Fosun Pharma Leads Hong Kong Healthcare Stocks Higher on Vaccine Optimism
Topic of the day
Healthcare stocks are trading higher in Hong Kong, led by Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical (Group) Co., after it announced a joint venture with German biotechnology company BioNTech SE to manufacture and sell coronavirus vaccines. Shares of Shanghai-based Fosun Pharma rose as much as 23% to 61.35 Hong Kong dollars Monday morning, nearing a record, after the company said on Sunday it will have a plant in China capable of producing up to a billion doses annually of BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine. Fosun Pharma’s shares were recently trading 17% higher at HK$58.50, bringing its year-to-date gains to 58%. The healthcare sector’s rise comes amid a resurgence of Covid-19 cases world-wide, with pharmaceutical companies and governments racing to supply sufficient vaccine doses as the coronavirus continues to mutate.
The Swiss stock market closed slightly firmer on Friday in the wake of extremely weak US labor market data. The eagerly awaited US labor market report gave investors - not only in Switzerland - a mighty scare. Because the data were so clearly below expectations that they provided more questions than answers. Nevertheless, investors liked the news behind it. The feared overheating of the US economy is likely to be a thing of the past, and with it any short-term tightening of monetary policy. In this respect, prices recovered quite quickly after the initial shock. The SMI gained 0.6 percent to 11,174 points. Among the 20 SMI stocks, there were 15 price gainers and five price losers. 40.15 (previously: 41.99) million shares were traded. Lafargeholcim closed against the trend with a discount of 3.3 percent. However, this was only of an optical nature, because the building materials group paid a dividend of 2 francs at the end of the week. Without this effect, the share would have closed in positive territory. With the prospect of continued low interest rates, Credit Suisse lost 0.5 percent, UBS managed a small premium of 0.1 percent. Among small caps, shares of online pharmacy Zur Rose (+11%) recovered after their significant losses. The analysts at Jefferies had noted positively that the political uncertainty with regard to the electronic prescription in Germany was at least alleviated. Thus, politicians in Germany had initiated important decisions on the introduction of the e-prescription. At AMS (+2.6%), a positive outlook from the German subsidiary Osram provided support. In addition, interest rate sensitive stocks from the technology sector benefited from fading interest rate hike fantasies. German audio specialist Sennheiser sold its headphone division to hearing aid company Sonova. The purchase price is 200 million euros, both companies announced. Sonova climbed 1.9 percent. Asmallworld, a social network operator, reported a record quarter, with shares rising 7.1 percent. Shares in packaging specialist Aluflexpack fell 0.3 percent after reporting business.
European stocks rose ahead of fresh jobs data that is expected to show a strong recovery in the labor market following last year's downturn. The Stoxx Europe 600 and the FTSE 100 added 0.8%, the DAX climbed 1.3% and the CAC 40 increased 0.5%. Edward Bramson's Sherborne Investors said it sold its entire stake in Barclays PLC (+2,5%), giving up on a yearlong activist campaign to restructure the bank. Sherborne, which seeks to influence the strategy of companies it owns shares in, was one of the bank's biggest shareholders with a 6% stake before the sale. Siemens AG (+3%) said Friday that net profit for the second quarter of fiscal 2021 rose thanks to the performance of its industrial businesses and the sale of its mechanical-drives business Flender. China made a significant contribution to revenue growth. BMW AG on Friday reported a jump in first-quarter profit, and said it plans to meet the higher end of its forecast for the auto-business margin this year. The German luxury car maker's quarterly net profit jumped to 2.81 billion euros ($3.39 billion) thanks to higher deliveries and better pricing, compared with EUR554 million the same period a year earlier. Revenue increased to EUR26.78 billion from EUR23.25 billion. International Consolidated Airlines Group SA said on Friday that its operating loss for the first quarter narrowed. The airline group--which houses British Airways, Iberia, and Vueling among others--said passenger capacity continues to be adversely affected by the pandemic and the measures and restrictions stemming from it. Current passenger capacity plans for the second quarter are for around 25% of 2019's capacity, and these remain uncertain and subject to review, it added. Adidas AG said Friday that profit rose in the first quarter as performance improved across all market segments, and updated its outlook for the full year, guiding for higher sales. The German sporting-goods company said quarterly net profit was 558 million euros ($673.2 million) from EUR31 million a year earlier. Credit Agricole SA (-1,7%) on Friday posted a sharp increase in net profit for the first quarter, as revenue rose and provisions for potential credit losses fell. France's second-largest listed bank by assets reported a 64% increase in quarterly net profit to 1.05 billion euros ($1.27 billion).
A lackluster monthly jobs report sparked a rebound in technology shares and other growth stocks Friday, helping send the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average to fresh highs. The broad stock market index ticked up 30.98 points, or 0.7%, to 4232.60, while the Dow rose 229.23 points, or 0.7%, to 34777.76. The milestones marked the respective indexes’ 26th and 24th record closes of 2021. The Nasdaq Composite added 119.39 points, or 0.9%, to 13752.24, outpacing its peers. The index is off 2.7% from the high it set about two weeks ago. In corporate news, travel-booking website Expedia added $8.64, or 5.2%, to $173.46, after reporting a narrower loss than Wall Street forecast. Energy drinks maker Monster Beverage fell $3.77, or 4%, to $91.25 after reporting first-quarter earnings that missed estimates and a shortage of aluminum cans. Health insurer Cigna (+1.7%) posted better-than-expected first-quarter revenue and earnings and raised its guidance for the year on the back of new customer gains. Peloton Interactive (unchanged) stabilized after its Wednesday drop followed by a rebound Thursday. The group's quarterly sales beat analysts' expectations. Peloton also cut its revenue and profit forecast for this year due to costs associated with the recall of 125,000 Tread treadmills following multiple accidents, including one that resulted in a death. Peloton will take a $165 million charge in the current quarter to cover the cost of these recalls.
The Asian stock exchanges were mainly up on Monday. In Tokyo, the Nikkei index gained half a percent to 29,514 points. The market is led by steel and energy stocks. While Shanghai is just in the plus, the HSI in Hong Kong was slightly down. The mood in South Korea is different, where the Kospi was up by 1,57%.
U.S. government bond yields swung sharply Friday after a disappointing jobs report caught traders off guard but didn’t fundamentally change Wall Street’s mostly optimistic outlook on the economic recovery. The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note fell as low as 1.487%, according to Tradeweb, compared with roughly 1.570% just before the report was released and 1.561% Thursday. But it quickly rebounded and ultimately settled at 1.576%.
Bernstein increases target Dt. Post to EUR 55 (50) - Outperform
SocGen raises Infineon to Buy/target EUR 41.50 - Trader
Citi lifts Arcelormittal target to EUR 36 - Buy
Produced by MBI Martin Brückner Infosource GmbH & Co. KG on behalf of Swissquote. All news is acquired with journalistic accuracy. No liability is assumed for delays or errors.