Closed Coronavirus: New cases in Florida, California, Arizona stay below recent highs — as it happened

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Today’s top stories: US to deploy ‘surge’ testing near hotspots. Brazil’s Bolsonaro tests positive. OECD predicts unemployment hitting nearly 10% by year end. Brussels slashes EU growth forecasts.


Percentage testing positive in US hits highest since May 8

Peter Wells in New York

The US reported more than 47,000 new cases of coronavirus on Monday, as the percentage of people testing positive for coronavirus hit its highest in two months and hospitalisations continued to rise.

Although the national increase was below recent record jumps of more than 50,000 a day, California, the most populous US state, reported a record increase of more than 11,000 cases.

Based on the nearly 518,400 tests conducted over the past day, the positivity rate for the US jumped to 9.1 per cent, the highest since May 8, from 6.5 per cent yesterday, according to Financial Times calculations using Covid Tracking Project data. On a seven-day rolling average, the per cent positive rate is 7.9 per cent, the highest since mid-May.

A total of 47,375 people in the US tested positive over the past 24 hours, according to data from Covid Tracking Project, and up slightly from 42,578. In the first four days of this month, the US case tally increased by more than 50,000 each day, including a record of more than 57,500 on July 4.

California represented most of the increase, with a record 11,529 new cases. That is a record for the state and is eclipsed only by New York’s biggest jump of 11,571 on April 15.

Florida reported a further 6,336 new cases. Last week the state become the first since New York to report a daily increase of more than 10,000.

Texas reported 5,318 new cases, down from a record jump of more than 8,200 on Saturday. However, more patients are hospitalised with coronavirus here — almost 8,700 — than in any other US state at present, which is heaping pressure on its public health system.

Dallas county reported its largest one-day increase (1,214) in hospitalisations on Monday, said Clay Jenkins, the county’s chief elected official. Last week, Houston’s main hospital said the number of patients in its intensive care unit wards in the area surpassed normal capacity of 1,330 as it had to deal with a jump in Covid-19 patients.

Earlier today, New Jersey governor Phil Murphy said the state’s rate of coronavirus transmission reached its highest in more than two months. The figure, often referred to as Rt or the R number, has been at 1.03 for the past two days, he said, pointing out that a number above one meant, on average, each coronavirus case leads to at least one more new case. “This is an early warning sign that, quite frankly, we need to do more,” he said.


Asia-Pacific stocks extend global rally

Stock markets in the Asia-Pacific region extended a global rally sparked on Monday by a surge in demand for Chinese stocks after state media talked up a “healthy” bull market as the country recovers from the pandemic.

The Kospi in Seoul gained 0.7 per cent and Australia’s S7P/ASX 200 rose 0.4 per cent, while the Topix in Japan shed 0.3 per cent. Futures tip Hong Kong’s Hang Seng to rise 0.7 per cent when trading begins later this morning.

Those gains game after China’s CSI 300 of Shenzhen and Shanghai-listed stocks on Monday jumped 5.7 per cent amid double the usual trading volume in its biggest rally in more than a year.

The S&P 500 had continued that positive mood, rising 1.6 per cent. The Wall Street gains came as investors latched on to expectations that growing coronavirus infections in the US will be controlled through targeted lockdowns of affected areas, not blanket closures of the economy.


Samsung tips 23 per cent rise in Q2 operating profit

Song Jung-a in Seoul and Edward White in Wellington

Samsung Electronics has estimated surprisingly strong results for the second quarter on the back of robust demand for computer chips, buoyed by the increase in people working from home.

The world’s biggest producer of computer chips, smartphones and electronic displays estimated operating profit for the April-June quarter would come in at Won8.1tn ($6.8bn), up 22.7 per cent from a year earlier — and much higher than the Won6.3tn analyst forecast by Refinitiv SmartEstimate. Sales were estimated by Samsung to have fallen 7.4 per cent to Won52tn.

Chip prices were boosted by data centres stockpiling chips in the second quarter, although the trend is unlikely to continue in the second half amid growing economic uncertainty stemming from the pandemic, analysts said.

“Given a spike of Covid 19 cases in major developed and emerging market countries, tech companies in the supply chain are likely to turn more conservative on their business strategy in the second half of this year,” said CW Chung, head of research at Nomura in Seoul.

“The semiconductor industry momentum is likely to slow in the third quarter while smartphone sales are likely to bottom out, making up for slowing chip sales to some extent,” he added.

Samsung’s results are seen an early bellwether for the health of Asia’s technology sector.

Since the coronavirus emerged from Wuhan in January, Samsung has grappled with disruptions and delays across factories and supply chains around the world. But, critically, its memory chip business, a core earnings driver for the company, has been resilient. The highly automated chip plants in South Korea and China have seen little interruption to production.

And while the global economic downturn has dented spending in some consumer electronics, including smartphones, another key revenue source for the Korean group, the lockdowns and social distancing instituted in cities from London to New York have led to greater demand for online connectivity, boosting demand for much of the backend infrastructure Samsung produces, including computer chips.

Samsung has also been buoyed by South Korea’s avoidance of a nationwide lockdown following the swift deployment of mass testing, high-tech contact tracing, and widespread adoption of social distancing.


Bolsonaro says he will undergo further testing for Covid-19

Andres Schipani and Bryan Harris in São Paulo

Brazil’s presidency said on Monday night that Jair Bolsonaro was again tested for Covid-19 amid reports on local media that he had symptoms associated with the disease.

“I cannot get too close to you,” Mr Bolsonaro told supporters outside the presidential residence in Brasília before the announcement.

“I am avoiding [getting too close], I came from the hospital, I did a lung exam, my lung is clean. I’m going to take the Covid [test] just now, but everything is fine.”

CNN Brasil reported that the 65-year-old president had shown symptoms generally associated with Covid-19, including high fever, and that the results of his test would be ready tomorrow.

The presidential palace said that he was healthy and that the results of the test would be available on Tuesday.

The far-right president, who has lost two health ministers in less than a month, has previously dismissed Covid-19 as a mere “sniffle”, and has criticised governors who imposed lockdowns. “The virus is there. We need to face it like a man, dammit,” he once said.


News you might have missed

Foreign students at US universities and schools will no longer be eligible to stay in the country if their courses move fully online because of coronavirus, US immigration authorities said on Monday.

High-end fashion brands, Hollywood companies and some of the country’s top private schools are among the groups that have benefited from the US government’s small business bailout, according to a list of recipients released on Monday.

