Coronavirus Updates: McConnell Wants to Shield Companies From Liability

10 minutes ago

Factory Shutdowns, Demand Slump Hammer European Auto Earnings

Volkswagen and Daimler, two of Germany’s largest auto makers, saw pretax earnings plummet after suspending production when the coronavirus pandemic rolled across Europe.

European auto makers and their suppliers have furloughed more than a million workers across the continent. Even as factories begin to reopen, most are operating at a fraction of their previous output levels, making it difficult to forecast for the rest of the year.

Net profit at Daimler, which makes Mercedes-Benz cars, fell to €94 million ($101.9 million) in the first quarter from €2.1 billion the year before.

Volkswagen, the world’s largest auto maker by sales, reported €405 million in net earnings after a 25% drop in production to just under two million vehicles in the first three months of 2020.

36 minutes ago

Pandemic’s Effect Is ‘Highly Uncertain,’ Says AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca PLC said stockpiling of medicines boosted first-quarter sales but warned it was hard to predict the overall impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The British drugmaker on Wednesday said the longer-term impact of the pandemic was “highly uncertain” with any damaging ramifications for the company depending on its duration, extent and severity. It added that the pandemic could hurt drug development, new medicine launches and the manufacturing or supply of medicines. For now, the company has retained its full-year guidance.

AstraZeneca said revenue in the three months to March 31 rose 17% at constant currencies to $6.4 billion. It attributed a low-to-mid single-digit percentage of growth to patients filling their prescriptions for longer periods because of the pandemic. It expects that effect to reverse in the coming months.

Net profit rose 32% to $780 million, largely thanks to the higher sales and proceeds from licensing deals. Core earnings per share, a measure that strips out one-time items, rose 21% to $1.05.

47 minutes ago

Barclays Profit Drops as It Braces for Soured Loans

Barclays said its profit fell in the first quarter as the U.K. bank set aside £2.1 billion ($2.6 billion) in provisions for losses from loans affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Net profit dropped 42% to £605 million in the first quarter from the same period last year, Barclays said. Provisions for bad loans in the first quarter of last year totaled £448 million.

55 minutes ago

Deutsche Bank Beats Expectations but Coronavirus Clouds Outlook

Deutsche Bank weathered the first weeks of the coronavirus pandemic better than expected as customers rushed to reposition their investments, boosting its investment-banking revenue.

The German bank warned that a sharp slowdown in the global economy will hurt its loan book, and possibly its ability to sell unwanted assets.

Deutsche Bank said it has set aside €506 million ($547 million) to cover credit losses, including €260 million directly related to the virus. It said its liquidity reserves dropped 8% to €205 billion in the quarter due to heavy client drawdowns.

Shares in the bank soared after the announcement.

The bank remained on track with the cost-cutting drive it launched last year to make it leaner and more profitable, focused on European companies and retail-banking customers.

Controlling costs is key for Deutsche Bank and other European lenders as low and negative interest rates across the region make it difficult to make money.

3 hours ago

Global Stocks Rise Ahead of Fed Decisions

Stocks rose Wednesday, as investors awaited the conclusion of a two-day Federal Reserve meeting that is likely to keep the U.S. benchmark interest rate near zero and continue support for businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.

Stock benchmarks in Australia, South Korea, China and Hong Kong traded higher. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 and South Korea’s Kospi Index climbed 1% in late morning trading in Hong Kong, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index and the Shanghai Composite Index inched up 0.3% and 0.5% respectively.

S&P 500 futures rose 1.2%, suggesting U.S. markets could open higher. The Japanese market is closed for a public holiday. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note edged higher to 0.615%, after settling at 0.610% in the previous session.

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Last Updated: Apr 29, 2020 at 4:17 am ET

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he wants to shield companies from liability over pandemic-related suits. Follow along for the latest news and insights on the coronavirus’s impact on investors, companies and economies.

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By |2020-04-29T08:27:29+00:00April 29th, 2020|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Coronavirus Updates: McConnell Wants to Shield Companies From Liability
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