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Coronavirus live updates: China publishes virus genome data from Beijing outbreak as capital city reports 25 cases

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Beijing, China, sees new coronavirus surge, many fear another lockdown
Beijing, China, sees new coronavirus surge, many fear another lockdown

China has published the genome data for the coronavirus in the latest market-linked outbreak in Beijing. The capital city continues to battle a cluster of cases linked to a wholesale food market, though a Chinese health expert said Thursday that the outbreak is now under control.

The news comes as other regions around the world report their own uptick in cases. In the U.S., California, Arizona and Florida all reported their largest single-day increases in cases since the outbreak began. 

While many countries are allowing businesses and borders to reopen with safety measures in place, global economies continue to feel the effects of coronavirus shutdowns.

Another 1.5 million Americans filed for initial unemployment benefits last week, according to data released Thursday. The Bank of England also announced an additional £100 billion ($124.5 billion) for its bond-buying effort to shore up the U.K. economy.

This is CNBC's live blog covering all the latest news on the coronavirus outbreak. This blog will be updated throughout the day as the news breaks. 

  • Global cases: More than 8.5 million
  • Global deaths: At least 454,359
  • U.S. cases: More than 2.19 million
  • U.S. deaths: At least 118,435

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

U.K.'s Queen Elizabeth thanks businesses for 'generosity' during coronavirus pandemic

A message from Britain's Queen Elizabeth II is displayed on a screen in Piccadilly Circus, during the early days of the Covid pandemic, London, Britain, April 8, 2020.
Hannah McKay | Reuters

11:45 a.m. London time — Queen Elizabeth II has offered her thanks to businesses across the globe for their response to the global health crisis, saying it is "heart-warming" to see how so many have addressed the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

"As many organizations around the country are reopening, I send my warmest best wishes and support to business communities throughout the United Kingdom, Commonwealth and across the world," the queen said in a letter to the British Chamber of Commerce on Friday.

"At a time of great difficulty for many, it is heart-warming to see the civic response and generosity of so many businesses, small and large, to the challenges posed, whether supporting the health sector or vulnerable communities."

To date, more than 300,000 people have contracted the coronavirus in the U.K., with 42,373 deaths nationwide, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. — Sam Meredith

EU leaders hold digital meeting seeking to agree on massive coronavirus stimulus plan

10:50 a.m. London time — European Union leaders on Friday started the process of trying to reach consensus on an unprecedented fiscal stimulus plan in response to the coronavirus crisis. 

The 27 national heads of state started negotiations via video conference at around 8:00 a.m. London time, seeking to work through differences over the final size and terms of the proposed 750 billion euros ($841 billion) recovery plan.

It comes as the bloc is grappling with the prospect of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

The European Commission, the EU's executive arm, estimated in May a contraction of 7.4% in gross domestic product (GDP) this year. — Sam Meredith

Post-lockdown 'revenge shopping' may not help Singapore retail sales

3:50 p.m. Singapore time — Retailers in Singapore are not hopeful that an uptick in shopping activity — expected after the country eases more virus containment measures — will do much to help their struggling sales, according to an industry association.

The Southeast Asian country on Friday reopened more segments of its economy that were suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak. More activities are now allowed to resume with precautionary measures in place, including shopping at physical retail stores and dining out.

"Retailers are definitely facing significant financial stress during this period. Whether big or small, they're actually finding it really difficult to meet their financial obligations," said Rose Tong, executive director of Singapore Retailers Association.

"They're not very hopeful that business will be business as usual ... even after the first two weeks of euphoria shopping, or what we call revenge shopping," she said.

Singapore is one of the worst-hit in Asia by the coronavirus outbreak. The government to imposed partial lockdown that it called a "circuit breaker" in early April, but has started to ease some measures this month. — Yen Nee Lee

China publishes virus genome data from Beijing outbreak

9:45 a.m. Singapore time — China has published the genome data for the coronavirus in the latest market-linked outbreak in capital city Beijing.

The data was published on the website of the state-backed National Microbiology Data Center and has been submitted to the World Health Organization, Reuters reported, citing local media.

