Coronavirus, China PMI data, currencies in focus

Stocks in Asia Pacific were set to open higher on Tuesday as investors await the release of China’s official manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index.

Futures pointed to a higher open for stocks in Japan. The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 22,415 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 22,340. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 21,995.04 after its more than 2% slide on Monday.

Shares in Australia were also set for a positive start, with the SPI futures contract at 5,874, as compared to the S&P/ASX 200’s last close at 5,815.

Investors will await the release of China’s official manufacturing PMI for June, set to be released around 9:00 a.m. HK/SIN on Tuesday. Economists in a Reuters poll have a median forecast of 50.4 the data print, above the 50 level that indicates expansion in activity.

Developments surrounding the coronavirus pandemic will also continue to be

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Coronavirus recovery plan: Boris Johnson channels 1930’s US ‘new deal’ with building strategy | Politics News

Boris Johnson will attempt to mark a new phase in the coronavirus response on Tuesday by setting out plans for an “infrastructure revolution” to create jobs and stimulate an economic recovery.

The prime minister will invoke the 1930s ‘new deal’ of former US President Franklin D Roosevelt as he delivers a major speech in the West Midlands town of Dudley in the morning.

He will announce £5bn in capital investment to accelerate infrastructure projects this year, including hospital maintenance works, school building and improvements to the road and rail networks.

But a leading think-tank warned tax rises could be needed to foot the bill and Labour said there should be more emphasis on jobs coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has so far killed more than 43,000 people in the UK.

A national infrastructure strategy focused on the long-term plans for the country’s energy networks, transport infrastructure, flood defences

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Coronavirus: Cirque du Soleil axes 3,480 jobs – but plans to rehire most | Business News

Entertainment company Cirque du Soleil is axing more than 3,000 jobs in a restructuring after the coronavirus pandemic wiped out its revenues.

However the Canada-based group – known for its shows in Las Vegas and around the world – said it aimed to rehire a “substantial majority” of these employees once lockdowns are lifted.

It said it was filing for protection from creditors in Canada while it develops a plan to restart it business.

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Las Vegas shows including “The Beatles LOVE” have been cancelled

The company said it was taking action “in response to immense disruption and forced show closures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic”.

Montreal-based Cirque temporarily suspended its productions in March because of the outbreak.

It is now terminating 3,480 employees of the more than 4,000 who were furloughed at that time – the latter number representing 95% of its workforce.

The company said its

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Farmers win concession on post-Brexit agricultural trade policy

The UK has bowed to calls for an independent commission to advise on post-Brexit agriculture trade policy in a move that has cast doubt on the government’s ability to secure a quick deal with the US.

Washington has called for much greater access to the British food market as a price for any agreement, prompting a backlash from farmers and MPs who have warned of the potential threat to food welfare standards if chlorine-washed chicken and hormone-treated beef is allowed to enter the UK market.

Following sustained lobbying from the National Farmers’ Union for an independent body to scrutinise the impact of any such deal, Liz Truss, international trade secretary, said a new trade and agriculture commission would consider policies the government “should adopt in free trade agreements to ensure UK farmers do not face unfair competition and that their high animal welfare and production standards are not undermined”.

Ms

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