Apple Sales Will Miss; U.S. Cruisers Quarantined: Virus Update

Bloomberg News
Apple Sales Will Miss; U.S. Cruisers Quarantined: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) -- A case study of a patient who died from the new coronavirus shows similarities with two prior deadly coronavirus outbreaks. Apple Inc. said it would miss its quarterly revenue target because of the virus.

The U.S. evacuated citizens from the Diamond Princess cruise liner, including 14 who tested positive for the virus, and will quarantine more than 300 passengers. The U.S. is still figuring out what to do with American passengers on another cruise ship who disembarked in Cambodia, including one who tested positive.

Beijing may delay a high-profile political meeting for the first time in decades because of the coronavirus outbreak that has infected more than 71,000 and killed 1,775 globally.

Key Developments

China death toll 1,770, up 105; mainland cases rise to 70,548Hubei adds 1,933 new cases, up from 1,843 a day earlierFour missed chances for China to contain outbreakFears of global contagion as 3,000 cruise passengers go home

Click VRUS on the terminal for news and data on the novel coronavirus and here for maps and charts. For analysis of the impact from Bloomberg Economics, click here.

Apple to Miss Guidance Because of Virus (4:15 p.m. NY)

Apple Inc. doesn’t expect to meet its revenue guidance for the quarter ending in March due to work slowdowns from the outbreak of coronavirus in China. The company said it anticipates global supply of the iPhone to be “temporarily constrained.”

Read the full story here.

Japan Cruisers Quarantined; Westerdam Passengers Loose (3:19 p.m. NY)

More than 300 U.S. citizens evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan have returned home to begin a 14-day quarantine on military bases and for treatment in hospitals.

The repatriation ends a dramatic episode on the virus-struck ship, but came with a fresh complication: As the U.S. cruise passengers were on a bus heading for Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, Japanese test results showed that 14 had the virus. And a positive test from another cruise ship that disembarked passengers in Cambodia has raised concerns about further spread of the virus around the globe.

Of the Japan evacuees, 171 will be held at Travis Air Force Base between San Francisco and Sacramento, with six people sent to a local hospital for treatment, said William Walters, a senior official with the State Department‘s Bureau of Medical Services.

A further 144 passengers evacuated on a separate flight will be housed at Lackland Air Force Base near San Antonio, Texas. Seven people on that flight were flown on to Omaha for treatment at the University of Nebraska.The newly diagnoses cases involved people who did not show any symptoms of the coronavirus but were diagnosed by Japanese lab tests, Walters said.The fate of hundreds of Americans coming off another cruise ship now docked in Cambodia is less clear. One of the passengers, an 83-year-old woman, was diagnosed with the virus while passing through Malaysia, and is being held in isolation there. Roughly 300 U.S. citizens who were on the Westerdam have left Cambodia, according to the State Department. But 92 remain on the ship and a further 260 are staying in hotels in Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital.Walter said the U.S. government was tracking those citizens but had not yet made a decision on whether to send special flights to bring them home. Health officials across the world have said that catching and isolating cases of the virus before it spreads is crucial to stopping it.

Damage Cause by Virus Resembles SARS, MERS (2 p.m. NY)

Doctors studying a 50-year-old man who died in China last month from the new coronavirus found that the disease caused lung damage reminiscent of two prior coronavirus-related outbreaks, SARS and MERS.

Read the full story here.

Cruise Travel Risks Remain ‘Manageable’ Despite Virus, WHO Says: (12 p.m. NY)

Cruise ship travel remains a “manageable risk” for now, and it doesn’t make sense to recommend a ban on it, the World Health Organization said, even as the return home of 3,000 travelers from two coronavirus-stricken cruise ships fuels fears of further contagion.

“People say we should steer clear of cruise ships, or steer clear of airports or steer clear of certain ethnic groups,” Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s Health Emergencies Program, said at a press briefing Monday at the organization’s Geneva headquarters. “We have to be really careful” of such suggestions. “We need an approach to managing risk that allows us to continue to operate as a society.”

Hong Kong Virus Stress Worsens With Maids, Nannies Stuck Abroad: (11:05 a.m. NY)

The Philippine ban on travel to Hong Kong is taking its toll on migrant workers, mostly women, who are part of Hong Kong’s domestic labor force. In a survey of more than 900 Filipina domestic workers in Hong Kong by placement agency HelperChoice, almost half said they were affected by the travel ban or knew someone who was.

Virus Outbreak Boosts Tissue Paper Prospects in China (10:30 a.m. NY)

As the outbreak ripples through China’s economy, one industry seems to be thriving. Shares of tissue paper maker Vinda International Holdings have surged 40% this year even as the main Hong Kong index is little changed. The rally may have legs. Top pulp exporter Suzano SA expects growth in China’s tissue market to accelerate amid shifts in hygiene habits.

