Covid-19 concerns continue and the impact that it is having on global economies is coming to the fore. At the moment the most heavily impacted industries are supply chains, travel and airlines. Retail has also been impacted as people are shopping less and restricting activity in public spaces.
- After it looked like stocks were on the way to recovery after last week, they were hit with another blow. This was due to the volatility caused by Covid-19 which has started to establish itself as a pandemic. The virus has largely stabilised in China but is on the rise in other countries, with cases globally close to 100 000.
- The US Fed reported the initial negative impacts of Covid-19 on the American economy and cut interest rates by 0.5%, the first emergency rate cut since the financial crisis. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said that the spread of Covid-19 had caused a material change in the growth outlook.
- Follow this link for analysis on what Covid-19 means for investors.
- Mike Bloomberg and Elizabeth Warren have bowed out of the democratic candidate race. The person who will run against President Trump will now either be Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders.
- Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP) is now the largest in Africa after South Africa has slumped into recession for the second year in a row. Nigeria has beaten its economic forecasts for the fourth quarter of 2019.
- South Africa has confirmed its first case of the Covid-19. The man, who travelled back from Italy on 1 March, is now in quarantine.
- The country has entered a technical recession after the GDP shrank by 1.4% in the fourth quarter of 2019, with the growth of the full-year slumping to 0.2% per annum. The Reserve Bank Governor has said the economy’s lack of growth is due to unsustainable policies.
- Cosatu has created a milder version of its plan to rescue Eskom that is more market-friendly. The previous plan was to use pension funds to invest in the crippled enterprise to alleviate it from its debt trap. The milder version ensures that the pension funds will continue to follow their mandates.
- Herman Mashaba has announced that he is starting to build a new political party. He said, “This will be a party that gives a voice to the voiceless and builds a real and credible alternative to the ANC. A party aimed at restoring faith in our democracy in the almost 19 million eligible voters who did not vote in 2019.”