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J&J to begin human trials for coronavirus vaccine


Market summary:

Maltese market closed in the red on Wednesday, with the MSE total index ending the session 0.492% lower to 8,299.731 points. The best performer was MIDI plc jumping 5.26% to close at 0.40. Main Street Complex plc closed at 0.52 by adding 4.84%, while Plaza Centres plc added 3.16% to close at 0.98. The biggest fall of 2.56% was seen from Malta International Airport plc, closing at 5.70, followed by GO plc and Bank of Valletta plc, both dropped 2.23% and 1.96% to close at 3.50 and 1.00 respectively.

European stocks finished slightly lower ahead of the US central bank’s policy announcement scheduled for later in the day and after the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development issued a dire forecast for world growth in 2020. By the end of trading, the benchmark Stoxx 600 had slipped 0.38% to 368.15, alongside a 0.70% drop for the German Dax to 12,530.16 while the FTSE Mibtel was 0.86% weaker at 19,758.01.

US stocks turned in a mixed performance on Wednesday following an update on the state of the nation’s economy from the Federal Reserve. At the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 1.04% at 26,899.99 and the S&P 500 was 0.53% weaker at 3,190.14, while the Nasdaq Composite saw out the session 0.67% firmer at 10,020.35.

J&J moves up start of coronavirus vaccine human trials to July

Johnson & Johnson moved up the start of human clinical trials for its experimental vaccine against the highly contagious coronavirus by two months to the second half of July, as the drug maker rushes to develop a prevention for COVID-19, the company said on Wednesday.

The acceleration should allow J&J to take part in the massive clinical trials program planned by the U.S. government, which aims to have an effective vaccine by year end.

J&J shares rose nearly 2% to $148.69.

Last March, J&J signed deals with the U.S. government to create enough manufacturing capacity to produce more than 1 billion doses of its vaccine through 2021, even before it has evidence that it works.

There are currently no U.S. approved treatments or vaccines for the virus. A vaccine is seen as essential to ending the pandemic that has infected more than 7.2 million people and killed over 412,000 globally, while battering economies worldwide.

This article was issued by Nadiia Grech, Junior Trader at Calamatta Cuschieri. For more information visit, www.cc.com.mt. The information, view and opinions provided in this article are being provided solely for educational and informational purposes and should not be construed as investment advice, advice concerning particular investments or investment decisions, or tax or legal advice. Calamatta Cuschieri Investment Services Ltd has not verified and consequently neither warrants the accuracy nor the veracity of any information, views or opinions appearing on this website.