(Reuters) – Japan’s factory output shrank for the third straight month in September as the auto sector was hit by a global supply shortage, raising the risk of an economic contraction in the third quarter and throwing the recovery into doubt.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
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* Britain will remove next week the last seven countries on its coronavirus “red list”. The country’s cases fell nearly 10% over the past week.
* Ukraine registered a record daily high of 26,870 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, exceeding the previous high of 26,071 a day earlier, the health ministry said on Friday.
* Citigroup Inc said on Thursday it will require all U.S. employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of their employment.
* Brazil registered on Thursday 389 new COVID-19 deaths and 15,268 additional confirmed cases of the virus, according to data released by the health ministry.
* Mexico added 357 new confirmed coronavirus fatalities on Thursday, health ministry data showed, bringing the country’s overall death toll from the pandemic to 287,631.
* Pfizer and BioNTech said they expect to deliver 50 million more doses of their vaccine to the U.S. government by April-end.
* South Korea said on Friday it will drop all operating-hour curbs on restaurants and cafes and implement its first vaccine passport for high-risk venues, such as gyms, saunas and bars, as it tries to “live with COVID-19”.
* COVID-19 vaccines have arrived at Australia’s Casey research station in Antarctica, authorities said on Friday, allowing expeditioners to be inoculated before they journey back home to a country reopening to the world.
* From printing coupons as replacement cash to breeding ornamental black swans to eat, North Korea is being forced to innovate to handle economic woes and food shortages as anti-pandemic border lockdowns drag on, reports suggest.
* China reported 64 new confirmed coronavirus cases for Oct. 28, compared with 39 a day earlier, the country’s health authority said on Friday.
* Each morning, Adulwitch Tangsupmanee brings a cart of crispy pork belly to a run-down cinema in Bangkok’s Chinatown and sets up the same street-food stall his internationally renowned father ran for nearly 50 years before dying of COVID-19 in July.
* A circus-themed bar in Sydney is readying to open on Monday for the first time in four months, with new staff going through their paces and arcade machines serviced, polished and primed.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* The World Bank has approved a $360 million development policy financing loan to support Egypt’s post-pandemic recovery, the lender said.
* The WHO said it was seeking further data from Merck on its experimental new antiviral COVID-19 pill and hoped to issue guidance in coming weeks regarding its use for mild and moderate cases.
* Asian shares and U.S. stock futures slipped on Friday, as Amazon and Apple quarterly earnings bucked a recent strong trend and growth and inflation fears continued to weigh. [MKTS/GLOB]
* Australia’s central bank on Friday lost all control of the yield target key to its stimulus policy as bonds suffered their biggest shellacking in decades and markets howled for rate hikes as soon as April.
* A global parts and chip shortage is taking a heavy toll on Japanese firms with seven out of eight automakers seeing global output drop in September, casting doubt over the central bank’s view the impact of supply constraints will be temporary.
* Brazil’s economy is unravelling quickly and is set to become the worst performer among the world’s top 20 next year, with some risks of recession on the horizon in the election-bound country, a Reuters poll showed.
(Compiled by Sherry Jacob-Phillips; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)