Oil prices have slumped to their lowest for 2 decades as doubts grew about Donald Trump’s hopes of ending the US lockdown and investors braced for every week of doubtless damaging figures about the impact of the coronavirus on the globe economy.

The price people oil plunged almost 20%, to below $15, in early trading on Monday – its lowest point since 1999 – as stockpiles continued to create as a result of a crash in demand caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Concerns are heightened by the growing standoff between the US president and state governors over whether the US can begin to lift restrictions on movement and businesses.

It came because the heads of all the UN’s major agencies issued a graphic warning of the danger of coronavirus to the world’s most vulnerable countries after disclosing that international donors had pledged only around 1 / 4 of the $2bn the UN requested for its emergency Covid-19 response in March.

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At a daily media briefing that grew increasingly tetchy, Trump said on Sunday night that 4.18 million Americans had been tested for the coronavirus which the widespread operation was paving the way for parts of the country to reopen for business. “That’s a record anywhere within the world,” he claimed.

But governors accused the president of being “delusional” and said they might not commence Trump’s recommended three-phrase programme to ease stay-at-home restrictions because the testing regime was still not adequate.

Virginia’s governor, Ralph Northam, a Democrat, told CNN’s State of the Union he had been “fighting” for testing. “For the national level to mention that we’ve got what we want, and really to own no guidance to the state levels, is simply irresponsible, because we’re not there yet.”

Maryland’s Republican governor, Larry Hogan, agreed and said it had been “absolutely false” to mention that governors had enough testing capacity.

Despite the massive fall within the oil price – seen as a barometer of the prospects for the world economy – there have been signs from other parts of the globe that economies could soon begin getting back to normal.

In Germany, smaller shops were set to reopen on Monday for the primary time in a very month after politicians declared the coronavirus “under control”. From florists to fashion stores, the bulk of retailers smaller than 800 square metres (8,600 square feet) are allowed to welcome customers again, in a very first wave of relaxations to strict curbs on public life introduced last month.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and regional state premiers announced the choice to reopen last week, though they need been careful to cast it as no over a cautious start.

On the opposite side of the globe, New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern said the country’s stringent lockdown would be eased next Monday barring any major upsets.

She said the measures had “stopped a wave of devastation” but even under the revised regime, most New Zealanders would still be required to remain reception most of the time. Meal deliveries would be permitted and shops would be allowed to re-open providing they only sell goods online.

In Australia, some beaches in Sydney were reopened in a very sign that the country was moving towards normalising everyday life. the govt. wants a minimum of 40% of the population to download a tracing app on their phones to assist track cases of the disease before lockdown curbs are eased.

In other global developments:

There have now been over 2.4 million confirmed cases and 165,000 deaths from COVID-19 worldwide. The news came as US deaths passed 40,000 on Sunday – nearly 1 / 4 of the world total – with infections at slightly below 760,000, or simply under a 3rd of the world’s total.

The lack of protective personal equipment for health service workers within the UK intensified after it emerged that 400,000 gowns ordered from Turkey didn’t arrive as planned on
Sunday. British people government has been widely criticised for failing to make sure that NHS staff have enough proper equipment to shield themselves from contracting Covid-19, together with other shortcomings in its virus response. the united kingdom has over 121,000 cases and 16,000 deaths.

France reported another 395 coronavirus deaths on Sunday as hospital admissions continued to say no. The daily price also fell sharply in Spain and in Italy the official daily toll from coronavirus edged right down to 433 on Sunday, the bottom figure in one week.

South Korea reported fewer than 20 new cases of the virus for the third day in a very row. On Monday it announced 13 new infections, bringing the nation’s total infections to 10,674. For the third day running, no deaths were reported in China.

A Japanese expert in infectious diseases, Kentaro Iwata, a professor at Kobe University Hospital, said he was pessimistic about the country’s prospects of holding the Olympic Games despite their postponement until next year. Meanwhile, the country’s trade surplus dropped 99% in March because of the impact of the virus on its large export sector.

The world’s top male participant, Novak Djokovic, has admitted that his opposition to vaccinations might prevent him from rejoining the tour.