Health and Science

UK GDP posts steepest on-month fall in April, Twitter takes down China-linked accounts spreading disinformation

The U.K.'s GDP fell by 20.4% compared to the previous month — the largest monthly fall on record — as lockdowns necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic battered the economy.

In Asia, Japan plans to allow up to 250 foreign travelers a day into the country, Kyodo news agency reported on Thursday. The decision comes as the country eases coronavirus restrictions with Tokyo moving into the final stages for a full resumption of business and economic activities.

The coronavirus pandemic continue to weigh on investor sentiment, hitting Asian markets on Friday after U.S.  stocks had their worst day since March as confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. topped two million.

The coverage on this live blog has ended — but for up-to-the-minute coverage on the coronavirus, visit the live blog from CNBC's U.S. team. 

  • Global cases: More than 7.5 million
  • Global deaths: At least 421,032
  • U.S. cases: More than 2 million
  • U.S. deaths: At least 113,818

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Hubei to lower its emergency response level 

11:40 a.m. London time — The original epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, China's Hubei province, is lowering its emergency response level again after 24 days with no confirmed cases.

Officials said Friday that it will move from level II to level III effective from Saturday, according to Reuters. —Clinch

Formula One cancels Grands Prix races in Azerbaijan, Singapore and Japan

4:40 p.m. Singapore time — Organizers of the Formula One (F1) Grands Prix in Azerbaijan, Singapore and Japan have canceled this year's races due to the pandemic, F1 said in a statement on Friday.

"In Singapore and Azerbaijan the long lead times required to construct street circuits made hosting the events during a period of uncertainty impossible and in Japan, ongoing travel restrictions also led to the decision not to proceed with the race," said F1 in the release.

F1 had already canceled four other races, including its showcase Monaco race in May. It will instead hold a revised, shortened 2020 season that is due to start in Austria on July 5. —Huileng Tan

Island nations face 'perfect storm' with hurricane season, pandemic

4:20 p.m. Singapore time — Small island states will be hit by a "perfect storm" in the months ahead as the pandemic and extreme weather conditions strike simultaneously, said Patricia Scotland, secretary-general of the Commonwealth — an alliance of 54 countries with a combined population of 2.4 billion people.

Scotland told CNBC in a phone call that several economies will be forced into a "perilous" situation this year by the overlapping crises of the pandemic, its economic fallout, a tourism slump and the the rising prevalence of extreme weather events. —Chloe Taylor

UK economy contracted by 20.4% on-month in April due to lockdowns

3:15 p.m. Singapore time — The U.K.'s GDP fell by 20.4% compared to the previous month — the largest monthly fall on record — as lockdowns necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic battered the economy.

Britain entered lockdown on March 23 in a bid to curtail the spread of the coronavirus pandemic and has confirmed 292,860 infections as of Friday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

Some measures began to be eased in May, the U.K. economy was mostly stymied throughout April. —Elliott Smith

A jogger walks along Southbank by the River Thames on May 29, 2020 in London.
Jo Hale | Getty Images

Share price of world's biggest medical glove maker has more than tripled this year

3:00 p.m. Singapore time — The share price of Malaysian firm Top Glove has surged by more than three times this year as demand for medical gloves saw a significant increase due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The company, which is the world's largest medical glove maker, said an increase in demand for its products came "from virtually every country in the world." Its monthly sales orders jumped by some 180%, with some customers placing orders for delivery more than a year later.

Such an increase in sales helped the company to report a 366% year-over-year jump in net profit to 347.9 million Malaysian ringgit ($81.4 million) in the quarter ended May.

As of Thursday's close, Top Glove's Malaysia-listed shares were up by more than 255% this year, while its Singapore-listed shares jumped by over 256%, according to data by Refinitiv. —Yen Nee Lee

The number of extreme poor could rise over 1 billion due to the pandemic

1:45 p.m. Singapore time — Extreme poverty could spike due to the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report published by UNU-WIDER, which is part of the United Nations University.

