First Death In Switzerland; Profit Warnings Surge: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) -- Global cases from the coronavirus outbreak topped 95,500 and the death toll rose to 3,285. Fatalities moderated in China, cases appeared to slow in South Korea while Switzerland reported its first death.The U.S. House of Representatives earlier approved a $7.8 billion spending package and California declared a state of emergency. Asian nations have so far pledged $38 billion in budget measures. In Europe, companies from Continental AG to ITV Plc slumped after warning the outbreak would hurt results, but Germany’s Merck KGaA said the impact from the virus on its business would probably subside in the second quarter. Airbus SE is considering a cut in A330neo jet production. European stocks fell.Key Developments:Global cases at least 95,550; death toll 3,285Japan, Australia to curb arrivals from South KoreaWhat doctors treating Covid-19 in Wuhan say about the virusClick VRUS on the terminal for news and data on the coronavirus and here for maps and charts. For analysis of the impact from Bloomberg Economics, click here.Switzerland Reports First Virus Death (5:09 p.m. HK)A 74-year-old woman died from a coronavirus infection in the western canton of Vaud, the local government said on its website. The woman had been hospitalized since March 3 and was at high risk because she suffered from a chronic illness.The number of cases in neighboring Germany rose by 87 to 349, the Robert Koch Institut said. The biggest cluster is in the country’s most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia, where 175 people are infected.Japan Delays Xi State Visit, Considers Freeze on China Visas (4:48 p.m. HK)China and Japan agreed to delay the first state visit of a Chinese leader to Tokyo in about a decade because of coronavirus worries, a move that comes as Japan separately plans to quarantine visitors from neighboring countries hit by the illness.Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said both countries agreed to postpone President Xi Jinping’s visit, expected in April, that would have been a milestone in Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s rapprochement with China. Japan’s Yomiuri newspaper reported that the nation plans a dramatic boost of its border controls, including suspending visas already issued to Chinese and South Korean nationals.Germany’s Merck Sees Impact Subsiding, Others Warn (4:24 p.m. HK)Merck shares surged after the company gave its profit outlook, which was based on its experience in China.Earlier, Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA withdrew guidance and ITV Plc slumped after saying it expects advertising sales to drop in April. Hugo Boss AG also warned of a significant impact on sales from Asia and Continental AG plunged after saying it expects earnings to decline further. Airbus is considering a cut in A330neo jet production after the wide-body’s biggest customer said a coronavirus-driven slump in travel had forced it to defer deliveries, according to people familiar with the matter.BBVA Postpones Investor Day; More Travel Curbs (4:21 p.m. HK)Spanish lender Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA postponed its investor day scheduled for March 25 because of increased travel restrictions. Since the bank is obliged by law to hold its annual general meeting and most of the attendees are domestic, it still plans to go ahead with its AGM on March 13.Banco Santander SA is advising employees to postpone meetings involving large amounts of people and to avoid non-essential travel. Earlier, HSBC Holdings Plc told its staff they can only undertake international business travel “if absolutely essential to meet commitments to our clients or regulators, even between countries with no recorded cases of COVID-19.” The moves follow similar decisions at firms including UBS Group AG, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and crop trader Cargill Inc.Mizuho Financial Group has started splitting locations of some departments between its two Tokyo headquarters to mitigate the impact of any outbreak.China Consumption Rebounded in Late February (4:18 p.m. HK)Average daily sales of 1,000 retailers closely monitored by the commerce ministry resumed growth in late February, with obvious recovery in auto demands, China Commerce Ministry official Li Xingqian said.South Korea Cases Top 6,000 (4:15 p.m. HK)South Korea’s total tally of coronavirus cases within the nation exceeded 6,000 as of 4pm local time, according to the Health Ministry. Yonhap News reported the death toll rose to 40. The daily tally in the country, released every morning at 10am, showed a 3-day slowdown from Monday -- with an increase of 438 for Wednesday, compared with 516 the previous 24 hours and 600 the day before that.Incheon airport, a major hub in northeast Asia near Seoul, plans to check temperatures on all departing passengers, according to South Korea’s transport ministry.Italy Takes Radical Steps (4:08 p.m. HK)Under a decree signed by Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte late Wednesday night and seen by Bloomberg, sports competitions are suspended, cinemas and theate

First Death In Switzerland; Profit Warnings Surge: Virus Update