Greece on Monday reported 36 new confirmed coronavirus cases among tourists entering the country by road from Bulgaria, the highest daily number since the crossing point re-opened on June 15.

The US reported more than 47,000 new cases of coronavirus on Monday, as the percentage of people testing positive for the disease hit its highest in two months and hospitalisations continued to rise.

Donald Trump took to Twitter to call attention to a slowdown in US deaths attributed to coronavirus, which has coincided with an increase in cases outside early hotspots in the northeast.

Italy’s Eni said it will cut up to €4.2bn from the value of its assets, marking the latest warning by an energy company about the long-lasting impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the global economy.

Major US colleges including the universities of Harvard and Princeton have laid out plans for a limited return to their campuses during the next academic year, after shifting to remote learning during the pandemic.

The US’s small business bailout programme has kept 51.1m people in work and loaned $520bn to ailing companies, the government said on Tuesday, ahead of the release of a highly anticipated database showing who got the money.

Israel shut down bars, gyms, swimming pools and cultural venues as a resurgent outbreak of the coronavirus spread to thousands of people in just the past week.


Air New Zealand suspends international bookings

Air New Zealand has put international bookings for flights into the country on hold at the request of the government to reduce pressure on coronavirus quarantine facilities.

The airline said on Tuesday that a three-week suspension of bookings would “help ensure the country is able to provide quarantine accommodation for inbound passengers”.

All arrivals into the country must undergo a 14-day quarantine at government-managed isolation facilities.

New Zealand has pursued a policy of eliminating coronavirus from its shores involving strict quarantines. Authorities have found 60 cases of people entering the country with the virus, with 22 cases currently classed as active.

Some passengers with existing bookings may be moved to another flight as the airline aligns “daily arrivals with the capacity available”.

The airline will operate a reduced international schedule until August 31 with 19 return flights each week to countries including Australia, China, the US and the UK.


US says foreign students must leave if classes go fully online

Aime Williams in Washington

Foreign students at US universities and schools will no longer be eligible to stay in the country if their courses move fully online due to coronavirus, US immigration authorities said on Monday.

Students holding visas for either academic or vocational courses that have moved fully online should either depart the country or transfer to a school with in-person teaching to “remain in lawful status”, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement said, adding that a failure to do this could result in deportation proceedings.

The tightening of visa restrictions for foreign national students comes after the Trump administration suspended a range of different guest worker visas, affecting scientists, doctors, au pairs and some seasonal workers, among others.

Mr Trump has also suspended green cards — which offer permanent residency — to respond to the millions of Americans who have lost their jobs as coronavirus damages the US economy.

Read more here


Japanese household spending falls by record in May amid state of emergency

Robin Harding in Tokyo

Japanese earnings and household spending both fell in May as the impact of Covid-19 rippled through the economy.

Cash earnings for workers were down by 2.1 per cent year on year, reflecting a steep fall in hours worked, and overtime hours in particular.

Meanwhile, household spending was down by 16.2 per cent compared with the previous year, its biggest drop on record, although there was little further fall in May relative to April.

The figure suggests a continued rise in household savings as the ongoing state of emergency in many parts of Japan in May led to business closures and reduced opportunities for consumption.


Nationwide study confirms only 5% in Spain formed antibodies

Scientists in Spain have confirmed that the percentage of people who have antibodies to Covid-19 is so low that hopes for “herd immunity” look unrealistic.

In what they claim to be the first nationwide study of its kind, the researchers found only around 5 per cent of the 61,000 participants in the Spanish study tested positive for coronavirus. The results were gleaned from samples taken between April 27 and May 11, using on-the-spot fingerprick blood tests and backed up by laboratory analysis of blood taken from most participants’ veins.

“At present, herd immunity is difficult to achieve without accepting the collateral damage of many deaths in the susceptible population and overburdening of health systems,” the scientists wrote in their paper published on Monday in The Lancet medical journal.

The scientists said the results showed a third of people infected with the virus were asymptomatic, although there was a lower incidence among children and adolescents. There was no variation in infection rates by gender.

Spain was one of the worst-affected countries in Europe by the pandemic, and imposed a lockdown in the middle of March. It has recorded 28,385 deaths from Covid-19, according to the most recent data collected by the Financial Times.


China stocks extend rally as traders brush off virus concerns

Daniel Shane in Hong Kong

Chinese stocks extended their rally on Tuesday, leading most Asia markets higher as traders shook off continuing concerns over the growing US coronavirus outbreak.

The CSI 300 of Shanghai and Shenzhen-listed shares gained 2 per cent in early trading, taking gains over the past week to more than 13 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index added 0.3 per cent after entering a bull market on Monday.

China’s equities market has been supported in recent days by the country’s state media, which have encouraged the important retail trader base to buy into the rally. Trading volumes on Tuesday were about 130 per cent higher than their recent average.

Traders said there were indications that global investors were now buying into the China rally. “The market is still relatively cheap so global fund managers have room to increase their exposure,” said Kenny Wen, a strategist at Everbright Sun Hung Kai. “It may have room to go further.”

Read more here


UK doctors are braced for a ‘tsunami’ of mental health problems

Doctors in the UK say they are bracing for a “tsunami” of demand for mental health services as the country moves out of lockdown, according to a report by the British Medical Association.

The surge is expected to come from people who have suffered trauma during the pandemic from loss of loved ones, or have endured intense health anxiety, or in those who had pre-existing mental illnesses who have been unable to access treatment.

Medical professionals contacted by the BMA, a union that represents doctors, said they feared services, which were already struggling to cope before the pandemic, would be overwhelmed.

Doctors could struggle to offer help because they are suffering too — reporting increased levels of work-related mental health conditions as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the BMA said.

Nearly half of respondents to a recent survey said they were suffering from depression, anxiety, stress, burnout, emotional distress or another mental health condition relating to or made worse by their work.

More than four in 10 of those who responded (42 per cent) said they had had to access NHS wellbeing support services provided either by their employer or a third party.

Many of those taking part in the tracker survey also expressed a lack of confidence in their ability to manage patient demand as normal NHS services were resumed.


China’s Sinovac gains approval to test Covid-19 vaccine on humans in Brazil

Christian Shepherd in Beijing

China’s Sinovac Biotech has gained approval in Brazil to start final phase human trials of its potential coronavirus vaccine.

The New York-listed firm is one of dozens of biopharmaceutical research companies racing to find, test and manufacture a vaccine for Covid-19 on a seriously shortened timeframe compared with the years normally taken to develop similar products.

