1. Treasuries Decline, Asian Stocks Fall on Japan: Markets Wrap

(Bloomberg) — Treasuries fell as a Federal Reserve official emphasized that recent US economic data might delay the number of interest-rate cuts seen this year. Japanese stocks dragged down broader Asian equities. Yields on Treasuries advanced across tenors in early trading in Asia following Fed Governor Christopher Waller’s remarks after the Wednesday close that there is no rush to lower interest rates, and he wants to see “at least a couple months of better inflation data” before cutting.

  • Bank Liquidity Rules Should Be Tightened, Ex-Fed Officials Say

(Bloomberg) — US regulators should force banks to hold more liquid assets to lower the risk of future runs and also make it easier for midsize lenders to buy each other, according to two former Federal Reserve governors.  Daniel Tarullo and Jeremy Stein said growth in uninsured deposits has made banks more susceptible to sudden deposit outflows.

  • Ukraine’s No. 2 City Hit by Guided Bomb as Russia Widens Strikes

(Bloomberg) — Ukrainian authorities said the northeastern city of Kharkiv was hit with a guided bomb, killing at least one person and injuring others in the first such strike on the city since the war began over two years ago. The attack on a block of apartment buildings in Ukraine’s second-largest city injured at least 19 people, regional Governor Oleh Synehubov said on Telegram.

  • Waller Says Fed Should Delay or Reduce Cuts After Recent Data

(Bloomberg) — Federal Reserve Governor Christopher Waller said there is no rush to lower interest rates, emphasizing that recent economic data warrants delaying or reducing the number of cuts seen this year.  Waller called recent inflation figures “disappointing” and said he wants to see “at least a couple months of better inflation data” before cutting.

  • Yellen Sounds Alarm on China ‘Global Domination’ Industrial Push

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen slammed China’s use of subsidies to give its manufacturers in key new industries a competitive advantage, at the cost of distorting the global economy, and said she plans to press China on the issue in an upcoming visit. “There is no country in the world that subsidizes its preferred, or priority, industries as heavily as China does,” Yellen said in an interview with MSNBC Wednesday — highlighting “massive” aid to electric-car, battery and solar producers. “China’s desire is to really have global domination of these industries.”

  • Yen Traders Rattled as Slide to 34-Year Low Sparks Japan Warning

(Bloomberg) — In the hours after the yen hit a 34-year low on Wednesday, Japanese officials put currency traders on notice: Keep this up and we’ll act forcefully in the market to stem the slide. The message was heeded, at least initially. 

  • BOJ Summary Hints at Cautious Approach to Further Rate Increases

(Bloomberg) — Bank of Japan board members discussed the need to stay cautious at a policy meeting last week, where the bank ended its massive easing program with Japan’s first interest rate increase since 2007, according to a summary of opinions from the gathering. “The bank would need to emphasize its cautious stance in the case of terminating the negative interest rate policy,” one member noted, according to the summary released Thursday. 

  • Novo Nordisk A/S’s $1000 diabetes drug ‘Ozempic’ could be profitably produced for less than $5 a month according to a study.

The study extends research showing how steep US markups are for GLP-1 drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy. Novo’s combined 2023 sales of Ozempic and Wegovy topped $18 billion. Patents linked to the drugs are likely to expire in June 2033, according to estimates from Bloomberg Law.

  • Inc. invested an additional $2.75 billion in AI startup Anthropic, a well-regarded builder of AI tools able to generate text and analysis, to $4 billion, following an earlier investment announced in September.

Anthropic is tied up with multiple big tech companies like Google who joined a $450 million round of financing last May. Both Google and Amazon Web Services are Anthropic’s cloud computing partners.

  1. AstraZeneca PLC announced on Wednesday the approval of two of its treatments for use in Japan.

The pharmaceutical company said Beyfortus, a long-acting monoclonal antibody, has been approved as a treatment to prevent lower respiratory tract disease in infants caused by respiratory syncytial virus. Beyfortus is being developed and commercialised by Astra in tandem with Sanofi. Every year more than 100,000 cases in infants are reported in Japan, and AstraZeneca’s treatment is the “first and only” of its kind to be approved in the country, the company said. Furthermore, in recent trials, Truqap plus Faslodex treatment for breast cancer was found to reduce the risk of disease progression or death by 50% compared to Faslodex alone. Based on these results, it also became the first of its kind to be approved by the Japanese health ministry.

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