Coronavirus latest: McDonald’s sales improve as diners flock to drive-thrus


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Wall Street kicked off the new week with gains, as the Federal Reserve’s plans to begin buying corporate debt buoyed market sentiment. The S&P 500 closed 0.8 per cent higher on Monday, led higher by shares across the financial sector. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite fared best among the three main indices, rising 1.4 per cent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.6 per cent.

The US drug regulator has revoked its emergency approval for hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial that has been touted by the president, Donald Trump, and used to treat Covid-19 patients. The Food and Drug Administration said new data from trials showed the drug did not improve the condition of patients or have an antiviral effect — and so the benefits did not outweigh the risks.

The World Health Organization has cautioned that people should not “lose sight” of the public health threat posed by influenza, as it warned that surveillance had been sidelined in many countries in favour of efforts to tackle Covid-19. “Circulation of both [diseases] can worsen the impact on health systems which are already overwhelmed,” said WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

United Airlines will tap $4.5bn in loans from US taxpayers, while also signing for a $5bn term loan from Goldman Sachs, backed by the airline’s mileage programme. Airline executives expect the financing will bring the Chicago company to $17bn in liquidity by the end of the third quarter. United plans to offer unspecified slots, gates and routes as collateral for the loan, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

India’s imports halved last month, with exports dropping by more than a third, as nearly three months of lockdown measures and pandemic disruptions hit the economy. Imports in May fell 51 per cent to $22bn from the same month a year earlier while exports dropped 36 per cent to $19.9bn. The trade deficit narrowed to $3.2bn, down from $30bn in May 2019.

India’s southern state of Tamil Nadu is re-imposing a strict and total lockdown in the southern city of Chennai and four neighbouring districts from June 19 to 30 as it tries to clamp down on the spread of coronavirus. Chennai and the surrounding area – a hub of India’s car manufacturing industry – is one of the three Indian cities worst hit by Covid-19.

Pakistan will impose a two-week lockdown from Tuesday night in parts of Lahore, its second-largest city, after healthcare officials reported a surge in the number of coronavirus cases. Businesses, excluding pharmacies and stores selling essential food items, are to be shut under the new restrictions. Street vendors, pictured, have continued to ply their wares amid restrictions.

Singapore will ease distancing measures further on Friday in a move that authorities have said will essentially resume activity throughout the economy. Gan Kim Yong, health minister, said the number of infections has remained “under control” since Singapore started lifting lockdown measures two weeks ago. Dining in, retail outlets, parks, beaches, gyms and all healthcare services are among the activities that may resume operations.

Greece reopened officially for tourism on Monday, reducing testing for coronavirus for people arriving at Athens airport and allowing direct flights to Thessaloniki, a hub for visitors to northern Greek resorts. All visitors arriving from Italy, Spain and the Netherlands will be tested at the airport, health authorities said. If the result is positive, they will spend two weeks in quarantine, paid for by Greece.

Jaguar Land Rover has expanded its multibillion pound cost-cutting programme by a quarter and plans to shed more than 1,000 UK jobs, after the business fell to an annual loss on the back of a £500m coronavirus hit between January and March. Britain’s largest carmaker booked a £422m pre-tax loss in the year to March as showrooms and factories across the world closed because of the pandemic.

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