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Inflation jitters send US yields, dollar higher Inflation. The chop-fest range trading beguiling currency, bond, and equities markets in the US this month…

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Inflation jitters send US yields, dollar higher

Inflation. The chop-fest range trading beguiling currency, bond, and equities markets in the US this month continued overnight. Overnight, New York decided that it was in fact worried about inflation, having dismissed it the day before. Tomorrow, perhaps, they won’t be once again. That saw equities retreat, US yields firm, with US 10-years back above 3.0% once again, while the US dollar also booked some modest gains.

Ignoring the noise elsewhere, oil continued its march higher, Brent crude jumping 2.40% to 123.95 a barrel overnight. An unexpected rise by official US Crude Inventories of 2.0 million barrels, and distillates by 2.5 million barrels provided no solace to oil markets, as gasoline stocks remained flat. Most of the price rise can probably be attributed to fighting talk by the UAE Oil Minister at a conference yesterday.

According to Reuters, Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei said the OPEC+ shortfall to target was 2.6 million barrels, with OPEC+ compliance at 200%. He also warned that a reopening of China would place further stress on supplies. He also said that we were nowhere near peak oil prices. Gulp. In other news, difficulties monitoring Iran’s nuclear compliance puts a new nuclear deal, and more Iranian crude on international markets, as far away as ever.

That leads nicely into China, where markets were awaiting this morning’s May Balance of Trade release. The trade balance has exploded higher to USD 78.76 billion, led by exports increasing by 16.90%, while imports climbed by 4.10%. I suspect port reopenings have flattered the data. However, from my point of view, the trade data is irrelevant to a much more important development that has occurred today. This morning, Shanghai residents awoke to the news that the Shanghai district of Minhang, home to two million people, has been placed under strict lockdown with mass testing scheduled for Saturday. Markets have been naively pricing in that the easing of restrictions in Beijing and Shanghai was the final victory over omicron, and thus, peak covid-zero.

As I have said repeatedly with regards to covid-zero country’s experiences, the country has to get lucky 100% of the time, the virus has to only get lucky once. China is no different from anywhere else in this respect and buying the dip for a China bounce is a perilous activity. Covid-zero is going nowhere in China, and nor is the virus. Thus, the chances of extended restrictions returning, with the ensuing drop in China’s economic activity, remain as high as ever. They could repeat over and over again. About the only good news from this development is that it might take the edge off the oil rally.

Still, the news isn’t all bad on the inflation front. The US Treasury Secretary indicated overnight that the US was looking to “reconfigure” tariffs on Chinese imports. Translation: we’ll drop a lot of them to try and slow inflation down ahead of November’s mid-term elections. Indonesia today, has also announced an export acceleration scheme to ship at least one million tonnes of palm oil and derivatives to international markets according to Channel News Asia. And yesterday from Reuters, India indicated it would soon allow 1.2 million tonnes of wheat exports after banning exports previously.

Neither development will materially move the dial on food inflation thanks to the Russia/Ukraine conflict, but it does show both an understanding and willingness by exporting countries, of the downstream impacts globally and the need to assist in mollifying them. Like China’s covid-zero policy though, nobody should be naïve enough to expect them not to return and bite the global economy again. Food nationalism will continue to be a real issue throughout 2022 and into 2023.

China’s trade date was the only tier-1 Asia data release today. Philippine’s trade balance held steady at USD-4.8 billion for April, barely changing from March. Imports rose 22.80% YoY, likely reflecting skyrocketing food and energy prices. Indonesia’s May Consumer Confidence leapt higher to 128.90, and the rising cost of living or not, it’s hard to see any recessionary signs here in Jakarta. Pak President’s removal of the mask mandate seems to have magically restored activity of pre-pandemic levels, and the traffic is well and truly back to normal here. So much so, that Jakarta’s local government has expanded the odd/even car restrictions to a larger part of the Big Durian.

