More Serious Matters

The mother country is in extreme disarray as both Prince Andrew and Prime Minister Boris Johnson are in trouble. Also in trouble is the US office of the Financial Times which now hangs up on people calling about delivery issues. Andrew lost his title and role as a spokesman for the military over charges that he had sex with a minor. Boris faces impeachment for gatherings that violated Covid-19 restrictions which he imposed nationally.

Luckily the US is currently moving in the same direction as London in more serious matters, the defense of Ukraine against pressure from Russian attempts to invade. Washington and London accuse Putin of prematurely calling the talks with western countries in support of Kyiv "unsuccessful" when they had barely begun. They argue that Russian is using a false flag charge to blame Ukraine for barring Russian troops. Moreover, the Kremlin is accused of boosting the price of oil and gas sold to Europe by withholding supplies. Gas from Russia is up 20% YTD because the Ukraine pipeline is being boycotted by Moscow. The Russians also blocked Ukraine's internet. 

The bad news: Wall Street fell about 3% on new worries about inflation and a drop in retail sales levels. Nasdaq fell too. 

And our Supremes invalidated the White House call for large companies to provide covid-19 protection to their workers, except if they are in the healthcare business. This caused havoc in the sector I like best, drug makers. So let's start with them.

Business newspaper article

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*Qualcomm QCOM, my largest US holding, gained 3.05% today and yesterday my attempt to send half my holdings as a donation to Harvard-Radcliffe finally went through, I was told. However, this was not always true when I was told by my broker earlier.

*GlaxoSmithKline also gained, by 1.25% on hopes that its monoclonal antibody muscular jab against covid-19 developed with Vir will lead to other jabs for hard to treat diseases. GSK is a drug major and many of its rivals also rose.

*Among them was Swiss Roche, up 1.7% Friday. RHHBY.

*Bristol Myers Squib rose 33% after an analyst said it had been "over-shorted". BMY.

*Israel TEVA opened up 2.84% but now is only up about half that. Israeli stocks do not trade in Tel Aviv on Friday, the Muslim Sabbath.

*Novo Nordisk revealed that its problems with syringes was caused by an outside Belgian supplier, Catalent. To be able to supply its drug for obesity without harming those needing insulin for diabetes, NVO will add more syringe filling capacity in its homeland, Denmark. 

*Japanese Takeda gained 0.9%. TAK.

*Theravance, TBPH, rose 0.7%.

*Eli Lilly, LLY, another drug major fell 1.2% today. LLY's Covid-19 treatmentwas recommended by the World Health Organisation but it has not received US approval.

*BioLineRx rose because its cancer portfolio was boosted by an analyst quoted by Dow Jones. BLRX.

Finance and funds

*Banco Santander, SAN, gained another 1.25% today. It is building up its assets with acquisitions. Moreover, Andrea Orcel's payments for his aborted offer from the bank was chopped by a Spanish court by 16.5 mn euros. 

*AIA insurance (AAIGF) rose 7% in Hong Kong today. It is our top performer.

*Bladex (Banco Latino-Americano de Comercio Exterior) BLX fell 0.6% today. It has anglicized its name and may have locked out its investors. It was tipped as a buy by New Constructs.

*Fund manager Lazard fell another 1.6%. However, its yield fund, LGI, rose 0.4%.

*Ireland Fund gained 0.35%. IRL.

*American Express fell 3.5% because shopping is stopping. AXP.

*Swiss Stock fund, SWZ, gained fractionally.


*Following the tech selloff this week over interest rate hikes, Finnish Nokia NOK was tipped by George Theodosi on SeekingAlpha. 

*Microsoft rose 0.77% today. MSFT.

*Taiwan Semiconductor, TSM, which is boosting its capacity hugely, rose 1.82%.

*Tower Semiconductor of Israel rose 0.7%. It tends to move most when Tel Aviv is shut. TSEM.

*Electric vehicle stock NIO rose 1.7%. Its prime listing is in Hong Kong.It was tipped by Truemark according to Barbara Kohlmeyer of Dow Jones. 

*Eisai, ESALY, of Japan rose a half percent. 

Materials and Energy

*Jefferies Brokerage said copper shares are too cheap because the risk from a leftist Chilean government has been overplayed. This boosted Antofagasta in the UK (ANTO) and our SoQuiMich.

*UK wind energy firm SSE was tipped by Royal Bank of Canada and gained 0.13%. 

*Gold is now being tipped as a way to survive inflation. GLD.

*Schlumberger Ltd gained again in European trading, up 2.6% to a new 112 month high. SLB.

*Cosan of Brazil rose 0.5% today. CSAN.

*Brazilian Ormat Energy, ORA, gained 0.27%.

*Computer Modelling of Canada gained 2%. CMDXF.


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