Global shares decline … Pandemic could cost insurance industry $200B … Airlines pressure to give more refunds
UNDATED (AP) – Global shares declined today on pessimism about life getting back to normal soon amid the coronavirus pandemic, after the U.S. central bank chief warned of hard times to come. France’s CAC 40 edged down 1.4% in early trading, while Germany’s DAX slipped 1.2%. Britain’s FTSE 100 was down nearly 2.0%. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei finished 1.7% lower. South Korea’s Kospi dropped 0.8%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dipped 1.5%, while the Shanghai Composite lost nearly 1.0%. Wall Street is expected to open lower, with Dow futures down 0.4% and S&P futures down 0.2%.
LONDON (AP) – The pandemic will cost the insurance industry more than $200 billion. That’s according to Lloyds of London, who estimated that its own payouts are now on a par with the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks or the combined impact of hurricanes Harvey, Maria and Irma in 2017. Lloyds, which as an insurance market pays out to insurers affected by disasters, says it expects to pay between $3 billion and $4.3 billion to insurance companies to help them cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.
UNDATED (AP) – Airlines are under growing pressure to give cash refunds instead of travel vouchers to passengers who cancel flights because of the coronavirus. The airlines say they are complying with federal regulations by paying cash only if they cancel the flight. Several Senate Democrats have proposed making cash refunds mandatory, whether the airline or the passenger cancels the flight.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – The CEO of the world’s busiest airport for international travel wants to get the globe flying again, but even he acknowledges everything remains up in the air amid the coronavirus pandemic. Paul Griffiths tells The Associated Press that until a vaccine or a permanent solution to the virus exists, there could be “quite a low level of activity for quite some time.” Thermal heat scanners now look over passengers and the airport has experimented with both coronavirus and antibody tests.
LONDON (AP) – British health authorities have for the first time approved an antibody test that shows whether people have previously been exposed to the new coronavirus. The test, manufactured by Swiss pharmaceutical firm Roche, has already been approved for use in the United States and the European Union. Public Health England says government scientists found the test to be 100% accurate.