The Rising Delta Variant

The US job level last month was very much below expectations at 374,000 vs estimates of around 600,000. Canadian recovery is also slowing with a level of 1.1% of rises in Q2, much below forecasts. Here is what London is thinking: 

Today's news here in London is mostly about how lucky the Brits are to not live in New Orleans, which is in deep water from Tropical Storm Ida, and for not living in the EU where inflation is over 3%, which may lead to a drop in stimulus payments even faster than that in the USA under Jay Powell--or not.

Hands, World, Map, Global, Earth, Globe, Continents

Image Source: Pixabay

Healthcare

*Meanwhile in Britain the National Health Service is offering Brits (40% of whom have high cholesterol because of the British gene and the British diet) access to a trial of inclisaran from Swiss Novartis NVS. It is a cholesterol-lowering injection given 2x a year. The UK in effect will be funding the phase III trial by the Swiss drug firm whose stock we own. Headlines say as many as 30,000 lives may be saved.

*GlaxoSmithKline will join with SK Pharma of South Korea to develop an antibody against covid-19 in tandem. This is a new vaccine that will hit phase III trials alongside another GSK initiative with a CureVac using mRNA. The Korean jab produces 5 to 8 times the antibody levels of other competing jabs, according to the SK press release.

*Novo Nordisk was featured for its diabetes durg dominance by Ben Howard on seeking alpha. He left out entirely its new ventures into weight loss meds.

 *And if nothing else we can watch the trial of the crooked lady from Theranos, Elizabeth Holmes. 

Other news: 

*The rising delta variant in the US is making consumers gloomy beyond what hurricanes and stupid exits from Afghanistan may have done. 

*Our Prosus of South Africa, PROSY, has bought BillDesk, and Indian digital payments site, for $4.7 bn. PROSY was spun off by Tencent because the then media stock was too dominant in the TCEHY shareholding at 9%. The Financial Times notes that BD and PROSY's own PayU have good prospects in India but there is competition and PROSY paid $4.7 bn, part of what Prosus raised by cutting its stake in 10 cents some more. Its acquisition is pricey as the JV will have only $147 bn in annual total payments,4x what Prosus has alone, but of course, it can afford the risk.

*China is not only cracking down on kiddie playtime. It also is absorbing bankruptcy claims from real estate developer Evergrande EGRNF

*Having already told you about the Siemens electric car charger outside our housing complex. offering free parking while you get your green energy, the latest is that Royal Dutch Shell RDS-B, whose shares we own, will install 50,000 chargers in the UK by 2025 unless it is stopped by the British anti-monopoly authority. Car charging is the way to go with electric vehicles unless you can install a feed in your own garage. 

*South Korea will control google and apple commissions for smartphone users' content if it can be provided directly by the content developer. 

*The ban on the merger of US insurance wholesalers is felt to be good news for regular insurance firms offering insurance. Aon and Willis Towers Watson would have dominated the market, although there have been smaller mergers a-plenty in recent years on both sides of the Atlantic including the initial join of Willis and Towers Watson in 2018. 

*Our top performers are Microsoft MSFT, AstraZeneca AZN, Novo Nordisk NVO, CRH and Greencore GNCGY of Ireland, and SSE, picked by Harry Geisel for me to write up before the site crashed. Banks are all doing badly and oil firms ditto, but supermarkets are in the hotties column in the UK. My own pick is Tesco. 

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Samantha Carter 1 year ago Member's comment

Whie we'd all love to see kids spend less time playing video games, China's crackdown on video gaming seems poorly thought out. What will kids do instead? Just watch TV.  At least video games can encourage strategic thinking, better hand-eye coordinatation, good communication skills and teamwork.  Watching TV just turns your brain to mush.