This afternoon’s undoubted highlight will be the European Central Bank policy meeting, perhaps the most anticipated one of the year. Given her recent guidance, ECB President Lagarde has primed markets for an ending to their quantitative easing but don’t call it quantitative easing programme, this month or next, as well as two 0.25% rate hikes in July and September. The rates curve has fully priced this in, with 130bps of hikes expected by year-end. I think that’s punchy myself, given that Europe is moving into a war economy, with a lot of inflation imported and beyond its control thanks to the conflict in the East.

By default, one would expect that much of the euro’s recent recovery is down to those rate hiking expectations as well. So, this afternoon will be all about the press conference as it would be a huge surprise if they hiked by 0.25% today as well (note: I have already used huge surprise and central bank this week and I was wrong). A rate hike today could shake EUR/USD out of its 1.0700/1.0800 malaise and open gains to 1.1000. On the other hand, If Ms Lagarde has blinked and become dovish again, the adjustment lower by the ECB rates curve and EUR/USD could get quite emotional.

The US calendar is dead ahead of tomorrow’s Inflation main event. US Jobless Claims may see traders grasping at straws on a slow news day. Otherwise, I suspect we will see another mood-swing session from the FOMO gnomes of Wall Street, with any excuse to buy, the genetically pre-programmed default option.

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Las Vegas Strip Gets a Brand New Technology

It’s not just Caesars and MGM innovating on the Strip. A number of other companies are trying big idea.

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It's not just Caesars and MGM innovating on the Strip. A number of other companies are trying big idea.

Las Vegas has quietly become a hotbed for innovation. Some of that has been driven by the major casino operators -- Caesars Entertainment (CZR) - Get Caesars Entertainment Inc. Report, MGM Resorts International (MGM) - Get MGM Resorts International Report, Resorts World Las Vegas, and Wynn Resorts (WYNN) - Get Wynn Resorts Limited Report -- trying to outdo each other to win over customers.

Some innovations are ostentatious and hard to miss, like the MSG (MSGE) - Get Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp. Class A Report Sphere being built at the Venetian. That first-of-its-kind concert venue looks as if it dropped to Earth from a technologically advanced civilization, and it has raised the bar for performance venues.

Many innovations, however, aren't as obvious. Caesars, for example, uses an artificial intelligence text-based concierge that's surprisingly effective. "Ivy," as it goes by, can answer questions, help with mundane tasks like getting clean towels delivered, or advance your issue to a human where needed.

Innovations big and small are happening up, down, and under the Las Vegas Strip. Elon Musk's Boring Co. has been building a network of tunnels under the city that will eventually use driverless Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc. Report electric vehicles to ferry people all over the city. 

That's a revolutionary idea -- but now a rival has emerged.  

Image source: Daniel Kline/TheStreet

Musk Goes Low, Lyft Goes High?

Musk's Boring Co. has a bold plan for more than 50 stations connecting the Las Vegas Strip to the airport, the Convention Center, Allegiant Stadium, and Fremont Street using driverless Teslas. 

Currently, only a small portion of that network has been built -- a section connecting the two halves of the Las Vegas Convention Center (and one connecting Resorts World Las Vegas to that same location.

For Musk and Boring Co., it's all about taking traffic off the city's busy streets and bringing it underground.

"During typical peak hours, driving from the Las Vegas Convention Center to Mandalay Bay, for example, can take up to 30 minutes. The same trip on Vegas Loop will take approximately 3 minutes," the company says on its website.

If Musk's plan is fully built, it'll effectively give Las Vegas a modern subway, helping alleviate road congestion. It will not, however, stop tourists from using ride-share and taxi cabs.

Now, ride-share company Lyft  (LYFT) - Get Lyft Inc. Report has brought a solution to Sin City that may ultimately help it solve another problem: a shortage of taxi and ride-share drivers. 

Lyft Brings Driverless Cars (Sort of) to Las Vegas

Labor in Las Vegas has been in short supply since the pandemic hit. Some people left the city and others found work outside the service-industry jobs that fuel the Las Vegas economy. At times, that has made the wait for a cab, or a ride-share from Uber (UBER) - Get Uber Technologies Inc. Report and Lyft, longer than usual.

Lyft plans to fix that by partnering with Motional to bring Motional's "Ioniq-5-based robotaxi, an autonomous vehicle designed for fully driverless ride-hail operation, to the Lyft network in Las Vegas," the ride-share company shared in a news release.

