Japan slides into recession — with forecasts of worse to come

  by Kyoko HASEGAWA Agence France Presse   TOKYO, Japan (AFP) — Japan dived into its first recession since 2015, according to official data Monday, with the world’s third-largest economy shrinking by 0.9 percent in the first quarter as it wrestles with the fallout from the coronavirus. The drop in gross domestic product followed a 1.9-percent decline in the fourth quarter of 2019 as a tax hike and typhoons hit Japan hard — even before […]

Singapore Airlines reports nearly $150 million virus loss

  SINGAPORE (AFP) — Singapore Airlines reported an annual loss of almost $150 million Thursday, driven by the collapse in air travel caused by the coronavirus pandemic, and the latest sign of the outbreak’s devastating impact on the aviation sector. The airline group — which includes subsidiaries SilkAir and Scoo — suffered a net loss of Sg$212 million (US$148 million) for the financial year that ended on March 31, compared to a profit of Sg$683 […]

US department store JCPenney files for bankruptcy

  NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — US department store JCPenney, which has not turned a profit since 2011, on Friday became the latest American retailer to be pushed into bankruptcy by the coronavirus pandemic. The iconic business said it was filing for Chapter 11, a mechanism which allows a company that can no longer pay its debts to restructure. The group, based in Plano, Texas, will close some stores across the US as a […]

WTO chief to step down early as global economic crisis rages

  by Nina LARSON Agence France Presse GENEVA, Switzerland (AFP) — The World Trade Organization chief announced Thursday he will step down on August 31, a year before his term ends, despite the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the global economy. Roberto Azevedo said it had been a “personal decision” reached with his family, and stressed that he was not leaving to pursue “political opportunities”. “This is a decision that I do not take lightly,” Azevedo told […]

Saudi Aramco Q1 profit dives, says virus to hit 2020 results

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AFP) — Energy giant Saudi Aramco on Tuesday reported a 25 percent slump in first-quarter net profits due to low oil prices, saying the coronavirus crisis will dampen demand and full-year earnings. The world’s largest listed firm posted a net profit of 62.5 billion riyals ($16.66 billion) in the three months to March, compared to $22.2 billion a year earlier. The company said the drop in earnings mostly reflected a decline in […]

US suffers biggest job losses in history amid coronavirus pandemic

by Heather SCOTT Agence France Presse WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — With shops and factories closed nationwide due to the coronavirus pandemic, nearly all of the jobs created in the US economy in the last decade were wiped out in a single month. An unprecedented 20.5 million jobs were destroyed in April in the world’s largest economy, the biggest amount ever recorded, the Labor Department said in a report released Friday, the first to capture […]

Lufthansa to resume some European services in June

  FRANKFUTR AM MAIN, Germany (AFP) — German airline giant Lufthansa said Friday it will fly twice as many aircraft in June as in recent weeks and return to some European destinations, but the flight plan remains a shadow of pre-coronavirus operations. Spots beloved of holidaymakers like Spanish island Mallorca, Crete and German North Sea retreat Sylt will return to the timetable, with 160 aircraft aloft bearing Lufthansa’s crane or the logos of subsidiaries Swiss […]

Virus crisis leaves thousands of cruise ship crew stuck at sea

    by Leila MACOR Agence France Presse The cruise industry has taken a beating during the coronavirus crisis — on-board outbreaks, refusal of port access and now no clear idea of when ships can sail once again. While the passengers have headed home, the journey drags on for tens of thousands of crew members who are stranded at sea aboard their vessels, with no end in sight. Many are no longer being paid because […]

Asia equities turn negative as virus economic reality bites

  HONG KONG, China (AFP) — Asian markets dropped Thursday as the economic reality of the coronavirus crisis became even starker, and China-US relations soured, overshadowing recent optimism over the easing of lockdown measures. With countries from Asia-Pacific to Europe and US states reopening their shattered economies, global equities have enjoyed a strong revival after crashing in March, with oil also getting much-needed support from hopes for a pick-up in demand. But a slew of […]

PHL maintains BBB+ credit rating amid COVID-19 crisis

  (Eagle News) – The Philippine government has maintained its BBB+ credit rating despite the COVID-19 crisis. President Rodrigo Duterte himself announced the good news in his latest address to the nation, as he noted how the country maintained its good economic image amid the crisis and despite the recession of other economies. The 75-year old Philippine leader credited this to the early lockdown that the Philippine government had imposed. “I am happy to report […]

US firms see worst outlook since financial crisis: survey

  WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — US businesses hit by the coronavirus are reporting declines in sales and investment for the first time since the 2008 global financial crisis, according to a survey released Monday. And it is uncertain when conditions will improve, with about 30 percent of respondents saying it will take as long as three to six months, while others expected improvement in five to eight weeks, the National Association for Business Economics […]

Bank of Japan expands easing measures, cuts growth forecast

TOKYO, Japan (AFP) — The Bank of Japan on Monday ramped up its emergency monetary easing, lifting the cap on its buying of government bonds and increasing purchases of other assets while cutting its growth forecasts. After a meeting shortened from two days to one, the central bank said it would shift to unlimited government bond-buying and more than double its capacity to purchase corporate bonds and commercial papers — a move to support Japan […]