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World Business Report


The latest business and finance news from around the world from the BBC

The latest business and finance news from around the world from the BBC


United Kingdom




The latest business and finance news from around the world from the BBC






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Update: US unemployment rises to 4.4%

Unemployment rose to 4.4% in March, up from a 50 year low of 3.5% in February; we hear more from Chris Low at FHN Financial


Coronavirus and the oil market

Coronavirus has had a big impact on the oil market and we ask what will happen next. The BBC's Andrew Walker puts recent falls in the oil price into context, and Justin Urquhart-Stewart, founder of Seven Investment Management discusses the impact it can have on business around the world. Meanwhile Simon Williams of the UK motoring organisation the RAC tells us what is going on with the price of petrol at the pump. Also in the programme, we consider the arguments around whether the European...


Update: Record numbers file unemployment claims in the US

More than 6.65 million people filed for unemployment benefits in the US last week; we speak to the BBC's Michelle Fleury. And Cary Leahey from Decision Economics brings us the latest from the financial markets.


Over 6 million Americans file for unemployment benefits

A record 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week as coronavirus spreads. The BBC's Michelle Fleury explains the significance of the latest figures. And Gene Barr, president of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry discusses how his members are coping in the downturn. The BBC's Justin Rowlatt explores the ongoing efforts to find a vaccine for Covid-19. Plus we hear from Michael Rubin of baseball kit company Fanatics how they've started making supplies for...


Update: Tobacco company working on coronavirus vaccine

British American Tobacco is working on a plant-based coronavirus vaccine. We hear from Kingsley Wheaton who's on the company's board. And we talk to Izzy Saralis-Wheatly, one of four zookeepers at Paradise Park in Cornwall in south west England who have decided to live with the parrots and other animals they look after until the coronavirus emergency is over. Plus, Susan Schmidt from Aviva Investors brings us the latest news from the financial markets.


Banks bow to pressure to scrap investor payouts

Several large UK banks have suspended dividend payments to shareholders to preserve cash. The move was requested by the Bank of England's Prudential Regulation Authority, and Russ Mould of the investment management firm A J Bell offers his analysis. In the US, big banks have said they will suspend share buybacks during the crisis. Randy Krozner is professor of economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and previously sat as a governor of the US Federal Reserve, and gives...


Update: US markets have worst ever first quarter

The Dow Jones and S&P 500 had their worst first-quarter performances ever with both falling more than 20% over the first three months of the year. We hear more from Joe Saluzzi at Themis Trading in New Jersey.


India's coronavirus migrant worker crisis

There have been desperate scenes in India as migrant workers head home under lockdown. In many places, the result has been transport jammed with people and luggage, which is extra perilous with the risk of a spreading virus. Those who haven't found transport have resorted to walking in many cases as much as hundreds of kilometres. Meena Kandasamy is a writer who divides her time between London and Chennai, and argues that those in power in New Delhi seem to have forgotten about the country's...


Update: Coronavirus causes boom in Kenyan fish sales

Kenyan fishermen have long noted that the low-cost imports were harming the country’s fishing industry. A month ago, one kilogram of Nile perch cost 250 shillings or about $2.50. Now, the price is up to $3.50


Coronavirus boosts gaming industry

Whilst many businesses suffer as a result of coronavirus, gaming is bucking the trend. Miles Jacobson is from Sports Interactive, the firm behind the Football Manager series of video games, and tells us why they recently decided to give the game away free for a limited period in the midst of the coronavirus crisis. We find out how all the additional gamers are impacting on internet bandwidth from Kyle Orland of the website Ars Technica. And Andy Robertson, who wrote the guide Taming Gaming,...


How is Africa coping with coronavirus?

Zimbabwe goes into lockdown and South Africans face supermarkets stripped of food. We get the latest from our correspondents in Harare and Johannesburg. Jumia is one of Africa's major online retailers. Its CEO Sacha Poignonnec tells us how the company is helping efforts to stem the spread of the disease.


Update: US markets slide as winning streak ends

The Dow Jones ended 4% lower as its winning steak came to a halt; we get analysis from Chris Low at FHN Financial. And the BBC's Marianna Spring tells us how to spot fake coronavirus news.


Signs of life in China's economy

We take the temperature of China's economy amid signs it is sputtering back into life. Herbert Lun is chief executive of Wing Sang Electrical in Shenzhen, and tells us how business is going. Meanwhile Benjamin Speyer, chief executive of technology consultancy Serica says that whilst restrictions have been lifted in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, there are still barriers to trade. Meanwhile, the managing director of the IMF has warned that the world is already in recession. Also in the...


Update: Record number of Americans file unemployment claims

Nearly 3.3 million people registered to claim jobless benefits for the week ended 21 March, according to Department of Labor data. That's nearly five times more than the previous record of 695,000 set in 1982. We hear from Cary Leahey at Decision Economics. In the UK, it's been announced that self-employed workers can apply for a grant worth 80% of their average monthly profits to help them cope with the financial impact of coronavirus. We get the details from Emma-Lou Montgomery of Fidelity...


G20 meets online to discuss coronavirus relief

As new US unemployment claims hit a record, the G20 met online to discuss a global rescue. Adam Posen is president of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, and advised UK prime minister Gordon Brown ahead of the historic G20 meeting in 2009 where leaders agreed to plough more than $1 trillion into the world economy. He tells us how effective the G20 might be in dealing with this crisis. Also in the programme, we examine the economic impact of widespread lockdowns around the...


Update: Another bumpy ride for financial markets

After an early surge, US market gains were pared back and closed only slightly higher. We hear more from Susan Schmidt at Aviva Investors in Chicago. Plus, Kenya's government has suspended international passenger flights, shut down bars and restricted restaurants to only take-aways. Our reporter Mercy Juma looks at how this is affecting the hospitality industry. And we speak to Juan Pablo Rosso, a news presenter on Colombian TV about the severity of the coronavirus outbreak in Columbia.


The challenge of working from home

As coronavirus forces more of us to work from home, we explore the challenges it poses. Daisy Upton is author of Five Minute Mum, and discusses how parents can combine work with looking after young children. Anita Douglas is an occupational psychologist and director of Leading Results, a learning and development company, and offers tips for coping with the solitary aspects of working from home. And Tim Bradshaw of Sandstone Communications tells us how managers can effectively lead their...


US on verge of new stimulus package

President Trump says Congress is on the verge of agreeing a massive new stimulus package; we hear more from Joe Saluzzi at Themis Trading in New Jersey. And India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said the government is imposing a nationwide lock down in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus; we speak to the BBC's Nikhil Inamdar.


Gender and coronavirus

We ask whether gender makes a difference to how the coronavirus pandemic could impact you. A junior doctor in the UK points out that there isn't enough of the smaller size personal protection equipment to protect against coronavirus, most typically used by females, in the country. Clare Wenham from the London School of Economics talks us through a project she is leading researching the gendered impact of this virus, and previous ones. Caroline Criado Perez is author of Invisible Women:...


Global stocks fall despite rescue efforts

We assess the latest infection rates for coronavirus and their impact on markets. Michael Hewson is chief market analyst for CMC Markets, and talks us through the latest moves, whilst the BBC's Theo Leggett discusses new central bank fiscal stimulus measures. Also in the programme, we take a look at the trade in wild animals, which has been seen as a possible source of the Covid-19 coronavirus spreading around the world, which originated in Wuhan, China. Peter Knights is chief executive of...