David Fuller and Eoin Treacy's Comment of the Day
Category - General

    European Stocks Surge on Fed Hike Bets With FTSE 100 at a Record

    This article by Blaise Robinson for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

    European stocks jumped the most since the U.S. election, led by banks and miners, as increasing prospects for a Federal Reserve rate increase and robust China factory data boosted optimism about global growth.

    The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 1.4 percent at the close, as all 19 industry groups gained. The benchmark extended gains in afternoon trading as U.S. equities scaled new peaks. The U.K’s FTSE 100 Index and FTSE 250 Index rose to all-time highs, while Germany’s DAX Index rallied 2 percent to close above 12,000 for the first time since April 2015.

    Traders are betting there’s an 82 percent chance of a rate increase at the Fed’s March 15 decision, about double the odds from Friday, after two influential officials from the central bank signaled a greater willingness to tighten monetary policy.

     

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    A Patent Decision on Crispr Gene Editing Favors MIT

    This article from Wired.com may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section: 

    Someone is going to make a lot of money licensing Crispr. And someone is going to make lot of money on therapies based on Crispr. That’s why, the day before the decision, the National Academy of Sciences released a long document laying out what kind of Crispr-based human therapies were kosher—so no one goes the full Gattaca.

    In fact, the moneymaking part has already begun. Startups are getting funding based on Crispr-based business plans. Editas Medicine, which licenses the Broad patents to work on treatments for genetic disorders in human beings, had a 30 percent stock bump on word of the patent decision. “It certainly caused some concerns, because depending on how the courts were going to rule on the two claims, if you went with one, you could lose, right?” says Edison Liu, CEO of the Jackson Laboratory, a major source of genetically modified mice used in research. Jackson Labs has licenses from both sides, and since it aims at academic uses, gets better terms than a Silicon Valley biotech startup might.

     

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    Email of the day on the rollout of 5G

    I would very much appreciate your thoughts about Sierra Wireless (NASDAQ:SWIR) who are also involved in this space.

    I continue to be a big fan of your service and your daily video commentary is a welcome addition.

     

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    These 12 Superbugs Pose the Greatest Threat to Human Health, WHO Says

    Here is the opening of this worrying article from The Washington Post and numerous other newspapers:

    The World Health Organization announced its first list of antibiotic-resistant “priority pathogens” on Monday, detailing 12 families of bacteria that agency experts say pose the greatest threat to human health and kill millions of people every year.

    The list is divided into three categories, prioritized by the urgency of the need for new antibiotics. The purpose is to guide and promote research and development of new drugs, officials said. Most of the pathogens are among the nearly two dozen antibiotic-resistant microbes that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned in a 2013 report could cause potentially catastrophic consequences if the United States didn't act quickly to combat the growing threat of antibiotic-resistant infections.

    “This list is not meant to scare people about new superbugs,” said Marie-Paule Kieny, an assistant director-general at WHO. “It's intended to signal research and development priorities to address urgent public health threats.”

    [The superbug that doctors have been dreading just reached the United States]

    Superbugs that the WHO considers the highest priority are responsible for severe infections and high mortality rates, especially among hospitalized patients in intensive care or using ventilators and blood catheters, as well as among transplant recipients and people undergoing chemotherapy. While these pathogens are not widespread, “the burden for society is now alarming,” she said.

    Included in this highest-priority group is CRE, or carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, which U.S. health officials have dubbed “nightmare bacteria.” In some instances, it kills up to 50 percent of patients who become infected. An elderly Nevada woman who died last year contracted an infection caused by CRE that was resistant to all 26 antibiotics available in the United States.

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    Be Nice to the UK in Brexit Talks, $85 Billion Investor Pleads

    Here is the opening of this topical article from Bloomberg:

    Europe’s fifth-largest manager of pension assets is urging European Union governments not to punish the U.K when it negotiates its way out of the bloc.

    “My worry is that attitudes will be too harsh,” said Magnus Billing, chief executive officer at Alecta, which manages 770 billion kronor ($85 billion) worth of pensions. “We need the U.K. even after its exit. It’s an important economy, it’s an important partner," Billing said in an interview in Stockholm.

    Sweden will lose a major ally in the EU when the U.K. leaves. Both countries are free market fans, have opted out of the European single currency, are net contributors to the EU budget and oppose ceding too much power to Brussels. The U.K. is also Sweden’s third biggest export destination outside the Nordic region, behind Germany and the U.S.

    There are growing concerns that the looming Brexit talks may turn ugly as remaining member states seek to deter others from leaving the bloc.

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    French Industry Shuts Le Pen Out of Debate on Economic Policy

    Here is a brief section of this topical article from Bloomberg:

    “I think I know why I wasn’t asked to speak,” Le Pen said in a statement on her website. “There’s total panic in a system that is off the rails.”

    Also excluded was Jean-Luc Melenchon, the far-left candidate who has promised to review all of France’s commitments to the European Union.

    Le Pen’s National Front team was left off the guest list because the discussion was focused on competitiveness within the EU and she is opposed to French membership of the bloc, according to Michel Grandjean, head of the Federation for Mechanical Industries, which represents 629,000 employees and 30,200 companies including trainmaker Alstom SA. Le Pen and Melenchon’s demand for more protection for French companies also ran counter to the focus of the debate, he added.

    “Competitiveness implies free trade, which is not an option that Le Pen or Melenchon have supported,” Grandjean said, describing the National Front leader’s response as “sharp.” He said he’s open to discussing protectionist measures with both Le Pen and Melenchon.

    And:

    One group that was happy to meet the candidate on Tuesday were farmers. Le Pen spent an entire day at the country’s annual trade fair, drawing large crowds everywhere she went as she chatted with cattle and pig farmers. An Ifop study released Feb. 27 said 35 percent of farmers would vote for Le Pen in the first round on April 23, up from 19.5 percent in 2012.

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