Overseas Headlines – June 16, 2020

United States:

U.S. Retail Sales Soared a Record 17.7% in May, Double Forecast

“U.S. retail sales jumped in May by the most on record and double forecasts, regaining more ground than expected after unprecedented drops the prior two months as states allowed more merchants to reopen. Sales soared 17.7% from the prior month, the most in data going back to 1992, following a revised 14.7% slump in April, according to Commerce Department data issued Tuesday. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a 8.4% gain in May.”



Central Banks Have Put a Floor Under European Equity Markets

“Volatility has returned to European equities, but a week of selling doesn’t necessarily mean the market might revisit March lows. Dire economic data and worries about potential second wave of Covid-19 infections fueled the Stoxx Europe 600 Index’s worst drop since the March turmoil last week. However, unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus, coupled with global asset managers’ low position in European shares over the past years, can serve as a cushion against stronger losses.”



Singapore Diversifies Food Supplies With Saudi Shrimps and Polish Eggs

“Singapore faced a daunting challenge when the coronavirus pandemic started to ground planes and upend global supply chains earlier this year — how to feed 5.7 million people in a country smaller than New York City and one that produces less than a 10th of the food it consumes. The city state now imports oranges from Egypt, milk powder from Uruguay, eggs from Poland and shrimps from Saudi Arabia as part of efforts to broaden food supplies, the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Singapore Food Agency said in a joint written response to questions. The import list now extends to more than 170 countries or regions.”



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