1.UBS:– UBS Asset Management has excluded Exxon Mobil and four other “unresponsive” energy companies from its climate aware range of funds, including one managed for UK pension scheme NEST, the firms said on Monday.
The asset management arm of UBS also divested from Imperial Oil , Kepco, Marathon Oil and Power Assets following a three-year engagement programme with 49 oil and gas companies identified as lagging on climate change performance, the firms said in a statement.
The exclusions also apply to UBS’ actively-managed equity and fixed income sustainability funds.
2.MODERNA:Moderna stock surged 8% in Monday’s premarket trading after the company said trials have shown that its booster raises antibodies against Omicron by at least 37 times.
The company tested its booster candidates at 50 µg and 100 µg dose, with the latter showing about 83-fold jump in neutralizing antibody levels compared to pre-boost. Moderna had previously admitted that the usual 2-dose regime of its vaccine was much less effective against the Omicron variant than against the then-prevalent Delta variant.
Booster candidates are being evaluated in ongoing phase 2/3 studies of approximately 300-600 participants per arm, Moderna said in a release.
According to Moderna, while its first line of defense against Omicron will be a booster of its mRNA-1273 vaccine, it will also continue to develop an Omicron-specific variant vaccine that it expects to advance into clinical trials early next year. It will also evaluate including omicron in its multivalent booster program, it said.
3.GOLDMAN SACHS:Goldman Sachs trimmed its quarterly GDP forecasts for 2022, after U.S. Senator Joe Manchin withdrew his support to U.S. President Joe Biden’s $1.75 trillion domestic investment bill.
Manchin, a moderate Democrat, appeared to deal a fatal blow to Biden’s Build Back Better (BBB) policy bill on Sunday, which aims to expand the social safety net and tackle climate change.
“We had already expected a negative fiscal impulse for 2022 as a result of the fading support from COVID-relief legislation enacted in 2020 and 2021, and without BBB enactment, this fiscal impulse will become somewhat more negative than we had expected,” Goldmans Sachs analyst Jan Hatzius wrote in a note on Sunday.
Hatzius lowered U.S. GDP forecast for Q1 2022 to 2% from 3%, not factoring in that BBB would become a law, cut Q2 outlook to 3% from 3.5%, and Q3 forecast to 2.75% from 3%.
“While BBB in its current form looks unlikely, there is still a good chance that Congress enacts a much smaller set of fiscal proposals dealing with manufacturing incentives and supply chain issues,” Hatzius said.
Goldman Sachs says there is still a chance that Congress extends the expanded child tax credit programme, which aims at providing free childcare, with some modifications, though “the odds of this occurring are less than even.”
4.TOYOTA:.Toyota Motor Corp said on Monday it would suspend production at five domestic factories in January due to supply chain issues, chip shortages and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Japan’s top automaker said that the stoppage at the factories will affect about 20,000 vehicles, but won’t impact their annual target to manufacture nine million vehicles.
Last week, Toyota said it was projecting a bigger reduction in vehicle production in North America in January to 50,000 units due to supply chain issues.
5.JEFFERIES :Jefferies Financial Group Inc Chief Executive Officer Richard Handler said on Instagram on Sunday that he had tested positive for COVID three days after deciding this month to ask Jefferies staff to work from home again.
Handler said he would complete his 10th day of quarantine on Monday. He called the timing of his illness and the work-from-home request “ironic” and said it showed that “none of us truly controls our future.”
On Saturday Handler said in another post that the company is “tentatively shooting for Jan. 17 as return to office date.
Jefferies had asked staff on Dec. 8 to work from home following a spate of COVID-19 cases within the company. The firm also canceled all client parties and most travel plans.
Wall Street banks and investment firms have been more aggressive than other sectors in requiring employees return to offices. Many of those moves have been derailed by the rapid spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant.