Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }

VACCINE RACE

Small bottles labeled with a "Vaccine COVID-19" sticker and a medical syringe are seen in this illustration taken taken April 10.

Dado Ruvic/Reuters

U.S. President Donald Trump has put his faith in anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine to ward off COVID-19, but governments and investors are focusing on a vaccine. Without one, it’s unlikely economic activity can resume fully.

So the race is on, and the rewards are rich: AstraZeneca has vaulted into the position of the most valuable British company after receiving a U.S. pledge for up to $1.2 billion for its experimental vaccine.

Pharma/biotech shares have outperformed broader equities since Feb 19. Investors twitchy for vaccine news sent the share price of biotech company Moderna 20% higher when it said its vaccine trials showed promise. Rivals Novavax and Inovio also rose when they secured vaccine development funding.

Story continues below advertisement

The United States has vaccine development deals with Johnson & Johnson and Sanofi, too. But many others, big and small, are in the race: Imperial College, Gilead Sciences, Roche, China’s CanSino Biologics and India’s Glenmark to name just a few.

THE RUBICON

European Union flags fly outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels.

Yves Herman/Reuters

European clashes over how to handle the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis raised fears for the bloc’s future, but a Franco-German proposal aimed at helping the worst-hit states represents a pivotal moment. The markets want to the see the details, however. All eyes will be on the European Commission, which on Wednesday presents its pandemic recovery plan.

The task is to ensure weaker states such as Italy can access funding without adding to their debt burden. But EU states remain divided over whether recovery funds should be funnelled through loans or transfers. If those opposed to big spending manage to water down the plan, the euro and southern European bonds will take a knock.

The change in Germany’s previously hardline stance was momentous. Now it’s the turn of others such as Austria and the Netherlands to decide whether they are ready to cross the Rubicon.

TRYING TIMES

A woman looks at a stocks display board showing the Hang Seng Index (HSI) on May 22.

ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP/Getty Images

Beijing’s control has long been a sore point for some Hong Kongers. Its latest proposal for a tougher national security regime for the city will almost certainly lead to further violent confrontations on the streets and open a new venue for Sino-U.S. tension.

Only this time it may be worse, which is why the Hang Seng index was hit harder on Friday than even the worst days in the March selldown. China has replaced the leadership in its Hong Kong Liaison office and, foreign envoys reckon, quietly doubled the number of staff there.

The United States has already warned of a tough response. Investors will look there, and to the situation on the ground for cues. As for markets, Hong Kong’s property index posted its worst drop in 11.5 years on Friday. European luxury shares and banks such as HSBC also took a hammering on Friday, meaning ripples could spread.

Story continues below advertisement

CLOUD STOCKS FLOAT HIGHER

The company logo for Salesforce.com is displayed on the Salesforce Tower in New York City on March 7, 2019.

BRENDAN MCDERMID/Reuters

Coronavirus is a double-edged sword for cloud-computing firms. It has supercharged demand for datacenter services to support video-streaming and other remote services, but is also forcing corporates to slash budgets amid a deep recession.

Cloud computing players take the spotlight on Wall Street in coming days as they report quarterly results and guide investors on the outlook. Autodesk and Workday report on Wednesday. Salesforce.com - viewed as the gold standard - follows on Thursday, along with systems software seller VMWare.

The First Trust Cloud Computing index ETF has gained over 10% in 2020, although some big-name cloud-computing stocks have yet to fully recover from their March lows.

DOOM AND GLOOM

This Wednesday, May 13, 2020, file photo shows workers at the assembly line of a factory for the joint venture company Beijing Benz Automotive Co., Ltd in Beijing.

Ng Han Guan/The Associated Press

Armed with less fiscal firepower and weaker healthcare systems than richer peers, emerging economies have been less able to counter coronavirus-induced drops in consumption, foreign investment and exports, or alleviate the effects of job losses.

That strain shows up in economic data, not least the 6.8% Q1 contraction in China’s economy, the biggest in decades. Soon four other emerging market heavyweights - Turkey, Mexico, Brazil and India - will tell us how their growth fared in the January-April quarter.

Expect gloomy readings. India, not long ago, the fastest-growing big economy, is expected to have expanded 2% in Q1; Turkey’s economy is seen contracting this year for the first time in over a decade. For Brazil and Mexico Goldman Sachs predicts full-year contractions of 7.4% and 8.5% respectively.

Story continues below advertisement

Be smart with your money. Get the latest investing insights delivered right to your inbox three times a week, with the Globe Investor newsletter. Sign up today.

Report an error
Tickers mentioned in this story
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies