Coronavirus latest: Lockdown easing reversed or postponed for 40% of US population

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Gilead Sciences has said it will charge governments $2,340 for a course of remdesivir, a drug that has been shown to shorten recovery times in Covid-19 patients. The US biotech company said government healthcare programmes in developed markets would be charged a flat fee of $390 per vial for the drug. A five-day treatment uses six vials. Private insurers in the US would be charged $520 per vial, bringing the cost for a typical patient to $3,120.

The US Federal Reserve has launched a facility to purchase newly issued debt from large companies, setting up the latest in a series of schemes designed to shore up financial markets during the coronavirus crisis. The move by the Fed comes despite the recovery in corporate credit markets from the stress they were experiencing in the early stages of the US pandemic, which means usage of the facility is expected to be limited.

US equities finished 1.5 per cent higher on Monday, with all sectors ending in the black. Industrials were the best performer, thanks primarily to a 14.4 per cent jump in Boeing’s share price after the aircraft manufacturer said it received approval from the federal aviation regulator to recommence testing flights of its grounded 737 Max aircraft this week.

Jefferies will spend more money buying back its shares after a 90 per cent surge in second-quarter trading revenues helped the investment bank to record profits for the quarter ended May 31. Chief executive Rich Handler said the company had achieved “remarkable results” despite a “challenging, volatile and sad environment” and the board had authorised buybacks of as much as $250m versus a prior authorisation to repurchase up to $177m.

BP has agreed to sell its petrochemicals business to Ineos for $5bn as the UK energy major seeks to strengthen its balance sheet and become a more streamlined entity under its new chief executive. BP reported a 66 per cent drop in earnings and a rise in debt in the first quarter as crude demand and oil prices collapsed.

British casual dining business The Restaurant Group has won creditor approval to significantly reduce its operations. The company said 82 per cent of its creditors voted for the restructuring, exceeding the 75 per cent hurdle for such company voluntary arrangements to succeed. The group said this month that it planned to shut 125 of its underperforming restaurants, in a move that mostly affected the Frankie & Benny’s chain.

European business and consumer confidence has rebounded for the second consecutive month in June, but remains well below pre-pandemic lows, according to the European Commission’s monthly survey. The economic sentiment indicator rose by 8.1 points to 74.8 in June, the highest monthly increase since the poll started in 1961, in a survey of about 135,000 companies and 32,000…

Read MoreCoronavirus latest: Lockdown easing reversed or postponed for 40% of US population

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