That comes as the cost of the public healthcare crisis could reach $500 million a day in lost income for the world's poorest people.

The pandemic would push an additional 395 million people into extreme poverty, sending the number of those living on less than $1.90 a day to more than 1 billion globally.

Poverty is likely to increase dramatically in middle-income developing countries, with the location of global poverty shifting back towards developing countries in South Asia and East Asia, said the report. —Huileng Tan

Twitter takes down China-linked accounts spreading coronavirus disinformation

1:45 p.m. Singapore time — Social media platform Twitter has taken down thousands of accounts linked to China that were part of a "manipulative and coordinated" campaign to spread disinformation around topics including the coronavirus.

The social media site said that 23,750 accounts that were spreading "geopolitical narratives favorable to the Communist Party of China (CCP)" were removed. Another 150,000 accounts designed to boost that content were also taken down.

China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs was not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC. —Arjun Kharpal

Japan plans to allow up to 250 foreign travelers a day

People enjoy food and drink at an izakaya bar near Yurakucho Station on June 05, 2020 in Tokyo, Japan.
Takashi Aoyama | Getty Images

11:15 a.m. Singapore time — Japan plans to allow up to 250 foreign travelers a day into the country, Kyodo news agency reported on Thursday.

The quota is set to be introduced this summer for travelers from Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Vietnam, Kyodo reported, citing government sources. Business travelers will be given priority.

Japan has banned foreign travelers who have been in 111 countries and regions within the last two weeks.

The country has reported over 17,000 cases of the coronavirus and over 900 deaths so far. Various parts of the country have reopened for business with capital Tokyo further easing restrictions on business activities in this city from Thursday this week. —Huileng Tan

Arizona cases nearly double since Memorial Day as state nears hospital capacity

7:30 p.m. ET — The Arizona Department of Health Services reported an additional 1,412 new cases, bringing the state's total to 31,264. The number of cases have climbed by nearly 300% since May 1 and have roughly doubled since Memorial Day, according to historical data from Johns Hopkins University compiled by CNBC. The state's 7-day average of daily new cases as of Wednesday was 1,071. A week ago the state was averaging 720 daily new cases, according to Hopkins data.

While testing has increased over the last couple weeks, which could cause an uptick in new cases, the proportion of positive tests has also increased in recent weeks. Arizona hospitals reported that they were at 84% capacity on Wednesday, however, Gov. Doug Ducey later said the state has additional surge capacity available if needed.

"All of these trends come together to point to it being more than just testing and really because of extensive community spread," Dr. Farshad Marvasti, University of Arizona College of Medicine director of public health and prevention, told CNBC's "Power Lunch" on Thursday. —William Feuer

Houston may have to implement coronavirus restrictions again

COVID unit nurse Anita Pedy (left) and medical student volunteer Alan Araiza (right) check bruises on the back of COVID patient Melquiades Cervantes. In Houston, Texas.
Carolyn Cole | Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

6:30 p.m. ET — Houston is at risk of having to "backtrack" in its reopening measures, according to Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo.

"This week, the Covid-19 general hospital population in Harris County was the highest it's ever been," Hidalgo said at a press briefing. "It's gotten worse every day."

She said the city and county face a "significant" threat and that increases in hospitalizations have raised concern that Houston has reopened too quickly. If things get worse, she said Houston may have to resort to using NRG Stadium as a medical shelter. —Hannah Miller

Georgia lifts further coronavirus restrictions

Rapper Skooly performs during Skooly's "Nobody Likes Me' parking lot concert after more than two months of a lockdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic at Murphy Park Fairgrounds on June 06, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Marcus Ingram | Getty Images

5:50 p.m. ET — Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed an executive order lifting certain coronavirus restrictions.

Residents who are 65 and older are no longer required to shelter in place unless they have certain health conditions or live in a long-term care facility. The state will also lift capacity limits on restaurants and dining rooms and allow bars to have up to 50 people beginning June 16. Live performance venues can also reopen on July 1. —Hannah Miller

New York City's signed real estate contracts decrease by 87 percent in May 2020

5:20 p.m. ET — CNBC's Robert Frank reports on how the New York City real estate market is getting hit by the coronavirus pandemic and what the forecast looks like.

