OPEC, allies to seek response to coronavirus pandemic

by Benoît PELEGRIN Agence France-Presse LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — OPEC and its allies will meet to discuss oil production cuts next week following US President Donald Trump’s claim that leading producers Russia and Saudi Arabia will slash output to boost tumbling prices. The meeting was originally expected to be held via video conference on Monday, but will now take place on Thursday, the government of energy-rich Azerbaijan said Saturday. “OPEC has informed us about […]

Asian markets mostly higher but virus uncertainty casts shadow

HONG KONG, China (AFP) — Asian markets were mostly up Wednesday after suffering a diabolical first quarter, while traders weigh trillions of dollars in global stimulus with the prospect of lengthy lockdowns as the coronavirus continues its deadly sweep across the planet. With the number of infected and dead still surging in Europe and the United States, hopes are fading that strict containment measures keeping billions of people at home will be lifted any time […]

Asia markets mostly up after Wall St rally but nerves remain

HONG KONG, China (AFP) — Most Asian equities enjoyed gains Tuesday following another rally on Wall Street, while oil bounced, with traders welcoming a surprise jump in Chinese factory activity, though analysts cautioned that the road ahead remained rocky for the global economy. The World Bank also warned that fallout from the coronavirus pandemic could bring China’s growth to a standstill, with even a best-case scenario seeing expansion slow to 2.3 percent from 6.1 percent […]

Air Canada to temporarily lay off half its workforce

MONTREAL, Canada (AFP) — Air Canada announced Monday it would temporarily lay off nearly half of its employees and reduce activity by up to 90 percent in the second quarter due to the coronavirus. The measures would affect 15,200 employees and about 1,300 managers from April 3, the airline said in a press release. Last week, Air Canada — the first Canadian airline to be hit hard by the pandemic — announced the temporary layoff […]

Singapore eases monetary policy as virus slams economy

SINGAPORE (AFP) — Singapore’s central bank eased monetary policy Monday as the city-state, seen as a bellwether for the health of global trade, heads for a deep recession due to the coronavirus pandemic. The easing echoes moves made by other countries and comes after data last week showed the city-state suffered its sharpest contraction in the first quarter since the global financial crisis. The Monetary Authority of Singapore said it had flattened the slope of […]

Oil prices at 17-year lows as virus ravages world

  SINGAPORE (AFP) — Oil prices extended losses in Asian trade Monday and languished at 17-year lows, with the coronavirus crisis escalating around the world and no end in sight to a vicious price war. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate fell 5.3 percent to trade at $20 a barrel, while international benchmark Brent crude was off 6.5 percent at $23. The falls came after the death toll from the pandemic surged past 30,000 at the […]

EU to propose new post-virus economic stimulus package

  BRUSSELS, Belgium (AFP) — The European Commission will propose a new stimulus package to help the bloc recover from the economic damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said Saturday. “To ensure recovery the Commission will propose changes in the MFF proposal that will allow to address the fallout of the coronavirus crisis,” von der Leyen said in a statement. The MFF is the multi-annual financial framework (MFF), the […]

IMF chief: “It’s clear we have entered recession”

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — The coronavirus pandemic has driven the global economy into a downturn that will require massive funding to help developing nations, IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva said Friday. “It is clear that we have entered a recession” that will be worse than in 2009 following the global financial crisis, she said in an online press briefing. With the worldwide economic “sudden stop,” Georgieva said the fund’s estimate “for the overall financial needs […]

US urges Saudis to ‘reassure’ oil and financial markets

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — The United States said Wednesday it has urged Saudi Arabia to “reassure” oil and financial markets as the world grapples with a coronavirus pandemic that has paralyzed major economies. The appeal was made by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a telephone conversation Tuesday with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the State Department said. Oil prices have plunged as economies grind to a halt due to the pandemic. But the […]

Singapore GDP shrinks most since financial crisis amid pandemic

SINGAPORE, Singapore (AFP) — Singapore’s economy, a bellwether for trade-reliant Asian countries, suffered its worst contraction since the global financial crisis in the first quarter as the coronavirus pandemic escalated, official data showed Thursday. The trading hub’s GDP shrank 2.2 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, according to advance estimates by the trade ministry. Compared with the previous quarter, GDP fell by 10.6 percent. Lockdowns and other measures to contain the spread of the virus […]

Asia equities rally as US agrees blockbuster stimulus package

HONG KONG  China (AFP) — Asian equities soared again Wednesday after US lawmakers finally agreed on a mammoth stimulus package to support the world’s biggest economy against the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. While the deadly disease continues to spread, traders have a rare semblance of optimism after weeks of carnage across global markets, with eyes fixed on Washington where lawmakers in the early hours thrashed out an emergency bill worth as much as $2 […]

EBC to hold OPEN FOR BUSINESS Digital Public Forum on 4IR and how MSMEs can survive the Coronavirus Crisis

By Caesar Vallejos, OPEN FOR BUSINESS The world is at war. Not with guns and ammunition, but with soap and water, and emerging technologies in the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR), while nations are still in a rush to develop drugs to counter the coronavirus pandemic. Responding to the Philippine’s Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), Eagle Broadcasting Corporation (EBC) was quick to transform the scheduled Open For Business (OFB) Forum event into a digital public forum to […]