Stock-markets are higher this morning despite a record rise in U.S. coronavirus cases. U.S. Fed places new restrictions on the banking industry after its annual stress test found that several banks could get close to minimum capital levels in scenarios related to the coronavirus pandemic.
- The US economy shrank by an annualized 5% in the first quarter of 2020, in line with the previous estimate and ending the longest period of expansion in the country’s history, final figures showed. It is the biggest drop in GDP since the last quarter of 2008 as the Covid-19 pandemic forced several states to impose lockdown measures in mid-March, throwing millions of people out of work. With the third estimate, an upward revision to nonresidential fixed investment was offset by downward revisions to private inventory investment, personal consumption expenditures (PCE), and exports.
- The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits eased to 1.480 million in the week ended June 20th, well above market expectations of 1.300 million, as companies continued to cut jobs more than a month after non-essential businesses resumed operations.
- Natural gas hit $1.5/MMBtu, its weakest level in nearly 25 years, after data from the EIA showed inventories rose by 120 billion cubic feet in the week ended June 19th, more than an expected 106 billion cubic feet. Prices have been recently under pressure as demand for liquefied natural gas remains subdued due to the impact of Covid-19. The International Energy Agency expects global natural gas consumption to drop by a record 5% in 2020. Still, prices are expected to recover amid easing coronavirus-induced restrictions and expectations for relatively hot summer that could lead to increased air conditioner use.
- On Thursday: European stocks ended sharply lower as rising coronavirus cases across the globe, and mounting worries about growth after the International Monetary Fund lowered its forecast for the global economy hurt sentiment and triggered heavy selling across the board. US stocks moved sharply lower over the course of the trading day, more than offsetting the upward move seen over the two previous sessions. The tech-heavy Nasdaq pulled back well off yesterday’s record closing high. Asian stocks ended broadly higher as improved data from key economies and hopes of more stimulus measures helped offset reports of a surge in the number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. and elsewhere across the world.
- Thursday’s data below:
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