Overseas Headlines – April 9, 2020

United States:

Third Week of Big U.S. Jobless Claims Sees 6.61 Million Filings

“Americans applied for unemployment benefits in massive numbers for a third straight week, bringing the total to about 16.8 million during the coronavirus pandemic’s economic shutdown. A total of 6.61 million people filed jobless claims in the week ended April 4, according to Labor Department figures released Thursday, as more states ordered residents to stay home and overwhelmed unemployment offices continue to work through applications. The figure compared with a median forecast of 5.5 million, and the prior week’s upwardly revised 6.87 million.”



U.K. Economy Unexpectedly Shrank Before Virus Restrictions Hit

“The U.K. economy unexpectedly contracted in February, putting it on an unsteady footing even before the nation imposed more stringent restrictions to contain the coranavirus. GDP fell 0.1% from January, with the downturn driven by a huge drop in construction, the Office for National Statistics said Thursday. In the three months through February, growth stood at 0.1%.”



Wuhan Workers Line Up for Mass Testing After Lockdown Lifted

“Companies in Wuhan are requiring employees to draw blood or have their throats swabbed before returning to work, reflecting the high level of anxiety that remains in the Chinese city as it emerges from a months-long lockdown. Workers at Kone Elevators Co. queued in front of their office building in Wuhan’s eastern district on Thursday to take tests to determine if they have the coronavirus or its antibodies. The tests were being conducted by a private medical organization with the fees covered by Kone.”




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