April 23, 2020 / 6:32 AM / a month ago

Czech Republic - Factors To Watch on April 23

    PRAGUE, April 23 (Reuters) - Here are news stories, press
reports and events to watch which may affect Czech financial
markets on Thursday.
    ALL TIMES GMT (Czech Republic: GMT + 2 hours)        
=========================ECONOMIC DATA==========================
    Real-time economic data releases.................           
    Previous stories on Czech data.............                 
  **For a schedule of corporate and economic events: 
    CORONAVIRUS CASES: The Czech Republic had 7,132 confirmed
cases of coronavirus infection by the end of Wednesday. So far
1,989 people have recovered from the Covid-19 illness and 208
people have died.

    GOVERNMENT: The government will discusses a possible faster
opening of shops and easing of some travel restrictions but is
unlikely to allow a return to leisure travel yet.
    It may also decide not to seek extension of a state of
emergency beyond April 30, but various restrictions adopted
under other legislation may stay in place.
    TESTING STARTS IN WIDE STUDY: Testing starts in a study of
27,000 people that the authoritiies hope will help find
prevalence of the virus antibodies in the population.
    STATE GUARANTEES: The Czech parliament's lower house
approved on Wednesday a bill to provide state guarantees on
commercial bank loans to small and mid-sized companies hit by
the coronavirus outbreak amid criticism it is giving too little
support too slowly to cash-bleeding businesses.
    The guarantee scheme worth up to 150 billion crowns ($5.92
billion) is designed to generate up to 500 billion crowns in
lending and is a large part of the government's response to the
    BUDGET GAP RAISED: The Czech parliament approved raising the
planned 2020 state budget deficit by a half to 300 billion
crowns ($11.88 billion) as the government aims to help an
economy grounded by the coronavirus outbreak.
    BONDS IN DEMAND: Demand for Czech 5-year bonds hit a
near-record at an auction on Wednesday, as appetite stayed
strong for state debt amid a borrowing frenzy to finance the
government's response to the coronavirus outbreak.
    GOVERNMENT ON AID: Czech government support for businesses
and workers hit by the economic fallout of the novel coronavirus
will rise to 1.19 trillion crowns ($47.01 billion), finance
minister Alena Schillerova said.
    The sum is up from earlier pledges of 1 trillion crowns.
    CEE MARKETS: Central European stock markets steadied on
Wednesday after two days of losses, helped by news of further
economic stimulus packages and plans for reopening business
activity in some countries.
    EUROPE POWER:  European prompt power prices for day-ahead
delivery soared in wholesale trade on Wednesday on a forecast
slump in wind power generation and French nuclear availability. 
========================= PRESS DIGEST =========================
    CYBER ATTACKS: The country must be ready for more
cyber-attacks in the coming weeks, Foreign Minister Tomas
Petricek said. He said the source of attacks has not been
determined. Some city councils have been targetted, he said.
Minister Andrej Babis may ask the European Commission to drop
fines carmakers may face this year for not meeting targets on
carbon dioxide emissions in new cars.
    (Reuters has not verified the stories, nor does it vouch for
their accuracy.)
    Prague Newsroom: +420 234 721 617
    E-mail: prague.newsroom@thomsonreuters.com

 (Reporting by Prague Newsroom)
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