Beijing is battling a cluster of coronavirus cases linked to a wholesale food market.

As of the end of Thursday, Beijing reported 25 new cases of the coronavirus, according to China's National Health Commission. That compares with the 21 cases reported in the city a day earlier.

Overall, mainland China reported 32 cases as of Thursday, the NHC said.

Stricter movement restrictions have been put in place in Beijing to contain the current outbreak. —Huileng Tan

A Chinese man wears a protective mask as he sits in front of a fish tank at his printing shop on June 18, 2020 in Beijing, China.
Kevin Frayer | Getty Images

Virus antibodies may not last long, study says

7:30 p.m. ET — A new study published in Nature Medicine found coronavirus antibodies may last only two to three months after a person becomes infected with the virus.

The study is small. The researchers examined 37 asymptomatic people, those who never developed symptoms, in the Wanzhou District of China. They compared their antibody response to that of 37 people with symptoms.

Still, scientists are still learning about key aspects of the virus, including how immune systems respond once a person is exposed. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, has previously said a vaccine may not provide long-term immunity if Covid-19 behaves like other coronaviruses. —Berkeley Lovelace Jr.

MLB players send team owners 70-game counteroffer to start season

General view inside of the Milwaukee Brewers spring training facility, American Family Fields of Phoenix on April 07, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona.
Christian Petersen | Getty Images

6:40 p.m. ET — Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark said players sent a new proposal to team owners as the two sides look to start its 2020 season suspended by Covid-19.

Clark said players issued a 70-game proposal, up from 60 games offered by the MLB. Clark also said the union's plan includes "a number of issues, (including) expanded playoffs for both 2020 and 2021. We believe this offer represents the basis for an agreement on resumption of play."

According to The Associated Press, the two sides remain more than $200 million apart on a deal that would offer $1 billion in salaries and include postseason pool pay. Club owners are offering $25 million in postseason funds, while players are seeking $50 million.

MLB commissioner Rod Manfred met privately with Clark on Tuesday to negotiate the "framework" for resuming operations still on hiatus due to Covid-19. Manfred said the meeting lasted for several hours in Phoenix, and following the dialogue, the league sent the MLBPA a 60-game plan, which would start on July 19. —Jabari Young

Billionaire mall owner: Businesses must require masks to prevent second shutdown

5:58 p.m. ET — Rick Caruso, whose company owns outdoor malls such as The Grove in Los Angeles, told CNBC that face masks should be mandated to help limit the spread of Covid-19. 

"This is important stuff. It's life and death, and we should take it very seriously," Caruso said on "Squawk on the Street," suggesting that businesses that didn't follow a hypothetical mandate should be cited for violating the health code. 

Caruso said businesses cannot afford to be shut down again if Covid-19 cases spiked to the point where governments wanted to implement a second round of lockdown orders. That's why taking precautions such as wearing masks and maintaining social distancing are so important, he said. 

"It's just part of what we have to do in order to survive this and get through this and keep businesses open, because a second closure is just going to be a dramatic negative impact to this economy," Caruso said.Kevin Stankiewicz 

California governor orders residents to wear face coverings in most public spaces

4:56 p.m. ET — People in California will be required to wear a face covering in most public indoor settings and outside when maintaining a physical distance from others is not feasible, according to an order issued by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

According to the order, people will have to wear face coverings while they wait in line for public transportation services or to enter a business. The requirement does not pertain to people who may be eating at a restaurant while maintaining a 6 foot distance or those who are engaged in recreational activities like swimming, hiking, running and biking.

Newsom said the order was necessary because too many people have started to venture out in public with their faces uncovered, although it didn't clarify how the state plans to enforce the requirement or whether someone could be fined for not complying.

A handful of states, including New York and Michigan, already have statewide orders requiring face coverings. —Noah Higgins-Dunn 

AMC plans to reopen all U.S. locations by July 24

AMC said it would reopen 450 of its domestic theaters starting July 15 and the remaining 150 locations would be reopened by July 24, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.

Representatives for AMC did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment.

