China becomes first major economy to rebound after coronavirus: China became the first major economy to grow since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, recording an unexpectedly strong 3.2 per cent expansion in the latest quarter after anti-virus lockdowns were lifted and factories and stores reopened.
Growth reported Thursday for the three months ending in June was a dramatic improvement over the previous quarter’s 6.8 per cent contraction —China’s worst performance since at least the mid-1960s. Read more here.
Let’s look at the global statistics: Total Confirmed Cases: 13,557,282 Change Over Yesterday: 233,752
Total Deaths: 584,159
Total Recovered: 7,560,281
Nations hit with most cases: US (3,499,291), Brazil (1,966,748), India (968,857), Russia (745,197) and Peru (337,751)
UK sheds 650,000 jobs during coronavirus lockdown: The number of UK payroll employees fell by 650,000 in June compared with March, a 2.2 per cent fall, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics based on tax data. The statistics body said, however, that the rate of decline in employment had slowed in June compared with May. Read more here
Texas readies morgue trucks in preparation for virus death surge: Officials across Texas are rushing to mobilize overflow mortuary space as communities brace for a surge in coronavirus deaths. Already, July has had a succession of record-setting days in terms of new cases, deaths and the number of people hospitalized. Read more here
Australia expands wage subsidy scheme as cases surge: The Australian government is injecting a further $1.1 billion into a wage subsidy programme to counter rising unemployment as the country posted the biggest rise in coronavirus cases since early April. Australia has recorded nearly 11,000 cases of Covid-19, including 113 deaths. Read more here
New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art to reopen August 29: New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art will reopen five days a week starting August 29 after being shuttered since March 13. The safety protocols will include frequent cleaning and visitors limited to 25 per cent of the museum's capacity.
Face coverings and social distancing will be required. Read more here
Fed survey shows tepid recovery in US in early July: “Economic activity increased in almost all districts, but remained well below where it was prior to the Covid-19 pandemic,” the central bank said in its Beige Book survey released Wednesday. “Outlooks remained highly uncertain, as contacts grappled with how long the pandemic would continue and the magnitude of its economic implications.” Read more here
Oklahoma governor tests positive for coronavirus as US cases surge: Oklahoma's governor said he was diagnosed with Covid-19 on Wednesday, becoming one of the highest elected US politicians to test positive for the disease. The mid-Eastern state has over 22,000 active cases. Read more here
Airbnb shakes up management and revives IPO plans: “When the market is ready, we will be ready,” chief executive Brian Chesky wrote in an email to employees on Wednesday. He said an IPO could come this year. “We were down, but we’re not out.” The message followed Greg Greeley stepping down as president of Homes, the company’s core accommodation rental business. Read more here https://www.ft.com/content/451fd6fc-e96a-49c5-b586-a77014dac571
Hedge fund that jumped 40 per cent picks winners in office-free world: Hedge fund manager Said Haidar is counting on a work-from-home new normal that will benefit haven assets and technology stocks. “Tech companies will be beneficiaries,” he said in an interview. “You’ll have these national champions that the Chinese will build up.” Haidar, 59, helped steer one of the standout portfolios in the first half as many of his peers suffered losses. His $936 million Haidar Jupiter Fund jumped about 40 percent through the end of June. Read more here
Scientists question lasting immunity from virus vaccine : A study from King’s College London, which has yet to be peer-reviewed, showed recovered patients’ antibodies declined significantly within months of infection, raising the critical issue of how long a vaccine could prevent people catching the disease. “If the vaccine response drops off like the natural response does, it does mean we’d have to give repeat ones,” said resident immunologist Herb Sewell. Read more here
“Just let those kids dance” In parks and parking lots, see how dance studios have found creative ways to stage annual student recitals in a pandemic year. Read more here