This is CNBC’s live blog covering all the latest news on the coronavirus outbreak. All times below are in Eastern time. This blog will be updated throughout the day as the news breaks.
- Global cases: More than 1,066,706
- Global deaths: At least 56,767
- US cases: At least 258,214
- US deaths: At least 6,605
The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
2:49 pm: Disney sets new dates for ‘Mulan,’ ‘Black Widow,’ ‘Jungle Cruise’ and more
Disney is making drastic changes to its 2020 movie slate in the wake of the outbreak.
The company revealed a number of films would be shifted to later dates on the calendar this year and into 2021 and 2022. Other films would be pushed to Disney+ or were not given a new release date as of yet.
Here’s Disney’s new slate. —Sarah Whitten
2:42 pm: Any one near Trump or Pence will be given rapid coronavirus test-White House
With the coronavirus contagion spreading, the White House said anyone expected to be near President Donald Trump or Vice President Mike Pence will be given a rapid COVID-19 test.
“As the physician to the president and White House Operations continue to protect the health and safety of the president and vice president, starting today anyone who is expected to be in close proximity to either of them will be administered a COVID-19 test to evaluate for pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic carriers status to limit inadvertent transmission,” said White House spokesman Judd Deere. —Reuters
2:35 pm: Etsy calls on sellers to make masks and face covers
“We’re experiencing unprecedented demand,” Etsy said in an app notification sent to sellers. “You can make a difference.”
The company offered guidelines on how to list face covers and masks on the online marketplace, including warnings against making health or medical claims about the items and against reselling commercially made products. The company also offered suggestions for how to match descriptions of the products with what shoppers are searching for. —Sarah Whitten
2:22 pm: Bank of America says 58,000 small businesses have asked for $6 billion in loans since 9 a.m.
2:16 pm: Loan program delayed for independent contractors and self-employed workers
2:01 pm: Trump compelled companies to make critical supplies, but most of them were already doing it
President Donald Trump, after much reluctance, has used the powers of the Defense Production Act to compel companies to manufacture items in short supply that would aid in the U.S. response to the deadly coronavirus.
The bulk of the companies assisting with emergency supply production were compelled to do so on Thursday, more than two weeks after Trump signed the executive order triggering the Korean War-era law. In a statement, the president said his order would “more fully ensure that domestic manufacturers can produce ventilators needed to save American lives.”
“My order to the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Secretary of Homeland Security will help domestic manufacturers like General Electric, Hill-Rom, Medtronic, ResMed, Royal Philips, and Vyaire Medical secure the supplies they need to build ventilators needed to defeat the virus,” the statement continued.
Many of them had already ramped up production. —Yelena Dzhanova
1:55 pm: Airlines ordered to give refunds — not just vouchers — when flights are axed amid coronavirus
A worker walks through a baggage claim area at a nearly-empty O’Hare International Airport on April 2, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois.
Scott Olson | Getty Images
The Department of Transportation said that airlines must give customers refunds when flights are canceled or significantly delayed amid coronavirus.
The agency said it has received an increasing number of complaints from airline customers who said they were denied refunds for canceled or significantly delayed flights and instead given vouchers to use for travel at a later date.
“In recognition of the fact that the COVID-19 public health emergency has had major impacts on the airline industry, the Aviation Enforcement Office will exercise its prosecutorial discretion and provide carriers an opportunity to become compliant before taking further action,” the agency said. —Leslie Josephs
1:44 pm: Dow drops 500 points as sell-off accelerates to end a wild week
1:11 pm: Coronavirus pandemic economic fallout ‘way worse than the global financial crisis,’ IMF chief says
The coronavirus pandemic has created an economic crisis “like no other,” the top International Monetary Fund official said.
“Never in the history of the IMF have we witnessed the world economy come to a standstill,” said IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva.
“This is in my lifetime humanity’s darkest hour, a big threat to the whole world, and it requires for us to stand united, be united,” Georgieva said during a World Health Organization press conference.
“It is way worse than the global financial crisis” of 2008-09, she said. “This is a crisis like no other.” —Dan Mangan
12:55 pm: WHO says countries that rush to containment risk ‘more severe and prolonged’ damage to economy
Countries that rush to lift quarantine restrictions risk an “even more severe and prolonged” economic downturn and a resurgence in COVID-19 cases, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned.
“We are all aware of the profound social and economic consequences of the pandemic,” Tedros said during a briefing at the agency’s headquarters in Geneva. “Ultimately the best way for countries to end restrictions and ease their economic effects is to attack the virus.” —Berkeley Lovelace Jr.
12:46 pm: Forced off the campaign trail by coronavirus, House candidates reach more voters than ever
The coronavirus pandemic has changed almost everything about American life. Businesses are closed, people are home, and, for millions, the economic devastation has been life-altering.
For those running for the House of Representatives, the crisis poses unique problems. Campaigning is a handshake, kiss-the-baby business, and so is its lifeblood — fundraising. You can’t get out the vote if you can’t get out.
But interviews with candidates, strategists and fundraisers in recent days suggest that contenders in both parties are adjusting to the downturn with early signs of success. There are worries that the money will dry up, but it hasn’t yet. Voters, cooped up at home and worried about the future, are tuning in.
“What we are learning is that people are looking forward to distraction right now,” said Mike Garcia, a California Republican who is running in a special election for the House seat vacated by former Rep. Katie Hill. “People are paying attention.” —Tucker Higgins
12:27 pm: Detroit automakers creating new ‘arsenal of health’
Ford Motor employee Pat Tucker is among the autoworkers assisting the Detroit automakers in creating a new “arsenal of health” to assist health-care workers during the coronavirus pandemic.
The 55-year-old grandmother has been working 12-hour shifts every day for nearly two weeks to build much-needed medical face shields at a Ford subsidiary facility in Plymouth, Michigan.
“I want to help end this. I want to be here to watch my grandchildren grow up and graduate and get married, and I want them to be able to grow up,” she told CNBC Thursday night. “I enjoy helping people.”
She’s not alone. As they did nearly 80 years ago to assist the “Arsenal of Democracy” during World War II, employees at each of the Detroit automakers are assisting where they can.
Ford’s COVID-19 efforts are code-named “Project Apollo.” General Motors is executing “Project V” and “Project M.” Fiat Chrysler didn’t code-name its efforts but is assisting in feeding American children and making supplies during the outbreak as well. —Michael Wayland
12:18 pm: U.S. banks have processed more than $875 million in small business relief loans
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said community banks have processed more than $875 million in small business loans aimed at shoring up the economy amid the global coronavirus pandemic, and he sounded a positive note about a new program that lenders have greeted with skepticism.
“#PPPloan now over $875,000,000 processed almost all from community banks!” Mnuchin wrote on Twitter. “Big banks taking applications and will submitting them shortly.” —Reuters
12:05 pm: Free meals available to New Yorkers
The New York City Department of Education is making three free daily meals available to any New Yorker. People can pick up the meals at any of the city’s 400 Meal Hubs on weekdays, according to the DOE.
Children and families can access the hubs from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., while adults can go from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Registration or identification is not required to obtain the meals, and halal and vegetarian options are available.
New Yorkers can use the DOE’s Meal Hub online lookup tool to find a pickup location.—Hannah Miller
11:55 am: ‘It’s only right’ — Cramer, a restaurant owner, says the government closed us, so it should help
Leaning on his experience as a restaurant owner, CNBC’s Jim Cramer said the U.S. government has an obligation to aid small businesses that are shut down during the coronavirus pandemic.
“I had a business that was closed. It was doing great, and then one day I learned I was closed,” Cramer said on “Squawk on the Street.” “You better help.”
Cramer owns Bar San Miguel and co-owns The Longshoreman, both in Brooklyn, New York.
The “Mad Money” host’s comments Friday came on the launch day of a $350 billion government program to help small business owners who are trying to navigate the economic shock from the coronavirus. —Kevin Stankiewicz
11:47 am: Scammers swooping in amid coronavirus pandemic
Government agencies, like the IRS, the Federal Trade Commission and the Social Security Administration, are warning consumers to be vigilant as fraudsters try to take advantage of them during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Whenever crises erupt, the scammers and fraudsters have a heyday,” said Sally Greenberg, executive director of the National Consumers League, a consumer advocacy group. “We see so much fraud related to COVID-19 because people need answers, aren’t thinking straight and are somewhat confused.”
There’s been an uptick in financial fraud connected to the $2 trillion coronavirus relief package signed into law last week. —Greg Iacurci
11:39 am: Markets expect depression-level job losses, but the duration of the shutdowns is a much bigger worry
Stocks and bonds had a relatively muted response to the March employment report, which was far worse than forecast but barely reflected the unprecedented collapse of the labor market and the loss of millions of jobs from the coronavirus shutdowns.
Nonfarm payrolls fell by 701,000 in March, seven times what was forecast, but just a fraction of the actual jobs lost, which already have shown up in 10 million unemployment claims in the second half of March.
What the March employment report does show is the loss of 459,000 jobs in the leisure industry, showing how quickly the restaurant and hotel industry pared back staff, even ahead of major state shutdown orders.
“We all know things are terrible. We all know millions of people are losing their jobs,” said Peter Boockvar, chief investment strategist at Bleakley Advisory Group. “We had this sharp decline in anticipation of this news. The next batch of news we don’t know is what is the duration of this and what is going to happen in May. We hope at the end of April that we are looking at a slow reopening.” —Patti Domm
11:31 am: It’s ‘absurd’ – 3M CEO defends coronavirus response after Trump invokes DPA
The CEO of 3M said his company is maximizing its efforts to get respirator masks to U.S. health workers fighting the coronavirus, pushing back on what he called President Donald Trump’s “absurd” suggestion that the manufacturer was not doing all it could.
“Nothing is further from the truth,” CEO Mike Roman said on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” when told of Trump’s tweet slamming 3M “after seeing what they were doing with their Masks.”
Trump on Thursday issued an order under the Defense Production Act directing acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf to “use any and all authority available under the Act to acquire, from any appropriate subsidiary or affiliate of 3M Company, the number of N-95 respirators that the Administrator determines to be appropriate.”
Later Thursday, Trump tweeted, “We hit 3M hard today.” —Kevin Breuninger
11:25 am: New York Gov. Cuomo says state saw its biggest single-day increase in coronavirus deaths on Thursday
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that 562 New Yorkers died from the coronavirus over the last 24 hours, the highest single increase in deaths since the outbreak began a few weeks ago. A total of 2,935 New Yorkers have died from the coronavirus.
“The curve continues to go up,” Cuomo said at a press conference in Albany, referring to the number of new COVID-19 cases across the state. There are 102,863 confirmed cases across the state, a 10% jump overnight, according to charts presented at the press conference. New York City alone accounts for 57,159 total cases, up 5,350 over the last 24 hours. —Noah Higgins-Dunn
Correction: This entry has been updated to reflect that 562 New Yorkers died from coronavirus over the last 24 hours.
11:16 am: Dr. Anthony Fauci warns we shouldn’t assume hydroxychloroquine is a ‘knockout drug’
Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, addresses the coronavirus task force daily briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 24, 2020.
Jonathan Ernst | Reuters
Americans shouldn’t assume hydroxychloroquine is a “knockout drug” in preventing or treating COVID-19, White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci warned.
“We still need to do the definitive studies to determine whether any intervention, not just this one, is truly safe and effective,” Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on Fox News. “But when you don’t have that information, it’s understandable why people might want to take something anyway even with the slightest hint of being effective.”
New York state last week began the first large-scale clinical trial looking at hydroxychloroquine as a possible treatment for the coronavirus after the Food and Drug Administration fast-tracked the approval process. —Berkeley Lovelace Jr.
11:12 am: This chart shows which industries saw big job losses in March 2020
Among the hardest-hit areas of the economy in March was accommodation and food services sector, which had more than half of the month’s net losses. Businesses that prepare meals, snacks and beverages for customers for either on-premise (sit-down restaurants and bars) or off-premise (delivery and take-out) consumption saw payrolls slide by 417,000.
The broader leisure and hospitality sector, which includes that 417,000 decline in the food services industry, saw payrolls decline by 459,000 as hotels and other lodging businesses also cut jobs. This employment decline nearly offset gains accrued over the previous two years.
The government described the degree of losses in that industry (as well as in health care and social assistance) as “notable” and said the nosedive reflects the nationwide effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. —Thomas Franck
11:02 am: 3M warns Trump that halting exports would reduce number of masks available to US
3M warned that the Trump administration’s request for the company to stop exporting respirator masks could make the protective gear less available in the U.S.
The American manufacturing giant shared that caution a day after President Donald Trump invoked the Defense Production Act to force 3M to produce respirator masks.
The company said it was already working with the administration on getting more masks to the U.S. —Kevin Breuninger
10:57 am: Dismissed US carrier captain to be reassigned during probe, acting Navy secretary says
Captain Brett Crozier, commanding officer of the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, addresses the crew during an all-hands call on the ship’s flight deck in the eastern Pacific Ocean December 19, 2019.
Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Nicholas Huynh | US Navy
The fired commander of a U.S. aircraft carrier that suffered a coronavirus outbreak will not be thrown out of the Navy but rather reassigned, acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly told Reuters, adding that an investigation would determine if he should face disciplinary action.
Modly said the probe would look into the communications and the chain of command after Capt. Brett Crozier was relieved of his command for sharing a scathing letter regarding the outbreak of the virus on the USS Theodore Roosevelt too widely, effectively allowing it to be leaked to the media.
“He’ll get reassigned, he’s not thrown out of the Navy,” Modly said. —Reuters
10:51 am: US, Spain, and Italy continue to outpace the world in the number of cases
10:46 am: Brazil’s leader under intensifying pressure over coronavirus denial
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has sparked public outcry over his laissez-faire handling of the coronavirus crisis, with a movement to impeach the right-wing nationalist leader gaining popular support. The president of Latin America’s largest economy has repeatedly played down the threat of the pandemic, dismissing it as a “little flu” and condemning state governors for imposing lockdowns that are causing job losses.
He has also contradicted his own health minister’s advice over self-isolation and social distancing, encouraging people to end their time in quarantine and return to work.
All but three of Brazil’s 27 states have refused to relax lockdown measures, and citizens in many urban centers can be heard banging pots and pans from their homes each evening as an act of protest to the president’s demands. —Sam Meredith
10:21 am: Another figure in the jobs report paints an even gloomier picture of the damage
The government’s survey of establishments painted a grim picture of the U.S. employment situation through early March, but its poll of households was far worse.
The household survey, which asks individual residents how many people are working there, showed a stunning drop of 2,987,000 workers for the month.
That compares with the 701,000 nonfarm payrolls decline reported in the establishment survey and gives another perspective to just how bad the situation has gotten since the economy has all but shut down to protect against the coronavirus spread. —Jeff Cox
10:09 am: Florida finally takes cruise passengers, some on stretchers
A patient is taken off the the Zaandam cruise ship after it arrived at Port Everglades on April 02, 2020 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Joe Raedle | Getty Images
Passengers from an ill-fated cruise were carefully freed from their cabins and allowed to touch dry land for the first time in weeks, following the removal of 14 critically ill people who were wheeled off to Florida hospitals bracing for an onslaught of coronavirus patients.
The exodus from the Zaandaam and its sister ship the Rotterdam was expected to continue throughout the day. Floridians were getting off first, followed by other passengers.
At least four buses brought the first small groups to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, where they prepared to board two planes waiting on the tarmac. The passengers wore masks, while paramedics and airline workers were fully suited up and masked in protective gear.
They’ll be followed by what Carnival said was its last ship carrying passengers to a U.S. port since the pandemic was declared. The Coral Princess is expected to arrive at the Port Everglades terminal on Saturday with more than 1,000 passengers who have been isolating in their cabins, including 12 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on board. —Associated Press
10:03 am: US services sector growth slows while employment drops, ISM reports
U.S. services sector activity slowed to a more than 3½-year low in March, with industries reporting a moderation in new orders and a drop in employment amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Institute for Supply Management said its nonmanufacturing activity index fell to a reading of 52.5 last month, the lowest since August 2016, from 57.3 in February.
A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the services sector, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the index dropping to a reading of 44.0 in March. —Reuters
9:55 am: FedEx slashes CEO’s salary, draws $1.5 billion from its credit line
FedEx said it would slash its chief executive officer’s pay and draw down $1.5 billion from a credit facility as delivery services take a hit from coronavirus-led lockdowns across the globe.
The company, which also suspended its financial outlook, said its board had approved a 91% reduction in CEO Frederick Smith’s base salary for six-month period from April 1 to Sept. 30. —Reuters
9:51 am: Pelosi wants more small business loans, direct payments, and unemployment benefits
US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi speaks to the press after the House passed a $2 trillion stimulus bill, on March 27, 2020, at the US Capitol in Washington, DC.
Alex Edelman | AFP | Getty Images
“It’s not enough,” Pelosi told CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” about the last relief measure, after the government employment report showed the U.S. economy lost 701,000 jobs in early March as businesses started to close.
The California Democrat said she wants more direct payments to individuals, beyond the chunks of up to $1,200 lawmakers previously approved. She pushed for more small business loan funding beyond the $350 billion in the last law, and to extend beefed-up unemployment insurance for two more months. —Jacob Pramuk
9:44 am: The White House tried to force 3M to send face masks to US instead of Asia, report says
The White House reportedly tried to force 3M to export 10 million N95 respirator masks from its Singapore facilities to the U.S. rather than sending them to its markets in Asia, the Financial Times first reported, citing a person familiar with the conversations.
The Minnesota-based company was reluctant to accept the White House request on legal and humanitarian grounds since health-care workers across the region would be left without protection, the person said.
Peter Navarro, the White House advisor on trade and manufacturing, said that the administration “had some issues” making sure all the production 3M does around the world is going to the right places. The White House invoked the Defense Production Act on the company in an effort to boost its production of face masks.
In a statement, 3M said the administration also requested the company cease exporting respirators to Canadian and Latin American markets, however, it said there are significant humanitarian implications of doing so. —Noah Higgins-Dunn
9:15 am: New Google site shows where people are taking social distancing seriously — and where they’re not
The COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports web site will show population data trends of six categories: Retail and recreation, grocery and pharmacy, parks, transit stations, workplaces, and residential. The data will track changes over the course of several weeks, and as recent as 48-to-72 hours prior, and will initially cover 131 countries as well as individual counties within certain states.
Google says the data will be collected in aggregate, rather than at an individual level, and it won’t show absolute numbers of people showing up at parks or grocery stores. The idea instead is to outline percentages, which highlight potential surges in attendance. —Jennifer Elias
9:00 am: ‘The Hot Zone’ author warns the next pandemic could ‘balloon faster’ than the coronavirus
The world will experience another pandemic, and it could be even more severe than the new coronavirus, author Richard Preston told CNBC on Friday.
“We hear some people saying, ‘Well this is a once-in-a-100-year event.’ It is absolutely not,” Preston said on “Squawk Box.” “I think a worse-case scenario could be worse than coronavirus.”
Preston is the author of the 1994 book, “The Hot Zone: The Terrifying True Story of the Origins of the Ebola Virus.” It was the basis of 2019 TV mini-series from the National Geographic Channel. —Kevin Stankiewicz
8:56 am: Small businesses have ‘a million questions’ about paycheck relief loan as applications come due
Millions of small business owners on Friday will start applying for government-backed loans that will let them pay people not to work with the hope that once the economy reopens companies can pick up where they left off. But confusion about the Small Business Administration loans is widespread at banks and among potential borrowers.
The banks responsible for accepting the applications and distributing the money aren’t all up to speed and, inundated with inquiries, are relaying differing messages to their clients. CNBC reported on Thursday that JPMorgan Chase, the biggest U.S. bank, told customers by email that it would likely not be ready to start taking applications on Friday.
The loan in question is the paycheck protection program (PPP), and it accounts for $349 billion of the $2 trillion coronavirus rescue package, or CARES Act, passed by Congress and signed into law last week. Businesses with fewer than 500 employees are eligible, and that includes independent contractors. Employers can apply to receive up to 2.5 times their average monthly payroll expense, including health-care benefits, for annual salaries up to $100,000. Loans max out at $10 million. —Ari Levy
8:40 am: The White House tried to force 3M to send face masks from Singapore to US, report says
The White House tried to force 3M to export 10 million N95 respirator masks from its Singapore facilities to the U.S., rather than sending them to its markets in Asia, the Financial Times first reported, citing a person familiar with the conversations. The Minnesota-based company was reluctant to accept the White House request on legal and humanitarian grounds since healthcare workers across the region would be left without protection, the person told the FT.
The White House invoked the Defense Production Act in an effort to boost 3M’s production of face masks. In a statement, 3M said the administration also requested the company cease exporting respirators to Canadian and Latin American markets. However, it said there are significant humanitarian implications of doing so.
“Ceasing all export of respirators produced in the United States would likely cause other countries to retaliate and do the same, as some have already done,” the company said in a statement. “If that were to occur, the net number of respirators being made available to the United States would actually decrease.” —Noah Higgins-Dunn
8:33 am: US payrolls drop 701,000 in March, the first jobs decline since 2010
Nonfarm payrolls dropped by 701,000 in March, according to Labor Department numbers that begin to show the economic damage wrought by the coronavirus crisis.
The unemployment rate rose to 4.4% as employers just began to cut payrolls ahead of social distancing practices that shut down large swaths of the U.S. economy in order to stop the virus’s spread.
Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been looking for a payroll decline of 10,000 and for the unemployment rate to rise to 3.7%. —Jeff Cox
8:20 am: Cannes Lions advertising festival, previously postponed, is now canceled
The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, the ad industry’s major awards festival and conference held in France each summer, has been canceled due to the coronavirus.
The festival, originally scheduled for June 22 through June 26, was postponed in March to Oct. 26 through Oct 30, but organizers announced the decision to cancel it for good this year.
“As the impact from COVID-19 continues to be felt across the world on consumers and our customers across the marketing, creative and media industries, it has become clear to us our customers’ priorities have shifted to the need to protect people, to serve consumers with essential items and to focus on preserving companies, society and economies,” organizers said in a statement Friday.
The next festival will take place June 21 through June 25 in 2021. —Megan Graham
8:09 am: Italian luxury shoemaker Sergio Rossi dies
Italian luxury shoemaker Sergio Rossi has died aged 85 after being hospitalized with the coronavirus, the mayor of the designer’s home town said.
Italy has recorded more deaths from coronavirus than any other country in the world, with 13,915 fatalities as of Thursday. The elderly have been particularly hard hit. Rossi died on Thursday in the small town of Cesena in central Italy.
“He was among the founders of the high-end women’s footwear district in the area of Forlì and Cesena in the mid-20th century,” said Luciana Garbuglia, mayor of San Mauro Pascoli, where Rossi was born in 1935 and where he founded his brand.
French luxury fashion group Kering took over the brand in 1999. It then passed into the hands of the Italian private equity fund Investindustrial in 2015, when Rossi had already retired. —Reuters
7:56 am: Spain cases surpass Italy’s, now second in the world
A general view of the temporary hospital for COVID-19 patients located at the Ifema convention and exhibition centre in Madrid, Spain taken on April 03, 2020.
Pierre-Philippe Marcou | AFP via Getty Images
As of 6 a.m. ET, Spain had reported 117,710 confirmed cases, according to Johns Hopkins University, surpassing the total count of cases in Italy, the original epicenter of Europe’s outbreak. According to Hopkins, Italy had reported 115,242 cases as of 6 a.m. That makes Spain second in the world for COVID-19 cases, behind only the U.S. Spain typically reports daily new cases several hours ahead of Italy, and the numbers will likely change throughout the day. —Will Feuer
7:30 am: UK health minister suggests nationwide peak could be Easter Sunday
U.K. Health Minister itMatt Hancock reportedly said the deadliest peak of Britain’s coronavirus outbreak could be on Easter Sunday.