This timeline falls in line with the company's previous comments that it would reopen before "Tenet" and "Mulan" were released in theaters. 

Upon reopening, AMC will operate at limited capacity and block off seating to maintain safety, alongside other precautionary measures. The theater chain has been shuttered since mid-March. —Sarah Whitten

Nevada introduces new mask measures after cases rise in Las Vegas

Chief Executive Officer of Caesars Entertainment Tony Rodio (L) and Wayne Newton (2nd R) watch today's first casino customer Ben Laparne roll the dice at the reopening of Caesars Palace on June 4, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Denise Truscello | Getty Images

4:37 p.m. ET — Nevada gaming regulators now require casino patrons to wear masks at gaming tables that do not have glass partitions. Casinos must also offer face coverings to all guests and post signage saying there are masks available.

The new measures follow a spike in coronavirus cases in Clark County, where Las Vegas is located, CNBC's Contessa Brewer reports. The county reported a daily increase of 342 cases on Tuesday, a new record.—Hannah Miller

California, Arizona, Florida report all-time high daily spikes

4:24 p.m. ET — California, Arizona and Florida all reported their largest single-day increases in coronavirus cases since the outbreak began as states ramp up testing and the virus reaches new communities.

Arizona reported 2,519 new cases while Florida reported 3,207, and California reported 4,084 new cases. All numbers represent record highs as the virus takes hold in the American South and West.

The recent surges in several states have prompted some state officials to reverse their stance on the response to the pandemic. After weeks of downplaying the virus and early signs it was surging in the state, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey acknowledged Wednesday that more aggressive interventions are necessary.

"I said two weeks ago that there is not a trend here," Ducey said while presenting a chart of daily new cases across the state. "Looking at the last two weeks of data, there is a trend. And the trend is headed in the wrong direction and the actions we're going to take are intended to change that direction and reverse this trend."  —Will Feuer

McDonald's to hire 260,000 workers this summer

4:03 p.m. ET — McDonald's expects to hire about 260,000 workers this summer. The company, which is one of the nation's largest private employers, needs more manpower as it reopens dining rooms across the country.

While the coronavirus pandemic has roiled the restaurant industry and left millions out of work, fast-food restaurants -- including McDonald's -- have been quicker to recover. Other restaurant chains looking for more hands include Subway, Yum Brands' Taco Bell and Dunkin.' —Amelia Lucas

Trump says some wear masks to show disapproval

U.S. President Donald Trump holds a protective face mask with a presidential seal on it that he said he had been wearing earlier in his tour at the Ford Rawsonville Components Plant that is manufacturing ventilators, masks and other medical supplies during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Ypsilanti, Michigan, May 21, 2020.
Leah Millis | Reuters

3:34 p.m. ET — President Donald Trump told The Wall Street Journal that some Americans might wear face masks to "signal disapproval of him."

Trump also told the Journal that a big issue he has with masks is that people fidget with them.Trump has often been seen without a mask despite recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization that people wear them as a way to slow the spread of the virus. 

Scientists say the virus can spread through respiratory droplets that pass when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Studies suggest the masks may serve as a helpful barrier. —Berkeley Lovelace

Kroger wants to build on digital gains after bounce during pandemic

Assistant store manager Jesus Alvarez rings up groceries from behind a new plexiglass barrier at Ralphs Kroger grocery store after California issued a stay-at-home order in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Los Angeles.
Lucy Nicholson | Reuters

3:21 p.m. ET — Kroger has been trying to catch up to rivals like Walmart and Amazon that have made strides in e-commerce.

With the pandemic, the supermarket chain attracted more online grocery sales and new customers — momentum that it now wants to build on.The supermarket chain's online grocery sales jumped by 92% in the fiscal first quarter, which ended May 23. 

In recent weeks that upward trend has continued, Kroger's Chief Financial Officer Gary Millerchip said in an earnings call Thursday.

