FTSE 100 and Dow Jones jump on second Covid vaccine hopes

Global share prices have surged on news of a second breakthrough coronavirus vaccine, following last week’s positive results from Pfizer.

Interim data from the US firm Moderna suggests its vaccine is highly effective in preventing people getting ill and works across all age groups.

The news pushed shares in Moderna more than 7% higher in early trade.

It also lifted firms hit by the virus, with British Airways owner IAG rising 10% and Cineworld up 13.5%.

The UK’sFTSE 100 share indexclosed about 1.6% higher, while the main US indexes also climbed.

At mid-day trade in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped about 1.2% and the wider S&P 500 increased 0.8% from Friday’s record high. The Nasdaq was up about 0.5%.

The main market in Paris rose 1.7% and in Germany shares gained 0.5%.

Winners

Last week, stock markets enjoyed one of their best ever days when a vaccine by Pfizer/BioNTech raised hopes that the business world might return to normal next year. A number of other vaccines are also being developed.

The gains spurred by Moderna’s news on Monday were more muted but still helped the MSCI World Index of global shares to rise further, climbing by 0.6% to just shy of a record high hit briefly this month.

Firms that have been hit most badly in the pandemic have seen the biggest rises. In the travel sector, cruise line Carnival jumped more than 10%, while Intercontinental Hotels closed almost 5% higher.

“The markets get the new trading week off to a solid start, which is encouraging given all the excitement generated in the last seven days by news of vaccine breakthroughs,” said AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould.

The prospect of an end to lockdowns also helped oil prices strengthen. Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude prices were up about 3%, and shares in energy companies also gained.

The price of gold – which is often seen as a safer asset in times of uncertainty – slipped 0.7% before recovering.

Until vaccines can be rolled out, rising cases of the coronavirus were a risk, said Morgan Stanley strategists in a research note to investors.

But the investment bank urged shareholders to “keep the faith… We think this global recovery is sustainable, synchronous and supported by policy”.

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