France stocks lower at close of trade; CAC 40 down 1.57% By Investing.com


© Reuters. France stocks lower at close of trade; CAC 40 down 1.57%

Investing.com – France stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the , and sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Paris, the declined 1.57%, while the index fell 1.67%.

The best performers of the session on the were Carrefour SA (PA:), which rose 6.08% or 0.86 points to trade at 15.09 at the close. Meanwhile, Publicis Groupe SA (PA:) added 4.22% or 1.10 points to end at 27.16 and Sanofi SA (PA:) was up 2.37% or 1.88 points to 81.36 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were WFD Unibail Rodamco NV (AS:), which fell 9.05% or 4.50 points to trade at 45.22 at the close. Safran SA (PA:) declined 8.16% or 5.60 points to end at 63.00 and Societe Generale SA (PA:) was down 8.15% or 1.14 points to 12.80.

The top performers on the SBF 120 were Carrefour SA (PA:) which rose 6.08% to 15.09, Tarkett (PA:) which was up 5.94% to settle at 9.01 and Eutelsat Communications SA (PA:) which gained 4.47% to close at 9.62.

The worst performers were Natixis (PA:) which was down 18.72% to 1.84 in late trade, CNP Assurances SA (PA:) which lost 9.53% to settle at 8.07 and WFD Unibail Rodamco NV (AS:) which was down 9.05% to 45.22 at the close.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Paris Stock Exchange by 348 to 230 and 72 ended unchanged.

Shares in WFD Unibail Rodamco NV (AS:) fell to 5-year lows; falling 9.05% or 4.50 to 45.22. Shares in Societe Generale SA (PA:) fell to 5-year lows; down 8.15% or 1.14 to 12.80. Shares in WFD Unibail Rodamco NV (AS:) fell to 5-year lows; falling 9.05% or 4.50 to 45.22.

The , which measures the implied volatility of CAC 40 options, was up 3.16% to 43.18.

Gold Futures for June delivery was up 0.44% or 7.15 to $1644.85 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in May rose 6.71% or 1.70 to hit $27.02 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract rose 9.49% or 2.84 to trade at $32.78 a barrel.

EUR/USD was down 0.62% to 1.0789, while EUR/GBP rose 0.75% to 0.8824.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.60% at 100.875.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



France stocks higher at close of trade; CAC 40 up 0.33% By Investing.com


© Reuters. France stocks higher at close of trade; CAC 40 up 0.33%

Investing.com – France stocks were higher after the close on Thursday, as gains in the , and sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Paris, the added 0.33%, while the index added 0.44%.

The best performers of the session on the were Peugeot SA (PA:), which rose 4.26% or 0.48 points to trade at 11.86 at the close. Meanwhile, Bouygues SA (PA:) added 4.02% or 0.98 points to end at 25.35 and Publicis Groupe SA (PA:) was up 3.45% or 0.87 points to 26.06 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Dassault Systemes SE (PA:), which fell 5.10% or 6.75 points to trade at 125.70 at the close. Capgemini SE (PA:) declined 4.51% or 3.32 points to end at 70.30 and Accor SA (PA:) was down 4.05% or 0.97 points to 23.00.

The top performers on the SBF 120 were CGG SA (PA:) which rose 20.63% to 1.008, TechnipFMC PLC (PA:) which was up 15.40% to settle at 6.83 and Vallourec (PA:) which gained 15.10% to close at 1.170.

The worst performers were Natixis (PA:) which was down 11.74% to 2.27 in late trade, Quadient SA (PA:) which lost 9.03% to settle at 14.10 and SEB SA (PA:) which was down 7.31% to 107.70 at the close.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Paris Stock Exchange by 303 to 271 and 74 ended unchanged.

The , which measures the implied volatility of CAC 40 options, was down 6.57% to 41.85.

Gold Futures for June delivery was up 2.83% or 45.00 to $1636.40 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in May rose 24.32% or 4.94 to hit $25.25 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract rose 22.23% or 5.50 to trade at $30.24 a barrel.