Sinovac’s Brazilian subsidiary has received approval from Brazilian regulators to begin a phase-three safety trial after a fast-tracked approval process, the company said on Sunday.

The study, set to begin this month, will recruit nearly 9,000 medical workers in Brazil. The vaccine, which is being developed jointly with Brazilian biomedical producer Butantan, was tested in macaque monkeys in January, after which the company gained approval to test the vaccine in humans in China.

The World Health Organization said on Monday that there are currently 19 vaccine candidates in clinical trials.


India’s death toll surpasses 20,000 as infections surge

Stephanie Findlay in New Delhi

India passed a grim milestone on Tuesday, as its death toll surpassed the 20,000 mark while new coronavirus infections surged.

The country of 1.37bn people recently overtook Russia to have the world’s third-largest coronavirus caseload, behind only the United States and Brazil.

There are over 719,000 confirmed cases in India, with more cities experiencing a surge of infections. The tech hub of Bangalore has recorded more than 10,000 cases alone.

The spread of infection has hit India’s economy with business activity remaining 30 percentage points below pre-pandemic levels, according to a Monday note by Nomura.

“The normalisation is still far from complete, and activity appears to be plateauing at a lower level,” said Sonal Varma, Nomura’s chief India economist.


Melbourne to reimpose lockdown restrictions for 6 weeks

Lockdown restrictions will be reimposed on metropolitan Melbourne from midnight on Wednesday, Victoria’s premier said, following an “unsustainably high” number of new coronavirus cases.

Daniel Andrews, Victoria premier, said the steps were necessary after 191 new cases had been found in the state. The state of Victoria conducted more than 26,000 coronavirus tests on Monday. There are nine Covid-19 patients in intensive care in Victoria.

“It is simply impossible with case rates at this level to have enough contract tracing staff, to have enough physical resources … in order to continue to suppress and contain this virus,” Mr Andrews said. “If we were to fail to take those steps then it won’t be a couple of hundred cases a day … and it would quickly spiral to become well and truly out of control.”

Mr Andrews said stage-three stay at home restrictions would be reimposed for six weeks. People will be permitted to buy necessities, go to work if needed and perform caring duties. However, daily exercise will be limited to within metropolitan Melbourne, prohibiting long hikes and fishing trips to protect areas that have no cases and people must stay in their principal residences.

He said that pretending the pandemic was over was partly responsible for the recent outbreaks and that there was no alternative to the lockdown to prevent thousands more cases and hospitalisations.

“A sense of complacency has crept into us as we let our frustrations get the better of us,” he said.

Melbourne had attempted to control recent outbreaks by locking down individual postcodes, and nine tower blocks. Authorities have now found 69 cases in the towers, up from 53 on Monday.


UK news group Reach to cut 550 jobs and reduce locations

Patricia Nilsson in London

Reach will cut 550 jobs and move to “fewer locations”, as the UK’s largest regional news company said revenues for the three months to June dropped by 28 per cent.

The decision, which will affect 12 per cent of the company’s workforce, comes after it put roughly 1,000 members of staff on furlough in April, as the pandemic reduced advertising spend that many news groups rely on.

Jim Mullen, the company’s chief executive said “structural change in the media sector has accelerated during the pandemic” requiring “plans to transform the business”.

“Regrettably, these plans involve a reduction in our workforce,” he said. The company will now begin a 45-day consultation with staff regarding the job cuts.


Whitbread warns of uncertain outlook as it begins opening hotels

Alice Hancock in London

Whitbread, the owner of Premier Inn hotels, warned that the outlook for hotels was uncertain as booking patterns in countries that had relaxed lockdown controls remained volatile.

The company reopened 19 hotels in Germany as the government there relaxed controls in mid-May and said that it now had 270 of its UK hotels open following the reopening of hotels, restaurants and bars in England from July 4.

“It is still very early days and therefore too early to draw any conclusions from our booking trajectory,” said Alison Brittain, Whitbread’s chief executive.

The closure of its entire 820-strong estate, except for 39 hotels kept open to host health workers, meant that sales declined in the three months to the end of May by 80 per cent.

In May, Whitbread undertook a £1bn rights issue warning that it could be “materially lossmaking” this year. The company was burning £80m cash per month, it said.

Ms Brittain added that where booking patterns were discernible, Premier Inn had good demand for its hotels in traditional domestic tourist destinations but that London was “subdued”.

Businesses serving central London and commuters have been hard hit by the crisis as the UK government continues to encourage the public to work at home. On Monday the food-to-go chain Pret said that it could face making more than 1,000 people redundant, while SSP, which runs fast-food franchises across transport locations, last week said it would be cutting more than half its UK workforce.


Online broker Plus500 sales almost triple as trading booms

Online trading broker Plus500 reported a record number of active customers with quarterly revenue almost tripling as turmoil in the markets spurred a boom in trading activity.

The Israel-based group said on Tuesday it had made David Zruia its permanent chief executive. Mr Zruia has been in the post as interim boss since April 20, when his predecessor Asaf Elimelech, who had held the position since 2016, resigned with immediate effect.

Market volatility remained “heightened” in the second quarter, which drove a high level of activity. The group said its second-quarter revenue rose to $247.6m, from $94.1m a year earlier. In the quarter the group added more than 115,000 new customers, with an all-time high in the number of active users on its platform.

London-listed Plus500 offers contracts for difference (CFDs) that allow individual traders to make bets on moves in currencies, stocks and cryptocurrencies.

The group said its financial position remained robust, driven by strong margins and high cash generation. The board remains “very confident” about the outlook, Tuesday’s statement said.


European stocks set to fall as lockdown measures hamper recovery

European shares are on course to slip on Tuesday, as investors consider the worsening coronavirus situation in the US and increasing number of local lockdowns against the nascent global economic recovery.

Futures trading tipped both the region-wide Stoxx Europe 600 and London’s FTSE 100 to fall 0.5 per cent when markets reopen, having initially pointed to gains. The US S&P 500 is expected to follow suit later in the day and drop 0.4 per cent.

Meanwhile, Chinese stocks extended their rally with traders shaking off concerns that the growing coronavirus outbreak in the US could endanger a global economic recovery with state-run media encouraging retail investors to sustain the push higher.

The CSI 300 of Shanghai and Shenzhen-listed shares added 1.7 per cent, taking gains since the beginning of the month to more than 14 per cent.