The Ioniq 5 is Hyundai's  (HYMTF)  prominent EV. Motional is the Boston joint venture between Hyundai and automotive-technology specialist Aptiv.  (APTV) - Get Aptiv PLC Report

"Launching Motional’s all-electric Ioniq 5 on Lyft’s network in Las Vegas represents tremendous progress in our vision to make an electric, autonomous, and shared future a reality for people everywhere," said  Lyft CEO Logan Green.

It's Self-Driving Lyfts, But...

There is, however, a pretty big catch.

"Each vehicle arrives with not one but two backup drivers standing by to take control of the car should anything go wrong" Casino.org's Corey Levitan reported.

Lyft has promised a truly driverless system at some point in 2023, but current laws and the state of driverless technology make the backups necessary.

Motional and Lyft have quietly been testing driverless vehicles in Las Vegas since 2018. In the news release, Lyft explained how the system works.

"This means riders are able to easily control their ride without assistance from a driver. The enhanced experience includes unlocking the doors through the Lyft app and starting the ride or contacting customer support from the new in-car Lyft AV app, an intuitive in-ride display tailored to autonomous ride-sharing," the company said.

Lyft and Boring Co. are not working together. But if Musk's plan takes vehicles off Las Vegas's streets, the new program makes the experience better for any that remain. 

Ride sharing and taxis will continue to cost significantly more than using Boring Co's subway-like system, so it's easy to see how the two options will work well together.   .

 

  

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Elon Musk’s Las Vegas Strip Plan Has Some Competition

It’s not just Caesars and MGM innovating on the Strip. Elon Musk has been tunneling under Las Vegas to solve a big problem, and now he has a rival.

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It's not just Caesars and MGM innovating on the Strip. Elon Musk has been tunneling under Las Vegas to solve a big problem, and now he has a rival.

Las Vegas has quietly become a hotbed for innovation. Some of that has been driven by the major casino operators -- Caesars Entertainment (CZR) - Get Caesars Entertainment Inc. Report, MGM Resorts International (MGM) - Get MGM Resorts International Report, Resorts World Las Vegas, and Wynn Resorts (WYNN) - Get Wynn Resorts Limited Report -- trying to outdo each other to win over customers.

Some innovations are ostentatious and hard to miss, like the MSG (MSGE) - Get Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp. Class A Report Sphere being built at the Venetian. That first-of-its-kind concert venue looks as if it dropped to Earth from a technologically advanced civilization, and it has raised the bar for performance venues.

Many innovations, however, aren't as obvious. Caesars, for example, uses an artificial intelligence text-based concierge that's surprisingly effective. "Ivy," as it goes by, can answer questions, help with mundane tasks like getting clean towels delivered, or advance your issue to a human where needed.

Innovations big and small are happening up, down, and under the Las Vegas Strip. Elon Musk's Boring Co. has been building a network of tunnels under the city that will eventually use driverless Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc. Report electric vehicles to ferry people all over the city. 

That's a revolutionary idea -- but now a rival has emerged.  

Image source: Daniel Kline/TheStreet

Musk Goes Low, Lyft Goes High?

Musk's Boring Co. has a bold plan for more than 50 stations connecting the Las Vegas Strip to the airport, the Convention Center, Allegiant Stadium, and Fremont Street using driverless Teslas. 

Currently, only a small portion of that network has been built -- a section connecting the two halves of the Las Vegas Convention Center (and one connecting Resorts World Las Vegas to that same location.

For Musk and Boring Co., it's all about taking traffic off the city's busy streets and bringing it underground.

"During typical peak hours, driving from the Las Vegas Convention Center to Mandalay Bay, for example, can take up to 30 minutes. The same trip on Vegas Loop will take approximately 3 minutes," the company says on its website.

If Musk's plan is fully built, it'll effectively give Las Vegas a modern subway, helping alleviate road congestion. It will not, however, stop tourists from using ride-share and taxi cabs.

Now, ride-share company Lyft  (LYFT) - Get Lyft Inc. Report has brought a solution to Sin City that may ultimately help it solve another problem: a shortage of taxi and ride-share drivers. 