EUR/USD was down 1.10% to 1.0841, while EUR/GBP fell 0.98% to 0.8768.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.61% at 100.360.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



France stocks lower at close of trade; CAC 40 down 4.30% By Investing.com


© Reuters. France stocks lower at close of trade; CAC 40 down 4.30%

Investing.com – France stocks were lower after the close on Wednesday, as losses in the , and sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Paris, the fell 4.30%, while the index lost 4.10%.

The best performers of the session on the were Vivendi SA (PA:), which rose 2.07% or 0.41 points to trade at 19.93 at the close. Meanwhile, Total SA (PA:) fell 0.54% or 0.19 points to end at 35.20 and Pernod Ricard SA (PA:) was down 0.66% or 0.85 points to 128.60 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Safran SA (PA:), which fell 16.45% or 13.18 points to trade at 66.96 at the close. Airbus Group SE (PA:) declined 12.03% or 7.14 points to end at 52.20 and Vinci SA (PA:) was down 11.06% or 8.34 points to 67.06.

The top performers on the SBF 120 were Ipsen SA (PA:) which rose 6.72% to 50.35, Biomerieux SA (PA:) which was up 5.65% to settle at 108.40 and Lagardere SCA (PA:) which gained 5.22% to close at 12.10.

The worst performers were Safran SA (PA:) which was down 16.45% to 66.96 in late trade, Natixis (PA:) which lost 13.31% to settle at 2.57 and Coface (PA:) which was down 12.31% to 5.13 at the close.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Paris Stock Exchange by 403 to 180 and 68 ended unchanged.

Shares in Biomerieux SA (PA:) rose to all time highs; gaining 5.65% or 5.80 to 108.40.

The , which measures the implied volatility of CAC 40 options, was up 3.91% to 44.80.

Gold Futures for June delivery was down 0.02% or 0.35 to $1596.25 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in May fell 1.12% or 0.23 to hit $20.25 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract fell 6.07% or 1.60 to trade at $24.75 a barrel.

EUR/USD was down 0.94% to 1.0925, while EUR/GBP fell 0.74% to 0.8813.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.64% at 99.722.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Denmark stocks higher at close of trade; OMX Copenhagen 20 up 3.57% By Investing.com


© Reuters. Denmark stocks higher at close of trade; OMX Copenhagen 20 up 3.57%

Investing.com – Denmark stocks were higher after the close on Monday, as gains in the , and sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Copenhagen, the added 3.57%.

The best performers of the session on the were Royal Unibrew A/S (CSE:), which rose 7.04% or 30 points to trade at 464 at the close. Meanwhile, Novo Nordisk A/S Class B (CSE:) added 5.77% or 22.1 points to end at 404.9 and Carlsberg A/S B (CSE:) was up 4.76% or 34.2 points to 753.0 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Pandora A/S (CSE:), which fell 1.56% or 3.4 points to trade at 214.6 at the close. Lundbeck A/S (CSE:) declined 1.08% or 2.1 points to end at 192.9 and Danske Bank A/S (CSE:) was down 0.86% or 0.6 points to 73.4.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange by 83 to 50 and 16 ended unchanged.

Crude oil for May delivery was down 5.86% or 1.26 to $20.25 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in June fell 6.37% or 1.78 to hit $26.17 a barrel, while the June Gold Futures contract fell 0.56% or 9.25 to trade at $1644.85 a troy ounce.

USD/DKK was up 1.12% to 6.7767, while EUR/DKK rose 0.06% to 7.4681.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.76% at 99.290.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



McDonald’s to temporarily close all UK, Ireland restaurants amid coronavirus outbreak


FILE PHOTO: A man leaves a McDonald’s restaurant in London as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in London, Britain, March 18, 2020. REUTERS/John Sibley

(Reuters) – McDonald’s Corp (MCD.N) said on Sunday it would temporarily close all its restaurants in the UK and Ireland by Monday evening because of the coronavirus outbreak.

“We have taken the difficult decision to close all McDonald’s restaurants in UK and Ireland by 7pm on Monday 23rd March at the latest”, the company said in a tweet.

Restaurants have been forced to shut doors or limit service to delivery and takeaway in many parts of the world in efforts to curb the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus.

In China, the epicenter of the virus, McDonald’s has reopened 95% of its restaurants, Chief Executive Officer Chris Kempczinski said on Friday.