Investors are putting their money in opportunity zones—here's where it's all going
Investors are putting their money in opportunity zones—here's where it's all going

George Floyd protests highlight health-care disparities for black Americans

A man offers free masks to people during a protest against police brutality on June 6, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. This is the 12th day of protests since George Floyd died in Minneapolis police custody on May 25.
Elijah Nouvelage | Getty Images

4:38 p.m. ET — Protests in response to the police killing of George Floyd have brought greater attention to the health-care disparities that black people face in the U.S.

Though black Americans make up only around 13% of the U.S. population, they constitute 23% of all coronavirus deaths as of June 3, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This deadlier outcome stems from complex factors linked to centuries of slavery followed by further discrimination in the U.S., CNBC's Noah Higgins-Dunn, William Feur, Berkeley Lovelace Jr. and Jasmine Kim report.

Black Americans are more likely to suffer from underlying health conditions, lack health insurance and hold essential jobs that are typically lower paying and involve direct exposure to the public amid the pandemic. —Hannah Miller

Dow drops nearly 7% amid fears of second wave

4:26 p.m. ET — Stocks fells the most since March as the number of coronavirus cases increases in a number of states that are reopening businesses, raising concerns that a second wave of outbreaks could leader to renewed shutdowns. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1,861.82 points or 6.9% to close at 25,128.17; the S&P 500 dropped 5.9% to 3,002.10; and the Nasdaq Composite tumbled 5.3% to end at 9,492.73. It was the worst day for all three indexes since March 16, when they all fell more than 11% as the pandemic started to hit the United States. 

"You're seeing the psychology in the market get retested today" as traders weigh the the recent uptick in coronavirus hospitalizations and a grim outlook from the U.S. central bank, said Dan Deming, managing director at KKM Financial. "The sense is maybe the market got ahead of itself, which makes sense given the fact that we've come so far so fast." —Spencer Kimball, Fred Imbert, Yun Li

Nashville mayor delays next stage of reopening after cases rise

An employee wearing rubber gloves and a mask greets patrons at Puckett's Grocery & Restaurant on April 27, 2020 in Franklin, Tennessee.
Jason Kempin | Getty Images

3:06 p.m. ET — Nashville Mayor John Cooper said he intends to curb the city's next reopening phase after reporting a "slightly elevated" average in Covid-19 cases over the last two weeks.

Nashville's local health department reported 6,627 total confirmed Covid-19 cases on Thursday, an increase of 56 cases since Wednesday.

"As of today, the majority of our public health metrics are satisfactory. But our 14-day new case average remains slightly elevated, prompting us to stay in Phase Two of our Roadmap for Reopening Nashville," Cooper said in a press release.

Nashville is currently in phase two of its reopening plan, which allows restaurants and retail stores to operate at 75% capacity but bars must remain closed.

The next phase of the city's reopening plan would allow for restaurants and retail stores to operate at full capacity and bars, clubs, karaoke bars, tours, live entertainment and "transportainment" businesses to operate at 50% capacity. —Noah Higgins-Dunn

Here's what might be in the next round of stimulus

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on PPP, commercial rent, future stimulus
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on PPP, commercial rent, future stimulus

2:38 p.m.  ET — If you're eager for more financial support from the government, you may have to wait.

Congress is poised to consider another round of stimulus legislation. But it might not be until later next month.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin spoke this week about the areas on which the government may focus its next efforts to shore up the U.S. economy.

"I definitely think we are going to need another bipartisan legislation to put more money into the economy," Mnuchin told the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

"We don't want to rush into that because we want to be both careful at this point in seeing how the money is in the economy," Mnuchin said.

