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Jennifer Lynn is a proficient investor, executive and manager working with analytics data to drive smart business decisions. Technology, eCommerce, Management, Healthcare, Consulting, Strategy. Passionate for Finance, IT & Emerging Markets. Email: consultbydigital @
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  • Asian Stocks Mixed Following A Chinese Fuelled Rally

    The Asian markets resulted in a mix on Tuesday after a Chinese rate cut had heated up a rally which followed a previous trading session. China's market rally was spurred after borrowing costs were cut for the first time in more than two years.

    Hong Kong and Shanghai's stocks both rose, with the Topix index closing at its highest since June 2008. Japanese markets were led today by tire makers and insurers amid an optimistic outlook in which global central banks will support future growth.

    In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index was down at -2.70% and in Shanghai, the Shanghai Composite Stock Market Index down 28.36% from its August 2009 peak.

    The Dow 30 rose 0.04%, the S&P 500 index rose 0.03% yesterday, while the Nasdaq Composite index rose 0.89%.

    Monday's surge impacted the foreign exchange markets as the yen picked up following BoJ governor Haruhiko Kuroda's statement that policymakers were aware of the impact of its sharp decline on the world's number-three economy. Yuan weakness has reached multi-year lows against the dollar and euro ever since the stimulus programme by the central bank took in effect October 31.

    Chinese leadership has been targeting an economic growth of 7.5% this year. China's yuan fell as the rate cut was also seen as an indicator of weakness in the domestic economy. The yuan was at 6.14 against the U.S. dollar, against 6.12 late Friday in Asia.

    Oil prices in Asia stumbled as expectations were lowered after the outcome cut at this week's Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries meeting. The OPEC will hosts its most challenging and significant meetings in recent years on Thursday to address current falling oil prices.

    U.S. crude was down at $75.75 a barrel, while Brent fell close to 0.3 percent to $79.42 a barrel. The dollar let go of early modest gains against the yen, down close to 0.3 percent to 117.91 yen. The dollar moved away from its seven-year high of 118.98 on Thursday.

    Strategists at Barclays stated in a note that "The reduced leverage that OPEC now has over the oil market is likely to make it more cautious about cutting production."

    "The rapid growth being achieved in non-OPEC production means it faces the risk that even a large cut to supply may not be enough to support prices and could simply result in lost market share and revenue," they said.

    The Asian markets also impacted to Australia where the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 gained 1.1%. Australia's mining companies, came out as a leader following gains which ended after a two-week losing streak for the benchmark.

    Rio Tinto Ltd. gained 3.4%, BHP Billiton Ltd. was up 3.8% and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. surged 10.1%, as investors anticipate more demand in commodities such as steel and iron following the Chinese monetary policy. China is Australia's largest trading partner within these areas.

    Gold markets were held steady below $1,202.80 an ounce on Tuesday. The markets retained its losses from the previous session. Investors have been monitoring the current developments in Switzerland's upcoming referendum on November 3, 2014 which will address a proposal of the central bank and its gold reserves. The vote is aimed to prevent the SNB from offloading its gold holdings.

    Chinese Stocks, along with several other Asian stock indexes, have had outstanding performance globally throughout the year. The Shanghai Composite is up close to 20% in 2014. The Chinese central bank cut has left investors an optimistic outlook to buy.

    Dec 08 8:21 AM | Link | Comment!
  • Is Disney Too Influential?

    Disney (NYSE:DIS) has proved itself as an influential company over recent years. Disney is even significant enough that it holds great consumer clout in relation to the global economy. There has been speculation Disney's strong results from it second quarter earnings report on Tuesday, August 5th were from the success of Marvel.

    "Our strategy of building strong brands and franchises continues to create great value across our company," said Robert A. Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company. " "We're extremely pleased with these results and we are also thrilled with the spectacular performance of Guardians of the Galaxy, which holds great promise as a new franchise for our company and once again reinforces the tremendous value of Marvel."

    Read more here...