Separately, the fast-food chain has suspended share buybacks to help it navigate through the crisis, but has not changed its dividend policy.

Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Cooney



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Already retired, or close to it? How to think about volatility in perilous times


CHICAGO (Reuters) – The breathtaking coronavirus-induced plunge of the stock market has unnerved retirement investors of all ages, but it poses special risks for people close to, or already retired. Unlike younger workers with many years ahead of earning and saving, older investors are less able to fall back on income from work and may have less ability to wait out their losses.

FILE PHOTO: A test tube labelled with the coronavirus is seen in front of U.S. dollar banknotes, in this illustration taken on March 1, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo

How should older investors think about their portfolios now? In one sense, this is the wrong question. A much bigger concern is uncertainty about the resilience of the economy as major sectors grind to a halt as we fight the virus. Still, here are some big-picture thoughts about portfolios from the experts, and some tactical moves to consider.

First, think of the big picture, said Allan Roth, a CFP and head of Wealth Logic in Colorado Springs, Colorado. 

“Markets going down for the last three and a half weeks is statistically rare, but 11 years of a bull market? This is the first time that has happened, so it’s the larger perspective that matters.”

“People are working toward financial independence, and suddenly, the market goes way down in a very fast, shocking manner,” Roth added. “So the natural instinct is not acting out of fear, but to protect what’s left – ‘I would love to get out of the market now, it would make me feel so much better.’ And my logic tells me it’s the absolute wrong thing to do.”

And in this moment, it is critical to understand the difference between volatility and risk.

Volatility is what you will always experience from time to time in the stock market. Risk, on the other hand, is about uncertainty, and the fact that we cannot predict the future. And there is risk in any investment.

For example, selling off your portfolio and stuffing your mattress with cash carries the risk that inflation will erode the value of your savings – sharply – over time. If inflation continues at a 2% annual pace, cash will lose half its value over a 25-year period.

REBALANCING

Roth is a big fan of rebalancing your portfolio periodically. This keeps you on track with whatever equity-fixed income allocation you have determined is right for you. But it also can improve returns over time, because it lets you run against the market herd without even thinking about it – when stocks surge, you are selling a bit toward the top of the market; when they drop, you are buying the dip.

Roth calculates that an all-stock portfolio so far this century (through the end of February, using total market index funds, two-thirds U.S. and one-third international) has enjoyed a 4.98% annualized return, while a balanced portfolio (60% stocks, 40% bonds) earned 5.36%.

TARGET ALLOCATIONS 

For retirees, how much of that allocation should go to equities? If you are looking for a proxy on how professional money managers think about that question, look no further than target date funds, which automatically reduce participants’ exposure to stocks as retirement approaches. Target date funds have become dominant favorites in 401(k) plans in recent years, and a growing number of participants are keeping them in retirement, either by staying in their workplace plans or using them in rollover IRAs.

Fidelity Investments’ target date series hold 51% equity at the point of retirement – an allocation that the firm decreased by 3.5% two years ago. And last year, it boosted global diversification within the equity portion of its portfolio.

Along with stocks, the funds hold 41% in bonds and 8% in cash equivalents.

The balance between equities, bonds and cash differs somewhat among the three largest target date fund providers, depending very much on their view of the primary goals for retirees. That reflects a Fidelity view that diversification – including cash – is critical. 

“We think investors at the point of retirement are thinking mainly about the balance of risks that they’re likely to experience in the future,” said Andrew Dierdorf, one of Fidelity’s target date fund portfolio managers. “Our goal is to help them maintain their standard of living in retirement.”

That means retired investors will need to achieve returns from equities over the long run, especially since they may well live an additional 20 or 30 years, he notes. But the diminished ability to earn income from work – an income stream that generally behaves like income from bonds would – points to the need for diversification, he adds.

T. Rowe Price has a more aggressive approach. In February, it adjusted the glide path of its retirement funds target date series, with the equities allocation gradually falling to 30% at the end point (30 years after retirement), up from 20% earlier. Investors in this series hold 55% in equities at the initial point of retirement.

