European Shares Hit Two and a Half-Month Highs; HIV Maintenance Drugs to Get New FDA “Faster-Tracked” Designation; Aussie Elections Could Send Their Dollar Plummeting

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European Shares Hit Two and a Half-Month Highs (Reuters)

Europe’s FTSEurofirst 300 Index hit its highest level since May. England’s FTSE 100, Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 all opened the week up slightly, based on the expectation that an improved European Union (EU) economy will combine with a rising Chinese economy to help pull Europe out of recession. Rabobank economist Elwin de Groot thought the positive move actually began last week, “What we saw last week was that the figures from China lent some support to the feeling in the market that the slowdown (in China) is over… once Asia begins to re-accelerate then that is good for Europe.” Let’s hope that Chinese effect really is as strong as it’s hoped.

HIV Maintenance Drugs to Get New FDA “Faster-Tracked” Designation (Bloomberg)

The FDA already had its “fast-track” approval program in place for drugs that showed exceptional promise during clinical trials.  But now, in a bid to quicken the pace of drugs to market used in fighting the disease in long-term sufferers, the FDA is close to eliminating the need for follow-up studies before approval is granted. This move could save as much as a year in time to market, and save the companies millions of dollars in completing the follow-ups. It also gives investors the ability to earn life-changing profits from new drugs hitting the market more quickly than in the past.

Aussie Elections Could Send Their Dollar Plummeting (CNBC)

Exit polls for next month’s Australian election reflect that the opposition (Liberal-National coalition) party is leading handily. And that’s good news for the Aussie Dollar. For if the incumbent party (the Labor party) were to somehow pull off a surprise victory, it would send the currency into another free fall. According to Scott Cavanaugh, senior vice president of financial markets at Compass Global markets, “If there is a change in government, the new government would balance the books and get everything back in the black, which would be very positive for the Aussie [dollar].” And right now, investors need a good reason to get back into Australia.

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