Crude oil prices, which rose to a record US$55 a barrel in New York on Friday, may increase further and peak at US$75 a barrel, said Ber-nard Dan, president of the Chicago Board of Trade, the second-biggest US futures market. \n"Given that some production is going on around the world, I can't see it much higher than US$75 unless there are disruptions in supply lines," Dan said on Nine Network's Business Sunday show in Sydney. "I think that the US economy is strong enough to absorb that." \nCrude oil for delivery next month closed on Friday at US$54.93 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after reaching US$55 during the day, the highest since futures began in 1983. \nFutures were boosted by comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, who said oil isn't high enough to slow expansion as much as in prior oil shocks. High oil prices helped push the US economy into recession in the 1970s and 1980s, and caused demand to plunge by 19 percent between 1978 and 1983, according to the US Energy Department. \nWhile a rise to US$75 sounded significant, the majority of oil traders and consumers had "priced in that sort of range and while it may do some damage in terms of the economy and may be reflected in our equity market, I don't think it's going to be at a level where it's catastrophic," Dan said. \nIt's clear though that rising energy prices are creating concern in US equity markets, he said.
KEEP AWAY: People should wear a mask in places where they cannot follow social distancing rules, the CECC said, adding that it would publish detailed guidelines today The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced 16 new cases of COVID-19, including two domestic cases, as it urged people to practice social distancing in public spaces by keeping a distance of at least 1m when outdoors and 1.5m indoors. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that seven of the new cases tested positive upon their arrival at the airport, four were under home quarantine, one was under home isolation and two were under self-health management, while the two domestic cases sought treatment on their own. The domestic cases are a man in his
Taiwan will negotiate with the WHO about its participation without Beijing’s help and intervention as more countries, including Australia and Japan, are partnering with Taiwan to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a telephonic roundtable with reporters on Monday also supported Taiwan’s role in the WHO, saying the US Department of State would do its best to assist Taiwan’s “appropriate role” in the world’s highest health policy setting body, Voice of America reported. In a Japan Business Press report published on Sunday, Chinese Ambassador to Japan Kong Xuanyou (孔鉉佑) said
‘HEROIC’: A lack of personal protective equipment has led to high infection rates among health workers in places like Spain and Italy, a nurses’ association said More equipment is needed to protect the world’s nurses working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic to save lives, the head of the International Council of Nurses (ICN) said. “They are heroic. I think there is no other way to describe what they are doing at this moment,” said Howard Catton, a British nurse who is the council’s CEO. Infection rates of 9 percent and 12 to 14 percent have been reported among health workers in Italy and Spain respectively, he said, adding that nurses have died in the two nations, as well as Iran and Indonesia. “We have no doubt
Japan’s ruling party yesterday proposed the nation’s biggest-ever stimulus package of ￥60 trillion (US$554 billion) as the COVID-19 pandemic locks the economy in a recession. The sum includes ￥20 trillion in fiscal measures with private initiatives and other elements likely making up the rest, the proposal by the Liberal Democratic Party showed. More than ￥10 trillion, or the equivalent of a 5 percentage point cut in the sales tax rate, would be handed out to the public in a combination of cash, subsidies and coupons, the plan showed. The proposal puts an initial figure on a stimulus package that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo