COVID-19 – BOJ Removes Limits on Government Bond Purchases

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Japan’s central bank concluded its monetary policy meeting by removing limits on its purchases of government bonds.

China digested a 34.9% plunge in industrial profits in March.

Hong Kong, Taiwan, New Zealand, Italy, the U.K. and New York could see some lockdown measures lifted within weeks.

Asia Pacific

China’s National Bureau of Statistics said that industrial profits slid 34.9 per cent in March year-on-yearThe bureau reported a 38.3 % drop in combined figures from January and February.

The Bank of Japan removed limits on its purchases of government bonds at its monetary policy meeting. It also ramped up its scope for buying corporate bonds and commercial paper by raising its ceiling on holdings to JPY 20 trillion ($185.96 billion).

The U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank will also meet later in the week.

Hong Kong is reported to be considering relaxing mandatory quarantine controls on mainland Chinese visitors, allowing civil servants to return to the office and easing restrictions on some business sectors if the number of new cases continues to be low or remain at zero.

Taiwan is also looking to ease measures after 14 consecutive days of no local confirmed cases.

Speculation on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s health intensified as it was reported that a Chinese medical and diplomatic team had visited Kim. Satellite images showed a train resembling Kim’s parked near his compound in the coastal city of Wonsan.

New Zealand will downgrade its restriction level from alert 4 to alert 3 from Tuesday, allowing most businesses to re-open.

Europe

Great Britain could see an easing of its month-long lockdown on Monday as Prime Minister Boris Johnson returns to work after his battle with COVID-19. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said Italy will begin lifting a nationwide lockdown on May 4.

North America

New York governor Andrew Cuomo said overnight that the state will eventually re-open in phases once the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says state and regional hospitalization rates have been in decline for 14 days.

Source INVESTING

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