The Fed came very close to promising a rate cut Wednesday, and now markets are focused on a possible July rate cut.Market Insiderread more
Markets had expected the central bank to keep its benchmark interest rate steady while setting up a cut at the July meeting.The Fedread more
The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell below 2% for the first time since November 2016 on Wednesday — breaching a key psychological level.Bondsread more
As the presidents of U.S. and China near a highly anticipated meeting on trade, the gap in both sides' expectations regarding a deal remains wide.World Politicsread more
Powell said policymakers are concerned about some of the recent economic developments and see a growing case for easier policy.The Fedread more
Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos gave more insight into his space company's lunar plans on Wednesday.Technologyread more
Sundar Pichai's note reads like a response to growing scrutiny from regulators, press and employees, and echoes a consistent theme of how Google helps people.Technologyread more
Delta warned travelers that a technical problem could delay flights on Wednesday.Airlinesread more
The Fed chief said that despite reports that Trump was looking to demote or fire him, he doesn't plan on leaving anytime soon.The Fedread more
If the Trump administration and Congress fail to reach a spending agreement, the White House will offer to keep the government funded at its current levels for a year, Mnuchin...Politicsread more
With bold and targeted steps, economists say, government can increase opportunity and incomes for many more people in ways that strengthen, not weaken, American capitalism.Politicsread more
* China remains a bright spot for AstraZeneca
Sees high single digit percentage growth in 2019 sales
* Shares up 5 pct, on track for best day in over 18 months (Adds details , CEO comments, share move)
By Ankur Banerjee and Paul Sandle
Feb 14 (Reuters) - Drugmaker AstraZeneca forecast a second straight year of sales growth on Thursday, driven by revenue from cancer medicines and other new treatments, lifting its shares.
Shares in AstraZeneca, which reported better than expected fourth-quarter results, were up 5.1 percent to 6,015 pence by 1040 GMT, on track for their best day in more than 18 months.
After a sharp sales fall following his appointment in 2012 due to the expiry of major patents, the results were the latest vindication of Chief Executive Officer Pascal Soriot's strategy for rebooting the British drugmaker.
Sales of cancer drugs Tagrisso, Imfinzi and Lynparza were central to the gains, with oncology sales rising 61 percent to $1.78 billion. Chinese sales, which have more than doubled since 2012, rose by 22 percent to almost $1 billion.
"What is happening in China is exciting... it is even better than what we expected," Soriot told a news conference, while cautioning that growth in the world's second biggest economy may be slower this year.
AstraZeneca has suffered the biggest loss of drug patents since 2012, wiping out more than half of its sales, but analysts believe it is poised for one of the fastest growth rates in the coming years. (For an interactive on the firm's Oncology growth, click here https://tmsnrt.rs/2Eaz8bZ)
"2018 feels like the year Astra turned the corner," Nicholas Hyett, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said. "The Oncology portfolio is going from strength to strength... even after recent successes, the pipeline of new drugs looks rich."
Of the successful new treatments, Imfinzi and Tagrisso treat lung cancer, Lynparza ovarian cancer and Fasenra severe asthma. Sales for all of them beat analysts' forecast for the quarter.
Tagrisso, which brought in $1.86 billion in 2018 and accounts for 9 percent of total product sales, will likely become its top selling medicine in 2019, AstraZeneca said.
The company was also the latest big drug producer to say that it had made extensive preparations for Brexit, adding it assumed that Britain's departure from the European Union would be "orderly" even if it leaves without a deal with Brussels.
The highly regulated drugs sector is seen as one of the most vulnerable to a "no-deal" outcome due to its pan-European supply chains and need for regulatory oversight.
Overall product sales in the three months ended Dec. 31 rose 8 percent to $5.77 billion at constant currency ahead of a company provided analyst estimate of $5.66 billion.
The drugmaker expects a high single-digit percentage rise in sales in 2019 and core earnings of $3.50 to $3.70 per share. (For an interactive on the firm's China growth, click here https://tmsnrt.rs/2Ea0DCq)
(Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka and Ankur Banerjee in Bengaluru and Paul Sandle in London; editing by Patrick Graham and Alexander Smith)