TOKYO (AP) — Japanese manufacturers' sentiments have plunged to the lowest level in more than a decade, a quarterly Bank of Japan survey showed Wednesday as the coronavirus pandemic crushes exports and tourism, the mainstays of the nation’s economy.
The headline measure for the “tankan,” tracking sentiment among large manufacturers, fell to minus 34 for April-June, the lowest since 2009, from minus 8 the previous quarter.
The tankan measures corporate sentiment by subtracting the number of companies saying business conditions are negative from those responding they are positive.
That measure has declined for six quarters straight.
Sentiment among large nonmanufacturers fell to minus 17 from plus 8.
Japan was already fighting stagnation before the pandemic began. Tourism has plunged after dramatic increases in recent years, mostly from China and South Korea. Japan has banned travel from more than 100 nations to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Exports have dropped in products such as cars and machinery as overseas consumers hold back on buying. Analysts say recovery will take longer for Japan than for the U.S. or Europe because the world’s third-largest economy depends heavily on exports.
Giant exporters like Toyota Motor Corp. have reported sharp profit falls and aren’t giving fiscal projections because of uncertainty about damage from the outbreak.
The Bank of Japan was providing ample cash in the system to prop up the economy even before the coronavirus hit. The Japanese government, like others around the world, have recently doled out cash handouts to individuals and aid to businesses.
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10 Stocks to Buy On Fears of a Second Coronavirus Wave
Ever since the U.S. economy began to re-open (and honestly before that), there was concern over the impending “second wave” of the novel coronavirus. And although the second wave of the virus was not expected to hit until the fall, the concerns have been escalating as case numbers rise in multiple states.
And despite the Trump administration’s vehement statements that the economy would not shut down, we learned on February 25 that Texas was now pausing, and in some cases rolling back, its reopening measures in an effort to stem the spread of the virus.
And this is happening as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is now saying that it’s possible that 20 million Americans may have the coronavirus based on a sample of blood tests that are showing who has the antibodies in their system.
For its part, the stock market reacted sharply to the move. It was a move that undoubtedly frustrated many weary investors. In fact, you might be among those that have had just about enough of the Covid-19 market. I understand, I’m there too.
But, institutional investors are forward-looking. And right now, they don’t like what they. So stocks are having another broad selloff.
However, in the midst of any selloff, there is money to be made. And the good news for investors is that many of the same stocks that were good buys in March, are still the stocks to buy right now. And while some of these stocks fit the classic definition of defensive stocks, you’ll find a few genuine growth stocks included on this list as well.
View the "10 Stocks to Buy On Fears of a Second Coronavirus Wave".