists for a 100,000 decline — according to Labor Department data Friday that mainly cover the early part of March, even before government-mandated shutdowns forced firms to lay off millions more workers.”
Russian Producers Ready for Oil Cuts in Bid to Stop Price Rout
“Russia’s oil industry is ready to agree cuts to production together with Saudi Arabia and other major producers in a desperate bid to halt the slide in prices, according to five people familiar with the efforts. While the Kremlin hasn’t confirmed a willingness to take part in reducing crude output by 10 million barrels a day, as announced by U.S. President Donald Trump Thursday in a Tweet that drove oil prices up as much as 47%, the Russian producers are ready for coordinated action, said the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the matter isn’t yet public. President Vladimir Putin will meet oil executives and officials to discuss the situation on the world energy markets later on Friday, the Kremlin said.”
Japan Plans Handouts Over $2,750 in Record Stimulus Package
“Japan is planning to distribute 300,000 yen ($2,768) to virus-hit households as part of its biggest-ever stimulus package, according to the ruling party. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe approved the value of the handouts ahead of the announcement of the package next week, said Fumio Kishida, policy head of the Liberal Democratic Party, after meeting Abe and Finance Minister Taro Aso on Friday.”
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