COVID-19 News

  • Hong Kong will be relaxing even more social-distancing rules on May 19 despite the fluctuating daily number of COVID-19 cases. The government has hinted that they may further ease restrictions ahead of celebrations marking the 25th anniversary of the city’s handover on July 1.
  • China has said it will impose tight restrictions on “non-essential” overseas travel for its citizens to help contain the worst coronavirus outbreak the country has seen in the past two years.
  • The United States will share technologies used to make COVID-19 vaccines through the World Health Organization and is working to expand rapid testing and antiviral treatments for hard-to-reach populations, President Joe Biden said on Thursday.

Global News Highlights

  • The UK economy unexpectedly contracted in March as the cost of living forced consumers to cut back on spending, throwing doubt on the Bank of England’s ability to keep hiking interest rates and piling pressure on Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government to respond.
  • Australian consumer sentiment tumbled this month to the lowest level since August 2020 as a combination of rising cost of living pressures and the prospect of faster interest-rate increase affected households.
  • New Zealand Finance Minister Grant Robertson said there is always a risk of a hard landing for the economy but pushed back against concerns about a 2023 recession.

Asia News Highlights

  • Hong Kong's economy will likely shrink through the first half of the year as pandemic restrictions and rising global interest rates weigh on a city that has already warned such pressures will force it to revisit its official annual growth forecast.
  • China will likely report the weakest monthly economic indicators since the outbreak of the pandemic two years ago, putting pressure on the central bank to boost stimulus to support growth.
  • Malaysia's economy grew at a faster-than-expected pace in the first quarter of the year, vindicating the central bank’s hawkish pivot to fight inflationary pressures.

World 2.0

  • A top official at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) signalled on Thursday that stricter rules around crypto stablecoins could be drawing closer. Cryptocurrency markets have an overall value of about $1 trillion this week amid the collapse of the stablecoin TerraUSD and a destabilising plunge in Tether, currently the world's largest stablecoin by market cap.
  • Chinese technology remains in place throughout America – including in some surprising places. It’s been three years since US officials sounded the alarm: Citing national security threats, the White House, Congress and federal agencies began ordering that certain Chinese-made equipment had to be ripped out from telecommunications and security networks.
  • Chinese funds with a climate focus more than doubled their assets last year, passing the U.S. as the second-largest global market and bolstering Beijing’s push to meet its net-zero targets.

Latest COVID-19 Cases

    United States84,066,379 cases
    629,221 new cases
    up 0.75% on last Friday
    1,026,109 deaths
    reported to date
    66.40% fully
    vaccinated to date
    United Kingdom22,159,615 cases
    56,632 new cases
    up 0.26% on last Friday
    193,713 deaths
    reported to date
    86.60% fully
    vaccinated to date
    Hong Kong1,207,665 cases
    1,948 new cases
    up 0.16% on last Friday
    9,356 deaths
    reported to date
    84.60% fully
    vaccinated to date
    Singapore1,232,559 cases
    23,642 new cases
    up 1.96% on last Friday
    1,361 deaths
    reported to date
    92.00% fully
    vaccinated to date
    India43,116,600 cases
    22,052 new cases
    up 0.05% on last Friday
    524,190 deaths
    reported to date
    72.24% fully
    vaccinated to date
    Brazil30,639,130 cases
    114,947 new cases
    up 0.38% on last Friday
    664,700 deaths
    reported to date
    77.12% fully
    vaccinated to date
    China221,289 cases
    2,344 new cases
    up 1.07% on last Friday
    5,205 deaths
    reported to date
    89.04% fully
    vaccinated to date
    Australia6,501,329 cases
    340,301 new cases
    up 5.52% on last Friday
    7,721 deaths
    reported to date
    95.00% fully
    vaccinated to date
    Globally519,800,036 cases
    3,901,464 new cases
    up 0.76% on last Friday
    6,284,672 deaths
    reported to date
    61.00% fully
    vaccinated to date