U.S. crude prices fall to 17-year low as coronavirus spreads

U.S. oil plunges to 18-year low as lockdowns trigger market meltdownNEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil prices plunged on Wednesday, with U.S. crude futures hitting an 18-year low, as governments worldwide accelerated lockdowns to counter the coronavirus pandemic.
FILE PHOTO: Pump jacks operate at sunset in Midland, Texas, U.S., February 11, 2019. REUTERS/Nick OxfordOil futures have lost more than half their value in the past 10 days as schools have closed, businesses have shuttered and governments worldwide have urged residents to limit gatherings. The decline in the U.S. market in the last 10 days is the largest ever for the contract since it was introduced in 1983.
“The market is cascading. It’s trying to search for a bottom and it doesn’t seem able to find one,” said Gene McGillian, vice president of research at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut. “There are fears of an economic collapse because of what this virus represents, globally.”
Global oil demand by the end of March could fa..

Fujifilm shares jump 15% on China coronavirus drug trial boost

Fujifilm shares jump 15% on China coronavirus drug trial boostFILE PHOTO: Fujifilm's company logo (top) is seen at its exhibition hall nearby the headquarters of Fujifilm Holdings Corp in Tokyo, Japan June 12, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-HoonTOKYO/BEIJING (Reuters) – Shares in Japan’s Fujifilm Holdings Corp (4901.T) surged 15% on Wednesday after a Chinese official said an active ingredient of the company’s Avigan anti-flu drug appeared to help coronavirus patients recover.
Avigan, also known as Favipiravir, is manufactured by a subsidiary of Fujifilm, which has a healthcare arm although it is better known for its cameras. The drug was approved for use in Japan in 2014.
Favipiravir has been effective, with no obvious side-effects, in helping coronavirus patients recover, Zhang Xinmin, an official at China’s Science and Technology Ministry, told reporters at a news conference on Tuesday.
But a Fujifilm spokesman said the company expects no direct earnings impact from potential sales ..

Governments offer airlines aid as coronavirus drives deeper flight cuts

Governments scramble to prop up airlines as virus forces more flight, job cutsLONDON/SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia and Taiwan joined governments offering financial aid to airlines, while authorities in Europe rushed on Wednesday to agree steps to rescue carriers which have had to park planes and cut jobs as the coronavirus puts the brake on travel.
The scramble to bail out carriers came as Italy once again rescued Alitalia, with Rome taking control of the airline and shelving a sale process for the perennially loss-making carrier.
European Union transport ministers discussed potential help following calls from the airline sector for urgent tax relief to avoid multiple bankruptcies.
Norway’s government held talks with Norwegian Air (NWC.OL) executives after the struggling airline called for financial backing similar to that given to regional counterpart SAS (SAS.ST) by Denmark and Sweden.
In the United States, airlines have asked Washington for $50 billion in grants and loans, plus t..

Barclays says it is ‘very unlikely’ to meet profit goal amid virus outbreak

Barclays says it is 'very unlikely' to meet profit goal amid virus outbreakFILE PHOTO: The logo of Barclays is seen on the top of one of its branch in Madrid, Spain, March 22, 2016. REUTERS/Sergio PerezLONDON (Reuters) – Barclays (BARC.L) is ‘very very unlikely’ to meet its goal of a 10% return on equity this year given the impact on its business of the coronavirus pandemic, its Chief Financial Officer Tushar Morzaria said on Tuesday.
Profits will be hit by a buildup of bad loan provisions as corporate borrowers suffer in the economic slowdown accompanying the virus’s spread, Morzaria told a financial conference in London.
Barclays earlier this year said that its goal of a 10% return on tangible equity, a key measure of profitability, would be difficult but achievable.
Reporting By Lawrence White, Editing by Sinead Cruise
Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.All quotes delayed a minimum of 15 minutes. See here for a complete list of exchanges and delays.
© 20..

Oil falls for third day as coronavirus travel bans escalate

U.S. oil plunges to 18-year low as lockdowns trigger market meltdownNEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil prices plunged on Wednesday, with U.S. crude futures hitting an 18-year low, as governments worldwide accelerated lockdowns to counter the coronavirus pandemic.
FILE PHOTO: Pump jacks operate at sunset in Midland, Texas, U.S., February 11, 2019. REUTERS/Nick OxfordOil futures have lost more than half their value in the past 10 days as schools have closed, businesses have shuttered and governments worldwide have urged residents to limit gatherings. The decline in the U.S. market in the last 10 days is the largest ever for the contract since it was introduced in 1983.
“The market is cascading. It’s trying to search for a bottom and it doesn’t seem able to find one,” said Gene McGillian, vice president of research at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut. “There are fears of an economic collapse because of what this virus represents, globally.”
Global oil demand by the end of March could fa..

