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Business Matters


Global business news, with live guests and contributions from Asia and the USA.

Global business news, with live guests and contributions from Asia and the USA.


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Global business news, with live guests and contributions from Asia and the USA.




Record numbers file unemployment claims in the US

More than 6.65 million people filed for unemployment benefits in the US last week; we speak to the BBC's Michelle Fleury. We also hear from people who've lost their jobs in the US and the boss of one heart clinic has been facing some difficult choices. There's been turbulence on the oil markets but with signs of a rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Russia, the oil price has rebounded as we hear from Nitesh Shah, Commodity Strategist at Wisdom Tree. The lives of millions of people have...


Trump: next couple of weeks will be horrific

US President Donald Trump has said the next couple of weeks will be horrific as coronavirus continues to spread. And in India, the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus has continued to rise; one has appeared in Mumbai’s biggest slum, Dharavi and it's feared that infections will rise quickly. British American Tobacco is working on a plant-based coronavirus vaccine. We hear from Kingsley Wheaton who's on the company's board. Wimbledon has been cancelled because of the Covid-19 outbreak,...


US markets have worst ever first quarter

The Dow Jones and S&P 500 had their worst ever start to the year with both ending the first three months of 2020, more than 20% lower. We get analysis from Joe Saluzzi at Themis Trading in New Jersey. America overtakes China for the number of deaths from Coronavirus and Toyko has recorded a record number of new cases in a day. The BBC's Ed Butler talks coronavirus statistics with Professor John Ioannidis, an epidemiologist at Stanford University. And what do you do if you're out of work at...


Oil price collapses to 18-year low

US crude oil prices fell below $20 a barrel on Monday, close to their lowest level in 18 years, as traders bet production would have to shut to prevent a glut in the markets. The situation is particularly bleak for high-cost wells in the world's largest producer: the US. We talk to Ellen Wald, from the Atlantic Council, in Florida, and Tom Adshead, a director of Macro Advisory in Moscow. Meanwhile, the Coronavirus outbreak has caused a rather startling change in fish consumption in Kenya....


Ratings agency downgrades UK debt

Britain has had its credit ranking downgraded by Fitch Ratings, which cited the weakening of public finances caused by the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak and Brexit uncertainty; we hear from the BBC's Katie Prescott. Over the last couple of weeks we have seen country after country unveil different strategies for looking after citizens in the wake of coronavirus, so with the different aid packages on offer, who has got a good deal? We ask Mark Caine, the government affairs lead at the World...


US unemployment claims hit record high

Nearly 3.3 million people registered to claim jobless benefits for the week ended 21 March, according to Department of Labor data. That's nearly five times more than the previous record of 695,000 set in 1982. We hear from Cary Leahey at Decision Economics. Thailand has declared a state of emergency to help deal with the rising number of coronavirus infections; we hear from the BBC's Chaiyot Yongcharoenchai. One of the most critical side-effects of lockdown is the impact on global farming -...


Dow Jones index swings wildly but ends higher

Financial markets surged early on but lost most of the gains late on; the Dow Jones ended slightly higher but the Nasdaq finished lower. We hear more from Susan Schmidt at Aviva Investors. G20 leaders will convene a virtual summit on Thursday to discuss the coronavirus epidemic; Saudi Arabia, will be chairing. The BBC’s Sameer Hashmi reports. In Hong Kong there's been a resurgence of coronavirus cases from people returning from abroad, as we hear from our correspondent, Andrew Wood. Kenya's...


India enters coronavirus lockdown

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi imposes a nationwide lockdown in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus; we speak to the BBC's Nikhil Inamdar. Joe Saluzzi from Themis trading in New Jersey explains how the prospect of a huge economic stimulus deal in the US has helped the market achieve record gains. Whether you're male of female may very well make a difference as to how you're being treated in the coronavirus crisis by governments, health services and business and emergency...


Trump hints at short shutdown

UK and South Africa are placed under lockdowns, while President Trump hints economic shutdown won't be extended, but his team warns of an alarming “attack rate” in New York. Also on the programme, a story of a patient in a Madrid hospital. In Bangladesh, troops have been deployed to help the government in containing the spread of the coronavirus.The countries economy is heavily dependent on its textile industry but that has now come to a standstill with many of the world's largest retailers...