    Tags: DIS
    Aug 20 12:05 PM | Link | Comment!
  • Merck's Idenix Deal Could Deliver Bad News For Gilead Sciences

    Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) took upon a risky acquisition to boost its hepatitis C drugs portfolio, by recently entering a definitive agreement to acquire Idenix Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:IDIX).

    A consolidation of Merck's lawsuits with Idenix's would impose possible settlement for Gilead (NASDAQ:GILD). The nearly $4 billion transaction has analysts predicting that Idenix's value is ascribed to its intellectual property.

    Merck's market valuation is estimated at $170 billion, at $58 per share. The pharma giant's shares initially dropped by a percent following the deal announcement, but quickly recovered end of day with modest gains.

    The acquisition could strengthen Merck's case if a consolidated suit is filed against Gilead for IP rights of Sovaldi. Anything that encourages settlement is going to benefit the company that can enter the marketplace, because settlement provides certainty that patent litigation just does not have, said experienced biotechnology patent lawyer, Kevin E. Noonan a partner with McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP.

    Pharmaceutical patents are tricky. Merck and Idenix have both separately claimed IP rights of Sovaldi.

    "Big firms use patents to negotiate with other big firms, and most of the thousands of patents granted to these companies are either relatively narrow, never litigated or not significant to the companies business," said Noonan.

    Patents compel pressure to innovate. The government permits firms to create discoveries by granting multi-year monopolies via the patent system and in return, firms receive monopoly fees based on what the market perceives for a given amount of time to further the process.

    When looked at from a larger scale, pharma R&D risk could pose negative correlation with market uncertainty. Any change of standard deviation of a firm's stock price over the prior 3 years of one, would result in fallen market value per sales dollar.

    Competitors are actively partaking in patents within areas such as internal R&D cost reduction or to benefit IP cross-licensing. Open innovation today requires IP management being offered through a variety of strategies.

    A recently published interim report by IP Wales highlighted several companies traded on the London Stock Exchange's Alternative Investment Market (NYSEMKT:AIM). The report suggested that patent owners can elicit a positive response from investors by emphasising collaborative aspects of their IP strategies.

    Investors have been known to view IP as a double-edged sword. Intellectual property law in relation to consideration-based regulation and open innovation in patent law is still fairly new.

    "The problem with "consideration-based regulation" is that it is uncertain - Congress could always change the 12-year data exclusivity provisions of the BPCIA to 7 years, for example - and that sort of uncertainty inhibits investment" said Noonan. "The same is true regarding "open" innovation - if there is no possibility of exclusivity, than the only entities who can get investment to innovate are those with enough economic power to out compete smaller entities (which raises antitrust problems)," he said.

    IP-based stock investing remains reserved for high risk investors with specialized knowledge. The existing challenge appears to lie with paucity of relevant information that can assist investors to make properly informed decisions.

    Merck's interest in Idenix's "nucs"hepatitis C drug will nonetheless complement its own advanced efforts to cure patients. Merck aims to combine IDX21437 with its existing high-profile experimental oral treatments, a protease inhibitor called MK-5172 and a NS5A inhibitor called MK-8742.

    Gilead is also set to launch its three-drug combination hepatitis C pill this fall. The highly priced $1,000 Solvaldi pill reported a record $2.27 billion in first-quarter sales.

    Merck's plans are for the future.

    Investors of Merck's all-cash Idenix deal is a big win payoff but for the long term. A triple-combination therapy will take time to bring to market. Merck's single pill drug would rapidly deliver between 4 to 6 weeks, substantially faster than current treatments and those in clinical development.

    Prospects for Merck are promising. Pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical sector shares have risen on 15% interest this year. Merck can take lead of the market because Gilead's Sovaldi cannot be treated by a given number of patients who may have many illnesses or can't be taken by a hepatitis C subtype.

    Merck's moving in. How long can Gilead remain the market leader?

    Disclosure: The author has no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

    Tags: MRK, IDIX, GILD
    Jun 13 3:02 PM | Link | Comment!
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