Investors Track COVID Case Counts, Watch Key Market Levels As Omicron Fears Grow

The pace of applications for

US unemployment benefits slowly retreated again last week, with new claims totalling 1.31m as businesses continue to grapple with the fallout from the spread of coronavirus. Jobless claims edged down from the revised 1.41m reported during the week before, the US labour department said on Thursday.


combination of antiviral drugs used to cure millions of hepatitis C patients has shown promising results as a Covid-19 treatment in hospital trials in Iran. In results from three trials, 94 per cent of hospitalised patients taking a combination of sofosbuvir and daclatasvir showed reduced fevers and improved breathing versus 70 per cent in the control arm.

The number of coronavirus infections across England is showing no significant sign of

rising or falling, according to the Office for National Statistics, which estimates that an average of 14,000 individuals living in the community (rather than in institutions) had Covid-19 at any given time between June 22 and July 5, equivalent to 1 in 3,900 people.

Hong Kong

tightened social-distancing measures again as the number of locally infected Covid-19 cases rose in the past few days. The Chinese territory is bracing itself for another surge in infections as most people have returned to work. Restaurants will be limited to eight places per table and four people at tables in bars from Saturday.

UK pharmacist Boots plans to

cut more than 4,000 jobs following a “dramatic” decline in shoppers during the coronavirus pandemic. The company launched a consultation process for a “significant reduction” across its stores and Nottingham head office, including the closure of 48 of its opticians.

Starbucks announced it will require all customers to

wear face coverings when visiting its US cafes from July 15, even in states and regions where mask wearing has not been mandated. Customers not wearing a facial covering can use drive-through, curbside pick-up or delivery services, the company said in a statement.

John Lewis, a UK retailer, said it would

close eight of its 50 outlets in a move that puts 1,300 jobs at risk. Two full-size department stores in Birmingham and Watford will be shut, as well as smaller shops at Heathrow airport, St Pancras railway station and Croydon in London, and in Newbury in Berkshire, Swindon in Wiltshire and Tamworth in Staffordshire.


Fast Retailing warned that the global recovery of sales at its Uniqlo stores will take longer than expected due to the coronavirus as it cut its full-year profit forecast 15 per cent. Asia’s largest clothing retailer last month showed a surprisingly fast recovery of sales in Japan but quarterly losses widened in North America, Europe and other parts of Asia.

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CDC sticks to new COVID isolation guidance, rebuffs extra tests


CDC sticks to new COVID isolation guidance, rebuffs extra tests