Daily News:1st April 2020

Good Morning

  Developing countries, including Pakistan, will be hit hardest by the economic shockwaves caused by the novel coronavirus crisis that has shaken the world and will need a support package of up to $2.5 trillion to cope with the damage, a United Nations report has predicted. According to a report by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), which was released on Monday, Pakistan, Argentina and the Sub-Saharan African countries would face a “frightening combination” crises including mounting debts, a potential deflationary spiral as well as a disastrous impact on the health sector. Their economies will take “enormous hit” from high capital outflows, lost export earnings due to falling commodity prices and currency depreciations, with an overall impact likely worse than the 2008 crisis, the report said. Furthermore, The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) on Tuesday announced a revenue loss of over Rs200 billion for March owing to the coronavirus-led slowdown in economic activity while warning of further losses in the coming months in case businesses fail to resume operations. Provisional figures showed the FBR collected Rs325bn in March against the projected target of Rs525bn, showing a shortfall of around 38 per cent or Rs200bn. Lastly, Commerce Ministry has claimed that Pakistan will face export loss of $ 2 billion, besides delayed payments due to outbreak of coronavirus in Europe and United States of America.

Market View: The KSE100 Index gained  1204.24  points during yesterday’s trading session. Investors cheered the economic relief package approved by the government a day ago. Besides that, expectation of partial easing of the lockdown from the next week fueled investor optimism. 

Commodities:

Brent oil (USD/bbl): 25.91 (-1.67% D/D)
Crude oil (USD/bbl): 20.67 (+0.78% D/D)
Gold (USD/oz): 1,596.30 (-0.018% D/D)

National News

Revenue shortfall surges by Rs200bn in March

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) on Tuesday announced a revenue loss of over Rs200 billion for March owing to the coronavirus-led slowdown in economic activity while warning of further losses in the coming months in case businesses fail to resume operations.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1545426/revenue-shortfall-surges-by-rs200bn-in-march

July-March: Rs 458 billion shortfall in revenue collection

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has provisionally collected Rs3,063 billion during July-March (2019-2020) against the revised target of Rs3,521 billion, reflecting a shortfall of Rs458 billion.

https://www.brecorder.com/2020/04/01/585507/july-march-rs-458-billion-shortfall-in-revenue-collection/

Pakistan will be amongst hardest-hit economies: UN

Developing countries, including Pakistan, will be hit hardest by the economic shockwaves caused by the novel coronavirus crisis that has shaken the world and will need a support package of up to $2.5 trillion to cope with the damage, a United Nations report has predicted.

https://www.brecorder.com/2020/04/01/585512/pakistan-will-be-amongst-hardest-hit-economies-un/

Another $2m ADB grant to help Pakistan fight Covid-19

PAKISTAN: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Monday approved another $2 million grant to support the government’s efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic in Pakistan.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1545165/another-2m-adb-grant-to-help-pakistan-fight-covid-19

$2 billion export losses feared

Commerce Ministry has claimed that Pakistan will face export loss of $ 2 billion, besides delayed payments due to outbreak of coronavirus in Europe and United States of America.

https://www.brecorder.com/2020/04/01/585517/two-billion-export-losses-feared/

Demand for electricity, gas, oil drops dramatically

ISLAMABAD: Demand in the country for electricity, natural gas and petroleum products has dropped dramatically as a result of the coronavirus epidemic, creating serious operational and financial challenges in the supply chain.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1545449/demand-for-electricity-gas-oil-drops-dramatically

Qureshi asks G-20 to restructure third world countries’ debt, help them fight coronavirus

MULTAN: Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi Tuesday urged the international community, particularly the G-20 countries, to restructure the debts of third world countries to help them fight the coronavirus pandemic.

https://www.brecorder.com/2020/04/01/585360/qureshi-asks-g-20-to-restructure-third-world-countries-debt-help-them-fight-coronavirus/

Covid-19: Economy may face GDP loss of up to 4.64 percent

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s economy is projected to face a loss of up to 4.64 percent in gross domestic product (GDP) because of disruptions in trade, both in imports and exports after the outbreak of COVID-19. The Planning Commission has assigned the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) to come up with estimates of COVID-19 losses on account of GDP growth front.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/637732-covid-19-economy-may-face-gdp-loss-of-up-to-4-64-percent

Escalating fiscal deficit: Cabinet approves domestic Sukuk bond for generating Rs700 bn

ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet on Tuesday approved launching domestic Sukuk bond for generating Rs700 billion for financing the escalating budget deficit and meeting the increasing financial requirements for combating COVID-19.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/637730-escalating-fiscal-deficit-cabinet-approves-domestic-sukuk-bond-for-generating-rs700-bn

Rs 50 billion being allocated to USC: Umar

Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar has said that it is essential for the government to strike a balance between preventing the spread of the coronavirus and keeping the economy running. The minister said that Rs50 billion were being allocated for the Utility Stores Cooperation to ensure provision of all food items to general public across the country.

https://www.brecorder.com/2020/04/01/585521/rs-50-billion-being-allocated-to-usc-umar/

PIA to partially restore international flights from April 2

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has decided to partially restore international flights from April 2 after grounding them on March 21 to stem the spread of the rapidly spreading coronavirus infections.

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2188235/1-pia-partially-restore-international-flights-april-2/

International News

Oil ends March with biggest monthly and quarterly losses ever

NEW YORK: Crude oil benchmarks ended a volatile quarter with their biggest losses in history, as both U.S. and Brent futures were hammered throughout March on the global economic freeze due to the coronavirus pandemic and the eruption of a price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia.

https://www.brecorder.com/2020/04/01/585526/oil-ends-march-with-biggest-monthly-and-quarterly-losses-ever/

Oil prices mixed, US inventory build-up heightens oversupply concerns

Crude oil benchmarks opened the month mixed on Wednesday, following their biggest-ever quarterly and monthly losses,  overshadowed by fears of global oversupply as data showed a bigger-than-expected rise in inventories in the United States.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/01/oil-markets-crude-output-in-focus.html

Gold recovers from 3% slump as dollar, Asian equities ease

Gold prices on Wednesday clawed back from a steep fall in the previous session, as the U.S. dollar eased following the Federal Reserve’s latest stimulus boost and as Asian equities slipped with the coronavirus pandemic sharply slowing global growth.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/01/gold-markets-coronavirus-economic-stimulus-equities-in-focus.html

Risk currencies ease, yen firms as investors brace for global downturn

Risk currencies looked fragile and the yen firmed on Wednesday, the first day of a quarter that looks set to see the worst economic contractions for decades in many countries as they scramble to tackle the coronavirus epidemic.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/01/forex-markets-coronavirus-economic-contractions-in-focus.html

US dollar weakens as Fed measure weighs

NEW YORK: The dollar fell against a basket of major currencies on Tuesday modestly pressured by the weight of Federal Reserve measures meant to ensure there was enough liquidity in the global financial system.

https://www.brecorder.com/2020/04/01/585524/us-dollar-weakens-as-fed-measure-weighs/

Dow ends lower, suffers biggest quarterly loss since 1987

NEW YORK: The Dow finished sharply lower Tuesday as it suffered its worst quarterly loss since 1987 amid a broader market rout over the coronavirus outbreak.

https://www.brecorder.com/2020/04/01/585528/dow-ends-lower-suffers-biggest-quarterly-loss-since-1987/

Fed broadens access to dollars with repo agreement for foreign central banks

WASHINGTON: The US Federal Reserve on Tuesday broadened the ability of dozens of foreign central banks to access U.S. dollars during the coronavirus crisis by allowing them to exchange their holdings of U.S. Treasury securities for overnight dollar loans.

https://www.brecorder.com/2020/04/01/585550/fed-broadens-access-to-dollars-with-repo-agreement-for-foreign-central-banks/

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