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Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross.


After yesterday’s flurry of activity, it’s a quieter morning for corporate news to round off the week, and indeed close out our three quick facts column for the year. Synairgen [LON:SNG] has however issued an update on its COVID-19 clinical programme, noting a series of amendments to its phase III trial. This might not be the news investors were hoping for but the quote from management is pointed, noting that if vaccine uptake is poor or if the virus mutates and renders vaccines less effective, breakthrough treatments for patients will remain vital.

Vela Technologies

Keeping with a theme here, Vela Technologies [LON:VELA] provides an update this morning on its therapy to treat diabetic patients suffering from COVID-19. Although there’s no early data out from the trial, it notes that the drug is tolerated well and again as with Synairgen’s comment, adds that even with vaccines being rolled out, this offers no comprehensive guarantee of protection and alternate therapies will have a role to play.

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The Restaurant Group

It falls to The Restaurant Group [LON:RTN] to round off the year, with their latest COVID-19 update. The company notes that cash burn in November was £5.5m, some £2m higher than the figure seen during the first lockdown owing to rent renegotiations and employer contributions towards furlough payments. The change in lockdown tiers which come into effect this week also stand to hit the company hard and management cautions that if the allocations are maintained through the first quarter of the new year, it will have a significant impact on the group. Hopes are pinned on the success of the vaccine roll out, but as we’ve been reminded by the medical sector this morning, there’s no guarantee that will be the silver bullet people expect.

And with that, we’re done for the year. Three quick facts will be back on Monday January 4th, but with the aftermath of Brexit, COVID vaccinations, the prospect of more lockdowns and the potential for massive economic stimulus measures to be seen out of the US, there’s going to be plenty to talk about. Will the market’s wild ride of 2020 prove to have been little more than the first course?

Wishing you a happy Christmas and a prosperous – and healthy – New Year.

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Please note this article does not constitute investment advice. Investors are encouraged to do their own research beforehand or consult a professional advisor.

Tony Cross

Tony Cross

Tony Cross is a market commentator with over 15 years of experience, producing compelling, insightful copy for journalists and investors alike. Focusing on macroeconomics, UK blue chip equities and inter market analysis, Cross's commentary is well regarded for its clarity and ability to cut through the waffle. He has been quoted in publications as diverse as The Financial Times, The Times, The Guardian and The Sun. He has also been a regular guest on both Share Radio and TipTV.

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