Analysts on coronavirus: full lockdowns "highly unlikely" in possible second wave

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Countries are very unlikely to impose another full lockdown even though there’s a resurgence of new coronavirus cases in some parts of the world, and some are even battling a "second wave" of the pandemic, analysts told CNBC.
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The situation is unlikely to be a repeat of March, Suresh Tantia, senior investment strategist at Credit Suisse’s APAC CIO office, told CNBC’s “Street Signs” on Thursday. That was when the pace of virus cases started to intensify in the U.S. and Europe, after first surfacing in China last December.

If you look at the March selloff, the reason why markets sold off was not because of the virus concerns, it was mostly because the global economy shut down

, Tantia added. “It’s a concern for the markets, but as long as we don’t see a repeat of March ... I think markets will look through this and focus more on recovery over the next few quarters.”

Hartmut Issel, head of APAC equities at UBS Global Wealth Management, also told CNBC on Tuesday that countries are “very unlikely” to go down the path of a total lockdown again.

“Locking down an entire country ... cost(s) you up to 3% of GDP per month, so even the richest nations on the planet cannot afford another two, three months complete lockdown,” he said.

In the meantime, the United States saw its highest number of cases in a single day on Wednesday, South Korea said it's battling a "second wave" of coronavirus infections, and authorities in Beijing reinstated some restrictions as a new cluster linked to a wholesale market in the city broke out (although it has since said the situation is under control). 

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) updated its economic forecasts for 2020 yesterday, and now expects a contraction of 4.9% in global GDP versus a 3% fall projected in April. 

Cover photo: Getty Images

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