Worldwide Coronavirus Toll As of May 14, 2020;
Number of Cases: 4,369,410
Mortality Rate: 6.8%
Source: John Hopkins University
The global coronavirus crisis continues to shake the US labor market. Millions more Americans filed unemployment claims last week, with the pandemic blow hitting wider parts of the economy.
According to a report released by the US Department of Labor on Thursday, the number of Americans applying for unemployment increased by almost 3 million.
2 million 981 thousand new unemployment applications increased the number of those who lost their jobs to 36.5 million under the conditions caused by the coronavirus crisis.
The American economy suffered the biggest employment losses since the Great Depression of the 1930s in April, at 20.5 million in April, due to stay-at-home orders and shut down businesses in most states.
The bleak atmosphere caused by the new tensions between the two major and competing economies of the world, the US and China, continues in the markets.
Newsweek magazine reported that the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) believes China prevented the World Health Organization from sounding a global alarm earlier about the coronavirus just as it was stockpiling medical products.
Speaking to Fox Business Network President Donald Trump said the information he had about China and the virus was “not good.”
“I and (Chinese President) Xi have a very good relationship. Right now, I just don’t want to speak with him.” Trump said.
Predictions that the virus crisis will take longer than expected and the rising
tensions increased the losses in the Asian and European stocks. In Japan, the Nikkei index closed the day with a loss of up to −1.74%, while the German Dax index continued to lose more than 2.70% in the European afternoon.
Closing yesterday with sharp losses in the US, Wall Street stocks enter the new day in the shadow of Trump’s statements about China.
Trump announced that he is supportive of the strong US Dollar. The index, which reached the highest level of the last three weeks at 100.56, continued its rise after the Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and other regional Fed presidents rejected the idea of using negative interest rates.
Trump said, “It’s a great time to have a strong dollar … Everybody wants to be in the dollar because we kept it strong. I kept it strong.” he said in an interview on Fox Business Network but renewed his call for negative rates.
Negative Rates Debate
Thursday saw new comments on negative rates coming from New Zealand, Britain, and Japan as well.
New Zealand Central Bank (RBNZ) Governor Adrian Orr reiterated that negative interest rates remained an option for them, but pointed out that credit systems were not yet ready in operational terms.
Governor Andrew Bailey of the Bank of England (BoE) said that they were not currently considering using negative interest rates. “It is not something that we are currently planning for or contemplating,” Bailey said during a web conference with the Financial Times on Thursday. Still, he added that “It’s always wise, and particularly in these circumstances, not to rule anything out forever.”
Bank of Japan (BoJ) Governor Haruhiko Kuroda told the British Financial Times that he doesn’t think the central bank should deepen negative interest rates.