Overseas Headlines – March 26, 2020

United States:

U.S. Jobless Claims Surged to Record 3.28 Million Last Week

“The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits surged to a record 3.28 million last week as businesses shuttered and laid off workers as part of efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Initial jobless claims in the week ended March 21 were up from 282,000 in the prior week and more than quadruple the previous record high of 695,000 in 1982, according to Labor Department figures released Thursday. The figures date back to 1967.”



Investors Rush to Buy Europe’s Bonds after ECB Drops QE Limits

“Euro-area sovereign bonds surged after the European Central Bank gave itself unlimited room to buy the debt. Yields tumbled from Germany to Italy, while Greece was the outright winner, after the central bank scrapped issuer-wise limits on debt purchases under its new 750 billion-euro ($821 billion) emergency program aimed at combating the coronavirus impact. The move removes a major hurdle to the institution’s ability to load up on euro-area debt. Yields slumped further after the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits jumped to a record 3.28 million last week.”



Hong Kong February Exports Unexpectedly Rise Despite Virus

“Hong Kong’s exports rose unexpectedly in February after plunging the most in more than a decade the previous month as the impact of the escalating coronavirus outbreak on global trade was offset by the timing of the Lunar New Year holiday. Exports rose 4.3% in February from year-ago levels to HK$238.6 billion ($30.8 billion), better than the -20% median forecast among economists surveyed by Bloomberg.”



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