The New Zealand sharemarket opened sharply lower as overseas markets had their single worst session since the 1987 market crash; and Auckland’s Pasifika Festival has been cancelled amid concerns about the risk of the virus being transmitted to the Pacific Islands by festival attendees.
1.The New Zealand sharemarket opened sharply lower as overseas markets had their single worst session since the 1987 market crash. The benchmark top-50 index opened down nearly 5 percent, but dropped further in the first hour of trading by 7.4 percent, or 764 points, to 9571 points.
2.The New York stock exchange has suffered its biggest one day loss since the 1987 stock market crash ending the day down nearly 10 percent in value. The US Federal Reserve is preparing to pump $1.5 trillion in short term liquidity into the economy in a bid to stabilize the markets.
3.Auckland’s Pasifika Festival has been cancelled amid concerns about the risk of the virus being transmitted to the Pacific Islands by festival attendees. Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said the decision to cancel Pasifika was made after discussions with the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the Samoan High Commissioner.
4.The three-match Chappell-Hadlee cricket series between the Black Caps and Australia will be played behind closed doors, Cricket Australia (CA) have confirmed. The two matches to be played at Sydney Cricket Ground on Friday and Sunday, and the third match at Hobart’s Blundstone Arena, will be played in empty stadiums. All fans that bought tickets to the matches will be eligible for a refund.
5.The Prime Minister is expected to shortly give an update on border controls put in place to combat Covid-19. Foreign travelers arriving from mainland China and Iran are currently banned from entering the country and travelers from South Korea and Italy are asked to self isolate for two weeks on arrival.
6.Hundreds of Muslims are expected for a special Friday prayer in Christchurch this afternoon. Worshippers from the Linwood and Al Noor Mosques are gathering to pray just after 1pm this afternoon, ahead of the one year anniversary of the shootings that tore their community apart.
7.The Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is speaking about Sunday’s mosque attack anniversary and the latest on the coronavirus outbreak. Ardern said she wanted to acknowledge the Muslim community here in New Zealand and the ongoing generosity the community has shown.
8.The United States is carrying out retaliatory strikes in Iraq in response to yesterday’s rocket attack that killed two US troops and a British service member at camp Taji.
9.Fletcher Building is having to pull ceilings out of the new West Coast Hospital to fix earthquake restraints. It’s the latest blow for a project that’s two years late opening and $20 million over budget.
10.Foresty contractors running at a loss due to the Covid-19 slow down are frustrated they are still having to wait for help from the Government. The chief executive of the Forestry Industry Contractors Association, Prue Younger says the sector was hoping a wage subsidy package would be announced this week.
11.Small businesses are feeling the pinch from the ongoing Covid-19 fall out. The Employers and Manufacturers Association, spokesperson Matthew Dearing says there has been a spike in calls from employers about the virus.
12.Coronavirus has claimed 1,016 lives in Italy, officials say, but Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio says he hopes his country will be the first in Europe to get over the emergency. Another 188 people died over 24 hours.
13.Rome’s Catholic churches have been closed because of the coronavirus pandemic and a move believed to be unprecedented in modern times. The order made on Thursday will remain in effect until at least April 3rd.
14.Several businesses in Wellington’s CBD are without water this morning as contractors deal with a burst water main. Wellington Water said the pipe, which is near the TSB Arena, burst at 4.30am. Water has been shutdown to two multi-level buildings along Jervois Quay and affected people have been asked to use toilets in businesses across the road.
15.A US judge has ordered the immediate release of former Army Intelligence Analyst Chelsea Manning from prison. Manning had been remanded for refusing to testify in an inquiry into Wikileaks.
16.The Government’s investing almost $37 million into Whakatāne and the Eastern Bay of Plenty region through the Provincial Growth Fund. The money will pay for three projects including the development of a new commercial boat harbour, a riverside revitalization project and a new visitor hub and cultural centre.
17.A new tramping hut in the Tasman Glacier is set to become the latest example of how New Zealanders adapting to climate change. The new Beetham Valley hut huts in the Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park will house up to five people and is being built as a movable mountain hut.
18.A new cabinet has been announced in South Sudan. A key step in the peace process following years of civil war.