Friday, 12th May: Leading the surge for London’s blue chip index to close 0.66% higher today (+1.89% for the week) was AstraZeneca, after the pharmaceutical company said it is in talks to submit its cancer drug to regulators. Imfinzi, an alternative drug treatment when surgery isn’t an option for the patient, has had positive trial results and the group now hope to work with regulatory authorities to bring the drug to patients as soon as possible. AstraZeneca adding 9.03% helped the FTSE to its third weekly consecutive gains, while indices across Europe also closed in the green.
US President Donald Trump is never far from headlines, and the fall out of his sacking of ex FBI Director earlier this week continues. In what some have described as a “threatening” tweet, Trump warned Comey of speaking to the media, tweeting “James Comey better hope that there are no “tapes” of our conversation before he starts leaking to the press”. Trump claims Comey’s dismissal was about his performance at the FBI, and nothing to do with the FBI’s current investigation in to alleged links between Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia. Comey himself hasn’t spoken to the media, but has been given praise by the acting FBI Director, and Comey’s previous deputy.
According to the Finance and Leasing Association (FLA), UK motorists have spent £3.6bn on car finance deals in March 2017, up 13% from the previous year. The bulk of these loan agreements are via “Personal Contract Purchases” (PCP , whereby a car buyer ultimately “rents” a car for up to 4 years, after which time they either return the car (with the car dealer hoping they trade in on another PCP deal), or pay a final lump sum. Both new or used cars can be bought on the scheme but recently the Bank of England and the FCA have raised concerns over the amount of borrowing, and ultimately the amount of consumer borrowing.
UK PM Theresa May today brought her campaign trail to the Labour dominant north-east, looking to appeal to Labour voters and the “working class” of the north-east. Obviously doing her homework, her first visit was to Felton, Northumberland, coming under the Berwick seat, which is Conservative… Moving on though, down the A1, and via the A19 (unless she took the coastal route), to North Shields May went. It has been reported May took a side entrance in to the Linkskill Centre, angering locals with her avoidance to engage with local working people, her apparent reason for visiting the not so sunny region today… At the time of writing May is still engaged in a Q&A session in North Shields; let’s hope she has the right change to get through the congested Friday evening Tyne Tunnel traffic…