LONDON MARKET PRE-OPEN: AstraZeneca breast cancer drugs recommended

(Alliance News) - Stock prices in London are seen opening higher on Monday following a strong ...

Alliance News 27 June, 2022 | 6:58AM
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(Alliance News) - Stock prices in London are seen opening higher on Monday following a strong close in the US on Friday and a rally across Asian markets, amid gatherings of world leaders and central bankers at separate meetings in Europe this week.

In early company news, Anglo-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca said its breast cancer treatments have been recommended for approval in the EU. Personal care products company PZ Cussons said trading is in line with expectations. Money transfers provider Wise said the UK regulator is investigating its chief executive after a tax breach.

IG futures indicate the FTSE 100 index will open 42.39 points higher at 7,251.20. The index closed up 188.36 points, or 2.7%, at 7,208.81 Friday.

AstraZeneca said its Lynparza treatment has been recommended for approval in the European Union by the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use for early breast cancer treatment, after positive phase-three results.

Lynparza also demonstrated a statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement in overall survival, reducing the risk of death by 32% versus placebo, the drugmaker said.

Separately, AstraZeneca said its Enhertu drug also has been recommended for approval in the European Union for patients with breast cancer.

The CHMP based its positive opinion on results from the Destiny-Breast03 phase three trial, which were published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

The trial results showed that Enhertu reduced the risk of disease progression or death by 72% compared with the trastuzumab emtansine drug.

Lynparza was co-developed by AstraZeneca with Merck & Co, while Enhertu was jointly developed with Daiichi Sankyo.

PZ Cussons said trading for the fourth quarter to May 31 has continued to be in line with expectations despite a challenging trading environment.

The maker of products such as Carex, St Tropez and Imperial Leather expects revenue for the financial year of GBP590 million, with full-year like-for-like revenue growth of 3% and fourth-quarter LFL growth of 7%. PZ Cussons recorded revenue of GBP603.3 million in financial 2021.

PZ Cussons said growth continues to be driven primarily by improvements in price mix, with limited impact on volumes. Its expectations for annual adjusted pretax profit are unchanged.

Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Myers said: "The trading environment continues to be challenging, with high input cost inflation and pressures on household budgets. We have plans in place to mitigate the impact of this, as we continue to deliver great value for consumers, whilst also investing behind more premium innovations.

"The recent introduction of our new portfolio brand, Cussons Creations, for the value-conscious consumer, alongside the re-launches of Sanctuary Spa and Imperial Leather, are good examples of such initiatives. They have been well received by customers and have allowed us to secure significant distribution gains."

Wise said the UK Financial Conduct Authority has opened an investigation into CEO Kristo Kaarmann.

Wise said that UK tax collector HM Revenue & Customs in September of last year updated its published list of individuals and businesses receiving penalties for a deliberate default regarding their tax affairs. Kaarmann was included on the list and will remain so for 12 months from its publication.

Following Kaarman's inclusion on the list, the board of Wise had conducted an investigation with the help of external legal counsel and share the findings of this with the FCA.

Wise said Kaarmann intends to cooperate fully with the FCA in its investigation.

Chair David Wells said: "The board takes Kristo's tax default and the FCA's investigation very seriously. After reviewing the matter late last year the board required that Kristo take remedial actions, including appointing professional tax advisors to ensure his personal tax matters are appropriately managed. The board has also shared details of its own findings, assessment and actions with the FCA and will cooperate fully with the FCA as and when they require, while continuing to support Kristo in his role as CEO."

Wall Street ended sharply higher on Friday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 2.7%, S&P 500 up 3.1% and Nasdaq Composite up 3.3%.

In Asia on Monday, the Japanese Nikkei 225 index closed up 1.4%. In China, the Shanghai Composite was up 1.8%, while the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong was up 2.0%. The S&P/ASX 200 in Sydney ended up 1.9%.

World powers on Sunday agreed to ban gold exports from Russia, kicking off a G7 meeting aimed at taking new steps to deplete Moscow's war chest and bolster Ukraine's defences.

US President Joe Biden and his counterparts from the world's most industrialised nations are gathering at Elmau Castle in the German Alps before they continue on to Madrid for talks with NATO partners.

The leaders are seeking to close ranks for Ukraine against Russia's invasion while grappling with the intensifying global fallout of the war.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky will urge world powers to step up their support for Ukraine when he addresses the G7 summit on Monday

"The G-7 meeting probably has potentially a much greater bearing on Europe right now, than other areas, thanks to the Ukraine/Russia war. European markets piled into the buy-side with the US on Friday after a very mixed week, and with the G-7 springing no surprises thus far, we can expect a positive opening from European markets," said Oanda Markets analyst Jeffery Halley.

Meanwhile, central bank chiefs and economists gather Monday evening at their annual forum in southern Portugal to discuss the best approach to the inflationary challenges exacerbated by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Some 200 delegates will attend the ECB Forum on Central Banking at a luxury hotel in Sintra, west of Lisbon, after two years of Covid-imposed virtual gatherings. When ECB President Christine Lagarde last attended this event, it was in her previous role as director general of the International Monetary Fund back in 2014.

Also attending will be Jerome Powell, head of the US Federal Reserve, and Andrew Bailey, governor of the Bank of England. They will be joined by Agustin Carstens, general manager of the Bank for International Settlements, and all four are set to discuss the issues at a seminar on Wednesday, the last day of the forum.

In its annual report released on Sunday, the BIS warned that central banks must not let inflation become entrenched, with the threat of stagflation looming over the global economy.

The pound was quoted at USD1.2270 early Monday, down from USD1.2282 at the London equities close Friday.

The euro was priced at USD1.0565, up from USD1.0549. Against the yen, the dollar was quoted at JPY134.09 in London, lower against JPY135.10.

Brent oil was trading at USD112.88 a barrel Monday morning, down from USD113.44 late Friday. Gold stood at USD1,836.24 an ounce, higher against USD1,830.41.

Monday's economic calendar has US durable goods orders data at 1330 BST. The week picks up pace with a US consumer confidence reading on Wednesday, eurozone unemployment data on Thursday, before inflation readings from the single-currency bloc on Friday.

By Arvind Bhunjun;

Copyright 2022 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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Securities Mentioned in Article

Security Name Price Change (%) Morningstar
PZ Cussons PLC 211.80 GBX -1.26 -
Wise PLC Class A 543.40 GBX 0.07 -
AstraZeneca PLC 10,916.00 GBX -0.47

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