Economic turmoil caused by COVID19 continues to mount as global markets seesawed in Wednesday’s trading. Markets in the United States, Europe, Hong Kong, and Australia will have a shortened trading session as they close later this week for the Easter holiday.
The World Trade Organisation said in a statement on Wednesday that global trade would fall by between 13 and 32 per cent in the year. However, WTO projects the global trade will rebound in 2021 calling the numbers ‘UGLY’. The Geneva-based agency says North America and Asia will be hardest hit by the decline in trade. Furthermore, sectors such as automotive parts and electronics may see sharp declines due to complex value chains.
“The immediate goal is to bring the pandemic under control and mitigate the economic damage to people, companies and countries. But policymakers must start planning for the aftermath of the pandemic,” WTO DG Roberto Azevedo noted.
In the Eurozone, finance ministers failed to reach a consensus for an economic support package to aid their economies but will reconvene on Thursday for more talks.
Americans filing for unemployment claims may start receiving enhanced jobless benefits as soon as this week as congress approved an additional $600 weekly payment for jobless workers. The Unemployment claims for week ending 2nd April will be released on Thursday. There is an expectation the number could match last week’s 6.6 million.
Oil prices slightly gained on Wednesday on optimism that an OPEC members meeting scheduled on Thursday will trigger production cuts. Overproduction coupled with the COVID19 pandemic has collapsed oil prices to record lows.