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Global Markets: U.S. GDP down 4.8 per cent

By MarketsFarm

WINNIPEG, April 29 (MarketsFarm) – The following is a glance at the news moving markets in Canada and globally.

– The United States economy contracted in the first quarter of 2020, with the country’s gross domestic product falling by 4.8 per cent, according to a report from the U.S. Commerce Department. The decline comes after the 2.1 per cent growth reported in the last quarter of 2019, as the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S. in March.

– German company BioNTech, along with U.S.-based Pfizer, has reportedly begun testing a potential coronavirus vaccine on human volunteers. Clinical trials are also underway at Oxford University in the United Kingdom, with a number of other research groups also close to the trial stage.

– U.S. President Donald Trump is ordering meat packing plants in the country to stay open through an executive order, despite concerns over COVID-19 outbreaks at many facilities. The executive order, signed using the Defense Production Act, will provide liability protection for companies in case any workers get sick. Roughly 20 U.S. slaughterhouses and meat processors have halted production in the U.S. The UFCW, a major meat-packers union, was critical of the executive order and were calling for more protection for workers.

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