El Al CEO Sees Hard Days Ahead for Israeli Airline: (9 a.m. NY)

El Al Israel Airlines is facing difficulties because of the spread of the coronavirus and may be forced to make some “painful decisions,” CEO Gonen Usishkin said in a letter to staff, without specifying what that may entail.

A decision by Israel’s Health Ministry on Sunday to send travelers returning from Thailand into home quarantine for 14 days has cut demand for this destination, and the company is allowing customers to change or cancel tickets, the CEO said. Last week, the carrier suspended flights to Hong Kong until March 20 and flights to Beijing until April 24.

Slump in Global Goods Trade Likely to Deepen: WTO (7:30 a.m. NY)

The already slumping state of global goods trade may get even worse with coronavirus, the World Trade Organization warned.

The Geneva-based body said its merchandise trade barometer fell to 95.5 from 96.6 in November. That’s before factoring in the effects of China’s health crisis on international commerce.

“The slow start could be dampened further by global health threats and other recent developments in the first few months of the year,” the WTO said. In the months ahead, “every component of the Goods Trade Barometer will be influenced by the economic impact of COVID-19 and the effectiveness of efforts to treat and contain the disease.”

China Sees Positive Trend in Coronavirus Epidemic: CCTV (7 a.m. NY)

China’s anti-virus efforts have led to a positive trend for the epidemic nationwide, according to China Central Television, which cited Premier Li Keqiang’s comments at a meeting. The spread of coronavirus has weakened, and China has avoided a wider outbreak through all-out control, Li was quoted as saying.

Top policymakers are seeking to balance the anti-virus fight with shoring up the economy, which has been running at just 40% to 50% capacity in the last week, according to Bloomberg Intelligence.

Bundesbank Warns of Hit to German Exporters (6 a.m. NY)

The central bank called the outbreak a “cyclical downside risk” and said a temporary decline in overall Chinese demand could damp German export activity. “Moreover, some global value chains could be impaired by security measures put in place,” the Bundesbank said in a report.

Outside the European Union, China is second only to the U.S. in importance to German companies, with close to $108 billion of sales a year. The European Commission last week called the epidemic a “key downside risk” to its forecasts, while European Central Bank Chief Economist Philip Lane said the region’s economy could experience a “pretty serious short-term hit.”

China’s Economy Seen Growing Slowest Since 1990 (6:52 p.m. HK)

The coronavirus outbreak and China’s efforts to stop the spread mean the economy will grow slower this quarter than first thought -- the median forecast now is for growth to be the slowest in 30 years.

China’s gross domestic product will grow 4% in the first quarter, according to the median of 18 forecasts since Jan. 31. That’s down from 5.9% in the last survey on Jan. 22 and the lowest level since 1990.

Chinese City to Start Subsidizing Car Purchases (5:57 p.m. HK)

The southern Chinese city of Foshan will start providing rebates for car purchases starting March 1. Consumers who trade in old models will be entitled to 3,000 yuan ($430) of subsidies while buyers who opt for new cars are entitled to 2,000 yuan per vehicle.

President Xi Jinping has urged local governments to help boost auto sales, according to a speech by him carried on Qiushi Journal, the Communist Party’s top publication on Saturday.

Singapore Issues Stricter Rules for China Returnees (5:34 p.m. HK)

Singapore residents or long-term pass holders returning from mainland China must stay in their homes at all times for 14 days and closely monitor their own health, under stricter guidelines issued today.

Macau Casinos Allowed to Reopen (5:30 p.m. HK)

Casinos in the world’s biggest gambling hub will be able to resume operations on Thursday, following an unprecedented closure for 15 days to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Lei Wai Nong, secretary for economy and finance in the Chinese territory of Macau, said casinos can reopen Feb. 20, though it will be conditional based on criteria that he didn’t specify.

Macau closed casinos for a 15-day period that began Feb. 5, in the longest shutdown ever for the world’s biggest gambling hub. MGM said it’s losing $1.5 million a day in Macau, while Wynn Resorts Ltd. said it is losing about $2.5 million a day.

Earlier, Sands China President Wilfred Wong told Cable TV he expects few customers when casinos first re-open, and believes it will take two-to-three months before business can return to normal.

China May Delay Annual CPPCC Meeting: CCTV (5:09 p.m. HK)

Beijing is studying a proposal to delay the annual session of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the nation’s political advisory body, state-run China Central Television reported.

This follows an official Xinhua report that said China is considering delaying the annual session of the National People’s Congress, its most high-profile annual political meeting, for the first time in decades. The two meetings were originally scheduled to start early March.

Japan Says 99 New Infections From Cruise Ship (5:05 p.m. HK)

Japan said 99 more people from the Diamond Princess cruise tested positive for the new coronavirus, bringing the total number of infections to 454.

A pair of aircraft chartered by the U.S. State Department took off early Monday to bring home Americans from the ship. Australia and Hong Kong will also use chartered flights to evacuate citizens and permanent residents who have been stranded on the ship.

