UK and global markets surge following Covid vaccine breakthrough

9 November 2020, 14:56 | Updated: 9 November 2020, 15:28

Global stock markets have surged following the news of a potential vaccine breakthrough
Global stock markets have surged following the news of a potential vaccine breakthrough. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

UK and global stock markets have surged following the news of a potential breakthrough in the race to develop a coronavirus vaccine.

In London, the markets are on track for what could be their best day since March following Pfizer's announcement that its vaccine candidate can prevent 90 per cent of people from contracting Covid-19.

It comes following a similar economic boost in the wake of the long-awaited result of the US election, in which Joe Biden was eventually crowned victor despite Donald Trump's insistence otherwise.

The FTSE 100 jumped by more than five per cent on Monday afternoon, adding £82 billion to the value of its shares.

London's top market added about 330 points, setting it on course for the best day since 24 March.

Meanwhile, companies hit hard by the pandemic - such as British Airways owner IAG and engine maker Rolls-Royce - jumped on the hope that a vaccine could help the economy move closer to normality.

Read more: Vaccine breakthrough - Pfizer's Covid-19 drug '90% effective'

Explained: When will the Pfizer vaccine be available and who will get it first?

Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine ‘90% effective in preventing the disease’

On the FTSE 250, Cineworld rose by 38 per cent, Trainline added 33 per cent, and easyJet, Tui and cruise operator Carnival were up about 28 per cent.

However, beneficiaries of the crisis saw their shares take a hit on Monday. Ocado dropped by 8.5 per cent, Just Eat Takeaway lost more than five per cent, and Reckitt Benckiser, which makes Dettol, fell five per cent.

Pfizer's rival in the race for a vaccine, AstraZeneca, was trading flat on a day where most companies were enjoying an uptick.

The index had already been up earlier in the day after traders returned to work from the news that Mr Biden looks all but set to become the next US president, despite several states being left to declare and the incumbent president presenting legal challenges over the result.

Richard Hunter, Head of Markets at interactive investor, said: “The Pfizer announcement is not yet a panacea, but adds to investor sentiment which had already been buoyed by the Biden victory, and has sent markets to strongly positive levels.

"Beneficiaries of the rally are widespread, particularly among the more beaten-down sectors. The airlines and airline-related stocks are on a tear, rising in some cases by over 25 per cent, while house builders, banks and retailers are all in the boat currently being lifted by a rising tide.

"On the flip side, interestingly, some of the stocks which have seen the benefit of lockdown and could therefore have this rug pulled from underneath them in the event of a return to normality, have seen a slight markdown.

"The likes of Just Eat, Kingfisher and Flutter Entertainment have all seen declines in anticipation of slowing sales should the widespread easing of lockdowns come into play.

"It is still early days, and the practicalities point to any meaningful distribution not being available until the first few months of next year. Even so, the news is without question a positive development and has certainly captured the imagination of investors.”

The developers of the vaccine, Pfizer and BioNTech, plan to apply for emergency approval so the drug can start to be used by the end of the month after no safety issues were raised.

It has been tested on 43,500 people in the US, Germany, Brazil, Argentina, South Africa and Turkey.

Pfizer hope to supply 50 million doses by the end of 2020 and around 1.3 billion by the end of 2021.

The vaccine would include two doses given three weeks apart, and 90 per cent of individuals are then protected seven days after the second dose.

“Today is a great day for science and humanity. The first set of results from our Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trial provides the initial evidence of our vaccine’s ability to prevent COVID-19,” said Dr. Albert Bourla, Pfizer Chairman and CEO.

Listen & subscribe: Global Player | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

People protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government and call for the release of hostages held in the Gaza Strip by the Hamas militant group in Tel Aviv, Israel

Netanyahu brushes off calls for restraint in response to Iran’s attack

Murdered PC Yvonne Fletcher's former colleague has launched a campaign to pursue the private prosecution of one of the suspects.

Ex-colleague of murdered PC Yvonne Fletcher to launch private prosecution of suspect 40 years after her death

La Scala opera house in Milan, Italy

Milan’s La Scala names new director of opera house after months of controversy

Russian soldiers take part in a military exercise in the Donetsk region of Ukraine

17 killed as Russian missiles slam into Ukrainian city

Karol G with the award for best musica urbana album for Manana Sera Bonito during the 66th annual Grammy Awards in February in Los Angeles

2024 Latin Grammys will return home to Miami after controversial move to Spain

Squatters have taken over Twentieth Century Fox, days after Gordon Ramsay and Marco Pierre White's restaurants were also arrested

Now squatters take over London film HQ after breaking into Ramsay pub and Marco Pierre White's restaurant

Mohammed Abbkr

Paranoid schizophrenic who set fire to two elderly Muslims outside mosques given secure hospital order

A toddler has been left in critical condition after being bitten by a dog.

Toddler in critical condition after being bitten by 'large breed' dog in Cheltenham home

TOWIE stars Joey Essex and Mark Argent have been left stranded in Dubai

TOWIE stars Joey Essex and James Argent stranded in Dubai flash floods as they try to hitchhike in ankle-deep water

Malmo Arena

Protests and terror threat mean tight security at Eurovision Song Contest

Humza Yousaf hit back at the author.

JK Rowling's 'contempt for women' accusation over misogyny law is 'astonishing and illogical', Humza Yousaf tells LBC

Author Sophie Kinsella has revealed she is battling brain cancer

Bestselling Shopaholic author Sophie Kinsella reveals she has been diagnosed with aggressive form of brain cancer

Karen Hadaway and Nicola Fellows

Police apologise for failings in investigation into 1986 Babes in the Wood murders of Karen Hadaway and Nicola Fellows

A protester uses a loudhailer during a rally in Athens

Unions in Greece call widespread strikes, seeking return of bargaining rights

Some have claimed cloud seeding may be behind recent flooding in Dubai.

Did controversial ‘cloud seeding’ flights cause torrential downpours and huge flooding in Dubai?

Mick Donovan kidnapped Shannon Matthews over 15 years ago

Shannon Matthews' kidnapper Michael Donovan 'dies of cancer' 16 years after hiding schoolgirl in his bed for 3 weeks