Cat Rutter Pooley’s City Bulletin: Reach, Micro Focus, JD Sports

The owner of the Mirror, Star and Express newspapers is cutting 550 jobs — 12 per cent of its workforce — after a drop in advertising revenues during the crisis. Reach said second-quarter revenues fell 27.5 per cent as both circulation and ad spending declined. Its cost-cutting plans will save the company £35m a year at a one-off cost of £20m, the company said.

Micro Focus, the UK-listed tech group that has been struggling to integrate the HP Enterprise software business it bought in 2017, has written down almost $1bn of goodwill. It blamed increased economic uncertainty, expected disruption to new sales and timing pressure on renewals for the $922m goodwill writedown, dragging it to a $1bn half-year loss. It made $1.4bn in profit for the same period last year.

Online spread-better Plus500 said revenues had almost tripled in its second quarter, as customers flocked to online trading during the lockdown. It reported revenues for the second quarter of $248m, up from $94m last year, taking the total for the first half to $564m. It also announced it had made its interim chief permanent after the previous chief executive left abruptly in April.

JD Sports published full-year results, but they relate to a financial year which ended in February, a very different time for retailers. It made a pre-tax profit of almost £350m, up marginally from £340m the year before despite a 30 per cent jump in revenues to £6.1bn. JD said online trading had been very resilient during the more recent period of lockdown, but that since stores reopened, footfall had been weaker in malls and shopping centres. The lower number of customers had been partly offset by an increase in spending by those who did visit, with shoppers more likely to buy and less likely to browse.

Halfords, as a bike specialist it is an essential UK retailer that stayed open throughout the lockdown, said that trading had been better than it forecast when the government put nationwide restrictions in place in March. Sales for the year to April 2021 could be down as little as 5 per cent in its best-case scenario. But it warned more of its revenues were coming from lower-margin cycling equipment rather than its motoring business.


Record rebound in German industrial production still disappoints

Martin Arnold in Frankfurt

German industrial production rose by 7.8 per cent in May, as factories in Europe’s largest economy ramped up production by less than most economists had expected after the coronavirus lockdowns were lifted.

The Federal Statistics Office said that after two heavy falls in March and April, German industrial output recovered some lost ground in May, helped by a strong rebound in production of cars and other capital goods, such as machinery and equipment.

Despite the record monthly rebound, industrial output in Germany in May remained 19.3 per cent down from the same period last year. The statistics office said car production “increased markedly” but it was still down 50 per cent from pre-pandemic levels in February.

Carsten Brzeski, economist at ING, said: “While the May increase was spread across all sectors, it shows that after the lifting of the lockdown measures, businesses must have been more reluctant than consumers.”

Olaf Scholz, German finance minister, said the economy had turned a corner after industrial orders and retail sales both recovered with record increases in May. “The boom is already noticeable,” he told The Pioneer. “I have the feeling that everyone notices that the economic figures are slowly improving again.”

The Ifo Institute in Munich said German manufacturers had increased their production expectations for the second month in a row in June, with more companies planning to expand output than not for the first time since the pandemic started in March.

German factory orders rose by a record 10.4 per cent between April and May, data published on Monday showed. But this was a smaller increase than most economists had expected and highlighted a sharp divergence between a healthy rebound in orders from customers inside the eurozone and a much weaker rise from outside the bloc.


Tokyo fears virus outbreak after sixth day with more than 100 cases

Robin Harding in Tokyo

There were 106 new cases of Covid-19 in Tokyo on Tuesday in a continuation of recent trends that have raised fears of a possible resurgence of the virus in the Japanese capital.

It is the sixth consecutive day that the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Tokyo has surpassed 100, according to figures reported by national broadcaster NHK.

Many of the recent cases in Tokyo have been among younger people and are linked to intensive testing of particular nightlife establishments.

Newly re-elected Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike has urged the public to avoid non-essential travel outside the city and to avoid entertainment venues that do not have proper infection control measures in place.


Emoticon Brussels slashes EU growth forecasts

Mehreen Khan in Brussels

The European Commission has slashed its growth forecasts for the EU economy this year, warning the bloc will suffer a “significantly” deeper recession than previously anticipated due to the length of the sweeping lockdowns imposed to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

In its first updated economic projections since May, Brussels said EU gross domestic product would shrink by 8.3 per cent this year — a deeper drop than the 7.4 per cent that it previously forecast and the worst on record.

The commission also lowered its forecast for a potential economic rebound in 2021, estimating growth of 5.8 per cent, down from a previous forecast of 6.1 per cent. 

The commission said its calculations had worsened as the lifting of containment measures had been more “gradual” than expected at the start of the pandemic.


England’s hospitality reports modest spending boost from reopening

Valentina Romei and Martin Stabe in London

England’s pubs, bars and restaurants only enjoyed a modest boost from the reopening at the weekend of the hospitality industry, early data show.

Spending across the hospitality, leisure, and entertainment industries increased 7 per cent compared with the previous weekend, reveal figures from Barclaycard Payments, which the company says processes nearly 40 per cent of all transactions in the UK.

Spending in pubs and bars across England rose to nearly three times the level of the previous weekend when they were only able to offer takeaway and delivery services. Barclaycard also witnessed a similar surge in demand among its hairdresser and barber clients.

However, despite the increase, social-distancing measures and consumer fears over the virus are still having a significant impact on those industries, with the value of transactions down 45 per cent compared with the same weekend last year.

Footfall to UK pubs and restaurants recovered to just one-fifth of pre-coronavirus levels after reopening on July 4, separate high-frequency mobile phone location data show.

Saturday’s reopening of pubs and restaurants resulted in only a small increase in visits to their premises, data from Huq Industries show. The company uses geo-location data from apps to measure visits to 23,035 restaurants, pubs and fast-food outlets in the UK with a two-day lag.

The data include activity of staff and delivery drivers at hospitality premises, and have been trending slightly upwards since June as restaurants and fast-food outlets gradually increased takeaway services.


Stock rally pauses as focus turns to fresh Covid-19 outbreaks

Philip Georgiadis in London and Daniel Shane in Hong Kong

A sharp rally in global stocks paused on Tuesday, as traders weighed signs of economic recovery with new flare-ups in coronavirus cases in several parts of the world.

European markets fell in early trading, with the regional benchmark Stoxx 600 index down 0.7 per cent and London’s FTSE 100 slipping 0.5 per cent. Futures trading tipped Wall Street’s S&P 500 to open down 0.7 per cent.

