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Federal Reserve announces new support for US economy



Oil tumbles again

Global oil markets tumbled again on Monday morning as travel and industrial activity continued to contract in a bid to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
The oil markets were unable to hang on to the tentative price gains late last week when a string of government interventions designed to soften the economic blow of Covid-19 buoyed prices to just over $30 a barrel. The price of Brent crude tumbled almost 6% on Monday morning to less than $25.50 a barrel as investors fear that the oversupply of oil in the market may soon outstrip demand and overwhelm oil storage facilities.

The Brent crude oil price in 2020

The Brent crude oil price in 2020 Photograph: Refinitiv

“We believe that prices will continue the slump,” said Rystad Energy.

“We estimate that supply will surpass demand by more than 10 million barrels next quarter and storage infrastructure will be insufficient to support the current production level.”

Oil markets have recorded four straight weeks of losses and prices have fallen by more than 60% since the start of the year. The price of other raw materials, such as coal and copper, have also been hit by the coronavirus crisis.

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Diageo donates alcohol to hand sanitiser fight

A hand sanitiser station at the entrance to the Bank of England

A hand sanitiser station at the entrance to the Bank of England Photograph: Tolga Akmen/PA

Diageo, the manufacturer of Johnnie Walker and Smirnoff, has pledged to provide alcohol to help make more than eight million bottles of hand sanitiser to help protect frontline healthcare workers across the world.

In the ongoing fight against COVID-19, it is donating up to two million litres of alcohol to hand sanitiser producers who are currently struggling to make enough.

The world’s leading distiller will provide Grain Neutral Spirit (GNS) – a 96% strength ethyl alcohol used primarily in the production of vodka and gin – and make it available at no cost to manufacturers. The donation will enable the production of more than eight million 250ml bottles of hand sanitiser.

The company’s products are on sale in 180 countries in the world. In the UK and Ireland, 500,000 litres of GNS will be made for use by staff and patients in hospitals and GP surgeries etc.

“Healthcare workers are at the forefront of fighting this pandemic and we are determined to do what we can to help protect them” said Ivan Menezes, chief executive of Diageo.

“This is the quickest and most effective way for us to meet the surging demand for hand sanitiser around the world.”

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