The US justice department has requested Covid-19 data from four states as it considers civil rights investigations into the deaths of nursing home residents. The department said it was requesting the data from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Michigan, citing orders in those states that required nursing homes to admit coronavirus-infected patients.

Italy on Wednesday reported its biggest one-day increases in coronavirus cases in more than three months as Europe contends with a sharp uptick in infections. The country reported 1,367 new cases up from 878 the previous day, taking the total caseload to 262,540. The country’s death toll has climbed to 35,458. Italy is one of several countries in Europe with a rise in infections as holidaymakers return home.

Coronavirus will sap more than £20bn from Britain’s travel industry while the UK quarantine policy leaves London at risk of surrendering its position as a global hub for tourism and business, an industry group has warned. Spending by international travellers is expected to plummet 78 per cent, or £22bn, this year, the World Travel & Tourism Council said.

Inflation surged in Lebanon during July, with its consumer price index rocketing 112 per cent compared with 2019. The cost of consumer goods is being driven up by the devaluation of the Lebanese pound, whose two-decade peg to the dollar at L£1,500 has effectively been broken. Black market rates are currently hovering at L£7,000-7,500.

Dick’s Sporting Goods registered its highest-ever quarterly sales and earnings, as consumers showed growing interest in fitness and socially distant outdoor activities. The Pittsburgh-based retailer said net sales jumped 20.1 per cent year-on-year to $2.71bn for the three months to August 1. Consolidated same-store sales advanced 20.7 per cent.

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London Gatwick is to cut up to a quarter of its workforce as part of a major restructuring following a collapse in passenger numbers at the UK’s second-busiest airport. Gatwick is entering into consultations with about 600 staff, and said it was in talks with the government over sector-specific support to help the aviation industry through the crisis.

Salesforce shares were poised to extend their gains a day after the cloud-based software group surpassed $5bn in quarterly sales and raised its forecast for next year. Shares in the San Francisco-based company rose 13 per cent in pre-market trading on Wednesday. They have risen more than 10 per cent this month, and 33 per cent for the year.

Russian gold miner Polymetal doubled its dividend after metal prices rallied in the first half of the year. Polymetal said it would pay a first-half dividend of 40 cents a share. The group has benefited from a 27 per cent rise in gold prices this year and lower costs due to a fall in the Russian rouble and Kazakh tenge. Gold hit a record $2,072 an ounce on August 6.

Compiled by George Russell in Hong Kong

Via Financial Times