Monthly Archive: November 2020

For AstraZeneca’s COVID vaccine, less may be more more—and that’s puzzling researchers

The dose of AstraZeneca Plc’s Covid vaccine that showed the highest level of effectiveness was tested in a younger population than a bigger dose that showed less efficacy, according to the head of the U.S. Operation Warp Speed program.

The vaccine being developed with Oxford University was 90% effective when a half-dose was given before a full-dose booster, the partners said on Monday. However, that regime was administered to participants in a group whose age was capped at 55, Warp Speed’s Moncef Slaoui said Tuesday in a phone call with reporters.

Researchers have been puzzling about the AstraZeneca report since it was released, wondering why a smaller dose of the vaccine might have appeared to be more effective than a larger one. Most of the people in the trial received a placebo or the regimen of two full doses, which was 62% effective. That group included people who were older … Read More

Japan cuts capex view, says overall conditions remain severe in November report By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: BOJ looks to big data for clues on pandemic-driven economic changes

By Daniel Leussink

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s government cut its view on capital spending in November for the fifth time this year as companies trimmed investment, and said overall economic conditions were still severe due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The world’s third-largest economy rebounded sharply in the third quarter from the COVID-19 hit, largely thanks to stronger consumption and exports, but a resurgence in infections at home and abroad is weighing on the outlook.

“The Japanese economy remains in a severe situation due to the novel coronavirus, but it is showing signs of picking up,” the government said in its November economic report.

The government said the impact from policy measures at home and improvement in activity overseas supported hopes for a continued rebound in the economy.

But it also warned “full attention” should be

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Boeing shares pop as European regulators prepare for the ungrounding of the 737 Max

Boeing’s share price rose more than 4% in pre-market trading after European aviation regulators signaled an imminent return to the skies for the currently-grounded 737 Max.

On Tuesday morning the EU Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) published its draft approval for an end to the aircraft’s forced hiatus, which has lasted nearly two years—the 737 Max was grounded worldwide in 2019 following a pair of crashes that killed hundreds of people.

The move is now subject to a 28-day consultation period, meaning the plane could be formally ungrounded in mid-January. However, EASA first wants changes made to the aircraft that are mostly in line with those demanded last week by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The FAA also cleared the Boeing aircraft for service, leaving China’s aviation authority as the big hold-out on that front.

“Objective and independent”

“EASA made clear from the outset that we would conduct our own … Read More

EU says it could be self-sufficient in electric vehicle batteries by 2025 By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: An electric car is charged from an Iberdrola electric car charging station in central Bilbao

By Kate Abnett

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union could produce enough batteries by 2025 to power its fast-growing fleet of electric vehicles without relying on imported cells, European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic said on Tuesday.

As part of its plan to become climate neutral by 2050, the EU wants to boost local production of the building blocks for green industries – including hydrogen fuel to make low-carbon steel and batteries to power clean vehicles.

“I am confident that by 2025, the EU will be able to produce enough battery cells to meet the needs of the European automotive industry, and even to build our export capacity,” Sefcovic told the online European Conference on Batteries.

Today, China hosts roughly 80% of the world’s lithium-ion cell production, but Europe’s capacity is

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Stocks and futures jump on AstraZeneca’s vaccine breakthrough. Here are the big winners

This is the web version of the Bull Sheet, Fortune’s no-BS daily newsletter on the markets. Sign up to receive it in your inbox here.

Good morning. It’s a Monday, which means a fresh batch of COVID vaccine news jolting the markets. This time it comes from team Britain—AstraZeneca and Oxford University. Their latest trials show impressive results, or so the markets believe. Stocks in Asia and Europe are up, and U.S. futures are in the green.

The vaccine can’t come soon enough. The U.S. COVID numbers are frightening (but that’s hardly stopping travelers from getting onto planes to see grandma).

Let’s check in on the action.

Markets update


  • The major Asia indexes are mixed in afternoon trading with Japan’s Nikkei down 0.4% and the Shanghai Composite up 1.1%.
  • The Trump Administration has drawn up a list of 89 companies, mostly in aerospace, that would
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ECB’s Schnabel flags role of shadow banks in passing on policy By Reuters

© Reuters. 29th Frankfurt European Banking Congress (EBC) takes place in Frankfurt

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The European Central Bank should keep a close watch on the growing role played by shadow banks in passing on the ECB’s policy to money markets, as many of those firms do not have access to central bank cash, ECB board member Isabel Schnabel said on Monday.

“Unlike banks, these market participants often do not have access to central bank operations,” Schnabel said.

“Were the transmission across money market rates to weaken, or rates to decouple from policy intentions, this could have implications for monetary policy implementation in the future,” she said.

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