The Gross Domestic Product released by the National Statistics is a measure of the total value of all goods and services produced by the UK and it is considered as a broad measure of the UK economic activity. The quarterly GDP for the U.K. rose steadily by 0.6 percent. Britain’s service sector drove the most growth in the last quarter, expanding by 0.8%, while construction while industrial output lagged behind. Following falls in Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2016, construction and production provided modest positive contributions to the GDP growth in Quarter 4 2016. Overall, UK GDP was estimated to have increased by 2.0% during 2016. .
European markets moved higher on Thursday morning extending yesterday’s profits that boosted the Dow Jones industrial average to an all-time high. Banking and healthcare stocks were the best performers as investors remained confident that President Donald Trump will carry on implementing his campaign pledges, including cutting taxes, business protectionism and de-regulation. It is also worth noting that the British Banker’s Association also announced Thursday that the number of mortgages approved by British bank hit a nine-month high in December.
January has been a rather slow month in terms of drug approvals. Specifically, Synergy Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s (SGYP) Trulance for the treatment of Chronic Idiopathic Constipation in adult patients, and Allergan plc’s (AGN) Rhofade cream for the topical treatment of persistent facial erythema (redness) associated with rosacea in adults were the only drugs that won the FDA’s green light in January. The iShares of Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB) added an impressive 4.7% this month, outperforming the S&P 500 by 43%.
Shares of Actelion Ltd. skyrocketed by around 21 percent in the morning trading after the Swiss biotechnology firm on Thursday agreed to a $30 billion takeover by drug major Johnson & Johnson. Immediately prior to the completion of the acquisition, Actelion will spin out its drug discovery operations and early-stage clinical development assets into a newly standalone Swiss biopharmaceutical company. Under the deal terms, Johnson & Johnson will launch a cash buyout offer in Switzerland to acquire Actelion for $280 per share, payable in U.S. dollars, which equates to 280.08 Swiss francs per share.