In an interview with Sky News, Hancock said he “would defer to the scientists on exact predictions,” but the peak of the U.K. outbreak falling on April 12 was “one perfectly possible outcome.”
To date, the U.K. has reported more than 34,000 cases of the COVID-19 infection, with 2,926 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. —Sam Meredith
7:19 am: BMW CEO says the company is working to safeguard liquidity
An employee inspects the body frame of a BMW X4 sports utility vehicle on the assembly plant in Greer, South Carolina.
Luke Sharrett | Bloomberg | Getty Images
BMW Chief Executive Oliver Zipse said the carmaker is focusing on preserving the health of its balance sheet and workforce.
“No company can possibly get through something like this unscathed. Guaranteeing our liquidity needs to happen very quickly. The Management Board are currently meeting twice as often as normal, so we can make the necessary decisions,” Zipse said in a statement.
“We are preparing to ramp up production as soon as the time is right in full compliance with all the safety aspects, and with international coordination. It’s essential that we synchronize with the supplier network on this,” he added. —Reuters
7:10 am: March job losses could be the worst in a decade
March’s employment report could show the most monthly job losses in a decade, but it’s only a fraction of the real hit to the workforce that came when many states issued stay-at-home orders late in the month.
Economists expect a consensus decline of 100,000 nonfarm payrolls when data is released at 8:30 am ET, according to Refinitiv. But the survey for the report was done before many states began telling residents to stay home. For the final two weeks of the month, 10 million people sought unemployment benefits as businesses and schools closed to stop the spread of the coronavirus. —Patti Domm
7:06 am: European business activity craters as Brussels races to find a ‘credible’ funding plan
The coronavirus pandemic is hitting European economies sharply, with the latest economic data showing massive falls in services activity across the region.
In Italy, the services industry dropped in March at the fastest rate since the IHS Markit survey began in 1998. In Germany, the services sector laid off staff at the steepest rate in about 23 years. In Spain, services activity contracted for the first time in six-and-a-half years.
The data released Friday showed the final Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index — which includes services and manufacturing — for the whole euro zone crashed to a record low of 29.7 in March, from 51.6 in February. This was the biggest monthly fall since the survey began. —Silvia Amaro
6:00 am: Spain’s daily death toll falls for the first time since March 26
Coffins containing the bodies of people who have died of coronavirus (COVID-19) are lined up in the long-term parking of the Collserola morgue before they either buried or incinerated, on April 02, 2020 in Barcelona, Spain.
David Ramos | Getty Images
The amount of people that have died from the coronavirus in Spain has seen its first daily fall since March 26. A total of 932 people died in the last 24 hours, down from 950 people the previous day, according to Reuters who cited the country’s health ministry. Spain’s death toll now stands at 10,935. —Matt Clinch
5:33 am: China’s central bank announces new stimulus measures
The People’s Bank of China said it was reducing the amount of cash that small and mid-sized banks need to hold in reserve. It will reportedly free up around 400 billion yuan ($56.38 billion) in liquidity and aid the country’s economy which has been badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic. —Matt Clinch
4:50 am: Singapore shuts schools, closes most workplaces
People seated in a food center in Marina Bay Sands shopping mall according to safe distancing markers on March 30, 2020 in Singapore.
Ore Huiying | Getty Images
Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced stricter social distancing measures in the city-state, joining a chorus of countries globally that have done so to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
The measures include closing most workplaces, except those offering “essential services” such as food establishments, hospitals, and transport, Lee said. All schools will also be closed temporarily, he said. The prime minister also said his government is rethinking its advice that only those who are ill need to wear masks. —Yen Nee Lee
Read CNBC’s coverage from CNBC’s Asia-Pacific and Europe teams overnight here: Spain’s services industry records ‘unprecedented’ decline, survey shows
CORRECTION: This blog has been updated to correct the spelling of Cannes Lions in the headline.