Lyft Brings Driverless Cars (Sort of) to Las Vegas

Labor in Las Vegas has been in short supply since the pandemic hit. Some people left the city and others found work outside the service-industry jobs that fuel the Las Vegas economy. At times, that has made the wait for a cab, or a ride-share from Uber (UBER) - Get Uber Technologies Inc. Report and Lyft, longer than usual.

Lyft plans to fix that by partnering with Motional to bring Motional's "Ioniq-5-based robotaxi, an autonomous vehicle designed for fully driverless ride-hail operation, to the Lyft network in Las Vegas," the ride-share company shared in a news release.

The Ioniq 5 is Hyundai's  (HYMTF)  prominent EV. Motional is the Boston joint venture between Hyundai and automotive-technology specialist Aptiv.  (APTV) - Get Aptiv PLC Report

"Launching Motional’s all-electric Ioniq 5 on Lyft’s network in Las Vegas represents tremendous progress in our vision to make an electric, autonomous, and shared future a reality for people everywhere," said  Lyft CEO Logan Green.

An Important Caveat

There is, however, a pretty big catch.

"Each vehicle arrives with not one but two backup drivers standing by to take control of the car should anything go wrong" Casino.org's Corey Levitan reported.

Lyft has promised a truly driverless system at some point in 2023, but current laws and the state of driverless technology make the backups necessary.

Motional and Lyft have quietly been testing driverless vehicles in Las Vegas since 2018. In the news release, Lyft explained how the system works.

"This means riders are able to easily control their ride without assistance from a driver. The enhanced experience includes unlocking the doors through the Lyft app and starting the ride or contacting customer support from the new in-car Lyft AV app, an intuitive in-ride display tailored to autonomous ride-sharing," the company said.

Lyft and Boring Co. are not working together. But if Musk's plan takes vehicles off Las Vegas's streets, the new program makes the experience better for any that remain. 

Ride sharing and taxis will continue to cost significantly more than using Boring Co's subway-like system, so it's easy to see how the two options will work well together.   .

 

  

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Exosomes Could Improve Inhaled Therapeutics

Instead of disguising vaccines in synthetic lipid nanoparticles, researchers used exosomes as their drug delivery vehicles to the lung. The exosomes are…

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For respiratory diseases, from asthma to COVID-19, inhaled treatments can quickly deliver a drug to the desired target, the lungs. Global health depends on such treatments. As Kristen Popowski, a PhD candidate in comparative biomedical sciences at the North Carolina State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in Raleigh, and her colleagues wrote: “Respiratory diseases are among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide, with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) remaining prevalent in the ongoing pandemic.”

Kristen Popowski [North Carolina State University]
Although lipid nanoparticles offer one delivery vehicle for such treatments, nature creates an obstacle. “The lung has natural defense mechanisms against inhaled particulates, and traditional lipid-nanoparticle vaccines present challenges in cytotoxicity and respiratory clearance,” says Popowski. “A nanoparticle formulation that can withstand these defense mechanisms remains a critical challenge.” So, Popowski and her colleagues explored an alternative approach.

“Instead of disguising vaccines in synthetic lipid nanoparticles, we utilize cell-secreted nanoparticles called exosomes as our drug delivery vehicles to the lung,” Popowski explains. “Our exosomes are secreted from native lung cells and are recognizable by the lung.”

Consequently, she says, “We can minimize pulmonary toxicity and clearance to better deliver and retain vaccines.” In addition, the exosome-based treatments developed by Popowski and her colleagues can be formulated as a dry powder that requires no refrigeration and can have a shelf life of 28 days.

Despite the incentives to take an exosome-based approach to inhaled treatments for respiratory diseases, turning that into a part of bioprocessing requires more research.

“Although commercial manufacturing of exosomes has recently shown extensive improvement, optimization of mRNA loading into exosomes remains a challenge,” Popowski says. “Endogenous mRNA expression through exosome engineering would likely be necessary for large-scale production.”

The post Exosomes Could Improve Inhaled Therapeutics appeared first on GEN - Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News.

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