Markets have risen in recent days, driven by upbeat economic data, hopes of a possible vaccine and continued central bank support. But the gains have come as many countries have reported another burst of Covid-19 cases, leading some authorities to reimpose tighter lockdown restrictions.

Chinese stocks extended their gains on Tuesday, with traders shaking off concerns that the growing coronavirus outbreak in the US could endanger a global economic recovery.

The CSI 300 of Shanghai and Shenzhen-listed shares rose 0.6 per cent, taking gains over the past week to 12 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index, which entered a bull market on Monday, gave up some of those gains as it slipped 1.2 per cent.


Britain ‘way behind’ in wearing face masks, scientists say

Clive Cookson in London

Senior scientists issued an urgent call on Tuesday for Britons to protect themselves and others against coronavirus infection by wearing face coverings, which they said had a much lower uptake in the UK than in the US and elsewhere in Europe.

The Royal Society, Britain’s national academy of sciences, issued two separate reports that emphasise the benefits of face masks for reducing the risk of infection both for the wearer and for people around them.

“The UK is way behind many countries in terms of wearing masks and issuing clear policies and guidelines about mask-wearing for the public,” said Venki Ramakrishnan, president of the Royal Society.

You can read more details on the two reports here.


Italian retail sales surge 24% after lockdown lifted

Martin Arnold in Frankfurt

Italian shoppers came out in force after the country’s coronavirus lockdown was lifted, driving retail sales up by a record 24.3 per cent from April to May, data published by the national statistics office on Tuesday revealed.

The higher than expected rebound in Italian consumer spending followed record falls in March and April. But it remains just over 10 per cent down from a year ago, highlighting how Italy’s pandemic-stricken economy remains in the doldrums.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected Italian retail sales in May to be 17 per cent down from a year ago.

Internet sales in Italy increased by more than 40 per cent compared with the same period last year, which Italy’s statistics office said was the highest growth on record and pointed to “a shift within the retail trade to online sales”.

The rebound in Italian retail sales was higher than the average 17.8 per cent rise across all 19 eurozone countries.

But Italy’s consumer spending is further below the pre-pandemic levels than most eurozone countries, which on average recovered to within 5 per cent of 2019 levels. In some countries, such as Germany and the Netherlands, retail sales rose above pre-pandemic levels in May.


Hong Kong’s leader to review virus prevention measures

Hong Kong’s chief executive has outlined a review of the territory’s coronavirus prevention measures after what she described as a “worrying” spate of new cases.

While seven people have died from the virus in Hong Kong, 17 new cases were reported on Monday and another 14 on Tuesday. Nine of Tuesday’s cases appeared to be locally transmitted, the health department said. A handful of schools also suspended face-to-face classes on Tuesday after students tested positive for Covid-19.

In a Chinese language statement on the Hong Kong government website, chief executive Carrie Lam said “our society remains at risk from the virus” and said a committee would examine whether the territory’s inspection, contact tracing and quarantine measures were effective enough.

She added that the committee would review whether Hong Kong’s loosened social-distancing measures remained appropriate.

Daily life has few restrictions in Hong Kong, which reopened schools, gyms, cinemas and restaurants in May and allows up to 50 people to gather together. That number had initially been limited to four.

The territory has persisted with aggressive testing, tracing and quarantine measures as well as travel bans. Non-Hong Kong residents still cannot enter the territory while those eligible to travel there must take a coronavirus test and go into quarantine.


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Novavax signs $1.6bn deal with US government’s vaccine programme

Hannah Kuchler in New York

Maryland-based biotech company Novavax has signed a deal worth up to $1.6bn with the US government’s Operation Warp Speed vaccine programme, securing more federal funds than any other company behind a potential Covid-19 inoculation.

The New York-listed company, which has yet to have any vaccines approved, plans to use the money to embark on a late-stage clinical trial and produce 100m doses of its vaccine candidate by January.

Novavax joins big pharmaceutical companies Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Merck, and AstraZeneca in Operation Warp Speed, a US health department project touted by President Trump, which aims to accelerate the development of a Covid-19 vaccine candidate. The biotechs Moderna and Emergent Biosolutions are also part of the initiative.

Alex Azar, US health secretary, said:

Adding Novavax’s candidate to Operation Warp Speed’s diverse portfolio of vaccines increases the odds that we will have a safe, effective vaccine as soon as the end of this year.

The Novavax agreement is the largest Operation Warp Speed deal announced so far, exceeding the size of a partnership with AstraZeneca worth up to $1.2bn.


US voters more pessimistic on chances of economic rebound

Lauren Fedor in Washington and Christine Zhang in New York

Americans have become more pessimistic about the prospects for a quick pandemic recovery, especially in the states of the US south and west where coronavirus cases have spiked, a poll for the Financial Times reveals.

Almost half of likely voters, some 49 per cent, said they believed the outbreak would get worse in their community over the next month, a sharp increase from the 35 per cent who said the pandemic would worsen when asked a month ago. Only 24 per cent said they believed it would improve.

At the same time, the monthly survey of likely voters for the FT and the Peter G Peterson Foundation found that the share of Americans who believed the US economy would “fully recover” in a year dropped from 42 per cent to 37 per cent. Those saying a recovery would take a year or more rose from 58 per cent to 63 per cent.

The FT-Peterson poll, conducted at the end of June, showed the spike in pessimism was particularly pronounced in the south and west, which have experienced a sharp increase in coronavirus cases after reopening their economies in May.


Unemployment in rich nations to reach 9.4% by year-end, OECD warns

The OECD published its annual employment report on Monday at a time of upheaval in the global labour market due to the impact of coronavirus.

The Paris-based club of mostly rich nations recommends governments start scaling back emergency wage subsidy schemes to encourage workers to move out of shrinking sectors, Delphine Strauss writes: Governments urged to scale back pandemic-related wage subsidies.

Some key findings from the report are:

- Unemployment rose to 8.4 per cent in May, with 54.5m people out of work, across OECD member countries.

- It will reach 9.4 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2020 for its club of rich nations even in an optimistic scenario in which the virus recedes and remains under control.

- Employment levels will remain below pre-crisis levels by the end of 2021.

- All gains in the labour market over the past 10 years have been wiped out by Covid-19 in just a few months.


Iran’s coronavirus death toll climbs again

Najmeh Bozorgmehr in Tehran

Iran has recorded the highest number of daily deaths since the coronavirus outbreak began months ago as authorities said public defiance of social-distancing rules has prompted the figure to climb again.

