China yesterday reported an uptick in new cases of COVID-19, boosted by more than 200 people testing positive for the disease in two prisons outside of Hubei Province, at the center of the outbreak.
As international authorities attempt to stop the outbreak in China from becoming a pandemic, finance leaders at the G20 meeting in Saudi Arabia this weekend are set to discuss risks to the global economy.
“COVID-19 anxiety has risen to a new level amid concerns of virus outbreaks in Beijing and outside of China,” National Australia Bank Ltd senior foreign-exchange strategist Rodrigo Catril said.
Japan and Singapore are on the brink of recession and South Korea yesterday said its exports to China slumped in the first 20 days of this month, with the outbreak upending global supply chains.
After several days of more encouraging trends in infections, the Chinese Communist Party’s flagship newspaper warned that it would be a mistake to think victory was in sight.
“If we give in to blind self-confidence, the epidemic could rebound and the virus exploit us when we are off guard,” the People’s Daily said.
As G20 finance ministers prepare to meet, the IMF said it was too early to tell what impact the virus would have on global growth.
“We are still hoping that the impact will be a V-shaped curve” with a sharp decline in China and sharp rebound after the containment of the virus, IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva said.
“But we are not excluding that it might turn to be a different scenario like a U curve where the impact is somewhat longer,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said that it is looking into more financial measures to support companies.
The government expects to submit its earliest vaccine for COVID-19 for clinical trials in late April, China’s Vice Science and Technology Minister Xu Nanping (徐南平) said.
Fears over the outbreak triggered violence in Ukraine, where residents of a town clashed with police, burned tires and hurled projectiles at a convoy of buses carrying evacuees from Hubei to a quarantine center.
Hundreds of helmeted police and an armored personnel carrier were sent to keep order.
Americans evacuated from China also faced discrimination.
Amy Deng, who underwent home quarantine with her daughter Daisy, 8, said that neighbors had called the police over concerns they would spread the disease.
“People were already panicked, then they made up this rumor and spread it, telling us not to even live in the community,” the 45-year-old Santa Rosa, California, acupuncturist said.
ELECTRONICS Lite-On delays sale of unit Lite-On Technology Corp (光寶科技) yesterday said it would postpone the sale of its solid-state drives (SSD) business to Kioxia Holdings Corp, formerly known as Toshiba Memory Holdings Corp, due to disruptions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, the Taiwan-based electronics components supplier struck the deal with the Japanese firm, agreeing to sell the unit for US$165 million. Citing unfinished integration work due to the pandemic, Lite-On has deferred today’s closing date until further notice, adding that the delay would not have a negative effect on the unit’s operations. AUTO PARTS Hiroca approves dividend Automotive interior parts supplier Hiroca
NOT ALL GOOD: Analysts warned that other data for last month might be less rosy due to the virus and analysts expect the PMI to contract again next month Chinese factory activity saw surprise growth last month as businesses went back to work following a lengthy shutdown, but analysts said that the economy faces a challenging recovery as external demand has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, while the World Bank said that growth could screech to a halt. China is slowly returning to life after months of tough restrictions aimed at containing the virus, which put millions of people into virtual house arrest and brought economic activity to a near standstill. The strict measures saw a closely watched gauge of manufacturing plunge to its lowest level on record in February,
ALL ABOUT STRATEGY: The company is optimistic, saying that its gross margin should increase year-on-year, but it is scaling back on its plans to expand capacity Quang Viet Enterprise Co (QVE, 廣越), which makes down jackets and garments for sportswear and outdoor brands including Adidas AG, yesterday said that revenue might drop 5 to 10 percent annually this year as some customers trimmed orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. That would mark its first revenue decline since 2016. Quang Viet posted record-high revenue of NT$16.26 billion (US$537.45 million) last year, up 22 percent from 2018. Down jackets made up 40 percent of it revenue last year. North Face Inc and Patagonia Inc are this year likely to reduce orders by 20 to 30 percent from a
Taipei 101, one of the nation’s leading shopping centers, is planning to reduce its business hours due to decreased demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Taipei 101 is to open daily at noon and close at 9pm from April 6, building management said in a statement on Monday. The shopping center has been opening at 11am and closing at 9:30pm from Sunday to Thursday, while closing at 10pm on Friday and Saturday. The restaurants in the food court — on the basement level — would adjust their business hours as necessary, but the supermarket would continue to open at 9am daily, management said. The shopping