Need to know: Thursday

The Australian Financial Review has a daily newsletter about how the coronavirus pandemic is changing markets, business and politics. This pandemic will profoundly change how all Australians live their lives and reshape the modern, globalised world.

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‘Irresponsible’: Retailers call for total lockdown

Major retailers have called on the Morrison government to order a total shutdown of all non-essential stores and services including shopping centres or risk causing more damage to a sector already struggling to stay afloat.

G20 leaders fear for failed states

World leaders fear some developing nations will collapse due to the economic ruin being caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Australia is so concerned that it is exploring ways to try to help as best it can some Pacific neighbours, but its capacity is severely limited due to the sheer cost of trying to combat the effects of the virus at home.

ASX comeback rolls on as US clears $3.4tn rescue bill

The US Senate’s unanimous approval of a $US2 trillion ($3.4 trillion) coronavirus relief package boosted Australian shares and kept the momentum behind an incredible three-day rally intact, narrowing the equity market’s losses to less than 30 per cent since the pandemic broke out.

Health authorities sweat 115 mystery cases

At least 115 confirmed coronavirus cases acquired in Australia have no known source, leaving health authorities around the country scrambling to identify carriers who could be unknowingly transmitting the deadly infection.

Solly Lew takes nuclear option on rent

Premier Investments will shut its Australian stores, stand down 9000 staff and stop paying rent in a sign of a looming war between tenants and landlords, writes Chanticleer.

Welcome to the new world

People at every level are being asked to share the burden or perform extraordinary feats if the country is going to survive this, writes Political Editor Phillip Coorey.

Macquarie tips stocks to buy for a recovery

Macquarie’s smartest research analysts have identified 14 leading stocks to buy ahead of a possible recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. But the broker is unprepared to call the bottom of the bear market just yet.

Life in London’s lockdown: how the real becomes surreal

It’s not the black plague. It’s not Soviet Russia. It’s not 28 Days Later. It’s not Wuhan. But it is a bit like that – and it is very weird. Life in London’s lockdown is both serene and surreal.

Foxtel opens up channels to customers for free

Foxtel is aiming to reduce churn during the COVID-19 pandemic, opening up its drama, entertainment, lifestyle, documentary, reality and kids channels and digital packages at no extra charge for new customers or those who don’t have the packs.

By the numbers

The total number of coronavirus cases across the country increased by 369, or 15.2 per cent, as at 5.30pm Thursday AEDT. Follow our live data blog here.

How the coronavirus is changing markets, business and politics.

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