Pharmaceuticals were in focus Monday, with AstraZeneca and Novartis receiving approvals from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. RBR Capital also revealed its plan for a shake-up of Credit Suisse.
AstraZeneca received FDA approval for a new formulation of its type-2 diabetes treatment option Bydureon.
Bydureon BCise, a single-dose autoinjector device that is used once a week, reduces blood-sugar levels and has the added benefit of aiding weight loss, the company said.
AstraZeneca said the drug will be available to U.S. patients from the first quarter of 2018.
The European Medicines Agency has also accepted an application for the autoinjection, it added.
Novartis said that it received breakthrough therapy designation from the FDA for a skin-cancer treatment that uses a combination of its Tafinlar and Mekinist drugs.
The Swiss pharmaceutical company said its treatment received the FDA's breakthrough designation after a phase 3 study showed the survival rate for patients treated with the drug combination was 58%, compared with 39% for patients who received a placebo. The combination is used to treat patients with stage-three melanoma following surgical removal.
The FDA awards breakthrough designation to drugs that treat serious or life-threatening diseases and show significant improvement over existing treatments.
RBR Capital Advisors, the activist investor which last week bought a stake in Credit Suisse, revealed late Friday its plan for the Swiss bank, which includes a shakeup of its conglomerate structure and IT platform.
The investment firm said Credit Suisse should focus on wealth management and split off its investment-banking and asset-management divisions into independent companies. Specifically, RBR wants to merge and concentrate the Swiss Universal Bank, Wealth Management International and Wealth Management Asia divisions into a new structure whose value it said would exceed the current value of the entire group.
In other corporate news, GKN shares top the list of FTSE 100 gainers on renewed speculation the automotive and aerospace supplier will split in two. Investors have long felt the automotive business was a drag on aerospace. With new management coming in, investors seem to hope the split may be coming.
Talk of a GKN split isn't new, however, and may have been rekindled as much by a shock profit warning that sent shares sharply lower this month as by reality.
Gold Fields said that gold production rose in the third quarter from the second quarter and reaffirmed its full-year guidance despite two fatalities affecting production at its South Deep mine in South Africa.
The mining company produced 567,000 ounces of gold in the three months to Sept. 30, up from 550,000 ounces in the previous quarter. Third-quarter production was up 6% on year.
Koninklijke Philips reported a 15% fall in third-quarter net profit on sales that declined slightly, but backed its guidance for the year.
For the quarter ended Sept. 30, the Dutch technology company reported net income attributable to shareholders of 315 million euros ($370.6 million) compared with EUR370 million a year earlier, while sales slipped to EUR4.15 billion from EUR4.16 billion.
The company's adjusted earnings before interest, taxes and amortization margin improved by 140 basis points to 12.8% of sales compared with 11.4% for the comparable period in 2016.