The latest 24-hour figures revealed 200 Covid-19 deaths by midday on Tuesday. The increased toll comes after authorities boasted the spread of the virus was being controlled enough for deaths to go down in May to as low as a few dozen a day.

But that number, which totals 11,931, began to rise last month, prompting some cities to reimpose restrictions.

Tehran buried 70 coronavirus-infected people in its main cemetery on Monday, said Mohsen Hashemi, the head of the city council.

Local media report that hospitals have recently taken in a number of coronavirus patients similar to the first weeks of the outbreak in Iran.

The health minister expressed regret that Iranians were not adhering to official warnings sufficiently, which has triggered “a new wave” of the illness. Even weddings have been held, he said.

“I repeatedly warned before that we could lose the battle in the last minute,” Saeed Namaki said, “to a virus with which we are playing chess.”

The most dangerous thing is to think it’s normal to live with this virus.


Hong Kong may resume social distancing after small spike in cases

Hong Kong’s health authority said the territory might bring back social-distancing rules after a small number of locally transmitted coronavirus cases sparked fears of a new wave of infections.

Seven coronavirus deaths have been reported in Hong Kong, which along with nearby Taiwan moved very early to implement lockdown and distancing measures as well as aggressive contact tracing and quarantine programmes.

Local media ran headlines about a “third wave” of the virus on Tuesday after the government reported 14 new cases, nine of which appeared to be locally transmitted.

Hong Kong’s social-distancing rules are based on a “suppress and lift strategy”, the food and health secretary said, meaning regulations are likely to be tightened again.

Sophia Chan said at a news conference on Tuesday:

Now we have come to a state where we have this alarming number of local cases, and with at least five of them we don’t know the source.

If we look at suppress and lift, now comes the time for suppression, so the direction is suppression. We would first of all look into all these measures that we have relaxed previously and see how and also when we are going to suppress in the form of tightening.

Hong Kong, which remains Asia’s pre-eminent financial centre despite its recent rapid moves towards political and legal alignment with mainland China, reopened bars, cinemas and other leisure and entertainment venues on May 8. This was followed by a staggered reopening of schools from May 27.

On Tuesday, a handful of schools sent students home again because of fears pupils or their family members had contracted the virus.

Additional reporting by Nicolle Liu


UAE says banking system ‘robust and resilient’ during pandemic

Simeon Kerr in Dubai

The United Arab Emirates said the domestic banking system had proven “robust and resilient” in the face of the economic impact of coronavirus pandemic.

The central bank in a statement said lending and deposit growth remain “stable” at the end of May.

The central bank since March has been running a 256bn dirham ($70bn) targeted economic support scheme to help lenders pass on debt relief to retail and corporate customers.

“The banking system proved its ability to face the consequences of Covid-19 pandemic and perform its role in supporting the economy,” said Abdulhamid Saeed, the governor. “We shall remain vigilant and take the necessary and appropriate measures to further support the UAE’s economic growth.”

Banks’ capital adequacy ratio – their capital as a percentage of its risk weighted credit exposure – was 16.9 per cent. Lenders’ eligible liquid asset ratio – the ratio of banks’ liquid assets to total liabilities – was 16.6 per cent.

The central bank said both measures were “well in excess of minimum regulatory requirements.”


Shares on Wall Street open lower

The global stock rally stumbled on Tuesday, as traders weighed signs of economic recovery against new flare-ups in coronavirus cases in several parts of the world.

Shares on Wall Street opened lower, ending a run of five straight days of gains that came even as the US suffered a surge in Covid-19 cases and as some parts of the country reversed their reopening plans. The S&P 500 fell 0.5 per cent in early trading, while the Nasdaq slipped 0.2 per cent.

Hopes for a rapid recovery in Europe were dented after the European Commission slashed its growth forecasts for the region’s economy this year after noting that lockdown measures were eased more gradually than initially expected.

The continent-wide Stoxx 600 index fell 0.9 per cent from about one-month highs. London’s FTSE 100 was down 1.6 per cent.


Aircraft lessor Avolon cancels order for 27 Boeing 737 Max planes

Peggy Hollinger in London

Avolon, one of the world’s leading aircraft lessors, on Tuesday dealt a further blow to Boeing’s troubled 737 Max by cancelling orders for 27 of the jets just three months after reducing its commitments by 75.

The latest cancellation signals a significant shift away from Boeing’s single aisle workhorse by Avolon, owned by China’s HNA group and Japan’s Orix. The Dublin-based lessor has just 37 Max aircraft still on order, to be delivered in about four years’ time, against almost 200 commitments for A320neo jets made by Airbus.

News of the cancellation comes as Boeing carries out the flight tests required to prove the aircraft is safe to fly again after two fatal accidents caused regulators around the world to ground the jet more than a year ago.

Boeing is hoping to resume deliveries this year, but there remain questions over the scale of demand for the single aisle aircraft. The aviation industry is expected to rack up billions in losses this year after air travel collapsed in the wake of the pandemic.

Norwegian Air Shuttle last week said it planned to cancel orders for 92 Max planes. It also became the first airline to launch legal action against Boeing as a result of the grounding.

In its second quarter trading update, Avolon said its liquidity remained robust despite the industry downturn. The group said it had access to more than $5bn in cash and undrawn facilities and had bought back $639m of senior unsecured debt maturing between 2021-2024 at below par to strengthen its balance sheet.

Lessors, which have accounted for more than 40 per cent of aircraft orders in recent years, have been hit hard by the aviation downturn. Aircraft valuations have fallen and airlines have asked to defer lease payments and are scaling back their fleets.

To deal with the downturn, Avolon had cut capital commitments by more than 50 per cent for the 2020 to 2023 period.


Daily case increase in Florida pulls back from record levels

Florida reported more than 7,300 new coronavirus cases over the past day, well below record levels from the weekend.

A further 7,347 people tested positive for Covid-19 since Monday, Florida’s health department revealed on Tuesday morning, up from an increase of 6,336 yesterday.

Florida on Wednesday became the first US state other than New York to report a daily increase of more than 10,000 cases and had a record single-day increase of 11,458 on July 4, according to Financial Times analysis of the Covid Tracking Project data.

Tuesday’s milder numbers come in the wake of efforts by regional leaders to help limit the spread of coronavirus, which has transformed Florida into one of the new hot spots for the disease in the US. Miami-Dade county, the state’s most populous region with 2.8m residents, on Monday ordered restaurants and gyms to close, going further than a statewide order on June 26 that required bars across Florida to shut.


