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While you were sleeping: Trump hits pharma stocks

Thursday 12th January 2017

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Wall Street fluctuated, while US Treasuries rose, following Donald Trump’s first press conference as US President-elect, which sent health care stocks tumbling but stopped short of stimulus details investors had hoped for.

“The market didn’t get what it wanted –- details on stimulus to be provided,” Bipan Rai, senior foreign-exchange and macro strategist at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, told Bloomberg. “For now, today’s pre-Trump trades are being unwound.”

Pharmaceutical and stocks fell after Trump criticised the industry and pricing.

“They are getting away with murder. Pharma has a lot of lobbyists and a lot of power and there is very little bidding,” Trump said. “We’re the largest buyer of drugs in the world and yet we don’t bid properly and we’re going to save billions of dollars.”

Wall Street was mixed. In 1.23pm trading in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average inched 0.01 percent higher. However, the Nasdaq Composite Index fell 0.3 percent. In 1.08pm trading, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slipped 0.1 percent. 

In the Dow, gains in shares of Merck and those of Chevron, recently up 2 percent and 1.2 percent respectively, offset declines in shares of Pfizer and those of Johnson & Johnson, down 2.4 percent and 1.5 percent respectively.

US Treasuries gained, pushing yields on the 10-year note down to 2.34 percent.

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index ended the session with a 0.2 percent rise from the previous close. France’s CAC 40 Index eked out a 0.01 percent increase, while the UK’s FTSE 100 Index rose 0.2 percent to close at a record high and Germany’s DAX Index gained 0.5 percent.

J Sainsbury shares climbed after the British supermarket chain, battered by discount rivals Aldi and Lidl, posted quarterly sales that bettered expectations.

Sainsbury’s same-store sales increased 0.1 percent, excluding fuel, in the 15 weeks ended January 7, the company said in a statement. Argos same-store sales rose 4 percent in the same period, it said. 

“After a mostly miserable 2016, the struggling brand’s sighs of relief are audible,” John Ibbotson, director of consultant Retail Vision, told Bloomberg. “But talk of a turnaround is a touch premature. So far, it’s a case of Sainsbury’s steadying the ship rather than plain sailing.”

Sainsbury shares closed 2.6 percent higher in London.

Others proved more upbeat.

"UK supermarkets seem to be in rude health following bullish statements from both Morrison's and Sainsbury's," IG analyst Josh Mahony told Reuters.

BusinessDesk.co.nz

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