44 minutes ago
Chinese Economy’s Recovery From Coronavirus Starts Off Slowly
China’s economic activity showed some signs of improvement in April as the first country hit by the coronavirus began returning to work, though rising joblessness continued to weigh heavily on consumer spending.
The continued headwinds—apart from a rebound in factory production—could strengthen Beijing policy makers’ resolve to enact more stimulus at the country’s main legislative meeting, set to begin May 22.
Industrial output in the world’s second-largest economy last month was up 3.9% from a year earlier, China’s National Bureau of Statistics reported Friday, recovering from a 1.1% fall in March and beating the 1% increase predicted by economists polled by The Wall Street Journal.
But the official reading of urban unemployment ticked higher to 6.0%, just off February’s record 6.2%, and retail sales were down 7.5% from a year earlier, a touch worse than economists expected.
48 minutes ago
German GDP Shrinks 2.2% in First Quarter
The German economy posted its largest decline in output since the financial crisis in the first quarter, due to the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown implemented in mid-March, the German statistics office Destatis said Friday.
The country’s gross domestic product contracted 2.2% compared with the previous quarter, according to Destatis. However, this came in above economists’ expectations of a 2.5% decline in The Wall Street Journal’s survey.
Economists expect to see a sharper GDP contraction during the second quarter. With the German economy starting its gradual reopening on April 20, a larger chunk of second-quarter output will be lost than in the first quarter.
Northern European countries shrank far less than its Mediterranean counterparts. Before Germany, Statistics Netherlands reported on Friday that the Dutch economy contracted 1.7% in the first quarter. Preliminary estimates published two weeks ago showed the Italian economy declined 4.7% during the first quarter, France posted a historic contraction of 5.8% and the Spanish economy plunged a record 5.2%.
1 hour ago
Apple Supplier Foxconn’s Profit Plunges 90%
Foxconn Technology Group’s first-quarter net profit slumped 90% from a year earlier, after Apple Inc.’s biggest supplier was forced to shut down plants for weeks during the peak of the coronavirus outbreak in China.
The Taiwan-based contract electronics manufacturer, also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., posted net profit of 2.08 billion New Taiwan Dollars (US$69.6 million), sharply lower from NT$19.83 billion a year ago.
Revenue fell 12% to NT$929.13 billion, the company said in a stock-exchange filing Friday.
5 hours ago
Global Markets Hold Steady
International stocks were little changed, as investors weighed mixed Chinese economic data and the implications of renewed tensions between the U.S. and China.
By late morning on Friday in Hong Kong, the city’s Hang Seng Index was down 0.1%. The Shanghai Composite, South Korea’s Kospi Composite, Japan’s Nikkei 225 and Australia’s benchmark S&P/ASX 200 all advanced slightly, gaining between 0.1% and 0.4%.
E-mini S&P 500 futures fell 0.3%.
5 hours ago
New York Stock Exchange to Reopen Trading Floor
The New York Stock Exchange will reopen its trading floor later this month, two months after the coronavirus pandemic forced its closure. Only a limited number of traders will return to the floor when it reopens May 26, and they will be required to wear masks and abide by social-distancing rules to limit the spread of Covid-19, NYSE President Stacey Cunningham said in an opinion article published on The Wall Street Journal’s website Thursday that unveiled the plan.
Among the protective measures: people coming to work on the floor won’t be allowed to take New York City public transit to get there and must submit to temperature checks to enter the building, Ms. Cunningham wrote.
Later Thursday, the NYSE released a three-page memo spelling out the requirements for coming back to the trading floor. Traders on the floor will need to maintain a six-foot distance from one another and “avoid shaking hands and unnecessary physical contact,” it said.
“These rigid measures will ease as the situation in the city improves,” Ms. Cunningham wrote in the opinion article. “They may become more stringent if the virus surges again.”
About this page
Last Updated: May 15, 2020 at 4:44 am ET