(Bloomberg) -- Global cases from the coronavirus outbreak topped 95,500 and the death toll rose to 3,285. Fatalities moderated in China, cases appeared to slow in South Korea while Switzerland reported its first death.The U.S. House of Representatives earlier approved a $7.8 billion spending package and California declared a state of emergency. Asian nations have so far pledged $38 billion in budget measures. In Europe, companies from Continental AG to ITV Plc slumped after warning the outbreak would hurt results, but Germany’s Merck KGaA said the impact from the virus on its business would probably subside in the second quarter. Airbus SE is considering a cut in A330neo jet production. European stocks fell.Key Developments:Global cases at least 95,550; death toll 3,285Japan, Australia to curb arrivals from South KoreaWhat doctors treating Covid-19 in Wuhan say about the virusClick VRUS on the terminal for news and data on the coronavirus and here for maps and charts. For analysis of the impact from Bloomberg Economics, click here.Switzerland Reports First Virus Death (5:09 p.m. HK)A 74-year-old woman died from a coronavirus infection in the western canton of Vaud, the local government said on its website. The woman had been hospitalized since March 3 and was at high risk because she suffered from a chronic illness.The number of cases in neighboring Germany rose by 87 to 349, the Robert Koch Institut said. The biggest cluster is in the country’s most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia, where 175 people are infected.Japan Delays Xi State Visit, Considers Freeze on China Visas (4:48 p.m. HK)China and Japan agreed to delay the first state visit of a Chinese leader to Tokyo in about a decade because of coronavirus worries, a move that comes as Japan separately plans to quarantine visitors from neighboring countries hit by the illness.Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said both countries agreed to postpone President Xi Jinping’s visit, expected in April, that would have been a milestone in Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s rapprochement with China. Japan’s Yomiuri newspaper reported that the nation plans a dramatic boost of its border controls, including suspending visas already issued to Chinese and South Korean nationals.Germany’s Merck Sees Impact Subsiding, Others Warn (4:24 p.m. HK)Merck shares surged after the company gave its profit outlook, which was based on its experience in China.Earlier, Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA withdrew guidance and ITV Plc slumped after saying it expects advertising sales to drop in April. Hugo Boss AG also warned of a significant impact on sales from Asia and Continental AG plunged after saying it expects earnings to decline further. Airbus is considering a cut in A330neo jet production after the wide-body’s biggest customer said a coronavirus-driven slump in travel had forced it to defer deliveries, according to people familiar with the matter.BBVA Postpones Investor Day; More Travel Curbs (4:21 p.m. HK)Spanish lender Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA postponed its investor day scheduled for March 25 because of increased travel restrictions. Since the bank is obliged by law to hold its annual general meeting and most of the attendees are domestic, it still plans to go ahead with its AGM on March 13.Banco Santander SA is advising employees to postpone meetings involving large amounts of people and to avoid non-essential travel. Earlier, HSBC Holdings Plc told its staff they can only undertake international business travel “if absolutely essential to meet commitments to our clients or regulators, even between countries with no recorded cases of COVID-19.” The moves follow similar decisions at firms including UBS Group AG, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and crop trader Cargill Inc.Mizuho Financial Group has started splitting locations of some departments between its two Tokyo headquarters to mitigate the impact of any outbreak.China Consumption Rebounded in Late February (4:18 p.m. HK)Average daily sales of 1,000 retailers closely monitored by the commerce ministry resumed growth in late February, with obvious recovery in auto demands, China Commerce Ministry official Li Xingqian said.South Korea Cases Top 6,000 (4:15 p.m. HK)South Korea’s total tally of coronavirus cases within the nation exceeded 6,000 as of 4pm local time, according to the Health Ministry. Yonhap News reported the death toll rose to 40. The daily tally in the country, released every morning at 10am, showed a 3-day slowdown from Monday -- with an increase of 438 for Wednesday, compared with 516 the previous 24 hours and 600 the day before that.Incheon airport, a major hub in northeast Asia near Seoul, plans to check temperatures on all departing passengers, according to South Korea’s transport ministry.Italy Takes Radical Steps (4:08 p.m. HK)Under a decree signed by Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte late Wednesday night and seen by Bloomberg, sports competitions are suspended, cinemas and theaters closed, and elderly people are advised to avoid leaving home and to keep away from crowded areas. An annex to the decree lists hygiene recommendations that include avoiding hugs and handshakes and washing hands often.The new measures come after Italy announced a nationwide closing of its schools until March 15 as it redoubles efforts to curb the worst coronavirus outbreak in Europe.Chinese Shares at Two-Year High (3:53 p.m. HK)Chinese stocks jumped to their highest in two years, erasing the last of the declines fueled by the coronavirus outbreak. The CSI 300 Index closed up 2.2% on Thursday, on pace for its best week since November 2015.China Honors Whistle-Blowing Doctor (3:45 p.m. HK)China honored a whistle-blowing doctor who became famous worldwide after calling attention to the coronavirus outbreak, as the government tries to mitigate public anger over its early muzzling of medical professionals and what some see as a slow response to the crisis.Opthamologist Li Wenliang died on Feb. 7 after contracting the virus and was commended by China’s National Health Commission Thursday along with 505 other medical personnel for his outstanding performance and dedication in the fight against the epidemic. The list said for the first time that 34 Chinese health workers have died of the virus.Seattle Area Schools to Close (2:43 p.m. HK Time)All schools in the Northshore