US drugmakers reportedly under fire for possible price fixing; Takata shares temporarily halted after reports it was filing for bankruptcy for its US unit. Markets had worrying sideshows to contend with on Friday, alongside the big feature: the Clinton/Trump election race. David Pollard reports.
Big picture worries for the markets - and small but significant concerns. Drugmakers Sanofi, Eli Lilly and Merck facing demands for a probe into allegations of price fixing. Though this story too has its part in the US election race. SOUNDBITE (English) SENIOR FX STRATEGIST, RABOBANK, JANE FOLEY, SAYING: "We've seen Clinton of course take up the mantle and really criticise some drug manufacturers for putting up costs very significantly. We could potentially, we're told, have some charges by the end of the year." And the US in the frame over Japan's Takata. The airbag maker now considering filing for bankruptcy for its US unit, a source has told Reuters. As it struggles with the costs related to recalling faulty products. SOUNDBITE (English) SENIOR FX STRATEGIST, RABOBANK, JANE FOLEY, SAYING: "Again, another scandal that is tainting the car industry and something that consumers will be keeping a pretty close eye on." If they can tear themselves away from the main feature. A US election which just days from its climax has markets guessing. It's sent stocks globally to their lowest since July ... The greenback trailing in their wake. SOUNDBITE (English) SENIOR FX STRATEGIST, RABOBANK, JANE FOLEY, SAYING: "We have of course seen the dollar losing steam if the opinion polls suggest Trump is more likely to claim victory - and therefore we can anticipate that if we were to see a Trump victory we would see quite hefty dollar losses." And a new prospect looms - of a traditional haven less safe than before. SOUNDBITE (English) SENIOR FX STRATEGIST, RABOBANK, JANE FOLEY, SAYING: "We've seen the market buy US Treasuries on the back of safe haven appeal over the last week as opinion polls tightened. And that is very interesting, because if protectionist policies did come to pass in the US, that could create a lot of inflation and you could see Treasury yields potentially pushing much higher." Not only voters wondering where to place their bets, but traders too.