• The number of mortgages in active pandemic-related bailouts plunged as the first wave of forbearance plans hit the end of their six-month term.
  • Over the past week, active forbearances dropped by 649,000, or 18%, according to Black Knight, a mortgage technology and data analytics firm.
  • That brings the total number of plans below 3 million for the first time since April.
  • As of Oct. 6, 2.97 million homeowners remain in pandemic-related forbearance plans, or 5.6% of all active mortgages, down from 6.8% the previous week.



a large brick building with grass in front of a house: Prospective home buyers arrive with a realtor to a house for sale in Dunlap, Illinois.


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Prospective home buyers arrive with a realtor to a house for sale in Dunlap, Illinois.

The number of mortgages in active pandemic-related bailouts plunged in the past week as the first wave of forbearance plans hit the end of their six-month term.

It was the largest decline since the crisis began.

Over the past week, active forbearances dropped by 649,000, or 18%, according to Black Knight, a mortgage technology and data analytics firm. That brings the total number of plans, both government and private sector, below 3 million for the first time since April. In addition, the decline was noticeably larger than the drop of 435,000 when the first wave of forbearances hit the three-month mark in early July.

As of Oct. 6, 2.97 million homeowners remain in pandemic-related forbearance plans, or 5.6% of all active mortgages, down from 6.8% the previous week. The loans represent collectively $614 billion in unpaid principal.

Video: Mortgage rates hit new low as homeowners move to refinance (CNBC)

Mortgage rates hit new low as homeowners move to refinance

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These plans allow borrowers to delay their monthly payments for at least 30 days and up to one year. The plans are generally administered in three-month blocks, with the option to renew

By Leika Kihara

TOKYO, Oct 8 (Reuters)Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said on Thursday the economy was starting to pick up and was likely to continue recovering thanks in part to the boost from fiscal and monetary stimulus measures.

While consumer prices will fall for the time being due to the impact of slumping oil prices, they are likely to rebound thereafter as the pandemic’s fallout on the economy eases, he said.

“Once the impact of the coronavirus pandemic subsides globally, Japan’s economy is likely to continue improving further as overseas economies resume steady growth,” Kuroda said in a speech to a quarterly meeting of the BOJ’s branch managers.

The upbeat view reinforces market expectations the BOJ will hold off ramping up stimulus for now, and focus on pumping money into the economy with existing lending programmes.

Kuroda said while Japan’s banking system remains stable as a whole, corporate funding conditions remain tight.

“We’ll monitor the impact of COVID-19 and won’t hesitate taking additional easing measures as needed,” he said.

Japan suffered its biggest economic slump on record in the second quarter as the pandemic crippled demand. Analysts expect any rebound to remain modest as fears of a second huge wave of infections weigh on consumption.

The BOJ expanded stimulus in March and April by ramping up asset buying and creating a new lending facility to ease corporate funding strains. It has kept policy steady since then.

(Reporting by Leika Kihara Editing by Chang-Ran Kim and Ana Nicolaci da Costa)

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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TOKYO, Oct 5 (Reuters)Activity in Japan’s services sector contracted for the eight straight month in September but at the slowest pace since the coronavirus pandemic started wreaking havoc on the economy, a private business survey showed on Monday, in a sign that demand is starting to steady.

The final Jibun Bank Japan Services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to its highest in eight months, coming in at a seasonally adjusted 46.9 from 45.0 in the previous month.

The headline index, while still below the 50 neutral level, was higher than a preliminary reading of 45.6, suggesting conditions were moving closer to stabilisation.

“Overall, there are signs of improvement in the sector, however recovery is far from secure,” said Shreeya Patel, economist at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey.

“Demand across the country remains subdued, with tourism and travel restrictions impeding new work volumes across the service sector.”

The main reading was pulled down by an accelerated decline in new orders from abroad, with surveyed firms citing depressed demand conditions in export markets as well as the closure of clients’ businesses.

However, the survey also showed strong optimism in companies’ outlook for the 12 months ahead on hopes of a recovery in demand, pushing the business expectations sub-index to its highest level of the year.

While job shedding continued for a seventh month, the pace of staff cuts was more modest and neared a neutral level.

The results echo a key Bank of Japan survey from last week that showed business sentiment improved in the third quarter from a 11-year low hit three months earlier, in a sign of a gradual economic turnaround.

The composite PMI, which includes both manufacturing and services, rose to 46.6 in September from the previous month’s final of 45.2.

(Reporting by Daniel Leussink; Editing

TOKYO (Reuters) – Activity in Japan’s services sector contracted for the eight straight month in September but at the slowest pace since the coronavirus pandemic started wreaking havoc on the economy, a private business survey showed on Monday, in a sign that demand is starting to steady.

FILE PHOTO: Chefs wearing protective masks to prevent infection, following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, wait for customers at Toshirhin restaurant in Tokyo, Japan May 8, 2020. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File photo

The final Jibun Bank Japan Services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to its highest in eight months, coming in at a seasonally adjusted 46.9 from 45.0 in the previous month.

The headline index, while still below the 50 neutral level, was higher than a preliminary reading of 45.6, suggesting conditions were moving closer to stabilisation.

“Overall, there are signs of improvement in the sector, however recovery is far from secure,” said Shreeya Patel, economist at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey.

“Demand across the country remains subdued, with tourism and travel restrictions impeding new work volumes across the service sector.”

The main reading was pulled down by an accelerated decline in new orders from abroad, with surveyed firms citing depressed demand conditions in export markets as well as the closure of clients’ businesses.

However, the survey also showed strong optimism in companies’ outlook for the 12 months ahead on hopes of a recovery in demand, pushing the business expectations sub-index to its highest level of the year.

While job shedding continued for a seventh month, the pace of staff cuts was more modest and neared a neutral level.

The results echo a key Bank of Japan survey from last week that showed business sentiment improved in the third quarter from a 11-year low hit three months earlier, in a sign of a gradual

Pandemics became the top concern for insurance professionals this year as the COVID-19 crisis roils the industry worldwide.

Infectious diseases and pandemics were ranked as the most significant risks to society over the next five to 10 years in a study published Thursday by French insurer AXA SA. That’s a reversal from last year, when climate change was seen as the biggest concern. (Editor’s note: The report is available to download here).

COVID-19 is proving to be a major challenge for insurers, especially those that provide cover for canceled events such as sports matches and concerts. Disputes over coverage have led some policyholders to take legal action, with AXA recently losing a lawsuit against five restaurant operators. The insurer said it will appeal the ruling.

The survey of 2,600 insurance professionals in 53 countries, found that 56% of the respondents consider pandemics one of the top five emerging risks, up from 23% in 2019. Climate change is now the second biggest worry overall, but the views vary geographically as it remains the top priority in Europe but falls to the third place in the U.S. and Asia.

The reduced emphasis on climate change “is concerning, especially among our American and Asian respondents, as we believe that shorter-term issues around the pandemic should not completely overshadow longer-term threats,” AXA Chief Executive Officer Thomas Buberl said in a statement.

The European insurance industry has been working on ideas to develop state-backed solutions to protect businesses against future pandemics. The French government, which has sought public comment on a series of proposals this summer, hopes to complete work on a coverage plan by the end of the year.

Photograph: Medics from Beijing Fengsheng Special Hospital of Traditional Medical Traumatology and Orthopaedics on June 24, 2020 prepare for their shift at the Jinrong Street