School District, north of the city of Seattle, will be closed starting March 5 for 14 days as officials monitor the health situation. The outbreak in counties near Seattle is the most concentrated of the coronavirus clusters detected so far in the U.S.Scramble for Masks (1:32 p.m. HK)South Korea will ban all exports of masks starting March 6 at midnight, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said at a speech at the National Assembly. Alibaba Group co-founder Jack Ma will donate 1 million masks to South Korea through the Red Cross, Maeil Business Newspaper reported, citing an interview with former United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Ma also plans to do the same for Japan to support the prevention of the further spread of the virus in the region, the paper said.In the U.S., the federal Health and Human Services department said it plans to buy 500 million N95 respirator masks that could protect health care workers during an outbreak like the current novel coronavirus over the next 18 months. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday plans a visit to Minneapolis to meet with 3M Co., a top maker of protective face masks, to discuss supply-chain issues and the coronavirus.U.K. Airline Collapses After Virus Hit (12:34 p.m. HK)British airline Flybe went into administration after the failure of last-ditch talks on a government bailout and pressure from the coronavirus outbreak left the country’s biggest domestic carrier with no alternative.“As a result of insolvency proceedings, Flybe has ceased to trade and is no longer able to fly or accept bookings,” administrator EY said in a statement Thursday. “Unfortunately it has been necessary to make the majority of the workforce redundant.”First Human-to-Animal Transmission (11:04 a.m. Hong Kong Time)The pet dog of a coronavirus patient in Hong Kong has been confirmed to be infected with a “low level” of the virus, marking what’s likely the first known instance of human-to-animal transmission. Tests confirmed the virus in the pet’s nasal and oral cavities, “which indicates a low-level of infection,” Hong Kong’s agricultural and fisheries department said in statement late Wednesday.Facebook Sees First Infection, in Seattle (10:46 a.m. HK)Facebook Inc. said an employee in Seattle has been diagnosed with the coronavirus, the first known infection within the company as the virus continues to spread in the region.The employee, a contractor, was last in Facebook’s Stadium East office in Seattle on Feb. 21. The company alerted employees Wednesday night and said the Seattle office will be closed to all employees until March 9. Employees in Seattle are also being encouraged to work from home until the end of the month.Australia’s Travel Bans Widen (10:34 a.m. HK)Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the government will continue travel bans for China and Iran, and will extend the ban to South Korea, in press conference in Canberra Thursday. Australia also advised its own citizens to reconsider travel to South Korea.Cruise Ship Gets Diverted (9:39 a.m. HK)Carnival Corp.’s Princess Cruises diverted a ship bound for Ensenada, Mexico, after a passenger who had recently traveled on the vessel died of coronavirus, becoming California’s first such fatality.The ship was being held off the coast of California to give state officials time to test passengers and crew for the virus, Governor Gavin Newsom said at a press conference.Microsoft Work-From-Home Guidance (9:05 a.m. HK)Microsoft Corp. became the largest employer in Washington state’s Puget Sound region to tell all workers to do their jobs from home if possible, until March 25, after King County made a similar recommendation to limit the spread of Covid-19.Workers whose roles require their presence on site should go to their locations, except those aged 60 or over, pregnant or have underlying health conditions or compromised immune systems, the Redmond, Washington-based software maker said Wednesday in a blog post.China Deaths Moderate (8:33 a.m. HK)China on Wednesday reported an additional 31 coronavirus deaths by March 4, bringing the total to 3,012, with all of the newest fatalities coming from Hubei province, the original source of the outbreak. The country also reported an additional 139 confirmed cases of the virus, bringing the total to 80,409. Discharged patients climbed by 2,189 to 52045.While doubts remain over whether the Chinese statistics show the full picture, the surging number of recovering patients has spurred optimism. Sixty-two percent of those who’ve been officially diagnosed with the disease are now better and out of hospital, according to the data from the National Health Commission on Wednesday.California Governor Declares Emergency (8:09 a.m HK)California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency to make more resources available and loosen regulations. The state had its first death Wednesday from a resident in Placer County, whose case was linked to travel on a cruise ship from San Francisco to Mexico last month.More than 50% of the roughly 2,500 people on that cruise were Californians, Newsom said. The state is sending people up and down the state to find passengers for monitoring. The ship, the Grand Princess, is now being rerouted from a separate sailing and is being held off the coast of San Francisco as the state prepares to test guests on board, Newsom said. Twenty-one passengers and crew members are showing symptoms.\--With assistance from Adveith Nair, Jillian Ward, Jihye Lee, Angus Whitley, Alfred Liu, Jonathan Levin, Sophie Jackman, John Follain and Charlie Devereux.To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Adveith Nair in London at anair29@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Stuart Wallace at swallace6@bloomberg.net, Adveith NairFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.