LONDON (CNNMoney) German Chancellor Angela Merkel won clear backing for her handling of the euro zone crisis and Europe’s biggest economy Sunday, with voters handing her conservative party a resounding victory in national elections. Merkel’s bloc — the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Christian Social Union (CSU) — garnered 41.7% of the vote , according to semi-official results released by the Federal Election Office. Merkel’s party was within two seats of obtaining a super majority, which will mean it doesn’t need to build a coalition with another party to govern. The results appeared to validate Merkel’s policies and leadership style. Merkel is only the third post-war chancellor to win three successive elections. “Give or take a few details, Germany’s euro policies are based on strong public support and a virtual consensus of all mainstream parties. The strong support for Merkel herself and her [party] today underscores that point,” said Holger Schmieding, chief economist at Berenberg bank. Her previous coalition partner, the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP), was by far the biggest loser Sunday and appeared to have fallen short of the 5% threshold needed to enter parliament. A new anti-euro party AfD may have won enough support to win its first seats but didn’t make the big breakthrough it wanted. Google+ Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET.
factory activity tempered evidence of a healing global economy. Purchasing managers’ indexes, surveying thousands of companies across the globe, showed a welcome pick-up in the euro zone and China although slower growth in the United States’ manufacturing sector backed the Federal Reserve’s decision last week to maintain its support for the world’s largest economy. Financial data firm Markit said its “flash,” or preliminary, U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) retreated to 52.8 this month from 53.1 in August, confounding analysts’ forecasts of an improvement. A reading above 50 indicates expansion. Output growth accelerated but new order inflows slowed, suggesting “production growth is likely to weaken in the fourth quarter unless demand picks up again in October,” said Chris Williamson, Markit’s chief economist. The Fed surprised markets last week by postponing a reduction of its massive, $85-billion-a-month bond-buying program, while downgrading its growth forecasts. Conflicting views from policymakers of when the wind-down will come has left markets uneasy, while the threat of another fight on Capitol Hill over how much the United States can borrow loomed large. The uncertainty emanating from Washington took the shine off a German election triumph for Angela Merkel which confirmed she would remain Europe’s dominant leader as the continent tries to put its debt crisis to bed. Still, the bloc should be able to take on its continuing challenges from a position of improving economic growth, after the region pulled out of recession in the second quarter. Markit’s Eurozone Flash Composite PMI jumped to 52.1 in September from last month’s 51.5, its highest since June 2011 and beating expectations for a reading of 51.9.
Novartis’ Ultibro Breezhaler Approved in Europe
Markets close in 3 hrs 37 mins Stock Watch Novartis’ Ultibro Breezhaler Approved in Europe By Zacks Equity Research | Zacks 1 hour 32 minutes ago 50.963 +0.433 Positive news flowed in at Novartis ( NVS ) when its chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (:COPD) drug, Ultibro Breezhaler, gained approval in Europe. Ultibro Breezhaler was approved as a once-daily maintenance bronchodilator treatment to relieve symptoms in adults suffering from COPD. Moreover, Ultibro inhalation capsules were approved in Japan to relieve various symptoms due to airway obstruction in COPD patients. Ultibro Breezhaler is a fixed-dose combination of Onbrez Breezhaler and Seebri Breezhaler. The approval in Europe does not surprise us as Novartis received a positive opinion from the CHMP on Ultibro Breezhaler as a maintenance bronchodilator treatment to relieve symptoms in adults with COPD in Jul 2013. The approval was based on positive data from a phase III clinical trial, IGNITE. The IGNITE programme included 11 studies and was conducted in over 52 countries by Novartis among 10,000 patients suffering from COPD. The first eight studies, completed in 2012, showed that Ultibro Breezhaler can significantly improve lung function as compared to several current standard treatments. The data from the studies also revealed that patients treated with Ultibro Breezhaler showed significant symptomatic improvements in breathlessness, exercise tolerance, rescue medication use and health-related quality of life as compared to placebo. Meanwhile, Novartis also has another pipeline candidate, BYM338, which is being developed for COPD. We remind investors that Theravance, Inc. ( THRX ) is also developing its COPD candidate in partnership with GlaxoSmithKline ( GSK ). Last week, the CHMP recommended the approval of their candidate fluticasone furoate/vilanterol (proposed brand name: Relvar Ellipta) in Europe for the symptomatic treatment of adults suffering from COPD and asthma. A final decision on the candidate from the European Commission is expected by year end. Novartis currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
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