U.S. Jobless Claims Slow While Underscoring Persistent Weakness
“As business reopenings picked up nationwide, Americans filed nearly 2 million applications for unemployment benefits last week, reflecting a slowing — though far from a halt — in job losses. Initial jobless claims for regular state programs totaled 1.88 million in the week ended May 30, Labor Department figures showed Thursday, down from 2.13 million the prior week. It was the first reading below 2 million since the coronavirus-related layoffs began en masse in mid-March. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for 1.83 million claims in the latest week.”
ECB Unveils Bigger-Than-Expected Boost to Crisis Bond Buying
“The European Central Bank intensified its response to the coronavirus recession with a bigger-than-anticipated increase to its emergency bond-buying program. At a virtual meeting on Thursday, President Christine Lagarde and colleagues decided to expand the amount of purchases by 600 billion euros ($675 billion) and extended their duration until at least the end of June 2021. The vast majority of economists surveyed by Bloomberg last week expected policy makers to boost buying by 500 billion euros.”
India, Australia Agree to Bolster Strategic Ties in Partnership
“Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison signed a crucial defense agreement and upgraded ties to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, as both nations navigate fraught relations with China. The agreement, confirmed by Morrison in his opening remarks of a virtual summit between the leaders on Thursday, may allow the two nations to access each other’s bases and ports and strengthen their defense ties. The Mutual Logistics Support pact is similar to an agreement India signed with the U.S in 2016.”
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