Consumer confidence in France fell slightly in March. The French statistics office reported this. It should be noted, however, that the investigation was largely conducted before major measures were announced to curb the corona pandemic.
Eurozone and UK economies are shrinking 2 percent this year. Credit rating agency S&P Global makes this estimate. The researchers at the leading credit rating agency point to, among other things, the sharply rising costs of coping with the corona crisis. At the beginning of March, S&P Global still anticipated 0.5 percent growth in the eurozone economy.
The German energy giant E.ON is hit by the COVID-19 outbreak. The parent company of the Dutch Essent expects profit to be under pressure this year due to a fall in demand for electricity. The group also fears that investment projects will be delayed by the virus outbreak.
Oil and gas company Shell will cut costs and invest less due to the outbreak of the new corona virus and the low oil prices as a result of a price war. In addition, the Dutch-British company will cancel an announced share buyback. All of this aims to have a financial buffer in uncertain times.
Authorities in the Chinese city of Wuhan say they have begun to remove checkpoints. These were placed in January to stem the spread of the virus. Also, since then, all 11 million residents of Wuhan had to be quarantined. The traffic that Wuhan tries to enter is still being blocked.
The authorities in Cyprus have reported two cases of the new corona virus. This means that all 27 EU Member States are now affected. The authorities on the Mediterranean island have not yet released any information about the patients. Minister Constantinos Ioannou (Public Health) is giving a press conference about this.
The President of Cyprus today declared a state of national emergency. Hotels and tourist accommodations in Cyprus have until March 21, 2020 to stop their activities.
The US central bank is launching a support program for investment funds to counteract the damaging effects of the corona crisis on the financial markets. The so-called money markets mutual funds are under pressure because of the crisis because companies and households withdraw their money from those funds because of the corona crisis.