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Asian shares closed lower on worries over the spread of the coronavirus that had so far killed at least 80 people in China.
AstraZeneca said high-level results from from a phase three trial of its Brilinta drug used in conjunction with aspirin produced a “statistically significant and clinically meaningful” fall in the risk of the primary composite endpoint of stroke and death, compared with aspirin alone.
AstraZeneca said it had agreed to sell the global commercial rights to a range of hypertension treatments to Atnahs Pharma for up to $390m.
Health and safety firm Halma said it had made two acquisitions in the US and Australia for a combined £83. 4m.
The government failed to understand the risks of the controversial HS2 high-speed rail project, leading to costs ballooning and years of delay, an independent watchdog said on Friday.
Asian shares held their ground in lower volumes as investors and traders stayed away for the Lunar New Year one week holiday.
Festive Britons helped pub group Marston's deliver a rise in sales over the Christmas period despite poor weather keeping people at home in the first three weeks of December.
Medical technology firm Smith & Nephew said it had bought California-based Tusker Medical for an undiscosed sum.
Clinical stage biotech company PureTech Health said it had sold 2. 1m shares of its affiliate Karuna Therapeutics for $200m.
Russian gold and silver producer Polymetal said fourth fourth quarter revenue rose 1% year-on-year to $643m as lower output volumes were offset by increasing prices.
Anglo American said fourth quarter production across all operations rose 4%, driven by a ramp-up of operations at its Minas-Rio iron ore mine in Brazil as it maintained all guidance for 2020.
Boeing said it did not expect its controversial 737 Max aircraft to return to service until mid-2020 as it officially paused production while authorities scrutinise modifications.
UK merchant bank Close Brothers said its loan book was broadly flat due to a “difficult” domestic economic environment.
Pub chain Wetherspoons on Wednesday said it increased second quarter like-for-like sales by 4. 7% over the Christmas period as it held full year guidance.
Software group Sage said first quarter recurring revenue increased 10. 7% year on year to £410m, underpinned by software subscription growth as it continued to focus on migrating existing customers and attracting new customers to subscription and the cloud.
Supermarket chain Sainsbury's said chief executive Mike Coupe would had confirmed his intention to retire in July to be replaced by the company's retail and operations director Simon Roberts.
Financial investment platform operator IntegraFin Holdings reported a 4% rise in funds under direction (FUD) for the quarter to December 31.
EasyJet on Tuesday forecast a rise in first half revenue per seat to rise by “mid to high single digits”after a strong start to 2020 and lower capacity levels from competitors.
BHP maintained full year guidance for iron ore and thermal coal, despite the impact of the Australian bushfires on its coal operations.
The cost of Britain's controversial HS2 high-speed rail link could soar by a fifth to £106bn, according to an unpublished government review.