While part of the global economy has not yet survived the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, signs of a second wave are increasing. With a view to the rising number of infections at home and abroad, the head of the German Robert Koch Institute, Lothar Wieler, said: “We are in the middle of a rapidly developing pandemic“. Some countries already feel compelled to impose at least local lockdowns and the tourism industry is once again being severely affected by the renewed increase in insecurity and rapidly changing danger situation.
In Asia, most stock indices were under pressure today against the background of the current corona situation. The Tokyo stock exchange was weaker and the Nikkei index, which comprises 225 stocks, fell by -1.15% to 22 397.19 points. Previously, the Dow Jones Industrial had already lost 0.77% and closed at 26379.28 points. The broad-based S&P 500 declined by -0.65% to 3 218.44 points.
On its monetary policy decision this evening at 8:00pm (CET), the US Federal Reserve (Fed) is likely to seek to underpin its support for the US economy in the corona crisis. A cut in key rates is not expected, but Fed Chairman Jerome Powell may well announce further measures.
The European Central Bank's (ECB) banking regulator announced yesterday that it would suspend its recommendation to European commercial banks to pay dividends and buy back shares until January 2021. So far, the ECB's moratorium has been in place until at least October 1st. The recommendation would remain limited in time and the ECB emphasized an exception.
The US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is optimistic and has raised its profit forecast for 2020. The company now expects adjusted earnings per share of USD 2.28-2.38. Previously, the EPS forecast was 2.25-2.35. Overall, quarterly earnings and sales declined, but less than analysts had expected. Pfizer is currently working feverishly on a corona vaccine and only yesterday announced that it will test a vaccine candidate developed in collaboration with the German biotech company BioNTech on volunteers. If the tests are successful, an application for approval of the vaccine could be submitted as early as October.
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