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Texas governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order requiring residents to wear a face mask in a bid to slow the spread of coronavirus in the state. The order, issued on Thursday afternoon, requires Texans to wear a face covering in public spaces in counties with 20 or more positive Covid-19 cases.

US equity markets climbed after a strong jobs report fuelled hopes that the economy is on track for a recovery, though gains were capped by fears about a resurgence in coronavirus cases. Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index and the tech-weighted Nasdaq Composite both closed higher by 0.5 per cent.

A former US Republican presidential candidate, Hermain Cain, has tested positive for coronavirus less than two weeks after he attended Donald Trump’s reelection rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Mr Cain, who does not require a respirator, is receiving treatment at a hospital in the Atlanta area.

The US oil rig count has declined for the 17th consecutive week to a record low of 263 in the past week. The drop-off in activity, caused by oil prices plunging as a result of coronavirus lockdowns, has slowed markedly in recent weeks, leading analysts to suggest a bottom may be near.

ExxonMobil expects its oil exploration and production business to take a hit of up to $3.5bn in the second quarter as a result of the crash in prices. The group said it anticipated results in its oil and gas production division would be between $2.5bn and $3.1bn weaker than the first quarter.

Discount UK fashion chain Primark, which before the pandemic crisis was expected to clear £1bn of annual profit for the first time, said on Thursday it expected the figure to be about a third of that level. Primark started to reopen stores in Europe on May 4.

The fall in coronavirus infections across England in recent weeks has levelled off, according to official data. The Office for National Statistics estimated that 25,000 people in the community — those outside hospitals and other institutions — had Covid-19 at any time between June 14 and June 27.

Scotland plans to allow some businesses to reduce physical distancing for coronavirus from two metres to one metre starting on July 10, but will make wearing a face covering mandatory in shops. Children of 11 or younger would be exempted from physical distancing while outdoors.

Israel will impose targeted lockdowns in neighbourhoods with flare-ups in infections as ministers grappled with a surge of cases. More than 1,000 people were diagnosed with the virus on Wednesday, the highest since the outbreak began. The death toll rose to 324.

Ryanair flew 400,000 passengers last month — a 97 per cent drop from June 2019’s 14.2m passengers — when it operated about 2,800 scheduled flights, the Irish budget airline reported a day after it resumed trips from the UK to other European destinations.



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