World shares surge…3rd qtr earnings up 55% for AstraZeneca
UNDATED (AP) – World shares surged today as investors await the outcome of the U.S. presidential election and embrace the upside of more gridlock in Washington. Britain’s FTSE 100 edged up 0.1% in early trading. In Paris, the CAC 40 gained 1%, while Germany’s DAX also gained 1%. In Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed 3.3% higher, while Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index climbed 1.7%. South Korea’s Kospi jumped 2.4% and the Shanghai Composite index rose 1.3%. Shares also rose in Taiwan and Southeast Asia. Dow futures are up 1% and S&P futures are up 1.4%.
LONDON (AP) – AstraZeneca says third-quarter earnings rose 55%, driven by increased sales of cancer treatments despite disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Anglo-Swedish drugmaker says that operating profit increased to $1.17 billion from $757 million in the same period last year. Revenue from oncology drugs rose 13% to $2.86 billion, led by a 30% increase in sales of the lung cancer treatment Tagrisso. AstraZeneca is cooperating with the University of Oxford to develop one of the most closely watched COVID-19 vaccines, which is in late stage trials in the U.S., Britain and other countries.
BRUSSELS (AP) – The European Commission has cut its outlook for the rebound from the pandemic shutdowns. The executive authority for the European Union says that things won’t reach pre-virus levels until 2023. That’s the takeaway from the autumn economy forecast. Growth is now foreseen at 4.2% next year for the 19 EU member countries that use the euro. That reflects fears about new lockdowns as numbers of infections increase. The European economy saw a strong rebound in July, August and September so the commission raised its growth forecast for this year. But the numbers are shakier than usual because there’s so much uncertainty about the course of the pandemic.
LONDON (AP) – The Bank of England has increased its monetary stimulus by a bigger than anticipated 150 billion pounds ($195 billion) as it tries to boost the economy. The bank’s rate-setting panel says its challenge is to respond to the economic and financial impact of the resurgence of the coronavirus, which has led to the re-imposing of widespread restrictions across the U.K.
SHANGHAI (AP) – Chinese leaders are conducting an import fair under intensive anti-coronavirus controls in their latest effort to revive the world’s No. 2 economy while the United States and Europe struggle with a renewed surge of infections. Few exhibitors came from abroad for the third China International Import Expo. Most were represented by Chinese employees or managers who work in China. Beijing has eased curbs that barred foreign visitors to China, but new arrivals are required to undergo a 14-day quarantine.