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Coronavirus impact: financial markets face more turbulence

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Global financial markets can expect another rough ride in the week ahead as the Covid-19 virus continues to spread fear and uncertainty around the world.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on March 03, 2020 in New York City. stocks one again fell on Wall Street as global concerns over the financial impact from the Coronavirus drive investments down.

Strong jobs data encouraged Wall Street traders during a volatile week of trading.
Photo: AFP

Wall Street ended the week better than where it started, helped along by strong United States jobs data, which was captured before the virus began to take its toll on the global economic outlook.

New Zealand’s benchmark NZX Top 50 Index also recovered some of its early losses on Friday, to end down 1.8 percent, by 215 points to 11,426.

Brent crude oil slid to its biggest daily loss in more than 11 years after Russia balked at OPEC’s proposed steep production cuts to stabilise prices hit by economic fallout from the coronavirus, and OPEC responded by removing limits on its own production.

That drove Brent futures down 9.4 percent to $US45.27 ($NZ71.21) a barrel – the lowest closing price since June 2017.

The US dollar had one of its worse weeks in four years, which helped the Kiwi rise to 63.6 US cents, 95.6 Australian, and 48.7 British pence.

Craigs Investment Partners head of wealth research Mark Lister said the week ahead was unlikely to be any better than the one just ended.

“I think we will see a few more ups and downs and probably more downs than ups,” he said.

“Given it is such a difficult to predict situation, I think a lot of investors expect a bit more volatility and downside ahead and so they are just biding their time.”

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Stock market news live updates: Stocks trade lower as indices head for weekly losses – Yahoo Canada Finance

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Financial assistance on the way for struggling Iowa county fairs

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Clay County, IA (KUOO Radio) – Some assistance is being made available to fairs and expos in Iowa that were hit hard by the pandemic.

Governor Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Economic Development Authority have announced the state is allocating up to $6 Million in federal CARES Act funds through the Iowa County Fairs Relief Program.

Jeremy Parsons, General Manager of the Clay County Fair, says he was pleased to hear the announcement, adding they’ll be happy to get whatever assistance they can. “You know many aspects of our economy are slowly starting to come back on line through this COVID pandemic but one aspect is not. And that’s the live event business. And for us here at the Fair and Events Center when your whole livelihood depends on bringing people together, we can’t do curbside pickup, we can’t do online. You have to actually have people physically on the fairgrounds and so with COVID obviously we can’t do that, so it’s good recognition from the state that there’s some substantial financial losses occurring.”

Parsons says the the Clay County Fair lost about $3 Million when this year’s events were called off.

Clay County is independently raising funds through their “Save the Fair” efforts, and have so far brought in just over $1 Million dollars.

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Embattled financial company AMP confirms takeover bid from US company

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AMP has confirmed it has received a conditional takeover offer from US private equity firm Ares Management Corporation.

The 171-year-old financial company did not reveal how much was offered.

In a statement, AMP stressed the discussions were at a “very preliminary stage” and “there is no certainty that a transaction will eventuate”.

The non-binding bid comes almost two months after the company essentially advertised itself for sale, either as a whole, or broken apart into separate businesses.

In early September, AMP’s new chairman Debra Hazelton launched a strategic review of the company following the resignation of her predecessor David Murray over the board’s handling of sexual harassment complaints.

Amid the management upheaval, former Treasury secretary John Fraser resigned from his AMP directorship and Boe Pahari was demoted from his plum role as head of AMP Capital.

AMP customers pulled billions of dollars out of the company’s wealth management division in the wake of scandals unearthed at the 2018 banking royal commission.

The company also confirmed it had received “significant” interest in its assets and businesses from potential buyers.

In the meantime, AMP said it was assessing its options in a “considered and holistic manner” to maximise shareholder value.

AMP’s suitor, Ares, brands itself as an “alternative investment manager”.

Investors were clearly excited about the possibility of a foreign company breathing new life into the embattled financial firm.

AMP shares jumped (+21.7pc) to $1.56, by 12:50pm AEDT.

Based on its share price, AMP’s market value is around $5.3 billion.

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