FTSE 100 jumps on second Covid vaccine hopes

FTSE 100 jumps on second Covid vaccine hopes

UK 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.

Shares jumped in firms hit by the pandemic, with British Airways owner IAG up 12% and Cineworld rising 15%.

Wall Street markets open later, but the futures index points to a big jump.

After Moderna released its positive data, the FTSE 100 rose to stand about 1.7% higher at midday in London. The main market in Paris rose 2.5% and in Germany shares rose 1.5%.

Shares exposed to consumer spending were the big winners, with Intercontinental Hotels and Whitbread up more than 8%. Cruise company Carnival rose 12%.

In the US, shares in Moderna soared 15% in premarket trading ahead of the Wall Street open.

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.

On Friday in the US, the S&P 500 and the small-cap Russell 2000 indexes ended at record closing highs.

Monday’s news helped the MSCI World Index of global shares to extend gains, rising by 0.6% to just shy of a record high hit briefly this month.

“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, with Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude prices up around 3%, while gold turned negative to trade down 0.7%.

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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