Same-store sales growth in the fiscal second quarter so far have been in the mid-teens. Digital sales were up triple digits in the first three weeks of the second quarter. —Melissa Repko

White House task force silent as cases rise

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence stands among television soundmen, radio reporters and other media personnel all wearing protective masks because of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic as he listens to Donald Trump speak during an event in honor of National Nurses Day in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 6, 2020.
Tom Brenner | Reuters

2:53 p.m. ET — As coronavirus cases begin to rise in nearly two dozen states since Memorial Day, President Donald Trump's coronavirus task force has remained mostly out of sight from the public.

White House task force meetings still take place but are less frequent and closed to the press. But public health experts and infectious disease specialists say a strong, coordinated message on the virus from President Donald Trump and the White House is more important than ever as states face a surge in cases.

"The lack of a coordinated and strategic response from the White House is a particularly great concern now," said Marc Lipsitch, a professor of epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, "as lulls in transmission in some states that have achieved good control are not being fully utilized to get prepared for a potential resurgence in fall." —Berkeley Lovelace

Ford plans to expand remote work

Ford started resuming vehicle production in the U.S. on May 18, 2020 with new coronavirus safety protocols such as health assessments, personal protective equipment and facility modifications to increase social distancing.

2:34 p.m. ET — Ford Motor is surveying roughly 30,000 U.S. workers about whether or not they would like to return to their office locations or continue working remotely once the company starts calling back salaried workers beginning in September.

The survey, which started Thursday, will ask employees whether they would prefer to return to their workplace; have a blended schedule that allows them to work from home and an office; or work remotely on a permanent basis.

A Ford spokeswoman said the company plans to "accommodate as many employees requests as possible," however decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis between employees and their managers.

"As we make plans to bring back the remote workforce, many team members favored these new ways to work and found them empowering, flexible and cost effective," the company said in an emailed statement.

More employees working from home, the company said, also will assist in ensuring there's enough personal protection equipment for place dependent workers who must be physically present to do their job.

About 100,000 of the automaker's 190,000 employees have already returned to physical locations. The remaining workers are expected to begin returning to workplaces starting in September through the end of the year. The company is surveying employees outside of the U.S. as well. —Mike Wayland

Homebuyers flee to suburbs as coronavirus changes how people live

Potential homebuyers arrive for an open house in Arcadia, Calif.
Jonathan Alcorn | Bloomberg | Getty Images

After enduring months of stay-at-home orders, potential homebuyers are gaining interest in moving to suburban areas.

Home searches in suburban zip codes increased 13% in May, according to data from That was more than double the pace of growth in urban areas, CNBC's Diana Olick reports.

With millennials making up the majority of homebuyers, the shift to the suburbs is also helping the home construction industry recover from the pandemic more quickly than expected. —Hannah Miller

McDonald's will bring back seven menu items cut during the pandemic

McDonalds and other local stores remain shuttered due to COVID-19 at Times Square on April 13, 2020 in New York, NY.
Eduardo Munoz | Getty Images

2:15 p.m. ET — McDonald's shrank its U.S. menu to keep operations running smoothly during the pandemic, but the chain is planning to bring back seven items throughout July as it gradually reopens dining rooms.

Returning items include desserts like its vanilla cones and chocolate chip cookies and two variations on its Quarter Pounder burger.

Dozens of other menu items, like salads and yogurt parfaits, will remain unavailable to customers for the foreseeable future, although the chain has not ruled out bringing them back.

As of Monday, about 7% of McDonald's U.S. dining rooms were reopened to customers. —Amelia Lucas

New York governor considering a quarantine on travelers from Florida as cases rise

2 p.m. ET — Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he's considering imposing a quarantine on travelers arriving to New York from states like Florida where coronavirus cases have spiked. "I haven't made a decision yet, but I have had experts advise me of that. It is a real concern," Cuomo said at his daily press briefing when asked about whether he would impose a quarantine or take extra health precautions at the state's airports.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis mandated through an executive order in late March that travelers from the tri-state area self-isolate for 14 days. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott also signed a similar executive order on March 26. The Covid-19 outbreak has since eased in New York but has shown signs of accelerating in Florida, which posted a three-day moving average of 2,384 cases on Tuesday, an all-time high, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. —Noah Higgins-Dunn

Subway announces plans to hire 50,000 workers across North America

A Subway sandwich artist making a sandwich.
Andrey Rudakov | Bloomberg | Getty Images

1:45 p.m. ET — Subway said that its North American franchisees would hire 50,000 workers as it revives its $5 footlong promotion.

