Gold Prices Mixed On Profit-taking

German unemployment to rise beyond 3 million in 2020: IAB

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – German unemployment is set to rise by around 520,000 and exceed 3 million this year, the IAB labour market research institute said on Friday, as the coronavirus pandemic puts strain on the economy and more people out of work.

In a research paper published on Friday, the institute said it expected Germany’s economic output to shrink by 8.4% in 2020 as a result of the epidemic, making it the worst recession since World War 2.

Real gross domestic product(GDP) fell by 14.6% in the second quarter, IAB said.

Ramadan begins: Holy month affected by global virus outbreak

As Muslims around the world begin to observe Ramadan by fasting the virus pandemic is altering religious traditions.

From Bamako to Baghdad, Muslims have traditionally broken the day’s fast during Ramadan with a shared meal.

But in the age of social distancing and tight restrictions many of the communal rituals will not be observed this year.

Al Jazeera’s Hashem Ahelbarra reports.

EU leaders agree to unite on economic recovery

Europe is bracing for the kind of economic damage that has not been seen for more than 50 years.

The full extent of the damage the coronavirus pandemic has caused the European Union economies will not be revealed for months.

But EU leaders are preparing for an economic slump, the likes of which has not been seen since World War II.

The European Commission has suggested a $325bn recovery fund for its forthcoming budget as well as borrowing another $350bn from capital markets.

Al Jazeera’s Sonia Gallego reports.

Rapid V-shaped recovery from coronavirus unlikely for German economy – Ifo

BERLIN, April 24 (Reuters) – The German economy will see signs of recovery from mid-year at the earliest, an economist at the Ifo institute said on Friday, adding that any recovery from a recession sparked by the coronavirus pandemic would likely not be a V-shaped one. Ifo, whose business climate index for April fell to a record low, said the Germany economy was experiencing its toughest time since reunification almost 30 years ago. (Reporting by Klaus Lauer Writing by Joseph Nasr Editing by Michelle Martin)

Stock Alert: Netflix

Media-services provider Netflix Inc. (NFLX) is perhaps one of the major beneficiaries of the current shutdown necessitated by the novel coronavirus.

As of April 2020, Netflix, whose primary business is subscription-based streaming service, has over 182 million paid members worldwide.

Netflix has added 15.8 million paid members in the first quarter, almost double from the same period last year. This significant outperfomance was attributed to higher viewing by the people who are confined to homes. The streaming service expects to add another 7.5 million members in the second quarter. It has added nearly 2,000 customer service agents to keep the service unaffected while swelling demand.

However, the pandemic has almost stalled Netflix’s original productions around the world.

“We expect viewing to decline and membership growth to decelerate as home confinement ends, which we hope is soon,” Reed Hastings, CEO said in a letter to investors.

For the second quarter, the company expects EPS to be $1.81 on revenue of $6.048 billion. On average, 38 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect earnings of $1.79 per share on revenues of $6.07 billion.

On April 21, Netflix had reported its first-quarter results with revenue increase to $5.768 billion from $4.521 billion last year. Earnings of $1.57 per share, however, missed the consensus at $1.65 per share.

From mid-March, Netflix shares have been climbing with more than 40% growth. Thursday, the stock was up $5.28 or 1.25% before closing at $426.70. It has recorded a 52- week high of $449.52 last week.

Portland General Electric Company Reports Advance In Q1 Profit

Portland General Electric Company (POR) reported earnings for its first quarter that advanced from the same period last year.

The company’s earnings came in at $81 million, or $0.91 per share. This compares with $73 million, or $0.82 per share, in last year’s first quarter.

Analysts had expected the company to earn $0.90 per share, according to figures compiled by Thomson Reuters. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items.

Revenue held steady at $573 million

Portland General Electric Company earnings at a glance:

-Earnings (Q1): $81 Mln. vs. $73 Mln. last year.
-EPS (Q1): $0.91 vs. $0.82 last year.
-Analysts Estimate: $0.90
-Revenue (Q1): $573 Mln vs. $573 Mln last year.

-Guidance:
Full year EPS guidance: $2.20 – $2.50

Gold Prices Mixed On Profit-taking

Gold prices were mixed on Friday as investors booked some profits after a 1 percent rise in the previous session.

Spot gold edged down 0.15 percent to $1,728.91 per ounce, but was up nearly 2 percent for the week. U.S. gold futures were up half a percent at $1,753.20 per ounce.

Providing some support for gold was weak U.S. labor market data released overnight and the news that a potential antiviral drug for the coronavirus reportedly failed in its first randomized clinical trial.

Data released on Thursday showed that U.S. jobless claims remained at a substantially elevated level in the week ended April 18th due to the coronavirus-induced economic shutdown, but have slid steadily since reaching a record high of 6.867 million in the week ended March 28th.

Media reports suggested that Gilead Sciences Inc’s experimental coronavirus drug failed its first randomized clinical trial. The company, however, said the study was unable to provide statistically meaningful conclusions due to low enrollment.

Meanwhile, European Union leaders again failed to reach an agreement over the structure of an economic recovery fund to tackle the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde reportedly told the meeting that the European Union’s economy could shrink by as much as 15 percent this year as a result of slow decision making.