FirstFT: Today's Top Stories |  Financial Times

FirstFT: Today’s Top Stories | Financial Times

U.S. biotechnology Moderna said its Covid-19 vaccine had shown 94.5 percent effectiveness in clinical trials, in the second positive series of results for a potential coronavirus shot in the past eight days. US stocks hit a record close on the news on Monday.

Last week, US pharmaceutical company Pfizer and German company BioNTech announced that their vaccine, which uses the same messenger RNA technology, is more than 90 percent effective.

The Moderna realization shortly after this breakthrough will further strengthen optimism that the world can go around the corner in dealing with the pandemic.

Moderna reckoned that the vaccine could be shipped and stored for up to six months at minus 20 ° C and then remains stable after 30 days of thawing when refrigerated between 2 ° C and 8 ° C. In contrast, BioNTech-Pfizer has stated that the shot must be transported at minus 75 ° C and can only survive for five days in a normal refrigerator, which may make distribution difficult.

The UK has secured access to 5 million doses of the Moderna vaccine, Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced.

Moderna shares rose 8.5 percent to $ 97 in pre-market trading in New York, and S&P futures rose 1.2 percent. Shares in the Swiss company Lonza, which has signed a strategic deal with Moderna, rose 2 percent from previous lows. (FT)

Coronavirus digest

Follow our coronavirus tracker and live blog for the latest developments.

In the news

Goldman co-head quits to head Dell fund Gregg Lemkau, Co-Head of Investment Banking at Goldman Sachs, is leaving Wall Street Bank to head MSD Partners, an investment firm founded by computer entrepreneur Michael Dell. (FT)

Gregg Lemkau joined Goldman in 1992 as an analyst and was viewed as a potential future director. © Bloomberg

Activist claims Apple is tracking iPhone users without consent Apple violates EU law by allowing iPhone users to be tracked without their consent, data protection activist Max Schrems said in a complaint to German and Spanish regulators. (FT)

Biden meets with company leaders U.S. President-elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris called senior American CEOs and union leaders ahead of an economic recovery speech from the pandemic, warning of further deaths in Covid without a smooth transition. (Reuters, FT)

Walmart sells majority stake in Japanese supermarket Private equity group KKR will acquire 65 percent of Seiyu and Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten will buy 20 percent in a deal that will sell one of Japan’s largest supermarket chains for ¥ 172.5 billion. USD). Walmart will hold the remaining part of the business. (FT)

Trump’s security adviser says Biden appears to have won Robert O’Brien, Donald Trump’s national security adviser, said it “apparently” looks like Joe Biden won the US elections and promised a smooth transition the last time he recognized the president’s defeat by his allies. Our analysis shows that it was the swing state suburbs that led Mr Biden to the presidency. (FT)

The graph shows that at the national level, Democrats got more new votes in urban areas, but it was big wins in the suburbs that turned key swing states around

SEC chairman Jay Clayton will step down by the end of the year The chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission who oversaw a surge in regulation to make it easier for companies to raise capital. said Monday he would leave the US securities commission by the end of the year. Preet Bharara is a candidate to lead the SEC in Joe Biden’s administration. (FT, Bloomberg)

Britain wants to ban the sale of new gasoline and diesel cars from 2030 Sales of new gasoline and diesel cars will be banned within a decade, Boris Johnson announced this week as part of a broader package of green initiatives that will include a “big bet” on hydrogen power. For more information, subscribe to our energy sources newsletter. (FT)

New global leaders In Peru the legislature chose Francisco Sagasti,
a centrist technocrat, as the country’s third president in a week, hoping to restore political stability after days of turmoil. Maia Sandu, a former World Bank economist, will become Moldova’s first female president after a landslide victory in the presidential election on Sunday (FT).

With 99.9% of the votes counted, Maia Sandu was on track to get 57.74% of the vote in Moldova © AFP via Getty Images

Read a roundup of what world leaders in business, politics and business had to say at our FT Global boardroom Event last week on post-pandemic reconstruction.

The day ahead

Australian and Japanese Prime Ministers meet Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison will be the first world leader to meet in person with Yoshihide Suga since he became Japan’s Prime Minister when the two meet in Tokyo on Tuesday to discuss trade and Covid-19. (Japan Times)

Barack Obama’s memoir published Expect a lot from former US President Barack Obama this week after A Promised Land, the first volume of his tenure memoir, hits bookstores Tuesday. Mr Obama spoke to The Atlantic about the biggest threats to the American experiment – and why it is still hopeful. (FT, Atlantic)

Former President Barack Obama was promoting Joe Biden in Florida earlier this month. © AFP via Getty Images

Tech bosses testify to Congress Twitter’s Jack Dorsey and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday that they have decided to block stories alleging allegations about Joe Biden’s son Hunter. (FT)

Our Women at the Top USA event starts on Wednesday and this year’s theme is activism. Speakers include writer, political activist and feminist organizer Gloria Steinem and Arianna Huffington, executive director of Thrive Global. Register here for VIP tickets.

What else are we reading?

What a Biden victory means for Asia After four volatile years under President Donald Trump, there are four ways the lives of the chipmakers, smartphone makers, and internet giants of the world could change. On the global leadership front, the signing of a huge trade deal in Asia shows that the world can go on without the US, writes Gideon Rachman. (NAR, FT)

© James Ferguson

Best business books of 2020 Andrew Hill, FT Management Editor, picks his 10 must-read titles of the year. What’s your favorite book of 2020? Tell us here and we’ll post a selection of the best answers on FT.com. (FT)

Chinese Americans are fighting WeChat’s disinformation As in 2016, this year’s US election cycle brought hundreds of thousands of WeChat groups to unsubstantiated conspiracy theories. But this year a group of liberal Chinese-Americans are taking steps to encourage monolingual audiences to balance right-wing conspiracy content. (Foreign policy)

“There is no more money left” The worst hit by the Italian epidemic are those who live in the south of the country, especially the most vulnerable, those who live on the outskirts of cities and rural areas, and those who, according to economists, deal with the vast informal and undocumented Italian economy deal. (FT)

Grazia Santangelo has lost almost all of her customers to her Italian market stall and is struggling to cover basic needs. © Benni Priolisi

Huawei, 5G and the man who beat the noise Without the work of Erdal Arıkan, Huawei would not be what it is today. It was the obscure discovery of Turkish information theory scientists that enabled Huawei to develop the 5G technology that is being rolled out worldwide. (Wired)

Is it the end of the line for mass transit systems? Public transport passenger numbers plummeted when authorities declared lockdowns in the spring and all but key workers stayed at home. Now some are wondering what if some passengers never come back? This question is repeated in cities all over the world, from New York to London to Singapore. (FT)

Can Boeing’s 737 Max regain passenger confidence? The consequences of the two accidents with the Boeing 737 Max have shaken my complacency with the aviation industry, writes Michael Skapinker. Boeing and the US Federal Aviation Administration have to prove again that they deserve the trust of the flying public. (FT)

American Airlines has tentatively scheduled the return of the Boeing 737 Max by the end of the year. © AFP / Getty Images

Podcast of the day

Coronavirus: the big disruptor What happens when a pandemic collides with technological change? Covid-19 has shaken business to the core. Lex shows in the latest part of his Megatrends series how the landscape is changing. (FT)

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