The privately held sandwich chain joins Yum Brands' Taco Bell, Dunkin' and Panda Express in publicly announcing plans to hire tens of thousands of workers. The summer months typically spark fast-food hiring as consumers spend more and teenagers look for work, but the hiring announcements this year arrive as the coronavirus pandemic has led millions of restaurant workers to lose their jobs.

Earlier this week, Subway announced that it was bringing back its promotion for a $5 footlong, sparking backlash and Federal Trade Commission complaints from its franchisees, according to Restaurant Business Online. —Amelia Lucas

Voluntary leaves shrink U.S. airline staffing to lowest since August 2017

Gate agents assist travelers at a Delta Air Lines Inc. bag drop counter at the San Diego International Airport (SAN) in San Diego, California, U.S., on Monday, April 27, 2020.
Bing Guan | Bloomberg | Getty Images

1:20 p.m. ET — Staffing at U.S. passenger airlines in mid-April nearly fell 7% from a month earlier to the lowest since levels August 2017, mostly due to a slew of temporary and voluntary leaves at Delta Air Lines, according to new data from the Department of Transportation.

Carriers that have accepted portions of $25 billion in federal coronavirus payroll aid are prohibited from laying off or cutting the pay rates of their workers through Sept. 30 but airlines like Delta, United, American and others have encouraged employees to take voluntary unpaid or partially-paid time off.

More recently, airlines have urged workers to take voluntary separation and early retirement packages in a bid to cut costs as coronavirus continues to hurt demand. 

In mid-April, staffing at U.S. passenger carriers fell by 31,000 from a month earlier to 428,569 full-time equivalent workers, the DOT data show. It said that was also the first year-over-year drop since April 2013. —Leslie Josephs

Carbon emissions bounce back to near 2019 levels as countries reopen 

Policemen try to ease the traffic jam at an intersection in a rainy rush hour in Nanjing in east China's Jiangsu province Monday, June 15, 2020.
Barcroft Media | Getty Images

12:50 p.m. ET — Carbon emissions are surging back to pre-pandemic levels as states and countries reopen, a rebound scientists have warned about since the start of lockdowns and a grim reminder that the world is still grappling with accelerating climate change.

By mid-June, as countries further relaxed restrictions, emissions rebounded to about 5% below 2019 levels. Emissions in China have already fully returned to pre-pandemic levels, according to an update in a May study published in Nature Climate Change.

In the U.S. and Europe, vehicle traffic was cut in half during lockdowns. But more people are getting back on the road and there are signs that people are choosing to drive rather than taking public transit to avoid the virus. —Emma Newburger

Virus will impact luxury sector for at least 2 years, Chanel CFO says

11:40 a.m. ET — Chanel CFO Philippe Blondiaux told Reuters the coronavirus will impact the luxury sector for at least the next 18 to 24 months. The company had to close shops and stop manufacturing temporarily as a result of the pandemic, in step with competitors such as Louis Vuitton.

Chanel is unique in the sector for its hesitance with embracing online sales, arguing costumers prefer a more personable experience. Blondiaux told Reuters the company has stuck to that strategy despite having to stop much of its in-store sales.

Blondiaux told Reuters the next 12 to 18 months will be "particularly tough" for Chanel due to a drop in international travel, even though reopened shops have seen a strong recovery. Around 85% of stores have reopened, he said. —Alexander Harring

Delta hesitant about adding flights after summer peak

11:30 a.m. ET — Delta Air Lines is planning to increase capacity this summer but its CEO says it will hold off on additional service after the peak summer travel season to assess demand.

Delta expects to add around 1,000 flights a day in each July and August. Its August domestic capacity would still be down between 55% and 60% from normal levels. Delta earlier this month said its capacity in the second quarter is down 85% from a year ago.