Global stocks tumble as investors flee risk on coronavirus fears

Markets tumble as scale of stimulus programs numbs investorsNEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) – Global equities tumbled further on Wednesday, with bond and gold prices also sliding in an unusual tandem, as markets grappled with the scale of government programs aimed at softening the economic shockwave from the coronavirus.
The Trump administration asked Congress to approve $500 billion in cash payments to taxpayers in two rounds starting April 6 and $50 billion in secured loans to U.S. airlines to address the outbreak’s impact, according to a document seen by Reuters.
Traders struggled to sort out various moves by governments and global central banks to shore up economies bracing for what looks likely to be a short but deep global recession from a still growing pandemic.
The rout pushed the S&P 500 below its level of the December 2018, a key psychological low point that many investors hoped would not be breached. The benchmark U.S. stocks index has fallen 29.2% in 20 sessions.
Wall Street ..

Coronavirus empties airlines’ cash drawers, knocks $157 billion off share values

Coronavirus empties airlines' cash drawers, knocks $157 billion off share values(Reuters) – Global airlines are fast running out of cash after cutting capacity by 90% or even grounding entire fleets due to the broad travel restrictions to contain the spread of the coronavirus, calling into question the survival of several firms.
Flight attendants stand at the end of rows of empty seats aboard a Delta flight, as coronavirus disease (COVID-19) disruption continues across the global industry, from New York's JFK International Airport to San Francisco, California, U.S., March 17, 2020. REUTERS/Shannon StapletonThe outbreak of the flu-like virus has wiped 41%, or $157 billion, off the share value of the world’s 116 listed airlines, with many using up their cash so fast they can now cover less than two months of expenses, a Reuters analysis showed.
The industry’s main global body, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), estimates the sector needs up to $200 billion in..

SoftBank Group’s market cap dips below domestic telco as scepticism grows

SoftBank Group's market cap dips below domestic telco as scepticism growsFILE PHOTO: The logo of SoftBank Group Corp is displayed at SoftBank World 2017 conference in Tokyo, Japan, July 20, 2017. REUTERS/Issei KatoTOKYO (Reuters) – SoftBank Group Corp (9984.T) shares fell as much as 11.6% on Wednesday, with its market capitalization dipping below the value of its domestic telco, as uncertainty grows over its management of a portfolio of unproven startups.
The tech conglomerate’s market cap fell to a low of 6.84 trillion yen ($64 billion), below SoftBank Corp’s (9434.T) 7.1 trillion yen, reflecting the depth of investor scepticism over Chief Executive Masayoshi Son’s assertions his tech bets are back on track and as the coronavirus outbreak roils markets.
Concern was exacerbated with sources telling Reuters that SoftBank is considering pulling out of a $3 billion bid to buy additional shares in its biggest soured bet, office-sharing firm WeWork, in what would be a major U-turn af..

Tesla plant can’t run normally in coronavirus shutdown: California county

Tesla plant can't run normally in coronavirus shutdown: California countyNEW YORK/BEIJING (Reuters) – Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) cannot continue to operate its main U.S. vehicle plant normally as its San Francisco Bay Area home began a three-week lockdown on Tuesday to slow the spread of coronavirus, a county sheriff’s office spokesman said.
The comment relates to Tesla’s factory in Fremont, Alameda County, which employs more than 10,000 workers and recorded annualized production of about 415,000 electric vehicles as at the end of December.
The order comes as Tesla ramps up production of its Model Y sport-utility vehicle at the factory. Billionaire Chief Executive Elon Musk has said the model will see higher demand than all of Tesla’s other models combined.
Alameda is one of at least nine counties covered by a ‘shelter in place’ order that limits activity, travel and business functions to only the most essential, and advises people to stay home except for the most crucial reasons.
It ..

Global stocks drop as investors shun risk on coronavirus fears

Markets tumble as scale of stimulus programs numbs investorsNEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) – Global equities tumbled further on Wednesday, with bond and gold prices also sliding in an unusual tandem, as markets grappled with the scale of government programs aimed at softening the economic shockwave from the coronavirus.
The Trump administration asked Congress to approve $500 billion in cash payments to taxpayers in two rounds starting April 6 and $50 billion in secured loans to U.S. airlines to address the outbreak’s impact, according to a document seen by Reuters.
Traders struggled to sort out various moves by governments and global central banks to shore up economies bracing for what looks likely to be a short but deep global recession from a still growing pandemic.
The rout pushed the S&P 500 below its level of the December 2018, a key psychological low point that many investors hoped would not be breached. The benchmark U.S. stocks index has fallen 29.2% in 20 sessions.
Wall Street ..