The higher equity allocation reflects the saving shortfalls of most investors and rising longevity, notes Wyatt Lee, head of target date strategies for the firm. “We can’t fully invest our way out of a savings problem,” he said. “But by maintaining a reasonable level of growth over the long term, we can continue to help support that income stream – even if it means more short-term volatility.” 

For more on how retirees should think about market risk, check out my podcast this week. bit.ly/2IZbBwk

Reporting by Mark Miller in Chicago; Editing by Matthew Lewis



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Japan stocks lower at close of trade; Nikkei 225 down 1.04% By Investing.com


© Reuters. Japan stocks lower at close of trade; Nikkei 225 down 1.04%

Investing.com – Japan stocks were lower after the close on Thursday, as losses in the , and sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Tokyo, the lost 1.04% to hit a new 3-years low.

The best performers of the session on the were J.Front Retailing Co., Ltd. (T:), which rose 15.91% or 127.0 points to trade at 925.0 at the close. Meanwhile, Concordia Financial Group Ltd (T:) added 13.62% or 38.0 points to end at 317.0 and Unitika, Ltd. (T:) was up 13.28% or 32.0 points to 273.0 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding (T:), which fell 17.51% or 80.0 points to trade at 377.0 at the close. Softbank Group Corp. (T:) declined 17.22% or 559.0 points to end at 2687.0 and Suzuki Motor Corp. (T:) was down 13.97% or 400.5 points to 2465.5.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Tokyo Stock Exchange by 2168 to 1525 and 104 ended unchanged.

Shares in Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding (T:) fell to all time lows; losing 17.51% or 80.0 to 377.0. Shares in Softbank Group Corp. (T:) fell to 5-year lows; down 17.22% or 559.0 to 2687.0. Shares in Suzuki Motor Corp. (T:) fell to 5-year lows; falling 13.97% or 400.5 to 2465.5.

The , which measures the implied volatility of Nikkei 225 options, was unchanged 0.00% to 56.12.

Crude oil for May delivery was up 11.04% or 2.30 to $23.13 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in May rose 5.10% or 1.27 to hit $26.15 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract rose 0.46% or 6.75 to trade at $1484.65 a troy ounce.

USD/JPY was up 1.04% to 109.19, while EUR/JPY rose 0.72% to 118.78.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.28% at 101.825.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Investor Ackman tweets to Trump: Close down the country


BOSTON (Reuters) – Billionaire investor William Ackman, who has long worried about the serious risks posed by the novel coronavirus, called on the Trump administration on Wednesday to seal off the United States for a month in a bid to curb the outbreak.

FILE PHOTO: William ‘Bill’ Ackman, CEO and Portfolio Manager of Pershing Square Capital Management, speaks during the Sohn Investment Conference in New York City, U.S., May 8, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

“The only answer is to shut down the country for the next 30 days and close the borders,” Ackman said in a post on Twitter, adding: “Tell all Americans that you are putting us on an extended Spring Break at home with family.”

Ackman, who has some 31,000 Twitter followers but rarely sends tweets, stepped on to President Donald Trump’s preferred communication platform to reach the administration and the country with his plan for proposed action. His tweets have been liked and retweeted hundreds of times in the last hour.

“The moment you send everyone home for Spring Break and close the borders, the infection rate will plummet, the stock market will soar and the clouds will lift,” Ackman said in a second tweet.

The manager, who has ties to top banking and money management executives around the world and has attended U.S. central bank investor advisory committee meetings on financial markets, does not have any special relationships with the Trump administration and has not reached out to anyone behind the scenes, a person who knows him said.

Rather, he feels it is urgent for citizens like him to appeal to the government now to take more forceful action, the person said.

Stocks on Wall Street were set to dive anew at the open even after having rebounded on Tuesday from Monday’s sharp decline.

Ackman, who runs $6.5 billion investment firm Pershing Square Capital Management from New York, has already followed his own advice and moved his family, including parents, out of the city several weeks ago.

The manager has said privately that he spends a lot of time thinking about so-called black swan events and began worrying about the coronavirus’ potentially catastrophic effects on public health and the economy many weeks ago.

In an effort to protect his portfolio, Ackman told investors last week that he had put on a hedge, steps that helped returns swing to gains in early March from losses in late February.

