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TODAY ON WALL STREET: Moderna back on top of the vaccine race

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07/15/2020 | 09:00am EDT

Equities rose today after Moderna announced that it would start the third phase of its vaccine trials at the end of the month. The biotech revealed that the vaccine induced an immune response for all 45 people evaluated. Nearly 30,000 people are expected to participate in the new stage of vaccine development from July 27.

After yesterday's stock market session on Wall Street, Moderna’ share - already generously valued - soared by 16% to $87, after promising data for its vaccine candidate. This news boosted leading stock market indicators this morning, and overshadowed the verbal escalation between Washington and Beijing following the enactment of the US law causing Hong Kong to lose its special economic status, in retaliation to the "National Security Act" adopted by China on the territory of the former British colony. For the time being, the two economic powers are mainly firing blank bullets, but these tensions could lead to further disruption of international trade.

The Japanese Central Bank (BoJ) released its monetary policy decision, as well as its forecast for the economy. Its rates remained unchanged, as did its buyback programs. Regarding the economic outlook, the BoJ still expects a gradual recovery in the second half of the year, but downgraded its growth forecast to between -4.5% and -5.7%. Regarding prices, a slight deflation is still anticipated and the bank has pointed to a possible second wave of coronavirus.

Yesterday, James Bullard of the St. Louis Fed spoke, with a positive speech. He stressed that the economy could return to normal in the next 6 months, while saying that unemployment could return to levels close to 5%.

Today on the agenda, we have British inflation, the Empire State index and import prices, then industrial production and capacity utilization and weekly oil inventories, followed by the Fed's Beige Book. This morning, the Bank of Japan maintained the status quo on its rates and lowered its forecasts for the year 2020/2021.


Romain Fournier
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