Asia: what you might have missed
S&P Global has downgraded Mexico’s sovereign debt because of the economic impact of coronavirus and the oil price shock. The rating remains investment grade, but the outlook is negative. The rating agency said foreign currency debt was downgraded to triple B from triple B plus and local currency debt to triple B plus from A minus. Triple B minus is the agency’s lowest investment-grade rating.
A US Navy hospital ship would reach New York on Monday, weeks ahead of schedule, president Donald Trump said on Thursday. The USNS Comfort has been drafted into the nationwide fight against coronavirus and will take hundreds of patients who do not have the disease to free up sorely stretched bed capacity in New York City.
EU leaders have given themselves a two-week deadline to come up with a joint fiscal response to coronavirus, saying that the plans “should take into account the unprecedented nature of the Covid-19 shock”.
The number of Brazil’s confirmed cases of Covid-19 jumped to 2,915 on Thursday as Jair Bolsonaro faced a growing backlash over his handling of the pandemic. The rightwing president has labelled as a “crime” the actions of some state governors and mayors who shut down public venues and non-essential businesses to slow the coronavirus outbreak.
Mexico is reporting a dramatically lower number of cases than neighbouring US states, underscoring fears that a low level of testing may mean the true number of cases is higher.
Safran scrapped its dividend, withdrawn its guidance for this year and put in place a new €3bn credit line as the French jet engine maker seeks to restore order to its balance sheet amidst the ongoing impact of the coronavirus.The scrapping of the dividend will save Safran, which is the third-largest aerospace supplier in the world, some €1bn in cash.
US stocks completed their best three-day stretch since the 1930s after the US Senate unanimously approved a $2tn economic stimulus package aimed at countering the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. The S&P 500 advanced 6.2 per cent as utilities, real estate and health care led the charge higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed out of its bear market, with a gain of 6.4 per cent bringing the blue-chip gauge more than 20 per cent above its recent low. The Nasdaq Composite jumped 5.6 per cent.
Goldman Sachs downgraded plant-based food group Beyond Meat from neutral to sell, cutting its target price by almost 70 per cent to $39 a share from $129.The bank’s analysts said that with over half of its sales in the foodservice sector, the plant-based meat substitute company was among those directly impacted by the coronavirus outbreak across the companies they covered.