Further efforts could focus on unemployment benefits and direct payments to individuals, Mnuchin said. Options that are on the table include either more one-time stimulus payments or back-to-work bonuses. —Lorie Konish

5 New York regions to open more businesses

Source: The State of New York

1:42 p.m. ET — More businesses will be allowed to reopen in five central and upstate New York regions on Friday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced.

The North Country, Mohawk Valley, Southern Tier, Finger Lakes and Central New York regions will move to phase three of reopening, allowing restaurants to reopen for indoor dining at 50% capacity and personal care facilities like spas to reopen also at 50% capacity.

The decision comes as the virus recedes in New York, once the epicenter of the country's outbreak, but gains speed in some other states that were among the first and most aggressive to reopen, such as Texas, Arizona and North Carolina.

"We are the exception. To date, we are the exception. And that can change and that can change over night," Cuomo said Thursday. "It's the same story. 'We want to reopen, we want to reopen. It's fine, it's fine, it's fine.' No, it's fine until it's not fine." —Will Feuer, Noah Higgins-Dunn

Delta CEO says all employees will be tested for virus, antibodies

1:26 p.m. ET — Delta CEO Ed Bastian said in a memo Thursday that all employees will be tested for the coronavirus and antibodies. The announcement comes as Delta and other airlines begin adding summer flights as passengers start returning.

Bastian said Delta is partnering with the Mayo Clinic and Quest Diagnostics to facilitate the testing. The program will begin in Minneapolis, Atlanta, Detroit and New York starting next week, then will evolve into a company-wide testing protocol.

The company also announced the creation of the Delta Global Cleanliness organization, which will review Delta's standards and policies to ensure customers and employees are safe. –Alex Harring

Ryanair rejects U.K. guidance for passengers to check in all luggage

Ryanair planes are seen at Dublin Airport, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Dublin, Ireland.
Jason Cairnduff | Reuters

1:02 p.m. ET — Irish budget airline Ryanair said it will not follow new British government guidance recommending passengers check in all luggage. 

Instead, Ryanair will ask passengers to minimize check-in luggage, according to Reuters.

The guideline on luggage from Britain's Department of Transport is intended to reduce the spread of Covid-19. The agency is also recommending that people wear face masks in airports and on planes.

Ryanair rejected the check-in guideline and said cabin bags are handled only by the passenger, limiting any risk of physical contact with others, Reuters reported.

Flying in and out of Britain has decreased since the coronavirus pandemic, because of new U.K. rules for international arrivals to quarantine for 14 days.

"We are taking the necessary steps to ensure a framework is in place for the aviation industry to bounce back," said Transport Minister Grant Shapps in a statement. —Suzanne Blake, Reuters

Mortgage rates hit new record low

12:34 p.m. ET — Mortgage rates hit a record low amid concerns over a second wave of the coronavirus, which has helped spur a market sell-off.

Though rates saw a boost last week, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate now hovers at 2.97%, CNBC's Diana Olick reports.

Low mortgage rates have driven a fast recovery in the housing market and mortgage applications for home purchases were up 13% annually last week, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association. —Hannah Miller

Mnuchin warns against shutting down economy for second wave

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin: 'We can't shut down the economy again'
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin: 'We can't shut down the economy again'

Noon ET — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is warning against imposing lockdowns again even as states like Texas report record coroanvirus hospitalizations as businesses reopen. 

"We can't shut down the economy again. I think we've learned that if you shut down the economy, you're going to create more damage," Mnuchin said in an interview with CNBC's Jim Cramer on "Squawk on the Street." 

"And not just economic damage, but there are other areas and we've talked about this: medical problems and everything else that get put on hold,"  he added. "I think it was very prudent what the president did, but I think we've learned a lot." — Spencer Kimball

White House plan coronavirus stimulus talk for late July

11:18 a.m. ET — The White House will not discuss a fourth coronavirus stimulus package until late July, when Congress returns from recess, CNBC's Kayla Tausche reports.

Both the Senate and House of Representatives are set to return to Washington on July 21, which is 10 days before programs under the CARES Act, including increased unemployment insurance payments, will expire. The Trump administration estimates that more than half of funds from the last three stimulus packages have not been spent.

