China orders 13 million Xi’an residents to stay home over Covid outbreak: officials

AFP are reporting that China has ordered some 13 million Xi’an residents to stay home over Covid outbreak

Not the sort of news that improving sentiment wants to hear.

China seems determined to stick to its faux ‘zero covid’ policies.

Xi’an this week began testing millions for COVID after the detection of more than 40 new cases raised concerns of wider transmission ahead of a busy travel season

German government makes billions from debt thanks to negative rates

In a sign of the times, Reuters is reporting that the German government made billions of euros from debt issuance this year thanks to negative interest rates on its securities, according to a letter, seen by Reuters, from Finance Ministry State Secretary Florian Toncar to a left-wing lawmaker.

The average yield on federal government securities issued this year was minus 0.56%, Toncar wrote. Nevertheless, auctions were 1.7 times oversubscribed.

“Despite negative yields, German bonds are selling like hot cakes,” said Goerke, a German lawmaker

It’s never been a better time for Govts to issue debt, and quite frankly, I don’t know why many don’t issue more when they can do so at negative rates.

China state planner outlines 10 (yes, ten) measures the country will take to support its economy

Everything would appear to be under control with the measures to be taken. China will:

  1. step up government spending,
  2. strengthen support to manufacturers and small companies,
  3. ensure price stability
  4. work to stabilise industry supply chains,
  5. focus on solving chip shortage issues,
  6. step up monitoring of commodity prices,
  7. continue to implement proactive fiscal policies,
  8. step up efforts to build an integral domestic market,
  9. while further shorten the “negative list” regarding foreign investment,
  10. combine cross-cyclical and counter-cyclical measures to prevent wild economic volatility

A fine list indeed. Ning Jizhe, deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in an interview with Xinhua.

Reuters reports on study finding Omicron infections appear no less severe than Delta

Reuters with this:

  • Researchers at Imperial College London compared 11,329 people with confirmed or likely Omicron infections with nearly 200,000 people infected with other variants.
  • So far, according to a report issued ahead of peer review and updated on Monday, they see “no evidence of Omicron having lower severity than Delta, judged by either the proportion of people testing positive who report symptoms, or by the proportion of cases seeking hospital care after infection.”

There is more (bad) news at the link here.

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