Brazil president Bolsonaro tests positive for coronavirus

Bryan Harris and Andres Schipani in São Paulo

Brazil president Jair Bolsonaro has tested positive for coronavirus, days after he celebrated the July 4 weekend with the US ambassador and a host of his top ministers in Brasília.

The 65-year-old said on Monday he came down with symptoms of the disease, including a high temperature, but said he was in good spirits.

Mr Bolsonaro has long denied the seriousness of the pandemic and has attended numerous rallies and events often without any precautions, such as wearing a mask. He has described the disease as a mere “sniffle” and once said: “The virus is there. We need to face it like a man.”

On Saturday, the Brazilian leader – a key ally of Donald Trump – was photographed celebrating the US national holiday alongside his foreign minister, his chief of staff and the US ambassador to Brazil, raising the prospect that a number of key members of his cabinet could also have the disease.


Fed vice-chair says pandemic fallout will test financial system

James Politi in Washington

The top Federal Reserve official in charge of banking regulation has called on authorities around the world to pay closer attention to risks emanating from non-bank financial institutions as he warned that the financial system faced “more challenges” from the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

Randal Quarles, the Fed’s vice-chair for supervision and chair of the Basel-based Financial Stability Board, said banks were overall in much better shape than they were during the financial crisis a decade ago. “Too big to fail” reforms introduced since then had been positive, but he suggested both would be tested in the months ahead.

“We know the financial system will face more challenges. The corporate sector entered the crisis with high levels of debt and has necessarily borrowed more during the event. And many households are facing bleak employment prospects. The next phase will inevitably involve an increase in non-performing loans and provisions as demand falls and some borrowers fail,” Mr Quarles said on Tuesday.

Mr Quarles said that resolution authorities had “sprung up or have been strengthened around the world”, with the powers “to resolve a systemically important bank in a manner that maintains financial stability and reduces taxpayer exposure”.

But he warned: “The benefits of reforms cannot be realised unless they are operationalised. All FSB jurisdictions need to implement resolution reforms and to improve their resolution capabilities so they are fully prepared to respond to a bank failure or a crisis.”

Mr Quarles specifically urged the FSB to be “responsive” to changes in the “financial landscape”, including the rise of non-bank financial institutions.

“As non-bank financial institutions increase their market share, risks have moved outside the banking system. The market turmoil in March underlines the need to better understand the risks in non-bank financial intermediation and reap the benefits of this dynamic part of the financial system without undermining financial stability,” he said.

“There may be lessons for us to learn about the framework that we need to apply to this sector, which is different from—and less developed than—the one used for banks,” he added.

The FSB said that during the decade since the 2008 financial crisis, the share of assets held by traditional banks declined to 39 per cent from 46 per cent.


WHO to start China mission to identify origin of Covid-19

Anna Gross in London

World Health Organisation experts will be travelling to China this weekend to prepare scientific plans with their Chinese counterparts for identifying the animal origin of Covid-19.

The aim of the trip is to advance the understanding of animal hosts of the virus and work out how exactly the disease jumped between animals and humans. It will be taking place more than six months after the WHO was first alerted to the existence of Sars-Cov-2 in the Chinese province of Wuhan.

“The answers to these questions are sometimes elusive, it’s quite a detective story to find the source and intermediate hosts,” said Michael Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s health emergencies programme, who stressed that the WHO would be working alongside Chinese authorities for the investigation. “It took decades with Ebola, and years with Mers and Sars – it takes time,” he added.

Although the WHO understands that the initial origin of the virus was a bat, it is unclear if it was from the wild animal kingdom or the farmed animal kingdom, and whether the interface with humans took place in a farm or a market, or multiple markets, Mr Ryan said.

“If the walls of your castle are breached you need to know where they were breached,” he added.


Arizona coronavirus cases remain below daily high

Arizona has recorded a further 3,653 cases of Covid-19, indicating that the spread of coronavirus has slowed from recent highs.

While up from the 3,352 new cases on Monday, the number of positive tests in Arizona has dropped from an average of 3,844 over the previous seven days and a record of 4,877 on July 1, according to a Financial Times analysis of data from the Covid Tracking Project. Data on Mondays tend to be lower owing to delays in reporting from the weekend.

The rate of tests coming back positive was 35 per cent, higher than the seven-day average of 26 per cent.

The state’s health department said the number of patients hospitalised with the virus continued to climb, with another 84 people bringing the total to 5,272. The number of deaths increased by 117, including 52 fatalities that were the result of an analysis of death certificates.

The pace of new cases in Florida – another recent hotspot for coronavirus – has also slowed. Florida’s positive tests were up by 7,347 since Monday, well below its recent peak of 11,458.

In Oklahoma, the number of confirmed cases rose by 858, the state’s highest daily total since the start of the pandemic. There have been 404 deaths attributed to the virus in Oklahoma, after five additional fatalities were reported on Tuesday.


US sets up ‘surge’ testing sites in Florida, Texas and Louisiana

The US has announced it will set up “surge” coronavirus testing sites in a number of cities that have experienced large increases in new cases and hospitalisations.

The Department of Health and Human Services announced on Tuesday it would temporarily increase federal support to the communities of Jacksonville, Florida, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Edinburg, Texas, where there had been a “recent and intense level” of new cases and coronavirus-related hospitalisations.

Those three jurisdictions could benefit from additional facilities to identify new cases, especially for people who are not displaying symptoms, the HHS added.
Four sites in Louisiana go live from today, while three sites in Jacksonville and the one site in Edinburg, will begin to offer testing from Wednesday.

Florida and Texas have, over the past few days, each reported their 200,000th confirmed case of Covid-19 and Louisiana has had just over 66,000 cases. The states have been at the sharp end of a surge in cases through the US Sun Belt that has stirred concerns about the spread of the disease around the nation.

“The Trump administration is doubling-down on support to areas hard hit by Covid-19. Standing up surge testing sites is one of many tools we are utilizing now to assist local leadership to reduce community spread,” assistant secretary for health Brett Giroir said. “Data, including positive rates and demographic information, will inform how to shift state and local resources to reduce the occurrence of Covid-19.”


Head of World Bank’s private sector lending arm to step down

Silvia Pavoni in London and James Politi in Washington

Philippe Le Houerou is stepping down as head of the International Finance Corporation at a critical time for the World Bank’s private sector lending arm as it tries to support the economies of many emerging markets stricken by the pandemic.

