Coronavirus, central banks, currencies in focus

Shares in Asia were set to trade higher at the open following a dramatic bounce back overnight on Wall Street.

Futures pointed to a higher open for Japanese stocks. The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 22,055 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 21,920. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 21,530.95.

Stocks in Australia were also set to trade higher, with the SPI futures contract at 5,876, as compared to the S&P/ASX 200’s last close at 5,719.80.

Central bank watch

Investors on Tuesday will likely focus on central bank announcements, with the Reserve Bank of Australia set to release the minutes of its recent monetary policy meeting at around 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN. The Bank of Japan is also set to release its monetary policy statement sometime on Tuesday.

The U.S. Federal Reserve announced Monday more measures to support the market. The Fed said it would

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Ban gambling adverts and limit online stakes, say MPs

A group of 50 MPs has called for a ban on all gambling advertising and a cut to £2 in the maximum stake allowed online after a year-long inquiry into gambling-related addiction in the UK.

The All Party Parliamentary Group for Gambling Related Harm said in a report published on Tuesday that gambling regulation in the UK needed a “complete overhaul” and that Covid-19 had only exacerbated the need for better protection of those vulnerable to problem gambling behaviour.

“We cannot continue with the current lack of regulation for the online industry. We have an industry that is profiteering from vulnerable people gambling more than they can afford,” said Iain Duncan Smith, the former Conservative leader and vice-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Gambling Related Harm.

It is the first time that the group has publicly called for a ban on all gambling advertising as well as an

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Coronavirus: Sweden demands tougher emissions goals for SAS bailout | Business News

Sweden has said an offer of support for SAS would be dependent on the airline agreeing to tougher emissions goals.

SAS is owned by the governments of Sweden and Denmark, with 14.8% and 14.2% respectively, and the remaining shares held by private investors.

The airline presented a recapitalisation plan on Monday, revealing that it needs about 12.5bn Swedish krona (£1.07bn) to get through the coronavirus pandemic.

Sweden’s leaders said they would ask parliament for up to 5bn krona and to increase its stake in the airline.

Financial markets minister Per Bolund said it would be conditional on tougher emissions goals, adding: “Let me be clear, Sweden will only go in with capital to SAS if clear, quantitative targets for reduced emissions are set in line with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5 degree goal.”

Denmark is also backing the recapitalisation but did not say how much it will contribute, only saying it

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Coronavirus: Race to buy COVID-19 vaccines as governments sign huge deals | World News

Governments around the world are signing deals worth hundreds of millions of pounds for potential coronavirus vaccines.

Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and France agreed over the weekend to pay £662.5m for 300 million doses of AstraZeneca’s potential COVID-19 vaccines.

The contract with the British drugmaker, whose vaccine is among the first to reach mid-stage trials, will supply all EU countries – but not the UK – which is in a Brexit transition period until the end of 2020.

AstraZeneca chief: Oxford ‘moving very quickly’ on vaccine

An extra 100 million doses will be made available for the European countries to buy, said a spokesman for the Italian health ministry.

France is said to want the doses split between countries based on their population.

European governments have been scrambling to secure orders of promising vaccines after concerns that the EU had not moved fast enough compared with others such as the

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