How's the world economy doing?

Updated: Apr 09, 2020, 08:13 IST | Agencies | Hong Kong

Despite efforts, ministers were unable to bridge differences on how to rebuild their economies after COVID-19, with a North vs South split on burden-sharing for the worst-affected countries

Most Asian equities retreated on Wednesday after a two-day rally as investors closely track developments in the crisis, while the oil market continued to fluctuate ahead of a crucial producers' meeting. Wall Street, where all three main indexes soared at least 7 per cent at the start of the week, turned into negative territory Tuesday.

The losses bled into Asia, with Hong Kong losing over one per cent, Singapore two per cent, and Sydney and Seoul each 0.9 per cent. Shanghai ended down 0.2 per cent, while Manila and Jakarta also saw steep falls. 10% reduction in Germany The German economy, Europe's biggest, is expected to shrink by nearly 10 per cent in the second quarter as COVID-19 paralyses the country, six leading research institutes warned Wednesday. Gross domestic product likely contracted by 1.9 per cent in the first three months of 2020, and is set to shrink by 9.8 per cent in the second quarter. Over the year, its economy is predicted to contract by 4.2 percent. French economy shrinks In its worst performance since 1945, the French economy shrank around 6 per cent in the first quarter of 2020, the Bank of France said Wednesday.

The It said economic activity plunged 32 per cent in the last two weeks of March. For every two weeks the country is locked down by the virus, the Bank of France expects the economy to shrink by 1.5 per cent. Meanwhile, European Union finance ministers failed to agree on a bailout plan to help hard-hit member states like Spain and Italy, face the outbreak, after Italy refused to abandon its plea for "coronabonds" to share the burden. Despite efforts, ministers were unable to bridge differences on how to rebuild their economies after COVID-19, with a North vs South split on burden-sharing for the worst-affected countries.

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