A breakdown from the Office of Management and Budget found that just $22 billion of $500 billion designated to Treasury Department for business loans has been spent. In formulating a future stimulus bill, Republican leaders and the administration do not have a uniform stance yet on what would should be included, but many want to provide liability protection to businesses that reopen. —Suzanne Blake

Dow plunges more than 900 points on worries of second coronavirus wave 

9:33 a.m. ET — Stocks fell sharply at the open as coronavirus cases increased in some states that are reopening up from lockdowns, reports CNBC's Fred Imbert and Yun Li. The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded more than 900 points lower, or over 3%. The S&P 500 slid 2.5% while the Nasdaq Composite slid 2.1%. —Melodie Warner

Alitalia to resume international flights from Milan in July

REUTERS | Tony Gentile

9:23 a.m. ET — Alitalia intends to resume international flights from Milan next month, according to a Reuters report. 

The Italian carrier plans to operate 52 routes to 37 airports  including 19 in Italy and 18 abroad — about 60% more flights compared to June. Seats offered in July will grow by 60% compared to the previous month, Reuters reported. —Melodie Warner

Moderna to launch coronavirus vaccine trial in July

8:58 a.m. ET — Moderna is set to start a 30,000-person trial of its coronavirus vaccine in July, the company confirmed to Reuters. The trial comes as the biotechnology company enters the final stage of testing for the potential coronavirus vaccine.

Moderna selected a100-microgram dose of the vaccine for the study, for which the primary goal would be to prevent symptomatic Covid-19. The secondary goal would be the prevention of severe disease, as defined by people being hospitalized. 

The company aims to deliver around 500 million — and potentially up to 1 billion — doses per year beginning 2021, Reuters reported. —Alex Harring

Pace of U.S. weekly jobless claims continues to decelerate

8:48 a.m. ET — The pace of unemployment claims decelerated for the 10th straight week as the U.S. jobs market continued its plodding recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, reports CNBC's Jeff Cox. 

Labor Department data showed initial claims totaled 1.54 million, compared to the 1.6 million expected from economists surveyed by Dow Jones and a drop of 355,000 from the previous week's total that was just short of 1.9 million. —Melodie Warner

The latest on daily new cases

Regeneron begins testing potential treatment

7:24 a.m. ET — Regeneron announced the start of the first human trial of its antibody cocktail that the company hopes will effectively treat and even prevent Covid-19.

The drug, REGN-COV2, which is a combination of two antibodies, is the latest potential therapy to enter clinical trials. The only drug that has so far proven to effectively treat Covid-19 patients is Gilead Sciences's Remdesivir. 

"REGN-COV2 could have a major impact on public health by slowing spread of the virus and providing a needed treatment for those already sick – and could be available much sooner than a vaccine," Dr. George Yancopoulos, co-founder and chief scientific officer of Regeneron, said in a statement. —Will Feuer

Regeneron's science chief on starting clinical trials for Covid-19 antibody drug
Regeneron's science chief on starting clinical trials for Covid-19 antibody drug

WHO warns of increasing 'hotspots' in Africa

NAIROBI, Kenya - Health workers carry out coronavirus screening on residents in the Kibera settlement.
Kelvin Juma/SHOFCO

7:00 a.m. ET — Africa will experience a "steady increase" in coronavirus cases until a vaccine is developed, the World Health Organization warned, according to Reuters. 

The global health body said that robust public health measures are needed in virus "hotspots" in the continent.

"Until such time as we have access to an effective vaccine, I'm afraid we'll probably have to live with a steady increase in the region, with some hotspots having to be managed in a number of countries, as is happening now in South Africa, Algeria, Cameroon for example, which require very strong public health measures, social distancing measures to take place," Matshidiso Moeti, WHO's Africa regional director, told a briefing in Geneva, Reuters said. —Holly Ellyatt

Read CNBC's previous coronavirus live coverage here: Russia's cases top 500,000, Italy's industrial output plunges in April