Please find this week’s edition of Weekly Digest attached.
As of the latest numbers, confirmed cases of the coronavirus now stand at 87,137 globally. While the infection rate in China appears contained, the number of new daily cases globally ex China climbed steeply. Encouragingly the latest data point shows a drop in the number of new cases outside of China.
Outside of China the number of new infections is growing at 16% per day, down from 20%.
The Chinese CDC has released their estimates of case fatality rates for Covid-19. The elderly have been particularly hard hit. The fatality rate for people over the age of 80 is 15%. For those below 40 it is 0.2%. Having another major health issue (cancer, heart diseases etc.) materially raises the mortality rate. The fatality rate is significantly above that of seasonal flu.
Elsewhere Pete Buttigeig announced that he would pull out of the contest for the Democratic nomination, after his poor performance in South Carolina. This leaves five contenders, of which two (Sanders and Bloomberg) are aged 78, one (Biden) is 77 (all three older than President Trump), one is 70 (Warren) and one a youthful 59 (Klobuchar). Little reaction thus far detected in the FX markets, as Mr Buttigeig was not the bookies’ favourite. Investor (and pollster) attention will switch to super Tuesday, as 14 states hold their primaries. The delegate votes from these states represent slightly more than one-third of all the US count.
This week will still contain a number of corporate results announcements, though focus will be more on the trading outlook than historic results: in the UK capital goods companies such as Ashtead, Melrose and Rotork are due to report, with Aviva and Schroders also expected. In economic releases, we are due PMI numbers from across Europe, the US and the UK, whilst on Friday the US will unveil the February non-farm payrolls figures.