UK pubs and restaurants told to close

Cafes, pubs and restaurants must close except for take-away food, in order to tackle coronavirus, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said. Nightclubs, theatres, cinemas, gyms and leisure centres have also been told to close. Meanwhile, the government said it will pay 80% of wages for employees who are not able to work, up to £2,500 a month. In South America, Argentina has become the first country there to announce a national lockdown. New York is facing similar measures, and in California,...


The latest on coronavirus

The number of deaths from coronavirus in Italy now surpasses the number of people who the Chinese government says have died from the epidemic in China. Meanwhile China and the US blame the pandemic on each other and the US and Canada have agreed to close their border to non-essential traffic. The BBC's Arunoday Mukharji tells us how India is coping with Covid-19 and as businesses close, we look at the prospects for freelancers and workers in the gig economy. One industry that's been...


Emergency US economic measures signed into law

President Trump has signed into law a package of emergency measures to deal with the coronavirus outbreak. The legislation provides sick leave, unemployment benefits, food and medical assistance to people affected by the pandemic. We hear from Louise Sheiner, a senior fellow and policy director at the Hutchins Centre at the Brookings Institute. The European Central Bank has announced an emergency bond-buying scheme worth 750 billion euros. The move came after panic selling of Italian bonds;...


UK government announces rescue package for the economy

The British government tries to shore up the UK economy in the face of the coronavirus outbreak, with a rescue package worth hundreds of billions of dollars. We hear from the BBC's Andrew Walker. Facebook is giving each of its employees a $1,000 bonus to help support them during the coronavirus outbreak and Amazon is stopping sellers from sending non-essential items to its UK and US warehouses until 5 April, to make space for vital items needed by its customers; we get more from the BBC's...


Coronavirus: Trump says coronavirus crisis may last all summer

There have been more than 180,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus globally and over 7,100 deaths, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University. President Trump has warned the virus could tip the US into recession. The news followed yet another difficult day for financial markets. Stocks had their worst one-day declines in more than 30 years. We talk to Jared Bernstein, economic adviser to former vice president Joe Biden, and ask him what should be done to combat any potential slowdown....


President Trump declares national emergency

US President Donald Trump has declared a national emergency to help handle the growing outbreak of coronavirus. We hear from Chris Low at FTN Financial. And in Spain, the BBC's Guy Hedgecoe tells us that authorities in Madrid have ordered the compulsory closure of most shops and bars. We go on a workplace tour with Dr Jo Martin, president of the Royal College of Pathologists in the UK, to hear about sensible precautions workers can take against getting infected with Covid-19. Plus, as China...


France and Ireland shut schools to stop virus spread

More countries announce measures including school closures to stop the spread of COVID-19. We are asking if further countries should follow what France and Ireland have done today - or if they should keep schools open, which is what the UK'S Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced. Also, are tech workers too optimistic about the idealism they bring to their wokplaces? We look at recent walkouts by staff at major tech firms. ow lets talk about millennials . And new research in the United...


US bans travel from EU to stop virus spread

President Trump announces a ban on all travel between EU countries and the US to tackle the spread of coronavirus. Italy closes all shops except food stores and pharmacies, and India cancels all tourism visas. How can the global economy and the markets cope? We find out from financial experts, as well as those suffering from cancelled music events such as Coachella, and gaming events, such as E3, which has also been cancelled this year. Also, Harvey Weinstein, Hollywood director, has been...


US warns against cruise ship travel as industry reels

The US State Department has told US citizens not to travel on cruise ships. We will look at how the industry has been left reeling from these latest government instructions. Italy meanwhile remains on lockdown as the country attempts to stop the spread of coronavirus gripping it currently. Wells Fargo, the bank that went bad, promises to Congress that it has turned the corner. We look at whether we - or Congress - can take its new chief executive at his word. We ask who will help out...


Stock markets coronavirus fears continue

Stock markets were bound by fears of coronavirus and falling oil prices. A cruise ship that planned to take its passengers on a tour of South East Asian Ports comes home having visited none of them because of health fears. We also look at the motivations behind the free release of hugely popular - and profitable - Call of Duty: Warzone. We talk about all this live with Sushma Ramachandran, an independent business journalist and columnist for The Tribune newspaper in Delhi, and Peter Morici,...


Oil prices slide after Opec deal collapses

As the oil producers' cartel Opec tries to agree a cut in output to stave off falling prices, Dr. Sara Vakhshouri, president of SVB Energy International in Washington, considers the implications. We bring you the latest on the coronavirus and the impact it's having on financial markets, and workplaces around the world. How do bosses balance the welfare of their workers with the need to make profits? But in South Korea, more detailed public health information has been having some unintended...