Last year, Ackman’s publicly traded hedge fund surged 58%, making it one of the industry’s best performers. Earlier this year, he sold off a position in Starbucks before the coffee chain’s stock tumbled some 34% amid warnings for people to avoid restaurants, bars, and coffee shops.

Ackman has traditionally sided with Democrats and supported Senator Cory Booker and former South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg’s runs for the White House, but he has never been shy about broadcasting his views to the Trump administration on the need to shore up infrastructure or push for corporate tax reform.

Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by Steve Orlofsky and Bernadette Baum



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Japan stocks lower at close of trade; Nikkei 225 down 1.68% By Investing.com


© Reuters. Japan stocks lower at close of trade; Nikkei 225 down 1.68%

Investing.com – Japan stocks were lower after the close on Wednesday, as losses in the , and sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Tokyo, the fell 1.68% to hit a new 3-years low.

The best performers of the session on the were Fujifilm Holdings Corp. (T:), which rose 15.43% or 700.0 points to trade at 5238.0 at the close. Meanwhile, Showa Denko K.K. (T:) added 11.73% or 203.0 points to end at 1933.0 and Tokai Carbon Co., Ltd. (T:) was up 11.54% or 84.0 points to 812.0 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Softbank Group Corp. (T:), which fell 10.90% or 397.0 points to trade at 3246.0 at the close. Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding (T:) declined 9.15% or 46.0 points to end at 457.0 and JGC Corp. (T:) was down 9.09% or 78.0 points to 780.0.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Tokyo Stock Exchange by 2046 to 1629 and 107 ended unchanged.

Shares in Softbank Group Corp. (T:) fell to 5-year lows; losing 10.90% or 397.0 to 3246.0. Shares in Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding (T:) fell to all time lows; losing 9.15% or 46.0 to 457.0. Shares in JGC Corp. (T:) fell to 5-year lows; down 9.09% or 78.0 to 780.0.

The , which measures the implied volatility of Nikkei 225 options, was unchanged 0.00% to 56.63.

Crude oil for May delivery was down 1.94% or 0.53 to $26.80 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in May fell 1.11% or 0.32 to hit $28.41 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract fell 0.92% or 14.00 to trade at $1511.80 a troy ounce.

USD/JPY was down 0.48% to 107.16, while EUR/JPY fell 0.35% to 117.97.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.12% at 99.688.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Apple to close retail stores worldwide, except Greater China, Verizon to close some U.S. stores


(Reuters) – Apple Inc (AAPL.O) said it is closing all its retail stores, except those in Greater China, for the next two weeks to minimize the risk of coronavirus transmission.

Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ.N) meanwhile said it was temporarily closing “a number of its stores” across the United States in order to expand its work from home policy to include some of its retail employees.

The announcements escalated the global response to the outbreak, as most major retailers have kept stores open so far.

“We will be closing all of our retail stores outside of Greater China until March 27,” Apple CEO Tim Cook wrote in a letter apple.co/2w768jZ posted on the company’s website late on Friday.

Apple reopened all 42 of its branded stores in China on Friday as the number of new cases fell in the country where the coronavirus outbreak originated.

Some 153,000 people have been infected around the world and 5,788 have died, according to a Reuters tally.

Retailers are bracing for a blow to sales as virus-wary shoppers in Europe and the United States stay home. U.S. retailers including Macy’s Inc (M.N), Saks Fifth Avenue and Gap Inc.’s (GPS.N) Banana Republic sent notices to shoppers on Thursday saying they were open for business in a move to stem losses due to a steep decline in traffic.

FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a face mask walks past an Apple store in an upmarket shopping district in Beijing as the country is hit by an outbreak of the novel coronavirus, China, March 4, 2020. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

Apple’s hourly workers will continue to receive pay in alignment with business as usual operation, Cook said, and online sales will continue as usual.

“In all of our offices, we are moving to flexible work arrangements worldwide outside of Greater China,” he added. “That means team members should work remotely if their job allows.”

The company’s donations to the global coronavirus response, to help treat those who are sick and to help lessen the economic and community impacts, reached $15 million on Friday, Cook wrote in the letter.

Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; Writing by Rama Venkat and Caroline Stauffer; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan, Chizu Nomiyama and Daniel Wallis



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