After adding the flights, Delta plans to "take a pause, and we'll see how demand looks post-Labor Day before we decide to add further domestic flights back," CEO Ed Bastian told shareholders.

Air travel demand in the U.S. has increased as states reopen and the peak travel season gets underway but is still far off the norm. An average of 415,135 people a day were screened at U.S. airports in the first 16 days of June, according to the Transportation Security Administration. That's close to four times the number screened in the same period of April, at the depths of the demand crisis, but down more than 83% from the same period a year ago. —Leslie Josephs

Manhattan apartment deals fall while Florida's grow

Miami, Florida
Getty Images

11:20 a.m. ET — Apartment deals in Manhattan plunged more than 80% in May from last year amid Covid-19 concerns and restrictions, according to a report from Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman. South Florida, on the other hand, saw an increase in the month, notably for stand-alone homes which surged 45% in Miami-Dade County since last year, the report said.

In New York City, high-end apartments saw the most dramatic impact with contracts for apartments priced at more than $5 million down by 90%, CNBC's Robert Frank reports. New York City brokers will be able to start showings and open houses again on Monday, when the city enters phase two of reopening.

The reopening has many brokers feeling optimistic that real estate deals will bounce back quickly because of pent-up demand when the lockdown ends.

"The spring selling season was basically surgically removed and placed into the summer and fall," said Jonathan Miller, CEO of real estate appraiser Miller Samuel. "So it won't be surprising if we see a big release of that pent-up demand. The big unknown is what happens after that initial rush." —Suzanne Blake

Daily new cases in Florida spike

Chile tightens lockdown measures after a spike in cases

10:20 a.m. ET — Chile is strengthening lockdown measures in its capital of Santiago after confirming that coronavirus cases have surpassed 200,000, according to a report from Reuters.

In a government briefing, officials said residents of Santiago will now only be able to leave their homes twice a week instead of five times a week. Parts of the city have been under lockdown for three months.

Chile currently has 220,628 Covid-19 cases and 3,615 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The country saw a spike in cases as officials said accounting errors had led to the omission of 31,412 cases from the country's total tally. —Hannah Miller

After Sweden's 'herd immunity' experiment, just 6% have antibodies

10:11 a.m. ET — Sweden, which has taken a less restrictive approach than others in an effort to develop "herd immunity" to coronavirus in its population, said about 6% of its people have developed Covid-19 antibodies, Reuters reported.

Herd immunity, which is usually achieved via vaccination, is attained when around 60% of citizens are deemed immune. Without a vaccine for coronavirus, however, countries have relied on exposure to and recovery from Covid-19, hoping it leads to long-term immunity.

Sweden's response has differed from others as the country's leading epidemiologists said herd immunity could be reached without a full lockdown, opting for mainly voluntary measures. The 6% figure is lower than expected, "but not a lot lower," Chief Epidemiologist Anders Tegnell said in a news conference.

Sweden's government advocated personal hygiene, social distancing, working from home if possible, and it banned mass gatherings and visits to senior care homes in response to the pandemic. Schools stayed open for people under 16, however, and bars and restaurants continued to serve customers if they were seated.

Tegnell, after pushing for a no-lockdown strategy, later conceded more should have been done to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in the country. The decision to bypass a strict lockdown has prompted Nordic countries to exclude Sweden when easing travel restrictions in the region. —Alexander Harring and Holly Ellyatt

What Sweden did differently to try and contain the pandemic
What Sweden did differently to try and contain the pandemic

Parts of the U.S. 'on the cusp of losing control,' Dr. Scott Gottlieb says

9:32 a.m. ET — As new coronavirus cases and hospitalizations continue to surge in some parts of the country, the hardest-hit cities are "on the cusp of losing control," former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNBC. Cases and hospitalizations have been climbing in several states in the American South and the West in recent weeks.

"These are outbreaks. We're seeing doubling times now falling under 10 days," Gottlieb said on CNBC's "Squawk Box." "These are on the cusp of getting out of control. I think these states still have a week or two to take actions to try to get these under control."