Cathay Pacific Warns on Results (4:45 p.m. HK)

First-half financial results will be “significantly down” from a year earlier, Cathay Chief Customer and Commercial Officer Ronald Lam said in a statement. Cathay is particularly exposed to the virus because sales from Hong Kong and China account for about half of its total revenue.

Separately, China’s three largest airlines reported declines in January passenger traffic because of the coronavirus outbreak, with the shortfalls likely to deepen this month as the epidemic continues to disrupt travel for millions of people. Airlines began suspending flights from about Jan. 23 after the government began locking down Wuhan and other Chinese cities.

U.S. Factories in China Don’t Have Enough Staff (3:57 p.m. HK)

Most U.S. factories in China’s manufacturing hub around Shanghai will be back at work this week, but the “severe” shortage of workers due to the coronavirus will hit production and global supply chains, according to the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai.

While about 90% of the 109 U.S. manufacturers in the Yangtze River delta expect to resume production this week, 78% of them said they don’t have sufficient staff to run at full speed, according to a survey by AmCham.

Beijing Auto Show Delayed (3:48 p.m. HK)

China’s annual auto show, scheduled to be held in Beijing in April, will be pushed back because of the coronavirus outbreak. The new dates will be announced later, the organizer said in a statement on Monday.

Taiwan Scours Taxi Driver’s Data to Trace Virus Path (12:44 p.m. HK)

Health authorities in Taiwan are scouring travel histories, phone records and security camera footage in an effort to map out everyone who came into contact with a taxi driver who became Taiwan’s first confirmed death from the coronavirus.

The victim, a man in his 60s from central Taiwan who died Saturday, had not recently traveled overseas and had no recorded contact with any of the 19 other people diagnosed with the coronavirus in Taiwan, according to a statement from Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control.

Singapore, Thailand Cuts Growth Outlooks (12:32 p.m. HK)

Singapore and Thailand downgraded their forecasts for economic growth this year as the coronavirus outbreak hits tourism and trade.

Singapore’s Ministry of Trade & Industry projected growth in a range of -0.5% to 1.5% in 2020, compared with a previous estimate of 0.5% to 2.5%. The city state, which has more than 70 cases of virus infections, is losing as many as 20,000 tourists a day amid travel curbs.

Growth in Thailand is seen in a range of 1.5%-2.5% this year, down from a previous projection of 2.7%-3.7%, the National Economic and Social Development Council said.

Bridgewater, Dalio Donate $10 Million for Virus Fight (12:27 p.m. HK)

Billionaire Ray Dalio’s family charity and his hedge fund Bridgewater Associates LP are donating $10 million to help support China’s coronavirus relief efforts. The money will go to Peking University First Hospital, Union Hospital for Clinical Care and three medical teams led by academics in Wuhan, the world’s largest hedge fund said in an emailed statement Monday.

Nintendo Is Likely to Suffer Global Switch Shortages (12:21 p.m. HK)

Nintendo Co. is likely to struggle to supply sufficient Switch consoles to its U.S. and European markets as soon as April due to a production bottleneck caused by the coronavirus outbreak, according to people with knowledge of the company’s supply chain.

China Stocks Rebound From Sell-off (10:13 a.m. HK)

China’s stock benchmark recouped all its losses from a record $720 billion sell-off earlier this month, a sign that investor confidence is improving after policy makers acted to ease the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.

China’s government has pumped cash into the financial system, trimmed money-market rates and offered targeted tax cuts. Beijing will also allow local governments to sell another 848 billion yuan ($121 billion) of debt before March, as authorities seek to offset the economic shock of the coronavirus.

Coronavirus Cases Top 70,000 (9:13 a.m. HK)

China reported 2,048 additional coronavirus cases by the end of Feb. 16, bringing the total case count to 70,548, according to a statement from National Health Commission.

China’s Hubei province reported 1,933 additional confirmed cases. While that’s slightly higher than a day earlier, it’s in line with a lower trend over the past several days. The province announced a stunning 15,000 new cases on Thursday after revising its method for counting infections.

The death toll in China increased by 105 to 1,770. More than 10,000 patients have been discharged so far. There are now five fatalities outside of mainland China, after France and Taiwan reported deaths over the weekend.

--With assistance from Abeer Abu Omar, Ryan Beene, Dong Lyu, Jing Jin, Cindy Wang, K. Oanh Ha, Isabel Reynolds, Tony Czuczka, April Ma, Takashi Mochizuki, Suttinee Yuvejwattana, Siraphob Thanthong-Knight, Natalie Lung, Jason Scott, Shawn Donnan and Vince Golle.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Steve Geimann in Washington at sgeimann@bloomberg.net;Karen Leigh in Hong Kong at kleigh4@bloomberg.net;Drew Armstrong in New York at darmstrong17@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rachel Chang at wchang98@bloomberg.net, ;Adveith Nair at anair29@bloomberg.net, Jeff Sutherland, Anne Pollak

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