Coronavirus latest: Asia stocks struggle over uncertain US pandemic recovery

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Authorities in Beijing described new outbreaks in the Chinese capital as “very severe” and warned residents not to travel outside the city unless absolutely necessary. In a press conference reported by state media, city officials also said they had raised the virus risk level to their second highest category and would strengthen infection controls and reinstate lockdown measures.

North America’s premier tennis event will be held behind closed doors, New York state governor Andrew Cuomo announced. The US Open, held annually in New York City, will take place from August 31 to September 13, as previously planned, but without fans in the stadium. This year’s Wimbledon tournament has been cancelled and the French Open, originally scheduled for May-June, has pushed to late September.

Jay Powell, the Federal Reserve chair, has warned Congress of “significant uncertainty” surrounding the “timing and strength” of the US economic recovery, after some encouraging data stoked hopes of a swift exit from the recession triggered by the pandemic. In prepared remarks to the Senate banking committee, Mr Powell struck a cautious tone about America’s economic prospects, in line with most Fed officials’ expectations.

The US-Canada border will stay largely closed for at least another month, Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau said. The almost-9,000km frontier has been closed except for returning citizens, trade and essential trips since late March. Mr Trudeau said the two countries had agreed to extend the arrangement until July 21. Canada has confirmed 99,147 cases of Covid-19, while the US has recorded more than 2m.

A drop-off in purchases by companies in industries most affected by the coronavirus crisis hit revenue at Oracle in the latest quarter, according to figures released on Tuesday. Shares in the US business software maker fell 5 per cent in after-market trading after it reported a 6 per cent revenue decline for the quarter, to $10.4bn. Two percentage points of the decline were caused by currency swings, the company said.

British prime minister Boris Johnson has praised a UK study that found that a generic steroid can cut the risk of dying from serious cases of Covid-19. Scientists announced earlier on Tuesday that trials of dexamethasone have been so far successful. Peter Horby of Oxford university, speaking alongside Mr Johnson, described dexamethasone as a “very boring” drug which has been around for 60 years and is “very cheap”.

Dubai said it is on track to curb the coronavirus, citing a “significant decline” in the number of cases and a rise in recoveries over the past few weeks. While Dubai has been opening its economy since ending its 24-hour curfew through most of April, the neighbouring emirate of Abu Dhabi has extended a lockdown that started earlier this month, keeping the capital sealed off from the rest of the United Arab Emirates.

Cricket Australia’s chief executive Kevin Roberts, who was replaced yesterday, became the third leader of a sporting code in the country to lose their job. The heads of the rugby union and rugby league also departed as the coronavirus lockdown threw most sporting bodies’ finances into chaos after revenue from broadcasting rights were withheld and ticket sales were suspended.