Disclosure: Scott Gottlieb is a CNBC contributor and is a member of the boards of Pfizer, genetic-testing start-up Tempus and biotech company Illumina.

New cases surge in the Middle East and Asia

U.S. jobless claims still staggeringly high

Odirus Charles holds a sign that reads, ' I Am angry as hell Fix Unemployment Now,' as he joins others in a protest on May 22, 2020 in Miami Beach, Florida.
Joe Raedle | Getty Images

8:30 a.m. ET — Another 1.5 million Americans filed for initial unemployment benefits last week, with continuing claims coming in at 20.5 million. Both figures fell just slightly from the prior period, but are still staggeringly high. 

Initial jobless claims have now come in above 1 million each week for 13 consecutive readouts, CNBC's Jeff Cox reports. Jobless claims notched a record of 6.6 million back in April.

Economists polled by Dow Jones had expected the latest figure to come in at 1.3 million. —Sara Salinas

Bank of England adds £100 billion more to bond-buying program

8:05 a.m. ET — The Bank of England has announced an additional £100 billion ($124.5 billion) for its bond-buying effort to shore up the U.K. economy amid pandemic. The new commitment brings the program total to £745 billion.

The central bank also kept interest rates consistent at 0.1%, though investors had been looking for negative rates. The U.K., like the U.S. and others, has seen unprecedented economic downturn amid coronavirus shutdowns, spurring historic and aggressive efforts by the BOE. Read more on the central bank's announcement from CNBC's Elliot Smith—Sara Salinas

Genetic engineering firm eyes scalable testing

7:51 a.m. ET — Ginkgo Bioworks, a genetic engineering start-up that was launched by scientists from MIT, is joining the fight against Covid-19. 

The company can program cells and DNA and has turned its attention to developing automated systems that could scale up Covid-19 screening tests throughout America. In essence, it develops custom microorganisms that aim to replace technology for biology.

Ginkgo has partnered with Illumina, a maker of DNA sequencing machines, and is working on technology to run a half-million tests per day, said Jason Kelly, Ginkgo's co-founder and CEO. Ginkgo made CNBC's 2020 Disruptor 50 list. —Lori Ioannou

Kremlin denies U.K.'s claim that Russia is exploiting the pandemic

A man with an umbrella in Red Square against the background of St Basil's Cathedral. From June 1 through 14, Moscow citizens are allowed to take walks and practise sports outside, including those older than 65 and suffering from chronic illnesses, according to schedules varying from house to house.
Sergei Savostyanov | TASS | Getty Images

7:22 a.m. ET — The Kremlin has rebuffed an accusation by the U.K. that Russia, as well as Iran and China, is trying to exploit opportunities created by the coronavirus, reportedly calling the claim "absurd."

"We categorically disagree with such statements," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier Thursday, Reuters reported. "As far as disinformation is concerned, we consider such accusations absurd."

The response came after U.K. Foreign Minister Dominic Raab told Sky News that certain governments were using the challenges thrown up by the global pandemic to "exploit" the coronavirus and take advantage of "a perceived opportunity" it brings, such as the opportunity to sow disinformation. —Holly Ellyatt

England's test and trace system identifies 45,000 contacts in second week

A boy runs past a mural supporting the NHS, by artist Rachel List, on the gates of the Hope & Anchor pub in Pontefract, Yorkshire, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Danny Lawson | Getty Images

7:06 a.m. ET — England's test and trace system identified about 45,000 people who came into contact with someone who tested positive for the coronavirus in its second week of operation, according to data from Britain's health ministry.

Since the project began on May 28, tracers have identified more than 95,000 contacts, according to the data, and successfully contacted more than 85,000 of them. 

The national effort to detect and quickly squash new chains of infection as the country continues to reopen has been hobbled by early delays, according to The New York Times. A coordinated test, trace and isolate effort, proponents say, will be key to keeping infections low and targeting government responses to new clusters as the world continues to ease restrictions. —Will Feuer

Read CNBC's previous coronavirus live coverage here: Beijing says outbreak under control; Sweden's virus strategy shifts