Government funding criticism
Today’s news headlines:
‘Chancellor open to boosting SME bailout scheme’ – UK Chancellor, Sunak will keep the government’s emergency loan scheme under review, looking to other nations to see if the UK could ‘learn and improve’. Current measures – including 80% guaranteed interest-free loans of up to £5 million – have come under criticism after Germany and Switzerland announced 100% guaranteed loans. (Financial Times)
‘Trump halts US payments to WHO, citing reliance on China’ – Trump has ordered his administration to temporarily stop funding the World Health Organisation (WHO), claiming the organisation ‘failed in its basic duty and must be held accountable’. Trump believes if the WHO had acted correctly early on, the outbreak could have been contained. UN Secretary General, Guterres responded it is ‘not the time to reduce resources for the operations of the WHO… now is the time for unity and for international community to work together.’ (Bloomberg)
Today's events, rates, and data
Light volumes fluctuated Asian stocks overnight while US and European futures ticked lower ahead of an uncertain earnings season. Risk aversion kicked in overnight as the US Dollar nudged higher along with the Yen. Treasury yields also dipped.
Australian Consumer Confidence posted record lows of -17.7% ahead of this afternoon’s US Retail Sales which is forecast a -8% contraction in March. US Empire Manufacturing expected to read -35, down from -21.5 previously while a -4% contraction is expected in US Industrial Production for March.