Coronavirus Round-Up: Oil Crashes, Countries Plan to Ease Lockdowns

- April 26th, 2020

As the new week kicks off, here’s a round-up of the Investing News Network’s top stories last week covering the coronavirus pandemic.

It was another week dominated by uncertainty in the markets, with oil prices moving into negative territory — a historic first for West Texas Intermediate crude — and countries continuing to figure out how to move forward in the middle of the pandemic. 

The US, which is still not technically in a recession, released data on Thursday (April 23) showing 26.5 million Americans have sought jobless benefits over the last five weeks, equal to 16.2 percent of the labor force. All gains from the recent employment boom have been eliminated.

Some states are preparing to reopen after over a month under newly relaxed coronavirus restrictions. In a somewhat similar phased plan, South Africa is also preparing to ease its lockdown on May 1.

 

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US President Donald Trump’s remarks on Thursday on how to fight the virus also made news headlines. Trump, who had suggested scientists should explore whether inserting light or disinfectant into the bodies of coronavirus patients might help treat COVID-19, later said he was being sarcastic.

The outbreak has now seen more than 2.7 million people get infected, with the death toll reaching over 190,000 as of Thursday. Of the more than 935,000 closed cases, over 744,000 have recovered.

To keep investors up to date with what’s been going on in the mining industry related to COVID-19, we’ve put together a round-up of the Investing News Network’s (INN) top stories last week on the pandemic. All information and data were current as of last Thursday.

INN’s COVID-19 coverage: Top stories this week

1. How Much Gold is Gone? Quantifying COVID-19 Mine Closures

Gold companies the world over have been impacted by the coronavirus, with disease prevention measures leading to mine closures and slowdowns across the globe.

But how many gold mines has COVID-19 taken offline? And what could the impact on global gold production and exploration be in 2020? INN got in touch with market watchers to learn their thoughts.

Click the link above to find out what’s known so far about how the virus is impacting gold mining and exploration, and what indicators are important to keep an eye on moving forward.

2. Canada’s Fight Against COVID-19 Impacting All Types of Miners

It’s safe to say COVID-19 has had a major impact on the mining industry globally, with jurisdictions around the world slowing or halting operations to stop the virus from spreading.

Mining is a crucial part of Canada’s economy, accounting for 5 percent of the country’s total nominal GDP and 19 percent of its total domestic exports. Now, as companies in the country respond to the coronavirus, questions are being raised about the long-term consequences for the market.

To find out how the nation’s resource sector is being affected, INN reached out to experts with questions on companies and the country as a whole. Click the link above to learn their thoughts on how the COVID-19 situation may play out for mining in Canada.

3. EVs to Weather COVID-19 Storm, Cobalt to Benefit in the Long Term 

Uncertainty caused by the coronavirus has changed supply and demand dynamics for every commodity, including battery metal cobalt.

Demand for cobalt is driven by the electric vehicle story, which has been hit as automakers struggle to survive the economic impact of the outbreak.

But for cobalt producer Eurasian Resources Group, electric vehicles are weathering the COVID-19 storm better than internal combustion engine vehicles.

 

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INN’s COVID-19 coverage: The bright side

Last Friday (April 24), world leaders joined the World Health Organization to launch an initiative to accelerate work on drugs, tests and vaccines against COVID-19 and to share information globally.

In the US, the House of Representatives approved a US$484 billion coronavirus relief bill last week. The total spending response to the crisis is now at an unprecedented level near US$3 trillion.

Meanwhile, European Union leaders moved forward on Thursday towards joint financing of an economic recovery, EU sources told Reuters.

In commodities, despite the oil market crash, gold held onto the US$1,700 per ounce range, with silver also trading above the US$15 per ounce mark. Copper managed to stay above US$5,000 per tonne for most of the week, while uranium continued to trend higher.

More COVID-19 coverage from INN

Click the links below for more of INN’s commodity-specific coverage of COVID-19:

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Resource for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Priscila Barrera, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article. 

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