Mr Le Houerou announced his departure on Twitter on Tuesday afternoon, saying it would take effect on October 1 – six months ahead of the end of his five-year term in 2021. “It has been an honour to transform the institution to benefit the poorest countries. My heartfelt thanks 2 staff, clients, board & partners who made this mission possible +will take it forward,” he said.

The exit of Mr Le Houerou will trigger a succession race at a pivotal time for the World Bank under David Malpass, the former Trump administration official who took over the presidency last year. The IFC has been central to the World Bank’s response to the pandemic by providing $8bn of the initial $14bn in financing to emerging markets announced by the multilateral lender in March.

“Philippe earned a reputation as a transformational leader who, in a short period of time, made IFC stronger, more efficient, better resourced and well prepared to serve our clients, as was most recently demonstrated through IFC’s quick and effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mr Malpass said a note to staff obtained by the Financial Times.


Wall Street retreats on virus worries after 5-day rally

US stocks dropped as global investors turned their attention to the recent rise in coronavirus cases.

The S&P 500 snapped a five-day winning streak, closing 1.1 per cent lower with shares across the energy and financial sectors leading the decline. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite also ended the day near sessions lows, down 0.9 per cent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.5 per cent.

Wall Street’s losses came on the heels of a sell-off in Europe, where the continent-wide Stoxx 500 fell 0.6 per cent and the FTSE 100 sank 1.5 per cent.

Investors have been closely monitoring the state of the pandemic, particularly as a rise in cases in parts of the US has led some states to curtail their reopening plans. Daily figures for new cases in Florida, Arizona and California – which have emerged as hotspots – came in below recent highs on Tuesday.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury ticked 0.05 percentage points lower to 0.64 per cent, as investors moved into the debt. Gold, also considered a haven asset, rose 0.7 per cent.


US triggers exit from World Health Organisation

Michael Peel in Brussels and Demetri Sevastopulo and Katrina Manson in Washington

The US has begun the process of leaving the World Health Organisation, in a contentious move that would strip the global UN body of its largest donor in the middle of the pandemic.

Washington formally notified António Guterres, UN secretary-general, of its intention to withdraw after the standard notice period of one year, a senior Trump administration official said on Tuesday.

“The United States’ notice of withdrawal, effective July 6, 2021, has been submitted to the UN secretary-general, who is the depository for the WHO,” the official said.

President Donald Trump suspended funding to the WHO in April and said in May that he would cut all ties, after he accused the organisation of helping Beijing hide the truth about Covid-19. The 12-month notice period leaves open the possibility that the exit could be reversed if Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, wins November’s election.

The UN secretary-general received the US notification on Monday and was “in the process of verifying with the World Health Organisation whether all the conditions for such withdrawal are met”, said Stéphane Dujarric, his spokesperson.


Levi Strauss eyes store closures in US coronavirus hot spots

Alistair Gray

Levi Strauss is eyeing plans to bring the shutters back down on dozens of recently reopened stores in parts of the US hardest hit by the new surge in coronavirus infections.

Chip Bergh, chief executive, said the denim company had about 40 stores in places where “the virus seems to be spiraling out of control”.

He was speaking on Tuesday after Levi disclosed a $364m quarterly loss and said it would cut about 700 corporate jobs to save $100m per year.

The San Francisco-based company, which had previously furloughed retail workers as it was forced to close stores in response to the pandemic, said the cuts equated to about 15 per cent of its corporate workforce.

Levi said 90 per cent of its stores globally had reopened, and it was “encouraged by early signs of recovery” in many of its markets.

However, Levi said it was axing the jobs as the impact of the pandemic remained “highly uncertain” and it was particularly concerned about what Mr Bergh said were virus “hot spots”.

“It’s quite possible we may be closing, again, some stores on a temporary basis until the virus subsides in those areas,” he said. “Hopefully, it doesn’t come to that… But we’re prepared to do it if we need to.”

Results published on Tuesday showed that a 25 per cent jump in e-commerce sales failed to offset a slump at its own bricks and mortar stores and other retailers that the company sells through. Net revenues in the three months ended May 24 dropped 62 per cent from a year ago to $498m.

Shares in Levi Strauss, which listed in New York last year at $17 per share, fell 4 per cent in after-hours trade to $13.28.


Texas reports record daily increase of more than 10,000 new cases

Texas became the fourth US state to report more than 10,000 new cases of coronavirus in a single day in another sign of the disease’s quickening spread through the west and south of the nation.

A further 10,028 people tested positive over the past 24 hours, the state’s health department revealed on Tuesday afternoon, a record increase, and nearly double the 5,318 reported on Monday. Figures can be inflated on Tuesdays owing to weekend reporting delays.

Florida last week became the first state after New York to report more than 10,000 cases in a single day, with California passing the milestone yesterday.

Texas and those three others are the only US states with more than 200,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus since the pandemic began.

There are now 9,286 people in Texas who are hospitalised with Covid-19, more than any other state and compared to second-ranked California with about 7,500 currently hospitalised.

That has heaped pressure on Texas’ health care system. Dallas county on Monday had its biggest one-day increase in Covid-19 hospitalisations, while intensive care beds in Houston area hospitals last week surpassed their normal capacity owing to an influx of coronavirus patients.


Daily increase in US Covid-19 cases jumps back above 50,000

The daily increase in US coronavirus cases jumped back above 50,000 on Tuesday and the number of new deaths rose to levels last seen in early June.

A further 51,888 people in the US tested positive for coronavirus over the past 24 hours. according to Covid Tracking Project, from 47,375 on Monday. This is the fifth day in seven that new cases have increased by more than 50,000 a day since first crossing the milestone on July 1.

A further 919 people died from coronavirus over the past day, the biggest one-day jump since June 3 when excluding a one-time revision for earlier fatalities in New Jersey on June 25 that resulted in it reporting 1,877 deaths that day.

Figures on Tuesday tend to tick up owing to weekend reporting delays.

Texas reported a record one-day increase of 10,028 new coronavirus cases, becoming the fourth state to experience a one-day rise of more than 10,000.

Florida (7,347), California (6,090), Arizona (3,653), Georgia (3,406), Louisiana (1,936), North Carolina (1,346) and Tennessee (1,359) had the largest increases in cases, but remained down from record highs. Washington (1,087) reported more than 1,000 cases for the first time.

Arizona (a record 117) and California (111) reported the most fatalities from coronavirus over the past day. Texas (60) and Mississippi (44) both had record daily increases in deaths.