Global COVID update: Are we out the woods yet?

Finally over his coronavirus infection, U.S. President Joe Biden departs to spend most of the next week on Kiawah Island, South Carolina, an oceanfront golf resort that he has visited in the past.

Deaths and Infections

* Eikon users, click on COVID-19: MacroVitals for a case tracker and summary of news. 

Asia-Pacific

* Strong winds from Tropical Storm Mulan are expected to whip across the South China Sea towards Hainan Island on Wednesday, raising the possibility of disruption to mass testing on the holiday island that is grappling with a big COVID-19 outbreak.

* India will remove the fare caps it imposed on domestic airlines in 2020 during the pandemic from Aug. 31, the country's civil aviation ministry said, lifting restrictions on ticket prices.

CHINA'S COVID LOCKDOWNS ARE A SYMPTOM OF DEEPER PROBLEMS

* China and Britain have agreed to resume direct passenger flights between them, the British embassy in China said. The flights were suspended over fears of a new strain of the coronavirus.

* About 66,000 people in Southeast Asia are infected each year with SARS-related coronaviruses, and nearly 500 million people live near habitats where bat hosts of those viruses are found, according to a study.

* Shanghai reported zero new domestically transmitted coronavirus cases for Aug. 9, the same as a day earlier, the city government said.

* Mainland China reported 1,094 new coronavirus cases for Aug. 9, of which 444 were symptomatic and 650 were asymptomatic, the National Health Commission said.

Europe

* The European Medicines Agency has started a rolling review of a variant-adapted vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech, it said on Tuesday.

* British workers are spending more time working from home compared with pre-pandemic times despite the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, according to official data released on Tuesday that offered a glimpse of what the 'new normal' looks like.

Economic Impact

* Stocks and bonds steadied, while the dollar edged lower ahead of U.S. inflation data that could give clues to the Federal Reserve's appetite for more aggressive rate rises. [MKTS/GLOB]

* China's factory-gate inflation eased to a 17-month low in July, defying global cost pressures as slower domestic construction weighed on raw material demand, although consumer prices picked up pace, driven mostly by tight pork supplies.

* Japanese wholesale prices rose 8.6% in July from a year earlier, data showed on Wednesday, slowing from the previous month's pace in a sign inflationary pressure from higher fuel and raw material costs was easing.

* Lenovo Group, the world's biggest maker of personal computers, reported flat revenue for the April to June quarter when many Chinese cities were hit by COVID-19 lockdowns, marking its most subdued result in eight quarters.

* Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corp said it would hold to its plan to produce 9.7 million vehicles globally this fiscal year, even as it announced another stoppage related to the spread of COVID-19.

COVID IS SPIKING AND BIDEN WHITE HOUSE IS ASLEEP ONCE AGAIN

* Cathay Pacific Airways said Hong Kong's strict COVID rules for air crew were crimping the airline's ability to exploit rising demand for travel, even as its first-half loss narrowed to HK$5 billion ($636.98 million).

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